Class 12 Exam  >  Class 12 Notes  >  English Class 12  >  Summary: Poem - An Elementary School Classroom in a slum

Summary: Poem - An Elementary School Classroom in a slum | English Class 12 PDF Download

Key Points of the Poem

  • The writer of this poem is Stephen spender, he describes the communal inequalities which are usual in this society. 
  • In this poem, the author describes the situation of the students of an elementary school. 
  • The school is located in a slum area. 
  • The poet wants everybody’s attention to these children. 
  • Poet wanted that the life of these students improves. 
  • He wanted them to get trained in order to become good citizens of our country and not criminals. 
  • An elementary school classroom in a slum summary gives a brief knowledge about the condition of the school as well as the students.

Detailed Summary  

Summary: Poem - An Elementary School Classroom in a slum | English Class 12

The students' appearance reflects their unwelcome status, with expressions of sadness and physical health issues passed down from their parents. In the back of the classroom, one child stands out with bright, hopeful eyes.
The classroom itself is marred by dirty, muddy walls adorned with various charts and images, including posters of Shakespeare, a bald figure resembling the rising sun, a depiction of the Tyrolese valley, and a world map. However, the world these students know is starkly different from what these images portray; their reality is the somber scene outside the window, where they are trapped in the slums with bleak and uncertain futures. Their prospects are far from ideal, keeping them distanced from the light of knowledge.
Comprehending these visuals is beyond their grasp, and their feelings toward others are tinged with bitterness. Even Shakespeare, a character they perceive as good, is not enough to counteract the lack of love in their lives. The yearning for affection leads some of them to resort to criminal activities such as robbery. Malnourishment has rendered them emaciated, their skeletal structures visible through their thin bodies. Their steel glasses are both burdensome and uncomfortable.
The chances of achieving their dreams and escaping poverty have diminished due to the expansion of larger slum areas. Their exposure to the outside world remains limited as long as they remain trapped in the slums. The government's creation of these slum areas is the root cause of their predicament, as it confines them to a life without dreams. The poet appeals to the authorities to grant these underprivileged children the opportunity to explore the world beyond the slums, envisioning a brighter future. To broaden their horizons, they should be taken to areas with lush fields and greenery, where they can experience the warm sands of the beach and kindle their hunger for knowledge. By doing so, these children can become economically empowered through education.

Conclusion  


To conclude, an elementary school classroom in a slum summary tells us about the poor condition of the students. The schools are very poor in condition. The future of these kids is in dark. This story also teaches us the value of education and the value of all the things that we have and many do not.

Literary Devices

  • Assonance: Here we see the use of vowel sound that is ‘o’. (To Cochin last Friday morning) Use of vowel sound ‘o’, ’a’, ‘e’ (doze, open-mouthed, her face ashen like that of a corpse)
  • Consonance: use of the sound ‘s’ and ‘t’
  • Imagery: when the poet say trees sprinting, merry children spilling
  • Repetition: Repeated use of ‘looked’ , use of ‘smile’
  • Rhyme scheme – The poem does not follow any rhyme or rhythm. It has been written in free verse.
  • Simile: The colour of the mother’s face has been compared to that of a corpse – ashen. use of ‘like’ (her face ashen like that of a corpse)
    Mother’s face is compared to the late winter’s moon – both are dull and lifeless. use of ‘as’ (as a late winter’s moon).
  • Alliteration: Use of ‘f’ sound (From fog)
  • Allusion: Reference to well-known person or place ( Shakespeare’s head, Tyrolese valley)
  • Anaphora: Use of repeated words in two consecutive lines (Run azure And Run naked)
  • Assonance: repetition of vowel sound ‘e’ (Belled, flowery, Tyrolese valley)
  • Metaphor: boy is compared with paper as he is thin (paper seeming boy)
    Their homes are very small like holes (cramped holes)
    books and nature are expressed in form of white and green leaves (the white-green leaves open)
    i. Walls are described to be dull as sour cream (sour cream walls)
    ii. The future of the kids is described as limited (Narrow Street sealed with a lead sky)
  • Repetition: ‘far’ repeated use of far to stress on the distance
  • Simile: children are compared with rootless weed (like rootless weed) their repaired spectacles (like bottle bits on stones)
  • Alliteration: the repetition of a consonant sound at the start of 2 or more closely placed words.
    ‘we will’ – ‘w’ sound is repeated
    we would’ – ‘w’ sound is repeated, ‘sudden strangeness’ – ‘s’ sound is repeated, ‘his hurt hands’ – ‘h’ sound is repeated
    ‘wars with’ – ‘w’ sound is repeated, ‘clean clothes’ – ‘c’ sound is repeated
    we were, so single – minded
  • Anaphora: Two consecutive lines starting with the word ‘Let’s’
    let’s not speak in any language,
    let’s stop for one second,
  • Assonance: use of vowel ‘o’ (victory with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers)
    Use of vowel sound ‘o’ and ‘e’ (Now we will count to twelve, not move our arms so much)
  • Enjambment: and for once could perhaps a huge silence……..of threatening ourselves with death.
  • Repetition: use of ‘war’
  • Alliteration: Use of consonant sound at the start of two words which are close in series (Sleep-Sweet)
    Use of consonant sound at the start of two words which are close in series (‘b’ in Band Bind, ‘n’ in Noble nature, ‘s’ in some shape).
    Use of consonant sound at the start of two words which are close in series (‘h’ in have heard)
    Use of consonant sound at the start of two words which are close in series (‘s’ in Sprouting Shady, Simple sheep, ‘c’ in cooling covert)
  • Anaphora: Use of same word in two consecutive lines (of noble natures- Of all the unhealthy)
  • Antithesis: opposite words placed together (old and young)
  • Metaphor: Immortal drinks ( beautiful objects of nature are forever like a neverending portion of a drink) wreathing a flowery band (the beautiful things of our life bind us to the earth) bower Quiet (calmness of the bower is compared to the calming effect of a beautiful thing)
  • Inversion: normal order of words is reversed ( Are we wreathing a flowery band)
  • Imagery: Bushes full of musk roses (sprinkling of fair musk rose blooms), books describing valor of fighters (grandeur-..mighty dead), god providing us with best things (pouring from the heaven’s brink) Trees giving shade (sprouting shady boon), growing process of daffodils (daffodils with the green world they live in), Clean river streams (Clear rills) creating a sensory effect of beautiful things lined up in a string ( A flowery band to bind us)
  • Rhyme scheme: aabbc (forever, never, keep, sleep, breathing)
  • Rhyme: Rhyme scheme is used in every stanza of the poem (forever; never, keep; sleep, dead; read etc.)
  • Metaphor: Trusting Sorrow
  • Oxymoron & Alliteration: ‘Greedy good-doers’ and ‘beneficent beasts’ of prey.
  • Personification: 1) A roadside stand that too pathetically pled
  • Transferred Epithet: (a) Polished traffic (b) Selfish cars
  • Alliteration: ‘f’ sound is repeated in finger fluttering
    ‘p’ is repeated in prancing proud
  • Anaphora: use of same word in two consecutive lines (they do not … and they pace in…)
  • Metaphor: Use of topaz to describe the yellow color of tigers (Bright topaz)
    Rhyme scheme: aabb

Difficult Words


Word - Meaning

  • Far far - Very far
  • Gusty - Strong and irregular
  • Gusty waves - Full of energy
  • Rootless - Without roots, Without foundation
  • Weeds - Unwanted
  • Torn - Improperly cut, Uncombed
  • Pallor - Pale face
  • Like rootless weeds - Simile
  • Weighed down - Keeping low
  • Paper seeming boy - Metaphor
  • Rat’s eyes - Metaphor
  • Stunted - Underdeveloped
  • Heir - Inheritor, Legal owner of property after someone’s death
  • Reciting - Speaking repeatedly, Showing
  • Gnarled - Rough, Twisted
  • Dim - Having less light
  • Unnoted - Unnoticed
  • In tree room, other than this - Alliteration
  • Sour cream - Dull yellow colour
  • Dawn - Early morning
  • at dawn, civilized dome - Alliteration
  • Belled - It refers to church
  • Flowery - Full of flowers
  • the world its world - Repetition
  • Cape - Clothes, Shawl
  • Narrow street - Metaphor
  • Sealed in with lead a sky - Metaphor
  • Stars of wisdom - Metaphor
  • Far far from rivers - Repetition
  • Wicked - Evil, Wrong, Bad
  • Tempting - Appealing, Inviting
  • Ships and Sun - Alliteration
  • Ships and Sun and love - Repetition
  • Slyly - Deceitfully, Cunningly, Secretly
  • Cramped - Small, Overcrowded
  • Cramped holes - Metaphor
  • Endless night - Metaphor
  • Slag - Rejects, Waste
  • Peeped through - Visible
  • Mended - Repaired
  • Bits - Pieces
  • Like bottle bits on stones - Simile
  • Blot - Dishonour, Disgrace
  • Doom - Terrible fate, Misfortune
  • As big as doom - Metaphor
  • All of their time - Alliteration
  • Space are foggy slums - Alliteration
  • Catacomb - Underground burial, Labyrinth
  • That shut upon their lives like catacombs - Alliteration
  • like catacombs - Simile
  • Break O break open till they break open - Repetition
  • Azure - Blue colour
  • And let their tongues - Alliteration
The document Summary: Poem - An Elementary School Classroom in a slum | English Class 12 is a part of the Class 12 Course English Class 12.
All you need of Class 12 at this link: Class 12
14 videos|252 docs|98 tests

FAQs on Summary: Poem - An Elementary School Classroom in a slum - English Class 12

1. What is the poem "An Elementary School Classroom in a slum" about?
Ans. The poem "An Elementary School Classroom in a slum" by Stephen Spender depicts the harsh reality of an impoverished elementary school in a slum. It reveals the struggles and challenges faced by the students and the impact of their environment on their education.
2. Who is the author of the poem "An Elementary School Classroom in a slum"?
Ans. The poem "An Elementary School Classroom in a slum" is written by Stephen Spender, an English poet and essayist. He was known for his politically engaged poetry and his concern for social justice.
3. What themes are explored in the poem "An Elementary School Classroom in a slum"?
Ans. The poem explores themes such as poverty, inequality, education, social injustice, and the harsh reality of life in a slum. It highlights the importance of education and the challenges faced by children living in impoverished conditions.
4. How does the poem portray the condition of the elementary school in a slum?
Ans. The poem portrays the elementary school in a slum as a place of desperation and neglect. It describes the cramped and dreary classroom, worn-out books, broken desks, and the lack of basic facilities. The poem also emphasizes the emotional and psychological impact of the environment on the students.
5. What is the significance of the title "An Elementary School Classroom in a slum"?
Ans. The title "An Elementary School Classroom in a slum" signifies the setting of the poem and hints at the social and economic conditions surrounding the school. It suggests that the poem will focus on the struggles faced by the students and the impact of poverty on their education.
14 videos|252 docs|98 tests
Download as PDF
Explore Courses for Class 12 exam
Signup for Free!
Signup to see your scores go up within 7 days! Learn & Practice with 1000+ FREE Notes, Videos & Tests.
10M+ students study on EduRev
Download the FREE EduRev App
Track your progress, build streaks, highlight & save important lessons and more!
Related Searches

study material

,

Previous Year Questions with Solutions

,

Important questions

,

pdf

,

Free

,

Summary: Poem - An Elementary School Classroom in a slum | English Class 12

,

past year papers

,

Sample Paper

,

Summary

,

shortcuts and tricks

,

MCQs

,

video lectures

,

Extra Questions

,

practice quizzes

,

Objective type Questions

,

Summary: Poem - An Elementary School Classroom in a slum | English Class 12

,

mock tests for examination

,

Viva Questions

,

Summary: Poem - An Elementary School Classroom in a slum | English Class 12

,

Exam

,

Semester Notes

,

ppt

;