1st PUC English Textbook Solutions

The School Boy – 1st PUC English Textbook Solutions

 
The School Boy
William Blake

SUMMARY

The poem throws light on the mindset of a school boy. He is unhappy. He loves outdoor life. He hears the birds sing. The blowing of horn by the huntsmen pleases him. He wants to enjoy the company of the skylark. But he can find such joy only on a summer morning.  Instead of living like a free bird, the boy is made to go to school. It makes him sad. He hates going to school because of his cruel old teacher. There the small children spend the day from morning to evening and get disappointed.  Sometimes the boy sits for hours with his head hanging down but he is caged. He finds no joy in reading his book. The school is a cheerless place for him. He gets fed up with the shower of words from his teacher  The boy compares himself to a bird who is born free to fly and enjoy life but he is caged, he cannot sing in the cage.  The boy has the feeling of being a prisoner at school. He is all the time afraid of the teacher. As a caged bird he lets his wings droop down and forgets to share the joy of spring.  The poet calls upon tie parents not to be so harsh or cruel to the children. School going kids are as delicate as birds and flowers. They need fresh air and free movement to grow healthy and happy. Keeping them under excess cage will make them unhappy  If a plant is denied air and is kept in dark, it won’t grow well and never bear fruit.

STANZAWISE EXPLANATION

STANZA – ONE {1}

I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the sky-lark sings with me. O! what sweet company.

The  speaker,  a  young  boy,  is  joyful  in  getting  up  in  a  sweet  and  beautiful  summer morning.  Sweet  singing  of  the  bird’s  thrills  and  excited  the  boy.  He  likes  the companionship of the hunters who move in the wood searching for his hunt. He likes to enjoy the sweet melodious music of the skylark.

STANZA – TWO {2}

But to go to school in a summer morn,
O! it drives all joy away; Under a cruel eye outworn.
The little ones spend the day, In sighing and dismay. 

But  whenever  the  boy  thinks  of  going  to  the  school,  all  his  enjoyment  and entertainment disappear gradually away. He does not enjoy  or learn anything under the cruel  and  fearful  look  of  the  teacher.  Little  kids  like  the  boy  spend  their  day  in utter worry, unhappiness and disappointment.

STANZA – THREE  {3}

Ah! then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour,
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learnings bower,
Worn thro’ with the dreary shower.

With  a  sad  loose  figure  the  boy  does  not  pass  hours  in  worry.  He  enjoys  the  lessons taught  nor  does  the  way  his  teacher  teaches.  Bower  refers  to  green  shelter.  And here ‘bower’  means  to  the  school  or  the  classroom  in  which  the  feels  imprisoned.  He does not enjoy any lesson communicate in a dull manner.

STANZA – FOUR {4}

How can the bird that is born for joy,
Sit in a cage and sing.
How can a child when fears annoy.
But droop his tender wing.
And forget his youthful spring.

The poet here brings the example of a bird. A  bird which is meant for joy and freedom will never be sing in a cage. Likewise a child who is always under a situation of fear will  forget  his  childlike  tenets  and  drop  down  his  wing  of  freedom  and  ecstasy.  He will forget his childhood innocence and activities.

STANZA – FIVE {5}

O! father & mother. if buds are nip’d,
And blossoms blown away,
And if the tender plants are strip’d
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and care’s dismay.

In this stanza the poet gives a message to the parents asking them some questions and familiar to some situations. If the buds are destroyed before blooming; if the flowers are driven away by the strong wind; 

STANZA – SIX {6}

I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the sky-lark sings with me.
O! what sweet company.

The  speaker,  a  young  boy,  is  joyful  in  getting  up  in  a  sweet  and  beautiful  summer morning.  Sweet  singing  of  the  bird’s  thrills  and  excited  the  boy.  He  likes  the companionship of the hunters who move in the wood searching for his hunt. He likes to enjoy the sweet melodious music of the skylark.

1. Who, do you think, ‘I’ refers to in the poem?

I refer to William Blake in the poem

2. ‘Sweet company’ refers to

 d. All the above three

3. What drives the boy’s joy away?
The very thought of going to school drives the boy’s joy away.

 4. How do the little ones spend the day in the school?

The little ones spend the day in the school by sighing (grief) and dismay (Helplessness).


5. What does ‘cage’ stand for in the poem?

Cage stands for School, where the children are entrapped.

6. Pick the phrase from the following which does not refer to formal schooling.
Fruits are gathered.

7. Relate the seasons mentioned under column A with the stages of life.

1. Spring – Childhood    
2. Summer -Youth      
3. Winter -Old age

Comprehension: II

1.      What does the school boy love to do on a summer morn?

What drives his joy away? William Blake suggests that the educational system of his day destroys the joyful innocence of youth. In the poem the poet speaks in the persona of a school child that wakes up in the morning. He loves to rise early in summer morning to enjoy the chirping sound of the birds, Huntsman’s horn and the melody of skylark singing. But all the happiness gets driven away when he realizes that  he  has  to  go  to  school.  The  main  theme  is  the  sorrow  that  the  boy  feels  at  the  very  thought  of  going  to  school.  While  he wishes to enjoy the summer, he wishes to be very much outside in the nature.

2. Describe the boy’s experience in the school. Child loves to rise early in summer morning to enjoy but all the happiness disappears when he realizes that he has to go to school. The main theme is the sorrow that the boy feels at the very thought of going to school. While he wishes to enjoy the summer.  The boy longs for the freedom of the outdoors and cannot take delight in his book. He is compelled to experience many anxious hours. The image of the bird is used in the poem. The birds sing happily when they are free but if they are in a cage they cannot do it the same way. In the same way the boy feels he is imprisoned at school.  School boy in school and the bird in the cage are seen as equal not only at the natural level under physical subjection but at the spiritual level too. Both represent the caging and entrapping of imaginative vision.

2. According to the poet how does formal education curb a learner’s potential? Poet appeals that adults must realize that children are like plants, which needs to be look after and given proper care. They have to bear fruit later on. School should be the place where children are allowed to think freely.  He wishes that school should provide students with challenges, competition and opportunities to enhance their creativity. It should be a place where children are provided with for practical play and develop at their own place.

Comprehension: III

Formal schooling not only takes away the joy of childhood but also hinders the child’s growth forever. Explain. Or
Do you think the poet is arguing against education? Discuss.  
Here the poet is complaining a young boy of being shut inside at his school work instead of playing outside in the sun. He really criticizes the education system of his day. To him school destroys the joyous innocence of youth. He wishes that the child should rise with the company of many natural joys. He intended not just the huntsman but ‘birds sing on every tree’ and ‘the sky-lark sings with him. The poet does not emphasize the oppression of the school room.   He is reminding that books and learning can be natural. He gave us a distinct picture of crushed and destroyed life in the school room. Here the poet has successfully conveyed to the loss and lassitude of the school boy. He even criticizes the child restrains the  assault  on  him  by  the  oppressive  personality  of  a  teacher.  By  unnecessary  lecturer  he  spends  his  day  in  boredom.  Only Company of nature brings him joyous experience. As like a bird which is born cheerful and jovial, never sing if caged. Similarly the child annoying fear and tension, he can never enjoy. Here the poet complains to the highest authority to father and mother.


 ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS

1. In whose company did boy wanted to sing and play?
Ans: – In the company of nature

2. Which is drives boy’s joy away?
 Ans:-The school

3. When did the boy go to school?

Ans:-on a summer morning

4. From whom supervision did the boy spend his day?
 Ans: – Under cruel eye/ teacher

5.How does the boy spend all day?
Ans: – In sighing and dismay.

6. How did the boy sit in the class room?

Ans: – With shrinking spirit/drooping/loss of enthusiasm

7. What cannot child find in books?
 Ans: – Delight/joy

8. Where does the bird not sing?
In the cage

9. What the bird represent for?
Ans: – freedom
 
10. Where does the boy disturb?
Ans: – When he was fears

11. The condition of child is compared to———
A bird in a cage

12.Who droop the boy’s tender wings?
Ans: – The teacher

13. When did the boy forget his youthful spring?

Ans: – When he was in fear/ annoy

14.Who nipped the buds of a boy?

Mother and father/parents

15. Sweet company refer to 

A) Skylark B) Huntsman’s horn C) Bird’s song D) All the above three
Ans: D) all the above three.

 16. How do the little ones spend the day in the school?
In sighing and dismay

17. What drives the boy’s joy away?
Ans: The school

18. What does ‘cage’ stand for in the poem?
Ans:- Jail/ curtail of freedom

19. Which phrase representing the formal schooling?
A) Buds are nipped B) Fruits are gathered C) Plants are stripped D) Blossoms are blown away

20. What does the school boy love to do a summer morn?
Ans:-sing like a bird

21. What drives the school boy’s joy away?
Ans: – Fear about the school

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