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Practice Notes On English Literature

Published in: English
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The Notes that will help students to preapare their English Literature for their Board Exam.

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    The Felling of the Banyan Tree Comprehending This is a poignant poem about the felling of a banyan tree by the poet's father. The poignancy is heightened because the tree was a part of the poet's heart and soul. In fact, the banyan tree was not the only one which had been sawed off; there were other trees like sheoga, odumber and neem which were cut down as well. But the banyan tree was like a family member to them. The poet's grandmother had opposed the idea of the felling of the trees but her son persisted. The banyan tree refused to be defeated for a whole week and it took fifty people to finally put it down. The rest of the family members watched with horror such slaughter, but were also fascinated by the tree's 200 year age. Soon after the incident, the poet's family shifted to Bombay from Baroda where he sorely missed the greenery of his home. The banyan tree had dug its roots deeper into his heart and soul. Words — Meanings, Pronunciations, Thesaurus tenants — people who rent properties demolished (di-mil-ish'd) pulled down or knocked down; dismantled; flattened; razed massacred — killed; slaughtered; annihilated circumference (sir-kum-Prence) — the boundary enclosing a circle or a circular structure scraggly growing In a manner that is not neat and even; ragged seethes — boils or churns with unexpressed anger; erupts; foams; froths; simmers Analysing Preparation 1. Trees enrich human lives by not only providing clean and fresh air to breathe, which is a prerequisite for life, but also by supplying food in the form of fruits and nuts, numerous organic compounds from its flowers, leaves and barks which are used in various industrial processes. Also, trees are the homes of numerous, birds, animals and insects. They regulate the temperature of a place by providing shade in summers, drawing rainclouds during the monsoons, holding on to the fertile soil and preventing its erosion. Lastly, trees provide a sense of aesthetic pleasure. 2. Students can organise tree-planting events regularly in their neighbourhoods and protect the saplings by installing wire meshes around them so that animals like cows and goats do not eat them up. They should also water the saplings regularly and check whether they have been attacked by any insect or not. Some of them can go to the nearby villages and talk to the inhabitants, pointing out the ill-effects of cutting down trees for reclamation of agricultural land and educate them about the benefits of planting trees. 3. To save the natural habitat of wildlife, we can ensure that there is a dedicated forest area in each city or district that should be protected all the time from poachers and tree-cutters. Also,
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    the number of tourists should be restricted so that the animals are allowed their privacy. Lastly, it should be ensured that the animals are not kept in cages and allowed their freedom. 1. 1. The tenants were asked to leave so that their houses could be demolished one by one. 2. The poet's grandmother used to say that trees are sacred and that cutting them down was a crime. 3. The poet's father felled the trees one by one in spite of the latter's mother's protestations. The trees that were cut down Included sheoga, oudumbw, neem and the big banyan tree. 4. The banyan tree was a problem because of its massive slze and the numerous stilts that hang down from its branches. 5. According to the poet's description, the banyan tree was three times the height of their house and its circumference was about fifty feet. Its aerial roots or stilts scraggily fell to the ground and were almost thirty feet in height. 6. The poet's father decided that the banyan tree had to be felled anyway. 7. With the cutting down of the banyan tree, the Insects and birds became shelterless. 8. The rings in the trunk of the tree revealed that it was two hundred years old. 9. Although the banyan tree in their Baroda home had been cut down, it confinued to live in his heart even when he was in Mumbai. 11. 1. Describe how the banyan tree was ultimately cut down. The cutting down of the banyan tree was an event by itself. They started by cutting down the branches first for seven days. The resultant heap was huge. After that, the massive trunk was touched. Fifty men with axes continuously chopped at the tree, from whose annular rings it was learnt that the tree was two hundred years old. 2. was the poet and the others terrified at the cutting down of the banyan tree? The poet and the rest of the people were terrified at the cutting down of the banyan tree because of the fact that it had been at its place for two hundred years and it was an integral part of everybody's life. Poetic Devices 1. A simile IS a figure of speech or poetic device or rhetorical device In which, one thing is compared to another unrelated thing directly by using such words like 'like', 'as' and so on.
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    2. Some examples of Alliteration in the poem are: 'told the tenants'; 'houses surrounding our house on the hill'; 'only our own'; 'and the trees/ Trees are sacred'; 'all our lives'; 'the banyan tree was three times as tall as our house'; 'fifty feet'; 'Sawing them off for seven days'; 'birds began', 'then they'; 'The great tree'; 'We watched'; 'Baroda for Bombay'. 3. An example of Repetition in the poem is the expression: 'chopped and chopped'. 4. An example of Antithesis in the poem is the expression 'We watched in terror and fas cinatlon'. 5. A metaphor IS an Implied comparison befrvveen frvvo unrelated objects or situations. Towards Appreciation 2. a. ' lived in the houses surrounding our house on the hill'. b. 'The sheoga, the odumber, the neem were all cut down'. c. 'The banyan tree was three fimes as tall as our house Its trunk had a circumference of fifty feet Its scraggly aerial roots fell to the ground From thirty feet or more.. d '... the heap was huge'. 3. The words in the poem which are associated with the killing of the banyan tree are: '.. .cut the branches Sawing them off... 'Fifty men With axes chopped and chopped'. These words lend an element of pathos to the poem and successfully bring out the poet's sadness at the cutting down of his favourite banyan tree. Extension: 1. Banyan: (tearfully) What is my fault? Haven't I been a friend of your family for the past several generations? Your grandfather, father and you, all played under the shade of my branches in your childhood and today you are cutting me down! Why? will my children go? The birds and the insects. They will be homeless forever? How much money will you make by cutting me down and selling my timber? Perhaps my love and care for you was not enough or you may have become greedier. Me: Dear Banyan, please do not be harsh and blame me. I do not know why father is bent on cutting you down, but I swear that I had pleaded with him much. Even my mother and grandmother had also pleaded with him but with no result. He is hell-bent. We can't understand why he is indulging in this mad frenzy. First he cut down the Sheoga, then the Oudumber and the Neem trees and now he wants to cut you down too! But, you know how much I like playing under your branches. You are my greatest friend and i will never think of cutfing you down.
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    Banyan: (regaining his composure) Dear child, it's such a sad sight to see you crying. Let us not think about death. May be your father IS in desperate need and so he wants to cut me down. But, so what? Like you, he is also my child? I have also cradled him in my arms. Today when he is in need, I really do not mind his cutting me down. At least his distress will be relieved. Promise me that you will remember me; that is only what I want. Now play under my branches for the last time before I am cut down. Me: (tearfully) Dear banyan, I will forever remember you; that's a promise. And wherever I will go, I will plant a tree like you. You are my best friend! 3. Save Trees—Trees Save Dear friends, today we are proud to say that our country is developing rapidly, new Industries are coming up, people are having their own houses and more jobs are getting created. But, have we ever given a thought to at what cost is all this happening? There is a great strain being exerted on our natural resources and forests are being cleared daily at an alarming rate. Trees are being indiscriminately cut down not only to reclaim more land for our industries, housing projects and the vast areas of agricultural lands needed for the purpose of feeding the burgeoning population, but also for other things like preparing furniture and decorafive Items which can be easily afforded now because of the rise in the standard of living of the people. However, if we do not take caution now, soon the world will be treeless and so, no oxygen to breathe! will we do then? Also, trees help to hold on to the soil, preventing erosion. Trees are responsible for modifying the climate because they attract the rain-bearing clouds. They also help in maintaining the water-content of the soil by transpiration. Besides these, trees provide us with a variety of fruits, food items and their different parts are used for numerous medicinal purposes. Sometimes, their juices are used for industrial processes as well. For example, the rubber that is used in the tyres of our cars, come from trees. Trees and plants also provide a lot of clothing materials to us. In summer and in rain, they provide us with shelter. But the greatest utility of trees is that they provide us with oxygen and take in the carbon dioxide, keeping the environment clean and controlling global warming. If trees vanish completely from the face of the earth then we will not have any oxygen to breathe and all this development will become meaningless. Therefore friends, I implore you to pledge With me to 'Save Trees because Trees Save'.


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