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Notes On English Lesson For Practice

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The students who wants to get good marks in their exam, this practice lesson will help them a lot.

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    Old Women Comprehending Through this poem, the poet draws our attention towards the plight of old people, especially old women like our grandmothers, who have lost the beauty and vitality of their youth. Although they might look ugly at times, they are actually not witches who travel across the sky on brooms or foretell the dark future through ominous signs. They are people whom we need not fear but who require our love and care because old age is like a second childhood for them. These old women can be found sitting on park benches in the quiet evenings, calling the doves by their names and feeding them grains or standing in endless queues in front of government hospitals for their checkups and medicines or they can be seen waiting in front of post offices for letters from their children settled abroad, in whose memory they are dead or almost forgotten. There are many such instances of the plight of old women in the poem and these are sad ironies to their youth when they were reservoirs of strength and vitality. At that time, they used to guide us through all difficulties without hassles. Words — Meanings, Pronunciations, Thesaurus magic wands — rods used by magicians for performing tricks or by witches to cast spells obscure — blurred; faint; foggy; hazy prophecies (pro-fe-sees) — foretelling the future; predictions; prognostications; forebodings ominous (aw-mln-us) suggesting that something bad is going to happen in the future — long lines of people queues (q-oos sterile — unproductive; here, clouds without rain Analysing Preparation 1. Grandparents care for their grandchildren by not only entertaining them through their stories but also educating them through the morals hidden in those stories; by guiding them through a life-time of experience and wisdom; and filling in for their parents in the latter's absence. 2. Grandparents should also be looked after by us because of their unconditional love and support for us. Also, they have spent their entire lifetimes for our better future and it is time we did something for them as a show of our gratitude for being our grandparents. Moreover, old age renders them frail and helpless so It is our responsibility to look after them and care for them. 1. 1. Old women sit on vacant park benches In the quiet evenings. 'with a lost gaze' means they have lost something. 2. 'they shiver like December nights' means they shiver because of severe cold. 3.
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    4. 'lilies and Christmases In their failing memory' means they remember good old days with family members. 5. '... one folktale for each wrinkle on their skin' means old women with wisdom and lot many experiences. 11. 1. Old women are seen roaming aimlessly because of a sense of neglect. They have spent their youth in looking after their families but now, in their old age, they have no one to look after them. So they roam about with lost gazes in their eyes, thinking about their youthful happy days. 2. This sentence is a reference to the adage that there is the light of day after every dark night. However, for the old women, there is no such thing. They pass directly into darkness from dawn because of the hopelessness of their lives due to abandonment. 3. All the lines in the poem are full of the sad loneliness of the old women, but the most poignant and pertinent line that tells us about their loneliness and isolation is 'They do not fear death, they died long ago 4. The last first few lines of the last stanza reveal that at one time, they were happy with their lives. 'Old women were once continents. They had deep woods in them, lakes, volcanoes even, even raging gulfs.' 5. Here, the word 'maps' stands for the guiding light that the old women provided when they were young. They were always beside their husbands and children whenever the latter felt lost due to confusion or despair. 6. The geographical metaphor suggests the vastness of the role played by these neglected women In their youth. They used to be the guiding lights and pillars of support for their families. 111. 1. do the first three lines of the poem refer to? The first three lines of the poem refers to the common fear among little children that old women are hags and witches who fly about on magic wands or tell ominous things about the future. This IS a common story that children are fed with by their mothers when in an attempt to discipline them by instilling fear. 2. In reality, what do the old women actually do? The old women actually sit on park benches in quiet evenings and feed birds with maize. This is a kind of playful time pass that helps them to temporarily forget their state of neglect and loneliness. 3. Describe the conditions of the old women as narrated by the poet. The old women are thoroughly neglected by their family members and relatives. They are found in long queues in government hospitals, trembling like waves because of their fragile and weak conditions or waiting in front of post offices for letters from their sons, settled abroad, which never come because for them, the memories of their mothers are dead. At times, these women can be found whispering like drizzles as they roam the streets in a dazed manner, thinking about their past days of happiness which are lost forever. Those who sleep on the pavements and in front of shops have dreamless nights because of the shivery December cold.
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    The only things that keep them going even at this age are the memories of their earlier days of happy family lives. Those still seem to float about In front of their eyes. And the wrinkles on their skins seem to tell a different story each. They are not afraid of death because they have been mentally dead for a long time due to the neglect and abandonment. For them life is hopeless, soon after dawn they encounter night—the bright sunny daylight does not exist for them. 4. Xhat does the poet imply by the lines, 'old women once were continents'? Confinents are vast landmasses with numerous topographical features—mountains, rivers, deserts, forests, plains, lakes and seas. Like the continents, the old women also played numerous roles in their younger days—of daughter, sister, friend, wife and mother. 5. What does the poet imply through the last four lines of the poem? The poet tactfully tells us, the readers, to look after these neglected and abandoned old women. The poet feels that these women are so experienced that if we take them home then they can solve a lot of our problems by virtue of their wisdom. And there won't be much difficulty in keeping them because they will easily stay like folded maps in one corner of the house. Poetic Devices 1. More examples of Simile: 'Or, trembling like waves they stand In endless queues in government hospitals.. .'. a. 'They whisper like drizzles.. .'. b. c. 'They shiver like December nights .. 2. The figure of speech is personification. 3. Examples of Metaphor in the poem: 'Old women once were continents'. a. b. 'They had deep woods in them, lakes, mountains, volcanoes even, even raging gulfs'. 'When the earth was in heat they melted, shrank, leaving only their maps' c. d. 'You can fold them and keep them handy'. e. 'There is one folk tale for each wrinkle on their skin'. 'Raging gulfs' is another example of onomatopoeia in the text. 5. 'Free verse' is a kind of poetry where the lines do not rhyme with each other. The purpose of 6. free verse is to inform the reader about a serious, solemn and sombre theme and so it suites the theme of this poem very much. 7. Similar beautiful expressions are: a. '.. .call doves by their names and charm them With rains of maize'. b. '... or settle like sterile clouds.. .'. Towards Appreciation 1. The relevant expressions that reflect the poet's thoughts about old women and their importance in the world are found in the lines, 'There is one folklore for each wrinkle on their skin' and 'You can fold them and keep them handy; who knows they might help you find your way home'.
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    2. Apart from alienafion, the other social issues that have been brought up by the poet include lack of adequate medical facilities for them, which is why they have to stand in queues in front of hospitals; the problem of brain-drain, which is why young people leave and settle abroad, leaving behind their families and old parents; and lack of old age homes where such old women can be given shelter so that they do not have to shiver on the pavements on cold December nights. 3. The continents stand for the different roles played by women throughout their lives. The woods stand for their mysterious ways because only a woman knows what goes on in her mind. The lake stands for placidity or gentleness, which is an inborn characteristic in women. The mountain stands for the resilience that women show in the face of adversity. They quietly bear the brunt and protect their children to the very end. The volcanoes and the raging stream symbolise the anger of women when their patience is ultimately eroded by continuous ill- treatment. 4. The expressions that reveal the element of pathos associated with the poem include, 'They just Sit ... grains of maize'; 'trembling like waves ... long ago dead'; 'They whisper ... never returned to earth'; 'They shiver like December nights ... wrinkle on their skin'; 'All dawns pass . they died ling ago . 5. The lines that point out the capability of old women's ability to still care for others are, 'You can fold them ... your way home'. Extension 1. The best solution to the problem of old women is to establish an old-age home for them where they would be given proper medication, provided with decently cooked meals, given beds and warm blankets to sleep on in cold winter nights and find companionship among similar old people. 2. Status of old Women in Indian Society The problem of old and destitute women IS a nagging problem in our country. In their youth, they perform multiple roles of daughter, sister, friend, wife and mother, always caring for their men-folk in their own way and protecting their families and children but as they grow old and their usefulness is over, most of them are turned out to the streets by their families and relatives. They have nowhere to go and are ultimately reduced to begging to sustain themselves. This is really shameful and a rather sad example of our own selfishness. Even worse than this is the fact that old women are suspected to be witches and sorceresses In many parts of the country, especially the villages and tortured inhumanly as a result. They are sometimes severely beaten and even burnt alive for supposedly bringing misfortune to the villagers. If India has to emerge as a truly modern and developed nation, then she needs to protect her mothers and provide them with a life of dignity. Not only the government, but also the citizens need to come forward to build proper and well-maintained old age homes, provide them with free medical aid, clothes, shelter, blankets and companionship. In return for their sacrifices, we can reward them with a little love and caring. 3. In order to interview an Inmate of an old age home, the questions that can be asked may include ones related to the facilities that they are being provided at the home; whether their relatives still visit them or not; the reasons behind their landing up in an old age home after all;
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    do they have any like-minded companlon at the home; how they spend their time; what other facilities can be provided to them are the caretakers helpful or not.

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