(i) What is the most important thing that the poet has learnt?
Ans. The poet, as the mouthpiece of a number of people, begins by saying that the most important thing they have known regarding children is that they should never be allowed to watch television. Moreover, a better solution to the problem would be not to install a television set in their homes in the first place.
(ii) What is referred to as 'idiotic thing' in the above extract? Why do you think the poet advises not to install it?
Ans. The poet referred to the television as an 'idiotic thing'. The poet advises not to install it because he had undertaken a long research on the bad effects of watching television by visiting a large number of households in Britain. In almost every house, it was found that the children were lazing about all day and staring at the television screen without doing any productive work. It kills children's imagination, clogs and freezes their brain.
(iii) Describe what the poet sees at every house with television. Why is he upset with what he has seen?
Ans. The poet sees at every house that the children were lazing about all day and staring at the television screen. He was upset with what he has seen because it make children lazy, less productive, and it kills their imagination, clogs and freezes their brain.
(iv) Explain the figure of speech used in the lines:
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
Ans. The figure of speech used here is Hyperbole, which uses exaggeration for emphasis or effect. To put emphasis on the hypnotic effect of television, the poet says that previous week at someplace he had seen half a dozen eyeballs rolling about on the floor.
(v) What purpose do the repetitions serve in the extract?
Ans. Repetition is the purposeful use of words and phrases again and again to create a smooth flow and emphasis.
(a) Give two examples of repetition in the extract.
(i) Is never, NEVER NEVER let
(ii) They sit and stare and stare and sit
(b) What type of rhyming scheme is followed in the extract?
Ans. aa bb cc dd and so on.
(i) The poet says “ it keeps them still”. what keeps the children still? How?
Ans. The television set keeps the children still, as they got hypnotized by watching television. Their minds get filled with all the junk that is being telecast on it.
(ii) How does television prove to be useful and convenient for the parents?
Ans. Television proves to be useful for parents because it keeps their children still and occupied. The children don't fight and let their parents complete their household chores peacefully.
(iii) According to the poet, what ill effects does TV have on children?
(a) It produces dullness in their mind.
(b) It kills their imagination and thinking ability.
(c) It hypnotizes them and fills them with junk.
(iv) How does the TV kill the children's imagination? Name and explain the figure of speech used here.
Ans. The ability to think of new ideas diminishes when child passively engages in watching television. Watching too much television destroys children’s ability to understand the world of fantasy. Their thinking power rusts and freezes.
Personification is the figure of speech used here. It is the practice of representing a thing or idea as a person in art, literature etc.
Dahl(poet) uses personification in the line: IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
(v) Do you think Dahl is critical of television in the lines above? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans. Yes, Dahl seems to be critical of television because he seems to highlight only the negative effects of television on children, such as: It rots their senses, kills their imagination, clogs their mind, makes them dull, and incapable of understanding the world of fantasy. It freezes their thinking power.
(i). Whose and what question is the poet answering in the above extract? What does he say in his answer?
Ans. The poet is answering the question that if they remove the television set, there will be no means for the children to entertain themselves with. The poet reminds the parents in his answer that before the invention of television children would read and only read. Books could be found everywhere- on shelves, floor, etc.
(ii). What monster is the poet referring to in the above extract? How was the situation different before its invention?
Ans. "TELEVISION" is the monster referring to in the extract above. Before its invention when our parents were children they entertain themselves by reading books and playing in the field. But now children spent all their time in front of the television.
(iii). THEY USED TO READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
What do these lines indicate about the style of the poem?
Ans. The poet reminds the parents in his answer that before the invention of television children would read and only read. Books could be found everywhere- on be it on nursery shelves, nursery floor in the bedroom or by the children's bed. The exclamations, 'Great Scott' and 'Gadzooks' used by the poet in the extract, is used to express the shock, surprise and annoyance. "READ" word is used too many times to show that reading is the only mean of entertainment in past.
(iv). Why are some words printed in capital letters, while others printed in small letters?
Ans. The poet uses all capital letters in this line, so as to emphasis the point that when the parents, and he were children, they spent their time by reading the books.
(v). Comment on the use of visual imagery in the last four lines in the extract.
Ans. In the last four lines, the poet has presented remarkable visual imagery to lure the readers towards reading books. The nursery shelves holding piles of books, books cluttering up the entire floor, in the bedroom and by the bed waiting to be read vividly depict the positive craze of reading in a generation of people the poet talks about. This reaches some point of eccentricity about reading books that is missing in today’s generation. The poet is sorrowful that the children of today’s world are far from this picture and rather happy staring at the television screen for an extended period of time.
(i). Which figure of speech is used in, "The younger ones had Beatrix Potter"? Give an example of the rhyming scheme in the extract.
Ans. Synecdoche is the figure of speech used in given lines. Example of the rhyming scheme in the extract is: So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray.
(ii). Give the significance of the lines:
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
Ans. The poet wants the children to read books, to make use of their time, and learn something, instead of watching television, which only wastes time, and kills the imagination.
(iii). Why is the reference to "children living long ago" important in the above extract?
Ans. The given line is important because through this line the poet is able to tell parents about the children living long ago use to read book to entertain themselves.
(vi). According to the poet, what should be done to save children from the hypnotism of television? State whether his suggestion is practical.
Ans. According to the poet, children should be given different storybooks to read in order to save children from the hypnotism of television. Yes, his suggestion is practical, the reading of books is better than watching television by informing us that when we read books, we learn something, and also get creative, which, watching the television cannot do.
(v). Give your views either for or against throwing away the TV sets from the houses.
Ans. Television is necessary because, in this period, there are many educational, business-related, etc, types of shows that can often educate us about the things, that we might not know. There are also new channels that give us the day to day general knowledge of what is happening around the world. Since although books are the source of entertainment and knowledge. We can never know about the things happening all over the world without the news on TV. Books can not update us every day to day events just in minutes. Therefore, throwing away the TV sets is not right.
(i). The poet says, "Then fill the shelves with lots of books". Why does he give this advice to the parents?
Ans. The poet gives advice to parents to fill the shelves with lots of books because he says that books can entertain us, and increases our creativity. He says that we can also learn something from books.
(ii). Who will give "dirty looks" and to whom? Why? What all other tantrums would follow this?
Ans. The 'dirty looks' as said by the poet in the extract refers to the angry, and annoyed children, who will give cold stern stare to their parents when they un-install the TV set. Children would throw tantrums in protest. But ignoring their protest parents should fill the shelves with lots of books.
(iii). Despite children screaming and yelling, the parents are advised to "fear not". Why?
Ans. Despite children screaming, the parents are advised to 'fear not' and remove television because TV is making children dull, and unimaginative, and he wants to stop this from happening.
(iv). Is it important to install in children the need to read books? Why?
Ans. Yes, it is important to install in children the need to read books. The poet believes, as opposed to watching TV, these books can benefit the little children in more than one ways. Books will give them the imagination and thoughts, the knowledge and wisdom, the satisfaction of mind and heart.
(v). The poet advises children to read books for entertainment. How far do you agree with his advice?
Ans. I agree with it for some distant, but Since although books are the source of entertainment and knowledge. We can never know about the things happening all over the world without the news on TV. Books can not update us every day to day events just in minutes.
(i) What will "they start"? How does the poet feel about it? Which words tell you so?
Ans. "They start" reading books. The poet uses the exclamation-'oh boy, oh boy', to express the surprise, and amusement, which the parents are going to feel when they see their children reading books.
(ii) According to the poet, reading books would feel children's hearts with joy. Do you agree? Give a reason for your answer.
Ans. Yes, I agree to some extent. According to the poet, once the television set is removed, and they start reading books, they will eventually forget about the TV set, and start on to enjoy themselves, even while reading books. Therefore, reading books would fill children's heart with joy as if they wouldn't have anything else to do in their free time
(iii) Comment on the poet's different use of language for television and the books.
Ans. The poet on one hand asks the parents to throw away the "nauseating, foul unclean, repulsive television screen", on other he asks them to "install a lovely bookshelf on the wall". As television are idiotic and books are wondrous.
(iv). How, according to the poet, can children benefit from reading books?
Ans. The poet believes, as opposed to watching TV, these books can benefit the little children in more than one ways. Books will give them the imagination and thoughts, the knowledge and wisdom, the satisfaction of mind and heart.
(v). Give the negative aspects of watching television as stated in the extract.
Ans. According to the poet, television is making children unimaginative, because it contains no knowledge at all, and only shows content which contains no educational value, thus, making them unimaginative.
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