Multiple Choice Questions
1. The poem begins with morning being:
(a) beautiful and warm
(b) chilly and morose
(c) unpleasant and humid
(d) cold and dreary
2. What did he wonder when he saw the old stone lantern light up?
(a) Whether it was going to be a very hot that day.
(b) Whether there was a short circuit.
(c) Whether it was hit by the magnesium flares seen during the War.
(d) None of the above.
3. What was weird around the narrator after the flashes?
(a) His clothes had vanished
(b) The buildings had collapsed
(c) There were soldiers everywhere
(d) People were walking like scarecrows
4. Why did the poet's drawers and undershirt disappear?
(a) Someone stole them.
(b) The poet misplaced
(c) The poet forgot about them.
(d) They got burnt.
5. What scared the doctor when he felt blood gush out?
(a) His wife was injured too.
(b) They were dying.
(c) The blood was from the jugular vein.
(d) He might have been shot.
6. What did the narrator say consoling his wife?
(a) Help would arrive soon
(b) They'll be fine
(c) They had no other choice
(d) The hospital was near
7. People were walking naked on the road because:
(a) they were protesting.
(b) they were helpless.
(c) their clothes got burnt.
(d) they were shocked.
8. What did the poet wonder when he saw a woman and child, both naked?
(a) Whether they got hurt badly.
(b) Whether they were very poor.
(c) Whether they rushed to save their lives and forgot to wear clothes.
(d) Whether they had come out straight after a bath.
9. Why were people walking with 'Arms stretched out'?
(a) Because they were burnt.
(b) Because they were bleeding.
(c) Because of the pain when the burnt wounds rubbed against each other.
(d) Because the blood was gushing out of their wounds.
10. Why were all the people speechless?
(a) Because their wounds were aching.
(b) Because they all were shocked.
(c) Because they could not cry in spite of their pain.
(d) Because they were not allowed to speak.
11. The poem depicts:
(a) Human resilience
(b) Absolute helplessness
(c) Aftermath of War
(d) Personal anguish
12. Destruction by bombs signifies:
(a) Humanity deprived of its human nature
(c) Death and destruction
(d) loneliness of man
13. Upon seeing the fire spring up from dust what 'dawned on' the doctor?
(a) He should go to the hospital
(b) He needed help
(c) His staff needed help
(d) All of the above
14. What does the line 'shuffled in a blank parade' mean?
(a) Walked involuntarily as if in a trance.
(b) Anguished involuntarily.
(c) Human figures built with sticks and placed in farmlands.
(d) Complaints of pain.
1. How is the morning described in the extract? In what mood was the narrator?
Answer: The morning is described as calm, beautiful, and warm. The narrator was in a relaxed and peaceful mood, as suggested by him sprawling half-clad and gazing out.
2. What startled the narrator? What did he think of it?
Answer: The narrator was startled by two strong flashes of light. Initially, he wondered if they were magnesium flares, which are often seen during wartime.
3. What was the impact of the explosion on the place and the people?
Answer: The extract doesn't detail the full impact of the explosion on the place and the people, but it does mention a sudden and startling flash of light which is the beginning of the explosion's impact. The environment shifted from calm to alarming in an instant.
4. How much did the narrator personally suffer in the explosion?
Answer: In this specific extract, the narrator's personal suffering due to the explosion is not detailed. However, the suddenness of the event took him by surprise.
5. Give the meaning of:
(a) The morning stretched calm, beautiful, and warm
(b) A strong flash, then another, startled me.
Answer: (a) The morning stretched calm, beautiful, and warm: This means the morning was peaceful, visually pleasing, and had a warm temperature.
(b) A strong flash, then another, startled me: This means that there were two sudden bursts of bright light that took the narrator by surprise.
1. What made the blood gush out? Why was the narrator panic-stricken?
Answer: The narrator was injured by the impact of the explosion, which made his blood gush out. He was panic-stricken because he feared that the bleeding might be from the artery in his neck (the jugular vein), which could be life-threatening.
2. What in the extract shows that Yecko-san was badly injured?
Answer: In the extract, Yecko-san is described as being 'pale' and 'bloodstained', which indicates that she too was injured in the explosion.
3. What did the narrator tell his wife consoling her? What does it say about the narrator?
Answer: The narrator, in an attempt to console his wife Yecko-san, assures her that they would be fine. This shows the narrator's concern for his wife and his attempt to stay strong and hopeful despite the dire circumstances.
4. Describe the object they found on the street. What was the reaction of the narrator after finding the object?
Answer: The specific object they found on the street is not mentioned in the given extract. However, throughout the poem, there are references to various tragic sights, including injured and dead people. The overall reaction of the narrator is one of shock, sorrow, and disbelief.
5. By giving two examples, state how an atmosphere of fear was created by the explosion in the minds of the narrator and his wife.
Answer: The atmosphere of fear is evident when the narrator is 'scared for his life' after feeling the blood gush out and when he calls out 'panic-stricken' to his wife. Additionally, the description of Yecko-san as 'pale, bloodstained, frightened' further emphasizes the pervasive fear and shock caused by the explosion.
1. Who was dead? What had killed him?
Answer: In the extract, a man was found dead. He was crushed by a gate, which presumably fell on him due to the explosion's impact.
2. Describe the strange things that happened as stated in the extract.
Answer: Following the explosion, there were numerous strange and tragic occurrences. A house that was initially standing upright began to tilt, then sway, and eventually toppled over and crashed. This was followed by fires springing up from the dust, which were further spread by the wind.
3. Immediately after the extract, what two decisions does the narrator make?
Answer: The specific decisions made by the narrator immediately after this extract are not provided in the given passage. However, throughout the poem, he contemplates seeking medical aid and helping his staff.
4. Why couldn't the narrator aid his staff at the hospital?
Answer: The extract does not detail why the narrator couldn't aid his staff at the hospital. But in the overall context of the poem, it's evident that the narrator himself was injured, and the overwhelming devastation made it challenging to assist others.
5. What physical inconveniences did the narrator suffer after the incidents referred to in the extract?
Answer: The exact physical inconveniences suffered by the narrator after the incidents in this extract are not detailed in the given passage. However, throughout the poem, the narrator describes various injuries, including bleeding, wounds, and general physical exhaustion.
1. Why was the breath of the speaker short? "But bit by bit my strength/Seemed to revive" considering the post-war history of Japan, what is the symbolism involved in this expression?
Answer: The speaker's breath was short likely due to the injuries and trauma he experienced from the explosion. The phrase "But bit by bit my strength/Seemed to revive" is symbolic of resilience and recovery. Considering the post-war history of Japan, especially after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this can be seen as a representation of Japan's gradual recovery and rebuilding after the immense devastation.
2. The narrator was conscious that he was naked. Who helped him? How did the offer help the narrator to have self-confidence?
Answer: A soldier helped the narrator by offering him the towel around his neck. This gesture, though simple, provided the narrator with some modesty and likely a sense of dignity and humanity amidst the chaos, thereby boosting his self-confidence.
3. Why did he send Yecko-san alone to the hospital? How did he justify his decision to let his wife go alone to the hospital?
Answer: The extract does not specify why the narrator decided to send Yecko-san alone to the hospital. However, in dire situations, tough decisions often have to be made for the sake of survival or ensuring that at least one person gets medical attention. His decision might have been based on prioritizing immediate medical care for his wife.
4. What did the narrator feel when Yecko-san left for the hospital? Explain the symbolism?
Answer: The narrator likely felt a mix of concern, fear, and hope when Yecko-san left for the hospital. Symbolically, her journey can represent the uncertainties and challenges faced by many survivors in the aftermath of such catastrophic events.
5. Describe the appearance of the people whom the narrator saw.
Answer: While the extract does not give a detailed description of the people the narrator saw, throughout the poem, the survivors are depicted as being injured, shocked, and often stripped of their clothes. Many appeared as 'ghosts' or 'scarecrows', indicating their traumatized and devastated state.
1. What does the speaker mean by: shadowy forms of people? Why were they looking so?
Answer: By 'shadowy forms of people', the speaker is referring to the survivors of the bombing who were severely injured, burnt, and traumatized. Their appearance, combined with the smoky and dusty aftermath of the explosion, made them look like mere shadows or apparitions.
2. Explain briefly the horrifying effect of the bombing on the people, as described in the extract.
Answer: The bombing had a devastating effect on the people. They were severely burnt, injured, and traumatized. Many were described as looking like 'ghosts' or 'scarecrows', emphasizing their frail and tormented state. Their movements were also hindered due to the pain caused by the burns.
3. What caused the pain as the victims of the bombing moved? What is said about the suffering of the narrator as well as his wife in the poem?
Answer: The pain was caused by the severe burns that the victims suffered from the bombing. When they moved, the burnt flesh chafed against each other, causing excruciating pain. Throughout the poem, both the narrator and his wife are depicted as suffering both physically and mentally from the effects of the explosion.
4. Give the meaning of the following:
(a) feared to chafe flesh against flesh again
(b) shuffled in a blank parade
Answer: (a) 'feared to chafe flesh against flesh again' means that the victims were scared to let their burnt skin touch because of the immense pain it caused.
(b) 'shuffled in a blank parade' refers to the injured survivors moving slowly and aimlessly, in a state of shock and trauma.
5. How does the poet create an atmosphere of fear, panic and horror in the poem?
Answer: The poet creates an atmosphere of fear, panic, and horror through vivid descriptions of the aftermath of the bombing. The portrayal of injured and traumatized survivors, the detailed depiction of physical injuries, and the overall sense of devastation and loss deeply convey the horror of the event.
1. Who are they referred to in the extract? Why does the narrator doubt whether they had come back from the bath?
Answer: In the extract, 'they' refers to a woman and a child who were seen naked. The narrator wonders if they had come back from a bath because it was unusual to see them in such a state, and he was trying to make sense of the situation amidst the chaos.
2. The poem often refers to nakedness of the body. Figuratively, besides the bomb explosion, who else is responsible for making them naked of clothes as well as human dignity? How?
Answer: Besides the bomb explosion, the forces and decisions that led to the war can be held responsible for stripping the victims of their clothes and human dignity. The brutalities of war, the decisions of leaders, and the machinery of conflict all contribute to the dehumanization and suffering of innocent civilians.
3. What is meant by: "Silence was common to us all?"
Answer: "Silence was common to us all" means that despite the immense pain, shock, and trauma, the survivors were speechless. This could be due to their inability to comprehend the enormity of the disaster or their loss of hope and despair.
4. Describe the physical and psychological sufferings shown in the extract.
Answer: The extract paints a grim picture of the aftermath of the bombing. Physically, people were injured, bleeding, and stripped of their clothes. Psychologically, they were in shock, traumatized, and rendered speechless by the horror they witnessed and experienced.
5. What has appealed to you in the poem? Give two examples to justify your opinion.
Answer: The poem powerfully portrays the horrors of war and its impact on innocent civilians. Two aspects that stand out are the vivid descriptions of the physical and psychological trauma of the survivors and the poet's ability to convey the overarching theme of the devastating consequences of human conflict.
1. Describe the destruction caused by the atom bomb in Hiroshima. In your answer refer to the destruction of property, people and their dignity.
The atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, brought with it unprecedented destruction and chaos. The aftermath of the explosion paints a grim tapestry of devastation that is almost impossible to fathom.
**Property Destruction**: Almost instantaneously, Hiroshima was transformed from a bustling city to a smoldering wasteland. Buildings, homes, and landmarks that had stood for centuries were obliterated in mere moments. The poem refers to collapsing roofs and walls, debris scattered everywhere, and dust swirling in the aftermath. A vivid image is created with the description of a house that "tilted, swayed, toppled, and crashed." The once-familiar terrain of the city became unrecognizable, with fires springing up amidst the dust and rubble, consuming whatever remained.
**Destruction of People**: More harrowing than the physical destruction was the unimaginable toll on human lives. The immediate blast caused instantaneous death for many, while countless others suffered horrific injuries. The poet's description of people as "ghosts" and "scarecrows" underscores the sheer magnitude of the suffering. Individuals were severely burnt, with molten skin dripping off, and many walked with arms stretched out, fearful of the pain caused by chafed burns. There's a haunting image of a man crushed under a gate, a testament to the suddenness and ferocity of the explosion.
**Loss of Dignity**: Perhaps the most poignant aspect of the tragedy was the loss of dignity suffered by the survivors. In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, many found themselves stripped of their clothing, walking the streets naked. The poet himself reflects upon his nakedness, and while he initially feels no shame, the sight of others - a woman and a child, both unclothed - drives home the profound humiliation endured by the victims. The very essence of humanity seemed to have been stripped away, leaving behind only the raw, vulnerable core of suffering and trauma.
In essence, the atom bomb's devastation was comprehensive, destroying not just brick and mortar but tearing at the very fabric of human existence and dignity.
2. Referring to the relevant incidents in the poem, state how the narration shows that it is an anti-war poem.
Vikram Seth's "A Doctor's Journal Entry for August 6, 1945" stands as a poignant testament against the horrors of war, specifically the catastrophic consequences of nuclear warfare. The very fabric of the poem, woven with the threads of anguish, suffering, and loss, marks it as an anti-war masterpiece.
**Immediate Impact and Chaos**: The poem starts on a calm note, portraying a serene morning in Hiroshima. This tranquility is shattered in moments as the atomic bomb detonates. The sudden transformation of a peaceful morning into a scene of chaos and devastation highlights the unpredictable and brutal nature of war.
**Physical and Emotional Trauma**: The descriptions of injuries - burns, wounds, and physical deformities - serve as a stark representation of the immediate physical consequences of warfare. However, the trauma isn't limited to the physical realm. The emotional and psychological scars run deeper. The silence of the victims, despite their immense suffering, speaks volumes. Their inability to vocalize their pain underscores the profound shock and trauma they endured.
**Loss of Humanity**: One of the most striking aspects of the poem is the portrayal of the loss of humanity and dignity. The nakedness of the bomb's victims, stripped of their clothing and left exposed, stands as a metaphor for the broader stripping away of human dignity and the moral bankruptcy of war. The sight of individuals, including women and children, wandering aimlessly, bereft of clothing, and in a state of shock, is a haunting reminder of the dehumanizing effect of war.
**Silent Protest**: The overarching silence prevalent throughout the poem serves as a silent protest against the horrors of war. The absence of cries, screams, or words of anguish, even amidst unparalleled suffering, underscores the depth of the trauma and serves as a powerful indictment against the perpetrators of such atrocities.
In sum, through vivid imagery, stark contrasts, and poignant descriptions, the poem emerges as a powerful anti-war narrative, urging readers to recognize the profound costs of conflict and the irreplaceable value of peace.