Memories of Childhood summary, Question Answer Class 12 English, Solutions & PDF

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Memories of Childhood summary, Question Answer Class 12 English, Solutions & PDF

Class12th 
Chapter08
Chapter NameMemories of Childhood
AuthorZitkala-sa and Bama
BoardCBSE & All Others boards
Book NCERT
SubjectEnglish Elective  (Flamingo)
Medium English
Study MaterialsSupplementary Reader Very important question to answer

Memories of Childhood Summary in English

This lesson contains two autobio-graphical accounts by two women who belonged to different cultures. They lived in different times and in different countries. But their theme is the same. 

They suffered injustice on account of inequality and prejudice. Zitkala-Sa was a Native American woman. But she was not allowed to live according to the values of her culture. 

She was not allowed to drape a shawl around her shoulder. She thought it was immodest. She was forced to wear hard shoes instead of her soft moccasins. 

In her culture cutting hair short was disgraceful or a sign of mourning. But the white people imposed their will and cut off her thick, long braids of hair.

The other account is given by an Indian woman, Bama. She was born into a low-caste family. They were considered untouchable. 

They could not touch the food of the high-caste people. It was presumed that if they touched even food parcelled in banana leaf and paper, it would be polluted. 

Her people worked hard and also had to run petty errands for the high-caste people. She could not understand this discrimination. She wondered if her people were not human. 

Did they not deserve respect and dignity? Her brother suggested a way. He told her to work hard at her studies. She did, and won friends and respect. Therefore both autobiographies describe the treatment and evil of untouchability in our society.

The first day in the land of apples was a bitter-cold one. The ground was covered with snow; the trees were bare. The sound of the bell and the clatter of shoes were annoying to sensitive ears. People murmured in an unknown tongue. The narrator’s soul had lost her peace and freedom. But all was useless.

A paleface woman came up after them. The girls were marching into the dining room. These were Indian girls in stiff shoes and closely clinging dresses. The boys entered through the opposite door. 

She was feeling very uncomfortable. A small bell rang. She pulled out her chair and sat on it. But she noticed that all the others were standing. 

She felt confused. The second bell sounded. All were seated at last. She caught the eyes of a paleface woman upon her. She was so keenly watched by the strange woman. 

The third bell was sounded. Everyone picked up his knife and fork and began eating. Late in the morning, the narrator’s friend Judewin gave her a terrible warning. She had overheard the paleface woman talk. 

They talked about cutting their long, heavy hair. Among her people, short hair was worn by mourners. Shingled hair was worn by cowards. Judewin decided to submit but the narrator rebelled. She decided not to submit but to struggle.

She disappeared. She came into a large room with three white beds in it. She crawled under the bed and hid. She heard footsteps nearby. The steps were quickened. 

The voices grew louder. They looked under the bed. She was dragged out. She was carried downstairs and tied fast in a chair. She faced ex- treme indignities. Her long hair was shingled like a coward! No one came to comfort her. Now she was only one of many little animals driven by a herder. II – 

The narrator was in the third class. She hadn’t yet heard people speak openly of untouchability. But she had already seen, felt, experienced, and been humiliated by what it is. The distance from her school to the home could be covered in ten minutes. 

But she took from half an hour to an hour to reach there. She watched all the fun and games that were going on. She saw perform- ing monkeys. She saw the snake charmer displaying his snakes. 

The other attractions were: the Maariyaatta temple; the celebrations; the statue of Gandhi and the sweet and snack stalls. She could go on. Everything stopped her and attracted her attention.

Political parties would arrive. They cried through their mikes. Then there might be a play or a puppet show.or a stunt. Some entertainment or the other ays going on. There was coffee at the bazaar. She would see people’s onions or almonds blown down by 1. 

All these sights stopped her from me. Then she would see people selling, fruits and sweets.

One day the narrator saw that a threshing had been set up near her street. They sat there watching the proceedings, and the elder of their street came along. He was carrying a small packet. It is something like vadai or green bhaji. 

He came along holding out its string without touching it. They NT straight to the landlord. He bowed and extended the packet toward him. They opened it and began to eat. 

She told the story in all its comic detail, with laughter but Annan (elder was not amused. He told her that is not being funny. He couldn’t touch the food packet. When she heard it, she felt terribly sad. It’s Busting. She felt so much

provoked and she wanted to touch those vadais straightaway. She won-demanded why the poor showed respect and bowed before such reasons. 

The rich forget that others are nonbeings. Annan told the narrator that they were born in a community of “low caste” people. They are never given any honor or dignity or respect. 

If they study and make progress, they can throw away these indignities. If they are learned, people will come to them of their own accord. 

The words Annan spoke to her that day made a very deep impression on her. She studied hard and stood first in her class. Many people became her friends.

Memories of Childhood Summary in Hindi

सेबों के देश में पहला दिन ठण्डा और कटु रहा। जमीन बर्फ से ढँकी थी; वृक्ष नंगे थे। घण्टी की आवाज और जूतों के खटखटाने के शौर संवेदनशील कानों को परेशान कर रहे थे। लोग अनजान भाषा में बुड़बुड़ाते थे। कथाकार की आत्मा अपनी शांति और स्वतंत्रता खो बैठी थी लेकिन सभी (कुछ) बेकार था।

एक विवर्ण चेहरे वाली औरत उनके पीछे आयी। लड़कियाँ भोजन कक्ष में जा रही थीं। वे तंग जूतों और चिपटी हुई पोशाकों में इंडियन लड़कियाँ थीं। लड़ों ने दूसरे दरकने से प्रवेश किया। वह बहुत असुविधा अनुभव कर रही थी। एक छाटी-सी घंटी बजी। 

उसने अपनी कुर्सी बाहर निकाली और उसके ऊपर बैठ गयी। लेकिन उसने नोट किया कि बाकी सभी खड़े हुए थे। वह परेशान हो गयी। दूसरी घंटी बजायी गयी। आखिरकार सभी बैठ गए। 

उसने अपने ऊपर एक विवर्ण चेहरे वाली औरत की नजर टिके हुए देखा। वह उस विचित्र औरत द्वारा इतनी उत्सुकता से देखी जा रही थी। तीसरी घंटी बजायी गयी। प्रत्येक ने अपने छुरे और काँटे पकड़ लिए और खाने लगे।

प्रातः देरी से कथाकार की सहेली जुडविन उसे एक भायनक चेतावनी देती है। उसने विवर्ण रंग की महिला को बातें करते सुना था। उन्होंने उनके लम्बे और भारी वालों को काटने के बारे में बातें कीं। उनके अपने लोगों में छोटे बाल मातम मनाने वाले रखते थे।

कटे हुए बाल कायरों द्वारा रखे जाते थे। जुडविन ने समर्पण करने का निर्णय किया लेकिन कथाकार ने विद्रोह कर दिया। उसने समर्पण न करने परन्तु संघर्ष करने का फैसला किया।

वह गायब हो गयी। वह तीन सफेद बिस्तरों वाले एक बड़े कमरे में आयी। वह रेंग कर बिस्तर के नीचे आयी और अपने को छुपा लिया। उसने नजदीक कदमों की आवाज सुनी। कदम तेज हो गए। आवाजें ऊँची हो गयीं। उन्होंने बिस्तर के नीचे देखा। 

उसे घसीट कर बाहर निकाला गया। उसे सीढ़ियों के नीचे ले जाया गया और कसकर एक कुर्सी के साथ बाँध दिया गया। उसे अत्यधिक अपमान अनुभव हुआ। उसके लम्बे बालों को एक कायर की तरह काट दिया गया ! कोई भी उसे सांत्वना देने नहीं आया। अब वह एक चरवाहे द्वारा हाँके जाने वाले छोटे पशुओं में से केवल एक थी।

कथाकार तीसरी कक्षा में थी। अब तक उसने लोगों को खुले रूप से अस्पर्शता (छुआछूत) के बारे में बातें करते नहीं सुना था। लेकिन उसने यह जो भी है, इसे पहले ही देख, महसूस तथा अनुभव कर लिया था और उससे अपमानित हो चुकी थी। उसके स्कूल से घर की दूरी 10 मिनट में तय की जा सकती थी। 

परन्तु वह वहाँ पहुँचने में आधा से एक घंटा लगाती थी। वह सभी आनन्द और खेल जो चलते थे उन्हें देखती थी। वह बन्दरों को खेल करते देखती। वह सपेरे को अपने साँप दिखाते हुए देखती। दूसरे आकर्षण थे: “Maariyah Atta मंदिर, पोंगल उत्सव का मनाया जाना; गाँधी का बुत और मिठाई और नाश्ते बेचने की दुकानें । वह और भी अधिक देखती चलती जाती थी। हर चीज उसे रोक लेती और उसका ध्यान खींच लेती।

राजनीति पार्टियाँ आती थीं। वे अपने माईकों से चीखती रहतीं। फिर कोई नुक्कड़ नाटक होता या कठपुतली का प्रदर्शन या फिर कोई स्टेट कारनामे होते रहते। कोई न कोई मनोरंजन हमेशा चलता रहता। 

बाजार में कॉफी क्लबें थीं। वह लोगों को प्याज काटते और हवा से बादाम गिरते हुए देखती थी। ये सभी नजारे उसे घर जाने से रोकते थे। फिर वह लोगों को सब्जियाँ, फल और मिठाइयाँ बेचते देखती थीं। एक दिन कथाकार ने देखा कि उसकी गली के पास एक फसलें गाहने का फर्श तैयार किया। 

गया था। जमींदार वहाँ बैठा हुआ गतिविधियों को देख रहा था। फिर उसकी गली का एक बुजुर्ग बाजार से आया। वह एक छोटा-सा पैकेट उठाए हुए था। उसमें बड़ा या फिर हरे केले की भाजी थी। वह पैकेट को बिना उसे हुए उसके तार (उसकी डोर) से पकड़े हुए आया। वह बुजुर्ग सीधा जमींदार के पास गया। 

वह नीचे झुका और पैकेट उसकी ओर बढ़ा दिया। जमींदार ने उसे खोला और खाने लगा। वह घर गयी और कहानी को सारी हास्य सूक्ष्मताओं के साथ बताया। वह हँसी से लोट-पोट हो गयी। लेकिन अन्ना (बड़ा भाई) खुश नहीं हुआ। उसने उसे बताया कि वह आदमी मजाक नहीं कर रहा था। 

वह नीची जाति से था। वह खाने के पैकेट को छू नहीं सकता था। जब उसने यह सुना तो वह बहुत उदास हो गयी। यह घृणाप्रद था। वह इतनी उत्तेजित और

गुस्से में हुई कि उसने तत्काल उस बड़ों को स्वयं छूना चाहा। उसे आश्चर्य था कि गरीब लोग क्यों ऐसे क्रूर लोगों को सम्मान देते और उनके आगे झुकते हैं। अमीर मूल जाते हैं कि दूसरे भी इन्सान हैं।

अन्ना ने कथाकार को बताया कि वे “नीची जाति” के समुदाय में पैदा हुए थे। उन्हें कभी भी कोई आदर, गरिमा या सम्मान नहीं दिया जाता। यदि वे अध्ययन करें और तरक्की करें, दे इन अपमानों को दूर फेंक सकते हैं। 

यदि वे विद्वान हैं तो लोग अपने आप उनके पास आएंगे। जो शब्द अन्ना ने उस दिन उसे कहे उनका उस पर गहरा प्रभाव पड़ा। उसने कठिन परिश्रम किया और अपनी कक्षा में प्रथम आयी। बहुत से लोग उसके मित्र बन गए।

class 12th NotesMCQ
HistoryPolitical Science
EnglishHindi

WORD MEANINGS /////// 

  • Bare-naked, नंगा (बिना पत्तों के); belfry bell tower, घंटाघर sensitive easily
  • affected by slight changes, संवेदनशील; annoying-troublesome, परेशान करने वाला; clatter-rattling noise, खड़खड़ाहट; clash-loud noises, खटखट; under- current-current running unseen, अन्तर्थारा; 
  • bedlam-scene of uproar, पागलखाना, spirit courage, frame of mind, अन्तरात्मा paleface having little colour wit sock, मुर्झाई हुई: Indian-people of India. भारतीय 
  • closely clinging tight fitting, शरीर से चिपके हुए; aprons-garment worn over the front of the body, एक वस्त्र; shingled-short cropped hair, काटे बाल; moccasins -shoe made of soft leather, नरम चप्पल; 
  • blanket-shawl, शॉल, चादर, stripped-removed, took away, हटा दिया; immodestly-shamelessly, f; braves-warriors of North American tribe, har, spied-saw, èt, rear-back, 18; ranks-rows, ; 
  • tapped- struck lightly, थपकी देना; slipped slid, फिसल गई, सरक गई, crawl-moved slowly, रेंगना; keenly intensely, पैनी दृष्टि से; venture-dare, साहस करना; for- mula-rule, नियम, ढंग; trial-hardship, संकट; 
  • overheard heard by chance, संयोग से सुन लिया; mourners-those who grieve over the dead, मातम मनाने वाले; submit-surrender, हार मानना; rebelled-defied, विद्रोह किया; squeaking-making shrill cry, चरमराना, whither to where, कहाँ, किस ओर; 
  • aside-on one side, एक ओर, किनारे; farthest-at the longest distance, सबसे दूर; cuddled-nestled, सटकर लेट गई; shuddering trembling, काँपते हुए; peered-looked with difficulty, झाँकना 
  • closet-cupboard, अलमारी, peep look slyly, झोकना stoop-bend low, झुकना; scratching-wound with nails, खरोंचते हुए; gnaw off-cut off, काट दिए; braid plait, band of hair, चोटी, 
  • spirit-courage, साहस, हिम्मत indignities insults, निरादर; tossed-thrown upward, उछाला जाना; anguish agony, व्यया; moaned-madelow mournful cries, कराहना; reasoned-argued, समझाना; 
  • herder- person who cares for cattle, ग्वाला; humiliated-mortified, अपमानित हुआ; dawdle-loiter आवारगी, entertaining amusing. मन बहलाने की वस्तु novelties unusual things, नई-नई चीजें 
  • oddities strange things, अनोखी चीजें perform- ing-representing on the stage, करतब दिखाने वाला; displayed-exhibited, प्रकट किया; offerings-presents, चढ़ावा, उपहार, demonstrating-showing, दर्शा रही है; lemur-a kind of animal, लीमर, 
  • harangue-speech, भाषण; stunt-spectacular display, अद्भुत एवं साहसिक कार्यों का प्रदर्शन; tumbler-drinking glass, ग्लास; chopping-cutting, काटना smart-cause pain, टीस लगना; tether-tie up with rope, रस्सी से बाँधना। savoury-appetizing, स्वादिष्ट, lollies-sweets, मिठाइयाँ 
  • slung-hung, लटका हुआ; threshing floor-beat out the grain, महाई sacking coarse cloth made from flax, टाट; ledge-slab, शिला फलक, tread out-beat out. कुचलकर निकालना; muzzled snout covered with a net, छींका बाँधा हुआ; elder- respectable old man, बुजुर्ग: double up-bend double, प्रसन्न हो जाना; shriek-cry,

Memories of Childhood question answers | Memories of Childhood ncert solution


Memories of Childhood important questions

Class 12 EnglishMemories of Childhood summary
Class 12 English

1. The two accounts that you have read above are based in two distant cultures. What is the commonality of themes found in both of them?

Ans. ‘Memories of Childhood’ presents two autobiographical episodes- Both are from the lives of women. The first account is by an American Indian woman born in the late nineteenth century. The second episode is narrated by a contemporary Tamil Dalit writer. But the women belong to two different cultures. 

Gertrude Simmons Bonnin describes the shameful treatment that Red Native Indians meet at the hands of white people. On the other hand, “Bama” narrates how the people of the ‘high’ caste don’t consider the people of the low caste as human beings.

The first common feature of both writings is that both episodes describe the episodes of two women. Both women are from ‘marginalized communities. Native Indians don’t get respect, dignity, and importance in America. They are marginalized and sidelined. 

2. It may take a long time for oppression to be resisted, but the seeds of rebellion are sowed early in life. Do you agree that injustice in any form cannot escape being noticed even by children?

Ans. This world is full of inequalities. Inequalities give birth to domination and repression. The brute majority always tries to crush the weaker communities. We are living among horrors. Oppression and exploitation never go unchallenged. It may take a long time for oppression to be countered and resisted. 

The seeds of rebellion are always present in the exploited persons. Actually, they are sown early in life. Children may look in no-:ent but they have their own understanding of the world and its people. Injustice in any harm can’t escape being noticed by children.

In ‘The Cutting of My Long Hair’ the little Native Indian girl can’t take injustice and oppression meekly. She wants to maintain her own identity. She wants to have long and heavy hair. It is the tradition of her community. 

Only cowards have shingled hair among them. She doesn’t submit but resists. She fights till she is overpowered. Similarly, the girl in ‘We Too Are Human Beings’ has a first-hand experience of the evil practice of untouchability in India.

 She is provoked to see how the rich and the people of the ‘high’ castes don’t consider the people of low castes even as human beings. 

The ‘marginalized communities’ have to bow low and work for their masters. They can’t even touch them. The girl is inspired by the words of her brother. She works hard and stands first in the class. The people now come to her of their own accord.

3. Bama’s experience is that of a victim of the caste system. What kind of discrimination does Zitkala-Sa’s experience depict? What are their responses to their respective situations?

Ans. Zitkala-Sa was a Native American. She was forcibly taken away from her mother. The white people wanted the native Indians to adopt their culture. Zitkala rebelled against the immodest way in which Indian girls were made to dress.

 But she hated most that the girls’ hair was shingled. In her culture, it was a sign of cowardice or mourning to wear shingled hair. She resisted as much as the could protect her long braids of hair. But she was

powerless. Her hair was cut off. But her spirit could not be suppressed. Bama was born in a ‘low-caste’ family. The ‘upper-caste’ people discriminated against the low-caste people. They could not touch the food that was meant for the upper-caste people.

Bama’s spirit revolted against this injustice. She could not understand why they were so inhumanely treated. She wanted to get the honor and respect that every human being is entitled to get. 

Her brother told her that she could cast away those indignities if she worked hard and learnt her lessons, Bama studied hard and stood first in her class. Many people became her friends.

SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS

Class 12 English Should wizard hit mommy summary
Class 12 English Question Answer

1. What did she notice about the Indian girls in the school? 

Ans. The narrator was placed in a line of girls who were marching into the dining room. These were Indian girls. They were in stiff shoes and closely clinging dresses. Small girls wore sleeved aprons and shingled hair.

2. What annoyed Zitkala-Sa in her new environment? 

Ans. She was annoyed by the constant harsh noises all around her. The shattering sound of the large bell, the clatter of shoes, and the constant murmur of an unknown tongue created a bedlam from “which she wanted to escape but could not.”

3. How was she forced to part with her long and heavy hair? 

Ans. The narrator was found out. She was dragged out. She resisted by kicking and scratching wildly. In Spite of herself, she was carried downstairs and tied fast in a chair. The cold blades of scissors ran across her hair. And so her long and heavy hair was shingled. No one came to her help. None comforted her.

4. “Now I was only one of many little animals driven by a herder”.

Why did the narrator feel so? Ans. The narrator was an American Native Indian. Among her people, young girls wore long and heavy hair. She wanted to maintain her distinct cultural identity. But she became a victim of racial discrimination. Her long and beautiful hair was shingled against her wish. She lost her distinct identity. Now she was one of the little animals driven by a herder.

5. Why did she feel uncomfortable in the dining room? 

Ans. The narrator felt quite uncomfortable in the dining room, A small bell was tapped. Each one drew a chair from under the table. She pulled her chair out and sat on it. To her surprise, she was the only one seated there. All the rest remained standing. 

A second bell was sounded. All were seated. A ‘paleface woman’ watched her keenly. The third bell was sounded. Everyone started eating. All these activities confused her. She felt quite uncomfortable and uneasy.

6. What terrible warning did Judewin give to the narrator? 

Ans. The narrator’s friend Judewin gave her a terrible warning. She had overheard the ‘paleface woman’. She talked about cutting their long, heavy hair. 

Among their people, only cowards wore shingled hair. Judewin wanted her to submit but the narrator decided to struggle. She didn’t want to take things meekly.

7. How did she hide? Did she succeed? 

Ans. The narrator disappeared unnoticed. She came to a large room with

three white beds in it. She crawled under the bed and cuddled herself in the dark corner. From her hiding place, she peered out. She shuddered with fear. She couldn’t succeed in hiding herself for long. They stormed into the room and dragged her out.

8. Why did Zitkala-Sa feel like ‘sinking to the floor’? How were other American-Indian girls dressed?

Ans. Zitkala-Sa felt ashamed because her shawl had been taken away. But she felt other Indian-American girls were more immodest. They were in closely clinging dresses. Small girls wore sleeved aprons. 

9. While everyone else began eating, Zitakala-Sa began to cry. Why?

Ans. It was Zitkala-Sa’s first day. She was unaware of the rituals. She was confused and made mistakes. When all began to eat she was still afraid of making more mistakes.

10. Why did Zitkala-Sa want to resist the cutting of her hair? 

Ans. Zitkala-Sa had long, thick braids of hair. In Native American culture short hair was worn by mourners or cowards who had been captured by the enemy. She was neither of the two.

11. How did Zitkala-Sa try to escape from having her hair cut? 

Ans. Zitkala-Sa quietly crept up the stairs. There she passed along a hall and entered a large room with three beds in it. The windows were curtained. She crawled under one of the beds and cuddled herself in a corner.

12. How was Zitkala-Sa’s hair cut?

Ans. Women and girls found her hiding under a bed. They dragged her out and took her downstairs. She cried, shrieked and kicked, and scratched But they tied her securely to a chair and cut off her thick braids. 

13. Name some of the shows that Bama would stop to watch..

Ans. Bama would stop to watch a ‘no magic, no miracle’ performance, some street play or puppet show, and the cyclist who kept pedaling spurred by the rupee notes pinned on his shirt.

14. When did the narrator experience untouchability? 

Ans. When the narrator was in the third class, she hadn’t yet heard people speak only of untouchability. But the curse of untouchability did exist in society. She had already seen, felt, and experienced it. There were occasions when she felt humiliated by it,

15. Why did Bama take too long to reach home from school?

Ans. It was possible to walk home from school in ten minutes. But Bama walked slowly and stopped now and then on her way to watch the fun that was always going on in the bazaar. 

16. The distance from the narrator’s school to her home could be covered in ten minutes. Why did she then cover it usually in half an hour to an hour? What were the things that stopped her? 

Ans. The narrator took from half an hour to one hour to cover the distance from her school to home. She used to watch all the fun, entertainment and games on the way. All novelties and oddities in the streets, shops and the bazaar attracted her attention. 

Performing monkeys, snake charmers, the statue of Gandhi, the sweet stalls made her stand still. Everything attracted them and stopped her from going home.

17. What made the narrator double up and shriek with laughter? 

Ans. The narrator stood on the threshing floor near her house. The landlord sat there watching the proceedings. Just then, an elder of her street came along from the bazaar. He was carrying a small packet containing vadai or green banana bajji in it. 

He was holding out the packet by its string, without touching it. The manner in which he was walking made her double up and shriek with laughter.

18. Describe the old-fashioned process of threshing grains. 

Ans. A threshing floor was set up. Cattle in pairs were driven round and round to tread grain from the sheaves of com. The animals were muzzled so that they would not help themselves to the straw.

19. Why wasn’t the narrator’s elder brother amused when she told him the story in all its comic detail?

Ans. The narrator was amused at the way the elder carried the packet of food with its string. But the narrator’s elder brother was not amused. He told her that the man was not being funny. He belonged to a ‘low’ caste. 

The people of his community couldn’t have touched the food packet. Had he done so, he would have polluted it. The landlord would never accept such a thing.

20. Why did the narrator feel terribly sad and provoked? 

Ans. When the narrator came to know why the elder carried the packet with a string, she didn’t want to laugh anymore. She felt terribly sad. She felt so provoked and angry that she wanted to touch those wretched vadais herself straightaway. She felt bad that people had to bow low and work so hard for their masters. The rich only sat and stuffed things into their mouth. The thought of it infuriated her.

21. What sight made her feel like laughing while she was watching the threshing of grains?

Ans. She saw what she thought was funny. She saw an elderly man carry- ing a parcel containing fried eatables. He was holding the packet by its strings without touching it.

22. How did the man offer the packet of vadais to the landlord?

Ans. The man stood before the landlord. He bowed respectfully. He stretched his arm to offer the parcel of vadais to him. While he did so he cupped his hand with the other hand.

23. What did Annan say about his community to the narrator? 

Ans. Annan told the narrator that they belonged to a ‘low’ caste. The people of his community were not respected, honored or given any importance. The members of their community can attain honor and dignity if they study and prosper. If they become learned, people will come to them of their own accord.

LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS

Class 12 English Memories of Childhood summary
Class 12 English

1. Describe Zitkala-Sa’s experiences on her first day in the ‘land of apples’. 

Ans. Zitkala-Sa was a Native American. She was forcibly taken away from

her home and brought to the ‘land of apples’. Her life was entirely different from what she was used to. She was annoyed by the irritating noises around her. The breakfast bell resounded in the belfry overhead. The native Indians wore noiseless moccasins. But here everybody had to wear squeaking hard shoes that scraped on the floor. 

Her shawl was taken away. She felt ashamed of herself without a shawl around her shoulders. But she was shocked to see other Native American girls immodestly dressed in tight-fitting clothes. Then she had never experienced; the ritual of saying grace before eating. 

She was confused and felt uncomfortable. But when her friend Judewin told her that-like other girls, her hair too would be cut off, she was disturbed. It was entirely contrary to the values she had learned in her native land. She resisted when they tried to cut off her hair. 

But she was powerless. She felt lonely and without an identity. There was no one to comfort her anguished heart.

2. Both the units of Memories of Childhood’ present autobiographical episodes from the lives of two women from ‘marginalized communities. Describe the main issues raised as well as the common features highlighted in them. 

Ans. The lesson ‘Memories of Childhood’ presents autobiographical episodes from the lives of two women. Both women highlight the plight of ‘the marginalized communities. The people of these communities never receive honor, dignity, and respect them.

Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, a Native American describes in ‘The Cutting of My Long Hair’ how an Indian girl suffered extreme indignities at the hands of the racial people. The narrator tried to maintain her identity and her dis- tinct culture. 

As it is a common custom among the girls of her community, she liked to wear long and thick hair. But the ‘paleface woman’ and others dragged her out, tied her fast in a chair, and gnawed off her long hair. In ‘We Too Are Human Beings’ Bama, a Tamil Dalit writer presents the struggle of a girl of a low caste. The episode presents a pathetic picture of the members of the narrator’s community. 

They are never respected and honored. Nor are they given recognition and importance by the members of the upper castes. They have to carry a food packet by its string without touching it with their hands. If they touch it, the people belonging to the upper castes will not accept it. 

The girl in ‘We Too Are Human Beings’ struggles, studies hard, and stands first in the class. She attains equality and honor. People come to her of their own accord.

The most common feature of both episodes is the struggle and fight against racial and social discrimination. They don’t take oppression, exploitation, and injustice lightly. 

The Indian girl struggles resists, and fights till she is overpowered. Bama’s girl is provoked and angry when she comes to know of the curse of social inequality and untouchability prevailing in society.

3. Why did Zitkala-Sa revolt against the idea of having her hair cut? How did she try to resist? 

Ans. Zitkala-Sa was a Native American girl. In her culture cutting hair short was considered disgraceful or a sign of mourning. Like all Native Ameri- can girls she had thick and long braids of hair. But the white people did not like it. 

They deprived her not only of her shawl and moccasins but were going to cut off her hair too. Her friend Judewin advised her to submit because the white people were powerful. But Zitkala-Sa revolted against the very idea. 

She decided to resist as forcefully as she could. To escape from this act, she hid under a bed. But they found her. They dragged her out. She screamed and scratched, but she was tied to a chair. She continued to shake her head, but she was overpowered. Her braids were soon cut off. She moaned and cried but there was nobody to console her. 

4. When and how did Bama learn about untouchability? How did she feel?

Ans. Till Bama read in the third class she had not heard of untouchability. She used to walk home from school very slowly. She used to watch things that she found fascinating.

One day she saw a threshing of corn in the marketplace. The landlord sat comfortably on a slab of stone. Workers were driving oxen round and round to tread grain out of stalks. Then she saw an elderly man of her community bringing vadais for the landlord. He was holding the packet of foodstuff in an unusual way. 

He held it by the strings attached to the packet. She thought it was stupid of the man to carry the parcel like that. The string could give way and the vandals would be lost. Then the man offered the parcel to the landlord

in a most respectful manner. He did not touch the packet even then. She felt like laughing at this funny manner. 

At home, she told her brother about what she had seen. Her brother explained that the man was considered untouchable.

 If he touched the food, it would be polluted. Then she learned what untouchability was. She was angry. She thought it was unjust, inhuman, and disgraceful.

5. The narrator in ‘We Too Are Human Beings’ is amused at the way the elder of her street carried the food packet by its string without touching it. But the same girl is provoked and becomes angry when Annan makes her aware of the social inequality and untouchability in the social system. Describe how the narrator attains honor and dignity in spite of her humble birth.

Ans. The narrator in ‘We Too Are Human Beings’ passes through different phases of mental and physical development. Her understanding of people and the world also undergoes a definite change. The role of her elder brother (Annan) in shaping her personality can’t be minimized. It was Annan who inspired her to fight against inequality and untouchability. 

The narrator saw a threshing floor set up at one corner of her street. The landlord sat there watching the proceedings. An old man on her street attracted her attention. The elder came along from the direction of the bazaar. The manner in which he was walking along made her want to double up. He was a big man carrying a small packet in that fashion. 

She guessed there was something like vadais or green banana bajji in the packet. He was holding out the packet by its string. without touching it. He went to the landlord who opened the parcel and began to eat the vadais. When she narrated the incident to her elder brother he was not amused.

The man was not being funny. The man belonged to a ‘low caste’. The people of the upper castes feel that they will be polluted if the people of the lower castes touch them. When she heard it, she didn’t want to laugh anymore. She felt terribly sad. 

She felt so provoked and angry that she wanted to touch those vadais herself straightaway. She hated the practice of bowing low, shrinking, and surrendering before the rich masters. 

Annan described that the people of their caste were not respected and given importance. Education, learning, and prosperity bring honor and dignity. He asked her to learn. Then people would come to her of their own accord. The narrator was inspired by his words. She studied hard and stood first in the class. Then many friends came to her on their own accord.




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FAQs

Q. How was the narrator inspired by the words of her elder brother (Annan)? 

Ans. The narrator was highly inspired by the words of her elder brother.
The only hope for the people of his community is that they should study hard and progress. They can attain dignity and honor if they are learned. Then people will come to them of their own accord. The narrator got so inspired that she studied very hard and stood first in her class. Very soon she made a lot of friends.

Q. What are the common features present in both episodes?

 Ans. The unit ‘Memories of Childhood’ contains the writings of two women writers. Both of them belonged to ‘marginalized communities. In “The Cutting of My Long Hair’, the girl highlights the racial discrimination that the Native Indians of America suffer at the hands of white people. The girl doesn’t submit but struggles till she is overpowered. Her long and heavy hair is shingled. In ‘We Too Are Human Beings’ the narrator fights against untouchability. She attains equality, dignity, and honor due to her learning and hard work.

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