Study MaterialsCBSE NotesMy Mother at Sixty-Six Important Questions Class 12 English

My Mother at Sixty-Six Important Questions Class 12 English

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My Mother at Sixty-Six Important Questions CBSE Class 12 English

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    My Mother at Sixty -Six Important Questions Short Answer Type Questions (3 – 4 MARKS)

    Question 1.
    Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: (Delhi 2009)
    …….and felt that old familiar ache, my childhood’s fear, but all I said was, see you soon, Amma, all I did was smile and smile and smile …

    1. What was the childhood fear that now troubled the poet?
    2. What do the poet’s parting words suggest?
    3. Why did the poet smile and smile?

    Answer:
    1. The childhood fear of death and decay now troubled the poet. She is concerned about her mother’s frail health and old age.
    2. The poet’s parting words reveal her fear. Though she hopes she will see her mother soon but she is anxious about her mother’s deteriorating health and falls short of words to convey her true feelings.
    3. The poet smiled and smiled in an effort to reassure herself that she will meet her mother soon. Her words and smiles are a deliberate attempt to hide her real fears and feelings from her mother.

    Question 2.
    What do the poet’s parting words to her mother signify? (All India 2009)

    Answer:
    The poet’s parting words of assurance and her smile provide a stark contrast to the old familiar fear of childhood. Her words and smiles are a deliberate attempt to hide her real feelings. She is trying to hide her fear about her mother’s frail and deteriorating health which might separate her from her mother.

    Question 3.
    Why are the young trees described as ‘sprinting’? (Delhi 2010)

    Answer:
    The young trees are ‘sprinting’ that is rushing past the poet as she is travelling in a very fast-moving car. While travelling in a speeding vehicle, the objects outside appear to be rushing past us in the opposite direction. These sprinting trees are in stark contrast to the passive old lady sitting inside the car.

    Question 4.
    What is the significance of the parting words of the poet and her smile in ‘My Mother at Sixty-six’? (All India 2010)

    Answer:
    The poet’s parting words convey the dilemma and confusion in her mind. Her superficial smile expresses her helplessness. She is anxious about her mother’s frail health and fears that anything can happen to her mother. But, on the other hand, she also nurtures a faint hope that her mother survives long enough so that they can meet again.

    Question 5.
    How did Kamala Das put away the thought of her mother’s old age? (Comptt. Delhi 2010)

    Answer:
    The poet started looking out of the window because she wanted to drive away the pain and agony she was experiencing by looking at her aged mother. She looked outside at the world which was full of life and activity. She saw young trees running past her and merry children sprinting out of their homes to play.

    Question 6.
    Why did Kamala Das add the image of merry children to her poem? (Comptt. Delhi 2010)

    Answer:
    The merry children symbolise the spring of life, its energy, vigour and happiness. Their image presents a sharp contrast to the poet’s limp and ageing mother. This image is also imperative for the understanding of the process of old age which is associated with decay. The spontaneous outpouring of life symbolised by these children is in contrast to the poet’s mother’s passive and inactive life.

    Question 7.
    What helped Kamala Das put away the thought of her mother’s old age? (Comptt. All India 2010)

    Answer:
    The poet started looking out of the window because she wanted to drive away the pain and agony she was experiencing by looking at her aged mother. She looked outside at the world which was full of life and activity. She saw young trees running past her and merry children sprinting out of their homes to play.

    Question 8.
    Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follows: (Delhi 2011)
    …but soon
    put that thought away and
    looked out at young
    trees sprinting, the merry children spilling
    out of their homes, …

    1. Which thought did the poet put away?
    2. What do the ‘sprinting trees’ signify?
    3. What are ‘the merry children spilling out of their homes’, symbolic of?

    Answer:
    1. The poet put away the painful thought of her mother’s ageing and declining health and the possibility of losing her mother.
    2. The trees appear to be racing past as their car moves towards the airport. The old, inactive mother is contrasted with the energetic and active trees.
    3. The ‘merry children spilling out of their homes’ are symbolic of happiness, energy and playfulness. They are in stark contrast to the old, dozing mother. The sad thoughts of the poet are also contrasted with the merry children.

    Question 9.
    Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follows: (Comptt. All India 2011)
    …..and felt that old
    familiar ache, my childhood’s fear,
    but all I said was, see you soon, Amma,
    all I did was smile and smile and smile …

    1. What was the childhood fear that now troubled the poet?
    2. What do the poet’s parting words suggest?
    3. Why did the poet smile and smile?

    Answer:
    1. The childhood fear of death and decay now troubled the poet. She is concerned about her mother’s frail health and old age.
    2. The poet’s parting words reveal her fear. Though she hopes she will see her mother soon but she is anxious about her mother’s deteriorating health and falls short of words to convey her true feelings.
    3. The poet smiled and smiled in an effort to reassure herself that she will meet her mother soon. Her words and smiles are a deliberate attempt to hide her real fears and feelings from her mother.

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    Question 10.
    What were Kamala Das’ fears as a child? Why do they surface when she is going to the airport? (All India 2011)

    Answer:
    Since her childhood perhaps Kamala Das always feared that she would lose her mother or in some way be separated from her. Now that her mother is old and her health has deteriorated, the poet’s fear surface again when she is going to the airport.

    Question 11.
    Why has the mother been compared to the ‘late winter’s moon’? (Comptt. Delhi 2011)

    Answer:
    The mother looked pale and ashen faced like a corpse. During late winter the moon too loses its brightness and looks rather pale and colourless like an ill and haggard old person who has become worn-out and tired due to the ravages of time.

    Question 12.
    Why are the young trees described as ‘sprinting’? (Delhi 2012)

    Answer:
    The young trees are ‘sprinting’ that is rushing past the poet as she is traveling in a very fast-moving car. While travelling in a speeding vehicle, the objects outside appear to be . rushing past us in the opposite direction. These sprinting trees are in stark contrast to the passive old lady sitting inside the car.

    Question 13.
    What were the poet’s feelings at the airport? How did she hide them? (All India 2012)

    Answer:
    At the airport the poet, Kamala Das, feels fearful of leaving her pale, ageing mother alone and unattended. She has an ache and fear inside her heart and is not sure if she will be able to see her mother again. She hides her feelings of anxiety by giving a long and cheerful smile to her mother as she bids her adieu.

    Question 14.
    What childhood fear did Kamala Das refer to in her poem? How did she hide it? (Comptt. Delhi 2012)

    Answer:
    Kamala Das childhood fear was that she would lose her mother to the cruel hands of death and thus would be separated from her forever. She attempts to hide her fear through her elongated and superficial smile.

    Question 15.
    What childhood fear does Kamala Das have? Why? (Comptt. All India 2012)

    Answer:
    Kamala Das’ childhood fear is that she would lose her mother to the cruel hands of death and thus would be separated from her forever. She has had this fear since her childhood as she knows her mother will be scourged by age and time.

    Question 16.
    Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follows: (All India 2013)
    Driving from my parent’s
    home to Cochin last Friday
    morning, I saw my mother, beside me,
    doze, open mouthed, her face ashen like that
    of a corpse and realised with pain
    that she was as old as she looked….

    1. What was the poet driving to?
    2. Why was her mother’s face looking like that of a corpse?
    3. What did the poet notice about her mother?

    Answer:
    1. The poet was driving to the airport from where she would head to her house in Cochin.
    2. Her mother’s face was looking like that of a corpse because it was pale, lifeless and colourless.|
    3. The poet noticed that her mother was really old and this made her reflect painfully on the latter’s imminent death.

    Question 17.
    Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follows: (Comptt. Delhi 2013)
    …..my childhood’s fear
    but all I said was, see you soon,
    Amma,
    all I did was smile and smile and smile ……..

    1. Who is ‘I’?
    2. What was ‘my childhood’s fear’?
    3. Why did the narrator smile repeatedly?

    Answer:
    1. T refers to the poet, Kamala Das.
    2. The poet’s childhood fear is that of death and decay. She is concerned about her mother’s frail health and old age.
    3. The poet smiled repeatedly to reassure herself that she will meet her mother soon. Her words and smiles are a deliberate attempt to hide her real fears and feelings.

    Question 18.
    Why has the poet’s mother been compared to the Tate winter’s moon’? (Delhi 2013)

    Answer:
    The winter season is a traditional symbol of death and the moon, especially, if it is pale, it enhances the image of decay. The mother’s pale and colourless face that has becomes rather wrinkled due to old age gives her a look that the poet compares with ‘the late winter’s moon’.

    Question 19.
    How did Kamala Das’s mother look during the drive to Cochin? (Comptt. All India 2013)

    Answer:
    During the drive to Cochin, Kamala Das’s mother looked rather old and pale. As she dozed off beside the poet, she looked almost like a corpse as her face was like ash, totally colourless and it seemed to have completely lost the zest for life.

    Question 20.
    Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follows: (All India 2014)
    … but soon
    put that thought away, and
    looked out at young
    trees sprinting, the merry children spilling
    out of their homes, …

    1. What thought did the poet drive away from her mind?
    2. What did she see when she looked out of the car?
    3. How do you know that the joyful scene didn’t help her drive away the painful thought from her mind?

    Answer:
    1. this could probably be their last meeting.
    2. When she looked out of the car she saw young trees sprinting past her car and young children spilling out of their homes to play. She looked outside at the world which was full of life and activity.
    3. The joyful scene didn’t help to drive away her painful thought because when she looked at her mother’s pale and withered face, the fear of separation rose in her again.

    Question 21.
    How does Kamala Das try to put away the thoughts of her ageing mother? (Delhi 2014)

    Answer:
    The poet (Kamala Das) started looking out of the car-window because she wanted to drive away the pain and agony she was experiencing on seeing her aged mother. She looked outside at the world which was full of life and activity. She saw young trees running past her and merry children sprinting out of their homes to play.

    Question 22.
    was the poet’s childhood fear? (All India 2014)

    Answer:
    The poet’s childhood fear was that she would lose her mother to the cruel hands of death and would thus be separated from her forever. So she feared this separation from her mother.

    Question 23.
    What do the parting words of Kamala Das and her smile signify? (Comptt. All India 2014)

    The parting words of Kamala Das, ‘see you soon, Amma’ are in sharp contrast to what she is feel¬ing. In reality these words are something she is not sure of even herself. Her smile is elongated and superficial merely to give some kind of reassurance to her mother so that she cannot get even a glimpse of her daughter’s inner fears and anxieties.

    Question 24.
    Read the extract given below and answer the
    questions that follow: (Delhi 2015)
    I saw my mother,
    beside me,
    doze, open mouthed, her face
    ashen like that
    of a corpse and realized with
    pain
    that she was as old as she
    looked but soon
    put that thought away, ….

    1. What worried the poet when she looked at her mother?
    2. Why was there pain in her realization?
    3. Why did she put that thought away?
    4. Identify the figure of speech used in these lines.

    Answer:
    1. When she looked at her mother the poet was worried about her frail health and old age. Her mother’s face looked ashen like a corpse and she feared that it might be their last meeting.
    2. There was pain in her realization as the poet feared she would lose her mother. She couldn’t reconcile to the thought of being left and separated from her mother forever.
    3. She put that thought away because it gave her great anxiety and pain.
    4. A ‘simile’ is used in the above lines (Tike that of a corpse’).

    Also read: My Mother at Sixty-six Summary Class 12 English

    Question 25.
    Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: (All India 2015)
    and
    looked out at young
    trees sprinting, the merry children spilling
    out of their homes, but after the airport’s
    security check, standing a few yards
    away, I looked again at her, wan,
    pale
    as a late winter’s moon and felt that
    old
    familiar ache, …………..

    1. How can the trees sprint?
    2. Why did the poet look at her mother again?
    3. What did she observe?
    4. Identify the figure of speech used in these lines.

    Answer:
    1. The trees seem to sprint as they were moving past them as the car was moving ahead at a high speed.
    2. The poet was feeling anxious and insecure and thus looked at her mother again to reassure herself about her well-being.
    3. She observed that her mother’s face had become pale and withered like the late winter’s moon.
    4. A ‘simile’ is used in the above lines — “wan, pale as a late winter’s moon”.

    Question 26.
    Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: (Comptt. All India 2015)
    and felt that old
    familiar ache, my childhood’s fear, hut all I said was, see you soon, Amma all I did was smile and smile and smile…

    1. Name the poem.
    2. What was the poet’s childhood fear?
    3. does her smile signify?
    4. What does the word, ‘ache’ mean?

    Answer:
    1. The poem is ‘My Mother at Sixty-Six.’
    2. The poet’s childhood fear was of losing her mother and never being able to see her.
    3. Her elongated and superficial smile signifies a sign of reassurance that she gives to herself and her mother.
    4. The word ‘ache’ means ‘pain.’

    Question 27.
    Read the extract given below and answer the
    questions that follow: (Comptt. All India 2015)
    I saw my mother
    beside me,
    doze, open mouthed, her face
    ashen like that
    . of a corpse and realized with
    pain
    that she was as old as she
    looked but soon
    put that thought away,

    1. Name the poem.
    2. was the poet going?
    3. Which ‘thought’ did the poet ‘put away’?
    4. What does the phrase, ‘ashen like a corpse’ mean?

    Answer:
    1. The poem is ‘My Mother at Sixty-Six.’
    2. The poet was going to the airport from where she was to take a flight to Cochin.
    3. The ‘thought’ that the poet ‘put away’ was . the fear that she would lose her mother.
    4. The phrase ‘ashen like a corpse’ means ‘a pale and greyish face that has lost its colour’.

    Question 28.
    What were the poet’s feelings as she drove to Kochi airport? (Comptt. Delhi 2015)

    Answer:
    The poet saw her mother dozing open-mouthed in the car. She was disturbed as she felt her mother looked old and withered. Her childhood fear started to haunt the poet. She feared if her mother would still be alive on her return.

    Question 29.
    Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: (Delhi 2016)
    Old
    Familiar ache, my childhood’s fear,
    but all I said was, see you soon,
    Amma,
    all I did was smile and smile and smile

    1. What does the phrase, ‘familiar ache’ mean?
    2. was the poet’s childhood fear?
    3. What do the first two lines tell us about the poet’s feelings for her mother?
    4. does the repeated use of the word, ‘smile’ mean?

    Answer:
    1. The phrase, ‘familiar ache’ means a pain or fear that the poet has had at a point of time. It is the emotional pain the poet feels due to the realisation that her mother was growing old and pale.
    2. The poet’s childhood fear was that her mother would get old and die and she would lose her mother and thus be separated from her.
    3. The first two lines reveal that the poet loves her mother dearly and so she has many insecurities in regard to her mother.

    Question 30.
    Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: (All India 2016)
    ……..I saw my mother,
    beside me,
    doze, open mouthed, her face
    ashen like that
    of a corpse and realised with
    pain…….

    1. Who is ‘I’?
    2. What did ‘I’ realise with pain?
    3. Why was the realisation painful?
    4. Identify and name the figure of speech used in these lines.

    Answer:
    1. ‘l’ refers to the poet ‘Kamala Das’.
    2. The poet realized with pain that her mother had become rather old and looked almost like a corpse.
    3. The realisation was painful because it brought a fear of separation from her mother and a sense of helplessness at her inability to do anything for her mother.
    4. A simile is used in these lines, ‘her face ashen like that of a corpse’.

    Question 31.
    Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow : (Comptt. All India 2016)
    ‘……..I looked at her, wan
    pale
    . as a late winter’s moon and felt that
    old
    familiar ache, my childhood’s fear,
    …………….

    1. Name the poem and the poet.
    2. How did the mother look?
    3. What did the poet feel?
    4. What the poet’s childhood fear?

    Answer:
    1. The poem is ‘My Mother at Sixty-Six’ by Kamala Das.
    2. The mother looked pale and dull like the winter moon. Like winter is the last season of the year so the mother to is in the last phase of her life.
    3. The poet felt sad and depressed as she experienced the old and familiar pain.
    4. The poet’s childhood fear was that of losing her mother.

    Question 32.
    What kind of pain does Kamala Das feel in ‘My Mother at Sixty-six’? (Delhi 2017)

    Answer:
    Kamala Das mother is old and pale and her health is deteriorating. So, the poet feels a familiar pain, which is one of her constant fears that she might lose her mother. She has an ache inside her heart that she might not be able to see her mother again.

    Question 33.
    Why are the youngsters described as springing? (My Mother at Sixty-six) (Delhi 2017)

    Answer:
    The springing of the youngsters signify the spring of life, their youth and vigour in contrast to the poet’s old mother who looks pale and lifeless. The springing youngsters are symbolic of the beginning of life as contrasted to the poet’s mother whose ashen face symbolizes imminent death.

    Question 34.
    Having looked at her mother, why does Ka¬mala Das look at the young children? (All India 2017)

    Answer:
    After looking at her mother, Kamala Das looks at the ‘merry children spilling out of their homes’ as they are symbolic of energy, vigour and liveliness, which is in sharp contrast to her old and pale mother. The spontaneous outpouring of life symbolised by these children is contrasted with her mother’s passive and inactive life.

    Question 35.
    What was Kamala Das’s childhood fear? (All India, Comptt. All India 2017)

    Answer:
    The poet’s childhood fear was that she would lose her mother to the cruel hands of death and would thus be separated from her forever. So she feared this separation from her mother.

    Question 36.
    In the last line of the poem, ‘My Mother at Sixty-six’, why does the poet use the word ‘smile’ repeatedly? (All India 2017)

    Answer:
    The word ‘smile’ has been used repeatedly by the poet as behind her elongated smile she attempts to hide her fear and anxiety regarding her mother’s frail health. The poet smiled and smiled in an effort to reassure herself that she will be able to meet her mother again.

    Question 37.
    What familiar ache and childhood fear did Kamala Das feel? (Comptt. Delhi 2017)

    Answer:
    Since her childhood Kamala Das always feared that she would lose her mother or be separated from her. Now that her mother is old and frail and her health is deteriorating, the familiar ache resurfaces that she might not be able to see her mother again.

    Question 38.
    Why are the young trees described as ‘sprinting in the poem ‘My Mother at Sixty- six? (Comptt. Delhi 2017)

    Answer:
    The young trees are described as ‘sprinting’ which means rushing past the poet as she is travelling in a very fast-moving car. While travelling in a speeding vehicle, the objects outside appear to be rushing past us in the opposite direction. These sprinting trees are in stark contrast to her passive old mother who is sitting beside her in the car.

    Question 39.
    What did Kamala Das think when she looked at her mother? (Comptt. All India 2017)

    Answer:
    Kamala Das saw her mother dozing open-mouthed, her face looking pale and colourless like that of a corpse. She then realized how old her mother was. She looked quite haggard and worn-out as the ravages of time had taken their toll on her.

    Question 40.
    Why does Kamala Das compare her mother to a late winter’s moon? (Comptt. All India 2017)

    Answer:
    The winter season is a traditional symbol of death and the moon, especially, if it is pale, it enhances the image of decay. The mother’s pale and colourless face that has becomes rather wrinkled due to old age gives her a look that the poet compares with ‘the late winter’s moon’.

    Also check: NCERT Solutions For Class 12 Flamingo English My Mother at Sixty-six

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