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NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Reader Chapter 7


Summary of “The Frog and the Nightingale”

The frog and the nightingale is poetic fable with a satire on the human behavior. The poem starts with the frog that sat under a Sumac tree and croaked all night in a loud and unpleasant voice right from dusk to dawn. All the creatures hated his voice. Their complaints, insults and brickbats couldn’t stop him from croaking stubbornly. Nothing could shatter his determination.

Then, one night a nightingale came flying and sat on the branch of Sumac tree. She started singing in her melodious voice. They all got completely engrossed in the nightingales’ song and kept on looking at the sumac tree where the nightingale was sitting. Ducks and herons swam towards the Sumac tree to hear the nightingale serenade. Some lonely creature even wept hearing her song.

The entire event left the frog very jealous and he decided to get rid of this new rival, the nightingale. The next night, when the modest bird prepared to sing, the plotting frog interrupted. He posed as a music critic and said that the technique was fine, of course, but it lacked a certain force. The dominating frog told the nightingale she must not boast about her talent. He also said that he could give her training to make her winner else she would always remain a beginner. The nightingale said the frog that she could not believe her luck. The frog said that she would train her and also charge her nominal fee. That night the nightingale sang melodiously and the frog charged admission fee from all the animals that came to hear the song.

The next morning there was a heavy downpour. Despite the bad weather the frog forced the nightingale to sing though she was unwilling. Probably, the nightingale was not feeling well. The frog and the nightingale sang continuously six hours still she was shivering and her voice had become rough and unclear. Meanwhile, the frog made the nightingale rehearse hard and constantly criticized and abused her, with an intention to break her spirit. The disappointed nightingale sings, burst her veins and dies. The unsympathetic frog dismissed her off – calling her ‘stupid’. He summed up the nightingale was too nervous and prone to influence, hence bringing her own downfall. Now, the frog once again sings at night in his bog.

The poet Vikram Seth, very cleverly gives us a message of the importance of self-confidence and moral courage in his poem,” The ‘Frog and the Nightingale’.

Unit-7 : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 85


Q1 : Listed below are a few character traits of people. Some are positive qualities, while others are not. Tick mark the ones you feel are desirable qualities in a person.

Characteristic

Tick Mark

Characteristic

Tick Mark

Characteristic

Tick Mark

Insensitive   High- headed   Manipulative  
Humorous   Egoistic   Patronizing  
Native   Humble   Submissive  
Opportunistic   Foolish   Arrogant  
Creative   Original   Conniving  
Disapproving   Helpful   Innocent  
Commanding   Calculative   Condescending  
Benevolent   Crafty   Scheming  
Simple   Wise   Rude  
Overbearing   Generous   Boastful  
Sly   Gentle   Proud  
Territorial   Aggressive   Servile  

Answer :
The following are the qualities desirable in a person:

  • Humorous,
  • Creative,
  • Benevolent,
  • Simple,
  • Humble,
  • Helpful,
  • Gentle,
  • Generous,
  • Wise,
  • Innocent,
  • Condescending.

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Q2 : Have you come across people who are not what they seem to be – like someone who is extremely friendly and helpful yet you are not very comfortable with him /her as you feel it is a put-on? Have a class discussion about such people and why you feel as you do.
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, some pointers for discussion have been provided for your reference.
Yes, I have come across such persons. They, at first, are and can be successful in impressing others. However, when the real picture is revealed, they are subjected to embarrassment and humiliation. They also lose their popularity and the previously formed impression gets marred.


Q3 : Before you read the poem complete the word – web with the words that we associate with a Frog and a Nightingale.
Frog: Croak, Ugly, etc.

Answer :


Q4 : The following is a summary of the poem but it is jumbled up. Write out the events in their correct order to form a continuous paragraph.

(a) As a result, her voice lost its beauty, and the other creatures stopped coming to hear her sing.
(b) Soon the nightingale became famous, and creatures from miles around came to hear her sing.
(c) All the creatures in the bog cheered and clapped at her beautiful song.
(d) He offered to train the nightingale, so that she could sing even more beautifully.
(e) So the frog could sing unrivalled in the bog once more.
(f) The next night the frog introduced himself.
(g) The frog charged an admission fee, and earned a lot of money from these concerts.
(h) A frog croaked all night in a bog, in an unpleasant voice.
(i) But the frog made the nightingale rehearse continuously in the rain.
(j) One night a nightingale began to sing in a melodious voice.
(k) Finally the nightingale burst a vein and died.

Answer :
(h) A frog croaked all night in a bog, in an unpleasant voice.
(j) One night a nightingale began to sing in a melodious voice.
(c) All the creatures in the bog cheered and clapped at her beautiful song.
(f) The next night the frog introduced himself.
(d) He offered to train the nightingale, so that she could sing even more beautifully.
(b) Soon the nightingale became famous, and creatures from miles around came to hear her sing.
(g) The frog charged an admission fee, and earned a lot of money from these concerts.
(i) But the frog made the nightingale rehearse continuously in the rain.
(a) As a result, her voice lost its beauty, and the other creatures stopped coming to hear her sing.
(k) Finally the nightingale burst a vein and died.
(e) So the frog could sing unrivalled in the bog once more.


Q5 : Now that you have read the poem, add more personality traits to the word-web of the frog and the nightingale as depicted in the poem. Then complete the table given below. (Some of the words in the box below may help you. You may also use the words given in Q. 1.)

Character

Extract

Personality

Nightingale

Sorry – was that you who spoke?

Polite, Timorous

Frog

Yes,… you see,
I’m the frog who owns this tree
In this bog I’ve long been known

For my splendid baritone.

 

Nightingale

Did you…did you
like my song?

 

Frog

Not too bad – but far too long
The technique was fine, of course,

But it lacked a certain force.

 

Frog

Without proper training such as I
And a few others can supply
You’ll remain a mere beginner,

But with me you’ll be a winner.

 

Nightingale

But I can’t sing in this weather.

 

Nightingale

…This is a
fairy tale –And you’re Mozart in disguise

Come to earth before my eyes.

 

Frog

Come, my dear – we’ll sing together.

 

Frog

We must aim for better billing

You still owe me sixty shillings.

 

Frog

Brainless bird – you’re on the stage
Use your wits and follow fashion.

Puff your lungs out with your passion.

 

Frog

…I tried to
teach her,

But she was a stupid creature.

 

Dismissive

Nervous

Timid

Presumptuous

Superior

Fawning

Shy

Polite

Meek

Possessive

Dominating

Mercenery

Answer :

Character

Extract

Personality

Nightingale

Sorry – was that you who spoke?

Polite, Timorous

Frog

Yes,… you see,
I’m the frog who owns this tree
In this bog I’ve long been known

For my splendid baritone.

Territorial, proud, arrogant, haughty, boastful

Nightingale

Did you…did you
like my song?

Susceptible, modest

Frog

Not too bad – but far too long
The technique was fine, of course,

But it lacked a certain force.

Dismissive, patronising

Frog

Without proper training such as I
And a few others can supply
You’ll remain a mere beginner,

But with me you’ll be a winner.

Superior, haughty, boastful

Nightingale

But I can’t sing in this weather.

Timid, condescending, meek, nervous, polite

Nightingale

…This is a
fairy tale -And you’re Mozart in disguise

Come to earth before my eyes.

Eager to please, flattering

Frog

Come, my dear – we’ll sing together.

Polite, hypocrite

Frog

We must aim for better billing

You still owe me sixty shillings.

Possessive, witty, selfish

Frog

Brainless bird – you’re on the stage
Use your wits and follow fashion.

Puff your lungs out with your passion.

Arrogant, overbearing, authoritative

Frog

…I tried to
teach her,

But she was a stupid creature.

Deceitful, arrogant, clever

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Q6 : Situations The efforts made by the other creatures of the bog to still the frog’s determination ‘to display his heart’s elation’.
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, somepoints that could be discussed in group activity together with characters and situations in each case given here.

Other creatures hate the croaking frog. They take recourse to stoning him, praying to him to stop croaking and use sticks. However, the frog refuses to budge. They also insult him publicly, complain against him or throw stones at him. Still, everything is futile to silence him.


Q7 :Situations The first time the Nightingale sings.
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, somepoints that could be discussed in group activity together with characters and situations in each case given here.
When the nightingale sings for the first time, the frog gapes with amazement. Other creatures stare towards the sumac tree, fully charmed by the melodious song of the nightingale. Ducks swim to her and herons wade to her to hear her sing. When she stops singing they clap in admiration:
Toads, teals, and tiddlers call it Bravo!
Too divine, and demand her to sing more.


Q8 : Situations The nightingale is awestruck when the frog introduces himself.
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, somepoints that could be discussed in group activity together with characters and situations in each case given here.
The nightingale is awestruck when the frog introduces himself because she had never anticipated such a varied view about her song. Strangely, the frog introduces himself in a detailed manner emphasising the chauvinistic and authoritative attitude. He tells her that he edits the Bog Trumpet and writes songs for it also. Shallow people always succeed in showing off their hollowness through hyperbolic overtones.


Q9 : Situations The practice session when it is raining.
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, somepoints that could be discussed in group activity together with characters and situations in each case given here.
The nightingale offers herself to be trained by this Mozart. It is the morning and it is raining. Her ‘training’ starts. When she says that it is not possible for her to sing in such weather, the frog offers to sing with her. His training lasts for six hours and he makes her sing from this tree to that tree physically exhausting her. The nightingale shivers due to cold and her voice gets hoarse and quivering.

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Q10 :
Situations The nightingale is reprimanded by the frog when the box office crashes.
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, somepoints that could be discussed in group activity together with characters and situations in each case given here.
The nightingale becomes a huge sensation. Creatures from far and wide crowd the place to hear her sing. The frog charges admission fee and earns huge money. A large number of titled gentry crowd the place. However, such a thing never remains permanent.
Soon the nightingale fails to earn money for the frog. He calls her to give the audience ‘something sharper, snappier’ and add some frills. However, the nightingale can’t continue serenading for long. Her voice zips and trills and the ticket office crashes.
The frog gets very upset with the nightingale and calls her ‘brainless’ and asks her to puff her lungs in passion. However, he has drained her energy. Weeping and trembling she puffs up to sing and dies.
The reaction of the frog was such that he called her stupid, too prone to influence. He leaves no alibi to be responsible for her death- a crafty and wicked being.


Q11 : The frog’s aim was to
(a) make the nightingale a sensation
(b) make the nightingale as good a singer as him
(c) maintain his supremacy in the bog
(d) make a lot of money
Answer :
(c) maintain his supremacy in the bog


Q12 : The animals reacted to the nightingale’s song with
(a) hatred
(b) admiration
(c) indifference
(d) suggestions for improvement
Answer :
(b) admiration


Q13 : The nightingale accepted the frog’s tutelage as she
(a) was not confident of herself
(b) wanted to become as good a singer as the frog
(c) wanted to become a professional singer
(d) was not a resident of Bingle Bog
Answer :
(c) wanted to become a professional singer


Q14 : Day by day the nightingale
Grew more sorrowful and pale.
Night on night her tired song
Zipped and trilled and bounced along,
Till the birds and beasts grew tired
At a voice so uninspired
And the ticket office gross
Crashed, and she grew more morose –
For her ears were now addicted
To applause quite unrestricted,
And to sing into the night
All alone gave no delight.
The nightingale was sorrowful and pale because
1. she had been practicing in the rain
2. she had been performing all night
3. she was losing confidence in herself
4. she was falling ill
Answer :
2. she had been performing all night


Q15 :
Day by day the nightingale
Grew more sorrowful and pale.
Night on night her tired song
Zipped and trilled and bounced along,
Till the birds and beasts grew tired
At a voice so uninspired
And the ticket office gross
Crashed, and she grew more morose –
For her ears were now addicted
To applause quite unrestricted,
And to sing into the night
All alone gave no delight.
The audience was tired of her song because
1. they had heard it many times
2. it had become mechanical
3. she looked tired
4. she had added trill to her song
Answer :
2. it had become mechanical

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Q16 :
Day by day the nightingale
Grew more sorrowful and pale.
Night on night her tired song
Zipped and trilled and bounced along,
Till the birds and beasts grew tired
At a voice so uninspired
And the ticket office gross
Crashed, and she grew more morose –
For her ears were now addicted
To applause quite unrestricted,
And to sing into the night
All alone gave no delight.
She no longer enjoyed singing alone as
1. she wanted to sing only for titled crowd
2. she was now used to the appreciation she got
3. the frog was no longer with her
4. she had become proud of herself
Answer :
2. she was now used to the appreciation she got


Q17 : How did the creatures of Bingle bog react to the nightingale’s singing?
Answer :
The creatures of Bingle Bog favoured the nightingale’s songs to a great extent. In fact, they gathered in crowds to hear the nightingale sing. Animals and birds, from far and wide, came to hear her sing her melodious songs.


Q18 : Which are the different ways in which the frog asserts his importance?
Answer :
The frog asserts his importance in the form of a musician as well as that of a critic of art. He flaunts his reign, and thus, power and supremacy in Bingle Bog. He also asserts himself as a trainer and asks the nightingale to take training from him.


Q19 : Why is the frog’s joy both sweet and bitter?
Answer :
The joy of the frog was sweet as the nightingale could gather so many people to attend her concert. The more the audience, the more would be the earning, which the nightingale was bound to pay to the frog as tuition fees. Moreover, he was happy that he succeeds in torturing the bird and pushing her towards death. However, it was bitter as he knew deep within his heart that the nightingale’s talent surpassed his own and thus, nobody as great as the present audience had ever come to hear him from far and wide. It was pure jealousy.


Q20 : Why was the frog angry?
Answer :
The frog was angry because the nightingale didn’t sing sweetly to enable him to earn more. Secondly, her voice was becoming ‘uninspired’ as her song now zipped, trilled and bounced along.

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Q21 : How did the frog become the unrivalled king of the bog again?
Answer :
The frog became the unrivalled king of Bingle Bog, after the death of the nightingale. Now no bird or animal would compete with the frog in singing. Secondly, all of them over there were greatly scared of him.


Writing taskunit-7 : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 95


Q1 : Bring out the irony in the frog’s statement – ‘Your song must be your own’.
Answer :
The frog tells the nightingale that her song must be her own while he himself does not let her use her skill and talent in this field. He has restricted her entire freedom. Here lies the irony of the statement. In the beginning when the nightingale confesses that her song was original, he immediately demeans her and tells her that it was nothing to boast about. Then after killing the nightingale, the frog puts the blame on the nightingale saying that she should have been original.


Q2 : Do you think the end is justified?
Answer :
The end faced by the innocent nightingale is pitiful yet justified. It portrays the truth where evil people have an upper-hand over the innocent ones. Thus, it is natural that the ‘innocence’ of the nightingale is killed by the ‘cruel and crafty designs’ of evil symbolised by the frog.

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Q3 : Do you think the nightingale is ‘brainless’? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer :
The poem justifies the fact that the nightingale is brainless because she doesn’t see into the things. She is innocent, gullible and credulous to the extent that she believes whatever the frog says. She should have been more careful, vigilant and should have had the ability to see beyond what the frog tells her.


Q4 : Inspite of having a melodious voice and being a crowd puller, the nightingale turns out to be a loser and dies. How far is she responsible for her own downfall?
Answer :
The nightingale is, herself, responsible for her own downfall. She doesn’t use her capability to judge and evaluate sweet-tongued people. That why she is killed by the evil designs of the frog who ploys her to her death.


Q5 : Do you agree with the Frog’s inference of the Nightingale’s character? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer :
Yes, I agree with the frog’s notion of the Nightingale’s character. Being flattered and submissive and timid, she invited her own death upon herself. She should have been able to see through the frog’s plots and reverted accordingly. However, her innocence didn’t allow her to evaluate the frog’s tricks.


Q6 : The Frog and the nightingale is a spoof on the present society. Study the Mind Map given below. Divide yourselves into groups, select a box and discuss the statement given. Then present your views to the class.

CLASS DISCUSSION
How a person tries to put down another when that perosn is succeeding in his or her life.
Our self-image is often based on what others make us believe we are. A poor self-image can do irrepairable damage to us. Do you agree with this statement? Elaborate with suitable reasons and exmples.
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, somepoints that could be discussed in each case are given here.
1. Shallow thinking patterns are basically those patterns which dwell mainly on one’s selfishness and self-interests. These selfishness and self-interests are basically materialistic and harmful. Since these are born merely out of jealousy and ill-will, these produce fickle-mindedness in people, who don’t have a spine and follow the mob-mentality. They lack human virtues like fidelity, honesty and integrity.
2. Fickle-minded people have no locus stand of their own. They are people who pose as someone different than who they actually are. They are a horde of brainless persons with a limited thinking. These persons are very dangerous as their sole aim is to harbor damage to the progressive ones.
3. Materialistic society or materialism are the by-products of fickle-minded people and of those people who have a shallow thinking. People gaining pleasure from luxury and materialistic aspects of life are always showy and pompous and have nothing to do with aesthetic or human virtues. They know only the mathematics of amassing materialistic things and evaluating things in the name of buying and purchasing. The virtues that lie at the roots of a good person or a good thing are unknown to them.
4. Such materialistic persons have their eyes on success by hook or crook. They tend to use foul plays to attain success. They succeed temporarily but ultimately they face downfall.
For instance, the frog has the aim to earn money through the nightingale. He earns money but the time span is very temporary. His crooked plans succeed but partially. So materialistic people succeed, but not always.
5. If such persons are behind the art, art tends to be commercialised. The frog commercialises the art of singing of the nightingale. He treats the nightingale as a hen that lays golden eggs. However, this doesn’t go on for long. So, if art is in hands of the people like the sly and wicked frog, God save us. True art doesn’t lie in material terms but it is deeply connected with the aesthetic qualities of men. If it is balanced with materialism it ceases to be true Art.
CLASS DISCUSSION
Yes, I totally agree with that our image can do irreparable damage to us. A poor self-image always means loss of self-esteem. Low self confidence and over self confidence are both bad, because they don’t allow one to face with the harsh, bitter realities of life. Our progress might disturb people around us. So they may try to let us go astray by their sweet talks. Nevertheless, in reality, their envy might damage the other person. We must have the ability to evaluate people’s hypocritical advice or interpretation. Flattery is another tool to damage us. However, one should always remember the fact that all that glitters is not gold. If the nightingale had understood and evaluated the frog’s ‘sweet’ talks, she shouldn’t have succumbed to these.

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Q7 : The nightingale has scaled the heights of success. But now the audience is dwindling, the frog is unhappy and reprimands her all the time. She is mentally and physically exhausted and fears failure. As the nightingale, write a diary entry highlighting her fears and analyzing the reasons for her failure.
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, a sample solution has been provided for your reference.
12th Dec.2012
I still remember the day the frog came up to me and said those sweet words. I was such a fool to not to realize his pretence, my submissive nature making me feel so. The frog is such a big fake and I, being timid and foolish, believed him.
Now, I notice I can’t sing as melodiously as I used to sing before. The witty frog charged fee and earned a lot. He compelled and threatened me to sing for hours, which ruined my melodious voice. He tortured me in the name of training and now I realize it was not training but his plot to kill me gradually due to exertion. Now, death seems to be knocking at the door.
Today, I can’t sing as the frog desires me to, and I am physically exhausted. It was foolish of me not to have doubted the frog’s integrity. Thus, he took undue advantage of my innocence and led me to my own death. I have come to terms with what might happen to me soon. Thus, peacefully, I embrace death, which is inevitable. I want to pass on the message that we should never believe or have faith in others, blindly.


Q8 : Write an obituary for the nightingale. You may begin like this: May the kind soul……… (or you may make use of your own beginning)
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, a sample solution has been provided for your reference.
May the kind and innocent soul of the Nightingale rest in peace! The nightingale was very innocent, timid, simple and compassionate. She was the symbol of human values. She was very virtuous. Her absence among us can be felt all the time. She bore evil towards none but had to pay the price of being innocent, submissive, simple-hearted and credulous. The death of the Nightingale teaches us that one must look out and be vigilant against sweet-tongued people, who turn friendly instantly. We must all learn something from the sacrifice of the Nightingale. We must shun the people having the qualities of the frog.

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