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NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill – Chapter 8 – Childhood

The poem Childhood begins with the poet pondering over ‘when’ was it that he lost his childhood. He wonders if it was the time when he crossed the age of eleven or the time when he started realizing that there is no real existence of heaven and hell as they could not be geographically located in maps.
Full Summary of “Childhood” :

Think it out : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 59

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill – Chapter 8 – Childhood

Q1 :Identify the stanzas that talks of each of the following.

Individuality rationalism hypocrisy

Answer :
Individuality- Third stanza
Rationalism- First stanza
Hypocrisy- Second stanza

Q2 :What according to the poem is involved in the process of growing up?
Answer :  According to the poem, the process of growing up involves the attainment of mental maturity. A person is said to be grown up when he has become logical, rational and is able to build his own thoughts. A grown up has the power to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

A grown up individual understands the actions of others just as the poet recognises the hiatus between the preaching and the practice of the adults. He realises the hypocrisy and the double standards maintained by the adults. A mature individual also asserts his thoughts and opinions. The poet realises that he himself is the master of his mind and can form thoughts and opinions of his own.

Q3 :What is the poet’s feeling towards childhood?
Answer :  For the poet, childhood seems to be a thing of past. He ponders over the questions as to ‘when’ and ‘where’ did his childhood go. He tries to identify the specific moment, time or day when he lost his childhood and stepped into adulthood.

He indicates that childhood is naive and does not understand hypocrisy. At this stage of life, rational thinking and individuality are yet to be developed. The poet feels that his childhood is gone forever and can only be found in the innocent face of an infant.

Q4 :Which do you think are the most poetic lines? Why?
Answer :
The lines that seem to be the most poetic are:
‘It went to some forgotten place,
That’s hidden in an infant’s face;
That’s all I know.’
The above lines conclude the questions and the speculations of the poet regarding his lost childhood. The lines beautifully depict the poet’s realisation of the loss of the most important stage of his life. He finally realises that his childhood has gone to some forgotten place and that place could only be found hidden in an infant’s innocent face.