2nd year English notes | The School Boy

Grade 12 English Notes Chapter No 15 The school boy study questions, shot question, long question, stanza 1 to 6, essay, exercise 1 to 6 and vocabulary, questions and exercise of the poem.

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2nd year English notes The School Boy Chapter No 15

Study Questions

This poem is structured as follows

• In the first stanza, the speaker (who is the speaker by the way?) tells us what he loves to do in the summer morning (remember, summer in England is the most pleasant season of the year — like March and April in Pakistan);
• In the second stanza, the speaker says that going to school spoils all the joy since they have to spend their day under a cruel eye (whose cruel eye?);
• In the third stanza, the speaker laments that later he has to spend many anxious hours — in doing what?
• In the fourth stanza, the speaker considers himself a caged bird, not allowed to sing and enjoy the freedom and deprived of enjoying his youthful spring;
• The fifth stanza is an appeal to parents, and the speaker asks a series of rhetorical questions continued through to the end. In short, the poem moves through three stages: (1) what the speaker enjoys to do in the mornings in summer, (2) what he is forced or obliged to do, and (3) his appeal to parents that he should be allowed to enjoy his youth.
Answer:
Note: It’s just a description of the poem. No question to be attempted.

In English poetry, the SPRING season is usually a symbol of birth or rebirth, SUMMER a symbol of bloom or youth, AUTUMN, a symbol of old age or decay, and WINTER and snow, a symbol of death. What do you think the speaker means by “the blasts of winter appear” in the last line of the poem?

The speaker William Blake depicted the life story of a schoolboy who wants to enjoy his youth to the maximum. By using the expression “the blasts of winter appear”, the speaker is referring to the smooth transition of a season from autumn to winter. When every natural object begins to change, the dry autumn winds become more violent with the touch of cold in them restricting the outside sports and games activities of the children. The chilly winds of winter swiftly blow away all the joys and happiness from a child’s life.

Q 3. Identify one-word metaphors for “youth”, “freedom”, and “instruction” in the poem.

WordMetaphor
youthplant
freedombird
instruction winter

Language Study

Q 4. Make a list of all the adjectives used in the poem. Which nouns do they qualify?

Answer:

AdjectivesQualified to Noun
distanthuntsman
sweetcompany
crueleye
littleones
anxioushour
drearyshower
tenderwing, plants
youthfulspring
springingday
mellowingyear

Q 5. In stanza one, there are two words, hunts+man and sky+lark, which are called compound words. Can you think of five such words?

Answer:
Compound Words
sun + light = sunlight
foot + bal = football
book + store = bookstore
cup + board = cupboard
finger + print = fingerprint

Q 6. The word ‘youthful’ (an adjective) occurring in the fourth stanza is a  combination of youth’ (a noun) and ‘ful’ (a suffix). Can you think of five nouns that can be changed to adjectives by adding ‘ful’ at the end?

Answer:

NounSuffixAdjective
handfulhandful
artfulartful
spoonfulspoonful
tearfultearful
watchfulwatchful

Writing

Q. 7 How easily can you identify with the speaker of the poem or did you have the same feelings as the speaker of the poem when you were a school going, child?

School life is one of the significant parts in the life of any learned individual as it has the potential to leave everlasting marks on the track of a person’s life. It depends on an individual’s experience at school; it can be as joyful as a lark or can be as still and tedious as a pond.

During my school life, I had the same experience as it is presented by the poet in the poem but the only difference was of the season. Being a resident of Pakistan summers are not as joyful as spring.
It was just the beginning of a bright spring season when we had to start our new grade classes. Although it was quite an exciting time in the life of every student as he was climbing up the ladder of his studies, on the other hand, the thought of being in school when flowers were blooming in the garden was distressing. Every little soul wants to enjoy under the pleasing shadow of trees full with the tender green leaves and experience the cool breeze of spring soaked in the sweet fragrance of fresh flowers. Children want to play outdoor games as winter season bound them in the four walls of their homes like an innocent bird in a cage. Some have a desire to make the sky bright and colourful with their kites.

But alas we have to attend school as our parents want us to study and become a learned person in our future life so being obedient kids we have to listen and follow the instructions of our parents by slaughtering our desires on the altar of parent’s will and school’s schedule.

Q. 8 Now that you have understood the poem, make a paraphrase/ explanation of it in your own words.

The idea of the poem is simple and easy to understand. It beautifully represents the feelings and emotions of a child who consider school a sort of a prison where he has to spend some hours away from his home and family in the dazzling summer season with no games and leisure activities.

Stanza 1:

In the first stanza of the poem, the poet is in the persona of a school going, boy. A boy, who loves to wake up all fresh at the breaking of summer dawn to enjoy the cheerful voices of the birds and the songs of skylark that are also welcoming the outbreak of a new day. He wants to hear the horn of the huntsman who is also fresh and energetic to find his hunt. He has a strong aspiration to enjoy this exhilarating moment to the fullest.

Stanza 2:

The poet further says that the boy doesn’t want to go to school on such a lovely day. He knows it quite well that as soon as he enters the school all the pleasantness of the day would be gone. He has to bear the watchful eye of his master who always glances at his pupil with cruelty. He shows no sympathy towards his students who have a longing to have fun and enjoyment under the alluring sunshine. The learners have to spend all day in anxiety with a gloomy mood.

Stanza 3:

In the third stanza, the poet says that the students sit worn out as they know that till off time they have to spend time willingly or unwillingly at school. They all are waiting for the bell to ring that puts an end to the exhausting hours. Although they have to read and learn they find no pleasure in doing any of the activities that add to their boredom. They are not allowed to sit under the pleasant shady tree with the scent of fresh blooming leaves to relax but they must spend long tiring hours at school.

Stanza 4:

Coming towards the next stanza, one can easily sense the mindset and emotions of the boy who wants to enjoy freedom. He is thinking about a bird that is blessed with wings to fly and can touch the sky but unluckily it is trapped in a cage. What a pity it is? He is sympathizing with the bird that is singing in a heartbreaking tone. He resembles the boy’s youth with the trapped bird. His point of view is that it is very difficult for a boy to sit in an irritating school environment forgetting his youth and pleasure activities.

Stanza 5:

In the fifth stanza, the boy is addressing his parents and asking a thought-provoking question from them that if someone cuts the newly born buds or removes the leaves from the plants in the spring season, how would such lively colourful creatures of nature enjoy and take pleasure in the springing day? He explains that all this happens just due to the careless attitude of mankind towards the liberty of other creatures of the world. How easily they kidnap any other creature in the net of their own will as school traps learners under the umbrella of its tediousness without showing any mercy.

Stanza 6:

In the last stanza of the poem, the innocent boy again throws light on the sensitive issue of freedom that if the above-mentioned activities are carried out by human beings on a regular basis, how we would be able to get fruits. Similarly, if children are forced to go to school to spend some precious hours there on a bright summer day, how they would show the positive result to their parents.

Q 9. Use the following chart to record your statement of the meaning of the poem and your observations about the techniques of the poem. Each column in the chart deals with one of the poetic techniques.

Meaning/Theme:    
    
     
 SPEAKER   
STANZA TYPESOUNDIMAGERYFIGURATIVE
LANGUAGE
Stanza:CoupletsHuman:The PoetRhyme:Sight (Visual):Similes:
TersestQuatrainsMan/WomanMother/FatherRhythm:Hearing (Aural):Metaphors:
QuintetsYoung/OldBoy/GirlAlliteration:Smell (Olfactory):Impliedmetaphors:
SestetsOctaveStrophes:Son/DaughterNon-human:AnimalsWildDomesticPlantsConsonance:Assonance:Onomatopoeia:Taste (Gustatory): Touch (Tactile):Other Devices:

Answer:
Theme:
 The theme of the poem is based on the innocence of childhood, the most joyous time in a person’s life amalgamated with the boredom and weariness of school life.
This poem is written in six stanzas with five lines in each one thus giving it a quintet structure. The tone of the poem is jovial in the beginning but as it moves further the place of festiveness is taken by weariness and boredom that engulfed the life of the schoolboy.
The speaker is the poet himself who has taken the persona of a schoolboy presenting a meticulous recount of his school days, especially in the enthralling summers. It is written in simple language that can easily be understood and appreciated by even a layman.
The rhyme scheme is ABABB. The syllables of each line changes throughout the poem. Some have six, some have eight, some have nine, and some even have ten.
The imagery used by the poet though quite simple but has the tendency to influence the readers effectively. This poem depends upon three inter-related images, the schoolboy, the bird, and the plant. All three are dependent upon, or vulnerable to, the way in which they are treated by human beings.
The poet has made effective use of alliteration throughout the poem. It is as follows:

  • 3rd line: Huntsman, his and horn
  • 4th line: Skylark and sing
  • 6th line: school and summers
  • 15th line: worn and with
  • 16th line: bird and born
  • 17th line: sit and sing
  • 18th line: can and child
  • 22nd line: blossoms and blown
  • 26th line: shall and summer
  • 28th line: we and what
  • 30th line: when and winter

The metaphors in the poem are the child’s freedom that is equivalent to a free bird or vice versa a child bounded in the walls of the classroom is just like a bird trapped in a cage forcefully, the youth is similar to a blooming plant that begins its life from a small seed turns into a plant and finally reach maturity by standing upright firmly on the ground in the form of a full-grown tree.


One can find the artful use of aural in the poem in the first stanza with the use of words like ‘birds sing’, ‘huntsman horn’, and ‘skylark sings.’  

Exercise 1

Name the Prepositions in the following sentences, and tell the word which each governs:

 

1) Little Jack Horner sat in a corner.

2) Old Mother Hubbard, she went to the cupboard.

3) The lion and the unicorn fought for the crown.

4) Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.

5) Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town.

6) She sat by the first, and told me a tale.

7) Rain, rain, go to Spain and never come back again.

8) A fair little girl sat under a tree.

9) Such a number of rocks came over her head.

10) John Gilpin was a citizen of credit and renown.

11) “Will you walk into my parlour?” said the spider to the fly.

12) Into the street the piper stepped.

13) I can never return with my poor dog Tray.

14) I have worked and sang from morning till night.

15) They all ran after the farmer’s wife, who cut off their tails with a carving knife.

16) One day the boy took his breakfast and ate it by a purling brook which ran through his mother’s orchard.

17) Old John with white hair, Does laugh away care, Sitting under the oak, among the old folk.

18) They rise with the morning lark and labour till almost dark.

19) By the nine gods he swore.

20) Under a spreading chestnut-tree The village smithy stands.

21) He goes on Sunday to the church and sits among his boys.

22) I bring fresh showers for the thirsty flowers from the seas and the streams.

23) Her arms across her breast she laid.

24) Mine be a cot beside the hill.

25) Around my ivied porch shall spring Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew.

26) One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name.

27) I tried to reason him out of his fears. 

Answer:

1) Little Jack Horner sat in (simple) a corner. (Preposition)

2) Old Mother Hubbard, she went to (simple) the cupboard. (Preposition)

3) The lion and the unicorn fought for (simple) the crown. (Preposition)

4) Humpty Dumpty sat on (simple) a wall.  (Preposition)

5) Wee Willie Winkie runs through (simple) the town. (Preposition)

6) She sat by (simple) the first and told me a tale. (Adverb)

7) Rain, rain, go to (simple) Spain and never come back again. (Preposition)

8) A fair little girl sat under (compound) a tree. (Preposition)

9) Such a number of rocks came over (compound) her head. (Adverb)

10) John Gilpin was a citizen of (simple) credit and renown. (Adverb)

11) “Will you walk into (compound) my parlour?” said the spider to the fly. (Preposition)

12) Into (compound) the street the Piper stepped. (Preposition)

13) I can never return with (simple) my poor dog Tray. (Preposition)

14) I have worked and sang from (simple) morn till night. (Preposition)

15) They all ran after (compound) the farmer’s wife, who cut off their tails with (simple) a carving knife. (Preposition)

16) One day the boy took his breakfast and ate it by (simple) a purling brook which through (simple) his mother’s orchard ran. (Preposition)

17) Old John with (simple) white hair does laugh away care, Sitting under (compound) the oak, among (compound) the old folk. (Preposition)

18) They rise with the morning lark and labour till (simple) almost dark. (Adverb)

19) By (simple) the nine gods he swore. (Adverb)

20) Under (compound) a spreading chestnut-tree The village smithy stands. (Preposition)

21) He goes on (simple) Sunday to (simple) the church and sits among (compound) his boys. (Preposition)

22) I bring fresh showers for (simple) the thirsty flowers from (simple) the seas and the streams. (Preposition)

23) Her arms across (compound) her breast she laid. (Preposition)

24) Mine be a cot beside (compound) the hill.  (Preposition)

25) Around (compound) my ivied porch shall spring Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew. (Preposition)

26) One crowded hour of (simple) glorious life is worth an age without a name.  (Adverb)

27) I tried to reason him out of (simple) his fears.  (Preposition)

Exercise 2

Distinguish the Prepositions from Adverbs in the following sentences:
 

1) Come down.
2) We sailed down the river.
3) The man walked round the house.
4) He sat on a stool.
5) The carriage moved on.
6) The soldiers passed by.
7) The man turned round.
8) We all went in.
9) He is in the room.
10) He hid behind the door.
11) I left him behind.
12) She sat by the cottage door.
13) The path leads through the woods.
14) I have read the book through.
15) The storm is raging outside.
16) We cannot live without water.

Answer:

1) Come down.                                                                (Adverb)

2) We sailed down the river.                                          (Preposition)

3) The man walked around the house.                            (Preposition)             

4) He sat on a stool.                                                        (Preposition)

5) The carriage moved on.                                              (Adverb)

6) The soldiers passed by.                                               (Adverb)

7) The man turned around.                                              (Adverb)

8) We all went in.                                                            (Adverb)

9) He is in the room.                                                       (Preposition)

10) He hid behind the door.                                            (Preposition)

11) I left him behind.                                                       (Adverb)

12) She sat by the cottage door.                                      (Preposition)

13) The path leads through the woods.                          (Preposition)

14) I have read the book through.                                   (Adverb)

15) The storm is raging outside.                                      (Adverb)

16) We cannot live without water.                                   (Preposition)

Exercise 3

Form sentences to illustrate the use of the following words (1) as Preposition and (2) as Adverbs:-Behind, up, by, along, in, about, beyond, under, before, after.

Answer:
behind:
 The thief was shot from behind as he ran away.               (As Preposition)
The boy rode off down the road with the dog running behind.      (As Adverb)

up: The baby climbed up the stairs with great difficulty.      (As Preposition)
When the teacher called the boy’s name,  he immediately stood up.       (As Adverb)

by: The post office is by the hotel.                             (As Preposition)
The exhausted farmer laid his crops by.                    (As Adverb)

along: We walked along the road.                              (As Preposition)
They enthusiastically looked at the fair’s shops as they drove along.             (As Adverb)

in: Moosa put his clothes in the closet properly.              (As Preposition)
Please, come in.                     (As Adverb)

about: Yesterday, I watched a movie about The fall of the Roman empire.    (As Preposition)
My brother is about six feet tall.                      (As Adverb)

beyond: Few people are supposed to live beyond the age of a hundred.    (As Preposition)
From the top of the hill, we could see the road and the forests beyond.       (As Adverb)

under: The travellers stood under a tree to avoid getting wet from the heavy rainfall.   (As Preposition)
Sami pulled up the blanket and crawled under.             (As Adverb)

before: Have you been here before?                                   (As Preposition)
Aaban wants to finish his project before dawn.                  (As Adverb)

after: The child will go swimming after watching the cartoon.  (As Preposition) 
My grandfather died on December 6th  and was buried the day after.          (As Adverb)

Exercise 5

Explain the force of the Preposition in:

1) | will do it for all you may say.
2) This work is beyond his capacity.
3) | would do anything before that.
4) After this I wash my hands of you.
5) It is cool for May.
6) She made grand preparations against his coming.
7) It was all through you that we failed.
8) He was left for dead on the field.
9) All that they did was piety to this.
10) The lifeboat made straight for the sinking ship.
11) I shall do my duty by him.
12) He married for money.
13) A man is a man for all that.
14) Nothing will come out of nothing.
15) England, with all thy faults, I love thee still.

Answer:
1) I will do it for all you may say.                                          (cause)
2) This work is beyond his capacity.                                     (measure)
3) I would do anything before that.                                       (time)
4) After this I wash my hands of you.                                    (contrast)
5) It is cool for May.                                                                (possession)
6) She made grand preparations against his coming.           (place)
7) It was all through you that we failed.                                 (cause)
8) He was left for dead on the field.                                        (place)
9) All that they did was piety to this.                                       (cause)
10) The lifeboat made straight for the sinking ship.               (reason)
11) I shall do my duty by him.                                                   (possession)
12) He married for money.                                                       (purpose)
13) A man is a man for all that.                                               (reason)
14) Nothing will come out of nothing.                                   (possession)
15) England, with all thy faults, I love thee still.                   (manner) 


Word Count Tool

Content Analysis

Word Count3383
Character Length18281
Letters14234
Sentences373
Syllables4550
Average Words/Sentence9.1
Average Syllables/Word1.4
Lexical Density49%
Lexical Diversity30%

Readability

Reading Ease81%
Grade Level4.2
Gunning Fog5.7
Coleman Liau Index8.9
Smog Index5.1
Automated Reading Index2.9

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