Karnataka 1st PUC English Textbook Answers Reflections Chapter 7 If I was a Tree
I. Answer the following questions in a word, a phrase or a sentence each:
The speaker wants to be a tree because,
(a) trees are not treated as objects of defilement.
(b) no other creature in nature has the concept of defilement.
(c) trees are more humane than humans.
(c) trees are more humane than humans.
What wouldn’t the bird ask the tree?
The bird wouldn’t ask the tree to which caste it belonged to.
When does the sacred cow scrape her body onto the bark?
Whenever it got itchy.
How does the speaker want to be purified?
By burning in the holy fire the speaker wanted to be purified.
……….. if the phrase ‘dog-eater’ refers to…
The untouchables in our society.
What uses of the wood does the speaker see?
The dry wood could be hacked to small pieces and burnt in the holy fire to be made pure. Also, it could be made into a bier to earn- a sinless body to be borne on the shoulders of four good men.
If I was a Tree Additional Question and Answer
What does ’sinless body’ mean?
Dead body of a holy person.
What is sheltered inside the cow’s body?
Three hundred thousand Gods.
What does the bird do on, the tree?
The bird builds a nest for itself.
II. Answer the following questions in a paragraph each:
Why would mother earth not flee according to the speaker?
The poem is a sad but true depiction of the status of the untouchables in our society. Some humans ill-treat other humans, calling them untouchables and denying them equality and respect. If a tree were to extend its roots into earth, mother earth would not flee because she will not feel defiled or polluted by the tree. There is no need for her to have a bath to get purified.
How do the life forces – sunlight and the cool breeze – enforce nature’s idea of equality?
In nature, the life giving forces like sunlight and air do not discriminate against anybody. The sunlight bathes everybody and everything with its glow without exception. It embraces everything with equal love and never feels defiled by the shadow of an untouchable.
The cool breeze embraees everybody with its sweet touch. Its friendship is extended to one and all. It blows lovingly on the leaves of trees spreading its sweetness and the leaves reciprocate with their dance. In nature there is only love and equality among all.
III. Answer the following questions :
Why does the speaker want to be a tree?
The poem is a satire on social discrimination. Discuss.
The speaker brings out the concepts of defilement and purification. How is the meaninglessness of the practice brought out?
The speaker wanted to be a tree because no one would discriminate against it and birds wouldn’t ask to what caste it belonged and sunlight would (approach) embrace it and its shadow wouldn’t be termed polluted. It can make friendship with the cool breeze, and rain drops would not go back by thinking that it is an untouchable.
The tree would feel happy with the touch of a sacred cow and it would get the opportunity of providing shelter for the hundred thousand Gods said to be residing in the cow. The tree can become pure when it is cut into dry- pieces and burnt in the holy fire and can help the sinless dead body by becoming a bier on the shoulders of four good men.
The poem describes the sense of equality present in nature. Sunlight and cool breeze treat everybody with love and spread their sweetness to all without discrimination. Unlike some humans who feel polluted getting in contact with the untouchables, nature has no such sense of sense of superiority.
All are equal in its eyes. The poem also presents the social discrimination, as the speaker is much humiliated by the social discrimination and wanted to become a tree to escape from discrimination in the society.
He feels the safety, purity and generosity and helping nature of a tree more than in human beings. In a society, man without thinking of helping others, thinks which is pure and which is polluted. He neglects and discriminates some and appreciates others in name of caste, creed and religion. So this practice is meaningless and the practice must be prohibited to sustain equality in society.