Karnataka 1st PUC English Textbook Answers Reflections Chapter 9 The Farmer’s Wife

I. Answer the following questions in a word, a phrase or a sentence each:

Question 1.
Who do ‘you’ and ‘I’ in the poem refer to?
Answer:
‘You’ refers to the farmer.
‘I’ refers to the farmer’s wife (speaker).

Question 2.
Why has the speaker’s husband committed suicide?
Answer:
His failure in growing cotton crops and his inability to repay his loans.

Question 3.
What series of contrasts does the speaker draw between herself and her husband?
(or)

Question 4.
What expressions in the poem bring out the contrast between the speaker and her husband’s plight? What difference does this indicate?
Answer:
The poetess contrasted the farmer as virtuous and herself as a sinner. He had gone without having to bend his head in shame and she has to bend her head. He found a release with poison, by poisoning her remaining life. The difference was that he was happy in his death and .she was sad being alive. All his sadness and debts fell on her to take care of. Her husband was a coward to end his life instead of facing them bravely. She was the brave soul ready to face all hardships.

Question 5.
The farmer’s wife in the poem is,
(a) complaining about her husband’s death.
(b) lamenting the death of her husband.
(c) angry that her husband has left her.
(d) bitter about her husband’s act.
(e) worried about her future.
(f) all of the above.
Answer:
(f) all of the above.

Question 6.
What memories of her husband trouble her now?
Answer:
The memories of him beating her, blaming her, drinking and kicking, trouble her now.

Question 7.
What does the phrase ‘harvest of my womb’ suggest? Why is their plight compared to worm-eaten cotton pod?
Answer:
“Harvest of my womb” refers to her children. Their plight is compared to “worm – eaten cotton pod” because that is what causes the farmers to commit suicide by not getting a good harvest. Worm – eaten cotton pod was the root cause of their tragedy and so was their plight.

Question 8.
To what condition had her husband’s act of committing suicide pushed her?
Answer:
Her husband’s act of committing suicide had pushed her into a bottomless pit.

Question 9.
The poem ends with,
(a) an assertion.
(b) a deep sense of failure and despondency.
(c) a will to survive against all odds.
Answer:
(c) a will to survive against all odds.

The Farmer’s Wife Additional Question and Answer

Question 10.
Which crop did the farmers grow?
Answer:
The farmers grew cotton crop.

Question 11.
What did remain after the death of the farmer?
Answer:
The debt remained after the death of the farmer.

Question 12.
For whom did the widow live?
Answer:
For her four children.

II. Answer the following questions in a paragraph each:

Question 1.
Many times the tone suggests the attitude of the speaker. What kind of attitudes are suggested by the words ‘virtuous’, ‘poor sinner’, ‘he is but a man’, ‘what of this?’, ‘why is this?’
(or)

Question 2.
What kind of questions does the poem raise about the plight of farmers’ widows? Do you think that these questions are only addressed to the speaker’s dead husband?
Answer:
The poem “The Farmer’s Wife” is a tragic poem that reflects the helpless conditions of farmers’ widows. The plight of the widows is explained by one such widow. The poet uses many phrases to contrast her condition with that of her dead husband. She called the farmer as ‘virtuous’ and herself a ‘poor sinner’.

The farmer was unable to pay the debts and he left all the debts to his wife, so she was very sad on his act of committing suicide. The feminist concept was also highlighted in the poem, the phrase “I was born with a head bent” justifies die discrimination in our society between men and women.

Man is born with his head held- high, but a woman is born with her head bent. But he did not face his creditors bravely and left all this to his wife to solve. She accused her husband that he poisoned himself and gone away by poisoning his wife’s existence. She remembered the memories of his beating, blaming, drinking, and kicking haunting her. She never dreamt that he would commit suicide.

It was true that the crop was gone but the debt remained there and dignity had hit the dust. She expresses her helplessness that how would she be able to bear the burden of their four children. She compared her condition with “worm – eaten cotton pods.” She got ambiguity and asked what was that and why he committed suicide.

At last, she confidently asserts her determination to struggle out her life even without her husband for the sake of her children. So, she shows a strong will to survive against all difficulties. Her voice is raised against the society in general.

1st PUC English Textbook Answers 

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