Boyhood Days Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share Boyhood Days Questions & Answers.

In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of Refugee Blues, Whose Place Is It Anyway and Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead so, you can check these posts as well.

Boyhood Days Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Induced – pursued
  • Devour – here, read quickly and eagerly

Question 1: Where did the narrator travel to? Why? What were the difficulties that they faced during their travel?

Answer: The narrator travelled to Kanawha Valley, in West Virginia because his step father did not belong to the same owners as the narrator’s mother. Therefore, the narrator’s mother decided to move the family to West Virginia to live with her husband. The narrator’s family walked hundreds of miles from Virginia to Malden, West Virginia with the few possessions that they had. It took them several weeks to reach the little town. The journey was tedious and painful. They had to sleep in the open air and cook over a log fire out-of-doors.

Question 2: What were the two issues that the colored people discussed after gaining freedom?

Answer: After gaining freedom, the coloured people felt that they must accomplish two things: first, they must change their names and second, they must leave the old plantation for at least a few days or weeks to experience true freedom.

Question 3: What were the difficulties that the colored race faced in their desire to educate their children?

Answer: The difficulties that the colored race faced in their desire to educate their children were: the first school for colored children was to be opened and the most challenging job was to find a school teacher.

Question 4: Our new house was worse than the one we had left on the old plantation in Virginia. How was the new house worse? What was the culture in the new surroundings?

Answer: Malden was right in the middle of salt-furnaces. The step father had secured a little cabin to live in and a job at a salt-furnace. The new house was in the midst of the cluster of cabins crowded together with no sanitary regulations. The filth around the cabin was intolerable, the neighbours were coloured people. There were frequent quarrels and fights.

Boyhood Days Questions & Answers

Question 5: The narrator’s mother was not schooled, yet was a very wise woman. Give two reasons to justify this statement.

Answer: When the narrator had an intense longing to learn to read, his mother procured an old copy of Webster’s ‘blue-black’ spelling-book, which contained the alphabet. In his all efforts to learn to read, his mother shared fully his ambition, though she could not read or write. While most students wore a hat or a cap to school, the narrator did not have one. When he asked his mother if he could have a school cap, she refused to go into debt to buy a store hat. She got two pieces of ‘homespun’ jeans and sewed them together. He deeply admired his mother’s thriftiness, and he saw her creation of the homemade hat as a symbolic gesture of the importance of thrift over wealth.

Question 6: ‘I think there not many men in our country who have had the privilege of naming themselves in the way that I have.’ Why would the teacher demand two names? What is the privilege the narrator is talking about? How did he name himself?

Answer: In the school all children had two names. The narrator did not have a full name as he was a slave who had recently gained freedom. Before school he was called ‘Booker’ but during roll call he felt self-conscious about only having a first name. Choosing a name after being freed from slavery was an important symbolic move to establish personal and cultural identity. Washington kept his middle name to retain his familial identity with his mother. He chose Washington as his last name, and his mother had called him “Booker Taliaferro” as a child, so he adopted “Taliaferro” as his middle name. Washington felt that the opportunity to name himself was a special honor and not many men have the privilege to do so.

Question 7: Washington’s family became free but that was not the end of his troubles. Explain.

Answer: Washington’s mother decided to move the family to West Virginia to live with her husband. The family walked hundreds of miles from Franklin County, Virginia to Malden, West Virginia with the few possessions that they had. Once they arrived, their new cabin was no better than their cabin on the plantation in Virginia. Young and old newly freed black Americans took great interest in the school, and classes were conducted both in the daytime and at night to accommodate the great demand in the community. However, Washington was held back from the day school to work in the salt mine because his stepfather felt that the family needed the extra income.

He was so successful at achieving academic growth that he convinced his stepfather to allow him to leave the mines each day to attend school and then return to the mine in the afternoon. He would work from four in the morning until nine, attend school until it closed in the afternoon, and then work for at least two more hours. However, he often could not arrive at school on time because of the tightness of his schedule. Even after he temporarily solved the problem of getting to school on time, he still faced obstacles in his education. While most students wore a hat or a cap to school, he did not have one. Moreover, he had to choose a proper name in order to establish his personal and cultural identity.

So, these were Boyhood Days Questions & Answers.