Children Understand Him Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share Children Understand Him Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by Taufiq Rafat. In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of The Silver Lining, The Newcomer and When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer so, you can check these posts as well.

Children Understand Him Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Hospitality – kindness in welcoming strangers or guests
  • Humoured – to have complied with the wishes of someone or indulged them (lenient, almost to excess)
  • Inadequate – not enough
  • Intact – remaining sound; secure; whole; uninjured
  • Relied on – to have faith or confidence placed on; depended on
  • Revoked – withdrawn, recalled, or reversed
  • Self-respect – a feeling of pride and confidence in one’s own qualities and worth

Question 1: To what is the old man compared in the second stanza? Why?

Answer: The old man is compared to a ‘dry stream-bed’. The poet is telling us that the man has led his life, its ‘course’ has been run, like that of a stream or river, and it is now dry. There is little life left and little to offer (according to some).

Question 2: Why is the old man sent to his room when there are guests in the house?

Answer: The old man would probably bore visitors with stories of his life and may also put visitors off by showing some of his infirmities.

Question 3: Do you think that the old man always lives in the same house? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: The old man probably goes from one child’s house to the next. We are told that he has ‘sons and daughters’. Putting up with him is a hard task for them, so they probably take it in turns to have him to stay and to look after him.

Question 4: Who gives ‘friendly punches to the chest’? To whom? Who gives the ‘damp kisses’? Who has ‘scrubbed cheeks’? why?

Answer: The children give the old man ‘friendly punches to the chest’. The old man gives his grandchildren the ‘damp kisses’ on their scrubbed cheeks. The children’s cheeks are scrubbed by their parents, when they are dirty.

Question 5: Do the recipients of the punches and kisses like these things? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: Yes, the recipients of the punches and kisses like these things because they understand the old man and go to him as a sailing boat goes to a harbour. They feel safe on his knees, and they find his company ‘friendly’.

Question 6: What do you think is meant by the phrase ‘living on memories’?

Answer: ‘Living on memories’ refers to the thoughts and recollections of the old man; he lives in the past, relates stories of his life of long ago, and probably wishes for that life again, rather than the current situation in which he finds himself.

Question 7: Read and answer the questions:

a. And only this has kept intact His pride and self-respect.

i. What does ‘intact’ mean?

Answer: ‘Intact’ means kept in one piece; kept as originally intended. In other words, the old man still has some pride and self-respect left, even though he is treated with some disregard by his own sons and daughters.

ii. What has kept his pride and self-respect intact?

Answer: His association with his grandchildren has kept his pride and self-respect intact. They still value him.

iii. What metaphor is used to describe what he might have been without this?

Answer: Without this he might have been a ‘dry stream-bed’.

b. They sail to the harbour of his knees.

i. Who are they?

Answer: They are the grandchildren.

ii. When do they sail to his knees and why?

Answer: They sail to his knees when they play with him (upstairs, away from the guests, while their parents entertain).

iii. Which words or expressions are used metaphorically here?

Answer: Sail (move towards); harbour (safe place/knees).

So, these were Children Understand Him Questions & Answers.

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