Night Mail Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share Night Mail Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by W.H Auden. In my previous posts, I have shared the questions & answers of All Summer In A Day, My Lost Dollar and Where The Mind Is Without Fear so, you can check these posts as well.

Night Mail Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Gradient – slope
  • Yelping – sounding their horns
  • Beattock – a place on the Scottish border
  • Tugs – towing boats
  • A glade of cranes – the rows of cranes along the Glasgow harbour that look like trees in the woods
  • Glens – narrow valleys with streams
  • Lochs – Scottish word for lakes
  • Situations – jobs
  • Hebrides – small islands off the coast of Scotland
  • Catty – mischievous with the intention of making trouble
  • Condolence – expression of sympathy to someone, who is grieving

Question 1: What does the name of the poem indicates?

Answer: The name of the poem indicates the story of a train that brings mail at night.

Question 2: What does the Night Mail bring?

Answer: The Night Mail brings mails including postal orders, cheques and letters for both rich and poor without any discrimination.

Question 3: What is the nature of letters brought by the night mail?

Answer: The night mail brings letters for different people however, some letters bring happiness and some bring sorrow for them.

Question 4: Read and answer the questions:
Men long for news.

(a) Who are these men?

Answer: These men are the citizens of Scotland, Midland and London who are waiting for their letters and other documents.

(b) Why do they long for news?

Answer: They long for news because they are waiting for the arrival of the important documents.

(c) What news are they waiting for?

Answer: Some are waiting for their examination results, some for invitations, bank details, money and postal orders, etc.

Question 5: What are the different landscapes that the train passes through?

Answer: The train passes from different places. It climbs up the steep hills of Beattock. It passes through the cotton fields, rocky islands and keeps moving through wind bent grass in the fields.

Night Mail Questions & Answers

Question 6: Read and answer the questions:
The gradient is against her, but she is on time.

(a) Who is being talked about?

Answer: The train ‘Night Mail’ is being talked about.

(b) What is ‘gradient’ and why is it ‘against her’?

Answer: ‘Gradient’ means the slope which is on the way of the train. It is against her because it is quite difficult to climb the slope/gradient.

(c) What is the significance of ‘but’ here?

Answer: It means that with all the troubles the train has on its path, still she comes on time.

Question 7: What does the poet mean by “blank faced coaches”?

Answer: “Blank faced coaches” mean the coaches of Night Mail are blank and vacant.

Question 8: What do the birds do when the train comes?

Answer: The birds are not disturbed by the arrival of the train. They turn their heads and look at the empty boxes of the train from the bushes.

Question 9: Why do the people and dogs continue to sleep as the train passes by?

Answer: The people and dogs have learnt that Night Mail is not a danger for them. So, they just sleep and do not try to change its course.

Question 10: What happens when the train passes through the farm?

Answer: When the train passes through the farm, it doesn’t disturb the ongoing process of life. Nobody wakes up and it just makes a jug vibrate slightly.

Question 11: In what context, does the poet talks about the jug in the bedroom?

Answer: The poet says that people of Scotland are so habitual of the sound of the train that they do not pay much attention but they feel that the jug is shaking due to the vibrations produced by the heavy train.

Night Mail Questions & Answers

Question 12: What does the poet mean by shoveling white steam over her shoulder?

Answer: It means the train keeps moving through cotton fields and rocky islands. It is very consistent and determined in its work.

Question 13: Read and answer the questions:
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?

(a) Who is being talked about here?

Answer: People who don’t receive any letters are being talked about here.

(b) When would anyone feel forgotten?

Answer: A person will feel forgotten when nobody writes him/her any letter or sends any documents or other items.

(c) How does the night mail help these people?

Answer: The night mail brings letters for them and help them to get in contact with near and dear ones.

Question 14: Explain in your words, ‘dawn freshens, the climb is done’.

Answer: In these lines, the poet says that the train has completed the difficult part of its journey. Now, it is the morning time and the easy path has arrived.

Question 15: How does the poet give the night mail a specific identity. Explain giving examples from the poem.

Answer: Yes, the poet gives the night mail a specific identity. The poet personifies the night mail as human being and tells that the night mail faces a lot of challenges but still, she comes on time.

Question 16: What kind of message does the train convey?

Answer: It gives us a message of being punctual, constant and diligent whatever the circumstances come in life.

Question 17: Write the main idea of the poem.

Answer: In this poem, the poet W.H Auden describes the journey of a mail train through steep slopes and landscapes. It brings cheques and postal orders for different people. The poet emphasizes on the commitment and punctuality of the train. It faces different barriers against it but it is always on time. The poet says that life is like a train and so, we should learn from the regularity and punctuality of the train and should also serve mankind.

So, these were Night Mail Questions & Answers.

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