Throwing a Tree Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share Throwing a Tree Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by Thomas Hardy. It describes how the tree which is 200 years old is being cut down within two hours by two woodcutters.

In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of The Flamingo That Flew To The Snow, Moulding Music and Night Mail so, you can check these posts as well.

Throwing a Tree Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Executioners – An executioner is a person who carries out death sentences by hanging or shooting those who are condemned to die
  • Stalk – walk like hunters quietly but about to cause great harm
  • Knolls – small rounded hills
  • Heavy heads – the large metal heads of the axes
  • Boles – the trunks of trees
  • Bears the death-mark on its side – has a mark drawn on its side to indicate that it was meant to be cut down
  • Doffed – taken off
  • Gash – deep wound
  • Hewn – cut
  • To hook upward a rope – to take a rope around its branches so that it can fall in a particular direction
  • Staying powers – ability to keep going for a long time

Question 1: Choose the correct option:

1. The men tried to hook upwards a rope because they wanted to

a. carry the tree
b. pull the tree down
c. climb up the tree

2. How is the tree described? Tick all that apply.

a. tall giant
b. shining and wide
c. proud
d. living mast

3. Reached the end of its staying power mean

a. was finally dead
b. at last fell
c. was not cur down

4. …Till a broad deep gash in the bark is hewn all the way round…
What do the words gash and hewn mean? Tick one.

a. wound
b. hole
c. cut

Question 2: Who are the two men? Why are they walking towards the tree?

Answer: The two men are woodcutters. They are going to cut the tree.

Question 3: What are they holding in their hands?

Answer: They have two axes and a long two-handled saw.

Question 4: How does the tall tree react to the sawing?

Answer: The tall tree reacts to the woodcutter’s act by shivering, which grow more intense with each cut. Further, it quivers when they try to pull it down.

Question 5: What happens with each cut?

Answer: With each cut, the shivers of the tree grow greater.

Question 6: When the tree finally falls, what effect does it have on the neighbouring trees?

Answer: When the tree falls down, it shakes its neighbours completely.

Question 7: What do you understand by the title of the poem? Why do you think the poet chose this title for a poem about cutting a tree?

Answer: The title of the poem tells us that a tree is brought down. The poet probably chose this title as it makes it clear that the tree has been defeated in a way and thrown down.

Throwing a Tree Questions & Answers

Question 8: The names of the two woodcutters are mentioned only in the last stanza. Why do you think the poet has done this?

Answer: The names of the two woodcutters are mentioned only in the last stanza to indicate their relative insignificance in comparison to the tree. Their identities are not really important; what is important is the terrible task they undertake.

Question 9: What do you think the poet’s intention was when he wrote the last line?

Answer: The poet’s intention was to bring out the irony that a tree that took two hundred years to achieve its present form was cut down and laid to waste in less than two hours.

Question 10: The poet has made a statement through this poem. What is it? Do you agree with it?

Answer: The poet’s statement appears to be that the cutting of trees is no less than murder and how it is a sad affair in which a two-hundred-year-old tree is brought down. Yes, I agree with this as trees are also forms of life and they are essential for the survival of this planet.

Question 11: The poet uses a metaphor when he introduces the two men. To whom does he compare the men?

Answer: He compares the two men to executioners carrying axes.

Question 12: Using imagery, the poet creates a visual image of the tree being ‘executed’. What are the words and phrases that support this image?

Answer: The words and phrases are ‘executioners’, ‘the proud tree that bears the death-mark on its side’.

Question 13: The poet uses personification, a literary device that uses human qualities to describe an object. Give at least two examples of personification used in the poem. Explain why each is an example of personification. Support your answer with important details from the poem.

Answer: There is personification of the tree, as a person awaiting execution: ‘the proud tree that bears the death-mark’; then the surrounding plants and trees are also personified as ‘neighbours’ of the tree being cut down.

Throwing a Tree Questions & Answers

Question 14: Who are the ‘executioners’? Why does the poet call them so?

Answer: The woodcutters are referred to as ‘executioners’. The speaker calls them so because he wishes to draw attention to the fact that cutting down a tree is akin to committing murder.

Question 15: Describe the tree. Use words and phrases from the poem.

Answer: The speaker introduces the tree as ‘proud’. He goes on to refer to it as ‘tall giant’. The poet also calls it a ‘living mast’, to describe how it stands tall and erect till it comes crashing down.

Question 16: The tree protests its fate before giving in. How do you know?

Answer: We know this because the poet says that despite the executioners’ great efforts to pull it down, and their hours of continuous labour, the ‘tree only quivers’, describing the tree’s resilience despite the fact that they are hacking at it mercilessly.

Question 17: Who mourns death of the tree? What are they thinking?

Answer: The tree’s neighbours mourn its death – they ‘shake’ as it falls. This can be interpreted as both, the fact that a great life has ended and that the tree’s neighbours are fearful that they will also meet with the same fate.

Question 18: Explain the irony used in the last two lines.

Answer: In the last lines, irony is seen when the poet expresses the truth that two hundred years steady growth has been finished in less than two hours. The tree is about 200 years old but the woodcutters ended it in less than two hours. Destruction is easier than construction.

So, these were Throwing a Tree Questions & Answers.

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