Class 9 English Chapter 8

The solitary reaper


Question 6.
On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions by ticking the correct choice:
(a) The central idea of the poem ‘ The Solitary Reaper’ is
(i) well sung songs give us happiness
(ii) melodious sounds appeal to all
(iii) beautiful experiences give us lifelong pleasure
(iv) reapers can sing like birds

Answer:
(iii) beautiful experiences give us lifelong pleasure

(b) In the poem ‘ The Solitary Reaper ’ to whom does the poet say “Stop here or gently pass’?
(i) to the people cutting com
(ii) to himself
(iii) to the people who make noise
(iv) to all the passers-by

Answer:
(iv) to all the passers-by

(c) ’The Solitary Reaper’ is a narrative poem set to music. This form of verse is called a ……..
(i) ballad
(ii) soliloquy
(iii) monologue
(iv) sonnet

Answer:
(i) ballad

(d) The poet’s lament in the poem ‘ The Solitary Reaper’ is that
(i) he cannot understand the song
(ii) he did not know the lass
(iii) she stopped singing at once
(iv) he had to move away

Answer:
(i) he cannot understand the song

(e) The setting of the poem is
(i) Arabia
(ii) Hebrides
(iii) Scotland
(iv) England

Answer:
(iii) Scotland

Question 7.
(a) Read the second stanza again, in which Wordsworth compares the solitary reaper’s song with the song of the nightingale and the cuckoo. On the basis of your reading (and your imagination), copy and complete the table below. (Work in groups of four, then have a brief class discussion.)


Place Heard by Impact on listener
Solitary Reaper Scottish Highlands the poet holds him spellbound
Nightingale
Cuckoo
(b) Why do you think Wordsworth has chosen the song of the nightingale and the cuckoo for comparison with the solitary reaper’s song?
(c) As you read the second stanza, what pictures come to your mind? Be ready to describe them in your own words, to the rest of the class. (Do not be afraid to go beyond what the poet has written.)

Answer:
(a)

Place Heard by Impact on listener
Solitary Reaper Scottish Highlands the poet holds him spellbound
Nightingale Arabian Sands weary travellers feel refreshed
Cuckoo Hebrides islanders thrilled
(b) The nightingale and the cuckoo are the two birds which are famous for their sweet and melodious songs. So, it is quite natural that Wordsworth compares the sweet song of the solitary reaper to these birds.
(c)
  • The first picture that comes to my mind is the desert of Arabia. The scorching sun is burning everything. Poor travellers are tired and thirsty. They are making their camels run for some shady haunts. At last, they find a shady place with water. They lie down to have some rest. Suddenly, a melodious voice captures their hearts. The nightingale’s song refreshes the tired travellers. They are up again for their onward journey.
  • The Hebrides are wrapped in silence. A ship anchors there. A sweet voice breaks the silence of the seas. It is the melodious voice of the cuckoo. The song thrills all the seamen. The whole mountain region resounds with the song.
Question 8.
In the sixth line of the first stanza, we read:
“… and sings a melancholy strain…. ”
This “s” sound at the beginning of sings and strain has been repeated. Poets often do this.
Do you know why? Do you know what this “poetic repetition” is called? Can you find other instances of this, in The Solitary Reaper?
Answer:
In ‘sings’ and ‘strain’, “s” sound has been repeated. The use of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words that are close together is quite common in poetry. This “poetic repetition is called “alliteration”. It is used to heighten the musical and lyrical impact of the poem.
Repetition of “s” sound in ‘silence of the seas’.
Repetition of “a” sound in ‘Among Arabian Sands’.
Repetition of “1” sound in ‘Listened, motionless and still’.

Question 9.
In the first stanza, some words or phrases have been used to show that the girl working in the fields is alone. Which are those words and phrases? What effect do they create in the mind of the reader?
Answer:
The poet uses some words or phrases in the first stanza to show that the girl working in the field is alone. These words are:
“Single” in the field
“solitary” Highland lass
singing “by herself’
“Alone” she cuts
These words and phrases focus our attention solely on the reaper. We keep our eyes only on her and our ears to her melodious song. These words create a sense of‘mystery’ and the presence of a lonely girl among those natural surroundings does create a romantic setting

NCERT Solutions