Thursday, June 24, 2021

A Photograph;NCERT Solutions and Summary for Class 11

                               A Photograph
                                                   -Shirley Toulson
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In the first stanza,the poet describes a photograph from an old photo album made up of cardboard.In the picture,there are three girls who are walking on the beach holding each other's hands.The girl in the middle is the poet's mother.She is around twelve years old and is the tallest and oldest.The poet's mother's uncle had taken the photograph.All the 3 girls were smiling at the camera.The poet's attention is also drawn towards her mother's face.It was described as 'a sweet face'.The snap was taken long before the poet was born.The poet calls the girls' feet as transient because they have grown older between all these years but the sea has not changed much.

In these above lines,here the poet's mother's middle age is explained.After twenty or thirty years later,she would laugh at the photo,filled with nostalgia,and also at her cousins Betty and Dolly.She recalled how their parents used to dress them for the beach.The sea holiday was the favourite moment from the past for the poet's mother.However,the poet's favourite moment was when her mother was laughing seeing those photographs.However,they had tried their level best to adjust to what they lost.The poet had lost her mother and the poet's mother had lost her childhood in the house of past.

In the third stanza,the poet says how her mother died twelve years ago,the same age her mother was in the photograph.Whenever,the poet thinks of her mother's death,she goes blank.Death has silenced her mother which has also rendered her speechless.The entire poem is centered around the speaker's recollection from her own life.

Difficult Words:
1)Paddling:To walk slowly.
2)Transient:Short term or Temporary.
4)Wry:Sadonic or Mocking.
5)Silences:A complete absence of any type of sounds.

Rhyme Scheme:
Free Verse.

Poetic Devices:
1) Alliteration:Stood still;My mother's;Terribly                                 transient.
2)Oxymoron:Laboured ease.
3)Epithet:Terribly Transient.

About Author:
Shirley Toulson(1924-2018) was an English writer,poet, journalist and local politician.She also worked with the government during the World War-2.She has also written a ton of books on social history of the countryside.

NCERT Questions:
A)Think it Out

1)The word 'cardboard' denotes the photograph in an album made up of cardboard or the picture pasted on a hard thick cardboard.
•The word has been used to refer to a practice in the past when photographs were pasted on cardboard and framed with glass front to preserve them.

2)The camera captured a shot which was not only beautiful but also magnificent and nostalgic for her mother.The camera captured the three girls-the poet's mother and her two cousins Betty and Dolly.The troika were there in their swimming outfits with the poet's mother in the middle holding the hands of both her cousins.

3)The sea has not changed at all over these years.Its waves are as fresh and tireless as they were years ago.The changelessness of sea reminds us of the changes in human face with advancing age.

4)The laugh from the poet's mother indicated how she felt immense joy and pleasure as she recalls significant moments from her past.She was a child then and was quite free and young from the tensions and worries of life.

5)The sea holiday and the laughter of the poet's mother are moments from the past which she associated with amusement and happiness.
•However,a sense of loss is also associated with them as these memories often compel us to transverse to the past and help us take a stroll down the memory lane.She had no worries then This sense of loss is quite painful to bear for her.

6)The world 'this circumstance' refers to the death of the poet's mother.This unfortunate demise of her mother fills the poet with an overwhelming sense of loss.

7)The first stanza is associated with the girlhood of the poet's mother;the period before the birth of the poet.The second stanza revolves around the poet's mother's middle age;the poet's childhood.The third stanza refers to the period after the death of the poet's mother.

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