Monday, February 7, 2022

On the face of it;NCERT Solutions and Summary for Class 12

                           On the face of it
                                                 -Susan Hill
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"On the face of it" by Susan Hill revolves around the story of a boy called Derry who had suffered from acid burns which had made his face ugly.He was always apprehensive about talking or meeting people.One fine day,he stumbled upon Mr.Lamb who gave his life the much-needed makeover.

The story starts with a teenage boy trying to enter a garden.His face is burnt on side because of an accident when acid fell on half of his face.He had entered the garden so that people don't see him.He wanted to hide his face badly because he was apprehensive of people making fun or getting disgusted of his burnt and disfigured face.

On his entry to the garden,he found a oldan sitting there in the garden.He tried to leave this place too but the old man stopped him.The old man was actually Mr.Lamb who was the owner of the garden Derry had just entered.Derry felt guilty to have entered the garden without anyone's permission but on the contrary Mr.Lamb welcomed him heartily and told him not to leave the garden because of his presence.
Derry was actually trying to leave because of the facial burn marks he had on his face.But,he stayed back as Mr.Lamb was almost insistent about Derry staying back.

Soon,both of them entered a conversation where they discussed about Derry not being liked by anyone because of his disfigured face.He also started to despise those people who had behaved with him in that way.Mr.Lamb consoled him.Coincidentally,Mr.Lamb was a disabled person too because one of his legs was of tin.He had a prosthetic leg because his other leg was lost in war.He gave an instance where kids made fun of him and his condition yet he is not at all depressed but lives life to the fullest.

All these revealations made Derry at home with Mr.Lamb as the old man could emphathize with him.They made conversation about various things and soon Derry revealed his fear and depression he was suffering because of his ugly face.But,Mr.Lamb kept telling him various positive things which would make him a little better mentally.He made his understand that he can even outperform any other normal with determination and hardwork.

Soon,they became friends and Mr.Lamb requested Derry to help him in plucking siem crab apples from the tree of his garden.Derry told him that he cannot help him then because he had come too far from his home without telling his mother. Mr.Lamb told him to come back after taking permission from his mother.Derry found it difficult and quarreled with Mr.Lamb but eventually agreed.

On reaching his home,he asked his mother for permission to go back to Mr.Lamb's garden.His mother denied him permission but he didn't obey her and went out as he had to fulfill his promise.
However,Mr.Lamb,in the meanwhile had already climbed the tree and started plucking the crab apples.He was pretty sure that the boy wouldn't turn up again.Unfortunately,as he was disabled,he fell of the ladder and died.On returning,Derry found Mr.Lamb lying on the ground and tried to make him move a lot but in vain.He simply didn't gave any sort of response.He realised that Mr.Lamb was already on the way to his heavenly abode.

The story teaches us that scars don't change a person.With his disfigured face,Derry had to suffer a lot because which had made him pessimistic.However,Mr.Lamb motivated him to lead a normal life again as everything depends upon a people's individual outlook.

Difficult Words:
i)Crab Apples:A small sour apple.
ii)Windfalls:Unexpected gains.
iii)Scrump:To steal from an orchard or garden.
iv)Daft:Silly or foolish.
v)Trespassing:Enter without permission.
vi)Swish:A hissing sound.

About Author:
Born on 5th Feb,1942 Dame Susan Hill is an English author of several fiction and non-fiction works.For her novels,she has also received the Somerset Maugham Award in 1971.In 1972,she also won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for 'The Albatross'.

NCERT Questions:
A)Reading with Insight.

1)Derry was a teenage boy while Mr.Lamb was old but the commonality between them was that Derry had one side of his face disfigured by acid burns whereas Mr.Lamb had a tin leg because his real leg got blown off during a war.Both of them suffered from physical disabilities and this was what drew Derry towards Mr.Lamb.Moreover,apart from these physical disabilities,Derry found signs of loneliness and disappointment in Mr.Lamb's life.This was also common to Derry because he avoided socialising with others because of his ugly face Mr.Lamb was also very motivating and infused Derry with various things which made him look life in a more positive light.All these things made Derry feel at ease with Mr.Lamb.

2)In the middle part of the first scene,we observe that Mr.Lamb is lonely.He tells Derry that when it will be a bit more cooler,he will get a ladder and a stick and will fetch the crab apples.He makes jelly with those crab apples and Derry could help him in doing this work.He tells him how he is interested in anything God has created even too rubbish.He describes how he sits in the open Sun reading books.He even doesn't use curtains in his house because he wants to enjoy both sunlight and darkness.All these definitely shows how lonely he was but also the various ways by which he was overcoming those.

3)The story describes the world from the viewpoint of a specially-abled person.These people not only suffer from physical pain but also from indifferent and absurd behaviour of people around them.They are teased and disliked by others.The protagonists of the story Derry and Mr.Lamb are some of the striking examples of how these specially-abled people are suffering in our society even now.Derry has got a burnt face and people don't like being with him.They find him ugly and slowly he even stopped socialising with others.Mr.Lamb had lost a leg in a war and used a tin leg and kids teased nd called him several names such 'lamey lamb'.He is all alone in his big house and has no one in his life.These examples also show these people undergo continuous sufferings because of the alienation.They don't expect any kind of sympathy or help but just expect others to behave with them like normal people.

4)In my personal opinion,I think Derry will not get back to his old seclusion because Mr.Lamb completely changes his perspective about life.His worldview got a complete makeover when Mr.Lamb told him that hating people and living alone is certainly more dangerous than the acid burns he had sufferred.He told him to face people upfront as it was only his face which had been disfigured.He has his rest of the body functional which could definitely help him to do whatever he wished in life.And,with determination and hardwork,Derry can possibly achieve more than a normal person.All this motivation gave him the much-needed makeover he needed in his life.

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