Monday, 17 August 2015

Workbook Answers/Solutions of A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories, Small Pain in My Chest by- Michael Mack

I.
(i) The soldier boy was sitting underneath a tree during the war
because he was fatally wounded and could not get up.

(ii) The soldier was sitting calmly because he was fatally injured
during the war, was thirsty and could not get any help from
anybody around.

(iii) The soldier asked the narrator to come near him because he
was thirsty and needed a sip of water.

(iv) The battle had been long and hard can be discerned from the
deep craters in the earth and the number of dead bodies of the
soldiers, which the narrator could see lying all around.

(v) In the above extract, the poet wants to convey the horrors of war
and the agony of the soldiers, who fight it out on the battlefield.


II.
(i) The narrator has been referred to by the soldier as ‘Sir’. He was
on the battlefield at that time.

(ii) The soldier, according to the narrator, ‘smiled as best he could’
to hide his pain and suffering from him. It shows the spirit of
a soldier, who gives up his life for his country, with a smile on
his face.

(iii) The soldier wanted “A sip of water” because he was thirsty and
fatigued for he had fought a long and tough battle throughout
the night and was fatally wounded.

(iv) The soldier could not take any rest because he had been fighting
continuously day and night against the enemy. It tells us about
the horrors of war and pain and suffering the soldiers had to
endure on the battlefield.

(v) The soldier was having a pain in his chest because of the wound
he had sustained during the fight on the battlefield. Being a
true soldier, who considers everything smaller than his duty
for his country, the soldier called it as ‘small pain’. Further,
in comparison to the soldiers, who had received larger wounds
and had succumbed to their injuries on the battlefield, his was
a small pain.


III.
(i) The large stain on the soldier’s shirt was caused by a wound
he received while fighting on the battlefield.
(ii) ‘warm blood mixed in with Asian dirt’ refers to the blood oozing
out from the wounds of the soldier and mixing with the dirt of
the Asian soil as the war was being fought in Asia.

(iii) By saying “Not much”, the soldier wanted to say that his wound
was nothing in comparison to the wounds suffered by his fellow
soldiers, who succumbed to their injuries. He said so because
he was still alive.

(iv) The soldier considered himself more lucky than his fellow soldiers
because they died of the injuries sustained during the war, while
he was still alive.




IV.
(i) The soldier was feeling weak and said that his weakness must
be due to fatigue. His fatigue was caused by fighting day and
night on the battlefield.

(ii) The soldier smiled weakly because he had sustained fatal wounds
and was in pain. It shows that though the soldier was in pain,
he was trying to hide his suffering in the true spirit of a soldier.

(iii) The soldier felt that he was getting old because he found himself
weak and fatigued after battling it out on the warfront.

(iv) The soldier felt cold despite the shining sun because the light
of his life was fading, i.e., he was about to die due to the fatal
wounds that he had received on the battlefield.

(v) ‘The night exploded’ means that an explosion took place at night.
As a result of the explosion the soldier got fatal wounds on his
body, whereas a number of his fellow soldiers died because of
the injuries sustained during the explosion.


V.
(i) The narrator described the soldier’s smile as the brightest that
he has ever seen because the soldier wanted to express his
gratitude to the narrator for providing water to him as well as
to hide the pain he was enduring.

(ii) The soldier was suffering from fatal physical injuries sustained
during the explosion at night on the battle field. Due to these
injuries he was feeling physically weak and fatigued.

(iii) The soldier considered it silly to be defeated by a small pain in
his chest because he was a young, healthy man, full of energy
and enthusiasm, who could have defeated even death.

(iv) The soldier felt ashamed of himself to think about his wife’s reaction
when she would see her husband, a strong and grown up man,
sitting there defeated. He felt that his mother would never have
imagined during his childhood that one day his son would be
sitting on the battlefield, defeated by a small pain in his chest.

(v) ‘HERE’ refers to the battlefield. The soldier was undergoing a
mental pain at the thought of the reaction his wife and mother
would have on seeing him sitting defeated on the battlefield.


VI.
 (i) The soldier felt that it was getting dark earlier than it used to
be because the light of his life was fading, as he was slowly
losing consciousness because of the fatal injuries sustained on
the battlefield and seeing the darkness all around him.

(ii) ‘He’ refers to the soldier. He winced up at the sun with an
expression of pain on his face to find out why was it getting
dark so early despite the shining sun.

(iii)
(a) In the given line, the soldier told the narrator that before
he would start his journey further, he would like to take
a little rest. It signifies the soldier’s spirit to continue his
duty after taking little rest. It is also symbolic of the final
journey, i.e., death, towards which the soldier was heading.
(b) The narrator said “I think I must have cried”. He said so
because he could not recall what was his reaction when the
wounded soldier died in front of his eyes. It signifies that
the narrator was petrified on seeing the horrifying death of
the soldier.

(iv) When the narrator pulled the soldier towards himself he felt the
wound in his chest and the gravity of the pain the soldier was
enduring.

(v) The narrator said that he had a large wound in his heart
compared to the small one in the soldier’s heart because he
was hurt by the suffering of the dead soldier, and felt the guilt
on the part of humanity at not being able to give up war and
thereby, end the suffering of the soldiers.


VII.
 (i) The expression ‘Asian dirt’ means Asian soil and this indicates
that the war was fought in Asia. The two hardships experienced
by the soldier included:
(a) The physical pain caused by the fatal wounds sustained on
the battlefield.
(b) The emotional agony at being lonely and surrounded by dead
bodies and the thought of his family’s reaction on seeing
him defeated.

(ii) Despite sustaining fatal injuries during the war, the soldier did
not leave the battlefield because he considered it at his duty to
continue the fight till the end and die smiling while performing
his duty in the true spirit of a soldier.

(iii) The phrase “a small pain in my chest” is a refrain which is
repeated throughout the poem to emphasise the pain and suffering
a soldier undergoes on the battlefield.

(iv) Yes, indeed the poem has a poignant ending. It makes the
readers—
(i) feel the agony a soldier endures on the battlefield;
and
(ii) realise the horrors of war and the need to give up wars
for the sake of humanity.

(v) Small Pain in My Chest is an anti-war poem that describes the
horrors of war and conveys the message to shun hatred and
warfare.



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  21. HERE also refers to in a foreign land in battlefield

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  22. 4 beat 2 is wrong. CONDITION means he was he was very exhausted and weak not what u wrote

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    Replies
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