Here you get Memories of Childhood important questions and answers extra notes. English Vistas class 12 Ahsec Previous years paper ncert solutions of this chapter by Zitkala Sa and Bama. Also helpful for CBSE.

Memories-of-Childhood-notes

Previous Years Notes

1. When did Bama experience untouchability? (2012,13,15,17)
Ans: Bama experienced untouchability when she was studying in the third class. One day she saw an elder of their street carrying a packet of vadai by its string without touching it and handed it over to the landlord bowing respectfully. She found it very amusing till her brother explained that the man belonged to a low caste and could not touch the food of upper caste people like a landlord.

2. What was Zitkala's idea regarding short, shingled hair? (2012,16,17)
Ans: Zitkala-Sa's idea regarding short, shingled hair was that short hair was worn by mourners and shingled hair by cowards.

3. How did Zitkala-Sa try to hide herself from the 'other' in the school? Did she succeed? (2013)
Ans: Zitkala-Sa was deeply scared of getting her hair shingled. So, she disappeared unnoticed. She entered in a large dark room with three beds in it. She crawled under a bed and coddled herself in the dark corner.

No, she did not succeed in hiding herself as she was dragged out of the room.

4. Describe the experience Bama had on her way back home which made her feel sad. (2013)
Ans: The narrator was still a little girl. She belonged to a 'low' caste but never had any bitter experience related to 'untouchability'. One day on her way back home from school, she saw an elder of their street carrying a packet of vadai by its string without touching it and handed it over to the landlord bowing respectfully. She wanted to shriek with laughter. The way such a big man was carrying a small packet looked very funny.

Bama told this story in all its comic details to her elder brother. But her brother was not amused by Bama's story as there was nothing comic about it. Rather, it was a sad story of 'untouchability'. The elder, carrying the food for a landlord, belonged to a low caste and could not touch the food of an upper caste person like the landlord. Had he done so, the food could have been polluted. That was why the man had to carry the packet by its string. When she heard this her laughter vanished. She felt terribly sad.

5. Why did the Bama feel terribly sad and provoked? (2014)
Ans: When Bama learned from her brother why the elder from their street carried the packet of vadai by its string she felt terribly sad. She found the entire idea of untouchability quite disgusting. This made Bama feel terribly sad and provoked.

6. Why did Zitkala-Sa feel uncomfortable in the dining room? (2014,15)
Ans:  Zitkala-Sa felt uncomfortable in the dining room first because she felt immoderately dressed as her blanket had been stripped from her shoulders and secondly because she was unfamiliar with the rules to be followed and also because she was nervous as a pale-faced strange woman was watching her.

7. What did Annan say about his community to the narrator? (2016,18)
Ans: Annan told Bama that as they were born in a lower caste they were never given honour or dignity or respect. But if they studied hard and prosper, they could throw away these indignities. 

8. Bama's experience is that of a victim of the caste system. What kind of discrimination does Zitkala-Sa's experience depict? What are their responses to their respective situations? (2017)
Ans: Bama and Zitkala-Sa highlight the exploitation and humiliation of the suppressed people. Both the women are from 'marginalized communities. The first episode describes the humiliations suffered by the Native Indians living in America. The white people impose their own culture and values over other communities. The poor Indian girl is dragged out and tied in a chair. Her long and heavy hair is shingled. In her community, only the cowards wear shingled hair.

Bama's experience is based on the age-long curse of 'untouchability' in India. The people of low castes have to bow low and work for their masters. They have to carry even a food packet by its thread without touching it. Had she done so, the food could have been polluted.

Both the women fight and struggle against exploitation and oppression. The girl in 'The Cutting of My Hair' doesn't submit but struggles. She cries, kicks and fights till she is overpowered. The girl in 'We Too Are Human Beings' works hard and stands first in the class. People now come to her of their own accord.

9. What was Zitkala-Sa's immediate reaction to the cutting of her hair? (2018)
Ans: Zitkala-Sa cried aloud shaking her head all the while until she felt the scissors cutting one of her thick braids. Then, she 'lost' her spirit and moaned for her mother in deep anguish. But none came to comfort her and she felt like one of many little animals driven by a herder.

10. Discuss the forms of discrimination projected in the narrations of Zitkala-Sa and Bama. (2018)
Ans: Bama and Zitkala-Sa highlight the exploitation and humiliation of the suppressed people. Both the women are from 'marginalized communities. The first episode describes the humiliations suffered by the Native Indians living in America. The white people impose their own culture and values over other communities. The poor Indian girl is dragged out and tied in a chair. Her long and heavy hair is shingled. In her community, only the cowards wear shingled hair.

Bama's experience is based on the age-long curse of 'untouchability' in India. The people of low castes have to bow low and work for their masters. They have to carry even a food packet by its thread without touching it. Had she done so, the food could have been polluted.

Both the women fight and struggle against exploitation and oppression. The girl in 'The Cutting of My Hair' doesn't submit but struggles. She cries, kicks and fights till she is overpowered. The girl in 'We Too Are Human Beings' works hard and stands first in the class. People now come to her of their own accord.

11. Why was Zitkala Sa in tears on the first day in the land of apples? (2019)
Ans: Zitkala Sa was in tears because the first day in the land of apples was a bitter cold one. The sound of the bell and clatter of shoes were annoying to the sensitive ears. People murmured in an unknown tongue. The narrator's soul had lost her peace and freedom.

12. How did Annan explain the elder man's action to Bama? (2020)
                       or
    Why was Annan not amused by Bama's story?
Ans: Annan was not amused by Bama's story as there was nothing comic about it. Rather, it was a sad story of 'untouchability'. The elder, carrying the food for a landlord, belonged to a low caste and could not touch the food of an upper caste person like the landlord. Had he done so, the food could have been polluted.  

13. Why did it take Bama to reach home in 30 minutes instead of 10 minutes? (2020)
Ans: Bama took 30 minutes instead of 10 minutes to reach home because she watched all the fun and games that were going on. She saw performing monkeys and the snakes' charmer displaying his snakes. The other attractions were the Pongal celebrations, the statue of Gandhi, etc. Everything stopped her and attracted her attention.

14. Compare and contrast the stories of Zitkala-Sa and Bama? (2020)
                         or
   The two accounts that you read above are based on two distant cultures. What is the commonality of the theme found in both of them?
Ans: 'Memories of Childood' presents two autobiographical episodes. Both are from the lives of women. The first account is by an American Indian woman. The second episode is narrated by a contemporary Tamil Dalit writer. The woman belongs to two different cultures.

Both the women are from 'marginalized communities. The first episode describes the humiliations suffered by the Native Indians living in America. The white people impose their own culture and values over other communities. The poor Indian girl is dragged out and tied in a chair. Her long and heavy hair is shingled. In her community, only the cowards wear shingled hair. Bama's experience is based on the age long curse of 'untouchability' in India. The people of low castes have to bow low and work for their masters. They have to carry even a food packet by its thread without touching it. Had she done so, the food could have been polluted.

Both the women fight and struggle against exploitation and oppression. The girl in 'The Cutting of My Hair' doesn't submit but struggles. She cries, kicks and fights till she is overpowered. The girl in 'We Too Are Human Beings' works hard and stands first in the class. People now come to her of their own accord.

Important-Extra Questions

1. Why was Zitkala-Sa terrified when Judewin told her that her hair would be cut short?
Ans: Zitkala-Sa was terrified because their mother had taught them that only unskilled warriors who were captured had their hair shingled by the enemy. Moreover, among her people, short hair was worn by mourners and shingled hair by cowards.

2. How was the narrator inspired by the words of her elder brother?
Ans: The narrator was highly inspired by the words of her elder brother. She realized that they can attain honour and dignity if they are learned. She studied hard and stood first in her class. Eventually, she made a lot of friends.

3. 'Now I was only one of little animals driven by herder'. Why did the narrator feel so?
Ans: The narrator had suffered extreme indignities since the day she was taken away from her mother. People had stared at her and she had been tossed about in the air like a wooden puppet. Her long and beautiful hair was shingled against her wish. In her anguish, she moaned for her mother but there was no one to comfort her. That is why she felt like one of the many little animals driven by a herder.

4. How was the land of apples like?
Ans: The land of apples was a bitter cold one. The snow-covered the ground and the trees were bare. It was full of noise and disturbances.

5. What were the different noises that sound to upset the narrator?
Ans: The different noises that sound to upset the narrator were
  • The loud metallic sound of a bell.
  • The clatter of shoes on bare floors.
  • Muttering in an unknown tongue.
  • Constant clash of harsh noise.

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