Karnataka Class 10 English Solutions Poem Chapter 2 Abraham Lincoln’s Letter

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Abraham Lincoln’s Letter Poem Questions and Answers, Notes, Summary

Comprehension Questions

I. Answer briefly the following questions:

Question 1.
In the first line, ‘he’ refers to ______and I refers to ______.
Answer:
‘He’ refers to Abraham Lincoln’s son, and T refers to himself.

Question 2.
The first line, “He will have to learn” means that
a. the son has the choice either to learn, or not to learn the values listed.
b. the son has no choice.
Answer:
(b) the son has no choice.

Question 3.
………. all men are not just
all men are not true. These lines convey
a. a one-sided view of life.
b. the harsh reality of life.
c. Lincoln’s personal view.
Answer:
(b) the harsh reality of life.

Question 4.
The statement “for every scoundrel, there is a hero” means
a. the number of scoundrels in this world is equal to the number of heroes.
b. for every bad person in this world, there is a good person.
c. in spite of all the wickedness in this world, there is enough goodness.
Answer:
(c) in spite of all the wickedness in this world, there is enough goodness.

Question 5.
Why is it important for a child to learn that the world is also filled with heroes, dedicated leaders and friends?
Answer:
If the child is not aware of the heroes, leaders and friends, he might think that the world has only scoundrels, selfish politicians and enemies and become dejected.

Question 6.
The first 7 lines emphasize
a. the value of positivity
b. the negative aspects of life
c. both the positive and the negative sides of life,
Answer:
(c) both the positive and negative sides of life.

Question 7.
Pick out the line which says that hard earned money has greater value than easy money.
Answer:
That a dollar earned is of far more value than five found ’.

Question 8.
What does the phrase ‘learn to lose-’ mean?
Answer:
Be sportive and accept defeat with a smile.

Question 9.
In what sense is it more honourable to fail than to cheat?
Answer:
It is better to admit that one doesn’t know than to pretend to know everything.

Question 10.

  1. Why doesn’t the father want his son to follow the crowd?
  2. How can this value be linked to having faith in oneself?

Answer:

  1. The crowd might be interested in doing something wrong. Hence the father doesn’t want his son to follow it but he confident about his own purpose in life.
  2. People who usually develop bad habits or engage in crimes do so only because they want to impress others or be equal to others by hook or crook. The father doesn’t want his son to live only to impress others.

Question 11.
What kind of a listener does the father want his son to be?
Answer:
The father wants his son to listen to all kinds of people but not believe everything he hears. He wants his son to filter all that he hears on a screen of truth.

Question 12.

  1. Is it possible to laugh when one is sad?
  2. What value is the writer highlighting here?

Answer:

  1. Every event has both positive and negative sides to it. When one has the ability to look at both of them, it is possible to laugh when one is sad.
  2. The writer is highlighting the value of stoicism in life.

Question 13.
What does Lincoln mean when he says, ‘too much sweetness’?
Answer:
Lincoln wants his son to be careful about people who speak very sweetly to him because he knows that only those people who want some favour from us are very sweet to us.

Question 14.
What does the poet-father mean by ‘close his ears to a howling mob’?
Answer:
A mob can be very effective in influencing a person to be bad and wrong, no matter how determined he is to be good and correct. Hence the father wants his son to close his ears to a howling mob and have faith in his own good sense.

Question 15.
What is the ultimate teaching Lincoln recommends, and to what end?
Answer:
He wants his son’s teacher to teach his son to have sublime faith in himself because only then the son will have sublime faith in mankind.

Question 16.
Lincoln does not want his son ‘to put a price tag on his soul’. What does he mean by this?
Answer:
Lincoln wants his son to remain incorruptible throughout his life, and never compromise on values.

Question 17.
Why is it is essential for someone to have “sublime faith in mankind”?
Answer:
When a person has ‘sublime faith in mankind’, the faith that even when a person is bad, he will be so only sometimes and not always, the faith that all men are not bad even if some are, then the mind is calm and optimistic. Such a peaceful mind will not provoke the person to violence or hatred or make him fearful. Such a mind will enable him to be courageous, loving, and patient with everyone.

Question 18.
In the line, “This is a big order”

  1. What does ‘this’ refer to?
  2. What does ‘a big order’ mean here?

Answer:

  1. This’ refers to all that the father wants the teacher to teach his son. The father’s request is referred to here.
  2. ‘A big order’ refers to the various values the father wants to be developed in his son.

Question 19.
When the father says, “This is a big order”, it implies
a. that the father has no faith in the teachers or the school.
b. that the father has no faith in his son’s ability to acquire these values.
c. that the task of teaching such values is too difficult for any teacher or school.
Answer:
(c) that the task of teaching such values is too difficult for any teacher or school.

Question 20.
There are a few other expressions which indicate that the task of inculcating such values is not easy for the teacher or the school. Pick out the expressions.
Answer:
‘It will take time, I know; Tiy to give my son; The phrase ‘if you can is repeated many times, indicating that the writer knows the difficulty of the task.

Question 21.
The poem has a long list of contrasting values.
E.g.: scoundrel × hero
selfish politician × dedicated leader.
Pick out the rest from the poem.
Answer:

  • enemy × friend;
  • dollar earned × five found;
  • learn to lose × enjoy winning;
  • wonder of books × eternal mystery
    of birds in the sky;
  • honourable to fail × to cheat;
    gentle × tough;
  • how to laugh × when he is sad;
  • sell his brawn and brain to the highest
  • bidders × never to put .a price-tag on his soul;
  • treat him gently × do not cuddle him;
  • courage to be impatient × patience to be brave;
  • sublime faith in himself × sublime faith in mankind;
  • a big order × see what you can do.

Question 22.
Identify the lines which highlight the following qualities or values:
a. to be positive and optimistic
Answer:
And take only the good that comes through …………. how to laugh when he is sad ………….

b. to be able to accept failure and defeat
Answer:
Teach him to learn to lose ………. And also to enjoy winning.

c. to be able to appreciate what is beyond human understanding
Answer:
‘But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside.’

d. to have faith and belief in oneself
Answer:
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong ………..

e. not to tread the beaten track
Answer:
‘Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the bandwagon………..’

f. not being gullible
Answer:
Teach him to listen to all men …………. but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth.’

g. to be able to discriminate the right from the wrong.
Answer:
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob ……… And to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right.’

II. Close Study

Read the following extracts carefully. Discuss in pairs and then write the answers to the questions given below them.

Question 1.
Teach him, that for every enemy there is a friend.
It will take time, I know;

  1. What does the first line mean?
  2. What human virtue is highlighted here?
  3. What will take time?

Answer:

  1. The first line means that the world is not made up of only enemies but so many people who can be good friends.
  2. Positively of the mind.
  3. Understanding people and recognizing their goodness.

Question 2.
Only the test of fire makes fine steel.

  1. Who is this line meant for?
  2. Explain the literal meaning of the line.
  3. What human virtue is emphasized here?

Answer:

  1. It is meant for the son.
  2. Only when steel passes through fire, can it become strong.
  3. Courage to face adversities in life.

III. Paragraph writing:

Discuss in pairs/groups of 4 each, the answers to the following questions. Individually note down the important points for each question and then develop the points into one paragraph answers:

Question 1.
Teach him to listen to all men but teach him to filter all he hears on a screen of truth’. Bring out the different ideas conveyed in these lines.
Answer:

  1. Show respect to everyone by listening to them without discrimination.
  2. Never accept anything at face value.
  3. Ponder deeply about everything he hears and accepts something as the truth only after considering it properly.

Paragraph: The poet here says that it is important to listen to all men. However, he wants his son to give in to what they say, but learn to filter all that he has heard and found out what the truth is and follow it.

Question 2.
Do you agree with the poet when he says, Only the test of fire makes fine steel’. Give reasons to support your point of view.
Answer:

  1. The poet wants his son to pass through fire.
  2. He is sure that only the test of fire produces strong steel.
  3. The poet wants not the absence of fire but its presence so that his son emerges stronger.

Paragraph: The line refers to the way the poet wants his son to be trained in school. Literally, the line means that when steel is tempered
with fire it gets harder. Similarly, if his son is put through rigorous training, he too could grow up to be tough as steel. The virtue that the poet is trying to uphold in this line is of discipline which moulds character. I personally think that discipline goes a long way in moulding character and imbibing values.

IV. Activities :

Work in groups of four or five each.

Question 1
a) List all the values which the poet-father wants the teacher to teach his son.
Answer:

  1. Awareness of all kinds of people, good and bad;
  2. importance of hard work;
  3. sportive spirit;
  4. a mind without any envy;
  5. joys of reading and also appreciating nature;
  6. honesty;
  7. self-confidence;
  8. gentleness with people;
  9. toughness with people;
  10. wisdom;
  11. positivity;
  12. optimism
  13. faith in life;
  14. caution about sycophancy;
  15. assertiveness to demand his due at work;
  16. self-righteousness;
  17. courage to be impatient;
  18. patience to be brave;
  19. sublime faith in himself;
  20. sublime faith in mankind.

b) Pick out any three values which, in your opinion, your teachers have to necessarily teach all students. State your reasons.
Answer:
Honesty, positivity and sublime faith in himself.

Honesty keeps the mind calm and peaceful, leading to happiness, it is also needed in order to have a realistic view of the world.

Positivity keeps the mind open and cheerful, thereby ready to face any kind of problems.

Sublime faith in himself will enable him to have sublime faith in mankind which is utterly necessary for a courageous, successful life.

c) Make suggestions on how those three values could be taught.
Answer:
The teacher has to be a model for all the qualities that he/she has to teach, or else all efforts will be futile. Honesty can be encouraged by convincing the students that there will be no punishment for the wrong done if the students voluntarily confess to it.

Positivity can be cultivated by discussing the positive and negative aspects of every event like that of securing high marks at tests, death of a close relative, becoming rich or poor, etc.

Sublime faith can be cultivated encouraging students to understand themselves thoroughly, have realistic goals and make every effort to achieve them.

One from each group presents the answers to the whole class.

Question 2.
The poet- father contrasts each harsh lesson that his son will have to learn with a truth about the world. Write down five such examples. The first one is done for you.
Answer:
The harsh lesson that the father wants his son to learn:

  1. don’t follow the crowd
  2. filter all that he hears.
  3. laugh when he is sad.
  4. never put price-tag on his soul.
  5. stand and fight when he is right.

The truth about the world/People:

  1. everyone is getting on the bandwagon.
  2. listen to all men.
  3. no shame in tears.
  4. sell brawn and drain to highest bidders.
  5. close his ears to a howling mob.

Abraham Lincoln’s Letter Poem Summary in English

In this letter, Abraham Lincoln believed to have written to his son’s teacher, he emphasises on the values that he would like his son to learn. He wants his son to learn that all men are not just but he also wants his teacher to teach him that for every bad person there is a good person available in the world.

He further wants his son’s teacher to teach him the value of labour and hard work and he wants his son to learn that a dollar earned is of higher value than 5 dollars found without hard work.

He wants him to be away from jealousy and also learn the secret of quiet laughter. He wants his son to be taught that bullies are the easiest to please by saying yes to all their demands.

He wants his son to be taught the wonder of books. He wants also that his son is taught the value of quiet time in which he can ponder over the mysteries of nature and also learn that it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat.

He wants his son to be taught to have faith in his own ideas and to be gentle with the gentle and tough with the tough.

He wants the teacher to give his son the strength not to follow the crowd and filter all that he hears with the filter of truth. He wants the teacher to teach his son that one can laugh when one is sad yet that there is no shame in tears.

He wants his son to be taught how to be wary of too much sweetness and keep cynical, negative people away. He further asks the teacher to teach his son to sell his skills and talents to the highest bidder but also ensure that he never trades his soul for a price tag.

He wants his son to be taught to fight for what he thinks is right and he brave and to have faith in himself and others.

He ends the letter with a gentle order that the above things be taught to his son who is, after all, such a fine boy.

Abraham Lincoln’s Letter Poem Summary in Kannada

Abraham Lincoln’s Letter Poem Summary in Kannada 1
Abraham Lincoln’s Letter Poem Summary in Kannada 2

KSEEB SSLC Class 10 English Solutions

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