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Chapter 6- On the Face of It Questions Answers

Subjects

Question 1 :
Who is Mr. Lamb ? How does Derry get into his garden ?

Answer 1 :

Lamb is an old man, who lives all alone in his house which has a big garden. He grows crab apples and makes jelly from them. He also has beehives and he makes toffees with honey. He is lame because one of his legs was blown off in war. So he has got a tin leg.

Mr. Lamb is a kind, intelligent and generous-hearted man. His doors are open for everybody and there are no curtains on the windows of his house. Derry gets into Mr. Lamb’s garden by climbing down the wall. He thought that there was nobody in. But he is surprised when he hears Lamb’s voice saying that he should not trample the crab apples.

Question 2 :
Do you think all this will change in Derry’s attitude towards Mr. Lamb?

Answer 2 :

One side of Derry’s face is burned with acid. So he does not like being near people. He feels odd when they stare and when he sees them being afraid of him. But Mr. Lamb tells him that being secluded is no solution. When Derry tells Lamb that he hears his parents talk about him r- what he will ever do, what is going to happen to him when they have gone, how he will get on in this world with “that’ on his face.

Then Mr. Lamb tells him that he has got two arms, two legs and eyes and ears and he has got a tongue and a brain. Mr. Lamb encourages Derry by saying that he will get on the way he wants, like all the rest. If he sets his mind to it, he could get on even better than all the rest. Lamb tells him that he can do so the same way he did. Thus Derry’s attitude towards Mr. Lamb was changed. Lamb tells him that he considers Derry his friend.

Question 3 :
This is a play featuring an old man and a small boy meeting in the former’s garden.

Answer 3 :

 The old man strikes up a friendship with the hoy who is very withdrawn and defiant. What is the bond that unites the two ?

Answer

In the play ‘On the Face of It’, we find developing a peculiar and special bond between an old man Mr. Lamb and a small boy of thirteen named Derry. Besides the bond of humanity between them, there is another similarity which binds them. Mr. Lamb has a tin leg and Derry’s one side of the face is burnt with acid.

Because of it Derry becomes withdrawn and to a great extent defiant also. He avoids people or, as he says, people avoid him. Derry enters Mr. Lamb’s garden thinking that there is nobody there. But he finds Mr. Lamb there who encourages him to face life. Thus the bond is between two handicapped people trying to understanding each other though their attitude to life is totally different.

Question 4 :
What is it that draws Derry towards Mr. Lamb inspite of himself ?

Answer 4 :

Lamb is a fourteen-year-old boy whose one side of face is burnt with acid. He comes to Mr. Lamb’s garden by climbing the outer wall thinking that there is nobody there. Mr. Lamb is an old man, who lives all alone in his house which has a big garden. He grows crab apples there and has beehives. He makes jelly from crab apples and toffees from honey. One side of Derry’s face is burnt with acid and he fights shy of meeting people.

He had many unpleasant experiences so he wants to lead a secluded life. But Mr. Lamb, who is lame because one of his legs was blown off in war and had a tin leg, does not seem to bother much about it. Unlike Derry, he is open to people and leads a normal life.

Derry is drawn towards Mr. Lamb because he can identify with him but his approach to life is different from that of Derry. Mr. Lamb enjoys meeting people despite the fact that the children call him ‘Lamey-Lamb’. He tells Derry that though there are fruits and flowers and trees and herbs of all sorts but there are weeds also.

He tells Derry that it is all life – growing same as Derry and himself. He tells Derry that Derry has got a burnt face and he has got a tin leg, but it is not important as there is no difference in Derry standing there and he sitting here. He advises Derry to keep his ears shut to what people say.

He tells Derry that locking oneself up in a room and never learning it is no solution. Mr. Lamb cites an example of a man who was afraid of the outside world where he could die, but a picture hanging on that room fell off the wall on his head and killed him. That is why Derry was drawn towards Mr. Lamb because he treated him kindly, was open-minded and had generosity of heart. He did not treat Derry as others were treating him. So, Derry was drawn towards Mr. Lamb for his sympathetic attitude, his practical wisdom and for his generosity and kindheartedness.

Question 5 :
In which section of the play does Mj|. Lamb display signs of loneliness and disappointment ? What are the ways in Which Mr. Lamb tries to overcome these feelings ?

Answer 5 :

Mr. Lamb is an old man, who lives all alone in his house, which has a big garden. He grows crab apples there and has beehives. When Derry enters the garden by climbing the wall, he thought that it was an empty house. Mr. Lamb tells Derry that it is empty as he is out there in the garden.

He says that it is empty until he goes back inside. It displays signs of his loneliness Mr. Lamb tells Derry that when he goes down the street, the kids shottt “Lamey-Lamb”. Derry asks Mr. Lamb how he will climb on a ladder and get the crab apples down.

He asks Mr. Lamb if he fell and broke his neck, he could lie on the grass and die. Mr. Lamb replies that he could. Mr. Lamb also seems to be disappointed when he says to himself that people say they will come back, but they don’t. They never come back. He was thinking so when Derry said that he would come back.

However, Mr. Lamb has found ways to overcome his feelings of loneliness and disappointment. His doors are open for everybody. He welcomes all those who come to him. He welcomes kids who come to him for toffees he makes of honey. Mr. Lamb says that his house is not empty but it is full of books. To overcome his loneliness Mr. Lamb reads books, sits in the garden and listens to music of bees. Moreover, he has lots of friends who are free to visit him.

Question 6 :
The actual pain or inconvenience caused by a physical impairment is often much less than the sense of alienation felt by the person with disabilities.

Answer 6 :

 What is the kind of behaviour that the person expects from others ?

Answer

Some people in this world unfortunately become victims of physical impairment. Usually, for such people the agony of physical pain or inconvenience is far less than the mental agonies they have to undergo. It hurts such persons when the people point out to their disabilities in the grab of showing sympathy. That is why such persons, like Derry, start avoiding people and feel alienated from them.

Derry is a fourteen-year-old boy who unfortunately had burnt one side of his face when the acid fell down on it. The agony of Derry is expressed when he says that he is not afraid of the people but the people are afraid of him. When people see his face they say that is bad, terrible and ugly. They call him a poor boy, which he thinks he is not. That is why he does not like being with people.

On the other hand, Mr. Lamb’s one leg was blown off in war and he has a tin leg. But being an old and a mature man, he knows better how to cope up with his handicap. He likes being with people. The gates of his house and garden are always open for everybody. He keeps himself busy by reading, listening to the music of bees and watching beauty of nature.

I think such people do not expect exaggerated sympathetic behaviour or sarcastic comments or comments showing fake pity. They just expect normal behaviour from other people. They don’t want that all the time they should be made conscious of their physical impairment.

Question 7 :
Will Derry get back to his old seclusion or will Mr. Lamb’s brief association effect a change in the kind of life he will lead in the future ?

Answer 7 :

Derry is a fourteen-year-old boy, one side of whose face is burnt with acid. After hearing so many taunts and unsympathetic remarks from people regarding his burnt face he does not like being with people. Derry enters Mr. Lamb’s garden thinking that it is empty.

But he finds Mr. Lamb there, who, to a large extent, changes his attitude towards life. Mr.Lamb cites examples to make Derry understand. He tells him that on one side of the corner in his garden he has grown weeds. He says that there is fruit, flowers, trees and herbs of all sorts in his garden but there are weeds also.

He tells Derry that it is all life …. growing same as Derry and himself. He tells him that he is old and Derry is young. Derry has got burnt face and he has got a tin leg. He says that it is not important. Derry tells Mr. Lamb that he does not like being near people.

Mr. Lamb says that then Derry could lock himself up in a room and never leave it. Mr. Lamb then narrated the story of a man who did that because he was afraid of everything in this world. So, he went into his room, and locked the door, and got into his bed, and stayed there. Derry asked ‘for ever’. Mr. Lamb said that for a while because a picture fell off the wall on his head and killed him.

I think due to his brief association with Mr. Lamb, Derry would not get back to his old seclusion. His attitude towards life will change and he is more likely to lead a normal life. It is evident when Derry tells his mother that it has nothing to do with his face and what he looks like. He says that he does not care about that and it is not important. Derry says that it is what he thinks and feels and what he wants to see and find out and hear. He says that he is going back to Mr. Lamb’s garden because if he does not go back there, he will never go anywhere in the world.

Question 8 :
Who is Derry and how does he enter Mr. Lamb’s garden ?

Answer 8 :

Derry is a fourteen-year-old boy who climbs the wall and enters Mr. Lamb’s garden. He walks slowly and hesitantly through the long grass of Mr. Lamb’s garden. He stops for a short while and then walks on again. He is surprised when Mr. Lamb tells him to mind the apples.

Question 9 :
“I thought it was empty an empty house.” How does Mr. Lamb react when Derry tells him so ?

Answer 9 :

Mr. Lamb says that he was there and that is all right. Mr. Lamb tells Derry that since he is out there in the garden, the house is indeed empty until he goes back inside.

Question 10 :
“Only you climbed the garden wall.” Whom does Derry tell Mr. Lamb about it and what does he say ?

Answer 10 :

Mr. Lamb told Derry that he saw him climbing the garden wall. Derry informed that he did not come to steal anything. Mr. Lamb said that the young lads steal and scrump the apples, but Derry was not so young.


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Chapter 6- On the Face of It Contributors

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