NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Vistas Chapter 8 Memories of Childhood is a detailed account of what you will learn in Class 12 English Vistas Chapter 8 Memories of Childhood. To successfully pass CBSE Class 12 English exam and get an excellent grade on your report card at the end of it all you need a thorough understanding and comprehension of NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Vistas Chapter 8 Memories of Childhood which we have made sure covers everything important!
Memories of Childhood NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Vistas Chapter 8
Memories of Childhood NCERT Text Book Questions and Answers
Memories of Childhood Reading with Insight
The two accounts that you read above are based on two distant cultures. What is the commonality theme found in both of them?
The main theme is the universal hatred against discrimination (both, racial and class discrimination) and oppression. This barrier is across time and space, which is clear from the two accounts given here of women belonging to two cultures, different places and in different times. The commonality lies in both of them being autobiographical accounts of women of marginalised communities.
Both excerpts talk about the prejudices and humiliation faced by the oppressed class from mainstream culture. Both the women bravely use their talent and education to stand up not only for their own, but also their community’s rights. Both use the power of pen to fight oppression.
It may take a long time for oppression to be resisted, but the seeds of rebellion are sowed early in life. Do you agree that injustice in any form cannot escape being noticed even by children?
The world has been gripped in the web of stratification, oppression and discrimination at many levels. While the adults have grown used to this, the innocence of childhood does not understand hatred and prejudice. However, their keen observant eye is capable enough to notice any form of injustice and discrimination. When subjected to such evil . practices, their sensitive minds and hearts are deeply affected. Perplexed, they often resist in their own simple ways.
In the lesson, the two girls describe their encounters with inequality. Zitkala-Sa, in the very first line reports that her first day in school was “bitter-cold”. For her, it not only describes the weather, but also represents the cold and unwelcome atmosphere of the boarding school.
The overly disciplined students of the school and the European staff were unfriendly or “cold” towards her, and the vain struggle against her hair being shingled was a “bitter” experience for her. On the other hand, Bama walked on her brother’s footsteps to protest against the practice of untouchability through education. She studied wholeheartedly to reach a position where people would forget her “caste” and feel proud to befriend her.
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?
Zitkala-Sa is the victim of social discrimination beloging to a tribe of native Americans. The white-skinned settlers of Europe consider local tribes as inferior. They treat them like animals. Both Bama and Zitkala-Sa refuse to bow to the injustice they are subjected to. Both protest in their own way. Zitkala-Sa does not want her hair to be shingled as amongst her tribe, shingled hair is regarded as a sign of cowardice. She struggles with all her might, when she was tied to a chair. Towards the end, however, the little one has to give up. Bama, on her part, decides to work hard in her studies, so that others realise her worth and become her friends.
Memories of Childhood Extra Questions and Answers
Memories of Childhood Short Answer Questions
How was Zitkala-Sa different from the other Native American students?
Zitkala-Sa was a Native American girl. She had great love for her tradition and culture. She was proud of her beliefs. She held these beliefs close to her heart and felt hurt when the rest of the girls followed the foreign culture without any hesitation.
Mention any two reasons because of which it would take thirty minutes to an hour for Bama to reach home?
(Memories of Childhood—We too are human beings)
What would take ‘Bama’ half an hour to cover ten minutes distance?
There were many reasons why Bama took long to reach home. She would watch all the fun and games going on the road, she would also look at the shops and bazaars; she loved looking at the performing monkey and the snake charmers. The various food stalls, the street plays, the political meetings, the Maariyaata temple, the pongal offerings being cooked in front of the temple she could just go on and on looking at the beautiful sights.
Why was the girl tied to a chair in Memories of Childhood?
The girl, Zitkala-Sa was refusing to accept the school’s decision to shingle the hair of all girls. According to her traditions and customs, a girl’s long hair was shingled only when captured by enemy, in mourning or for cowards. She felt insulted and hid herself. She was finally caught and forcefully tied to a chair and her long hair was chopped off.
Why did Zitkala-Sa not want her hair to be cut short?
Zitkala-Sa belonged to a Native American warrior tribe. Their tradition was to keep long and heavy hair. Only those warriors, captured by the enemy, had their hair shingled. Short hair was worn by mourners, and shingled hair by cowards. Therefore, for her, this was absolutely atrocious.
When did Bama first come to know of the social discrimination faced by the people of her community?
Bama came to know of the social discrimination when she was in class 3. On her way back from school, she saw an elder from her community carrying a small packet of eatables by a string without touching it. She found it very funny that a huge elderly man was carrying a small packet so strangely. Later on, she discovers from her brother that the real reason was that the landlords were of a higher class and they thought that their food would get polluted, if touched by people from her caste.
How did Zitkala-Sa try to prevent the shingling of her hair?
Describe how Zitkala-Sa tried in vain to save her hair from being cut. Why did she want to save her hair?
Zitkala-Sa went upstairs and crawled under a bed to hide herself. But to her plight, she was caught and brought downstairs and tied to a chair. Though she made many voluble protests, they were not fruitful. She cried, shook her head all the while but could not avoid her hair from being shingled.
Zitkala-Sa belonged to a Native American warrior tribe. Their tradition was to keep long and heavy hair. Only those warriors captured by the enemy had their hair shingled. Short hair was worn by mourners, and shingled hair by cowards. Therefore, for her, this was absolutely atrocious.
What are the similarities in the lives of Bama and Zitkala-Sa though they belong to different cultures?
What kind of discrimination did Bama and Zitkala-Sa experience? How did they respond to their respective situations?
Both Bama and Zitkala-Sa are victims of racial discrimination. Zitkala-Sa was a Native American and their community was treated poorly. The white skinned settlers of Europe considered local tribes as inferior. Similarly, Bama was a Dalit and was treated badly by the higher caste people.
Both of them have painful experiences as they were subjected to humiliation merely as they belonged to backward tribes or communities. Both of them protest in their own ways and try their best to overcome all these humiliations. Zitkala-Sa fights against the shingling of hair by hiding, voicing out her protests aloud. Bama tries to study hard and be successful.
How was Zitkala-Sa’s hair cut?
Zitkala-Sa’s hair was cut even after her resistance and strong opposition. It was all in vain since her stiff resistance was met with equally stiff efforts. She was tied to a chair and amidst her loud disapproval, her hair was cut.
Why did the landlord’s man ask Bama’s brother, on which street he lived? What was the significance?
The street on which a person lived signified the caste of a person. Each street was dominated by a particular caste.
What did Zitkala-Sa feel when her long hair was cut?
Zitkala-Sa was terribly shocked. She was in tears. She cried for her mother. However, no one came to comfort or reason out with her.
Why was Zitkala-Sa terrified when Judewin told her that her hair would be cut short?
Judewin had overheard a talk about shingling of hair of all girls. Zitkala-Sa belonged to a native American warrior tribe. Their tradition was to keep long and heavy hair. Only those warriors captured by the enemy had their hair shingled. Short hair was worn by mourners, and shingled hair by cowards. Therefore, for her, this was absolutely atrocious and terrifying. Therefore, she decided to rebel by hiding herself.
What advice did Annan offer Bama?
Annan asked Bama to study hard and to top all exams. He also told her that if she was successful in life, people would come to her of their own accord.
At the dining table, why did Zitkala-Sa begin to cry when others started eating?
Zitakala-Sa was not used to eating by formula. She was confused and sat down when others stood up and vice versa. She felt out of place and embarrassed in the school. The matron was angry with her and kept staring at her. This made Zitkala-Sa more uncomfortable and she started crying when the others started eating.
How did Zitkala-Sa’s first day in the land of apples begin?
The first day in school was a bitter and cold day. The noise made by the breakfast bell, the clatter of the shoes and the constant murmuring voices in a foreign tongue annoyed Zitkala-Sa. She saw girls marching into dining room wearing tight fitting clothes. Zitkala-Sa found this immodest.
According to Zitkala-Sa, what does ‘eating by formula’ mean?
There was a fixed procedure for breakfast. With the first bell, everyone had to pull the chairs, at the second bell, everyone had to sit down. Finally, at the third bell, everyone had to start eating with forks and knives. Zitkala-Sa called it eating by formula. She felt out of place and started crying.
What were the indignities that Zitkala-Sa had to suffer for being from a marginalised community?
Zitkala-Sa was tied with the chair and her braids were gnawed off. She became helpless. She felt herself like a wooden puppet tossed in the air. She felt herself like one of those sheep (cattle) driven by a herder.
Memories of Childhood Long Answer Questions
Describe how the narrator in ‘The Cutting of My Long Hair’ resists and fights against ‘ the attempt of shingling her long and heavy hair. How is she ultimately made to lose her distinct cultural identity?
The narrator’s friend Judewin gave her a terrible warning. She knew a few words of English. She had overheard the ‘pale-faced woman’. She had talked about cutting the long and heavy hair of Native American girls. It was a shocking news. Their mothers had taught them that shingled hair was worn only by cowards. Judewin advised her to submit. The narrator had made a decision. She was not to submit. She was to struggle and fight against that oppression.
The narrator disappeared unnoticed. She crawled under the bed and cuddled herself in the dark corner. She shuddered with fear, whenever she heard footsteps nearby. Voices became louder.
They stormed into the room. She was dragged out. She resisted by kicking and scratching wildly. She was carried downstairs and tied fast to a chair. Then they gnawed off her long and beautiful hair. No one came forward to help her. Nor was anybody present there to console her. Thus, the narrator lost her distinct cultural recognition and identity. Now, she was only one of the many little animals driven by a herder.
The narrator in ‘We Too Are Human Beings’ is amused at the way the elder of her street carried the food packet by its string without touching it. But the same girl is provoked and becomes angry when Annan makes her aware of the social inequality and untouchability in the social system. Describe how the narrator attains honour and dignity in spite of her humble birth.
The narrator in ‘We Too Are Human Beings’ passes through different phases of mental and physical development. The role of her elder brother (Annan) in shaping her personality can’t be minimised. He inspired her to fight against inequality and untouchability. The narrator saw a threshing floor set up at one corner of her street. An old man of her street attracted her attention. The elder came along from the direction of the bazaar.
He was a big man carrying a small packet of food by its string without touching it. She thought it quite funny. She narrated the incident to her elder brother, but he was not amused. The man was not being funny. He belonged to a ‘low caste’. He couldn’t touch the food packet. She
felt terribly sad. She felt provoked and angry that she wanted to touch those vadais herself straightaway. Annan described that the people of their caste were not respected and given importance.
Education, learning and prosperity bring honour and dignity.The narrator was inspired by his words. She studied hard and stood first in the class. Then many friends came to her on their own accord.
Both Bama and Zitkala-Sa are victims of discrimination that is practised in the society. What kind of experience did both of them go through?
The lesson, ‘Memories of Childhood’ deals with the autobiographical accounts of women of marginalised communities. Both narrate the prejudices and humiliation faced by them from mainstream culture. The former is a victim of racial discrimination, whereas the latter is a victim of caste discrimination.
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