CBSE Class 10 English The Trees Assignment

The Trees

INTRODUCTION—
‘The Trees’ shows the conflict between man and nature. With the growth and development of society, human beings have used nature for their own benefit and caused a lot of harm to it. In order to use natural resources men have forgotten the importance of nature.

SUMMARY—
Adrienne Rich’s poem ‘The Trees’ is a voice with a body engaged in activities and sensing intrusions that are not organic to the conventions of a nature poem. This poem narrates the struggle of a population of trees to escape the confines of a green house or container of nature.
The poet tells us that how trees want to break out of the bondage of man-made things and reunite with their natural surroundings. The message is that the forests have disappeared. So people have planted trees in their homes. Trees are revolting as they have lost their natural usefulness. No bird nests in them, nor do they spread their shadows to the tired people.

1. The trees inside are moving out into the forest,
the forest that was empty all these days
where no bird could sit
no insect hide
no sun bury its feet in shadow
the forest that was empty all these nights
will be full of trees by morning

Explanation:
The poet observes that the trees in his house are moving outside into the forest which has been empty for a long time. It is important to understand that the trees are not actually moving, but it has been used as an imagery by the poet to show the destroyed forests and the false nature that humans have tried to keep in their houses. Since the forest outside was empty, no birds could sit on the branches of trees, no insects could hide in the trees and sunlight could never disappear under the shadows of the trees. The speaker feels that the empty forest will be full of trees by the next morning.

 

2. All night the roots work
to disengage themselves from the cracks
in the veranda floor.
The leaves strain toward the glass
small twigs stiff with exertion
long-cramped boughs shuffling under the roof
like newly discharged patients
half-dazed, moving
to the clinic doors.

Explanation:
It seems like the trees work silently in the night in order to complete their mission of getting free from the boundaries of the house. Therefore, they work all night to free themselves through the cracks on the Verenda floor. The leaves of the trees try very hard to put a lot of pressure on the glass so that they could break it. The small twigs have become very hard due to applying so much pressure to free themselves. The large branches of the trees try to move slowly from there and look like newly discharged patients from a hospital, who become half-shocked on coming to the outside world.

 

3. I sit inside, doors open to the verandah
Writing long letters
In which I scarcely mention the departure
of the forest from the house.
The night is fresh, the whole moon shines
in a sky still open
the smell of leaves and lichen
still reaches like a voice into the rooms.

Explanation: The poet sits in her house, writing long letters, with the doors of house opening to the Veranda.She mentions in her letters about the trees that are moving out to the empty forest. It is a full moon night where the moon is shining in the open sky and the night is very fresh. The poet smells the leaves and lichens coming from the trees that reach her like a voice.

 

4. My head is full of whispers
which tomorrow will be silent.
Listen. The glass is breaking.
The trees are stumbling forward
into the night. Winds rush to meet them.
The moon is broken like a mirror,
its pieces flash now in the crown
of the tallest oak.

Explanation:
The poet listens to the sounds coming from the leaves and lichens of the trees. These sounds will not be there in the morning as the trees will move out to the forest in the night and will not be in the house by morning. Now, the poet can hear the glass breaking due to the efforts of the twigs. The trees hurry outside stumbling on each other. As the trees go in the open, it seems like the wind is moving fast towards them to meet them. The trees are so tall that they have the moon into pieces like a broken mirror. The moon sits like the crowns on the head of the tall oak tree.

Extract Based Questions 

Read the lines given below and answer the questions that follow :

1. The leaves strain toward the glass
Small twigs stiff with exertion
Long cramped boughs shuffling under the roof
Like newly discharged patients
Half dazed moving
To the clinic doors.

Question. What are the branches compared to ?
(i) doctors
(ii) nurses
(iii) patients
(iv) clinic
Answer.(iii) patients


Question. Which word in the passage means same as ‘small’ ?

(i) strain
(ii) exertion
(iii) boughs
(iv) twigs
Answer.(iv) twigs


Question. Where does the leaves strain toward ?

(i) the wall
(ii) the glass
(iii) the ground
(iv) the air
Answer.(ii) the glass


Question. What is the figure of speech in ‘like newly discharged patients’ ?

(i) metapho
r (ii) alliteration
(iii) imagery
(iv) simile
Answer.(iv) simile

 

2. Listen. The glass is breaking.
The trees are stumbling forward
into the night. Winds rush to meet them.
The moon is broken like a mirror,
its pieces flash now in the crown,
of the tallest oak.


Question. Who is breaking the glass ?
(i) leaves
(ii) branches
(iii) shoot
(iv) root
Answer.(ii) branches


Question. The wind rushes to greet the ………..

(i) sun
(ii) moon
(iii) birds
(iv) trees
Answer.(iv) tees


Question. Which is the tallest tree in the passage ?

(i) pine
(ii) oak
(iii) Ashok
(iv) coconut
Answer.(ii) oak


Question. How is moon broken ?

(i) like a toy
(ii) like a mirror
(iii) like a crystal
(iv) like a glass
Answer.(ii) like a mirror  

 

Short Answer Type Questions

Question. What are the three things that can’t happen in a treeless forest ? 
Answer. The three things that cannot happen in a treeless forest are-the sitting of a bird on trees, the hiding of insects and the burying of sun’s feet in the shadow of the forest. 


Question. What does the poet compare the branches of the trees to ? 

Answer. The poet compares the boughs and branches of the trees to the newly discharged patients moving out of the clinic doors in a half dazed condition, stifled under the strain of confinement. They are desperate to stretch themselves in the open and get a breath of fresh air.


Question. Where are the trees in the poem ? What do their roots, leaves and twigs do ? 

Answer. The poem by Adrienne Rich is referring to the trees grown indoor for their aesthetic beauty. The poet imagines that the trees are stifled in confined places and struggle to move in the open towards their natural habitat. The roots make a deliberate effort to disentangle themselves from the cracks in the floor while the leaves and twigs exert themselves to break the glass barrier of the window and emerge into the open.

 

Long Answer Type Question

Question. What is the central idea of the poem ‘The Trees’.
Answer. The poem ‘The Trees’ states that in the conflict between man and nature, man has caused much harm to nature. Man has learnt to acquire a lot of material goods, but forgotten the importance of preserving nature. As a result, large forests have been cut down, animals have been killed and water bodies have been destroyed. Man has judged nature wrongly to be weak, whereas nature is the most powerful. Any natural disaster can not be prevented, though we are moving in a technologically advanced world. The destructive forms of nature e.g. flood, earthquake, volcanoes, tornadoes etc. teach man that the real power lies with nature and it can do anything. The poet wants to give the message that the presence of a few trees inside our homes does not become equal to nature, it is a very false idea of nature. Real nature is outside, in the forests that we have destroyed. The poem tells us how the trees want to break free from the walls that humans have put around them, and go out in the forest. We shall stop cutting trees, otherwise we will be responsible for the deleterious consequences.

 


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