CBSE Class 11 English Textual Question Concepts and Assignments

CBSE important concepts and questions for chapter - Textual Question in CBSE Class XI English. Based on CBSE and CCE guidelines. The students should read these basic concepts and practice the assignments to gain perfection which will help them to get more marks in CBSE examination.


Textual Question - 20 Marks

Questions on the prescribed textbooks will test comprehension at different levels: literal, inferential and evaluative based on the following prescribed textbooks:

1. Hornbill : Text Book published by NCERT, New Delhi 12 Marks

2. Snapshots : Supplementary Reader published by NCERT, New Delhi 08 Marks

The following have been deleted:


Name of the Text Book Name of the lessons deleted

Hornbill 1. Landscape of the Soul

2. The Adventure

3. Silk Road

4. The Laburnum Top (Poetry)

Snapshots 5. The Ghat of the only World

Question 9: One out of two extracts based on poetry from the text to test reference to context, comprehension and appreciation. 01x04 = 04 Marks

Question 10: Five out of six short answer questions (up to 40 words) on the lessons from

poetry prose and plays from both Hornbill and Snapshots with 3+3 pattern. (3 questions each

from each book) 05X02 = 10 Marks

Question 11: One out of two long answer questions based on the prescribed Text Books both

Hornbill and Snapshots with 1+1 pattern. (150 Words) 01X06 = 06 Marks

A PHOTOGRAPH by Shirley Toulson

The cardboard; here it refers to the photo frame; showed the speaker how life was when the two cousin sisters went paddling; to propel or travel in a canoe or the like by using a paddle: to row lightly or gently with oars: to move by means of paddle wheels, as a steamer: to propel with a paddle: to spank or beat with or as with a paddle: to stir, mix, or beat with or as with a paddle: to convey by paddling, as a canoe: here it means walked barefoot in shallow water; with each one of them holding the speaker’s mother’s hands. The bigger girl of the cousin sisters must be about twelve years old. All three of them stood still shoulder to shoulder to smile through their long hair at the camera whose picture was taken by the uncle holding it. The mother had a sweet and pleasant smile before her child was born into this world. The sea in which they were paddling; which seemed to not have been changed; washed their terribly transient; not lasting, enduring, or permanent; transitory: lasting only a short time; existing briefly; temporary: staying only a short

time: here it means short lived; wet feet.

After twenty to thirty years later, the mother took out the photograph and laughed at the snapshot. The two cousin sisters were Betty and Dolly. She found it so hilarious at the manner that they dressed up for the beach. The sea holiday was her past for the mother while it was laughter for the speaker. Both mother and daughter wry; produced by a distortion or lopsidedness of the facial features: abnormally bent or turned to one side; twisted; crooked: devious in course or purpose; misdirected; contrary; perverse: distorted or perverted, as in meaning: bitterly or disdainfully ironic or amusing; at the labored ease of loss. But now the mother has been dead for the past few years just as one of those cousin sisters’ lives. Out of all these circumstances, there is nothing else left to say. The matter is closed and silence has sealed its fate.


1. The poet looks at the cardboard on which there is a childhood photograph of her mother.

2. She had gone for a sea holiday with two her cousins Betty and Dolly

3. While they were paddling, their uncle took a photograph of them.

4. Both the cousins were holding the hands of her mother who was the eldest among the girls.

5. This was before the poet was born

6. Time fled past since and all those who are in the photograph under went changes while the sea remained the same.

7. Her mother would look at the photograph after about twenty to thirty years and laugh nostalgically.

8. Now for the poet her mother’s laughter and her sea holiday is a thing of the past.

9. Her mother died about 12 years ago.

10. The silence of the photograph silences the poet.

11. She experiences great loss.


An oxymoron is a term or statement that contradicts itself, or seems to. Examples often given are "giant shrimp" or "controlled chaos". Some are literary effects designed to create a paradox, while others are done for humor.

The poem "A Photograph" contains the oxymoron "laboured ease", which in the context of loss may mean avoiding the public display of grief.

Q. Read the stanza given below very carefully an answer the questions that follow: 1X4=4


The cardboard shows me how it was

When the two girl cousins went paddling,

Each one holding one of my mother’s hands,

And she the big girl – some twelve years or so.

a. What does the ‘cardboard’ show the poet?

Ans: The ‘cardboard’ shows the poet the scene on the sea beach with three girls.

b. Why did the two girl cousins hold one of the poet’s mother’s hands?

Ans: As the poet’s mother was ‘the big girl’ i. e. elder in age so the two girl cousins hold one of her hands.

c. How old was the oldest girl among the three cousins?

Ans: The oldest among the three cousins was some twelve years old.

d. How did the girls go to the sea beach?

Ans: The girls went to the sea beach ‘paddling’ means barefooted.


Now she’s been dead nearly as many years

As that girl lived. And of this circumstance

There is nothing to say at all.

Its silence silences.

a. How long has the poet’s mother been dead?

Ans: The poet’s mother has been dead for about twelve years.

b. What is the meaning of the word ‘circumstance’ in the poem?

Ans: The word ‘circumstance’ in the poem means the death of the poet’s mother.

c. Why is there nothing to say at all?

Ans: There is nothing to say at all because the poet has lost her mother and her beautiful smile forever.

d. What silences the silence?

Ans: The silence of the death silences the silence.

Q. Write answers of the following questions in about 40 words each: (2 marks each)

a. Describe the three girls as they pose for the photograph?

Ans: The three girls went to the sea beach to be photographed by their uncle. The younger cousins were holding hands of the elder cousin. They smiled through their hair as they stood still for a photograph.

b. Why would the poet’s mother laugh at the snapshot?

Ans: The poet’s mother would laugh at the snapshot as it would revive her memories of the old happy days on the sea beach and the strange way in which they were dressed for the beach.

c. What are the losses of the poet’s mother and the poet?

Ans: The poet’s mother’s loss is of her old happy days on the sea beach while the loss of the poet is the beautiful smile of her mother as she is now dead.

d. The entire poem runs through the lament of loss of something near and dear. Which feeling is presented prominently here?

Ans: The nostalgic feeling is presented prominently the poem.


By Walt Whitman


The speaker enquired from the soft falling shower as to who or what it really is? Though it may appear to be very strange to express it in words, yet the soft rain seemed to give the speaker an answer which can be translated as follows: that it is the poem of the earth that rises eternally from an impalpable; not palpable; incapable of being perceived by the sense of touch; intangible: difficult for the mind to grasp readily or easily:(of powder) so fine that when rubbed between the fingers no grit is felt; something that cannot be touched; portion of the land and the bottomless sea. Upward to heaven, to the immeasurable heights of the sky, from whence it vaguely forms, altogether change and yet the same. It descends to lave; (of a river, sea, etc.) to flow along, against, or past; wash: Obsolete. To ladle; pour or dip with a ladle: wash or bathe; the droughts; a period of dry weather, esp. a long one that is injurious to crops: an extended shortage; atomies; tiny particles; and the dust layers of the globe. All that is in the world without the rain were only seeds that are latent; hidden; and unborn. Eternally, day and night, and round the clock, it gives back life to its own origin, to make the earth pure and beautify it. (For song, issuing from its birth place, after fulfillment, wandering Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns); to have care, concern, or regard (often fol. by of, with, or a clause): to take heed: Archaic . To be of concern or importance; matter.


Q. 1 Read the extract carefully and answer the questions that follow: 1x4=4

And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin.

And make pure and beautify it.

(For song, issuing from its birth place, after fulfilment, wandering

Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns)

1) How is the cyclic movement of rain brought out in the poem?

2) What is the significance of the world ‘song’ here?

3) How does the rain benefit the earth?

4) Who is ‘I’ here?

Ans :

1) The poem gives a clear picture of how clouds are formed and how they dissolve into water again.

2) The word ‘song’ is the repetition of the earlier expression-poem of the earth.

3) It is a real benefactor of the earth .It makes the earth pure and beautiful.

4) ‘I’ is referred as the rain.

Q.2. And who art thou? said I to the soft falling shower

Which strange to tell gave me an answer ,as here translated:

I am the Poem of Earth ,said the voice of the rain,

Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea. 1x4=4


1)The ‘I’ in the third line stands for:

a)the rain b) the poet c) the reader d) Earth

2) ‘I’ in the third and fourth line stands for:

a) the poet b) the voice of the rain c) Earth d) the sea

3) ‘Eternal I rise’ means:

a)formation of cloud from vapour b) heaven c) heavenly bodies

d) None of these

Refer to attached file for CBSE Class XI Textual Question Concepts and Assignments



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