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English Class 12th ~ Chapter 6. On the face of It (Susan Hill)

                                    On the face of It 

On the face of it,class12th,english buddy,ncert,cbse, flamingo ...

Points to Remember
1. Mr. Lamb is sitting all alone in his garden.
2. Suddenly Derry entered the garden thinking no one was inside the house.
3. Derry is scared to ee Mr. Lamb sitting in the garden.
4. Mr. Lamb told him that his gates were always open for all the people.
5. Mr. Lamb assured him That he could stay there if he wanted to sit there.
6. Derry told him that the people were afraid of his burnt face and hated him.
7. Mr. Lamb convinced him that both of them were similar as both of them were lonely and with one disability.
8. Mr. Lamb also told him that he did not bother about what other say.
9. Derry was affected by the positive thoughts of Mr. Lamb.
10. Gradually Derry was able to realise that he too was better than many people.
11. He decided to go to inform his mother and come back to help Mr. Lamb.
12. When Derry came there again, he was shocked to see that Mr. Lamb had fallen from the ladder and bled to death.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why did Derry avoid people?
Ans. Derry used to avoid people, became reclusive and introvert.Actually, his physical deformity took a tool on his mental health. He perceived that everybody was looking at and thinking about him.
Thus, he developed a sort of inferiority complex and shut himself with in his self imposed confinement, out of reach of the outer world.

2. Why did Mr. Lamb keep the door of his home open?
Ans. Mr. Lamb was projected as the other side of the coin, in sharp contrast of reclusive and cocooned Derry. Mr. Lamb was a forthcoming fellow with open personality despite his physical
impairment. He had many friends and welcoming attitude towards one and all. His open personality is represented by the open doors and curtain less windows of his home.

3. Why Did Derry come back to meet Mr. Lamb?
Ans. Mr. Lamb's attitude towards life changed the mindset of Derry in short meeting. Derry found wings, a new perception about himself which opened a whole new world for him and gave him a new lease of life. Though, his mother tried to stop him to revisit Mr. Lamb, but Derry never listened to her.

4. What did Derry's mother think of Mr. Lamb?
Why did Derry's mother stop him, going to Mr. Lamb?
Ans. Derry's mother does not hold a good opinion about Mr. Lamb. She has heard many things about the old man, therefore, stops Derry to visit Mr. Lamb.

5. Why does Derry go back to Mr. Lamb in the end?
Ans. Actually Mr. Lamb has taught Derry, the most important lesson of life. He advises him not to care about the comments made by others. He now no longer cares about his burned face or looks. He is more concerned what he thinks and feels, what he wants to hear and see. He returns to Mr. Lamb.

6. How does Mr. Lamb influence Derry?
Ans. Lamb tells that he is old and has a tin leg. Children tease him calling Lamey-Lamb, but still they come to his garden. They are not afraid
of him because he is not afraid of them. He is never bothered about his old age or tin leg as life has many more things to offer.

7.How does Derry's attitude change?
Ans.Derry has developed a negative attitude towards life. He has got inferiority complex in his mind. He thinks people despise and hate him on account of his ugly face. So he wants seclusion.

8.What is it that draws Derry towards Mr. Lamb?
Ans.Derry found Mr. Lamb to be uniquely different and agreeable from all the people he had met in his life. He was quite friendly, amiable, easy to talk to, and pleasant. First time in his life he met someone who had shown interest in him. The most surprising quality that he liked in him was his acceptance of him. He had not shown any shock at his scar. He felt safe, secure, and unembarrassed in his company. So, he felt himself drawn to Mr. Lamb.

9.What do you think the play "On the Face of It" is all about"?
Ans. It is the bond of physical impairment that unites old Mr Lamb and the small boy, Derry. He got his leg blown off during the war and since then he has a tin leg. Derry got one side of his face burnt by acid.

10.How does Lamb try to remove the baseless fears of Derry?
Ans.Mr Lamb tries to remove the baseless fears of Derry by telling him that nothing in this world is so worthless that it deserves to be considered as trash. Even weeds have their own value. He advises Derry to ignore people's comments and think of beautiful objects.

11."I"m not afraid. People are afraid of me", say Derry. What do people think on seeing his face? How do they react then?
Ans.Mr Lamb learns from Derry that the latter does not like being near peopleThey stare at his face and feel afraid of him as half of it has been burnt by acid and looks very ugly. Mr Lamb offers him a new way bf thinking. He tells him about a person who was afraid of everything and locked himself in a room.

12.What argument does Derry give to convince his mother why he wants to go the old man's garden?
Ans.He told his mother that that he like to talk to mr. Lamb and want to explore it more.

13.How does Mr. Lamb explain his concept of the world?
Ans.Mr Lamb believes that beauty was relative and he enjoyed everything that God had made. He respected the individuality of God's creation. ... His concept of the world is quite unique and different from others because he thinks the world is where you are and nowhere else.

14.What is the attitude of Mr Lamb to the small boy who comes to his garden?
Ans."Mr lamb is an old man with a tin leg. And Derry is a boy of fourteen in the story, “On the face of it”. The attitude of Mr lamb to the small boy, Derry, who comes to his garden is very gentle, comfort and protective. He advices him not be afraid and can come to this garden anytime.

15.Do you think Mr. lamb was equally lonely and dejected! Why!

Ans.No, MrLamb was not equally lonely and dejected because he had learnt to overcome his loneliness by keeping his gate open for people to come and visit. He never curtained his windows and imagined kids and people walking all over his garden. He had developed a positive approach to life.

16.Who was Derry What did he suffer from?
Ans. Derry, a complex-stricken lad of fourteen, is a victim of inferiority complex which is borne out of a misinterpretation of himself and the world. He suffers from an acute sense of self-hatred and rejection due to his burnt face and this leads him to total alienation.

Long Answer Questions

1. The actual pain or inconvenience caused by a physical impairment is often much less than the sence of isolation felt by the person with disabilities. How can we help and support them?
Ans. Actual pain or inconvenience caused by physical impairment is often less than the sense of alienation felt by the person with disabilities. Physical disabilities cause pain once in life time and cause mental agony. Mr. Lamb is called Lamely Lamb and mothers were afraid of sending the children because of his tin leg. Derry has burnt face and everyone pities him. Only the mother could love that face. Both Mr. Lamb and Derry have been the victims of verbal atrocities. Mr. Lamb takes comments lightly. But Derry does not have the attitude like Mr. Lamb. Attitude of the people needs to be changed. Disable persons do not want sympathy but to be accepted them as they are. Wounds get healed but bitter comments never forgotten and leaves a scar.

2.Compare and contrast the characters of Mr. Lamb and Derry.
Ans. Derry was a boy whose face was burnt because of acid and Mr. lamb was an old person who had a tin leg because his leg was blown off by a bomb in the war.the common thing in both of them was that they both were physically impaired but their attitude towards life were very much opposite.After having a tin leg also Mr.lamb had a positive attitude towards life and he liked to communicate with other people.when children teased by calling him by the name lamey lamb ,he did not feel awkward but in contrast to him Derry had a very negative perception towards life.he did not like to communicate with people and always wanted a lonely place to spent time.

3.What is the bond that unites old Mr. Lamb and Derry the young boy? How does the old man inspire the small boy?


The answer is The bond that unites old man Lamb and the young boy Derry stems from a feeling of comfort that the latter finds with the old man who does not treat him differently because of his disability. The former inculcates in the latter a positive attitude and the confidence that our flaws become impediments to our success only if we allow them to be. Both of them have felt a sense of alienation but Lamb has learned to take it in his stride through experience and this is the knowledge that he imparts to the boy.

Mr Lamb observes that Derry had two arms, legs, ears and eyes plus a tongue and brain which meant that he would get on the way like all the rest. If Derry chose and set his mind to it, then he could get on better than the rest. He adds that he had a lot of friends even though he lived alone because he was always open to welcoming people. So, anybody could come and sit in front of the fire in the winter and kids came for the apples, pears and toffees. To him, people were never just nothing and they had their own distinct woes to deal with. Not every person with a burned face had the same issues to deal with. Everything was same but everything was also different. In Mr Lamb's opinion, our difficulties or flaws should not become the governing factors of our life because then bitterness and disappointment would seep into everything. Derry understood that he should not be selfishly absorbed in his own woes and also think about the possibility of suffering being differential in nature.​

4.Give the character sketch of Derry.
Ans.Derry is a 14 year old young lad whose face is half burnt because of acid spill on it. His ugly looks made him a pessimist and a loner with various negative complexes. Derry was always introverted, frustrated, angry, and withdrawn. Moreover, he always had low confidence and dwelled in self-pity apart from always being suspicious about others’ intentions towards him.

Question.1. Why did Mr Lamb help Derry? (Compartment 2014)
Answer. Mr Lamb and Derry were both victims of physical impairment or deformity. However, unlike
Derry, who became enr^ittered because of it, Mr Lamb was always full of life. His physical suffering had failed to damper his spirit. Thus, Mr Lamb helped Derry because he wanted him to change his perspective towards life and enjoy every moment of it.
Question.2. In what sense is the friendship between Mr Lamb and Derry fruitful? (Compartment 2014)
Answer. The friendship that flourished between Mr Lamb and Derry was indeed fruitful. Mr Lamb’s unending enthusiasm and unceasing zeal to live life despite all odds helped Derry change his outlook towards life. Derry, who was just carrying on an unhappy existence, was able to see some meaning to his life after meeting Mr Lamb.
Question.3. If you were to give a different ending to the story, ‘On The Face of It’ how would you
end it? (All India 2013)
Answer. The ending of the story, ‘On the face of It’ is very sad as Mr Lamb is probably dead. In my opinion, such a beautiful story should not have such a tragic ending. In the end, Derry should have saved Mr Lamb from falling by holding the ladder at the last moment. This would have given a message of hope.
Question.4. How does Mr Lamb keep himself busy when it is a bit cool? (Delhi 2012)
Answer. Mr Lamb was a person who could survive and enjoy in all circumstances and seasons. When it got cooler, Mr Lamb kept himself busy by breaking the crab apples from the trees in his garden and making jelly from them.
Question.5. Why does Mr Lamb leave his gate always open? (All India 2011)
Answer. Mr Lamb always left his gate open because he did riot mind strangers entering his house or garden. Probably also because he was not afraid of anything.
Question.6. What is the bond that unites the two—Mr Lamb, the old and Derry, the small boy?
How does the old man inspire the little boy? (Foreign 2011)
Answer. It is physical disability in different forms, the empathetic feeling that creates a bond, which unites the old man and Derry. Although both face the same problem, there is a vast difference in the attitude to and perception of the problem.
The old man has an upper hand #n life and experience due to his age, which gives him the zest to inspire the little boy.
Question.7. What qualities of Mr Lamb attracted Derry to him? (All India 2009)
Answer. Mr Lamb was aperson full of life. Sadness or negativity found no place in his world. His physical impairment and people’s humiliating remarks had failed to dampen his spirit. His undying optimism and ever friendly attitude drew Derry towards him. For Derry, Mr Lamb was his source of inspiration.
Question.8. What did Derry’s mother think of Mr Lamb? (All India 2009)
Answer. When Derry informed his mother of Mr Lamb and that he wanted to sit with him, she did not like it. She thought that he was not a good man and she did not want her son to remain in touch with him for any purpose.
Question.9. How does Mr Lamb try to remove the baseless fears of Derry? (All India 2008)
Answer. Mr Lamb tries to remove the baseless fears of Derry by telling him that nothing in this world is so worthless that it deserves to be considered as trash. Even weeds have their own value. He advises Derry to ignore people’s comments and think of beautiful objects. He tells him to hear only those things that are worth hearing. It is attitude that matters.

Question.10.What is the bond that unites the two—the old Mr Lamb and Derry, the small boy?
How does the old man inspire the small boy? (Delhi 2013)
Answer. Derry, a small boy, had a side of his face burnt as acid had fallen over it. Thus he grew up to be withdrawn arid defiant.
The old Mr Lamb got one of his legs blown off in a war and had a tin leg in place of it. He lived alone, but unlike Derry, he did not let his handicap rule his life.
The physical impairment somehow united the feelings of both of them. But their attitudes to their respective situations were totally different. Mr Lamb came as an angel in the sad life of Derry. He told Derry that beauty is not limited to looks but it is in how you feel from inside. He taught him to enjoy life to the fullest.
Mr Lamb’s encouraging words elevated Derry’s confidence. For the first time in his life, he wanted to live for himself. Thus he was inspired by the old man.
Question.11.The lesson, ‘On the Face of It’ is an apt depiction of the loneliness and sense of
alienation experienced by people on account of a disability. Explain. (VBQ)
Answer. Mr Lamb and Derek both were victims of physical impairment. Mr Lamb had an artificial leg made of tin and Derek had a scared face. Undoubtedly, both had suffered humiliations in life on account of their handicaps.
Derek, however, suffered not only from his handicap but also from low self-esteem, lack of confidence, desolation and withdrawal. He felt that nobody wanted him or loved him. They feared looking at his ugly face.
Looking at Derek’s example, we feel that people with physical impairment need genuine concern. They can perform better than average individuals who do not suffer from any disability, provided they get the right opportunities to prove themselves.
Question.12.Derry and Mr Lamb both are victims of physical impairment but their attitudes
towards life are completely different. Explain. (Delhi 2009)
Answer. Derry, a fourteen year old boy, did not expect anything out of life. A pessimist, he had lost all self-regard and led an isolated existence. He felt unwanted because he had a scared face. Mr Lamb, on the other hand, was full of life. Although he lived alone and had a tin leg, he kept himself busy by tending to his garden, his bees and making toffee and jelly. He welcomed everybody to his house and garden. He enjoyed sitting in the sun, reading books and gardening. Although kids mocked him by calling him ‘Lamey Lamb/ he did not bother about it. He was an apostle of optimism, enthusiasm and hope.
Thus we see that there is a striking contrast between Mr Lamb and Derry.
Question.13.Do you think Derry’s chance meeting with Mr Lamb would prove meaningful to him?
Answer giving valid reasons. (Foreign 2009)
Answer. When Derry met Mr Lamb, he was a fourteen year old boy who had lost all zest for life. He had lost all self-regard and suffered from a terrible inferiority complex due to his scared face. He hated meeting people and remained withdrawn.
After meeting Mr Lamb, Derry was filled with enthusiasm for life. Mr Lamb’s words had a profound effect on him and he changed drastically. He was not overtly conscious of his ugly face any longer. We could get a reflection of Derry’s transformation in Scene two, when he reached his house after a brief encounter with Mr Lamb.
He told his mother, “You shouldn’t believe all you hear.” He categorically told her that he wanted to go back to Mr Lamb to listen to bees singing and him talking.
In the end, he rushed to meet his mentor to keep his promise to the old man. Looking at these developments, one is bound to conclude that Derry hopefully would not become secluded once again. Derek would certainly be confident and happy in the future.
Question.14.How did Mr Lamb’s meeting with Derry become a turning point in Derry’s life?
(Delhi 2008)
Answer. Derry’s brief association with Mr Lamb changed him from a bitter, pessimistic and complex-ridden boy to a mature and confident person. His attitude towards life underwent a transformation.
He got encouraged by Mr Lamb’s unending enthusiasm and unceasing zeal to live life. Thus Mr Lamb’s unfailing optimism helped transform Derek completely. Mr Lamb’s conversation with him about everything and everybody being essentially the same, his notion of beauty being relative, his talk about pretty girls and love, his concept of the world and friendship and the incident of the timid man, all fascinated and inspired Derek.
Gradually, Derek was able to shed his old self and rediscover life. He was able to experience the joy of little things of life like rain drops falling pitter-patter on the roof. He even told his mother, “You shouldn’t believe all you hear.”
Thus, Derek’s brief association with Mr Lamb became a turning point in his life.

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