Snake Extra Questions and Answers Class 10 English Literature

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Snake Extra Questions and Answers Class 10 English Literature

Snake Extra Questions and Answers Short Answer Type

Question 1.
Why does the poet experience conflicting emotions on seeing the snake?
The poet experienced conflicting emotions because his head (education), and his heart (sensibilities) gave him different suggestions, opinions, on how to handle the snake His heart did not want to listen to his mind that told him to kill the snake, if he were a man.

Question 2.
What did voice of education say to the poet in the poem, ‘snake’?
Education had made him understand that snakes are poisonous and that it should be killed for survival. Snake poison could result in death. It had not taught him to understand, respect and protect another living being, that was in not way disturbing him.

Question 3.
How does the poet describe the day and the atmosphere when he saw the snake?
The poet says that it was a very hot day in July, probably as hot as the day when Mount Etna in Sicily had erupted, releasing excessive heat, fire and lava.

Question 4.
Why did D.H. Lawrence, the poet, despise himself? How did he feel and describe his action?
He despised himself for throwing a log at the snake. He felt extremely disgusted when he saw the snake escaping in a hurry. He regretted his paltry, vulgar and mean behaviour. He hated himself and the education that had told him that snakes are harmful and must be killed. He felt his action was responsible for depriving him of the opportunity of honouring a king.

Question 5.
Why did the poet wait for the snake to quench its thirst first?
The poet waits for the snake to quench its thirst because he considered it to be an honoured guest. Besides, as the snake had come before him, it was first in the order.

Question 6.
How is the poet guilty of violating the rule of hospitality?
The poet felt honoured when he noticed a majestic snake crawling towards his water trough, to quench its thirst. Later, he picked up a log and threw it at the harmless snake, while it was making a decent exit. The poet regretted his impulsive act and termed it as being, ’vulgar’ ’mean’ ‘petty’, and rebukes the voices of human education. The poet believed that he ought to make amends for his unreasonable and undignified act. He experienced an acute sense of guilt for having violated the basic rules of hospitality.

Question 7.
How does the poet describe the day and the atmosphere when he saw the snake?
It was a very hot day, similar to the day in july when Mount Etna had erupted emitting heat and fire. Compelled by the heat, the snake had come out from the earth.

Question 8.
What does the poet want to convey by saying that the snake emerges from the ‘burning bowels of the earth’?
It was due to heat that the snake was forced to leave its hideout and come out in the open for respite from the heat.

Question 9.
Do you think the snake was conscious of the poet’s presence? How do you know?
Not in the beginning. He drank, completely oblivious of the poet’s presence there. Later on, when he looked at him, it showed no fear. Probably, it did not know that a man stood there in fascination with a very confused state of mind, that was giving him contrary instructions.

Question 10.
How do we know that the snake’s thirst was satiated?
After drinking enough water, the .snake took out its biforked tongue, moved it and smacked its lips as the cattle do. This was an indication that its thirst was quenched.

Question 11.
The poet has a dual attitude towards the snake. Why does he experience conflicting emotions on seeing the snake?
The poet does get confused when he sees the snake. He experiences the conflicting emotions because the instinct and the mind tell him to react in different ways. His instinct makes him get fascinated, admire, honour, and respect, the snake who he feels is as majestic as God, an uncrowned king. But his mind that is guided by the myths of formal education tells him to kill the snake, as man has arbitrarily certified all snakes as poisonous.

The poet is filled with horror and protest when the snake prepares to retreat and bury itself in the ‘horrid black’, ‘dreadful’ hole. In the light of this statement, bring out the irony of his act of throwing a log at the snake.

Though the poet is very fascinated by the snake, he feels compelled by the voice of his education, not to let it go away; so he picks up the log lying there and throws it at the snake to harm it, kill it or frighten it so that it may not appear again.

Question 12.
Why does the poet decide to stand and wait till the snake has finished drinking? What does this tell you about the poet? (Notice that he uses ‘someone’ instead of something for the snake.)
The poet had not expected this encounter with the snake. He felt extremely honoured that the snake had come there seeking his hospitality. As it had come there before him, he decided to wait, without disturbing him. He uses ‘someone’, perhaps to personify the snake, by treating it as a guest.

Question 13.
In stanza 2 and 3, the poet gives a vivid description of the snake by using suggestive expression. What picture of the snake do you form on the basis of this description?
The poet is very vividly presenting the picture of a huge golden snake that had come in very peaceful and calmly, from its hot home beneath the earth. It was in no hurry, and moved about in a very lazy and harmless manner. The snake is also compared to a cattle by the poet probably to highlight that it did not have any vicious intentions. It had just come in to drink water and tried to slip away with the same laziness into its hole.

Snake Extra Questions and Answers Long Answer Type

Question 1.
What ideas and thoughts come to poet’s mind when he finds a poisonous snake drinking water at his water-trough?
When the poet went to water-trough to take water in his pitcher, he saw a snake drinking water like cattle, and felt honoured. It looked majestic to the poet. He admired it but realised that it was poisonous and decided to attack it. He picked up a log and threw it at the snake. But the snake escaped. The poet felt a sense of cowardice, perversity and humility. He regretted for his action — felt he would have to expiate for his moral lapse.

Question 2.
Whenever we act against the voice of our conscience, the result is suffering. Explain with reference to the poet’s action against the snake and its consequences.
The graceful and dignified presence of the snake that had come to quench its thirst had fascinated the poet and filled him with awe. The poet who had also gone to fetch some water waits patiently, with due respect for the ’guest’. However, the voice of education tells him that yellow snakes are venomous and urges him to throw a log at the receding snake. When the poet sees the harmless snake slithering in panic for safety into the bowels of the earth, he is filled with a sense of guilt and remorse. He despises himself for being petty and wishes that the snake would reappear to accept his hospitality and seek redemption for his evil act.

Question 3.
“Man is the most selfish animal on this earth, who has not spared any other species to satisfy his greed.” Elaborate.
Why can’t man live and let others (wildlife in general) live in peace?
Everything that grows, lives, breathes and procreates, fall under the category of living beings. God created all living beings. The only difference between man and other living things are that man has been endowed with the power of reasoning, while the other living beings are guided by their instinct.

Now, what did man do with his power of reasoning? He started using it unreasonably. Animals kill only when they are hungry. But man kills to eat, for fun, for power, as a sport, in the name of religion. He just needs to hit upon a reason to be inhuman and unreasonable. Man has destroyed the earth given to us by God.

He has destroyed the ecological balance, by killing animals and birds and chopping down trees. All this to satiate his greed for wealth and power. For man the adage, “Live and let live” is not for him to practise. Allowing another being to stand up against him will be a definite crash of his ego, which he will not allow even if it means that he has to kill.

Question 4.
Snakes generate both horror and fascination. Do you agree? Why/Why not?
I agree to the fact that snakes generate both horror and fascination. Snakes are legless reptiles that glide their way through water and ground. They are carnivorous and thus, can be very dangerous. They can prey on objects larger than their heads which makes snakes a highly risky reptile to encounter. Of course, it is because of these traits that some people find it fascinating to keep snakes as their pet.

But the fear that has been instilled in our minds with regard to this creature is so severe that we tend to panic if we see even a harmless non-poisonous variety basking in the sun. Snakes are lovely to look at because of the varied colours and designs on their bodies. Patterns on different species of snakes symbolise their type and characteristics.

Different varieties of snakes can be seen held captive for no fault of theirs, and displayed with their species name and features, in zoos across the world. There are many people in the world who worship snakes, and many others who chop them up and serve it as a delicacy. In short the formal education as said by the Poet D.H. Lawrence generates horror in our minds when we see the reptile, while our instinct directs us to look at it in fascination.

Snake Extra Questions and Answers Reference-to-Context

Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow. Write each answer in your answer-sheet in one or two sentences only.

Question 1.
A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat.
To drink there.
In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree

(i) Who had come to the poet’s water-trough?
(ii) What do you mean by ‘water-trough’?
(iii) Why was the poet going to the trough?
(iv) Where was the water-trough?
(i) A snake had come to the poet’s water trough.
(ii) A watering trough (or artificial watering point) is a man-made or natural receptacle intended to provide drinking water to animals
(iii) It was a very hot day, so the poet was also going to the trough to collect water for himself.
(iv) The water trough was placed under the shade of the great dark carob tree.

Question 2.
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there
he was at the trough before me.

(i) Who is T?
(ii) What is the pitcher for?
(iii) Why must he wait? Wait is repeated, why?
(iv) Why did the poet allow the snake to finish drinking water and not disturb him?
(i) ‘I’ refers to the poet.
(ii) The pitcher is for filling water.
(iii) He had to wait because he did not want to disturb the snake who had come in first. Wait is repeated in “ must stand and wait” because the poet was so fascinated by the snake, he wanted to keep looking at it. He did not want to go away, but stand and wait, enjoying the ways of the snake, as it drank water.
(iv) The poet waited for the snake to finish drinking, because it had come there earlier and courtesy demanded that he waits for his turn.

Question 3.
He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down,
over the edge of the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom.

(i) How had the snake come there?
(ii) Where did it rest its ‘throat’?
(iii) How did it reach there?
(iv) Why had the snake come there?
(i) It had come out of the dark interiors of the earth through a crack in the wall.
(ii) It rested its throat upon the stone-bottom.
(iii) It moved with slackness upon his soft belly.
(iv) The snake had come there to drink water.

Question 4.
“And where the water had dripped
From the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight
gums, into his slack long body.

(i) Where from did it drink water?
(ii) How did it drink?
(iii) Did the snake cause any disturbance while drinking water?
(iv) How was the snake’s body?
(i) The snake drank water from the small clearness where the water had dropped from the tap.
(ii) He sipped the water with his straight mouth and swallowed it softly through his straight gums.
(iii) The snake did not create any disturbance, but crawled in lazily and drank the water in absolute silence.
(iv) The snake’s body was long and slack.

Question 5.
Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second comer, waiting.

(i) What is the meaning of ‘second comer’?
(ii) What value is embedded in these lines?
(iii) Who is “someone”?
(iv) Did the poet wait?
(i) “Second comer” means to be second in the queue or line. To have come second.
(ii) The poet is telling us that whether man or beast, we have to be courteous and wait for our turn.
(iii) “Someone” refers to the snake.
(iv) Yes, he did wait for his turn to use the water-trough to drink water.

Question 6.
He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue
From his lips, and mused a moment

(i) Which poetic device has been used in the first line?
(ii) Why has the poet used the simile?
(iii) How did the snake look at the poet?
(iv) Why does a snake flicker its tongue?
(i) Simile is the poetic device used in the first line.
(ii) The poet has used the simile to express the similarity in the way the snake and the cattle behave as they pause while drinking water.
(iii) The snake looked at the poet vaguely. He was not registering the presence of the poet while raising his head in between breaks taken while drinking the water. He was just glancing casually.
(iv) A snake flicks its tongue out, to get a better sense of its surroundings by “tasting” the air. To compensate for their poor eyesight and limited hearing.

Question 7.
And stooped and drank a little more,
Being earth-brown, earth-golden
From the burning bowels of the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.

(i) What did the snake do then?
(ii) What was its colour?
(iii) From where had it come?
(iv) What has the poet made a reference to in the last line?
(i) After taking a break, it again drank some more water.
(ii) The snake was earth-brown or earth-golden in colour.
(iii) It had come from the hot interiors of the earth’s soil.
(iv) The poet has made a reference to the Volcanic eruption that had happened in Sicily, perhaps on a similar day in July, that had resulted in a lot of heat, fire and smoke being released from Mt. Etna, to emphasise the heat of the day.

Question 8.
The voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black,
black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous
And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

(i) What did the voice of his education say to the poet?
(ii) What has he learnt about the snakes in Sicily?
(iii) What commands did he receive from his inner voice?
(iv) Why is “If you were a man” used?
(i) The voice of education told the poet that the snake must be killed.
(ii) He has been taught that the golden snakes are venomous, unlike the harmless black variety.
(iii) The voices coaxed him to pick up a stick and finish off the snake.
(iv) The poet has used this expression to convey the fact that a man would do any thing if his manliness is in question, or challenged.

Question 9.
But must I confess how I liked him.
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?

(i) Did the poet like the snake?
(ii) What was his initial response on seeing the snake?
(iii) Why does he say that the satiated snake departs thanklessly?
(iv) Where would it go?
(i) Yes, the poet confesses that he did take a liking for the snake.
(ii) The poet was very happy that the snake had been his guest.
(iii) Water is a free natural resource upon which every living been has a right to. Therefore the snake is entitled to use it to quench his thirst. It is in no way obliged to thank the person who has stored this natural resource in a trough.
(iv) It would go back into the earth, from where it had come.

Question 10.
Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him? Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him? Was it humility, to feel so honoured?
I felt so honoured.
And yet those voices:
If you were not afraid, you would kill him!

(i) What are the doubts and questions that arise inside the poet?
(ii) Explain: ‘Yet those voices:’
(iii) What was the poets dilemna?
(iv) What did he consider to be humility?
(i) He is not able to understand why he could not pick up the stick to attack the snake.
He wonders if he was being humble, a coward, insensible or illogical in wanting to interact with the snake and not hurting him.
(ii) Though a part of him told him to feel honoured by the visitors presence, he was being troubled by the inner voices.
(iii) The dilemna pertains to the confusion that persists in his mind. He was torn between his natural reaction to feel honoured and interact with the snake and his inner voice telling him to kill the snake.
(iv) The poet was wondering whether it was his humility that made him feel honoured by the snakes visit.

Question 11.
And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid,
But even so, honoured still more
That he should seek my hospitality
From out the dark door of the secret earth.

(i) How did he feel?
(ii) From where had the snake come?
(iii) Why was he still feeling honoured?
(iv) Name the poet and poem from which these lines are taken.
(i) The poet felt afraid.
(ii) It had come from the depths of the earth.
(iii) The poet despite being afraid continued to feel honoured as the snake had chosen to seek his hospitality.
(iv) These lines are taken from the poem ‘Snake’. The poet is D.H. Lawrence.

Question 12.
He drank enough
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,
And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,
Seeming to lick his lips,
And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,

(i) When the snake had drunk enough what did he do?
(ii) Explain “Flickered his tongue the air.
(iii) Why has the poet compared the snake to God?
(iv) Name the poetic device used.
(i) It lifted its head dreamily after he had quenched his thirst.
(ii) The poet is saying that the impact made by the flickering of its forked tongue was similar to a sudden streak of lightening that appears in the dark night sky (air).
(iii) The attitude with which the snake licked its lip and made a passing survey around him made the snake look like God.
(iv) Simile is used here.

Question 13.
And slowly turned his head,
And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice a dream,
Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round
And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.

(i) What was the movement of the snake?
(ii) Explain “Thrice a dream”
(iii) Why did the snake turn back to retreat?
(iv) Identify the poetic devices used here.
(i) It slowly turned its head.
(ii) The snake was crawling back into its hole, very slowly. The poet feels that the snake was in a state of deep sleep when one would also be exposed to a myriad of dreams. It looked drunk and dreamy.
(iii) The snake turned back as it had quenched its thirst.
(iv) The poetic devices used are ‘repetition’ and ‘Alliteration’.

Question 14.
And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,
And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,
A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,
Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,
Overcame me now his back was turned.

(i) What was the snake doing?
(ii) How did it retreat?
(iii) What feelings surged up in the poet?
(iv) Why does the poet feel that the snake is going away deliberately?
(i) It was drawing up to go.
(ii) It eased its body and shoulders and began retreating into its hole.
(iii) As he saw the snake going away into the dark hole, he felt upset and horrible.
(iv) To do something deliberately means to do it intentionally. Therefore, he says the snake has finished the purpose of its arrival, and was therefore making an exit consciously.

Question 15.
I looked round, I put down my pitcher,
I picked up a clumsy log
And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.
I think it did not hit him,

(i) Why did the poet look around?
(ii) What did he pick up?
(iii) What did he do with it?
(iv) Did it hit the snake?
(i) He was upset that the snake was deliberately going away. In protest, he put his pitcher down and looked around in anger to pick up something to throw at the retreating snake.
(ii) He picked up a clumsy, uneven log of wood.
(iii) He threw it at the water trough.
(iv) The poet was not sure if the log had hit the snake.

Question 16.
But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste.
Writhed like lightning, and was gone
Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front.
At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.

(i) Why did the snake convulse?
(ii) How did it vanish?
(iii) Where did it go?
(iv) Why did the poet stare at the snake with fascination?
(i) The snake would have convulsed because the log must have hurt him.
(ii) It made undignified violent movements, twisted and turned, and vanished like lightning.
(iii) It went into the black hole, the earth lipped fissure in the front wall.
(iv) The reaction of the snake fascinated the poet and he continued to stare at it despite the hot weather at mid noon.

Question 17.
And immediately I regretted it.
I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!
I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.

(i) What was his reaction within?
(ii) How did he describe his act?
(iii) What does he mean by accursed human education?
(iv) Why did the poet despise himself?
(i) He felt sorry and regretted his action.
(ii) The poet described his act as worthless(paltry), dirty (vulgar), and very mean.
(iii) He means, the myths that are made into facts, and taught to human beings. He is referring to the formal and informal education. He says that this kind of education is a curse on mankind.
(iv) The poet despised himself for listening to the inner voices that told him to use his ‘education’.

Question 18.
And I thought of the albatross
And I wished he would come back, my snake.

(i) Why is he making a reference to the albatross?
(ii) What made him think of the albatross?
(iii) Who is the ‘he” the poet wishes would return?
(iv) Why does he call it ‘my snake’?
(i) The poet is referring to the albatross in ‘The Rime of the ancient mariner’, that was killed because of human error.
(ii) He thought of the albatross because he blamed himself for having behaved as foolishly as the ancient mariner, when he hurt the snake.
(iii) The poet wishes that ‘he’, the snake would come back.
(iv) The snake had come in as his guest, whom he had treated with disregard. He regretted his act and hoped it would come back to enable him redeem his sins. (He may be establishing an ownership, perhaps because the snake lived within his premises)

Question 19.
For he seemed to me again like a king,
Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
Now due to be crowned again.

(i) What did the snake look like?
(ii) Which world did it belong to?
(iii) What similarities are drawn here between a king and the snake?
(iv) Identify the poetic device used in the first line?
(i) It looked as majestic as a king.
(ii) It belonged to the underworld.
(iii) The poet says that the snake looked like a king who lived in the underworld without a crown, just like an exiled king, both of whom may be crowned again.
(iv) The poetic device used in the first line is ‘simile’.

Question 20.
And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords Of life.
And I have something to expiate A pettiness.

(i) What is the missed chance the poet is speaking about?
(ii) Who is one of the lords of life?
(iii) Why did the poet have to expiate?
(iv) What had he done?
(i) He is saying that he missed the chance of interacting with one among the living Lords.
(ii) The snake is one of the lords of life, or living lords.
(iii) He had to expiate for the wrong he had done.
(iv) He had shown disrespect to his guest, by listening to his inner voice. The voice told him to harm the snake, his guest. The poet now regrets having thrown a log of wood at it, and making it retreat in a mad haste.

Question 21.
I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!
I despised myself and the voices of my accursed education.

(i) To which act is the speaker referring?
(ii) What kind of act was it?
(iii) What does the word ‘accursed’ mean?
(i) The poet is referring to his act of throwing a log of wood at the snake.
(ii) He considered it as a paltry, mean, and vulgar act.
(iii) To be under a curse/ used to express strong dislike or anger at someone or something/ evil/ bad/ wicked.

V.V.S. Laxman, Very Very Special Question and Answers