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10th English NCERT: First Flight - Footprints without feet

Animals Poem: 10th Class CBSE English ‘First Flight’ Ch 18

Animals Poem: 10th Class NCERT CBSE English ‘First Flight’ Chapter 18

Question: Notice the use of the word ‘turn’ in the first line, “I think I could turn and live with animals…”. What is the poet turning from?

Answer: In this line here, the poet wants to turn from human into an animal. This turning is symbolic of the poet’s detachment from human beings and their nature and his appreciation of the animal kind.

Question: Mention three things that humans do and animals don’t.

Answer: Animals do not cry and complain over their conditions. They do not. commit sins and therefore do not weep for them. They are also very satisfied creatures and have no desire to possess material things. Humans, on the contrary, complain all the time, commit all sorts of sins and are affected with the madness of owning things.

Question: Do humans kneel to other humans who lived thousands of years ago? Discuss this in groups.

Answer: Yes, humans kneel to other humans who lived thousands of years ago as it is a cultural tradition to do so. (Students can discuss their own culture with their classmates and share the rituals and traditions of their culture and also get to know about other cultural practices.)

Question: What are the ‘tokens’ that the poet says he may have dropped long ago, and which the animals have kept for him? Discuss this in class.

(Hint Whitman belongs to the Romantic tradition that includes Rousseau and Wordsworth,which holds that civilization has made humans false to their own true nature.

What could be the basic aspects of our nature as living beings that humans choose to ignore or deny?)

Answer: The tokens mentioned in the poem mean the symbols of the true nature of human beings. These tokens are actually tokens of virtue such as containment, honesty, innocence and the likes of it.

Animals Poem: Summary

In the poem animals, the poet has described his will to become an animal because he thinks animals are far better than human beings. Human beings are greedy and full of jealousy against each other. But animals are calm and self contained. The animals are happy with what they have. They never complain about miseries and sorrows. On the other hand human beings complain about their miseries. They give more importance to the rich and strong people, stay restless because of their wrongdoings and run behind the luxurious things of this world. Whereas animals are honest about their relations and don’t give importance to a particular class. They live a life which is full of honesty and less of greed and jealousy.

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