MCQ ( Multiple Choice Questions ) with Answers from the poem – A Sleep In The Valley
‘Asleep in the valley’ is –
a. A romantic lyric
b. A patriotic lyric
c. An anti-war lyric
d. A nature poem
Ans) c. An anti-war lyric.
2.The poem ‘Asleep in the valley’ was written in the background of –
a. The Crimean war
b. The Anglo-French war
c. The Franco-Prussian war
d. The Russo-Turkish war
Ans) c. The Franco-Prussian war.
3. ‘Asleep in the valley’ is –
a. A Petrarchan sonnet
b. A Shakespearean sonnet
c. An elegy
d. A dirge
Ans) c. A sonnet.
4. The two words which describe the valley are –
a. Bright and green
b. Small and bright
c. Small and green
d. Warm and bright
Ans) c. Small and green.
5. The stream in the valley is –
Ans) a. Slow.
6.The valley is filled with-
Ans) b. Sunlight
7. The sun rays are compared to a-
a. Flowing stream
b. Glaring fire-ball
c. Stagnant ball
d. Thing of glory
Ans) a. Flowing stream.
8. The soldier lies in the valley because he is a-
a. Winner in the war
b. Casualty of war
c. Sleeping person
d. Chocolate-cream soldier
Ans) b. casualty of war.
9.The soldier’s pillow is made of-
Ans) b. Fern.
10.The soldier lies stretched-
a. In the heavy undergrowth
b. On the mountain top
c. In the the hollow
d. On a bed of fern.
Ans) a. In the heavy undergrowth
11.The word ‘green’ in the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’ signifies-
b. Youth and life
Ans) b. Youth and life
12.The smile of the soldier in the poem ‘Asleep in the valley’ is-
Ans) a. Gentle
13.The word ‘without guile ‘suggests-
a. A person’s shyness
b. A man’s character
c. A person’s innocence
d. One’s simplicity.
Ans) c. a person’s innocence
14.The sleep of the soldier indicates-
Ans) b. Death
15.The soldier in ‘Asleep in the Valley’ was hit by-
a. A sword
b. A poisoned arrow
Ans) c. Bullets
16.In the side of the soldier, there is/are-
a. One red hole
b. Two red holes
c. Three red holes
d. Four red holes
Ans) b. Two red holes.
17.The humming insects don’t disturb him because-
a. He is dead
b. He is peaceful
c. He is a nature lover
d. He is violent
Ans) a. He is dead.
18.The color that brings out the tragedy of war in ‘Asleep in the valley’ is-
Ans) c. Red.
19.This poem reflects-
a. The pity of war
b. The glory of war
c. The beauty of the valley
d. The beauty of the soldier
Ans) a. The pity of war.
20. What is the theme of this poem?
a. The futility of war
b. Celebration of peace
d. The valor of soldiers
Ans) a. The futility of war.
Short Answer Type Questions with answers from – On Killing A Tree
What kind of poetry does the poet use to drive home the pity of war?
Ans) The poet uses lyrical poetry to drive home the pity of war.
2. What are the two adjectives given to the valley?
Ans) The two adjectives that are given to the valley are ‘small’ and ‘green’.
3. What leaves long strands of silver on the bright grass?
Ans) The stream leaves long strands of silver on the bright grass.
4. What kind of grass is found on the bank of the stream?
Ans) The grass found on the bank of the stream is bright.
5. Describe the valley.
Ans) The poet describes the valley as bright and green with a slow stream flowing.
6. ‘…they fill the hollow full of light.’- What does ‘the hollow’ describe?
Ans) ‘The hollow’ describes the valley that lies between the mountains.
7. Why was the soldier lying open-mouthed?
Ans) The soldier was lying open-mouthed, as he was dead.
8. What is the soldier’ pillow made of?
Ans) The soldier’s pillow is made of fern.
9. Where does the soldier lie stretched?
Ans) The young soldier lies stretched in the heavy undergrowth that is among the bushes and the flowering plants of the small valley.
10. Mention the two words that are used to describe the sun-soaked bed.
Ans) The two words that are used to describe the sun-soaked bed are ‘warm’ and ‘green’.
11. Where are the feet of the soldier?
Ans) The soldier’s feet are among the flowers in the valley.
12. How does the sleeping soldier look as he sleeps amidst the valley?
Ans) The sleeping soldier looks like an infant while sleeping amidst the valley.
13. Why is the smile if the soldier compared to that of an infant?
Ans) The soldier’s smile is compared to an infant because his smile is pure, innocent gentle and without guile, just like an infant.
14. What does the poet plead to Nature for the comfort of the soldier?
Ans) The poet pleads to Nature to keep the soldier warm and comfortable.
15. What do the sunrays do?
Ans) The sunrays keep the soldier’s body warm and brighten the valley.
16. Who fails to disturb the rest of the soldier?
Ans) The humming insects fail to disturb the rest of the soldier.
17. How did the soldier die in the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’?
Ans) There were two red holes at the soldier’ sides which indicates bullet holes and its enough evidence to say that the soldier died in the war while fighting.
18. What is the theme of the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’?
Ans) The theme of the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’ is the futility of war.
19. What message is revealed through the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’?
Ans) The message revealed through the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’ is the meaninglessness of war.
Descriptive/Analytical Questions with Answers from – On Killing A Tree
1.Write the theme of the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’.
Ans) Arthur Rimbaud has discussed the futility of war in his poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’. He himself being a soldier knew the devastation caused by war and has expressed the pity of war in his poetry. The poem depicts a soldier lying asleep in a sun-lit valley amongst flowers and ferns and humming insects. His one hand is upon his breast and he lies open-mouthed sleeping like an infant. Suddenly the picture changes when we see two red holes at the side of the soldier, which are markedly bullet holes. It’s evident that the soldier had died already being hit by the bullets. The beautiful natural landscape suddenly changes into a morbid state. All the warmth and beauty of nature cannot bring back the life of the young dead soldier whose life is destroyed even before it fully bloomed. The beautiful sun-soaked valley becomes a valley of death. With all these symbols and images the poet tries to show the futility of war, which is the theme of the poem.
2. ‘ A soldier, very young, lies open-mouthed,’- Where was the soldier found lying and how? How does the poet describe the soldier’s face? Why, according to you, was he lying open-mouthed?
Ans) The soldier was found lying in a small sun-soaked valley under the open sky.
The soldier was lying open-mouthed with his head amongst the ferns and his feet amongst the flowers. One of his hands was upon his breast and he was sleeping peacefully.
The soldier’s face looked pale in the bright light of the sun. But there was a gentle smile in his face like that of an infant.
The soldier was lying open-mouthed because he was already dead and nothing could disturb his eternal sleep.
3. ‘His smile…without guile.’- mention the figure of speech used here. What does the poet want to mean here?
Ans) The poet compares the smile of the young soldier with that of an infant. Here he effectively uses a simile to do so by comparing the smiles.
The soldier lies in the sun-soaked valley with a smile on his face that is just like an infant’s, innocent, pure and without guile. The poet wants to establish the fact that the futility of war has untimely ripped the soldier’s life from a promising future if he could have been alive. The young soldier perhaps has not been aware of the hypocrisy of the world like an infant before he is mercilessly put to death by the bullets in the war. Nature acts like an affectionate mother in keeping the soldier warm like it does to all lives on the earth but selfish warmongers do not understand it and kill innocent young soldier’s mercilessly.
4. ‘ The humming insects don’t disturb his rest;’- Who rests and where? What put him to rest? Why can’t the insects disturb his rest?
Ans) The young soldier is resting in a sun-soaked green valley.
He is put to eternal rest by two bullets of the enemy in the war.
The insects cannot disturb the young soldier, as he is already dead. The constant humming of the insects cannot disturb his sleep now.
5. ‘In his side are two red holes.’- Who is the person referred to here? What do the ‘two red holes’ signify? What attitude of the poet towards war is reflected here?
Ans) The person referred to here is the dead soldier.
The ‘red holes’ signify bullet wounds. It signifies that the soldier has been shot to death in the war.
War is something futile and brutal. The poet being a soldier himself once knows the horror of war. He establishes the pity of war in his poem ‘asleep in the Valley’. War, in reality, slaughters the young youths and their dreams remain unfulfilled. This meaninglessness of war disturbs the poet immensely and he tries to make us aware of the pity of war through his poetry.
6. Give a description of the valley as found in Arthur Rimbaud’s poem’ Asleep in the Valley’.
Ans) The poet draws the picture of a beautiful landscape where a slow stream flows through a sunlit, small green valley. The glittering rays of the sun make everything bright and beautiful. The sun-soaked earth of the valley cast a soothing effect on the reader’s mind. The valley becomes the epitome of Nature who affectionately shelters and protects the sleeping soldier against the cold. The tranquil atmosphere helps the soldier rest in peace. However, the closing lines of the poem break down the tranquillity and bring out the harshness of reality and the horror of war. The bullet wound’s at the side of the soldier makes the valley a deathbed of innocent lives.
7. Bring out the irony of the poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’.
Ans) Arthur Rimbaud in his poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’ brings out the horror and pity of war. The first part of the poem picturises a young soldier lying asleep in a beautiful valley nourished by the warm rays of the sun. The soldier lies open-mouthed sleeping like an infant with a gentle and innocent smile upon his face. But there is an ironical twist at the end of the poem where we find two red holes at the side of the soldier, which signify bullet wounds. The beautiful nature, the humming insects cannot bring back the life of the young soldier who lies dead in the warm sun. The soldier died of the bullet wounds, which are at his side. The soldier is not asleep but he is doomed to death by war. His life is untimely cut short by the devastations caused by war.
8. The substance of the poem.
Ans) The poem depicts a picture of a beautiful green valley where a slow stream flows making the grass on the banks look like long silver strands. The warm sunlight makes everything look beautiful. A young soldier is found lying on the green grass bed of the valley. His head is upon the fern bush and his feet are amongst the flowers. He seems to be peacefully sleeping with one hand upon his breast. There is a gentle smile on the soldier’s face just like an infant. The poet appeals to nature to keep the soldier warm so that he doesn’t catch a cold. He asks the insects not to disturb the soldier as he is peacefully sleeping. Here the poem takes a turn and we find two red holes at the side of the soldier. The hole signifies that the soldier was already dead as he was hit by two bullets in the war. His sleep suddenly changes into death and the beautiful natural landscape suddenly turns morbid. We feel pity for the young soldier who died untimely due to the merciless killing in war. The soldier is a victim of war and epitomizes the futility and ugliness of war.
9. Central Idea of the poem
Ans) The poem ‘Asleep in the Valley’ is an anti-war poem depicting the horror and futility of war. War is a game played by selfish warmongers who kill innocent people for their selfish ends. The first part of the poem depicts the picture of a young soldier lying asleep in a beautiful sun-soaked green valley. It seems that the soldier is peacefully sleeping in the warm sun, as there is a gentle smile on the soldier’s face. The beautiful valley, the soft bed of green grass, wildflower, and humming insects all conveys the tranquil and beautiful image of nature.
The concluding portion of the poem takes an unexpected turn where we discover two red holes by the side of the soldier, which are evidently bullet holes. This signifies that the soldier is already dead being killed in the war. Nothing exposes the reality of war and its horror so distinctly as the picture of the dead soldier. The soldier died untimely without a chance of a beautiful future. The poet has raised his voice against the meaningless loss of life. This poem expresses the pity of war, the futility of war.
10. Significance of the Title
Ans) The word ‘asleep’ means sleeping peacefully. It connotes rest, contentment. In the poem, the picture of the beautiful sunlit valley serves as an ideal setting for the young soldier to have a peaceful sleep. The young soldier is seen asleep in the beautiful green valley, which is sun-soaked and glittering brightly in the sun. The soldier’s head is amongst the ferns and his feet are amongst flowers. The soldier lies asleep with a gentle smile upon his face. It is only in the last line that the poet mentions that there are two red holes at his side. We come to know that the soldier is already dead and that he has fallen asleep eternally. Beyond the cruelty of organized butchery and warfare, the soldier has found his eternal peace. The poet here has intentionally used such a title, which implies a striking contradiction between the scenery of the poem and the stern reality behind it. Hence the title is appropriate.