MCQ ( Multiple Choice Questions ) with answers from On Killing A Tree
- In what form of verse is the poem written?
- Rhymed couplet
- Blank verse
- Iambic pentameter
- Free verse
Ans) d. Free verse.
- Time consumed to kill a tree is –
Ans) b. Much.
- ‘Not a simple jab of a knife/will do it.’- jab means –
Ans) d. Stab.
- The tree has grown –
- From the earth
- Over the earth
- By consuming the earth
- Into the earth
Ans) c. By consuming the earth.
- ‘Leprous hide’ refers to the ______________of the tree.
Ans) a. Bark.
- The leaves of the tree sprout from the-
- Earth’s crust
- Leprous hide
Ans) d. Leprous hide.
- The expression ‘sprouting leaves’ suggest the idea of –
- Vibrant life
Ans) c. Vibrant life.
- The figure of speech used in the expression ‘Not so much pain will do it’ is-
Ans) b. Hyperbole.
- The ‘bleeding bark’ will –
- Never fail
- Get worse
- Lead to death
Ans) a. Heal.
- Green twigs that rise from close to the ground are-
Ans) b. curled.
- Miniature boughs if unchecked will –
- No longer grow
- Rise towards the sky
- Expand to former size
- Go underground
Ans) c. Expand to former size.
- Which adjective is used to qualify the earth?
Ans) a. Anchoring
- The phrase ‘earth-cave’ indicates –
- The cave in which the tree was planted
- The hollow in which the tree grows
- The earth in which the tree is planted
- The gaping hole in the earth when the roots are pulled out.
Ans) d. The gaping hole I the earth when the roots are pulled out.
- The most sensitive part of the tree was _________________the earth.
- Lying exposed
- Scorched within
- Hidden inside
- Wet with
Ans) c. Hidden inside.
- The tree gets killed only after-
- Hacking and chopping
- Twisting and withering
- Browning and hardening
- Scorching and hardening
- Scorching and choking
Ans) b. Twisting and withering.
- ‘And then it is done.-‘ The word ‘it’ refers to –
Ans) d. killing.
- In the last stanza of the poem, the word ‘matter’ refers to –
- None of these
Ans) a. Destruction.
- ‘On Killing a Tree’ exposes man’s-
- Love for nature
- Cruelty towards nature
- Indifference towards nature
- Fear of nature
Ans) b. Cruelty towards nature.
- The poet seems to suggest that in order to kill a tree-
- Plucking out all the leaves will do the job
- Some pain will do the job
- Total destruction of the roots will do the job
- Cutting the branches will do the job
Ans) c. Total destruction of the roots will do the job.
- On what tone does the poem end?
- Of achievement
- Of tragedy
- Of joy
- Of irony
Ans) a. Of achievement.
Short Answer Type Questions from – On Killing A Tree
- What kind of task is to kill a tree?
Ans) Killing a tree is a hard and laborious task.
2. How does a tree grow?
Ans) The tree grows up consuming the essential nutrients from the earth’s crust, by absorbing sunlight, air and water from the atmosphere.
3. How does Patel describe the hide of the tree?
Ans) Gieve Patel describes the hide of the tree as ‘leprous’.
4. What is not enough to kill a tree?
Ans) Hacking and chopping is not enough to kill a tree.
5. Name the processes required to kill a tree.
Ans) Hacking, chopping, uprooting, scorching, hardening, twisting and withering are the processes required to kill a tree.
6. What causes the bark of a tree to bleed?
Ans) hacking and chopping causes the bark of a tree to bleed.
7. ‘The bleeding Bark will heal.’- How does a bleeding bark heal?
Ans) The bleeding bark heals naturally with the passing of time.
8. From where would the curled green twigs rise?
Ans) The curled green twigs would rise from the healed barks.
9. What are ‘miniature boughs’?
Ans) ‘Miniature boughs are the very small branches of the tree.
10. What is the meaning of ‘anchoring earth’?
Ans) The expression ‘anchoring earth’ suggests that the earth which is acting as the anchor is the source of security and stability to the earth.
11. What should be done to uproot a tree?
Ans) To uproot a tree, the tree should be tied with rope and then it should be pulled out entirely from the anchoring earth.
12. Where does the tree’s strength lie?
Ans) The strength of the tree lies in its roots.
13. What remains hidden inside the earth?
Ans) The root of the tree remains hidden inside the earth.
14. Why is the root called ‘white’ and ‘wet’?
Ans) The root of the tree is ‘white’ because it remains inside the earth and it is ‘wet’ because it absorbs water from the soil.
15. How is the tree seasoned into the wood?
Ans) When a tree is uprooted, its living cells die, and it gradually becomes hard, brown, twisted and withered and then it turns into the wood.
16. Pick out a line from the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ which shows nature’s resilience.
Ans) ‘The bleeding bark will heal’- shows that nature is resilient.
17. Where does the irony lie in the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’?
Ans) In ‘On Killing a Tree’, the irony lies in the fact that humans cut trees and destroy nature whereas nature nurtures the human race.
18. What are the final agents of nature that facilitate in killing a tree?
Ans) The sun and air are the final agents of nature that facilitate in killing a tree.
19. What expressions suggest that the tree is personified in ‘Killing a Tree’?
Ans) The expressions like ‘leprous hide’, ‘bleeding bark’, suggest that the tree has been personified in ‘On Killing a Tree.
20.’And then it is done’- which act is referred to here?
Ans) The act of killing a tree is referred to here.
Descriptive/Analytical Questions with answers from – On Killing A Tree
- ‘It has grown/slowly consuming the earth,’ – Bring out the significance of this line.
Ans) The line expresses the irony regarding the killing of the tree. The tree grows up slowly consuming the earth. It takes the nutrients from the soil and absorbs the sunlight and air of the atmosphere. It takes several years to grow and mature into a huge tree. Thus the above-mentioned line marks the growth and development of a tree through a long period of time. But human beings cut down trees in a matter of hours for their own selfish means without thinking about the consequences.
- ‘But this alone won’t do it’. – What is ‘it’? That alone won’t do it? Why?
Ans) Here ‘it’ refers to the act of killing a tree. The poet thinks that hacking and chopping alone can’t kill a tree because the injured trunk would soon heal itself and a new twig would take its place. The small twig if kept unchecked would attain its former size soon.
The poet says that hacking and chopping are not enough to kill a tree because the tree would heal itself from the damage caused by mankind and soon it would revive itself in the form of miniature boughs.
3. ‘No, The root is to be pulled out.’ – Why has the word ‘no’ been used? How is the pulling out of the root related to the killing of the tree?
Ans) The word ‘No’ signifies that a simple jab of a knife or hacking or chopping is not enough to kill a tree. The tree has a healing capacity and refuses to die so easily. The injured bark would soon heal itself and a new twig would soon come out.
The most sensitive part of a tree is its bark so to finally kill a tree it should be uprooted from the ground itself. This process would expose the root to the sun and air and it would soon wither away and finally die. If the source of the tree is exposed and is separated from the earth, which acts as an anchor, only then will the entire process of killing a tree be complete.
- Describe in detail the growth of the tree in the first stanza.
Ans) In the first stanza, the poet describes the growth of a tree over the years. The tree grows slowly consuming the earth. It takes the vital nutrients from the earth and absorbs the sunlight and air from the atmosphere. Its roots go deep into the earth, which acts as an anchor. The earth allows the tree to feed upon its crust and take nourishment from sunlight, air and water. It takes years for the tree to grow up and it cannot be killed with a simple stroke of a knife within a short period of time.
- What does the killing of a tree symbolise?
Ans) The killing of a tree symbolizes the cruelty of human beings towards nature, it connotes deforestation. A tree takes a lot of time to grow by absorbing the air, water, sunlight from the earth and its atmosphere. Its roots grow deep into the soil, which gives it strength. But human beings kill trees for their own interest and selfish means without considering the consequences. Therefore we must be sensitive towards trees and conserve them for a better world.
- How does the poet criticize the action of human beings in the poem?
Ans) The poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ apparently does not criticize the action of human beings rather gives a rude description of killing a tree. The tree, which has become mighty over the years consuming the nutrients from the earth refuses to die. The poet says that to kill a tree it has to be uprooted and left open to starve and scorch to death. There is an indirect criticism of the inhumanness of human beings underlying the entire poem. Human beings are presented as ruthless, mindless, selfish beings destroying nature mercilessly. This is evident in the act of cutting a tree. The poet’s criticism of the action of human beings, which has resulted in widespread deforestation though subtle, is very effective.
- How has the tree been given human attributes in the poem?
Ans) Human attributes can be found in the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’. Here the tree has been personified as a human child who grows up slowly over the years consuming the earth, absorbing the air and sunlight from the atmosphere. It spreads its roots deep into the earth securing the earth and itself. The tree is also personified as someone who can feel pain and who bleeds when inflicted with a wound. The phrase ‘bleeding bark’ is used to emphasize the human attribute. Again the roots of the tree are called ‘sensitive’ which is a typical human attribute. Moreover, the word ‘killing’ is mostly used in association with a human being. Here, this exceptional use of the word ‘killing’ makes it evident that the poem is enriched with human attributes.
- How does a Gieve Patel present a contradictory image of life and death in the poem?
Ans) The tree grows slowly absorbing the air, water, sunlight and minerals from the soil as its food. The root of the tree gives it strength and helps it grow. But when it is fully grown human beings cut it mercilessly for their own selfish means. They hack it, chop it and uproot it and leave it to scorch in the sun. Human beings kill trees mercilessly without thinking twice that tree also has life. Nature gives beautiful lives to the trees and the trees gift us everything we need to survive but in return we kill them.
- Justify the title of the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’.
Ans) The word ‘killing’ means to wipe out the existence of a living creature from the face of the earth. In this poem, the poet describes how human beings mercilessly kill a tree by hacking, chopping and uprooting it from the ground defying the eternal bond shared by the earth and the tree. The man ignores the living entity of the tree and cut them down ruthlessly which is akin to murder, to fulfil their own needs. The poet protests against this disgusting crime through ironical criticism in the poem. Thus the title appropriately indicates the very essence of the poem.
- Comment on the central idea of the poem.
Ans) ‘On Killing a Tree’ depicts the cutting down of a tree mercilessly by human beings, which is deliberately mentioned as ‘killing’ by the poet. But the tree refuses to give up and tries to relive by healing itself. The central idea is to make the reader realize the pain, agony and crisis the tree undergoes while it is being chopped to death. A tree contributes to the earth in various ways by providing food, oxygen wood. By cutting down trees man is actually preparing themselves for their total annihilation from the face of the earth. But cutting down a tree is not easy. The tree has to be finally killed by uprooting it from the ground after chopping it. It should be scorched to death. No scope should be left for it to heal itself and regenerate into a new tree. So, the central idea or the theme of the poem is the revelation of the intensity of the perverse act of cutting a tree.
- The substance of the poem.
Ans) Killing a tree is a hard task. It cannot be killed as easily as a human being akin be killed with the jab of a knife. A tree grows by consuming the earth. It draws its nutrients from the earth and absorbs the sunlight and air from the atmosphere. The roots of the tree go deep into the soil anchoring it safely to the earth. It takes a prolonged and ruthless effort to finally kill a tree. Simple hacking and chopping won’t kill a tree. The tree would heal itself and regenerate into a new one even after being subjected to so much pain. So the tree has to rope, tied and uprooted from the ground. The sun and air would then take their toll on the tree and finally, the tree would wither and die.
Apparently it seems that the poem is a detailed description of the ruthless act of killing a tree and the directions as to how to do it. But the irony lies in the fact that the poet actually intends to expose the cruel, gruesome act of human beings in killing a tree. The detailed account of killing a tree is an allegorical presentation of the sustained cruelty and perversion inherent in the act of cutting down a tree. It is as if the tree suffers the punishment for the crime of its very own murder committed by those, who represent the selfish and inhuman side of mankind who mercilessly destroy nature without thinking about the consequences.