Vistas Memories of Childhood -Test Papers

Class - 12 English Core (Memories of Childhood)

General Instruction:

  • Question No. 1 to 7 carry three marks each.
  • Question No. 8 and 10 carry six marks each.

  1. What were the indignities that the new girls were subjected to at Carlisle Indian School?
  2. On learning that her long hair would be cut the author decided to struggle first. What does this tell us about the author?
  3. Why did Bama take half hour to an hour to cover the distance to her home that would normally take only ten minutes?
  4. What was the incident that made Bama laugh as well as feel so provoked and angry?
  5. What did Zitkala feel when her long hair was cut?
  6. Why was the girl, Zitkala tied to a chair in ‘Memories of Childhood’?
  7. What activities of people would Bama keenly watch in the bazaar?
  8. Seeds of rebellion are sown early in life injustice even can’t escape the eyes of child. Justify the statement with reference to the lesson and “Memories of childhood.”
  9. It took almost an hour for Bama to reach back home from school. Why?
  10. When did Bama first came to know about the social discrimination faced by the people of her community?

Class - 12 English Core (Memories of Childhood)

  1. The girls were scrutinized thoroughly and supervised by a grey-haired woman. They were made to wear tight fitting immodest clothes and stiff shoes. During breakfast a systematic and regimental discipline was observed. The girls with long hair had to get them shingled and they had to submit to the authorities who were strong, unfeeling and cruel.
  2. The author knows that she could never prevail against the authorities, yet she struggles against the injustice. Her mother had told her that only cowards had their hair shingled and she firmly believed that she was not one. To prove her point as well as raise her voice against the indignity, she struggles.
  3. Bama would dawdle along, watching all the entertaining novelties and oddities on the streets. She would gaze at the shops and the bazaar enjoying the street scenes and so she would take at least an hour to reach home.
  4. Bama saw an elderly man of the street carrying a packet of ‘Vadais’ by the strings and walking gingerly, holding the parcel away from his body. Bama found his manner of carrying the parcel very funny. But her brother explains to her the higher caste people believed that if the lower caste people touched the parcel it would be polluted. That’s why the elder was carrying it in that manner. This provokes and angers Bama.
  5. Zitkala felt like a puppet in the hands of hostel authorities when hair was cut. She felt pained and anguished. She was also distressed by the fact that nobody came to comfort her like her mother did. She missed her mother very much and felt like an animal driven by a herder.
  6. Zitkala Sa tells about her first day in school. She had long hair. According to the culture of the whites they wanted to cut her long hair. But she refused to obey their decision. She was dragged out and tied fast with a chair for cutting her hair. She resisted but all in vain.
  7. The buzzing bazaar fell on the way of Bama’s school to home. It was full of activities like – snake charmer, street plays, puppet shows and stunt performances. Bama was attracted towards these interesting things and loved watching them.
  8. The lesson ‘Memories of Childhood’ is an amalgamation of two autobiographical episodes. One by American Indian woman and second by a Tamil Dalit writer. Both stories highlight the women’s oppression, class barriers, racialism, discrimination and exploitation that tend to pull them down. Both the stories advocate the statement that seeds of rebellion are sown early in life.
    In ‘The Cutting of My Long Hair’ the feeling of breaking free and gaining freedom are seen in the girl. Zitkala-Sa, in the very first line reports that her first day in school was “bitter-cold”. For her, it not only describes the weather, but also represents the atmosphere of the boarding school. Though she was a child but she could observe the overly disciplined students of the school and and its unfriendly staff. She faced indignity and oppression since she had left her mother. She is not ready to get her hair cut, to lose her and identity. She fights till the end but is helpless as she is overpowered.
    Also in ‘We Too Are Human Beings’, when Bama was in class third, no one had talked to her about untouchability but still she had experienced it and could notice the difference between landlords and Dalits. The little girl was amused to see how the old man was holding the packet but when she came to discover the truth, she was extremely upset to know the way elderly person was treated by the rich and upper caste citizens. Through her struggle and hard work she stands first and wins many friends. Thus, we can see that though the children are small and innocent but they cannot tolerate injustice if they are taught early in their life.
  9. Bama was a young playful girl studying in class three. Her school was at a distance of ten minutes from her home but she normally took at least thirty minutes to traverse this distance.
    The bazaar on the way was full of novelties and oddities for her - the performing monkey, the snake kept by the snake-charmer in its box, the cyclist who had not got off his bike for three days, the spinning wheels, the Maariyaata temple, the pongal offerings being cooked in front of the temple; the various food stalls in front of the temple, the different hues of the street light and the narikkuravan hunter gypsy with its wild lemur in cages. A different kind of performance on stage such as a street play, a puppet show, a magic show or speeches by budding politicians also caught her attention. Even the way the waiters cooled the coffee at the coffee clubs or the way people cut onions held the little girl spell-bound. The fruit growing on a tree as well as the seasonal fruits being sold held her captive.
    Hence, we see that before Bama was rudely oriented to the unfortunate reality of her caste she was an innocent child buoyed by the simple sights of life.
  10. Bama first came to know about social discrimination faced by the people of her community when she was a student of class three. She belonged to an Indian Tamil Dalit community. One day, on her way back from school, she observed that an elderly man was carrying a small packet containing some eatable with a string without touching it. She found it very funny. But when she came to know about the real reason behind it from her brother she was shocked. Her brother told her that the bag was for the landlord and the man carrying it belonged to a Dalit community. In order to not touch the eatable inside it, which was for an upper caste man, he was carrying it in that peculiar manner.