Keeping Quiet Important Questions CBSE Class 12 English
Extract Based Questions (4 Marks)
Question.1. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
“If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death(Compartment 2014 Modified)
(a) Whom does ‘we’ refer to in the above lines?
(b) Why does the poet want us to ‘do nothing’ for once?
(c) What is the‘sadness’that the poet refers to in the poem?
(d) How can a huge silence do good to us?
(a) ‘We’ refers to the human beings, who are always thinking about their own progress and advancement.
(b) The poet wants us to ‘do nothing’ for once so that our mind can be at peace and we are able to introspect and analyse our own actions.
(c) The poet refers to the ‘sadness’ which arises due to the fact that people fail to understand themselves. They have no time to introspect about their actions and their consequences.
(d) A huge silence can do good to us because we are able to achieve peace in this silence. It helps us in analysing ourselves and our actions, interrupting the sadness of threatening ourselves with death.
Question.2.Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow.
Perhaps the Earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive
Now I’ll count upto twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
(a) What does the Earth teach us?
(b) What does the poet mean to achieve by counting upto twelve?
(c) What is the significance of ’keeping quiet’? (All India 2013; Modified)
(d) What is always alive, even when everything seems to be dead?
(a) What does the Earth teach us?
(b) Why does the poet countupto twelve?
(c) What will keeping quiet help us achieve?(Delhi 2008 Modified)
(d) How does the Earth teach us that there is activity even in apparent stillness?
(a) The Earth teaches us how new life springs from dead remains, and how there is life under apparent stillness.
(b) The poet wants to achieve peace by counting upto twelve. He wants us to introspect in a moment of silence.
(c) Keeping quiet doesn’t mean just not speaking. It means that we should avoid all activities which hurt nature and, in turn, hurt us.
(d) The Earth is always alive, even when everything else seems to be dead. There is always some activity going on in nature beneath its apparent stillness.
(a) The Earth teaches us how new life springs from dead remains. It gives us lessons about sustaining and resurrecting life.
(b) The poet is initiating an exercise in meditation. When he counts upto twelve, the meditator puts away all digressions and experiences bliss. He wants all meditators to experience that bliss.
(c) Keeping quiet will help us introspect, reflect and experience silence and peace. This will in turn help us find solutions to our problems.
(d) Though the Earth appears still, there are so many changes that keep occurring beneath its surface. A seed that seems dead germinates under the Earth and a new life springs from it.
Question.3.Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
For once on the face of the Earth
let’s not speak in any language,
let’s stop for one second,
arid not move our arms so much.
(a) Why does the poet want us to keep quiet?
(b) What does he want us to do for one second?
(c) What does he mean by “not move our arms”? (Delhi 2012; Modified)
(d) How can this moment of stillness help us?
(a) The poet wants us to keep quiet in the hope that the moment of tranquillity might help us in finding the answers to our problems.
(b) The poet wants us to be silent and motionless for one second.
(c) The poet means that we should be in a state of total stillness with no physical activity at all.
(d) This moment of stillness can provide us physical and mental rest, during which our mind will be at peace. We can analyse our actions and their consequences and avoid rash or thoughtless behaviour.
Question.4. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
(a) What will happen if there is no rush or running of engines?
(b) Why would it be called an exotic moment?
(c) How would we feel at tliat moment? (Foreign 2011; Modified)
(d) Name the poem and the poet.
(a) It will be an ecstatic moment of tranquillity without rush or running of engines.
(b) It would be called an exotic moment because it will be an instance of universal peace and brotherhood. In that moment, all of us would initiate introspection through meditation and the whole world will be enveloped in quietness.
(c) We would feel very strange at that moment, because at that time everyone will have a feeling of oneness with their fellow human beings. It will be a new feeling altogether.
(d) The poem is ‘Keeping Quiet’, and the poet is Pablo Neruda.
Question.5. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
Now we will count to twelve,
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the Earth,
let’s not speak in any language,
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.
(a) How long does the poet want to stay still?
(b) What does he hope to achieve by keeping quiet?
(c) What does the poet mean by “not move our arms so much”? (All India 2009; Modified)
(d) Why does the poet suggest us not to sp,eak in any language?
(a) The poet exhorts each one of us to count to twelve and then be quiet, silent and motionless for a brief moment.
(b) He hopes to achieve and realise the value of quiet introspection. In this silence, we shall feel that all are together and will experience a strange feeling of togetherness.
(c) By this, he means that we should not make any physical movement, as physical activity will stop dr interrupt our introspection.
(d) The poet wants us to simply be silent for a moment and utilise that time to understand ourselves as well as others. Besides, language differences often lead to conflict, which the poet, perhaps, wants to avoid.
Question.6.Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
Fishermen ip.the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
(a) What does the poet expect of the fishermen and why?
(b) While gathering salt, what will the man do?
(c) What do the hurt hands imply? (All India 2008;Modified)
(d) How would man and nature benefit in this moment of silence?
(a) In the exotic moment of silence and introspection, fishermen will become conscioi the fact that they are causing harm to the whales. The poet expects this because he feels that at this opportune moment all evil will come to an end.
(b) The man gathering salt will stop for a while at that quiet moment and look at his hurt
(c) ‘Hurt hands’ means that human beings are oblivious of the pain they are causing to themselves in the pursuit of amassing more and more comforts. They have no time for themselves.
(d) In this moment of silence, man will not harm nature, and both human beings and nature will get some time to attend to and recover from their wounds.
Short Answer Type Questions (3 Marks, 30-40 words)
Question.1. Which is the exotic moment that the poet refers to in ‘Keeping Quiet’? (Delhi 2014)
Answer. The poet refers to the moment of stillness and quietness as an exotic moment. It would be an exotic moment, as such a tranquillity will initiate peace and brotherhood. There would be no movement, no talk, no activity and consequently, no violence.
Question.2. What is the sadness that the poet refers to in the poem ‘Keeping Quiet’? (All India 2014)
What is the sadness that the poet refers to in the poem? (All India 2011)
Answer. The poet refers to the sadness which surrounds man due to not having any time for himself, the pain of not understanding what he or his fellow human beings want. He has no time for introspection; as a result, he is unable to analyse his own actions and understand its consequences.
Question.3. Which images in the poem ‘Keeping Quiet’ show that the poet condemns violence?
Answer. The images of fishermen not harming the whales in the sea and wars leaving behind no survivors to celebrate the victory show that the poet condemns violence. The poet wants the warmongers to change their blood-stained clothes to clean ones. The poet’s refusal to have any association or dealing with death also shows that he is not in favour of any form of violence.
Question.4. What symbol from nature does the poet use to prove that keeping quiet is not total
Answer. The poet uses nature as a symbol to explain his idea that there can be life under apparent stillness. According to him, keeping quiet is not total inactivity. A seed may appear to be dead and inactive, but one day, the same seed may turn into a fruitful tree.
Question.5. How, according to Neruda, can keeping quiet change our attitude to life?
Answer. Keeping quiet and suspending all our activities for a brief moment will give us time to introspect and analyse our own actions. We will develop a new understanding of our surroundings and thus change our attitude to life. We will check our destructive ways and try to be more positive and constructive.
Question.6.What are the different kinds of wars mentioned in the poem? What is Neruda’s
attitude towards these wars? (Delhi 2013)
Answer. The poet has written about wars against humanity and nature. Green wars, wars with poisonous gases and wars with fire are the different kinds of wars mentioned in the poem. Wars do good to no one. Pablo Neruda feels that such wars may bring victory, but there are no survivors. It means that there is heavy loss on both sides.
Question.7. How can suspension of activities help? (All India 2012)
Answer. The poet believes that suspension of activities will allow man to introspect, which can help them in analysing their own actions, and in solving many of their problems based on caste, religion or nationality. It will help them develop a new understanding of their surroundings, and thus make them mend their destructive ways.
Question.8. Do you think the poet advocates total inactivity and death? (Delhi 2011)
Answer. No, the poet clearly states that his asking for stillness should not be confused with total inactivity or death. He perceives life to be a continuous process, where man’s activities should not lead to destruction of fellow human beings or nature, but should be channelised in a resourceful way.
Question.9. According to the poet, what is it that human beings can learn from nature? (All India 2010)
Answer. Life under apparent stillness in attitude is the thing which man can learn from nature. The Earth is never in a state of total inactivity. Nature carries on its work even where there is stillness all around. Winter is associated with inactivity, but this is not actually true.
Question.10.What will counting upto twelve and keeping quiet help us to achieve? (Foreign 2009)
Answer. The poet asks each one of us to count to twelve and then be quiet, silent and motionless. This quietness will create a moment of togetherness among all; a condition which is foremost for the survival of humanity, which is indeed an achievement. It will also give us One to analyse our actions and their consequences.