CHILDHOOD | Hornbill Chapter Wise Question Answer



1. Identify the stanza that talks of each of the following:

Individuality              rationalism                      hypocrisy

Answer:-  Individuality : stanza no. 3
                  Rationalism : stanza no. 1
                  Hypocrisy    : stanza no.2

2. What according to the poem is involved in the process of growing up?
Answer:-  The process of growing up involves many things. First of all it begins with the stage when one can differentiate between reality and imaginary things. The second stage is reached when one can differentiate between  what adults preach and what they do.  He can see through their hypocrisy. And lastly, independent thinking is the sign of a mature man. He is not influenced or directed by others as he was in his childhood.

3. What is the poet’s feeling towards childhood?
Answer:- The poet seems to be nostalgic about his childhood. But it has been  lost and will not come back. He seems to suffer from a sense of loss.

4. Which do you think are the most poetic lines? Why?

Answer:-  The most poetic lines in the poem are.
‘It went to some forgotten place,
That’s hidden in an infant’s face.

These two lines form a rhyming couplet. They lift us back to the innocent world of an infant where the poet’s childhood seems to be lying hidden.


1. Do you think the poet is nostalgic about his childhood? Does he feel the loss of his childhood as a great loss?

Answer:- Naturally the poet grows nostalgic about his childhood. Childhood means innocence and loss of it means the loss of innocence. The poet suffers from a sense of loss and speculates on how and when he suffered that loss.

2. Why is the age of eleven so important for the poet? Do you think he attained adulthood at the Age of eleven?
Answer:- At the age  of eleven the poet was able to differentiate between fact and fiction, truth and imaginary speculation. He realised that ‘hell’ and ‘heaven’ are merely imaginary concepts. They don’t exist in the world of reality or even in geography books. The age of eleven was the first step towards maturity and rational thinking.

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3. What does the poet say about the hypocrisy of the grown ups?

Answer:  There was a process of growing up.  He was no more  a child when he could see through the hypocrisy of the grown up people.  It was a step towards adulthood. The grown ups  are not as good as they appear to be. Nor do they practise love in their actions as they preach it so frequently.

4. What is the difference between childhood and adulthood? Do you think the only difference is between, that of innocence and ‘hypocrisy’?
Answer:- It appears so. Childhood stands for innocence. It knows no crafts or hypocrisy. The moment a man is able to differentiate between the preaching’s  and actions of the grown ups, he takes a step forward towards maturity. Hypocrisy and crafty nature is associated only with the world of adults.

5. Is independent thinking a step towards adulthood ? If so, how?

Answer:- Certainly, it is. A child has no independence. His thinking is always influenced and directed by adults. The day he starts thinking independently, he takes a step ahead towards maturity. The day he feels that his thoughts are his own and only his own, then, it is a definite step towards adulthood.

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6. In the last stanza the poet asks “Where did my childhood go”? The previous three stanzas begin with “When did my childhood go?” Do you think that this change is quite significant?
Answer:- In all the previous stanzas, the poet has been asking the same question. He wants to know the stage when he lost his childhood and suddenly grew up as an adult. But in the last stanza he asks. ‘Where did my childhood go?’ He wants to know the place and not the time. And finally he finds an answer. ‘That’s hidden in an infant’s face.’

7. Has the poet got an answer to the question : “Where did my childhood go”?
Answer:- It seems that the poet has got the final answer. He realises that his childhood is lying hidden in an infant’s innocent face and has been deliberately forgotten. His lost childhood is lying hidden somewhere in the innocence which is present only over an infant’s face.

8. Identify where the poet talks of
i) Individuality    ii) rationalism    iii) hypocrisy

Answer:- i) The poet talks of his ‘individuality’ in stanza three. Here is a person whose mind is really his own and who can think independently. He is not influenced or directed by others.  Ii) The poet’s rationalism is shown in stanza first. Here he comes to realise for the first time that ‘hell’ and ‘heaven’ are merely imaginary concepts. He can now differentiate between facts and fiction. Iii) The poet can see through the hypocrisy of the grown ups in  stanza two. Adults are not what they appear to be. They talk and preach of love but seldom practice it.

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