NBSE Class-10| Alternative English| Chapter-4 Old Folks Laugh

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In This chapter NBSE Class-10| Alternative English| Chapter-4 Old Folks Laugh. which is a part of the class 10 syllabus of Alternative English for students studying under Nagaland Board of School Education:

NBSE Class-10| Alternative English| Chapter-4 Old Folks Laugh

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POETRY

: Maya Angelou

STANZAWISE SUMMARY

The poet presents the realistic image of the elderly people who develop positive attitude towards life. When they laugh, they laugh aloud and whole-heartedly without worrying about how they look. They don’t care what people think of them though there was a time when they cared for it. They have their own troubles when they have wrinkles on their brows with worry. They wear false and artificial smiles to cover their anxieties. But when they remember their prosperous times, they laugh in a natural manner without pretending to maintain an appearance. When they laugh, their bellies shake like a jingling tambourine. Very soon, saliva shines brightly in the corners of their mouths and their heads shake on their stiff necks. They recall their hard times and happy times. Their laughter is a sign of their triumph over sadness. They look forward to release themselves in death. They willingly forgive life for whatever they have enjoyed or suffered during life-time.

I.Choose the correct option.

1. Which of the following words describes the frailty of old folks?

a. Jiggle

b. wobble

c. glisten

d. spill

Ans. b. wobble

2. Which line from the poem indicates that old folks are not self-conscious?

a. Saliva glistens in the corners of their mouths.

b. When old folks laugh, they free the world. 

c. The hollers rise up and spill over any way they want.

d. Their heads wobble on brittle necks,

Ans. a. Saliva glistens in the corners of their mouths.

3. What is the meaning of the word ‘promise’ in the poem?

a. Death has promised the old folks a painless end

b. Death is the reward old folks have been promised for leading a good life.

c. The old folks have taken a vow to die soon.

d. Death is inevitable. 

Ans. d. Death is inevitable.

4.What is the purpose of the full stop used in the lines winding the lines between their brows. Old folks allow their belles to jiggle….

a. To indicate that the old folks’ lives are coming to an end soon.

b. To indicate that the old folks’ have stopped smiling. 

c. To show that the old folks’ no longer have any reason to frown.

d. To show that the old folks’ days of caring about what other people think are over.

Ans. a. To indicate that the old folks’ lives are coming to an end soon.

5.Why does the poet describe death as ‘dear’?

a. Death is a relief from the problems that come with old age.

b. Death is a good friend of the old folks.

c. Because the old folks want to die as soon as possible.

d. The poet is directly addressing death in this line. 

Ans. a. Death is a relief from the problems that come with old age.

II.Explain with reference to context. 

1.Saliva glistens in 

the corners of their mouths, 

their heads wobble 

on brittle necks, but 

their laps

are filled with memories

a. Who is being addressed in this poem?

Ans. Elderly people are being addressed in this poem. 

b. What is the attitude of old people when they laugh?

Ans. When old people laugh, saliva sparkles in the corners of their mouths. Their heads move unsteadily from side to side on their stiff necks.

c. What does the poet mean by their laps are filled with memories?

Ans. The poet means to say that old people recall their sweet and bitter memories of the past in their hearts.

2. When old folks laugh, they consider the promise of dear painless death, and generously forgive life for happening to them.

a. What makes the old people want to forgive life?

Ans. The old people want to forgive life as they are going to be free from their world of care and anxieties.

b. Why do they think about death?

Ans. They think about death because death is inevitable and it makes them free from the worldly cares.

c. What quality of old people does the poet talk about in these lines?

Ans. In these lines, the poet talks about the contentment of the old people. They are satisfied with whatever they have acquired in their lives.

III. Answer the questions.

1. When and why do the old folks pretend?

Ans. The old folks pretend to smile. They cover their worries with their artificial smiles because they don’t want to recall the miseries of life that they have suffered in the past.

2. What kind of an impression would they make on others when they laugh loudly?

Ans. When they laugh loudly, they would make the impression on others that they are very happy and satisfied.

3. What do we know about the old people?

Ans. We know that the old people are ready to die as they know that death is inevitable. No one can escape death. They are ready to welcome painless death. They don’t have any complaint in their lives.

IV. Going beyond.

1.What is the main idea portrayed in the poem? How can we consider this poem a realistic picture of old people?

Ans. The positive attitude that elderly people develop towards life has been presented beautifully and reatistically in this poem. Old people laugh whole- heartedly. They don’t care asto what people think of them. When they recall their anxieties, they cover their worried faces with false and bright smiles. When they recall their happy times, they laugh without any restraint. They don’t try to pretend to maintain appearances. When they laugh, their bellies shake like jingling tambourines.

     “Old folks allow their bellies to jiggle like slow tambourines.”

Soon saliva dribbles from the sides of their mouths and their heads shake on their stiff necks. Their laughter is a sign of their victory over sadness. They are ready to die and to be released from the harsh realities of life. They are always ready to welcome painless death as they know the fact that death is inevitable.

Class-10 Alternative English Notes/Solutions

Chapter No.Chapter’s Name
PROSE
Chapter 1The Fragrance of The Gods
Chapter 2Man Against Virus
Chapter 3Speech by Severn Suzuki
Chapter 4In Celebration of Being Alive
Chapter 5The Ambitious Guest
POETRY
Chapter 1To Sleep
Chapter 2Prayer of the Meek
Chapter 3Closed Path
Chapter 4Old Folks Laugh
GRAMMAR
1.Degree of Comparison
2.Conjunctions
3.Prepositions
4.Active and Passive Voice
5.Clauses
Reading
WRITING SKILLS
1.Newspaper Report
2.Article
3.Story-Writing
4.Dialogue
AUTOBIOGRAPHY
The Diary of a Young Girl

Additional Questions & Answers

1. Choose the correct answer from the alternatives given:

(a) What do the old folks look forward to be released in?

(i) Death [✓]

(ii) Life

(iii) Memories

(iv) Pain

2…… Old folks 

a. What is the figure of speech used here? 

Ans. The figure of speech used here is simile. The shaking of bellies has been compared to the shaking of tambourine.

b. What does it tell you about old folks?

Ans. It tells us about old falks that they laugh uncontrolla- bly. When they laugh, their bellies shake in the same manner as the tambourine shakes when it is beaten.

c. When the poet says that their hollers rise up and spill  over any way they want. 

she means that they

i. stand up and laugh.

ii. food spills all over them. 

iii. laugh with no restraint.

Ans. iii. laugh with no restraint.

3.Why does the poet contrast the way the old people smile and the way they laugh?

Ans. They smile in an artificial manner as they recall their bitter past but they laugh whole-heartedly when they recall their pleasant past.

4. How does the poet create the image of old people laughing?

Ans. When the old people laugh, they shake their bellies in the same manner as the tambourines shake when they are beaten to create sounds.

5. Whose bellies jiggle like slow tambourines?

a) Activists

b) Old folks

c) Caged birds

d) Children

Ans. b) Old folks

6. “They have spent their content of simpering, holding their lips this and that way, winding the lines between their brows. (Old Folks Laugh)

a. Who is ‘they’ here?

Ans. Old folks are ‘they’ here. 

b. Why do they pretend?

Ans. They pretend to be happy to hide their anxieties. Their laughter is a sign of their triumph over sadness.

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