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1)It takes much time to kill a tree’ – Why does it take much time to kill a tree? According to the poet, how is the tree finally killed? [3+3 = 6] [H.S. – 2015, 2018]

Ans.  A tree grows slowly consuming the vital nutrients of the earth. It feeds on its crust and absorbs sunlight, air, and water over the years. Roots go deep inside the ‘anchoring earth’. It has its natural strength to heal its bleeding bark. It has the resistance to survive against any outside assault. So, it takes much time to kill a tree.

It is very important to pull out the roots, the source and strength of the tree to kill it completely. After uprooting a tree, it is exposed in the sun and air for scorching and chocking. Browning, hardening, twisting and withering are the final processes that lead to the ultimate death of a tree.

2)How does a tree offer resistance to its destruction? How does its resistance fail? [3+3 = 6] [H.S. = 2017]

Ans.  It is very difficult to kill a tree by a simple jab of the knife. Hacking, and chopping can only inflict pain and bleed the bark of the tree. A tree has its natural healing force to mend its draining bark. After sometimes, curled green twigs and branches will appear from the stem. If it is left unchecked, the tree will expand again to its former size.

The resistance of a tree fails when its roots are pulled out by force. Roots are the source of all strength- the most sensitive parts of a tree. A tree fails to stand firm and high against man’s violence and impatience when its roots are exposed to the sun and the air. They are scorched and withered and finally killed.

3)How does the poet describe the growth of a tree over the years? What are the different steps taken for killing a tree? [4+2 = 6] [H.S. = 2019]

Ans.  The poet Gieve Patel in ‘On Killing a Tree’ describes that a tree grows slowly. It grows consuming the vital nutrients from the earth. It feeds upon its crust. It becomes a tree absorbing sunlight, air, and water years after years. Its ‘leprous hide’ sprouts leaves and branches making it huge in size.

Roots are the source and strength of a tree. So, the roots are to be pulled out from the anchoring earth. It is roped and pulled out entirely. The strength of a tree is exposed completely. Then there are processes of scorching and chocking. The rootless tree becomes brown, hard, twisted, and withered. Finally, it dies down.

4)Justify the title of the poem ‘On Killing A Tree’. [6] [H.S. = 2016]

Ans. The title of the poem ‘On Killing a Tree’ describes the whole process of killing a tree. The word ‘killing’ in this poem refers to man’s violence and impatience towards nature. In a voice of sarcasm and irony, the poet narrates the whole process of killing a tree from its uprooting to withering. The title is ironic to mankind in the sense of man’s foolishness, recklessness and callousness. The title shows Gieve Patel’s concern for nature. The poet wants to convey a message through the poem to his readers to be sympathetic to nature. Thus, the title is appropriate.

5) “And then it is done”. – What is being referred to here? How is it done? On what tone does the poem end? [1+2+2 = 6] [H.S. = 2020]

Ans.  The systematic act of killing a tree is done.

Roots are the source and strength of a tree. So, the roots are to be pulled out from the anchoring earth. It is roped and pulled out entirely. The strength of a tree is exposed completely. Then there are processes of scorching and chocking. The rootless tree becomes brown, hard, twisted, and withered. Finally, it dies down.

The poem ends in an ironic tone. It reflects the tragic destruction of nature and natural environment becsuse of man’s insatiable greed. The tree symbolizes nature and its destruction shows man’s utter folly of destroying him.

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