‘Animals’ Poem Extra and CBSE last Years’ Questions: The questions are from last years’ exams, CBSE Question Bank and other extra questions for practice and revision. All questions are solved.
Abut the Poem ‘Animals’
‘Animals’ is a poem that draws a contrast between man and animals. The poet of the poem admires the virtues which are lost by man but retained by the animals. With the passage of time, man has shed all those good qualities that he possessed and became an uncivilised beast. However, the animals have been successful to carry the similar virtues that they had in them from the start of the world.
The Key Learnings from the Poem can be summarised as
Humans have now forgotten their admirable qualities which they once possessed. They have become uncivilized beasts. Animals have successfully retained the great traits abandoned by humans. Humans should retain their moral virtues and values and get rid of their mania of possessing materialistic things.
CBSE Question Bank
Q. How would you evaluate the poet’s opinion on religion? [CBSE QB 2020-21]
Ans. The poet says that animals do not have to repent or pray to God to ask Him for forgiveness as animals are innocent and do not commit any sins or crimes.
For humans, the poet says that the humans do not have a clear conscience and weep over their sins throughout the night. Their sins and misdeeds don’t allow them to enjoy sound sleep. They simply pretend to be religious.
It can be clearly said, that the poet thinks that people do not really follow their religions. Rather they remember God only when they need forgiveness.
Q. Does Whitman believe that animals and humans are essentially similar? Provide one reason to support your opinion. [QB 2020-21]
Ans. The answer is in yes and no both.
Yes – According to the poet, animals and humans are not at all similar. He finds that human lacks many virtues that animals have. The animals are calm and contented whereas the men are not.
Yes – Whitman believes that animals and humans are essentially similar. According to him, humans too possessed the same qualities like calmness, self, restraint etc. Initially that are possessed by animals. However, with the passage of time they have lost them.
Q. Calling someone ‘an animal’ usually has a negative connotation. How does the poet invert it? [QB 2020-21]
Ans. Calling someone an animal means the targeted person is uncivilised. The poet inverts this by high lighting the qualities of calmness and self-restraint possessed by animals. By this he brings about the fact that animals are far more civilised than human who are greedy and sinful.
Q. A misanthrope is a person who dislikes humankind. Do you think the poet is a misanthrope? Provide a rationale to support your response. [QB 2020-21]
Ans. Walt Whitman perfectly suits to be a misanthrope because he loves animals and feels that humans are losing that essence of good values in the rapid process of civilization. He hates them and worries for them. He is shown so disappointed with the humankind that he wanted to live with animals rather than amongst humans.
Q. Walt Whitman wrote this poem towards the end of the nineteenth century. How might it be different if he were writing it today?
Ans. If Walt Whitman would have to write this poem today, then I suppose it would be even more audacious than the present version. As humans have become more uncivilized and selfish with the passage of time, the poet would have described it more sarcastically. Humans today have lost all their virtues. Hence, the reality in the poem about human values would have been uglier if the poet would have written it today.
Q. In the debate between NATURE and NURTURE, on which side might you find the poet? Support your stance with evidence. [QB 2020-21]
Ans. According to me, the poet might be found on the side of NATURE. Because he believed that initially, both animals and humans possessed noble qualities. These virtues were natural to them. But later, humans lacked the qualities of being respectable, happy contented and peace-loving which is still reflected in animals.
Q. Whitman’s ode to animals is merely a yearning for a simpler life. Do you agree? Justify your answer. [QB 2020-21]
Ans. Yes, I agree that to animals is merely a yearning for a simpler life. In the poem ‘Animals, Whitman urges man to slowdown and lead a peaceful life. He believes that man’s lust for greed is taking a toll on his quality of life.
Q. The poet has an exaggerated and idealized perception of animal life. Do you agree? Why/Why not? [QB 2020-21]
Ans. I don’t think that the poet has exaggerated and idealized the perception of animal life because all the points mentioned by him in the poem are true about the animals. He has not fabricated any of it. For example: The animals never sweat and whine about their condition. That is so true and real.
Q. 2. How can you relate Baloo’s words — “They’ll ruin him. They’ll make a man out of him!”— to the poem
‘Animals’ by Walt Whitman?
Ans. Baloo’s words— “They’ll ruin him. They’ll make a man out of him!” satirically mirror human nature and aptly fit to the poem ‘Animals’. According to the poet, the animals are pure souls who are calm, composed, satisfied, and happy. They do not possess any ‘mania’ of acquiring wealth or materials. They have been able to preserve their natural values of innocence in them.
The poet draws many Comparisions to prove, that animals are better than humans. Humans commit sins, animals don’t, animals don’t care about worldly things while humans do, animals do not discriminate while humans do. Animals never discuss their duties to God while humans do. So, the poet desires that humans should adopt the qualities of animals to become better humans
Baloo rightly said that if Mowgli would live amongst man, he would be ruined by them as Men are so greedy, cold-hearted, insincere and hypocrite beings. They would make him one of them. The poet has the same idea about humans in the poem ‘Animals’.
Q. 3. Imagine that Walt Whitman and Nelson Mandela are invited to engage in a discussion on the topic – ‘Man’s Journey – Vices, Virtues and Vision’. Based on your reading of ‘Animals’ and ‘Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’, present the similarities and differences in their viewpoints and vision of human beings in the form of a conversation.
Nelson Mandela is more hopeful about human kind than Walt Whitman. Do you agree? Support your opinion based on your reading of ‘Animals’ and ‘Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’.
Ans. Nelson Mandela in ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ talked about value of freedom from the eyes of that human being who has not enjoyed it till he gets it. Think about a bird or animals which are caged, as it has the habit of living with full freedom. But in the cage, it is not free and its condition very pitiable. Similarly, life becomes hell if we are deprived of freedom. If a man is free to do his duties, he can produce better results. He believed that oppressed and the oppressor both were equally to be blamed.
Similarly, Walt Whitman in ‘Animals’ says that humans being are not free. They are bound by many lice greed, dissatisfaction, over ambition and arrogance. Animals are far better than humans. Animals still continue walking on the path of nobility. Whitman compare humans with animals and keeps animals on a higher rank. They are contented, self-sufficient, simple and free from confusions and burden of sins and misdeeds. So, the poet wants to change sides and wants to be a part of the animal’s world.