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AP Senior Inter English Important Study Material

Equipment Paragraph Question
'All men are created equal' is a well-known statement made by Thomas Jefferson. Does the poem 'Equipment' corroborate this?
A: The poem 'Equipment' is written by Edgar Albert Guest. It has a very self-reliant and democratic theme. Thomas Jefferson was the
3rd US President and the author of the Declaration of Independence. His well known statement, 'All men are created equal', is aptly
corroborated by the present poem.

The poet says we are all blessed with the same faculties at birth. All of us have a pair of eyes, hands, legs and arms and a brain. The
basic 'equipment' is the same. Great men do not enjoy any special advantages or privileges from birth. Like others, they too use ordinary forks and knives to eat with. They use the same kind of shoes and laces that we use. But what distinguishes them from others is their courage and will power. They followed the motto 'I can'
and pursued their dreams. So success depends on the individual's ability in making use of the 'equipment' gifted by God. Thus the
poem absolutely supports Thomas Jefferson's statement that all men are created equal.

Annotation :You are the handicap you must face, You are the one who must choose your place.
Reference: These lines are taken from the poem 'Equipment' written by Edgar Albert Guest.
Context: The poet says these words while expressing that people are responsible for their own fate.
Meaning: We should realize that we alone are responsible for how we shape our lives. We make our own decisions and choices and must
accept the consequences. We are responsible for our own fate. God has equipped us with the same things and made us all equal. The only
handicap that stands in our path is our own lack of confidence. We should use the equipment and innate abilities given to us by God. It is we who need to decide how to use these gifts and what we want to be.
Comment: The poem is simple and inspirational.

'The Giving Tree' is a celebration of unconditional love. Illustrate.
A: The poem 'The Giving Tree' written by Shel Silverstein is a short moral tale about the unselfish love of a tree towards a boy. The tree always gives the boy whatever he needs; vines to swing from, shade to sit under, apples to snack on, and branches to build a
house. As the boy grows older and older he requires more and more of the tree. It allows the boy to pluck the apples, to buy things and have fun. Later it offers him its branches to build a house. Ultimately it lets the boy cut her down to build a boat in which he can sail. The boy leaves the tree, now a stump. Many years later, the
boy, now an old man, returns. The tree regrets that she has nothing left to give him. Later it invites him to sit on the stump and rest.
Thus the tree gives all it can to the boy. In fact, it only knows how to give. It never expects in return. It shows unselfish love towards the boy at every stage. Though the boy never expresses gratitude, the tree does not mind. Thus ‘The Giving Tree’ stands symbolic of unconditional love and generosity.

'I wish that I could give you something' but I have nothing left.’
Reference: These lines are taken from the poem 'The Giving Tree' written by Shel Silverstein.
Context: The poet says these words while describing the tree’s plight
when it finds nothing to offer the boy.
Meaning: The tree gives the boy everything it has. The boy never
expresses his gratitude or acknowledges the sacrifice made by the tree for his sake. The boy has no further use for the tree. He goes away to a far-off place. The tree yearns for the return of the boy.
Many years later the boy returns as an old man. The tree feels miserable that it has nothing left to give him. Regretfully it tells the boy that it has neither fruits nor branches. It is now just an old stump.
Comment: Shel Silverstein’s moving parable offers a wonderful interpretation of the gift of giving.

Human Family Paragraph Question
India is a country that has many languages, religions and cultures. With reference to the ideas expressed in the poem, how do you think we can stay united despite these differences?
A: The poem 'Human Family' written by Maya Angelou is a fervent appeal for unity in diversity. The poet opines that though we belong
to different races, cultures and religions, our basic human qualities are the same. We share more similarities than differences. We all belong to one family, namely, human family.

The poem is also relevant from India’s point of view. People of India follow different religions, castes, customs and traditions. They speak different languages. They also differ in dress and food. Inspite of so many differences, people have a feeling of oneness. They are bound by common cultural heritage and they share basic human values. Indian culture is dynamic and tolerant. The diversity of the Indians contributes to the variety and richness of Indian culture and strengthens national unity. Annotation: We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.
Reference: These lines are taken from the poem 'Human Family' written by Maya Angelou.
Context: The poet says these words while conveying that people share more similarities than differences.
Meaning: There are clear differences in human family. Some look serious whereas some others are light-hearted. People also differ in their colour. The poet says that though she has travelled to many places in the world, she hasn't seen two persons who are exactly same. Even mirror twins may differ in several respects. Finally the poet says that there may be differences among people on the surface but they are negligible. The poem ends with the slogan that we are more alike than unalike.
Comment: The last line of the poem is repeated three times. This method is usually employed in poetry to emphasise an idea more

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