A Considerable Speck Workbook Solution : ICSE Treasure Chest

A Considerable Speck Workbook Solution : ICSE Treasure Chest

Welcome to “A Considerable Speck Workbook Solution: ICSE Treasure Chest,” where we embark on a journey through the captivating narrative of ICSE English Literature Treasure Chest Part 2. Within these pages, we meticulously unravel the essence of “A Considerable Speck” through comprehensive workbook solutions. This post offers comprehensive answers to multiple-choice and contextual questions, deepening your understanding of the timeless tale. Meet the characters and delve into the nuances of character development and thematic exploration. Each question serves as a gateway to dissecting the text, urging readers to analyze subtle nuances and extract deeper meanings. Contextual inquiries broaden our canvas for exploration, encouraging critical engagement with socio-cultural backdrops and universal themes. Through this examination, readers sharpen analytical skills and develop a profound appreciation for literary craftsmanship. Whether a student navigating ICSE English Literature or an avid reader unraveling beloved stories, “A Considerable Speck Workbook Solutions” promises valuable companionship. Join us on this literary journey as we illuminate the path to understanding, one workbook solution at a time.

Table of Contents

Poem Summary :

The Poem in Detail

Lines 1 to 9

The speaker was writing something on a sheet of paper, when he suddenly noticed a ‘speck’, which he would not have been able to see had it not been moving or a white sheet of paper. He was just about to stop writing by marking a period (full stop) when he steadily held his pen in the air as something strange abou it’ made him think that it was not a speck of dust blown over by his breath- speck of fluff. But it was, without any doubt, ‘a living mite’ having its own feeling and decision-making power.

Lines 10 to 18

After careful observation, the speaker found that the mite had stopped running as if it were frightened of his pen. But again it started running wildly and came up to the place on the paper where the ink had not yet dried and it stopped. It drank or smelt the ink but with a feeling of intense dislike and turned again to move. This made the speaker realise that the tiny insect had a mind of its own as well as intelligence. The speaker thought that the mite could not have feet as it was too small. Yet he felt it must have had a set of them which it used to run and escape as it did not want to die. Here, the speaker is referring to the natural tendency of every living thing, from a speck to the highest category i.e., man-the desire to continue to live in whatever form it is.

Lines 19 to 29

The speaker says that the mite ran in fear for its life, creeping, faltering, going on and hesitating. But it finally cowered motionless in the middle of the sheet of paper. as if it had resigned itself to its fate, i.e., the human God, the speaker. The speaker refrained from killing the mite not because he believed in ‘Collectivistic regimenting love’, an ideology quite popular in the modern world. Tenderer-than-thou Collectivistic regmenting love has reference to the growth of communism during that time Communism is a political system where the state controls everything advocating the importance of the group over the individual and rejecting the presence of God. The poets talks of communism sweeping over the world. In contrast is the compassion of God allowing the little creature to rest without any harm coming upon it. The poet did not kill the mite because he found that the mite had a mind of its own and therefore, the right to live. Perhaps, the speaker is suggesting that ‘a speck’ with intelligence is superior to a human who is devoid of wit and intelligence. The speaker went on to say that since the mite was too small (i.e. microscopic) and he did not find anything evil in it, he allowed it to sleep on the sheet of paper.

Lines 30 to 33

The poem ends with a quatrain, in which the speaker drily but humorously says that he was delighted to encounter, the ‘display of mind’ on a sheet of paper.

Workbook MCQs :

1. What made the speaker notice the speck that would have been beneath his sight?
(a) Its presence on a white sheet of paper
(b) Its shape like a full-stop
(c) Its dark colour
(d) None of the above.

Answer :- (a) Its presence on a white sheet of paper

2. What was strange thing that made the speaker to think about the speck»
(a) The speck was a living mite
(b) The speck was clearly visible to him
(c) The speck was a figment of his imagination
(d) The speck was a fluff of dust.

Answer :- (a) The speck was a living mite.

3. What was ‘it’ that the speaker said that living mite ‘could call its own»
(a) Movements
(b) Decisions
(c) Fears
(d) Feelings.

Answer :- (d) Feelings.

4. What was the mite’s ‘suspicion’?
(a) Of being thrown away from paper
(b) Of being blown away by the speaker’s breath
(c) Of getting killed by the speaker’s pen
(d) All of the above.

Answer :- (c) Of getting killed by the speaker’s pen

5. What did the mite drink or smell?
(a) Ink
(b) Water
(c) Sweat
(d) None of the above.

Answer :- (a) Ink.

6. Which figure of speech is used in the phrase ‘with cunning crept’?
(a) Assonance
(b) Simile
(c) Metonymy
(d) Alliteration

Answer :- (d) Alliteration.

7. Which poetic device is used in the line given below?
“With loathing, for again it turned to fly.”
(a) Metaphor
(b) Personification
(c) Simile
(d) Oxymoron

Answer :- (b) Personification.

8. The speaker decided not to kill the mite because of which of its qualities?
(a) Small size
(b) Fear of the speaker
(c) Intelligence
(d) All of the above

Answer :- (c) Intelligence

9. Which characteristic trait of the speaker is revealed in the line uttered by him
“Whatever I accorded it of fate.”
(a) Arrogance
(b) Annoyance
(c) Superiority
(d) None of the above.

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10. Which figure of speech is used in the line given below?
“I have none of the tenderer-than-thou.”
(a) Personification
(b) Metaphor
(c) Simile
(d) Alliteration

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11. According to the speaker, the modern world is swept by which of the following
(a) Individualism
(b) Collectivism
(c) Selfishness
(d) None of the above.

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12. Why did the poet allow the mite to doze off instead of killing it?
(a) It was too tired and wanted to take rest
(b) He believed in collectivistic ideology
(c) It did not intend any harm to him
(d) None of the above.

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13. Which of the following poetic devices is used in the title of the poem?
(a) Paradox
(b) Metaphor
(c) Personification
(d) Oxymoron

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14. What is the central theme of the poem?
(a) Mind, its creativity and imagination
(b) Collectivistic ideology
(c) Superiority of man
(d) None of the above.

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15. Which of the following lines contains the same literary device as the one in the title of the poem, ‘A Considerable Speck’?

(a) The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn
(b) His honour rooted in dishonour stood
And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.
(c) Good we must love and must hate ill,
For ill is ill and good good still.
(d) Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb
The gradient’s against her, but she’s on time
.

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Workbook Questions :

Extract 1

A speck that would have been beneath my sight
On any but a paper sheet so white
Set off across what I had written there.
And I had idly poised my pen in air
To stop it with a period of ink
When something strange about it made me think,
This was no dust speck by my breathing blown,
But unmistakably a living mite
With inclinations it could call its own.

(i) When did the speaker notice ‘a speck’? Why did he feel that it would have been beneath his sight?

Answer :- The speaker noticed ‘a speck’ while engrossed in writing on a pristine paper sheet. He was struck by its presence because ordinarily, such a minuscule object would have escaped his notice, especially on a surface as bright and clean as the paper he was working on. Its significance lay not in its size, which would have rendered it inconspicuous in most situations, but in the context of the blank white sheet where it traversed.

(iI) Why did the speaker idly poise his pen in the air?

Answer :- The speaker, in the midst of his writing, idly poised his pen in the air, perhaps to pause momentarily or to contemplate his next thought. This brief pause allowed him to notice the speck and consider its presence amidst his writing.

(iII) What was ‘strange’ about it that attracted the speaker’s attention? What was the speck in reality?

Answer :- What struck the speaker as strange about the speck was its behavior and appearance. It appeared to be more than just an ordinary speck of dust, blown by the speaker’s breath. Instead, it displayed movement and characteristics that hinted at life. This realization led the speaker to discern that it was unmistakably a living mite, rather than an inanimate particle.

(iV) Explain the meaning of the last line of this extract.

Answer :- The line “With inclinations it could call its own” implies that the mite possessed its own set of desires, urges, or tendencies. This suggests that the mite was not merely a passive object but a living creature capable of independent action and decision-making. In essence, it had agency and autonomy, distinguishing it from an inert speck of dust.

(v) Explain briefly how does this extract justify the title of the poem.

Answer :- This extract underscores the significance of seemingly inconsequential details, such as a tiny speck, which may hold unexpected significance upon closer examination. Despite its small size, the speck becomes the focal point of the speaker’s attention, prompting reflection on its nature and implications. Thus, the extract aligns with the theme suggested by the title, emphasizing the importance of paying attention to the seemingly trivial aspects of life.

Extract 2

Plainly with an intelligence I dealt.
It seemed too tiny to have room for feet,
Yet must have had a set of them complete
To express how much it didn’t want to die.
It ran with terror and with cunning crept.
It faltered: I could see it hesitate;
Then in the middle of the open sheet
Cower down in desperation to accept
Whatever I accorded it of fate.

(i) Which characteristic trait of the mite is the speaker talking about in the first line of this extract? Why?

Answer :- The characteristic trait of the mite that the speaker is referring to in the first line is its intelligence. Despite its small size, the mite displays behavior that indicates a level of intelligence, which surprises the speaker. This intelligence manifests in the mite’s actions and reactions, suggesting a capacity for thought and awareness that defies expectations.

(iI) Why did the speaker at first think that the mite did not have feet? What made him change his stance at the very next moment?

Answer :- The speaker initially thinks the mite is too tiny to have room for feet because of its minuscule size. However, he quickly realizes that the mite must indeed have a complete set of feet to exhibit the behaviors he observes. The mite’s movements, particularly its running with terror and cunningly creeping, demonstrate the presence of feet and a level of mobility that contradicts the speaker’s initial assumption.

(iII) What made the speaker realise that it didn’t want to die”

Answer :- The speaker realizes that the mite doesn’t want to die based on its behavior. The mite’s actions, such as running with terror, faltering, and cowering down in desperation, indicate a strong instinct for self-preservation. These behaviors suggest that the mite is motivated by a desire to avoid harm or death, highlighting its instinctual drive to survive.

(iV) What did It’ do in the middle of the sheet of paper? Why?

Answer :-  In the middle of the sheet of paper, the mite cowers down in desperation. It does so to accept whatever fate the speaker accords to it. This action reflects the mite’s resignation to its circumstances, as it recognizes its vulnerability and submits to the will of the larger and more powerful entity represented by the speaker.

(v) Explain the attitude of the speaker towards the mite in this extract.

Answer :- The speaker’s attitude towards the mite in this extract is one of observation and contemplation. He marvels at the mite’s intelligence and resilience, acknowledging its capacity for fear and survival despite its diminutive size. There is a sense of respect for the mite’s instinctual drive to live, even as the speaker holds the power to determine its fate.

Extract 3

I have none of the tenderer-than-thou
Collectivistic regimenting love
With which the modern world is being swept.
But this poor microscopic item now!
Since it was nothing I knew evil of
I let it lie there till I hope it slept.

(i) Which trait is the speaker referring to which he says he does not have? What is the result of lacking this trait?

Answer :- The speaker is referring to the trait of having “tenderer-than-thou collectivistic regimenting love.” This trait implies a form of love characterized by excessive sentimentality and conformity to societal norms or collective ideologies. The result of lacking this trait is that the speaker does not conform to the prevailing attitudes of the modern world, which emphasizes collective values and conformity over individuality.

(iI) Explain with reference to context the meaning of the phrase- Collectivistic regimenting love’.

Answer :- The phrase “collectivistic regimenting love” refers to a form of love that prioritizes conformity to collective norms and values. In the context of the poem, it suggests a societal trend where individuals are expected to adhere to predetermined standards of behavior and thought dictated by the collective or society at large. This form of love is regimented, meaning it is structured and controlled, often at the expense of individual autonomy and authenticity.

(iII) To whom did the speaker refer to as ‘poor microscopic item? Why? What does it suggest about the speaker?

Answer :- The speaker refers to the mite as a “poor microscopic item” because it is small and seemingly insignificant compared to larger beings like humans. The use of the word “poor” suggests a sense of pity or sympathy for the mite’s plight. It also reflects the speaker’s humility and recognition of the mite’s inherent value, despite its size. This portrayal suggests that the speaker is empathetic and compassionate towards even the smallest forms of life.

(iV) Why did the speaker let it lie there? Do you think the speaker was right in doing so? Give reason to support your answer.

Answer :- The speaker lets the mite lie there because he sees no reason to harm it. He acknowledges that he has “none of the tenderer-than-thou” love that might compel him to react differently. Instead, he chooses to let the mite be, hoping that it will sleep peacefully. Whether the speaker was right in doing so is subjective and open to interpretation. Some may argue that the speaker’s decision reflects a compassionate and non-interfering attitude towards life, while others may argue that he should have removed the mite from his writing space to prevent potential harm.

(v) Explain how does this extract reflect on the theme of the poem.

Answer :- This extract reflects on the theme of individuality and compassion amidst societal expectations. The speaker’s refusal to conform to societal norms of collectivistic love highlights his commitment to individual autonomy and authenticity. By letting the mite lie undisturbed, the speaker demonstrates compassion and respect for even the smallest forms of life, emphasizing the value of empathy and non-interference in the face of societal pressures to conform. Thus, the extract reinforces the poem’s exploration of individual agency and ethical considerations in human interactions with the natural world.

Extract 4

I have a mind myself and recognize
Mind when I meet with it in any guise
No one can know how glad I am to find
On any sheet the least display of mind.

(i) What does the speaker want to convey by saying that he has a mind? Which characteristic trait of the speaker is conveyed by this assertion?

Answer :- By saying that he has a mind, the speaker wants to convey that he possesses intelligence, awareness, and the ability to recognize these qualities in others. This assertion suggests the speaker’s appreciation for intellectual engagement and his respect for the faculties of thought and cognition. The characteristic trait conveyed by this assertion is the speaker’s intellectual curiosity and openness to encountering intelligence in various forms.

(iI) Where does the speaker find ‘the mind’? In which ‘guise’ does he find it? How does he recognise it?

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(iII) How does the speaker reward it for displaying its mind? Why does the speaker not punish it for trespassing his sheet of paper?

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(iV) What is the reason for the speaker’s feeling of gladness? Give the symbolic meaning of the line—On any sheet the least display of mind.

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(v) What is the central theme of this poem? How is an inconsequential mite used to justify the theme of the poem?

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Extract 5

It paused as with suspicion of my pen,
And then came racing wildly on again
To where my manuscript was not yet dry;
Then paused again and either drank or smelt–
With loathing, for again it turned to fly.

(i) What is referred to by ‘It’ that paused with suspicion? Why did it do so?

Answer :-  ‘It’ refers to the mite mentioned earlier in the poem. It paused with suspicion of the speaker’s pen, possibly sensing danger or disturbance from the movement of the pen. The mite may have perceived the pen as a potential threat to its safety or habitat.

(iI) Why did it start racing wildly after a pause? Why was the manuscript not yet dry?

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(iII) What did ‘It’ drink or smell with loathing? Why? What did it do after that?

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(iV) Explain briefly, the use of imagery in the extract.

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(v) How does the speaker deal with the mite? What makes him do so? How does the speaker’s action justify the theme of the poem.

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