Haunted Houses Workbook Solution : ICSE Treasure Chest

Haunted Houses Workbook Solution : ICSE Treasure Chest

Welcome to “Haunted Houses Workbook Solution: ICSE Treasure Chest,” where we delve into the captivating narrative of ICSE English Literature Treasure Chest Part 2. Within these pages, we meticulously unravel the essence of “Haunted Houses” 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, “Haunted Houses 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

Stanza 1

The speaker begins with a simple but surprising statement that all houses in which men have lived and died are haunted, i.e, they are visited by the ghosts or spirits of earlier occupants. The poet has dispelled the conventional image of ghosts by describing them as ‘harmless phantoms’ who are busy with errands and move purposefully around the house as they did when they were living, Further, they come and 80 without making any sound.

Stanza 2
The speaker says that these ghosts are ‘impressions on the air’ that cannot be felt ( by touch ). They can be present anywhere in the house: at the doorway, on the stairs or along the passage when they come and go. Though they cannot be seen , their presence is felt as a ‘sense of something, moving to and fro.

Stanza 3
Their presence can be perceived when they join the guests at the dining table and make the number of guests more than those invited by the hosts. In fact , the brightly lit hall appears crowded by these uninvited guests, who remain as silent as the pictures or portraits hung on the wall.

Stanza 4

The speaker then goes on to say that a stranger or guest, sitting with the speaker by the fireplace, is unable to perceive their presence as the speaker does. The speaker is the one, who can see their form (i.e. the impression of their presence) and hear their sounds. He believes that the stranger can only see what is happening in the present but he can see everything clearly from the past to the present. This is perhaps suggestive of the fact that the stranger is the present occupant of the house.

Stanza 5

The speaker asserts that we (living human beings) do not have any permanent ‘title-deeds’ for our houses and lands. This is because those who were the owners and occupants earlier spread their soiled hands from the forgotten graves to claim the inalienable ownership of the properties once owned by them. In other words, the earlier occupants dug their way out of their graves that were unattended and neglected to return to their homes.

Stanza 6
The world of spirits floats around the human world of ‘senses’ (or reality) like the air of the atmosphere envelops the earth. This world (i.e. the spirit world) passes through everything like earthly mists and dense vapours. It is like the vital breath of delicate air from the other world.

Stanza 7
The speaker here talks about human lives. He says that human lives are short and are kept in balance by maintaining ‘opposite attractions and desires.’ There are two types of instincts—base instincts, that seek worldly pleasures and enjoyment and noble instincts, that aspire for higher and noble goals and spiritual aims. Human beings have to learn to deal with these contradictory impulses to achieve equipoise or balance in life.

Stanza 8
The speaker describes the cause of anxiety and fears in human beings. According to the speaker mental disturbances, anxieties and fears of human beings are the result of their earthly needs and high aspirations. These are not the creation of human beings but are shaped by some unknown forces from a remote planet in the universe.

Stanza 9

The speaker says that as the moon comes out of the dark clouds, its light falls on the sea waves and forms a floating bridge of light. Human imagination travels across the planks of this ‘trembling’ bridge into a dark and mysterious world. This bridge connects us (humans) to the spirits of our loved ones, who have gone long ago.

Stanza 10

The speaker says that there is a bridge of light that connects the world of spirits’ to the floating bridge created by the moonlight on the surface of the seas. Only spirits are able to cross this bridge. Our thoughts, i.e. our memories float on the unsteady floor of this bridge that is above a dark abyss. The memories of our loved ones keep us connected to them long after they are gone. These memories keep the living from falling into deep sorrow that is like a dark abyss. The poem thus ends on a comforting and reassuring note.

Workbook MCQs :

1. Who enter through the open doors of houses?
(a) Ancestors
(b) Phantoms
(c) Ethereal air
(d) Thoughts

Answer :- (b) Phantoms

2. Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of Longfellow’s ‘phantoms?
(a) Harmless
(b) Inoffensive
(c) Impalpable
(d) Scary

Answer :- (d) Scary

3. When the ghosts cannot be seen or heard, how are they perceived in the house?
(a) A gust of wind
(b) A gleam of light
(c) A sense of something
(d) A shadow on the wall

Answer :- (c) A sense of something

4. According to the narrator, who are the owners and occupants of the house or lands?
(a) Unknown forces
(b) Spirits of ancestors
(c) Aliens from other planets
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (b) Spirits of ancestors

5. Which figure of speech is used in the title of the poem by H.W. Longfellow?
(a) Personification
(b) Metaphor
(c) Simile
(d) Alliteration

Answer :- (d) Alliteration

6. What is suggested by the phrase, ‘hold in mortmain’?
(a) Possession on rent
(b) Inherited possession
(c) Inalienable possession
(d) Temporary ownership

Answer :- (c) Inalienable possession

7. Which of the following is NOT true about the ‘haunted houses”?
(a) They are visited by spirits
(b) They are visited by guests
(c) They are deserted
(d) Strangers are entertained.

Answer :- (c) They are deserted

8. Which of the following is NOT associated with the spirits in the poem?
(a) They glide
(b) They throng
(c) They waft
(d) They wail

Answer :- (d) They wail

9. According to the narrator, the world of the spirits is
(a) fragile
(b) delicate
(c) sensitive
(d) bright and beautiful

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10. What are needed to be kept in balance in ‘our little lives’?
(a) Divine justice
(b) The presence of the spirits of ancestors
(c) Opposite attractions and desires
(d) None of the above.

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11. Which figure of speech is used in the lines given below?
And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws O’er the sea a floating bridge of light.
(a) Simile
(b) Personification
(c) Alliteration
(d) None of the above

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12. Who among the following can cross the ‘bridge of light”?
(a) Earthly beings
(b) The spirits
(c) The Holy Men
(d) None of the above

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13. Which of the following lines contains the same literary device as, From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands.”
(a) Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in springhtly dance
(b) Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.
(c) Lustrous tokens of radian lives
For happy daughters and happy wives
(d) In triumphs, people have dropped down dead.

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Workbook Questions :

Extract 1

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

(i) According to the narrator of the poem, why are all the houses haunted? What kind of houses are these?

Answer :- The narrator suggests that all houses where people have lived and died are haunted because they carry the memories, experiences, and emotions of their former inhabitants. These houses serve as repositories of human history, capturing the essence of past lives within their walls. The term “haunted” here doesn’t necessarily imply malevolent spirits or ghostly apparitions but rather the lingering presence of the past. It encompasses the collective energy, stories, and emotions embedded in the fabric of these dwellings, making them repositories of both joy and sorrow, love and loss.

(iI) Who are the harmless phantoms? How are these phantoms different from the usual image of the phantoms?

Answer :- The harmless phantoms mentioned in the poem are the residual spirits or echoes of the past occupants. Unlike conventional depictions of phantoms as menacing or frightening entities, these phantoms are portrayed as benign and non-threatening. They symbolize the enduring essence of human existence, quietly inhabiting the spaces where they once lived and roamed. Their presence is subtle, marked by their silent movements and intangible nature, yet they carry the weight of history within them, silently bearing witness to the passage of time.

(iII) What ‘errands’ are done by these phantoms? Are their errands different from the known errands of phantoms? How?

Answer :- The term “errands” used in the poem refers metaphorically to the movements or activities of the spirits within the haunted houses. These errands are not literal tasks but rather symbolic representations of the residual energy and presence of the past. The phantoms glide through the open doors of the houses, moving with a sense of purposelessness yet carrying the weight of memory and existence. Their actions are ethereal and intangible, reflecting the transient nature of human life and the enduring imprint it leaves behind.

(iV) At what places in the houses are these phantoms found as described later in the poem? How do they enter the house?

Answer :- The phantoms described in the poem are found traversing the various spaces within the haunted houses. They move silently through the open doors, their footsteps making no sound upon the floors. These spirits are not confined to specific areas but rather inhabit the entire dwelling, symbolizing the pervasive nature of memory and history. They enter the house through the open doors, suggesting a seamless connection between the past and the present, the living and the dead.

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

Answer :- This extract sets the tone for the overarching theme of the poem, which explores the idea of haunted houses as repositories of human experience and memory. By asserting that all houses where people have lived and died are haunted, the narrator suggests that the essence of human existence transcends physical boundaries. The title “Haunted Houses” encapsulates this notion, emphasizing the enduring presence of the past within the spaces we inhabit. It invites readers to contemplate the layers of history and emotion embedded in the places we call home, highlighting the profound impact of human life on the places we inhabit.

Extract 2

There are more guests at table than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

(i) Why are there more guests at the table? How do these uninvited guests behave at the table?

Answer :- The presence of more guests at the table than hosts symbolizes the idea that the house is inhabited not only by the living but also by the spirits of the departed. These uninvited guests, representing the spirits of those who have passed away, behave quietly and respectfully at the table, much like the hosts and other guests. Despite being uninvited, they coexist peacefully with the living occupants of the house, contributing to the sense of quiet and serenity within the illuminated hall.

(iI) Why are they described as ‘quiet’ and inoffensive” ? State two other traits of the ghosts described in the poem.

Answer :- The ghosts are described as “quiet” and “inoffensive” because they do not disturb or disrupt the atmosphere of the gathering. They behave with decorum and restraint, blending seamlessly into the ambiance of the illuminated hall. Additionally, two other traits of the ghosts described in the poem include their ethereal nature and their intangibility. They are depicted as incorporeal beings, existing beyond the physical realm, and as such, their presence is felt rather than seen or heard.

(iII) Why are they ‘as silent as the pictures on the wall’? Whose ‘pictures’ are they?

Answer :- The ghosts are compared to the pictures on the wall to emphasize their silent and immaterial nature. Like the pictures, which hang silently on the wall, the ghosts inhabit the space without making any noise or commotion. The reference to the “pictures on the wall” suggests that these ghosts are as still and unobtrusive as the static images captured in the frames. The pictures may represent past occupants of the house, further reinforcing the connection between the living and the dead within the space.

(iV) Which figure of speech is used in this extract? Explain this figure of speech.

Answer :- The figure of speech used in this extract is a simile, as indicated by the phrase “as silent as the pictures on the wall.” A simile is a literary device that makes a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as.” In this case, the behavior of the ghosts is compared to the silence of the pictures on the wall, highlighting their quiet and unobtrusive presence within the illuminated hall.

(v) In this extract, there is a reference to ‘more guests’. What is said in the extract that shows that they are uninvited?

Answer :-  The reference to “more guests at table than the hosts” suggests that there is an imbalance in the number of living occupants compared to the spirits of the departed. This implies that the ghosts are uninvited or unexpected guests, as their presence exceeds the anticipated number of attendees. Despite being uninvited, they coexist peacefully with the living, contributing to the sense of quiet and serenity within the hall.

Extract 3

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

(i) Who are ‘We’ referred to in this extract? Why they do not have ‘title-deeds to house or lands”

Answer :- The “We” referred to in this extract likely represents the current inhabitants or occupants of the houses and lands described in the poem. They do not have “title-deeds to house or lands” because their ownership or occupancy is not legally documented or established. This lack of official documentation may be due to various reasons, such as historical circumstances or changes in ownership over time.

(II) Who are the ‘Owners and Occupants of earlier dates?

Answer :- The “Owners and Occupants of earlier dates” are the individuals or entities who previously owned or inhabited the houses and lands mentioned in the poem. These earlier owners and occupants may have lived in the properties long ago, and their presence is now represented by the spirits or ghosts that haunt the spaces.

(iII) Explain the line — ‘From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands’ with reference to the poem.

Answer :- The line “From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands” suggests that the spirits of the former owners and occupants reach out from their forgotten graves to assert their connection to the houses and lands they once possessed. This imagery evokes a sense of the past reaching into the present, highlighting the enduring influence of the deceased on the properties they once owned or inhabited.

(iV) Who ‘hold in mortmain still their old estates? Why?

Answer :- The phrase “hold in mortmain still their old estates” refers to the legal concept of mortmain, which denotes the perpetual holding of property by a corporation or institution, typically associated with religious bodies. In this context, it metaphorically suggests that the spirits of the deceased continue to exert a lasting influence or ownership over their former estates, even from beyond the grave. This reflects the idea that the dead retain a connection to the properties they once owned or occupied, despite the passage of time.

(v) Explain briefly two poetic devices used in this extract with examples.

Answer :- Two poetic devices used in this extract are:

  1. Metaphor: The phrase “stretch their dusty hands” employs metaphor to liken the outstretched hands of the spirits to dusty hands emerging from forgotten graves. This metaphorical imagery conveys the idea of the past reaching into the present and emphasizes the enduring connection between the deceased and the properties they once owned.
  2. Personification: The concept of “hold[ing] in mortmain still their old estates” personifies the old estates, attributing to them the human-like quality of being held or possessed. This personification imbues the estates with agency and emphasizes their enduring significance, despite the passage of time and changes in ownership.

Extract 4

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.

(I) Whose Little lives’ are referred to in the first line of the extract? In comparison to whom are they ‘little’ and why?

Answer :- The phrase “Our little lives” refers to the lives of human beings in general. They are described as “little” in comparison to broader concepts like time, history, or the universe. This characterization emphasizes the brevity and insignificance of individual human lives in the grand scheme of things.

(iI) How is balance maintained in their short lives?

Answer :- Balance is maintained in their short lives by “opposite attractions and desires.” This suggests that human beings experience conflicting impulses or desires that pull them in different directions. Despite these opposing forces, a sense of equilibrium is achieved through the interplay of these attractions and desires.

(iII) What are the two types of instincts referred to in this extract? Give examples of each type.

Answer :- The two types of instincts referred to in this extract are:

  • The instinct that enjoys: This instinct represents human desires or impulses that are driven by immediate gratification or pleasure. For example, indulging in leisure activities, seeking comfort, or pursuing material possessions can be manifestations of this instinct.
  • The more noble instinct that aspires: This instinct embodies higher aspirations or ideals that transcend immediate gratification and prioritize long-term goals, personal growth, or moral values. Examples include striving for excellence, pursuing knowledge, or acting selflessly for the greater good.

(iV) What is the reason for the struggle between the two types of instincts? How is this struggle resolved?

Answer :- The struggle between these two types of instincts arises from the tension between short-term gratification and long-term fulfillment. Human beings often face dilemmas where they must choose between satisfying immediate desires and pursuing higher ideals or aspirations. This struggle is resolved through introspection, self-discipline, and the cultivation of virtues like patience, resilience, and self-control. By aligning their actions with their deeper values and aspirations, individuals can navigate this internal conflict and achieve a sense of harmony or balance in their lives.

(v) Explain briefly the rhyme scheme used in this poem with examples. What role does it play in the poem?

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Extract 5

These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star,
An undiscovered planet in our sky.

(i) What are referred to as ‘these perturbations? Who are affected by ‘these perturbations?

Answer :- “These perturbations” refer to the disturbances or disruptions caused by conflicting desires, ambitions, and struggles in human life. They affect all individuals who experience the tensions between their earthly wants and their high aspirations or ideals.

(iI) Which figure of speech is used in the line—this perpetual jar/Of earthly wants and aspirations high? Explain it briefly.

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(iII) What comes from the influence of an unseen star’? What is this ‘unseen star’ a reference to?

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(iV) Why has the narrator referred to ‘an undiscovered planet in our sky?

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(v) Explain briefly how this extract suggests the existence of supernatural clement.

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Extract 6

So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O’er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.

(i) What connects the ‘bridge of light’ ? How is this bridge made?

Answer :- he “bridge of light” connects the world of spirits with the earthly realm. This bridge is metaphorical and symbolic, representing a connection between the spiritual and physical worlds. It is not a physical structure but rather a conceptual link.

(iI) Whose floor is referred to as ‘unsteady’? Why?

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(iII) What are the ‘thoughts’ that wander above the dark abyss?

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(iV) What is the significance of this ‘bridge of light’ ?

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(v) Give four reasons to justify the poet’s view that all houses are haunted.

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