The Night Mail Workbook Solution : ICSE Treasure Chest

The Night Mail Workbook Solution : ICSE Treasure Chest

Welcome to “The Night Mail Workbook Solution: ICSE Treasure Chest,” where we embark on a journey through the captivating narrative of ICSE English Literature Treasure Chest Part 1. Within these pages, we meticulously unravel the essence of “The Night Mail” through comprehensive workbook solutions. This post offers comprehensive answers to multiple-choice and contextual questions, deepening your understanding of this 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, “The Night Mail 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
In this stanza, the poet describes the journey of the Night Mail. The train crosses the borders between England and Scotland taking letters, cheques, postal orders and bills for the rich and the poor. Throughout its journey the train overcomes various obstacles but still it reaches on time. These lines tell us about the importance of time and schedule. The train crosses cotton fields and hilly areas while chucking out white smoke over its shoulders. It roars through the silent grassy fields, covering long distances. The poet uses the phrase “wind-bent” for grasses because when the train in full speed passes through the fields, the air pressure cause the grass to bend.

Stanza 2
The birds are awakened by the noise of the train. They peep at it curiously from their nests. They find the coaches “blank-faced” because there are no passengers on board. The train’s power is juxtaposed against the fact that no one wakes up as it passes. The arrival of the train does not wake up the sheep-dogs as they are aware of the fact that they cannot do anything to alter the train’s course. They remain relaxed and continue sleeping. Life on farms is not disturbed by the train because people living along the tracks have grown habitual to the train’s arrival. But it creates a little rumble which causes a jug in a bedroom to shake.

Stanza 3
Time has passed when this stanza begins and it is now dawn and the train’s climb up the hill is complete. The train descends into Scotland and the landscape changes from pastoral set-up to an industrial one. Now, there are “fields of apparatus” and “furnaces/Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen”. The simile like gigantic chessmen’ alludes to planning, building and working that goes into making an industry instead of farms and fields. At dawn, the train descends into Glasgow heading towards the port where “steam tugs” are unloading. The repetition of “d” consonant helps with the overall rhythm of the poem, especially in its transition to moving downhill instead of the ‘steady climb’. The people of Scotland wait for the Night Mail because it is going to bring news and gossip for them.

Stanza 4
The poet illustrates the kinds of letters that the Night Mail carries along its entire journey. There is mail of all sorts like receipts, invitations, applications, lover’s declaration, gossip and “circumstantial” and “financial” news. The letters are from various people like family members and from different cities. They are of different styles like long, short, typed, printed, with doodles on the margin and written on papers of different hues of ink like pink, violet, white and blue. They have different tones like “chatty” “catty”, “boring”, friendly, clever, cold and stupid. Some are even misspelled. The stanza gives a glimpse of the various facets of human interaction.

Stanza 5
In the final stanza, the poet says that thousands of people in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are asleep, dreaming of “monsters” or “friendly tea”, but they will soon wake up and would hope to hear the postman’s knock on their door. The poet says that their heartbeats will be quickened to learn that they have been remembered by someone as the letters arrive at their doorstep. The last line of the poem recognises the human need for connection and appreciation by saying ‘no one wants to be forgotten’.

Workbook MCQs :

1. On the arrival of the Night Mail, the birds
(a) continue with their sleep.
(b) fly away.
(c) turn their heads and stare at her.
(d) do not look at it.

Answer: (c) turn their heads and stare at her.

2. The Night Mail makes noise because
(a) she wants to tell everyone that she is late.
(b) she wants to tell everyone of her arrival.
(c) she wants to scare everyone away.
(d) she wants to warn the animals sleeping on the railway tracks.

Answer: (b) she wants to tell everyone of her arrival.

3. The poet has used the term ‘blank-faced’ to show that
(a) the coaches had passengers.
(b) the train did not come.
(c) people could not see the train.
(d) the coaches were without passengers.

Answer: (d) the coaches were without passengers.

4. The Night Mail shovels white steam because
(a) it uses coal to get power and emits smoke.
(b) it passes along the banks of a stream.
(c) it announces its arrival.
(d) All of the above.

Answer: (a) it uses coal to get power and emits smoke.

5. Which figure of speech is used in the line given below? Snorting noisily as she passes
(a) Imagery
(b) Metaphor
(c) Personification
(d) Irony.

Answer: (c) Personification

6. The journey of the Night Mail symbolises which of the following?
(a) Journey of life.
(b) Journey of a woman.
(c) Journey of postal services.
(d) None of the above.

Answer: For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

7. The Night Mail passes through
(a) the fields and plains.
(b) the grassy lands.
(c) the slopes.
(d) All of the above.

Answer: For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

8. What does the Night Mail bring?
(a) Letters
(b) Cheques.
(c) Postal orders
(d) All of the above

Answer: For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

9. How is the Night Mail different from other trains?
(a) She is always late
(b) She carries both letters and passengers
(c) She makes a lot of noise
(d) She does not have human passengers.

Answer: For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

Workbook Questions :

Extract 1

This is the Night Mail crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor
The shop at the corner, the girl next door

(i) Why has the poet used This in the first line of the extract? What does the poet mean by a “Night Mail”?

Answer : The use of “This” in the first line of the extract is meant to draw the reader’s attention to the imminent arrival of the train carrying the Night Mail. The Night Mail refers to a train service that operated in the UK during the 1930s, which transported mail across the country during the night to ensure swift delivery.

(iI) According to the extract what does the Night Mail bring and for whom?

Answer : The Night Mail brings “the cheque and the postal order” as well as letters for both “the rich” and “the poor.” The Night Mail is depicted as a service that caters to people from all walks of life, delivering important financial documents and personal letters to individuals and businesses alike.

(iII) How is the Night Mail different from regular trains?

Answer : The Night Mail is different from regular trains in that it was a specifically designed mail train service that operated at night, transporting mail across the Scottish countryside. Unlike regular passenger trains, the Night Mail did not carry passengers but instead was dedicated solely to the transportation of mail. The Night Mail was an important part of the postal service, allowing for more efficient and timely delivery of letters and other mail items.

(iV) The extract shows that the Night does not discriminate among people. How?

Answer : The extract shows that the Night Mail does not discriminate among people in several ways. Firstly, it delivers mail to both “the rich” and “the poor”, indicating that the service is accessible to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Additionally, the Night Mail delivers mail to “the shop at the corner” and “the girl next door”, suggesting that it serves both businesses and individuals within the same community, regardless of their status. Overall, the poem emphasizes the Night Mail’s role in connecting people from all walks of life and facilitating communication and commerce across different parts of society, without discrimination.

(v) Give two examples of the use of rhymes in the extract. What role do they play in the poem?

Answer : Two examples of the use of rhymes in the extract are:

  • “border” and “order”
  • “poor” and “door”

These rhymes help to create a sense of musicality and rhythm in the poem, making it more engaging and memorable for the reader. The use of rhymes also serves to unify the different parts of the poem, creating a cohesive whole. In addition, the rhymes contribute to the poem’s overall theme of connectivity and interdependence, by emphasizing the ways in which different people and places are linked through the Night Mail.

Extract 2

Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb
The gradient’s against her, but she’s on time.
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder

(i) Who is the poet talking about? What is a “gradient” and it is against whom?

Answer : The poet is talking about the Night Mail train in these lines. The “gradient” refers to an uphill slope on the train’s route, which is described as being “against her”, meaning that it poses a challenge or obstacle to the train’s progress. The phrase “but she’s on time” suggests that despite the difficult terrain, the Night Mail is still able to maintain its schedule and arrive at its destination punctually.

(iI) What are the qualities of the Night Mail as indicated in this extract?

Answer : The qualities of the Night Mail as indicated in this extract are resilience, punctuality, and power. The line “The gradient’s against her, but she’s on time” highlights the Night Mail’s ability to overcome obstacles and maintain its schedule despite challenging terrain. The phrase “shovelling white steam over her shoulder” conveys the image of the Night Mail as a powerful and unstoppable force, surging forward through the landscape.

(iII) Why does the poet call the train’s “climb” as “steady”?

Answer : The poet calls the train’s “climb” as “steady” to show that the Night Mail is moving up the slope smoothly and without difficulty. It means that the train is not struggling or slowing down while climbing the slope, but is maintaining a consistent pace. The word “steady” also shows that the Night Mail is a trustworthy and dependable service that can be counted on to deliver mail on time.

(iV) What does “Shovelling white steam over her shoulder mean? 

Answer : The line “Shovelling white steam over her shoulder” is a depiction of smoke that travel out and over the train. It is pushed behind “her”( the night mail) by the pressure of the wind. The poet personifies the Night Mail in this verse and compares it to a lady who is scooping and shovelling steam over her shoulders while racing to reach her destination.

(v) How has poet used personification in this extract?

Answer : The poet has used personification in this extract by describing the Night Mail train as if it were a person. For example, the line “The gradients against her” attributes human qualities to the train, suggesting that it is struggling against an obstacle and must exert effort to overcome it. This personification creates a sense of empathy and connection between the reader and the train, as if the train were a living, breathing entity with its own emotions and struggles. Additionally, the phrase “shovelling white steam over her shoulder” further personifies the train, describing it as if it were physically shoveling steam and working hard to generate the power needed to move forward.

Extract 3

Dawn freshens, Her climb is done
Down towards Glasgow, she descends,
Towards the steam tugs yelping down a glade of cranes
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen
All Scotland waits for her:
In dark glens, beside pale-green lochs
Men long for news.

(i) What is meant by “Her climb is done”? Where is she now headed towards? 

Answer : The phrase “Her climb is done” means that the Night Mail train has completed its ascent up the slope and has reached the top of the hill. The train is no longer facing an uphill climb and can now begin to descend toward its destination. In the next line, the poet indicates that the Night Mail is headed “Down towards Glasgow”, a city in Scotland.

(iI) What does the repetition of the consonant ‘d” in the first two lines of the extract indicate?

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

(iII) Which figure of speech is used in the following line? Explain its usage Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

(iV) Explain in your own words the meaning of “All Scotland waits for her

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

(v) Which theme of the poem is reflected in this extract? Explain briefly.

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

Extract 4

Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
But shall wake soon and hope for letters,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?”

(i) What were people doing while the Night Mail was traveling through different cities?

Answer : The people in Granite Aberdeen were asleep while the Night Mail was traveling through different cities. The line “Asleep in granite Aberdeen, they continue their dreams” suggests that people in the city are sleeping soundly and unaware of the train’s passing.

(iI) What sort of dreams do these people have? What are these dreams symbolic of?

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

(iII) What would happen to their heartbeat on hearing the postman’s knock? Why?

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

(iV) If the postman does not bring them letters, what would be the feelings of the people?

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )

(v) Explain how does the Night Mail help to promote human relations? 

Answer : For Full Answers Get The Workbook Answers PDF – View )