BSEB Class 12 English Chapter 9 The Earth Summary, Explanation, and Question Answers from Rainbow Book 

 

The Earth Class 12 English – The Earth BSEB Class 12 English Chapter 9 from Rainbow Book The Earth Summary and detailed explanation of the story along with meanings of difficult words. Also, the summary is followed by an explanation of the lesson. All the exercises and Question Answers given at the back of the lesson have also been solved.

 

BSEB Class 12 Rainbow Book Chapter 9 – The Earth

By H. E. Bates

 

 
 

The Earth Introduction

 

The present short story ‘The Earth’, set in the English countryside, is about a farmer Johnson and his son Benjy who appears to be a simple minded person. The story very well depicts the laziness of the parents and the growing selfishness and cunningness of their simple-minded son who finally drives them away from their home. 
 
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The Earth Summary

In this story, the author talked about a farmer named Johnson and his family. He explained how important mother earth is to a farmer . The Johnsons had a large farming device with blades for planting of seeds, a vehicle with two wheels, tools for farming , a very thin brown female horse to slowly drag the plough and a cart.But according to a farmer, without the earth all these tools and equipment do not have any importance and value. 

 

Apart from earth and other farming tools Johnsons also had a son.Benjy was the name of Johnsons’ son. Benjy was their only son so Johnsons’ made sure that they were always very kind and humble to Benjy and they used to worry about him a lot which is why he had grown up to become worse in their eyes than he really was.It was more than thirty years since the Johnsons knew that their child Benjy was different from others so they took him to a doctor. The doctor convinced the Johnsons that their kid needs some kind of interests that could help Benjy to make his mind better and stronger.

 

So Benjy decided to keep the hens, and hens were very important to him just like the earth was a very crucial part of his mother’s and father’s life.Benjy understood the entire concept of hens; that they are only useful because they lay eggs.Benjy understood the business of eggs that eggs could be sold in a group of twenty, tens and even fivers too from the back door of his house to all the people who need them. The money earned by selling those eggs was put carefully and regularly in a white bowl.

 

As the time passed, Benjy had so many hens that there was a time when there were more eggs that he was able to produce but was not able to sell at the back door.  Benjy left his school at the age of fourteen and he had more than forty or fifty hens and also there were young hens who started laying eggs also.Benjy started reading and after a year or two he read in paper that it would be better to keep different breeds of hens separately. This resulted in new cages for hens. He also read that hens needed clean and sanitary places to sleep, air and exercise was also important for hens. Benjy was very strong so he decided to understand everything he read and started building new houses and cages for the hens. He understood simple things which could help him in building new houses and cages like nailing wire-netting to woods for hens.

 

In order to build new houses and cages to separate hens he needed space so his father and mother decided to give him their land which was running from the back of their house to half way to their field.

 

The Johnson’s had struggled very hard their entire life without any success with the earth. They had faith and trust that one day Benjy would become smarter and grow out of his simplicity just like they had always believed that one day this earth would end their poverty.

 

Benjy’s father was a preacher who talked about religion all the time and was a man of talking who used to talk a lot.  He not only talked on Sundays to village worshipers in an assembly but he could actually talk everywhere like at the back-door, over the field gate, in the road outside the house.

 

Benjy’s father kept talking. On the other hand, Benjy was firmly doing his simple business of making hens lay eggs. Benjy was rapidly growing and part of his fathers house started to look like a board game of black and brown and white hens.All the money that he was making was going straight into the bank in his name.

 

As Benjy turned twenty-one his mother and father decided to organize a small ceremony. In his speech he talked about how he was a working man all his life and how he set an example of hard work and using the money resourcefully and now that passbook was Benjy’s natural gift that he would inherit and how he has to follow it in future.

 

When he opened the passbook and looked at it , he saw more than two hundred and thirty pounds written on it. He closed the passbook and put it in his pocket.

After that, Benjy’s mother and father did not speak but felt a different and a strange emotion which they did not expect. They had a mixed feeling of disappointment , fear, pride  and pain. They did not imagine that they would be able to gather this much amount from the earth by working all their lives.They thought that Benjy was unable to relate to different kinds of emotions and feelings because he was so different from others.

 

 

And now as the population of the town was increasing , people wanted the land for making more buildings, suddenly their land went on sale.The Johnsons felt lost and sidetracked after hearing that their land went on sale.

Benjy’s father was really upset and was in a deep pain so he went to the owner of the land named Sanders and said we don’t have the money and we don’t see any way of getting the money so we must get out of this town on the feast of St Michael, 29 September.

Then Sanders replied to the Johnsons not to worry about this but to find a way to buy this land because if they can’t find a way to buy this somebody else would buy it soon. 

Johnsons asked Sanders who would buy this land so Sanders replied your son Benjy would buy it.

After hearing this, the Johnsons regained their faith and trust.

 

Benjy was doing so well in his business that one by one his father’s former land was getting covered by his new and hygienic chicken houses. Benjy became the largest poultry farmer of his side of the town. Benjy’s appearance had also changed by now. He was still a big-limbed guy but now he became rather fat.His eyes no longer looked like the eyes of a  simple-minded man. Rather he looked like the eyes of a clever looking man.

Also, Benjy had started employing new people to help him with his business. Out of all the people Benjy had employed for his business there was a girl named Florence.This girl had thick heavy legs, loose lips and had non reflecting grey coloured eyes that could match Benjy’s clear simplicity.For the very first time Benjy found his interest in a girl besides his hens and business of eggs.

 

But Benjy’s mother and father did not like Florence.He just wanted a woman who could help him with his business. For Benjy, Florence was that girl who could help him with his hens and he wanted to marry Florence.

Benjy married Florence at the end of his  fortieth year in the autumn season and moved in with Florence as his wife in the same house.

Benjy told his parents that they want the front bedroom.his incident hurted them very badly. Since the house belonged to Benjy and he was now the owner of the house, they moved to the back without saying much.

 

Benjy’s mother and Florence used to argue a lot. So Benjy decided that his mother and father should start eating in the kitchen and Florence and Benjy should eat in the other room.All across the winter, all the four people kept themselves restricted into their separate rooms, the house seemed to be even more divided and there was a very big gap between them now.

 

In the end Benjy decided that he did not want his mother and father to live with him anymore. So he asked his parents to leave the house and find some other place to live.Benjy’s parents did not reply to what Benjy said. Their faces were motionless just like they had experienced an intense loss. Benjy drove the van and dropped his parents in the town.

After Benjy left, his parents were standing alone on the edge of the road looking at the ground. They did not know what to do, it seemed like they were standing in a strange place not sure where to go or what to do.

At one point of time they had the earth. Now they were so upset that they had nothing to say. It’s even difficult to tell if they had realized or not that even the earth was gone and they were left with nothing. 
 
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RelatedBSEB Class 12 English Lesson Explanation, Summary, Question Answers
 
 

Video Explanation of The Earth

 

 
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The Earth Explanation

 

  1. All that the Johnsons had was the earth. Very often it seemed as if it were all they had ever had.
  2. It was true that they also had possessions – a plough, a two-wheeled cart, tools, a bony brown mare which slowly dragged the plough and the cart about their rough four-acre plot – but without the earth these things were useless. It was true that they also had a son. 

Possessions – the state of having, owning, or controlling something.

Plough – a large farming implement with one or more blades fixed in a frame, drawn over soil to turn it over and cut furrows in preparation for the planting of seeds.

Acre- a piece of land measuring 480 sq yards

Bony – very thin

Mare – the female of a horse or other equine animal.

In this story, the author talked about a farmer named Johnson and his family. Earth was the only thing that Johnsons had. He explained how important mother earth is to a farmer . The Johnsons had a large farming device with blades for planting of seeds, a vehicle with two wheels, tools for farming , a very thin brown female horse to slowly drag the plough and a cart. The Johnsons also had a piece of land measuring 480 sq yards . But according to a farmer, without the earth all these tools and equipment do not have any importance and value. Apart from earth and other farming tools Johnsons also had a son.

 

  1. The Johnsons’ son was named Benjy, and it was more than thirty years since they had surrendered to the idea that he was not right in his head. It was not that he was insane or imbecile or even that he could not read and write and count figures, but only that he was simple, not quite like other people. And because he was their only son, the Johnson had spent many years being a little too kind, too anxious and too sacrificial towards him, so that he had grown up to seem worse, in their eyes, than he really was. Benjy had the large loose limbs that often belong to the simple-minded, and thick soft fair hair on his face. He had the look of being a simple-hearted man as well as a simple-minded man. His eyes were blue, and all day long he had a simple smile on his face. But somewhere behind the blue eyes, the simple smile, and the soft childish hair, his simplicity seemed gradually to have become a kind of cunning.

Surrendered – to give up

imbecile- weak in mind, stupid

Insane – mad

Anxious – feeling or showing worry

Simplicity -the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do.

Gradually – slowly

Cunning – clever

Benjy was the name of Johnsons’ son. Johnsons’ knew for more than thirty years that their son was not right in the head . Not because he was stupid or mad; he could easily read, write and count numbers, but only because he was very simple and innocent, unlike others.

Benjy was their only son so Johnsons’ made sure that they were always very kind and humble to Benjy and they used to worry about him a lot which is why he had grown up to become worse in their eyes than he really was. Benjy had blue eyes, large loose limbs and thick soft fair hair on his face. He had a very simple smile on his face all day long and looked like a  very simple hearted and simple minded man. But slowly this guy with blue coloured eyes and a simple smile, childish hair, who was very innocent and easy to understand, his simplicity slowly turned into cleverness .

 

  1. It was more than thirty years since the Johnsons, realising that he was not quite like others, had taken Benjy to a doctor. This doctor had persuaded them that he needed interests that would strengthen his mind. It would be good if they gave him something to do, some occupation, which would help his development. It would help a great deal if they gave him a special interest. to feed his sense of responsibility. ‘You are people on the land,’ the doctor said, let him keep hens.’

persuaded – convinced

Strengthen – make or become stronger.

Occupation – a job or profession.

Development – a process that creates growth or progress

It was more than thirty years since the Johnsons knew that their child Benjy was different from others so they took him to a doctor. The doctor convinced the Johnsons that their kid needs some kind of interests that could help Benjy to make his mind better and stronger. Benjy needed a job or some kind of work that could help with his development.  It would be good for Benjy to find his interest and have an occupation to understand his responsibility. So the doctor suggested to the Johnsons that you are a farmer and people on the land so you should let your Benj keep the hens. Working with hens would keep Benjy busy and he could learn to take responsibility also.

 

  1. So for many years Benjy had kept hens, and what the earth was to his mother and father the hens were to Benjy: they were almost all he had. When he came from school, cut off by his simplicity from other children, Benjy went straight home to his hens, which he kept in a wire coop that his father had made at the back of the house. At first he kept ten or a dozen hens, all colours and breeds, brown and speckled and black and white, and the coop was small. He fed the hens simply, on scraps from the table, seeded cabbages strung from the wire, a little maize, and on corn-ears which he gleaned in the late summer from his father’s acre of stubble. It is possible that a hen, being a simple creature, thrives best on simple treatment. Benjy understood the first and last thing about a hen: that it exists for the purpose of laying eggs. In those days this simple process had not become scientific; nor had it become highly complicated and commercialized. Eggs were cheap; hens mysteriously pecked nourishment off the bare earth. They sat in a home-made nesting-box, on straw, and laid the eggs expected of them. 

wire coop- an enclosed place shut in with wire netting

Dozen- group or set of twelve.

Speckled- spotted

Scraps- food left in pates 

seeded cabbages- cabbages which had been left in the ground too long and had flowered and produced seeds

on corn-ears- husk of corns

Gleaned- collected, gathered, picked up

Stubble- a stalk of grain

Thrives- prospers, flourishes

Commercialized- made commercial, run on strict business lines so as to make as much money as possible

Mysteriously- in a way that is strange, not known, or not understood

pecked nourishment- picked up food

Nesting-box- nest made of box or box like nest

So Benjy decided to keep the hens, and hens were very important to him just like the earth was a very crucial part of his mother’s and father’s life. Hens were like the only thing Benjy had in his life which was important to him. After attending the school and leaving his simplicity behind from other children, Benjy went home straight to his hens. Benjy used to keep his hens in a wire cage which was made by his father at the back of their house. 

 

In the beginning Benjy used to keep ten or twelve hens, all of different colors and breeds such as of black and white, brown color, or a spotted hen. The cage in which Benjy used to keep his hens was very small. He used to feed the hens whatever food was left on the table, cabbages which had been left in the ground too long and had flowered and produced seeds, little bit of grains, and corns which he collected in the late summers from his father’s land where he used to grow his grains. As hen is a very simple creature, it was assumed that even after feeding them leftovers and giving them very simple treatment, they flourish and grow the most. Benjy understood the entire concept of hens; that they are only useful because they lay eggs. Back in those days Benjy understood that laying eggs and selling them in the market was a very simple process as it was not very complicated or run on strict business lines so as to make as much money as possible. Eggs were really cheap and they were considered to be a good nourishment food. Hens can lay eggs in a home-made nest which can be easily made with a box. 

 

  1. Benjy understood another thing about the business of hens, and that was that eggs could be sold to callers at the back door of their house, in scores and half-scores and fivers, and the money from these eggs was put carefully, almost religiously, into a large white basin that stood on the top shelf of the kitchen cupboard. The basin was beyond Benjy’s reach. ‘But one day,’ his mother would tell him, ‘the money will be yours. You understand? Your father and me are going to save the money. When there’s enough we shall put it in the bank. The bank will give interest on it and then one day, when you’re twenty-one, it will be yours by rights. It’ll all be yours and you can do what you like with it. Do you understand?’ And Benjy would simply smile at his mother and say yes, he understood. 

Basin- bowl

in scores- a score is a group of twenty

Half -scores- half of in score which is ten

Fivers- five 

Religiously- regularly

Benjy understood the business of eggs that eggs could be sold in a group of twenty, tens and even fivers too from the back door of his house to all the people who need them. The money earned by selling those eggs was put carefully and regularly in a white bowl. The bowl was placed on the top shelf of their kitchen cupboard. Benjy could not reach the bowl as it was placed on the height. Benjy’s mother made him realize that one day Benjy would get all the money which his mother and father was saving. She also told him that when there would be enough money we should put all the money in a bank so that they can earn interest and once Benjy turns twenty-one he would get all the money by rights so that he could do whatever he wanted to do with that money. After listening to his mother, Benjy smiled at his mother and said that he understood everything.

 

  1. As time went on Benjy began to keep many more hens. Soon there were more eggs than could be sold at the back door, and by the time Benjy had left school at fourteen he had forty or fifty hens and about as many laying pullets, and these were producing an average of two hundred eggs a week. Soon he would set off three times a week with a large basket of eggs on a wheel-truck, and hawk them in Castol, the nearest town. By this time the money no longer went into the basin, but straight into the bank. Benjy could read and a year or two afterwards he read in a paper that it was better to segregate breeds of hens, keeping White Leghorn separate from Rhode Islands, and young from old. This meant new coops, and at the same time Benjy read that hens needed air and exercise and dry hygienic places to sleep. Benjy was very strong and understood a simple thing like nailing wire-netting to wood and began himself to build new houses and coops for the new, segregated breeds of hens. For all this he needed space, and so his father and mother gave him a strip of land running from the back of the house half-way across the field. In this way they gave him something more precious than they had ever given before. For the first time, without fully realising it, they gave him a piece of the earth. 

 

laying pullets -young hens that have begun laying eggs

Hawk-unload

Castol -a small wheel

segregate-separate

white leghorn- Rhode island: two famous breeds of hen

Coops- cage

Hygienic- clean or sanitary 

Precious- important

As the time passed, Benjy had so many hens that there was a time when there were more eggs that he was able to produce but was not able to sell at the back door.  Benjy left his school at the age of fourteen and he had more than forty or fifty hens and also there were young hens who started laying eggs also. Hens were producing an average of two hundred eggs a week. So Benjy decided to sell a large basket of eggs at least three times a week to the nearest town. He would take the eggs on his wheel truck and unload them on a small wheel. Benjy started to keep all his money in a bank rather in a bowl. Benjy started reading and after a year or two he read in paper that it would be better to keep different breeds of hens separately like keeping white leghorn separated from rhode islands (these are two different breeds of hens) similarly keeping old hens separate from young ones. This resulted in new cages for hens. He also read that hens needed clean and sanitary places to sleep, air and exercise was also important for hens. Benjy was very strong so he decided to understand everything he read and started building new houses and cages for the hens. He understood simple things which could help him in building new houses and cages like nailing wire-netting to woods for hens. He also separated the hens according to their breeds. In order to build new houses and cages to separate hens he needed space so his father and mother decided to give him their land which was running from the back of their house to half way to their field. By giving him the land his parents realised that they have given Benjy something which was very important to them which they have never given him before. They actually gave him a piece of earth. 

 

  1. All this time they themselves had struggled hard and almost vainly with the earth. At the back of their minds lay a precious belief that Benjy would one day grow out of his simplicity. In the same way they cherished a silent belief that the earth would one day outgrow its poverty. The earth had yielded stubbornly for them, and the reason, like Benjy, was simple. The reason was not on the earth, but in themselves. For most of their lives they had put rather more value on faith than sweat. 

vainly – uselessly,  without success

Belief- trust, faith,

Cherished- protect and care lovingly

Stubbornly-  obstinately

yielded- produced or provided

The Johnsons had struggled very hard their entire life without any success with the earth. They had faith and trust that one day Benjy would become smarter and grow out of his simplicity just like they had always believed that one day this earth would end their poverty. But the earth has not produced very generously for them .The reason behind this was not because of earth but because of themselves. The reason for this was very simple: they had put more value on their faith rather than working hard and sweating more for the results.

 

  1. For many years Benjy’s father had been a local preacher, a man with quite a gift of talking. He liked not only to talk on Sundays, to village congregations in small still chapels far out in the countryside, but he liked to talk at the back-door, over the field gate, in the road outside the house. He talked so much that he must have had an idea that the earth, designed, created, and nourished by God, would take care of itself. While he talked, thistles seeded and choked his wheat, rabbits broke in and gnawed his cabbages, storms smashed his standing corn. He struggled on like a man chained by bad luck, and while he knew that his land was poor and that Benjy was a simple man, no one had ever had the need or courage to tell him that he himself was a lazy man with too large a trust in Providence. 

Preacher – a person who preaches

Congregations-  assembly (of worshipers)

Chapel – a small building or room used for Christian worship

Gnawed-  nibbled, sank teeth into

Thistles- a widely distributed herbaceous plant of the daisy family,

Providence- the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power.

Benjy’s father was a preacher who talked about religion all the time and was a man of talking who used to talk a lot.  He not only talked on Sundays to village worshipers in an assembly but he could actually talk everywhere like at the back-door, over the field gate, in the road outside the house. He was such a true believer of god and he used to talk so much about god that he even believed if god had designed and created this earth that he would actually take care of it on its own. He kept talking but didnt even realise that his farm was being destroyed by  rabbits who broke in and ate his cabbage , and the storm damaged his standing corns. He thought he was a struggling man because he had bad luck and his kid was a simple man but actually no one had the courage to tell him that he was actually a very lazy man who could work hard instead of just putting trust in god to save his earth. 

 

  1. And while his father talked Benjy went on steadfastly with the simple business of making hens lay eggs. Part of the field at the back of his father’s house began to resemble a quivering chequer-board of black and brown and white feathers. For a long time now the eggs had been too many for the wheel-truck, and Benjy at regular intervals borrowed his father’s horse and cart, taking the eggs not only down into the town but also into the market. All the time Benjy wore the simple smile of a simple-hearted man on his face, and all the time the money went religiously into the bank in his name. 

Steadfastly- firmly

Quivering – trembling or shaking with a slight rapid motion.

Chequer-board- a square board divided into a number of small black and white square patches for playing certain games. The rectangular hen coops, each containing a different colour of hen, made part of the field resemble a chequer board

Benjy’s father kept talking. On the other hand, Benjy was firmly doing his simple business of making hens lay eggs. Benjy was rapidly growing and part of his fathers house started to look like a board game of black and brown and white hens. Benjy’s business was doing well for a long time that his wheel truck was not enough to carry too many eggs so  he had to borrow his fathers horse and cart at regular intervals in order to take eggs into the town but also into the market. Benjy kept his simple smile of a simple-hearted man on his face throughout his journey. All the money that he was making was going straight into the bank in his name.

 

  1. When Benjy was twenty-one his mother and father planned and carried out a little ceremony. They got his passbook from the bank, and at supper his father made a sort of speech, almost in the tone of a public address, in which he talked as if he had been a diligent man all his life, setting an example of thrift and industry, and that this, the passbook, was Benjy’s natural reward for following it. He talked as if he were talking to a child who still does not know one from two, and at last he gave Benjy the passbook. This is your money, Benjy,’ he said. Now you’re twenty-one, this is your money. Do you understand?’ 

Supper- evening meal

diligent-: hard-working, industrious

Thrift- the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully.

Industry – hard work

As Benjy turned twenty-one his mother and father decided to organise a small ceremony. They got his passbook from the bank and at the evening meal his father prepared a speech for Benjy which was prepared in such a tone as he was going to share it with the entire public. In his speech he talked about how he was a working man all his life and how he set an example of hard work and using the money resourcefully and now that passbook was Benjy’s natural gift that he would inherit and how he has to follow it in future. He was saying all those things in a way that he was talking to a child who did not understand much and at the end he gave him the passbook. His father said this is your money now. Now that you are twenty-one this is all yours. Do you understand?

 

  1. ‘Yes,’ Benjy said, and he took the passbook. He opened it and looked at it, and saw in it an amount of more than two hundred and thirty pounds. Then he shut up the passbook and put it into his pocket. 

Yes , Benjy replied to his father by taking the passbook in his hands. When he opened the passbook and looked at it , he saw more than two hundred and thirty pounds written on it. He closed the passbook and put it in his pocket.

 

  1. Benjy’s mother and father did not speak. A strange tremor of a peculiar emotion went through them both: a mixture of disappointment, fear, pride, and pain. The amount in Benjy’s passbook was more than they themselves had ever amassed from the earth in their lives. They did not hope and did not mean that Benjy should give it back to them, but there was something about the silent, simple finality of his putting the passbook into his pocket that struck them like a blow in the face. They had expected something else: a word of thanks, perhaps a concession, a willingness that they should share the money they had helped to save. It hurt them momentarily that Benjy should appear so completely indifferent to them and to all they felt. Then they remembered why it was. It was because Benjy was still simple. There were shades of feeling and conduct that were beyond his understanding. They were touched with pity for him, and understood. 

Tremor-  quiver, shudder

Peculiar- different to what is normal or expected; strange.

Amassed- gather together or accumulate

Finality-  a tone or manner which indicates that no further comment or argument is possible

Concession- a thing that is granted

Momentarily- for a very short time

After that, Benjy’s mother and father did not speak but felt a different and a strange emotion which they did not expect. They had a mixed feeling of disappointment , fear, pride  and pain. They did not imagine that they would be able to gather this much amount from the earth by working all their lives. They were not hoping to keep or  share that money with Benjy but the manner in which Benjy repsoned by keeping the passbook in his pocket kind of hit them in the face. His response was really cold and his parents were expecting something else. They were expecting a gesture where Benjy would be thankful to his parents or would ask them to share that money when they actually helped him to save it. This reaction hurted his parents for a short time but again they remembered how simple Benjy was and they felt pity for him for being so simple. They thought that Benjy was unable to relate to different kinds of emotions and feelings because he was so different from others.

 

  1. ‘What are you going to do with the money?’ they said. 
  2. ‘I’m going to buy a piece of land,’ Benjy said.
  3. ‘Lands?’ they said. ‘What land? Where?’ 
  4. ‘Mr Whitmore wants to sell the four acres next to us,’ Benjy said. 
  5. ‘But, Benjy,’ they said. ‘How did you know? How did you find out?’ 
  6. Benjy had a very simple answer.
  7. ‘I asked Mr Whitmore,’ he said. 
  8. ‘Well,’ they said, ‘that is a very good idea. A wonderful good idea. You couldn’t do anything better.’ 

Benjy’s parents asked him what he would do with all that money. So he replied that he would purchase a piece of land. His parents were surprised with the answer so they asked him again as to what kind of land and from where he would buy it.

So Benjy replied to his parents that Mr Whitmore wanted to sell the four acres of land next to their land.

Again, they asked how he got to know about all this. Benjy had a simple answer that he asked Mr Whitmore directly if he wanted to sell the land.

His parents were very happy and thought it was a wonderful idea to buy that land.

 

  1. As time went on, and Benjy acquired the land, his father and mother not only felt that it was a good idea but they felt very proud of him. They had that kind of pride in him that parents have in a child that says its first word or takes its first step. Benjy, a simple-minded man, had taken his first step in normal, adult things. It was wonderful, too, that he had taken the step without help, without force or prompting. All his life they had treated him as a child that will not grow up and now, suddenly, he had grown up. Though they could scarcely realize it. Benjy was a man of property. 

Acquired- buy or obtain

Scarcely- only a very short time before.

As Benjy purchased the land , his parents were really proud of him. They thought purchasing the land was a very good idea. When a child says his first word or takes the first step in his life there is a feeling of joy and a pride which only a parent could feel, his parents were experiencing the similar feeling. Benjy was a very simple man and this was a very big step that he took stepping into his adulthood. Benjy actually took this big step without anyone’s help or suggestion. His parents always treated him like a kid who would never grow up but suddenly Benjy was all grown up now for his parents. Suddenly Benjy was the man of the property. His parents only realized it now. 

 

  1. For the next four or five years Benjy went on creating more houses for more hens, and then selling more eggs and making more money. He was sell a simple man. He could not have made a pair of boots; he knew nothing about the stock-markets. But he knew everything about a hen. His hens were still to him what the earth was to his parents: all he had, and all he understood. 

Stock-market- where investors buy and sell shares of companies.

Benjy was making more money by creating more and more houses for hens , selling more eggs for the next four to five years. Benjy was still a simple man who sells eggs with a simple smile on his face. Benjy was very good in his business; he knew everything about hen. He didn’t know how to make a pair of boots or anything about the stock- market but he knew everything about his work. For Benjy hens were everything just like how earth was to his parents. Hens were a very important part of his life and that’s all he could understand.

 

  1. There was only one difference between Benjy’s hens and his parents’ land. The hens belonged to Benjy. The land had never belonged to his parents, who had rented it now for forty years, on a yearly tenancy, from a man named Sanders. They had often spoken of buying the land, but somehow the scheme never came to anything. It was easier for Benjy’ s father to stand at the door and talk, or to talk in the pulpit and trust in God, than to make a business proposition. And now, at sixty-five, they were too old to think of buying land, even if there had been any money for buying land. 

Tenancy- possession of land or property as a tenant

Pulpit- podium, dais

Benjy was the owner of the hens, that was the only difference between him and his parents . Benjy’s parents never purchased the land, they had rented the land for more than forty years from a man named Sanders. So they never had the ownership rights of the land, they were always tenants of their land. Sometimes they had  thought of purchasing the land from Sanders but somehow that never happened. Benjy’s father had the courage to talk to people about God by standing at the door or on a podium , but he never talked about his business or thought of making a business transaction. Now his father was too old as he turned sixty-five to purchase the land even if he had money to actually purchase the land.

 

  1. And suddenly the land was for sale: their land, their earth, which was all they had. The town was spreading, the man named Sanders said, and everywhere people wanted land for building. Either he must sell the land for building, or he must sell the land to them. 

And now as the population of the town was increasing , people wanted the land for making more buildings, suddenly their land went on sale. The same land which was all they ever had,  their earth was now for sale. Sanders, who was the owner of the land had no other option but to sell that land either to the Johnsons or to somebody else for making new buildings.

 

  1. They felt lost and distracted. They had lived a vague, trusting life without system, with a simple-minded son to rear, with an infinite faith in God but with little or no faith in fertilizers. As a result they had nothing. Even the earth, which they had regarded as inviolate, was not theirs, and was about to be taken away from them. 

Distracted- sidetracked

Vague- uncertain or unclear

Rear- at the back

Infinite- limitless

Fertilizers-  chemical or natural substance added to soil or land to increase its fertility.

Inviolate- not open to any threat or attack

The johnsons felt lost and sidetracked after hearing that their land went on sale. They had lived their entire life by trusting God and not by understanding how the world actually works. Their entire life was so unclear now  they were just left with a simple-minded son Benjy and their limitless trust in God and little or no faith on chemicals or natural substances that they could have used to increase the fertility of their field. As a result everything was taken away from them, even the earth that they thought could not be attacked and was theirs. They were left with nothing.

 

  1. Deeply and painfully upset, they went to the man named Sanders, and told him how it was. 
  2. ‘I don’t see no way of getting the money,’ Benjy’s father said. ‘So we must get out at Michaelmas. That’s all.’ 
  3. ‘Don’t you worry,’ Sanders said. ‘Don’t surprise me you can’t see your way to do it. But I can tell you this, if you can’t buy it, somebody not far away will.’ 
  4. ‘Who’ll buy it?’ they said. 
  5. ‘Benjy,’ he said. 
  6. They went home feeling that this was the supremely important moment of their lives. It seemed like the moment of reward. If their faith had been shaken, it was now completely whole again. They saw that there could be joy and satisfaction and ultimate good, even in the raising of a simple-minded son. 

Michaelmas- the feast of St Michael, 29 September.

Benjy’s father was really upset and was in a deep pain so he went to the owner of the land named Sanders and said we don’t have the money and we don’t see any way of getting the money so we must get out of this town on the feast of St Michael, 29 September.

Then Sanders replied to the Johnsons not to worry about this but to find a way to buy this land because if they can’t find a way to buy this somebody else would buy it soon. 

Johnsons asked Sanders who would buy this land so Sanders replied your son Benjy would buy it.

After hearing this, the Johnsons regained their faith and trust. This felt like a very important moment of their entire lives. It felt like a reward to them. They were very happy and satisfied by raising their simple minded son. 

 

  1. “We never knew, Benjy. We never even suspected,’ they said. ‘What made you do it? What are you going to do?’ 
  2. ‘I’m going to put up more incubator houses,’ Benjy said. 

The Johnsons were really surprised by this and they asked Benjy how he planned all this , how he was going to do this?

Benjy explained to them he was planning to build Incubator houses(incubator houses are built as part of various poultry farms, breeding farms, and poultry hatcheries.

 

  1. Again, as when they had given Benjy the passbook, they did not speak. They had expected something else, without quite knowing what: a word, a small concession perhaps, an assurance that things would go on as before. But there was nothing, only the same simple finality as when Benjy had taken possession of the passbook. They were momentarily pained. Then they knew, again, why it was. There are some things which are forgivable to a simple-minded man. The simple-minded, as they knew quite well, do not always understand. 

Assurance- a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise

The Johnsons had the very same feeling they experienced when they gave Benjy the passbook and he kept the passbook directly in his pocket without expressing much. At that time also they were expecting a better response like a word, a thank you or a positive declaration to give them a confidence that things would remain the same as they were before.

The Johnsons were hurt by Benjy’s response for a small moment of time because they realised that Benjy was a simple-minded man who could not understand those feelings and gave them a benefit of doubt that a simple-minded man can not understand much about emotions and feelings.

 

  1. By this time Benjy was almost forty, and it was only to them that he remained a simple-minded man. As his new hygienic chicken houses began to cover first one strip of his father’s former land and then another, with the grey patches of hen-dung eating their way into the brown tilled earth, he began to be the largest poultry farmer on that side of the town. In appearance he had changed too. Always big-limbed, he had now become rather fat. His eyes were still a simple blue, and soft fair hair still grew thickly on his face, but now, set in fat flesh, the eyes seemed much smaller. They were no longer the eyes of a simple-minded man. They were the eyes of a man who, in a simple way, is quite cunning. 

Former- prior, earlier

Benjy’s business was increasing rapidly. By the time he turned forty, for his parents Benjy was still a simple-minded man. But Benjy was doing so well in his business that one by one his father’s former land was getting covered by his new and hygienic chicken houses. Benjy became the largest poultry farmer of his side of the town. Benjy’s appearance had also changed by now. He was still a big-limbed guy but now he became rather fat. He still had a simple blue coloured eye and had soft-fair hair which were growing thickly on his face but because he was much fatter now that his eyes appear to be much smaller than before. His eyes no longer looked like the eyes of a  simple-minded man. Rather he looked like the eyes of a clever looking man.

 

  1. No one but Benjy, at this time, knew how many hens and chickens he possessed. No one knew how many eggs the collective-system lorries fetched from him every week; no one knew the amount of his passbook. It was possible to gauge his progress only by the new chicken houses covering his father’s former land, and by the fact that he now employed people to help him. 

Possessed- controlled

Lorries- a large, heavy motor vehicle for transporting goods or troops; a truck.

Gauge- an instrument that measures and gives a visual display of the amount, level, or contents of something.

Benjy became a very successful man. But nobody knew apart from Benjy how many hens and chickens he had collected so far. No one knew how many eggs he was supplying and selling every week by loading them in trucks and how much money he had collected in his passbook. The only way to measure Benjy’s progress was by looking at his fathers former land and how the land was covered by the new chickens. Also, Benjy had started employing new people to help him with his business. 

 

  1. One of these people was a girl named Florence. She had thick heavy legs and loose lips and unreflective grey eyes that matched Benny’s in their apparent simplicity. When Florence bent down to clean the chicken houses, which were raised up off the ground, Benjy could see a gap of bare flesh above her grey stockings or the shadows of deep breasts beneath her smock. In a little while Benjy was catching Florence about the waist in the warm dark 

incubator houses, and for the first time in his life he had some other interest besides hens. 

Unreflective- not reflecting light.

Apparent- clear

Smock- a dress or top for a woman or girl, gathered at the chest and having a loosely fitting lower part.

Out of all the people Benjy had employed for his business there was a girl named Florence. This girl had thick heavy legs, loose lips and had non reflecting grey coloured eyes that could match Benjy’s clear simplicity. Florence used to clean the chicken houses by bending down  on the ground and at that moment Benjy could see a gap of bare flesh through her stockings. He could see the shadows of her breast under her loose fitted top. After a while Benjy was holding Florence from her waist in the darkness of his incubator houses. For the very first time Benjy found his interest in a girl besides his hens and business of eggs.

 

  1. It became clear to him that his father and mother did not like Florence, this simple, undistinguished girl with ugly legs and a mouth that would not keep shut. But Benjy did not need a distinguished, intelligent girl, even if one would have looked at him. He needed a woman to help with the hens, and soon he was saying that he and Florence would be married. 

Undistinguished- lacking distinction; unexceptional

But Benjy’s mother and father did not like Florence. They did not find any distinction in this girl. For them Florence was not good looking as she had ugly legs and she never kept her mouth shut as she used to talk all the time. But for Benjy, he didn’t need any different girl .For him it doesn’t even matter if the girl was even intelligent or not even if he wanted to look around for other girls. He just wanted a woman who could help him with his business. For Benjy, Florence was that girl who could help him with his hens and he wanted to marry Florence.

 

  1. As with the passbook and the lad, his father and mother were not prepared for that. 
  2. ‘Married? Aren’t you all right as you are? Don’t you want time to consider it? Where are you going to live?’ 
  3. ‘Here,’ Benjy said. 
  4. And that autumn, at the end of his fortieth year, Benjy moved into the house with Florence as his wife. 
  5. ‘We’ll want the front bedroom,’ Benjy said.

Lad- a boy or a young man

Benjy’s parents were not prepared for this. For them, Benjy was just a young boy with a simple-mind who did not understand much.

Benjy’s parents asked him why he even wanted to get married in the first place, isn’t he fine just the way he was. They asked him don’t you want to think twice before doing this? Have you decided where and how would you live?

Benjy replied to his parents that he and Florence would live in this house only.

Benjy married Florence at the end of his  fortieth year in the autumn season and moved in with Florence as his wife in the same house.

Benjy told his parents that they want the front bedroom.

 

  1. All their lives his father and mother had slept in the front bedroom. Now they vacated it and moved into the back. This removal hurt them deeply. But because it was now Benjy’s house, because Benjy asked it, they moved without protest, adding a little more to the long chronicle of sacrifice, forgiving Benjy because the simple-minded cannot be expected to understand. 

Vacated- leave

Chronicle- account, record

Benjy’s parents had lived in the front bedroom for their entire life so when Benjy asked for the front bedroom, his parents had to leave the front bedroom and move into the back. This incident hurted them very badly. Since the house belonged to Benjy and he was now the owner of the house, they moved to the back without saying much. But this incident just like the passbook incident also hurted them deeply but again they decided to forgive him as they thought Benjy was a simple-minded man who cannot understand much.

 

  1. But the problem of the girl was different. It seemed to them that the girl was about to take Benjy away from them. The air in the house became charged deeply with antagonism, the house itself invisibly but clearly divided. And then presently it became divided in actuality. Up to that time the four people had eaten together. Suddenly Benjy’ s mother did not like the way Florence scoured the saucepans. ‘I always scour them with soda. Soda’s always been good enough for me and always will.’ 

Antagonism- ill feeing

Scoured-  rubbed, cleaned

Scour- clean

Benjy’s parents did not like the girl. They thought Florence wanted to take Benjy away from them . Suddenly the entire vibe of the house changed. There was negativity all around the house, it seemed that the house was at the verge of getting divided. Later the house actually got divided. Earlier, the four of them used to eat together. But Benjy’s mother did not like the way Florence cleaned the saucepans. She used to clean them with soda so she said to Florence, Soda was always the good way of cleaning and would always be the best way to clean saucepans.

 

  1. When Benjy heard of the quarrel he had a very simple solution. ‘That settles it,’ he said. ‘Now you eat in the kitchen, and we’ll eat in the other room.’ 

When Benjy heard his mother and Florence arguing about cleaning the saucepans, he decided that his mother and father should start eating in the kitchen and Florence and Benjy should eat in the other room. So that they don’t have to eat together.

 

  1. And throughout that winter Benjy and his wife lived in one part of the house, and his father and mother in the other. To the old people the days began now to seem very long, and as they looked out on the land they could see the reason. Where there had once been brown bare earth, rows of winter beans, patches of wheat, there were now only Benjy’s chicken houses. The earth was still there, but the purpose of it no longer concerned them. The plough, the mare, the cart, and their few tools stood about in the yard, but now it was truer than ever that without the earth they were useless.

As decided by Benjy his mother and father spent the entire winter in one part of the room whereas Florence and Benjy lived in the other part.The days seemed to be longer than usual for Benjy’s mother and father. They used to look out on the land where the Johnsons used to farm, grow beans and patches of wheat; now there were only Benjy’s chicken houses. They could still see the earth but the earth has lost its value and importance to them. Johnsons still had the plough, the horse, the cart, and few tools in their yard but without the earth all these things are of no use to them.

 

  1. As the winter went on, and the four people were more and more confined indoors, the division in the house became an enormous gap. The two women passed each other on the stairs with glances of antagonism, nor speaking. When Benjy’s father walked out to preach on Sundays he walked slowly and brokenly, with the steps of an old man. Only Benjy appeared not to be upset. Preoccupied with his hens, it was as if the emotions of normal people never penetrated beyond his plump hairy face and the eyes that looked so harmless and simple still. 

Confined- restricted

Enormous- Big

Antagonism- active hostility or opposition

All across the winter, all the four people kept themselves restricted into their separate rooms, the house seemed to be even more divided and there was a very big gap between them now.

Whenever Florence and Benjy’s mother passed each other on the stairs, there was a feeling of opposition and they never spoke to one another. Benjy’s father turned very old and whenever he walked out to preach on Sundays he used to take small steps very slowly and brokenly just like an old man. But Benjy was not bothered by whatever was going on in the house or with his father. He was always busy with his hens. Beside having the looks of a simple-minded man with plump hairy face and those harmless eyes, It seemed that the emotions and feelings of a normal human being does not affect or bother Benjy. 

 

  1. But in the end it was Benjy who made the decision.
  2. ‘Mum and Dad,’ he said,’ it would be a lot better if you went somewhere else to live.’ 
  3. ‘Benjy,’ they said. 
  4. ‘A lot better,’ he said. ‘This is our house now. We want it. I bought the house, and I want it now.’
  5. ‘Benjy.’
  6. ‘I bought it and I want it,’ Benjy said again. ‘I want you to go.’
  7. ‘Benjy, we can’t go,’ his mother said. ‘We got nowhere to go. We got nowhere.’
  8. ‘You’ve got to get out!’ Benjy shouted.

In the end Benjy decided that he did not want his mother and father to live with him anymore. So he asked his parents to leave the house and find some other place to live. Benjy said to his parents that he had bought the house so he was the owner of the house, it would be much better if they went somewhere else to live.

Benjy’s mother replied to Benjy that they had nowhere to go. But Benjy didn’t listen, he asked them to get out of the house.

 

  1. As he shouted they realised, more fully than at any time in their lives, that Benjy was really not right in his head. His simple blue eyes were shot suddenly with a wild expression of insane anger. They not only knew that Benjy was a simple-minded man who was not fully responsible for his actions, but for the first time, struck by this wild-eyed burst of anger, they were frightened of Benjy too.

When Benjy started shouting, his parents realised that they were right throughout their lives that Benjy was not right in his head. Benjy’s simple blue eyes of a simple-minded man suddenly filled with mad anger. His parents knew that Benjy was a simple-minded mind who could not understand and take the responsibility of his own actions. But for the very first time his parents were really afraid of Benjy’s anger as his eyes were filled with anger.

 

  1. ‘All right,’ they said, ‘we’ll find some way to go.’

So his parents decided to leave the house and said we would find some way to go.

 

  1. It was little more than a week later when Benjy drove his mother and father down into the town. He now had a small Ford van, and as he drove the van, with his mother and father on the driving seat, he showed no sign of normal emotion. It was clear that he did not understand the meaning of affection, of bewilderment, or of despair. He felt and spoke and thought only in the simplest terms, with the cruel simplicity of a child.

Bewilderment-   the quality or state of being lost,

Despair- the complete loss

Benjy had a small Ford van. After a week later Benjy drove his mother and father down into the town. While he was driving his parents, he did not show any emotion or feeling of a normal human being.It was very clear to his parents that Benjy did not understand or feel affection or loss. Benjy could only feel, speak and think in the simplest way just like a child.

 

  1. ‘You’ll be better by yourselves in lodgings,’ he said. ‘You’ll be better by yourselves.’ 

Lodgings- temporary accommodation.

Benjy said to his parents that you would be better on your own in any rented accommodation.

 

  1. They did not answer. They sat with faces made completely immobile by a kind of stupefied resignation very near to grief. They listened silently and, because for forty years they had believed Benjy to be not right in his head, they made allowances for the last time. 

Immobile- motionless

Stupefied- bewildered, stunned

Grief- intense sorrow

Allowances- something that is permitted

Benjy’s parents did not reply to what Benjy said. Their faces were motionless just like they had experienced an intense loss. They were listening silently because for more than forty years they had  believed that  Benjy was not right in his head, so after this incident also they made peace with it and believed this for the last time also that Benjy was not right in his head that’s why he did all this. 

 

  1. Down in the town the car stopped in a street filled entirely with houses. Benjy did not get out of the van, his father’s and mother’s belongings had already gone on and now they alighted empty-handed. As they stood on the pavement Benjy spoke a few words to them, looked at them with unmoved simple eyes, and then drove away. 

Alighted- to come down from something (such as a vehicle)

Pavement-  the hard surface of a road or street.

Benjy stopped the car down in the town in a street filled with houses. His father and mother took their luggage and all the belongings out of the car and then came out of the van and were standing empty-handed.  Benjy did not even get out of his van. His parents were standing on the side of the road, Benjy spoke a few words to his parents but without any emotions or feelings just with his simple eyes and then drove back in his van. 

 

  1. When the van had gone they stood alone on the pavement, looking at the ground. They stood as if they had alighted in a strange place, were not sure of themselves, and did not know what to do. 

After Benjy left, his parents were standing alone on the edge of the road looking at the ground. They did not know what to do, it seemed like they were standing in a strange place not sure where to go or what to do.

  1. Once they had had the earth. Now it was not possible to tell, from their downcast and silent faces, whether they altogether realised that it, too, had gone. 

At one point of time they had the earth. Now they were so upset that they had nothing to say. It’s even difficult to tell if they had realized or not that even the earth was gone and they were left with nothing. 
 
Top
 
 

The Earth Question Answers

 

B.1.1. Complete the following sentences on the basis of the unit you have just studied: 

  1. a) A simple minded person is __________, __________   and  _________
  2. b) Johnson was more interested in   ___________
  3. c) Johnson’s possession included  __________
  4. d) Benjy’s simplicity seemed gradually to have become  ___________

 

Answer-

  1. a) A simple minded person is Insane, Imbecile and not right in the head.
  2. b) Johnson was more interested in preaching
  3. c) Johnson’s possession included the four-acre land, a plow, a two wheeled cart and a bony mare. 
  4. d) Benjy’s simplicity seemed gradually to have become a kind of cunningness.

 

B.1.2. Read the following sentences and write ‘T’ for true and ‘F’ for false statements: 

  1. Johnson was a hard-working man.
  2. Johnson was interested in preaching. 

iii. Johnson had an insane son. 

  1. Benjy hated his hens. 

 

Answer-

  1. Johnson was a hard-working man. False
  2. Johnson was interested in preaching. True

iii. Johnson had an insane son. False

  1. Benjy hated his hens. False

 

B.1. 3. Answer the following questions briefly : 

1) Who is a tenant farmer? 

Answer-

A tenant farmer is a person who resides on land owned by a landlord.

 

2) What did the doctor advise Benjy’s parents to ensure his mental growth? 

Answer-

The doctor advised Beny’s parents to give him something to do, some occupation, which would help his development.

 

3) What did Benjy understand about a hen?

Answer-

Benjy understood that a hen existed for the purpose of laying eggs.

 

4) What did Benjy understand about the business of hens? 

Answer-

Benjy understood that in this business of hens, eggs could be sold to the callers, and money could be kept in a basin.

 

B.2.1. Complete the following sentences on the basis of the unit you have just studied: 

  1. a) Benjy left school at the age of __________
  2. b) By then Benjy had ________ hens. 
  3. c) Benjy knew about segregating breeds of hens through  _________
  4. d) Johnson believed that the earth designed and created by God would  ___________
  5. e) When Benjy was 21, his father handed him ______

 

Answer-

  1. a) Benjy left school at the age of
  2. b) By then Benjy had forty or fifty
  3. c) Benjy knew about segregating breeds of hens through  a paper. 
  4. d) Johnson believed that the earth designed and created by God would  take care of itself.
  5. e) When Benjy was 21, his father handed him the passbook.

 

 B.2. 2. Answer the following questions briefly 

1) What silent belief did Benjy’s parents cherish about their land? 

Answer-

Benjy’s parents cherished a silent belief that the earth would one day outgrow its poverty.

 

2) Why had their land not yielded much? 

Answer-

The land had not yielded much because the Johnsons did not work hard instead he had put more value on faith than hard work.

 

3) How did Benjy’s parents feel when he silently put the passbooks in his pocket? 

Answer-

Their feelings were hurt. They felt a mixture of disappointment, fear, pride, and pain.

 

4) What had Benjy’s parents expected when they handed him the passbook? 

Answer

They had expected something else. They expected Benjy to thank them for the gift, perhaps a concession.

 

5) What did Benjy want to do with money? 

Answer- 

With the money, Benjy wanted to buy four acres of land next to his. parents’ rented land.

 

B.3.1. Complete the following sentences on the basis of the unit you have just studied: 

  1. a) The only difference between Benjy’s hens and his parents’ land was that  ________
  2. b) Benjy wanted to buy his parents’ land to   __________
  3. c) It was possible to gauge Benjy’s progress by __________
  4. d) Benjy’ parents did not like Florence because   _____________

 

Answer-

  1. a) The only difference between Benjy’s hens and his parents’ land was that  the hens belonged to Benjy but the land had never belonged to his parents.
  2. b) Benjy wanted to buy his parents’ land to   put up more incubator houses on it.
  3. c) It was possible to gauge Benjy’s progress by the new chicken houses covering his father’s former land, and by the fact that he now employed people to help him. 
  4. d) Benjy’ parents did not like Florence because she had ugly legs and a mouth that would not keep shut. 

 

B.3.2. Answer the following questions briefly : 

1) Who had Johnson rented their land from? 

Answer-

Johnson had rented their land from Sanders.

 

2) What information did Sanders give them that made them happy? 

Answer-

Sanders told them that their son Benjy is buying the land and this made them happy.

 

3) Who was Florence?

Answer-

Florence was one of the appointed employees in his farm . She was an ugly and undistinguished girl but very diligent .

 

4) Why did Benjy want to marry Florence? 

Answer-

Benjy thought that Florence will help him with the hens and this is why he wanted to marry Florence

 

B.4.1. Complete the following sentences on the basis of the unit you have just studied: 

  1. a) When Benjy asked his parents to vacate the front bed room, they  ______
  2. b) Benjy asked parents to go somewhere else because he   _________
  3. c) Benjy’s parents did not speak when their son drove them down into the town because  _____

 

Answer-

  1. a) When Benjy asked his parents to vacate the front bed room, they vacated it and moved into the back. 
  2. b) Benjy asked parents to go somewhere else because he bought the house and wanted to live alone with his wife
  3. c) Benjy’s parents did not speak when their son drove them down into the town because they believed that he was not right in his head.

 

B.4.2. Read the following sentences and write ‘T’ for true and ‘F’ for false statements: 

  1. With the arrival of Florence as Benjy’s wife, the house was filled with happiness. 
  2. Benjy and his wife lived in one part of the house and his parents in the other.

iii. Benjy paid utmost attention to his ageing parents. 

 

Answer-

  1. With the arrival of Florence as Benjy’s wife, the house was filled with happiness. False
  2. Benjy and his wife lived in one part of the house and his parents in the other.True

iii. Benjy paid utmost attention to his ageing parents. False

 

  1. 1. Long Answer Questions
  2. Did Benjy treat his parents justly? What would you do if you were Benjy? 

Answer-

No, Benjy did not treat his parents justly. He never showed any affection or attachment towards his parents which hurted them the most. When his parents gave him their life long savings by giving him the passbook, Benjy did not show any gesture that he was thankful to them for giving him all the money. They made every sacrifice for him and he was not grateful to them. They still forgave him because they had always believed that he was just a simple-minded man. But when Benjy asked his parents to leave the house that was the most unjustly and unsympathetic thing he did by asking his old parents to get out of the house. All these instances show how bad and unjustly he treated his parents.

If I were Benjy , I would always respect and take care of my parents.I would always be thankful to them for raising me, loving and taking care of me. I would never ask my parents to leave the house where they have spent forty years of their lives.

 

  1. On how many occasions were Benjy’s parents disappointed with Benjy’s behaviour? Describe each occasion briefly in your own words. 

Answer-

Benjy disappointed his parents on multiple occasions. For instance ,When Benjy turned twenty one his parents decided to give him the passbook in which they have saved all the money they have been making.They expected Benjy to say a word of gratitude, and willingness to share the money with them. But Benjy opened the passbook, looked at the balance, and put it in his pocket. This kind of behavior hurted his parents the most because they were expecting a better response from him.

Secondly, they were disappointed when Benjy was going to buy their land from Sanders.Benjy did not share this big news with his parents and they got to know about this from Sanders. They asked Benjy what he was going to do with the land. Benjy simply told them that he was going to put more incubator houses on it. His parents were deeply hurt that Benjy did not plan anything for his parents future.

They were once again disappointed when he decided to marry Florence.Benjy did not ask for his parents permission . He didn’t care for the fact that his parents don’t even like Florence.  They asked him where he would live and without any hesitation, he said he would live here. He asked them to vacate the front bedroom because he wanted it. 

For the last time, they were disappointed when Benjy asked them to leave the house and drove them into the town . While driving also he had no emotions or feelings that he was about to leave his old parents alone.

 

  1. ‘Looks are deceptive.’ How does this apply to Benjy? 

Answer- 

Yes this is true ‘Looks are deceptive’ in Benjy’s case. Benjy looked innocent and simple-minded when he was a child. He had large loose limbs, thick soft fair hair on his face, and blue eyes. All day long there was a smile on his face. His parents believed that he was not like other children and decided to take him to a doctor. Doctor suggested that his brain needed proper development so he should have some occupation to develop his mind. But in fact, Benjy proved to be the most cunning person. 

He kept all the money his parents gave him and even used that money to expand his business. He built more incubator houses and after years he was selling the most number of eggs in the entire town. 

Benjy even married the girl Florence even after knowing the fact that his parents don’t like her. This all proved that Benjy was an innocent and simple-minded man which he used to look like as a child but actually he was selfish and cruel. He had no love for his parents. Indeed his simple and innocent looks were deceptive. 

 

  1. What is the role of Florence in this story? How did she affect Benjy’s life?

Answer-

When Benjy’s business flourished, he started employing people to help him with his business. Florence was one of his employees. She was not good-looking. She had thick short legs, loose lips and unreflective gray eyes. Ignoring all those features for the very first time Benjy found his interest in a girl .So far he had been interested only in hens. Benjy decided to marry her despite his parents’ disapproval.He wanted her because she could help him with the hens. But Benjy’s parents did not like Florence. There were frequent quarrels between Florence and Benjy’s mother. But the problem of the girl was different. It seemed to them that the girl was about to take Benjy away from them. There was suddenly negativity in the house.

At first, Benjy’s parents had to vacate their bedroom for Benjy and Florence. Later they lived in separate portions of the house. Finally, Benjy told his parents, with eyes filled with anger, to leave the house and move to lodgings in the town. 

This is how Florence affected Benjy’s life.

 

  1. Johnson himself was responsible for his tragedy or troubles. Do you agree with this? Give reasons. 

Answer-

Yes, I fully agree that Johnson himself was responsible for his tragedy or troubles.​​From the beginning Johnsons believed more in words than in action. He was such a true believer of god and he used to talk so much about god that he even believed if god had designed and created this earth that he would actually take care of it on its own. He kept talking but didnt even realise that his farm was being destroyed by  rabbits who broke in and ate his cabbage , and the storm damaged his standing corns. He thought he was a struggling man because he had bad luck and his kid was a simple man but actually no one had the courage to tell him that he was actually a very lazy man who could work hard instead of just putting trust in god to save his earth. He was lazy and never tried to get a better yield from his land. Secondly, he saved no money for a rainy day. He gave all the money to Benjy but instead he should have saved some or even tried to purchase the land which he rented for all his life.

And lastly, he never learned any lesson from Benjy’s selfish behavior. Had he been a little wiser, he would not have suffered in his old age.

 

  1. How is a simple minded man defined in the story? Do you agree with this definition? 

Answer-

Benjy is described as a simple-minded person. He had large loose limbs and fair hair on his face. He had blue eyes and had a smile on his face. His parents believed that he was simple-minded and simple-hearted only because he looked different from others. 

No, I don’t agree with this definition because after so many instances in this chapter it was proved that Benjy was not at all a simple-minded man but rather was a very cunning man.

He was not insane or an imbecile. Benjy was a clever man who kept all his parents’ money without even thanking his parents. Benjy used his money and expanded his business. He became the biggest seller of eggs in the entire town.He built new incubator houses.  Benjy even purchased the house, married Florence and asked his parents to leave the house.

All these instances proved that Benjy was definitely now a simple-minded man and the definition of simple-minded man used by his parents was not right.To consider a person simple-headed just by his looks is not right. A simple-headed person can never be selfish.

 

  1. Sketch the character of Johnson. 

Answer-

Johnson was a tenant farmer who had a four-acre plot, a plough, a mare, a cart, and tools.Johnson also had a son named Benjy. Johnson was basically a very simple but religious person. He was a  local preacher, a man with quite a gift of talking. He liked not only to talk on Sundays, to village congregations in small still chapels far out in the countryside, but he liked to talk at the back-door, over the field gate, in the road outside the house.

He believed that God, who has created this earth, would also take care of it. He had a faith that somehow the land would recover from its poverty.  He believed Benjy was simple-headed.He made several sacrifices for him. Even though Johnson was a very kind and caring father, somehow he was a lazy man who did not put any efforts to grow his business, purchase the land on which he lived his entire life.  But in the end Johnson suffered because of his foolish faith and laziness.

 

  1. Sketch the character of Benjy.

Answer-

Benjy is the central figure of the story The Earth . Benjy was Johnson’s only child. He had the large loose limbs that often belong to the simple-minded, and thick soft fair hair on his face. He had the look of being a simple-hearted man as well as a simple-minded man. His eyes were blue, and all day long he had a simple smile on his face. But somewhere behind the blue eyes, the simple smile, and the soft childish hair, his simplicity seemed gradually to have become a kind of cunning.His selfishness and cunningness came to light as he grew older. Benjy’s only interest was in his hens. He knew that hens were useful because they lay eggs that could be sold for money. So he learned more and more about hens. He became a shrewd businessman . He had no emotion , affection or kindness . For him everything was his business .Benjy married one of his employees whose name was Florence. Florence was not a good looking girl but he still married her because he felt she could help him in his business.The emotions and sentimental feelings of a normal person never existed in him.The dark side of his character was fully exposed when he asked his parents to leave the house and even drove them and left them alone on the streets.

 

  1. 3. COMPOSITION 
  2. Write a short essay in about 150 words on ‘an ideal family’

Answer-

Family plays an essential role in human lives. An ideal family is a source of joy. It is the gift of God and a basis of happiness and prosperity.In an ideal family, all members love one another and are willing to make and sacrifice for one another. An ideal family helps us to grow and develop emotionally, socially and intellectually .It provides security and a lovely environment which helps us to share our happiness and problems. In modern times, people are busy and hardly have time for their family members. However, an ideal family needs to take some time for each other. Everyone needs to realize that there is nothing that is as essential as family. 

It is believed that families are the pillars of strength. It is because they give everyone in the family courage to face the challenges in society, country, and world. Also, they are always there when a person needs them.In an ideal family we need to nurture and strengthen the bonds between family members or the family will drift apart. Strong family relationships mean better communication with each other. For me, family is an extension of my life. 

 

  1. Write a paragraph in about 100 words on ‘duties of children towards their parents’

This Beautiful world was gifted to us by our parents to live in and to enjoy. They also took care to arrange for each and every possible comfort since our Birth, provided shelter, education, food, guidance, Protection throughout their life. So it should be our main responsibility or duty to take care of our parents. 

The first and the primary duty of the child should be to treat your parents with the dignity and respect that they deserve. Always listen to your parents, what they have to say , what they want to do. Yes, even if they tell you the same story over and over.  We owe our parents time. After all, they gave us nearly every moment of theirs for most of our lives. So it’s our duty to spend time with them. It is our duty that parents should be given food that they like and can digest. If they are unwell, they should be given medical aid immediately. They should be given clean clothes to wear. Parents do not expect much. If they get love and care they are happy.

Out of all the duties the most important one is to Make sure they have a place to call home. While we’re not legally obligated to house our parents when they get older, we definitely have a moral obligation to make sure they’re not homeless. If that means letting them live with us, so be it.

 
D. WORD STUDY 
D.1. Dictionary Use 

Ex. 1. Correct the spelling of the following words: 

 

tremore disapointmentbussinesscobsession
inormos precupiedimobilecronicle

 

Answer-

 

Tremore- Tremor Disapointment- DisappointmentBussiness- business Cobsession- obsession
Inormos- EnormousPrecupied- preoccupiedImobile- immobile Cronicle- chronicle

 

Ex. 2. Look up a dictionary and write two meanings of the following words — the one in which it is used in the lesson and the other which is more common 

 

anxiousinsaneconcession 
cunningsimpleinterest

 

Answer-

Anxious 

As per lesson- worried

Other meaning- intensely desirous

 

Insane

As per lesson- mentally deranged

Other meaning- very foolish

 

Concession

As per lesson- the act of yielding

Other meaning- reduction in the usual price

 

Cunning

As per lesson- crafty

Other meaning- wily

 

Simple

As per lesson- easy to understand

Other meaning- feeble minded

 

Interest 

As per lesson- hobby

Other meaning- charge on credit

 

D.2. Word-formation

Read the following sentence carefully:

It was true that they also had possession….

His simple blue eyes were shot suddenly with a wild expression….

 

Here, ‘possession’, a noun, is formed by adding the suffix ‘-ion’ to ‘possess’ which is a verb. Similarly, ‘expression’, a noun, is formed by adding the suffix ‘-ion’ to ‘express’ which is a verb.  Make nouns from the following verbs:

 

suggestrelateconfessnarratecreate
irrigatehumiliate frustratecultivateviolate 

 

Suggest- Suggestion Relate- Relation Confess- Confession Narrate- Narration Create- Creation 
Irrigate- Irrigation Humiliate- Humiliation Frustrate-  Frustration Cultivate- Cultivation Violate- Violation  

 

D.3. Word-meaning

 

Ex 1. Find from the lesson words the meanings of which have been given in Column A. The last part of each word is given in Column B: 

 

Column AColumn B
weak in mind……………….ible
a stalk of grain……………….ble
stunned………………ent
to separate……………… ate 
obstinate………………orn

 

Column AColumn B
weak in mindimbecile
a stalk of grainstubble
stunnedstupefied
to separatesegregate
obstinatestubborn

 
D. 4. Phrases
Ex.1. Read the lesson carefully and find out the sentences in which the following phrases have been used. Then use these phrases in sentences of your own:

 

grow upcome fromcut offby the time
all the timetake care offor long timelook at 

 

Answer-

  1. Grow up- India is a wonderful place to grow up.
  2. Come from- Respect from others comes from self-respect.
  3. Cut off- Our water supply has been cut off. 
  4. By the time-  I had lived in 12 different cities by the time I turned 18.
  5. All the time- We have all the time in the world to find out exactly how it can be done.
  6. Take care of- I can take care of myself.
  7. For the long time-  We were waiting for him for a long time
  8. Look at- Would you like me to look at your essay before you hand it in?

 
E. GRAMMAR
Ex.1. Read the following sentences, taken from the lesson, carefully:

  1. a) Very often it seemed as if it were all they had ever had.
  2. b) He had the look of being a simple-hearted man as well as a simple-minded man.
  3. c) By this time the money no longer went into the basin, but straight into the bank. 

 

In the sentence given above ‘as if’, as well as’ and ‘but’ join words, phrases and clauses. Such words are called conjunctions. 

 

Find at least ten conjunctions which have been used in the story and use them in sentences of your own. 

Answer-

  1. After- The bank is just after the park, on the left.
  2. But- he looked simple-minded but he was shrewd
  3. Although- We had a great time at the park, although it rained
  4. So that- they both went on a diet so that they could play more football with their friends.
  5. Because- it’s a really useful book because it explains everything very clearly. 
  6. As- She arrived early, as I expected.
  7. As well as- There’s no knowing what he might have done for you as well as for Fred.
  8. Besides- If I were you I would accept their offer. Besides, there’s no harm in trying.
  9. Rather- He would rather play than work.
  10. Both-  She played both hockey and basketball when she was a student.

 
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