CBSE Class 10 English Communicative- Interact in English Chapter 11 Snake (Poem) Important Question Answers

Looking for Snake question answers for Class 10 English Communicative- Interact in English Chapter 11 (Poem)? Look no further! Our comprehensive compilation of important questions will help you brush up on your subject knowledge. Practising Class 10 English Communicative question answers can significantly improve your performance in the exam. Our solutions provide a clear idea of how to write the answers effectively. Improve your chances of scoring high marks by exploring Poem: Snake now. The questions listed below are based on the latest CBSE exam pattern, wherein we have given solutions to the chapter’s extract based questions, multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and long answer questions.

Also, practising with different kinds of questions can help students learn new ways to solve problems that they may not have seen before. This can ultimately lead to a deeper understanding of the subject matter and better performance on exams.

Book Questions


Q1 Snakes generate both horror and fascination. Do you agree? Why/Why not?
Ans I agree that people are both horrified by and fascinated by snakes. Snakes are limbless reptiles that move through water and on land by gliding. They can be highly deadly because they are carnivorous. Snakes are a very dangerous animal to get into contact with since they may feed on prey that is larger than their heads. Of all, it’s because of these characteristics that people want to keep snakes as pets. Because of the colours and patterns on their bodies, they are beautiful to look at. Different species of snakes have patterns that represent beauty.


Q2 Given below is the summary of the poem Snake in short paragraphs. However they are jumbled. Work in pairs and put the summary into a logical sequence.

a) After drinking water to his satisfaction, the snake raised his head dreamily and flickered his forked tongue and licked his lips. The snake looked around like a God and then slowly proceeded to curve round and move away from the water trough.

b) The poet felt much like the ancient mariner who had killed the albatross for no reason. He wished that the snake would come back. He thought of the snake as a king in exile who had to be crowned again. He also regretted having missed his opportunity of knowing and understanding one of the lords of life.

c) As the snake put his head into the hole to retreat into the earth, the poet was filled with a protest against the idea of the snake withdrawing into his hole. The poet put down his pitcher, picked up a log and hurled it at the snake. The snake twisted violently and with great alacrity vanished into the hole in the wall.

d) Asnake visited the poet’s water trough on a hot afternoon to quench his thirst. The poet who had also gone to the trough to fill water in a pitcher waited for the snake to depart since he had come at the trough prior to the poet.

e) The voice of education inside the poet which tells him that it was the fear for the snake that made him refrain from killing him. However, the poet felt that though he was quite afraid of the snake, he did actually feel honoured that a snake had come to seek his hospitality from the deep recesses of the earth.

f) He is guilt-ridden and feels that he has to atone for the meanness of his action of throwing a log at the snake.

g) The snake rested his throat upon the stone bottom and sipped the water into his slack long body. After drinking water, he raised his head just like cattle do and flashed his forked tongue, thought for a moment and then bent down to drink some more water.

h) Education and social conventions make the poet think that the golden brown poisonous snake must be killed and that as a brave man he must undertake the task of killing the snake.

i) The poet instantly felt sorry for his unrefined and contemptible act and cursed the voices of education and civilization that had shaped his thought process and urged him to kill the snake.

j) However, the poet instinctively likes the snake, treats him like a guest and feels honoured that it has come to drink at his water trough. The poet questions himself and wonders whether his not daring to kill the snake proves that he is a coward and whether his desire to talk to the snake reflects his perversity.

Ans- The correct sequence will be
l. – (d)
2. – (g)
3. – (a)
4. – (h)
5. – (e)
6. – (c)
7. – (f)
8. – (b)
9. – (i)
10. – (j)

Q3 Based on your reading of the poem, answer the following questions by selecting the correct options:

1. ‘he lifted his head from his drinking as cattle do’ – The poet wants to convey that the snake is_________________.
A domesticated
B innocent
C as harmless as cattle
D drinking water just like cattle

Ans D drinking water just like cattle

2. ‘Sicilian July’, ‘Etna smoking’ and ‘burning bowels of the earth’ are images that convey that________________.
A there are snakes in volcanic areas
B the poet lives in a hot area
C it is a really hot day when the snake comes
D Sicilian snakes are dangerous

Ans. C it is a really hot day when the snake comes

3. ‘A sort of horror , a sort of protest overcame me’ – The poet is filled with protest because____________.
A he doesn’t want to let the snake remain alive
B he fears the snake
C he doesn’t want the snake to recede into darkness
D he wants to kill it so that it doesn’t return

Ans. D he wants to kill it so that it doesn’t return

4. In the line ‘And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther’ the phrase snake easing’ his shoulders means_______________.
A loosening its shoulders
B slipping in with majestic grace
C moving slowly
D moving fast

Ans. C moving slowly

5. ‘He seemed to me like a king in exile…’ The poet refers to the snake as such to emphasize that the snake______________.
A is like a king enduring banishment
B is like a king due to be crowned
C is a majestic king who came for a while on earth
D is a majestic creature forced to go into exile by man

Ans. D is a majestic creature forced to go into exile by man

6. ‘I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act’ -The poet is referring to_________.
A the snake going into the dreadful hole
B the accursed modern education
C the act of throwing a log of wood at the snake
D the act of killing the snake

Ans. C the act of throwing a log of wood at the snake

Q4 Answer the following questions briefly:

1. Why does the poet decide to stand and wait till the snake has finished drinking? What does this tell you about the poet? (Notice that he uses ‘someone’ instead of ‘something’ for the snake.)
Ans. The poet decides that since he believes the snake arrived before him, he should stand and wait until the snake finishes drinking. The poet senses that there is a visitor at the water trough while he waits with his pitcher and says, “I came down with my pitcher.” The poet considers it an honour that someone has come to fill his watering hole. This demonstrates that the poet is a nature enthusiast who views the snake as a significant living being.

2. In stanza 2 and 3, the poet gives a vivid description of the snake by using suggestive expressions. What picture of the snake do you form on the basis of this description?
Ans. The snake was yellow-brown and soft-bellied when it emerged from a crack in the earth wall and made its way to the water trough. He discreetly lapped into his long, lean physique with a straight mouth and drank water softly through straight gums.

3. How does the poet describe the day and the atmosphere when he had seen the snake?
Ans. The weather was warm. Due to the heat, the poet was in pyjamas to fill his pitcher. It appeared to be a day in July in Sicily, with Mount Etna smouldering. When the snake came out of the fissure to drink from the trough, the environment was dark.

4. What does the poet want to convey by saying that the snake emerges from the ‘burning bowels of the earth’?
Ans. The poet wants to make it clear that the snake emerged from the gloomy pit. He is implying that the snake emerges from the fissure at the bottom of the earth, which is pitch-black, completely dark. It is referred to as the ‘burning bowel’ of the earth because it is the same place from where the hot lava of the volcanic Mount Etna erupts, the inner core of the earth.

5. Do you think the snake was conscious of the poet’s presence? How do you know?
Ans. The snake arrived very gently, draping his yellow-brown belly over the edge of the stone water trough. It was not aware of the poet’s presence. This can be inferred because it placed its throat on the wet bottom of the trough where the water was dripping and sipped into his long, slack body with a straight mouth.It was calm.

6. How do we know that the snake’s thirst had been satiated? Pick out the expressions that convey this.
Ans. The snake’s thirst was quenched because, after consuming some water silently, he elevated his head “as cattle do,” expressed satisfaction, flashed his forked tongue from his lips “as one who has drunk,” and then started drawing his leisurely length in a circular motion.

7. The poet has a dual attitude towards the snake. Why does he experience conflicting emotions on seeing the snake?
Ans. The poet experiences contradictory emotions upon witnessing the snake. Even if his schooling tells him to kill the snake because it might be dangerous to him, there is something inside of him that really wants him to like and welcome the snake. Additionally, he views the visitor as his guest and is honoured that it has come to drink water. He therefore feels guilty about tossing the wooden log at the innocent snake.

8. The poet is filled with horror and protest when the snake prepares to retreat and bury itself in the ‘horrid black’, ‘dreadful’ hole. In the light of this statement, bring out the irony of his act of throwing a log at the snake.
Ans. When the poet realized that his ‘guest’ was going back, he experienced a protest, as if he did not want it to go back into the earth hole. He quickly “picked up a log and threw it at the water-trough to kill the snake” as it crept slowly into the hole. The snake swiftly wriggled “into the black hole”, after hearing the “clatter.” The poet now felt guilty about what he had done and blamed himself. He wanted the snake to return so that he could crown him like a king.

9. The poet seems to be full of admiration and respect for the snake. He almost regards him like a majestic God. Pick out at least four expressions from the poem that reflect these emotions.
Ans. The poet has great regard and admiration for the snake. He treats it with the same regard as a visitor who has come to his watering hole to fill up. He lets the snake drink because it arrived before him as he “stands and waits” to fill his pitcher. The following expressions reflect his emotions-
“like a god”
he had come like a guest
“like a king.”
“one of the lords of life.”

10. What is the difference between the snake’s movement at the beginning of the poem and later when the poet strikes it with a log of wood? You may use relevant vocabulary from the poem to highlight the difference.
Ans. The snake calmly and gracefully descends to the water trough, “trails his yellow-brown soft-belly.” When the poet hurled a “clumsy log” at the snake, it “writhed like lightning and was gone into the black hole” after the snake had quenched his thirst and looked around like a deity before slowly making its way into the crack.

11. The poet experiences feelings of self-derision, guilt and regret after hitting the snake. Pick out expressions that suggest this. Why does he feel like this?
Ans. After striking the snake, the poet experiences regret, guilt, and self-loathing. He attributes his decision to strike the snake to the voices of his education. How ‘paltry, how crude, what a cruel act!’ he muses. He hates himself, and a voice inside of him curses human education.

12. You have already read Coleridge’s poem The Ancient Mariner in which an albatross is killed by the mariner. Why does the poet make an allusion to the albatross?
Ans. The poet accuses the voice of education of tempting him into hitting the snake and expresses his hope that he won’t have to pay for his bad deed like the sailor who killed “the albatross”. The poet imagines the snake as “a king in exile,” and while he wishes it would return so he could crown it like a monarch, he believes it would never return. The poet is full of remorse and guilt like the ancient mariner. He relates to the mariner for he has something to expiate, the sin committed by him.

13. ‘I have something to expiate’- Explain.
Ans. Despite hitting the snake while under the influence of his education, the poet feels bad about it and wishes it would return so he may crown it like a king, but he misses the opportunity. He feels compelled to atone for this petty mistake.

Q5 The encounter with the snake and the dual response of the poet to his presence at the water trough reflect a conflict between civilized social education and natural human instincts. The poet writes a diary entry highlighting how he was torn between the two voices. Write his diary.
15th May, 20XX

Dear Diary

I am both terrified of and fascinated by snakes. My instinctual emotions and my logical thinking are at odds with one another. I feel as though our social education has crushed my affection. My logic frequently leads me astray. Despite the fact that I hit the snake while using my degree as justification, I regret what I did. In the end, my innate instinct won.

I am a kind, compassionate, and peace-loving person by nature, but education makes me become a brute and destroys the natural guy in me. In other words, my education has also made me egotistical and self-centered, which compels me to kill the snake in order to meet my social needs.

The kind of the conflict that arises in my head upon seeing the snake depicts a conflict between the use of cognitive and intuitive faculties. I attack the snake after paying attention to my reasoning side, only to later regret the act for being so mean.

I believe that because of our logic and intelligence, we develop anxieties, doubts, and superstitions. This is because of my schooling with forces of ignorance, brutality, and barbarism.
Our innate nature drives us to carry out deeds of goodness.

Q6 Alliteration is the repetition of sounds in words, usually the first sound. Sibilance is a special form of alliteration using the softer consonants that create hissing sounds, or sibilant sounds. These consonants and digraphs include s, sh, th, ch, z, f, x, and soft c.
Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it represents for a rhetorical or artistic effect of bringing out the full flavor of words. The sounds literally make the meaning in such words as “buzz,” “crash,” “whirr,” “clang” “hiss,” “purr,” “squeak,” etc.It is also used by poets to convey their subject to the reader. For example, in the last lines of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem ‘Come Down, O Maid’, /m/ and /n/ sounds produce an atmosphere of murmuring insects:
… the moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees
To what effect has the poet used these devices? How has it added to your understanding of the subject of the poem? You may record your understanding of the characteristics of a snake under the following headings:
a) Sound
b) Movement
c) Shape
Ans. By using alliteration, sibilance and onomatopoeia, D.H.Lawrence has succeeded in creating a kind of visual and sensory effect on us. In line ‘And trailed his yellow-brown slackness, soft-bellied down, we feel the onomatopoeia effect in ‘trailed’, ‘slackness’, and ‘soft- bellied down.’ We almost hear both the sound and the movement of the snake. Equally in line ‘And flickered his two-forked tongue, /f/ sound (sibilance) and onomatopoeic effect in ‘flickered’ lend a visual and sensory movement to the snake.

In the line ‘Softly drank through his straight/ gum, into this slack long body/ Silently, the /s/ sound conveys the snake’s feature of the snake through sibilance. In doing so, the poet has been successful in bringing out the image of the snake through the sound, movement and shape. Another example of onomatopoeic word ‘slowly’ and /s/ sound indicates the use of sibilance, conveys this effect: ‘And slowly turned his head./ And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice a dream’.

Q7 The poet has also used both repetition and similes in the poem. For example– ‘must wait, must stand and wait’ (repetition) and ‘looked at me vaguely as cattle do’ (simile).Pick out examples of both and make a list of them in your notebooks. Give reasons why the poet uses these literary devices.
Ans. Repetition:
Hot, hot day:
Earth brown, earth golden;
Was it cowardice, was it perversity, was it humility;
I was afraid, I was most afraid;
And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice a dream.

As drinking/cattle do;
And lifted around like a god; and I, like a second comer;
And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice a dream;
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken;
like a king in exile;
he had come like a guest; writhed like lightening.


Snake Extra Questions

Extract Based Questions

Extract-based questions are of the multiple-choice variety, and students must select the correct option for each question by carefully reading the passage.

A Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:

A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas, for the heat.
To drink there.
In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree

1. Who had come to the poet’s water-trough?
Ans. A snake had come to the poet’s water trough.

2. What do you mean by ‘water-trough’?
Ans. A watering trough (or artificial watering point) is a man-made or natural receptacle intended to provide drinking water to animals.

3. Why was the poet going to the trough?
Ans. It was a very hot day, so the poet was also going to the trough to collect water for himself.

4. Where was the water-trough?
Ans. The water trough was placed under the shade of the great dark carob tree.

B Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:

I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there
he was at the trough before me.

1. Who is I?
Ans. ‘I’ refers to the poet.

2. What is the pitcher for?
Ans. The pitcher is for filling water.

3. Why must he wait? Wait is repeated, why?
Ans. He had to wait because he did not want to disturb the snake who had come in first. Wait is repeated in must stand and wait” because the poet was so fascinated by the snake, he wanted to keep looking at it. He did not want to go away, but stand and wait, enjoying the ways of the snake, as it drank water.

4. Why did the poet allow the snake to finish drinking water and not disturb him?
Ans. The poet waited for the snake to finish drinking, because it had come there earlier and courtesy demanded that he waits for his turn.

C Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:

He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down,
over the edge of the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom.

1. How did the snake get there?
Ans. It had come out of the dark interiors of the earth through a crack in the wall.

2. Where did it rest its throat”?
Ans. It rested its throat upon the bottom of the trough that was made of stone.

3. How did it get there?
Ans. It got there by crawling on its soft belly.

4. Why had the snake come there?
Ans. The snake had come there to drink water.

D Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:

“And where the water had dripped
From the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight
gums, into his slack long body. Silently”

1. Where did it drink water from?
Ans. The snake drank water from the small clearness where the water had dropped from the tap.

2. How did it drink?
Ans. He sipped the water with his straight mouth and swallowed it softly through his straight gums.

3. Did the snake cause any disturbance while drinking water?
Ans. The snake did not create any disturbance, but crawled in lazily and drank the water in absolute silence.

4. How was the snake’s body?
Ans. The snake’s body was long and slack.


Short Answer Questions

In this post we are also providing important short answer questions from Chapter 11 Snake (Poem) for CBSE Class 10 exam in the coming session

Q1 Why does the poet experience conflicting emotions on seeing the snake?
Ans. The poet experienced conflicting emotions because his head (education), and his heart (sensibilities) gave him different suggestions, opinions, on how to handle the snake. His heart did not want to listen to his mind that told him to kill the snake, if he were a man.

Q2 What did voice of education say to the poet in the poem, ‘snake’?
Ans. Education had made him understand that snakes are poisonous and that it should be killed for survival. Snake poison could result in death. It had not taught him to understand, respect and protect another living being, that was in no way disturbing him.

Q3 How does the poet describe the day and the atmosphere when he saw the snake?
Ans. The poet says that it was a very hot day in July, probably as hot as the day when Mount Etna in Sicily had erupted, releasing excessive heat, fire and lava.

Q4 Why did D.H. Lawrence, the poet, despise himself? How did he feel and describe his action?
Ans. He despised himself for throwing a log at the snake. He felt extremely disgusted when he saw the snake escaping in a hurry. He regretted his paltry, vulgar and mean behaviour. He hated himself and the education that had told him that snakes are harmful and must be killed. He felt his action was responsible for depriving him of the opportunity of honouring a king.

Q5 Why did the poet wait for the snake to quench its thirst first?
Ans. The poet waits for the snake to quench its thirst because he considered it to be an honoured guest. Besides, as the snake had come before him, it was first in the order.

Q6 How is the poet guilty of violating the rule of hospitality?
Ans. The poet felt honoured when he noticed a majestic snake crawling towards his water trough, to quench its thirst. Later, he picked up a log and threw it at the harmless snake, while it was making a decent exit. The poet regretted his impulsive act and termed it as being, ‘vulgar’ ‘mean’ ‘petty; and rebukes the voices of human education. The poet believed that he ought to make amends for his unreasonable and undignified act. He experienced an acute sense of guilt for having violated the basic rules of hospitality.

Q7 Do you think the snake was conscious of the poet’s presence? How do you know?
Ans. Not in the beginning. He drank, completely oblivious of the poet’s presence there. Later on, when he looked at him, it showed no fear. Probably, it did not know that a man stood there in fascination with a very confused state of mind, that was giving him contrary instructions.

Q8 How do we know that the snake’s thirst was satiated?
Ans. After drinking enough water, the snake took out its forked tongue, moved it and smacked its lips as the cattle do. This was an indication that its thirst was quenched.

Q9 Why does the poet decide to stand and wait till the snake has finished drinking? What does this tell you about the poet? (Notice that he uses ‘someone’ instead of something for the snake.)
Ans. The poet had not expected this encounter with the snake. He felt extremely honoured that the snake had come there seeking his hospitality. As it had come there before him, he decided to wait, without disturbing him. He uses ‘someone, perhaps to personify the snake, by treating it as a guest.

Q10 In stanza 2 and 3, the poet gives a vivid description of the snake by using suggestive expression. What picture of the snake do you form on the basis of this description?
Ans. The poet is very vividly presenting the picture of a huge golden snake that had come in very peaceful and calmly, from its hot home beneath the earth. It was in no hurry, and moved about in a very lazy and harmless manner. The snake is also compared to a cattle by the poet probably to highlight that it did not have any vicious intentions. It had just come in to drink water and tried to slip away with the same laziness into its hole.

Long Answer Questions

Q1 The poet has a dual attitude towards the snake. Why does he experience conflicting emotions on seeing the snake?
Ans. The poet does get confused when he sees the snake. He experiences conflicting emotions because instinct and the mind tell him to react in different ways. His instinct makes him fascinated, admired, honoured, and respected, the snake who he feels is as majestic as God, an uncrowned king. But his mind guided by the myths of formal education, tells him to kill the snake, as man has arbitrarily certified all snakes as poisonous.
The poet is filled with horror and protest when the snake prepares to retreat and bury itself in the ‘horrid black; ‘dreadful hole. In the light of this statement, bring out the irony of his act of throwing a log at the snake.
Though the poet is very fascinated by the snake, he feels compelled by the voice of his education, not to let it go away; so he picks up the log lying there and throws it at the snake to harm it, kill it or frighten it so that it may not appear again.

Q2 Whenever we act against the voice of our conscience, the result is suffering. Explain with reference to the poet’s action against the snake and its consequences.
Ans. The graceful and dignified presence of the snake that had come to quench its thirst had fascinated the poet and filled him with awe. The poet who had also gone to fetch some water waits patiently, with due respect for the ‘guest: However, the voice of education tells him that yellow snakes are venomous and urges him to throw a log at the receding snake. When the poet sees the harmless snake slithering in panic for safety into the bowels of the earth, he is filled with a sense of guilt and remorse. He despises himself for being petty and wishes that the snake would reappear to accept his hospitality and seek redemption for his evil act.

Q3 “Man is the most selfish animal on this earth, who has not spared any other species to satisfy his greed.” Elaborate.
Why can’t man live and let others (wildlife in general) live in peace?
Ans. Everything that grows, lives, breathes and procreates, fall under the category of living beings. God created all living beings. The only difference between man and other living things are that man has been endowed with the power of reasoning, while the other Living beings are guided by their instinct.
Now, what did man do with his power of reasoning? He started using it unreasonably. Animals kill only when they are hungry. But man kills to eat, for fun, for power, as a sport, in the name of religion. He just needs to hit upon a reason to be inhuman and unreasonable. Man has destroyed the earth given to us by God.
He has destroyed the ecological balance, by killing animals and birds and chopping down trees. All this to satiate his greed for wealth and power. For man the adage, “Live and let live” is not for him to practise. Allowing another being to stand up against him will be a definite crash of his ego, which he will not allow even if it means that he has to kill.

Q4 Snakes generate both horror and fascination. Do you agree? Why/Why not?
Ans. I agree with the fact that snakes generate both horror and fascination. Snakes are legless reptiles that glide their way through water and ground. They are carnivorous and thus, can be very dangerous. They can prey on objects larger than their heads which makes snakes a highly risky reptile to encounter. Of course, it is because of these traits that some people find it fascinating to keep snakes as their pet.
But the fear that has been instilled in our minds with regard to this creature is so severe that we tend to panic if we see even a harmless non-poisonous variety basking in the sun. Snakes are lovely to look at because of the varied colours and designs on their bodies. Patterns on different species of snakes symbolise their type and characteristics.
Different varieties of snakes can be seen held captive for no fault of theirs, and displayed with their species name and features, in zoos across the world. There are many people in the world who worship snakes, and many others who chop them up and serve it as a delicacy. In short, formal education as said by the Poet D.H. Lawrence generates horror in our minds when we see the reptile, while our instinct directs us to look at it in fascination.


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