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Nelson Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom - CBSE Class 10 NCERT English First Flight Lesson 2 Explanation, Summary, Difficult words

By Ruchika Gupta

CBSE Class 10 English Lesson 2 Explanation Notes

CBSE Nelson Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom Class 10 English First Flight Lesson 2 - Detailed explanation of the lesson along with meanings of difficult words. Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the lesson. All the exercises and Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered.

Nelson Mandela Chapter 2

Long Walk to Freedom

- By Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

 

nelson mandela

 

Long Walk to Freedom Introduction

This chapter is an extract from the autobiography of Nelson Mandela (born- 18 July, 1918), the first Black President of South Africa. Excerpts from “Long Walk to Freedom” include description of the inauguration ceremony, citations from his speech, his journey to being a freedom fighter, the struggle, along with a tribute to other freedom fighters and countless other people who fought for their freedom.   In South Africa, a brutal practice named “apartheid” was followed. Apartheid refers to the discrimination between people on the basis of their race. It was one of the most brutal societies where dark-skinned people were deprived of their basic rights. This lesson gives us an overview as to how Nelson Mandela along with others, carved their way to a society where there will be no discrimination on the basis of their colour, caste, race, age or gender.

 

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Long Walk to Freedom Lesson & Explanation

TENTH May dawned bright and clear. For the past few days I had been pleasantly besieged by dignitaries and world leaders who were coming to pay their respects before the inauguration. The inauguration would be the largest gathering ever of international leaders on South African soil. The ceremonies took place in the lovely sandstone amphitheatre formed by the Union Buildings in Pretoria. For decades this had been the seat of white supremacy, and now it was the site of a rainbow gathering of different colours and nations for the installation of South Africa’s first democratic, non-racial government.

 

long walk to freedom

Dawned- (of a day) began
Pleasantly- giving a sense of happy satisfaction or enjoyment; satisfying
Besieged- to be surrounded by
Dignitaries- a person considered to be important because of high rank or office.
Sandstone- sedimentary rock consisting of sand or quartz grains cemented together, typically red, yellow, or brown in colour.
Amphitheatre- an open - air theatre
Supremacy- the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status

 

10th May was the day when Nelson Mandela sworn in as the first black Head of State, South Africa. It was after years of struggle that his anti-racist party came into power. Until then, the seat had always been occupied by white Presidents. That is why, the author referred to the day as “bright and clear”. It was a morning full of hope. Days before this date, many notable personalities started congratulating him for his victory. For the first time in the country’s history, so many international leaders came together for their inauguration ceremony. The ceremony took place in an open circular building made of sandstone consisting of Union buildings in the Pretoria city.

 

Ebook Img

zenani

On that lovely autumn day I was accompanied by my daughter Zenani. On the podium, Mr de Klerk was first sworn in as second deputy president. Then Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as first deputy president. When it was my turn, I pledged to obey and uphold the Constitution and to devote myself to the wellbeing of the Republic and its people.

 

Deputy- Second in command
Sworn- given under oath; determined to stay in the role specified
Pledged- committed (a person or organization) by a solemn promise.

 

The author was accompanied by his daughter, Zenani on his big day. First, the two Vice-Presidents took an oath. Then, when his turn came, he committed to respect, protect and abide by the Constitution and to devote his entire self into the welfare of the country.

 

To the assembled guests and the watching world, I said: “Today, all of us do, by our presence here... confer glory and hope to newborn liberty. Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud. We, who were outlaws, not so long ago, have today been given the rare privilege to be host to the nations of the world on our own soil. We thank all of our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity.”

 

Assembled- (of people) gather together in one place for a common purpose
Confer- grant 
Glory- honour
Outlaws- because of its policy of apartheid, many countries had earlier broken off diplomatic relations with South Africa  
On our own soil- in our own country
Possession- ownership
Dignity- the state or quality of being worthy of respect.

 

The author also mentions some parts of his speech where he said that everyone, by his presence was giving rise to hope for a new beginning. Previous rulers were discriminatory and lasted for long but the ones, who are given the opportunity to rule now (ANC), would stand up against discrimination. He is glad to host a ceremony with the presence of global leaders. It is an achievement in itself. There was a time when South Africa, for practicing apartheid, lost all its international political relationships. Now, when there is no segregation on the basis of race and gender, other nations are happy to have healthy democratic relationships. Finally, they have come to power and they pledge to make everyone proud. He thanked everyone, especially the international leaders for joining them in celebrating their achievement which is a step towards an equal society where every human will be treated fairly.

 

"We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination. Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement. Let freedom reign. God bless Africa!"

 

Emancipation- the fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions
Liberate- free; release
Bondage- the state of being a slave
Discrimination- being treated differently or unfavourably
Deprivation- the damaging lack of material benefits considered to be basic necessities in a society
Oppression- prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority.
Glorious- having, worthy of, or bringing fame or admiration.
Reign- rule; govern

 

He mentions that after great struggle, they have finally achieved political freedom. His government promised to free everyone of the still existing poverty, hardship and inequalities of all kind along with assuring everyone of a country where no community will be considered inferior. He then exclaims that freedom should rule and may god shower his blessings on their land.

 

A few moments later we all lifted our eyes in awe as a spectacular array of South African jets, helicopters and troop carriers roared in perfect formation over the Union Buildings. It was not only a display of pinpoint precision and military force, but a demonstration of the military’s loyalty to democracy, to a new government that had been freely and fairly elected. Only moments before, the highest generals of the South African defence force and police, their chests bedecked with ribbons and medals from days gone by, saluted me and pledged their loyalty. I was not unmindful of the fact that not so many years before they would not have saluted but arrested me. Finally a chevron of Impala jets left a smoke trail of the black, red, green, blue and gold of the new South African flag.

 

Awe- amazed
Spectacular- beautiful in a dramatic and an eye-catching way
Array- an impressive display
Troop- soldiers or armed forces
Precision- accuracy
Bedecked- decorate
Unmindful- not conscious or aware
Chevron- a pattern in the shape of a V
Trail- series; chain

 

fighter jets

Just after the newly elected President’s address to the audience, an impressive arrangement of fighter jets, helicopter and soldier transporters raised everyone’s heads up in the sky. It symbolised perfection as well as military’s respect and obedience towards the free country. The high commanders, who have won medals for their bravery, also saluted and promised their loyalty. Mandela mentions that he was well aware that these commanders, who were now saluting him, would have arrested him under the previous rule as during the oppressive white supremacy, he was considered to be a criminal. The air show finally ended by making of the South African flag in the sky from smoke beneath the jets.

 

The day was symbolised for me by the playing of our two national anthems, and the vision of whites singing ‘Nkosi Sikelel –iAfrika’ and blacks singing ‘Die Stem’, the old anthem of the Republic. Although that day neither group knew the lyrics of the anthem they once despised, they would soon know the words by heart.

 

Symbolised- be a symbol of
Lyrics- the words of a song
Despised- hated, had a very low opinion of

 

The author remembers the day as the playing of two National Anthems of the country; one of the whites and the other, that of the blacks. On that day, no one knew the wordings of the anthem of the blacks but Mandela was confident that everyone would soon learn this anthem that they once hated.

 

On the day of the inauguration, I was overwhelmed with a sense of history. In the first decade of the twentieth century, a few years after the bitter Anglo-Boer war and before my own birth, the white-skinned peoples of South Africa patched up their differences and erected a system of racial domination against the dark-skinned peoples of their own land. The structure they created formed the basis of one of the harshest, most inhumane, societies the world has ever known. Now, in the last decade of the twentieth century, and my own eighth decade as a man, that system had been overturned forever and replaced by one that recognised the rights and freedoms of all peoples, regardless of the colour of their skin.

 

Overwhelmed- have a strong emotional effect
Erected- build; construct
Racial domination- when people of one race have power over another race
Inhumane-cruel, brutal
Overturned- reverse.

 

On the day of the inaugural ceremony, the author was remembering the days of past when this whole system of apartheid emerged. It resulted in inequality and inferior treatment of dark-skinned people. They were deprived of their basic fundamental rights. As a result, one of the world’s most brutal and inhumane society was born This began even before he was born. This system created an atmosphere of extreme cruelty and injustice for a particular part of the community. Now when he is in his eighth decade as a man, he along with countless others, have changed this entire system that treats humans as humans irrespective of their colour, caste, gender, or age.

 

That day had come about through the unimaginable sacrifices of thousands of my people, people whose suffering and courage can never be counted or repaid. I felt that day, as I have on so many other days, that I was simply the sum of all those African patriots who had gone before me. That long and noble line ended and now began again with me. I was pained that I was not able to thank them and that they were not able to see what their sacrifices had wrought.

 

Unimaginable- difficult or impossible to imagine
Patriots- a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies

 

This equal and free country was a result of sacrifices of countless other men and women who have fought all their lives for this day. The author wishes if he could thank them all but unfortunately, they didn’t live to see the result of their courage. Nelson Mandela gathered his courage and power from all these people and thus, wishes to make them proud.

 

The policy of apartheid created a deep and lasting wound in my country and my people. All of us will spend many years, if not generations, recovering from that profound hurt. But the decades of oppression and brutality had another, unintended, effect, and that was that it produced the Oliver Tambos, the Walter Sisulus, the Chief Luthulis, the Yusuf Dadoos, the Bram Fischers, the Robert Sobukwes of our time* — men of such extraordinary courage, wisdom and generosity that their like may never be known again. Perhaps it requires such depths of oppression to create such heights of character. My country is rich in the minerals and gems that lie beneath its soil, but I have always known that its greatest wealth is its people, finer and truer than the purest diamonds.

 

Apartheid- a policy or system of segregation on grounds of race
Profound- very great or intense
Unintended- not planned or meant

 

peoples

The oppression policy scarred many people and it will take a long time for them to move on. The author mentions that this hard time had its negative impacts but it also exposed a lot of strong and courageous men who stood up and raised their voice. Thus, it required that level of unjust treatment to produce such great heroes. South Africa, he says, is rich in minerals and gems but its greatest strength lies in its people.

 

It is from these comrades in the struggle that I learned the meaning of courage. Time and again, I have seen men and women risk and give their lives for an idea. I have seen men stand up to attacks and torture without breaking, showing a strength and resilience that defies the imagination. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

 

Comrades- a colleague or a fellow member of an organisation
Resilience- the ability to deal with any kind of hardship and recover from its effects
Defies- refuse to obey
Triumph- great victory or achievement

 

Nelson Mandela gained his strength to stand against the wrong from all the great nationalists he mentioned above, who have even risked their lives for freedom and tolerated ill treatment, but never stopped fighting. He learned that “courage” didn’t mean the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome fear. The man who overcomes his fear is called brave.

 

No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. Even in the grimmest times in prison, when my comrades and I were pushed to our limits, I would see a glimmer of humanity in one of the guards, perhaps just for a second, but it was enough to reassure me and keep me going. Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.

 

Grimmest- very serious or gloomy
Glimmer- shine faintly with a wavering light
Pushed to our limits- pushed to the last point in our ability to bear pain
Reassure- say or do something to remove the doubts

 

One is taught by its society to hate humans because of their skin, colour, age, gender and religion. No one is inborn with hatred. The author’s idea is that if people can be taught hatred, they can also be taught love and brotherhood. In their most testing times in prison when they were being treated brutally, Mandela would see a pinch of humanity and kindness in one of the guards and that was enough to keep him going. He believes that goodness in human beings can be suppressed but never eliminated.

 

In life, every man has twin obligations — obligations to his family, to his parents, to his wife and children; and he has an obligation to his people, his community, his country. In a civil and humane society, each man is able to fulfil those obligations according to his own inclinations and abilities. But in a country like South Africa, it was almost impossible for a man of my birth and colour to fulfil both of those obligations. In South Africa, a man of colour who attempted to live as a human being was punished and isolated. In South Africa, a man who tried to fulfil his duty to his people was inevitably ripped from his family and his home and was forced to live a life apart, a twilight existence of secrecy and rebellion. I did not in the beginning choose to place my people above my family, but in attempting to serve my people, I found that I was prevented from fulfilling my obligations as a son, a brother, a father and a husband.

 

Obligations- a duty or a commitment
Civil- courteous and polite
Inclination- natural tendencies of behaviour
Inevitably- unavoidably
Twilight- half-light, semi-darkness
Secrecy- the action of keeping something secret
Rebellion- the action or process of resisting authority, convention or control

 

According to the author, every human being has its responsibility towards the family and as well as the society. Generally, under normal circumstances, a person can maintain the balance between the two but in countries like South Africa, it was never so easy. When a person of colour would come up for his society, he would be arrested and taken away from his family, thus keeping them from fulfilling both responsibilities. In the beginning, Mandela did not put his people over his family, but it was only later when he realised that in order to be there for his people, he was compromising his duties towards his own family.

 

I was not born with a hunger to be free. I was born free — free in every way that I could know. Free to run in the fields near my mother’s hut, free to swim in the clear stream that ran through my village, free to roast mealies under the stars and ride the broad backs of slow-moving bulls. As long as I obeyed my father and abided by the customs of my tribe, I was not troubled by the laws of man or God. It was only when I began to learn that my boyhood freedom was an illusion, when I discovered as a young man that my freedom had already been taken from me, that I began to hunger for it. At first, as a student, I wanted freedom only for myself, the transitory freedoms of being able to stay out at night, read what I pleased and go where I chose. Later, as a young man in Johannesburg, I yearned for the basic and honourable freedoms of achieving my potential, of earning my keep, of marrying and having a family — the freedom not to be obstructed in a lawful life.

 

Stream- a small, narrow river
Mealies- a maize plant
Abided- obeyed
Boyhood- the state or time of being a boy
Illusion- a false idea or belief
Transitory- not permanent
Yearned- have an intense feeling or longing for something

 

The author did not have the plan to stand against the apartheid system early in life. He lived his childhood like any normal child in South Africa. He only had to follow the rules set up by his father or the customs of his tribe. As soon as he grew up and began to learn the facts as to how people of colour are treated, he decided to stand against it. He had this urge for freedom from inside, earlier just for himself (staying out at night, etc.) and later for having a basic life not just for himself, but for everyone. In Johannesburg, they had to struggle for having a peaceful marriage, family and basic amenities which everyone has access to where law and order exists.

 

But then I slowly saw that not only was I not free, but my brothers and sisters were not free. I saw that it was not just my freedom that was curtailed, but the freedom of everyone who looked like I did. That is when I joined the African National Congress, and that is when the hunger for my own freedom became the greater hunger for the freedom of my people. It was this desire for the freedom of my people to live their lives with dignity and selfrespect that animated my life, that transformed a frightened young man into a bold one, that drove a law-abiding attorney to become a criminal, that turned a family-loving husband into a man without a home, that forced a life-loving man to live like a monk. I am no more virtuous or self-sacrificing than the next man, but I found that I could not even enjoy the poor and limited freedoms I was allowed when I knew my people were not free. Freedom is indivisible; the chains on anyone of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.

 

Curtailed- reduce; impose a restriction on
Dignity- the state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect
Frightened- afraid or anxious
Monk- a member of a religious community of men typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience
Virtuous- having or showing high moral standards
Indivisible- unable to be divided or separated

 

Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) when he realised it is not only him whose basic rights were snatched away but of all those who looked like him. He had this fire inside him to free his people from the injustice. It was this fire that changed the author completely as a man, from being scared to brave, a lawyer to the one breaking the law, a family-man to a man without a home and a lively man into being a monk. It was the knowledge that he and his people have restricted freedom that made him into a selfless man as opposed to before. According to him, freedom cannot be divided. Snatching it away from some was equivalent to taking it away from everyone and that meant taking it away from the author.

 

I knew that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred; he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.

 

Prejudice- a strong dislike without any good reason

 

He mentions that the need to free the oppressor is as high as that of the oppressed because the oppressor is bounded by the shackles of hatred. He has the weight of all the people who he has tormented, for he carries the curses of all of their families. For taking away someone else’s freedom and making them a prisoner, he becomes a prisoner of biasness. Thus, he is robbed of his humanity and need to be freed.

 

 

Long Walk to Freedom Summary

This chapter is an extract from the autobiography of Nelson Mandela (born- 18 July, 1918), the first Black President of South Africa. It begins with the description of their inaugural ceremony which took place on the 10th of May 1994 where the entire nation along with many international leaders embraced the victory of a newly and fairly elected government. It involved speeches by the President and the two Deputy Presidents followed by an impressive air show of fighter jets and helicopters. Long ago, in the first decade of the twentieth century, white supremacy introduced the system of apartheid and made life a living hell for the dark-skinned population. It gave rise to one of the most inhumane societies of the world. Many people have struggled and sacrificed for basic human rights. The author expressed his desire to thank all those freedom fighters who couldn’t live to see this autumn day. He referred to the citizens as the greatest asset of the country. It is these people he gathered his courage from. Mandela believes that courageous is not the man who is fearless, but the man who has overcome fear. He also mentioned the two responsibilities every human has and how in order to fulfil his obligation towards the society, his obligation towards his family was neglected. He became a man of people when he realised that the idea of freedom was an illusion for him and people like him. It was then he joined the African National Congress and fought for his rights till he became the first black President of the nation. According to him, the oppressor is as much a prisoner as the oppressed. As soon as the former robs the oppressed of their freedom he, himself gets robbed of his humanity. Thus, the oppressor too, is not free.

 

Long Walk to Freedom Question and Answers  

1. Where did the ceremonies take place? Can you name any public buildings in India that are made of sandstone?

A. The ceremonies took place in an amphitheatre which was formed by Union Buildings in Pretoria. In India, we have many public buildings made of sandstone, some of which are Rashtrapati Bhavan, Red Fort and the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi.

 

2. Can you say how 10 May is an ‘autumn day’ in South Africa?

A. Since South Africa lies in the Southern Hemisphere, we can say that May falls in the autumn season.

 

3. At the beginning of his speech, Mandela mentions “an extraordinary human disaster”. What does he mean by this? What is the “glorious … human achievement” he speaks of at the end?

A. By “an extraordinary human disaster”, Mandela is referring to the apartheid system that was prevalent in South Africa under the previous leadership. People of colour were treated unfairly and no human being deserves that. He stood against the unjust practices and finally won the democratic elections to become the first black President of South Africa. He refers to this win as “glorious human achievement”.

 

4. What does Mandela thank the international leaders for?

A. The author thanked the international leaders for joining and supporting them in their victory of freedom, justice and human dignity. Earlier, many nations had cut ties with South Africa because of their practice of apartheid.

 

5. What ideals does he set out for the future of South Africa?

A. As the newly elected President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela wanted to liberate the country of all the unjust practices. He set out ideals for a country which was free of poverty, discrimination and injustice.

 

6. What do the military generals do? How has their attitude changed, and why?

A. The military generals saluted Nelson Mandela and promised their support to the newly formed democratic government of South Africa. Their attitude has changed because earlier they were under the ruke of the white supremacy. During that rule, they would have arrested Mandela as he was considered to be a criminal. Now, with the abolition of Apartheid and the formation of a democratic government, their attitude has also changed.

 

7. Why were two national anthems sung?

A. The two national anthems, one of the Blacks and other of the Whites were sung symbolising equality and respect for the entire community irrespective of their colour.

 

8. How does Mandela describe the systems of government in his country

(i) In the first decade, and
(ii) In the final decade, of the twentieth century?

A. (i) In the first decade of the twentieth century, white supremacy created a system of racial domination and made life a living hell for the dark-skinned people. Mandela referred it as one of the “harshest, inhumane societies” of the world.
(ii) In the final decade of the twentieth century, the system of apartheid has been changed into one that recognises all humans as equal regardless of their colour, race or gender.

 

9. What does courage mean to Mandela?

A. To Mandela, “courage” does not mean the absence of fear, but the victory over it. A man who is courageous is the one who has overcome his fear to fight all the odds.

 

10. Which does he think is natural, to love or to hate?

A. He believes love comes more naturally to humans as opposed to hate. No one is born with hatred in his heart for another.

 

11. What “twin obligations” does Mandela mention?

A. According to Mandela, every person has “twin obligations”, one towards his family and the other, towards his society.  

 

12. What did being free mean to Mandela as a boy, and as a student? How does he contrast these “transitory freedoms” with “the basic and honourable freedoms”?

A. As a young boy, and a student, Mandela’s idea of freedom was to be able to stay out at night, read whatever he desired and go wherever he chose. On growing up as a man, he realised that these were “transitory freedoms” he was looking for because their “basic and honourable freedoms” had been taken away. There was no liberty to have a peaceful marriage, family and life. Dark-skinned people were deprived of their fundamental human rights. For them, freedom was an “illusion”.

 

13. Does Mandela think the oppressor is free? Why/Why not?

A. According to Mandela, the oppressor is as much a prisoner as the oppressed. As soon as the former robs the oppressed of their freedom he, himself gets robbed of his humanity. Thus, he thinks that the oppressor too, is not free.

 

14. Why did such a large number of international leaders attend the inauguration? What did it signify the triumph of?

A. At the inauguration ceremony, there were a large number of international leaders to celebrate the end of apartheid system and to display their support for South Africa. It signified the triumph of justice over prejudice, courage over fear and right over wrong.

 

15. What does Mandela mean when he says he is “simply the sum of all those African patriots” who had gone before him?

A. Mandela wanted to thank the generations before him who had fought for justice. He gathered his courage from these brave heroes and it is because of that, he fought fearlessly for what is right. Thus, he referred to himself as “simply the sum of all those African patriots” that had gone before him.

 

16. Would you agree that the “depths of oppression” create “heights of character”? How does Mandela illustrate this? Can you add your own examples to this argument?

A. Yes, I agree that “depths of oppression” create “heights of character”. Mandela illustrated this idea by the example of all those who had emerged as great freedom fighters after years of oppression and brutality. Though unintended, effect of all this was men with extraordinary courage and strength. One of the greatest examples is of our own country, where our people were exploited under British rule for about 200 years. As a result of oppression of such magnitude, India got freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.

 

17. How did Mandela’s understanding of freedom change with age and experience?

A. As a young boy, and a student, Mandela’s idea of freedom was to be able to stay out at night, read whatever he desired and go wherever he chose. On growing up as a man, he realised that these were “transitory freedoms” he was looking for because their “basic and honourable freedoms” had been taken away. There was no liberty to have a peaceful marriage, family and life. Dark-skinned people were deprived of their fundamental human rights. For them, freedom was an “illusion”.

 

18. How did Mandela’s ‘hunger for freedom’ change his life?

A. Once Mandela realized his hunger for freedom, his life changed forever. It transformed him from a family-man to a man of his people and a frightened young man into a bold one. He built his entire life around fighting for the basic fundamental rights for his community.  He was more selfless and virtuous than ever.

 

Long Walk to Freedom Grammar Exercises

Make a list of pairs of noun and verb.

NOUN

VERB

Rebellion

Rebel

Constitution

Constitute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers-

NOUN

VERB

Rebellion

Rebel

Constitution

Constitute

Formation

Form

Government

Govern

Obligation

Oblige

Transformation

Transform

Discrimination

Discriminate

Deprivation

Deprive

Demonstration

Demonstrate

Oppression

Oppress

Imagination

Imagine

 

Read the paragraph below. Fill in the blanks with the noun forms of the verbs in brackets.

Martin Luther King’s __________ (contribute) to our history as an outstanding leader began when he came to the __________ (assist) of Rosa Parks, a seamstress who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. In those days American Blacks were confined to positions of second class citizenship by restrictive laws and customs. To break these laws would mean __________ (subjugate) and __________ (humiliate) by the police and the legal system. Beatings, __________ (imprison) and sometimes death awaited those who defied the System. Martin Luther King’s tactics of protest involved non-violent __________ (resist) to racial injustice.

 

Answers-

Martin Luther King’s contribution (contribute) to our history as an outstanding leader began when he came to the assistance (assist) of Rosa Parks, a seamstress who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. In those days American Blacks were confined to positions of second class citizenship by restrictive laws and customs. To break these laws would mean subjugation (subjugate) and humiliation (humiliate) by the police and the legal system. Beatings, imprisonment (imprison) and sometimes death awaited those who defied the System. Martin Luther King’s tactics of protest involved non-violent resistance (resist) to racial injustice.

 

Here are some more examples of ‘the’ used with proper names. Try to say what these sentences mean. (You may consult a dictionary if you wish. Look at the entry for ‘the’.)

1. Mr Singh regularly invites the Amitabh Bachchans and the Shah Rukh Khans to his parties.
2. Many people think that Madhuri Dixit is the Madhubala of our times.
3. History is not only the story of the Alexanders, the Napoleons and the Hitlers, but of ordinary people as well.

 

Answers-

  1. This means that Mr. Singh regularly invites famous personalities like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan to his parties.
  2. This means Madhuri Dixit is such a great actress that she is worthy of being called the legendary actress Madhubala of present times.
  3. This means that History not only consists of famous people like Alexanders, Napoleons and Hitler, but also of ordinary people.

 

Match the italicised phrases in Column A with the phrase nearest in meaning in Column B. (Hint: First look for the sentence in the text in which the phrase in Column A occurs.)

A

B

1. I was not unmindful of the fact

(i) had not forgotten; was aware of the fact
(ii) was not careful about the fact
(iii) forgot or was not aware of the fact

2. when my comrades and I were pushed to our limits

(i) pushed by the guards to the wall
(ii) took more than our share of beatings
(iii) felt that we could not endure the suffering any longer

3. to reassure me and keep me going

(i) make me go on walking
(ii) help me continue to live in hope in this very difficult situation
(iii) make me remain without complaining

4. the basic and honourable freedoms of…earning my keep,…

(i) earning enough money to live on
(ii) keeping what I earned
(iii) getting a good salary

 

Answers-

A

B

1. I was not unmindful of the fact

(i) had not forgotten; was aware of the fact

2. when my comrades and I were pushed to our limits

 (iii) felt that we could not endure the suffering any longer

3. to reassure me and keep me going

 (ii) help me continue to live in hope in this very difficult situation

4. The basic and honourable freedoms of…earning my keep,…

(i) earning enough money to live on