English CBSE Class 11 NCERT Hornbill Chapter 1 The Portrait of a Lady Free Solution of Extra Questions and Answers – Extract Based Questions Short Answer Questions Long Answer Questions and Value Based Questions


(Extra Questions)

Short Answer Questions (30-40 words)

SA 1. How author has described her grandmother?

Answer: She was an old lady who had wrinkles on her face. She was short, fat and slightly bent. She always wore spotless white dress and moved around the house with one hand on her back. Her white hair were carelessly spread and she constantly said her inaudible prayer.

SA 2. What could the author not believe about his grandfather?

Answer: Author could not believe that his grandfather had a wife or children. He looked so old in his portrait that he could have had only grandchildren.

SA 3. Why author calls her grandmother ‘an expense of pure white serenity’?

Answer: The grandmother had white hair that were usually spread across her pale and puckered face. She always wore spotless white dress. She always remained calm. Hence the the author calls her ‘an expense of pure white serenity’.

SA 4. How grandmother took care of author while they stayed in the village?

Answer: The grandmother bathed him and got him ready for the school. She arranged his slate, inkpot and pen. She escorted her to the school and they returned home together. She helped him in doing his home-work.

SA 5. Why grandmother started feeding sparrows in the city?

Answer: In village she used to feed stale chapattis to street dogs. In the city there were no street dogs. So she started feeding sparrows in the courtyard of the house.

SA 6. What routines confirm that grandmother had faith in God and religion?

Answer: Grandmother used to regularly say her prayers. While being in village, she went to temple every day and read scriptures. She used to feed stray dogs.

She continued her habit of saying prayers in city. She started feeding sparrows in her city house.

Thus she was a religious lady.

SA 7. Why friendship between the author and grandmother became weak? Did it ever break?

Answer: When they moved to city, author started going to an English medium school in a bus. Now grandmother was not able to help him in his homework. Later the author got a separate room for himself. These weakened the friendship.

They were always friends.

SA 8. What were thoughts of grandmother about the English medium school and lesson of music?

Answer: She could not understand teachings of English medium school. She was unhappy that scriptures were not taught there. So she did not like the school.

She thought that music is for harlots and beggars. So she was against music  being taught in the school.

SA 9. What changes grandmother had to make in her routine in the city?

Answer: In city house grandmother concentrated more on her prayers. She started spending more time at spinning wheel. She did not talk much to anybody. She started feeding sparrows.

SA 10. Why grandmother had to make changes in her routine in the city?

Answer: The author started going to an English medium school in a bus. So there was no need to escort him. She could not help him in his homework. There were no street dogs in the city. Later author shifted to a separate room.

Hence she had to make changes to her routine.

SA 11. ‘At her age one could never tell’. Explain this sentence.

Answer: The author was going abroad for higher studies for five years. Because of her old age, nobody was certain how long more would grandmother live. This is meaning of the sentence.

SA 12. How did grandmother celebrate home coming of her grandson?

Answer: She called all women of neighbourhood. She arranged an old drum. She played the drum for several hours and sang songs of warriors coming back to their home. With great persuasion she was stopped to avoid overstraining herself.

SA 13. When did grandmother break her routine of prayer? Why was it broken?

Answer: She broke her routine of prayers on the day her grandson returned from abroad.

She was very happy on arrival of her grandson. She played the drum and sang for several hours. In her happiness, she missed saying her prayers.

SA 14. How did sparrows behave on the day of death of grandmother?

Answer: Thousands of sparrows came and sat quietly in the verandah and around the grandmother in the room. They did not eat the bread crumbs thrown at them. When the grandmother’s corpse was carried away, they flew away without making any sound.

Long Answer questions (120-150 words)

LA 1. How did friendship between the author and his grandmother started and then changed with passage of time? Please describe.

Answer: During early childhood of author, his parents had shifted from village to city. He stayed in the village with his grandmother. She bathed him, got him ready to school, arranged for his slate, inkpot, pens etc. She escorted him to school and returned together. She helped him in his homework. During this period their friendship was strongest.

Later they both shifted to city. Author was going to an English medium school in a bus. Grandmother did not escort him. Teachings in the schools were not understood by grandmother. Interaction between them reduced.

When author went up to University, he was shifted to another room. This further reduced their interactions. So their friendship further weakened.

However they were emotionally attached to each other. She came to see him off at the railway station. He cherished the moist imprint of kiss by her. She celebrated his return by singing for long hours.

LA 2. Compare routine of grandmother in village with that in city. Why did such change happen?

Answer: In village the grandmother was very busy. She used to bathe and get the author ready for school. She arranged her slate, inkpot etc. She escorted him to the school. She read scriptures at the temple. And they both returned together. She used to tell her beads of rosary and say her prayers. She routinely fed street dogs.

In the city she devoted more time to her prayers. She had started spending more time in front of her spinning wheel. She talked less with people. She started feeding sparrows.

In city the author was going to an English school in a bus. She did not escort him. She could not help the author in his homework. When author went up the University, he was allotted a separate room. There were no street dogs in the city. These were the reasons for change in her routine.

LA 3. Enumerate instances from the text to indicate that grandmother was interested in education of her grandson. Do you think her concerns about education in city school were justified? What tells you that later she had reconciled with new set of education?

Answer: Grandmother was taking utmost interest in education of author.

While they were in village she bathed him and got him ready in time. She escorted him to the school. She also helped him in doing his homework.

When they moved to city, she continued to make him ready for the school though there was no need to escort him to school. She took interest in his learnings. She could not understand principles and aspects taught in the school Thus she could not help in his homework.

She was not happy that medium of instruction in city school was English. She was also not happy because music was being taught there. I feel this is ill founded. The curriculum of school is decided for overall development of students. They cannot be learning the same aspect throughout their life. Hence her anxiety was not justified.

She had gone to the railway station to see the author off for his higher studies. Thus we can infer that later she had reconciled with new system of education.

LA 4. Grandmother was unhappy that in city school education about God and scriptures was not being extended. Do you feel that such education should be provided in schools?

Answer: In the text it is mentioned that grandmother was unhappy because education about God and scriptures was not given in the school.

I am of the opinion that her anxiety was justified. Each one of us needs to be taught about our culture. Religion and scripture are part of our culture. Keeping away from such a rich heritage will make us alien within our own country.

Our scriptures are replete with moral stories and fables. We need to emphasise on moral values in our society. School is the best medium to start building an excellent moral character among future leaders.

Such education has become more important after the effect of social media and misuse of internet. Even small build-up of moral values can make a huge positive impact towards a safe society and development of our nation.




(Extra Questions)

Short Answer Questions (30-40 words)

SA 1. Explain the contrast expressed between sea and human beings in the poem ‘ A photograph”?

Answer: The sea has not changed much but life of human beings has changed a lot. Their preferences have changed. The mother has died and the poet has become middle aged.

 Thus poet has impressed that needs, deeds and circumstances of life goes on changing.

SA 2. What can you infer about childhood of the mother of poet?

Answer: In the photograph shows mother at sea-shore with her cousins Mother used to laugh while looking at the photograph.

Thus we can infer that the mother had enjoyed her childhood. It was full of fun time and family time. 


SA 3. What impression can you form about the mother of poet?

Answer: She was a pretty girl since her childhood. She had enjoyed decent family time during her childhood. She believed in treasuring memories of the past. Her attachment with present is shown by the love of her daughter towards her.

Thus she had balanced past and present.


SA 4. What can you understand from ‘sea, which appears to have changed less’?

Answer: It implies that change in the physical or external world happens at a slower rate. But changes in the life of human beings are faster. Our emotions change a lot.  One needs to tolerate the loss of near and dear ones.

SA 5. What do infer about feelings of poet in the poem “A Photograph’?

Answer: The poet is getting nostalgic to recall childhood days of her mother and her own childhood days.  They both had enjoyed their favorite pastime and togetherness. The poet is sad that her mother is no longer with her.


Long Answer Questions (120-150 words)

LA 1. In the last line of the poem ‘A photograph’ the poet writes ‘the silence silences’.  Do you agree with the thoughts of the poet? Please elucidate.

Answer: Every living being is mortal. One who has taken birth will surely die some day. Buddha has advised to remain nonchalant even in cases of utter grief. 

We would always cherish the memories of our loved ones even after their death. The time spent, the emotional bonding would be in our heart forever.

But we need to remember that the life must go on. We must keep progressing. This can be done only when we have taken every eventuality into our stride.  We must remain calm and composed.

Let us remember that we need to transfer good moral and emotional values to next generation. We need to inculcate principles of karma into their life style.

Thus ‘the silence silences’ does not depict the right philosophy of life. The ‘show must go on’ needs to be the guiding principle of life.


LA 2. Life is never stationary but it is transient. But can always sail through difficult situations by recalling the good moments of life. Please elucidate.

Answer: The only constant thing in life is that will change. Right from the beginning of one’s birth, life undergoes several changes. Every stage of life like childhood, middle age and old age brings about its own situations. There are some pleasant moments and some tough situations.

One should adore the happy moments of life. These are treasures of life. These motivate us and propel us to life of karma. Thus we can work ourselves for improvement and remain hopeful about better future.

The circumstances are changing almost every day. Difficult times do not remain forever. We must cherish the pleasant time and use to build a ‘can do’ attitude amongst ourselves. It is our moral responsibility to transmit and inculcate this attitude to next generation.

This paves the way for success and happiness.



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