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English CBSE Class 11 NCERT Snapshot Chapter 7 Birth – Line by Line Explanation and Meaning of Difficult Words

BIRTH – Explanation

Author – AJ Cronin

Andrew is a doctor. He reached his home at Bryngower at about midnight. Joe Morgan was waiting for him. Joe was walking between the closed operation theater of the hospital and the entrance of Andrew’s house.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Burly Strong, Heavily built
Missus Wife
Ye You

Joe was heavily built person who worked in mine as a driller. When Joe saw Andrew, he felt lot of relief. It was visible on his face. Joe told Andrew that he was happy to see him. Joe had been walking between operation theater and Andrew’s room since last one hour. Joe told that his wife was about to give birth to a child. It is before the normal time.

Word Meaning
Abruptly Suddenly, Quickly. Immediately
Contemplation Thoughts
Set out Start

Andrew was busy thinking about his own matters. He immediately stopped thinking and asked Morgan to wait for a short time. He went into his house. He took his bag with him. Then both of them walked towards 12 Blaina Terrace. Morgan lived there.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Air was cool and deep Air was cool and silent
Mystery Secret
Perceptive Sensitive
Listless Without enthusiasm, Unmotivated

The night was cool and silent. So it appeared full of secrets. Normally Andrew was a sensitive person. But today he was dull and did not have any enthusiasm. He had a fight with his girl friend during the evening.

Word Meaning
Premonition Advance signals, Intuition, Foreboding
Influence Affect, Impact, Effect

Andrew did not have feeling or indication in advance that it would not be a routine night for him. He could not guess that this night would have a huge impact on his reputation in the town of Blaenelly.

Word Meaning
Drew up short Stopped, Lagged behind

Both people walked upto the house of Joe without talking. When they reached there, Joe stopped. He said that he would not come in the house. By the tone of his voice, he looked worried. Joe said that he was confident that Andrew would do his best for them.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Grey-haired Person with white hair
Stout Heavily built, Strong
Beside Near

Inside the house, there was a narrow stair case. Through this stair Andrew went into the bedroom. The bedroom was small but clean. Furniture in the room was not good. An oil lamp was burning in the room for light. Mrs. Morgan’s mother was in the room. She was a tall, about 70 years of age and had grey hair. A heavily built elderly maid was also in the room. Both ladies were standing near the patient – Morgan’s wife. They both looked at Andrew as he walked into the room.

Word Meaning
Bach Dear

I will some tea for you dear doctor. Mrs Morgans’s mother quickly offered to make tea for  Andrew.

Word Meaning
Faintly Slightly

Andrew slightly smiled. He had understood that woman was intelligent and experienced. She had realized that it will take some more time for the birth of the child. She did not want the doctor to go out of the house saying to return after sometime.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Fret To hurry
Overwrought Very tense, Very tired

Andrew requested the mother to not to hurry. He assured her that he would not go from the house. The kitchen was at the ground floor. Andrew was sitting in the kitchen and drinking tea. Andrew was aware that he was very tense. Even if he went home , he will not get adequate sleep. Because in about one hour he will have to come back.

 

 

Word Meaning
Queer Strange
Lethargy Laziness

He was also aware that he will have to give his full attention to the situation of patient at this house. A strange feeling of laziness had come to him. He decided to be at this house till all works were completed.

Word Meaning
Still Silent,
Rustle Sound of two thing sliding
Cinder Coal
Grate The frame where coal is placed for burning

After one hour he went to the first floor room to check condition of patient. He came down and sat near the fire burning in kitchen. There was sound of rustle of burning coal and the ticking of clock. Every other thing was silent.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Beat Sound
Paced Walked
Probing Looking as if to ask a question

There was yet another sound. It was the sound of footstep of Morgan. He was walking in the street. The mother was wearing black dress. She was sitting in front of Andrew. She did not move from there. Her eyes were looking at Andrew as if to ask a question.

Word Meaning
Muddled Mixed, Confused
Station House
Obsessed Deeply affected, Regularly thinking about something
Morbidity Unpleasantly

He had many thoughts in his mind. He was confused. He was deeply affected by the incident he had experienced at the house of his girlfriend Cardiff. Those were really unpleasant and made him sad.

 

 

Word Meaning
Devoted Dedicated, Loyal
Sordidly Morally wrong, Unpleasantly
Shrewish Quarrelsome, Bad tempered
Apart Away

Andrew thought about Bramwell who was loyal to his wife. But his wife used to deceive her husband Brawell. Andrew thought of Edward Page who was living with his quarrelsome wife Blowdwen. And of Danny, who was living away from his wife but he was unhappy.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Reason Logic
Dismal Total, Complete
Wince Feel pain

His logic told him that all these marriages were total failures. In the present situation, his thoughts made him sad.

Word Meaning
Idyllic Ideal, Perfect
Admitted Allowed, Permitted

He wanted to consider every marriage as an ideal marriage. He could not think of any other situation. He always thought of Christine. Her bright shining eyes did not permit to think of any other state of marriage. He always thought that his marriage with Christine would be a perfect marriage.

Word Meaning
Conflict Disagreement, Fight
Level Reason, Logic
Overflowing heart Heart full of emotions
Resentful Irritated, Sad

His logic, the doubts in his mind and the emotions of his heart were different. Hence he was irritated and confused.

Word Meaning
Broodingly Thinking deeply.
Started Got up with a jerk
Meditation Deep thoughts

Now his chin was touching his chest. He stretched his legs to become more comfortable. He was staring at the fire while deeply thinking about his own life. He remained in that position for a long time. All through he had been thinking about Christine. When the old woman called him, he got up with a jerk. She had been thinking of something else.

 

 

 

Susan is wife of Mrs Morgan. The mother told him that Susan wanted to avoid chloroform because it may harm the baby. She is quite attached to the baby. A shine appeared in the eyes of the old lady. She said that we all are attached to our kids.

Word Meaning
Collected himself Composed himself, Calmed himself

With some effort Andrew understood where he was. He replied that anesthesia will not harm the baby. Both mother and baby will be safe.

Now Andrew heard the voice of nurse from the top floor of the building. Andrew looked at the clock. It was 03:30 AM. He got up and went to the bedroom. He decided that he should now start his work.

 

 

Word Meaning
Elapsed Passed
Harsh Difficult, Painful
Streak Ray
Dawn Morning

An hour passed. It was a long, painful and difficult struggle for Susan. After sometime he could see first ray of morning through the broken edge of the curtain. At that instant the child was born. The child was dead.

 

 

Word Meaning
Still Without movement
Shiver of horror Wave of horror, Tremble due to horror
Exertions Efforts

When he looked at the dead child, he was very afraid and disappointed. He had promised good health to mother and baby, but the baby was dead. He had made lot efforts in his work, so his face had become red. But now his whole body became cold.

Word Meaning
Resuscitate To become alive again, Revive, restore
Obligation Duty, Responsibility
Desperate Miserable, Hopeless
Dilemma Conflict, Puzzle

He hesitated a bit. He had two duties to perform. Restore life to the baby and to take care of mother. The mother was also in a very hopeless situation. The conflict was so urgent that he could not spend time thinking about a decision.

 

Word Meaning
Blindly Without thinking much
Instinctively As per habit

Without thinking anything and as per his habit, he gave the child to nurse. He gave his all attention to mother. The mother was unconscious. Her pulse was almost silent. She had not yet come out of effect of anesthesia.

 

 

Word Meaning
Haste Hurry
Desperate Urgent,
Frantic Eager, Urgent
Ebbing Decreasing, Reducing
Ampule A vial that contains injectible medicine

He was in a hurry because he was worried about health of Susan and her baby. His own strength was reducing because he had not slept during the whole night. In an instant he took out an injection and broke the glass. He injected the medicine to Susan.

Word Meaning
Flung down Threw down
Hypodermic syringe Device used for injecting medicine
Unsparingly Without showing kindness
Flaccid Not firm, Almost lifeless

He threw the syringe to the floor. Without showing any mercy to himself or to the woman, he stared working to treat the almost lifeless woman.

 

 

Word Meaning
Feverish Hectic, Desperate, Frantic
Damp Wet

After some minutes of desperate efforts her heartbeats increased. She was now out of danger. So Andrew thought he can give attention to the baby now. He turned around. He was wearing a shirt with sleeves. His hair were sticking to his wet eyebrow. He was sweating.

Word Meaning
Gesture Signal
Beneath Below

Andrew asked where was the child. With great fear the maid signaled toward beneath the bed. She had put the child under the bed. The child was dead.

 

 

Word Meaning
In a flash In one go, Quickly
Fishing Searching
Sodden Totally wet, Drenched
Limp Loose,
Tallow Fat of animal

Quickly Andrew knelt on the floor. He searched for the child among the wet newspapers placed below the bed. It was a boy. It was soft, warm, white. It was as soft as the fat of an animal.

 

 

Word Meaning
Cord Attachment from navel
Slashed Cut
Stem Stalk
Tender Soft
Lolled Hung
Limb Parts of body

The cord of the baby was cut in a hurry. It was looking like a broken stem. The skin was beautiful, smooth and soft. The head was resting on the thin neck. The limbs of the body were very flexible as if without any bone.

Word Meaning
Haggard Tired, Exhausted
Frown Twist one’s eyebrows
Asphyxia Suffocation, Not able to breathe
Asphyxia Pallida Condition of being unconscious due to suffocation with paleness of skin
Mind raced back Quickly thought of
Samaritan An establishment for help

Andrew was still kneeling on the floor. He was looking at the child. His eyebrows were bent. He understood from the whiteness of the child that it was suffering from asphyxia pallid. He was not able to breath and had become yellow. He immediately recalled the treatment he had given at one of the charitable institute.

Word Meaning
Instantly Immediately
Threw out to Shouted at, Gave orders
Faltered Hesitate
Pallid Yellow

Immediately Andrew got up. He ordered nurse to fetch hot water, cold water and two small tubs. The nurse was still looking at the pale body of the child. She hesitated a bit. But Andrew shouted at her to be quick.

Word Meaning
Respiration The method of giving breaths
Ewer A large jug

Andrew pulled a blanket. He laid the child on it. He started the special method of giving breaths to the child. The tubs, big jug and an iron kettle were brought by the nurse.

Word Meaning
Splash Pour
Bear Tolerate
Crazy Enthusiastic, Desperate
Juggler One who tosses things quickly
Plunge Dip

With lot of eagerness, he poured cold water into one tub. In the other tub he poured hot water. The water was hot to the extent his hand could tolerate it. Then like a juggler, he placed the child alternately in cold water and hot water.

Word Meaning
To breath paintingly With short quick breaths
Lax Still, Motionless
Raging Angry, Furious

He continued to do this for 15 minutes. Andrew started sweating. He was now puffing. Sweat had started entering into his eyes. But the child did not start breathing. He was still motionless. A feeling of defeat was now coming to Andrew. It was an angry feeling of big loss of hope.

Word Meaning
Stark Great,
Consternation Anxiety, Hopelessness
Uttering Speaking

Andrew could feel that the nurse was looking at him with great anxiety. While the mother of Susan had remained close to the wall. Her hand was close to her throat. Her eyes were constantly looking at Andrew. She did not speak even a single word.

 

 

Word Meaning
Longing Desire
Dashed away Ended
Futile Ineffective, Useless
Remedy Treatment, Fulfillment

Andrew remembered the strong desire of the old woman to have a grandchild. Susan too had a strong desire to have child. Now all the hopes appeared to have ended. These hopes did not exist now. These hopes could not be fulfilled. There was no hope or treatment.

 

 

Word Meaning
Draggled Dirty with water
Stumbling Holding with trembling hands
Sopping Totally wet, Dripping

Lot of water had spread on the floor. The floor looked dirty. His hands were shaking. He almost dropped the child from the wet towel. The child had become as slippery as a fish.

Word Meaning
Whimpered Spoke in a low voice
Stillborn Born dead
Heed Listen, Care, Pay attention

The nurse said in a very low voice to Andrew that the child was born dead. Andrew did not pay any attention to her.

Word Meaning
Despairing Without any hope
Laboured Worked hard
In vain Without success
Persist Continue, Insist

After working hard for about an hour, Andrew felt as if he were beaten. He did not have any hope now. But he continued to do one more last effort. He rubbed the child with a towel. He pressed the chest of the child and then released the pressure. He was trying to give breath (life) to the motionless body of the child.

 

 

Word Meaning
Pigmy Small
Convulsive Violent, Jerk
Heave Breath
Giddy Faint, Dizzy

Just at that moment, by a miracle, there was some violent movement in the little heart of the child. It was sign of the  child taking a breath. Andrew could feel the movement of chest through his hands. Then there were many more such movements. Andrew almost fainted.

Word Meaning
Springing Jumping
Unavailing Unsuccessful
Striving Efforts
Exquisite Special
Feverishly Energetically, Frenetically
Gasping Taking short breaths, Puffing, Panting

The feeling of life under his fingers after so many unsuccessful attempts was very special to Andrew. He almost fainted with joy. He increased his efforts with lot of energy. The child was now panting and puffing.

Word Meaning
Mucus Some form of liquid
Iridescent Shining
Blanched Yellowish

A bubble of liquid came out of one tiny nostril of the child. The doctor was very happy to see the shining bubble. The parts of body did not feel boneless. The head was was hung from the neck. The yellow skin was slowly becoming pink.

Word Meaning
Sobbed Cried
Hysterically Uncontrollably, Not in control

Then came a special cry from the child. The nurse thanked the almighty God. She started crying without any control on herself. She said the child has become alive.

Word Meaning
Dazed Unable to think, Greatly surprised
Shuddering Many pieces
Litter Things thrown here and there, Rubbish, Refuse
Soiled Dirty
Impaled Stuck, Pinned
Linoleum Type of cloth
Puddle Small pool or collection of a liquid

Andrew gave the child to the nurse. He was feeling week. He was not able to think anything. Lot of things were scarred around the room. The blanket, dirty instruments, syringe pinned to a cloth, ewer etc were lying in the pool of water.

Word Meaning
Huddled Not arranged properly, Disorderly

On a disorderly bed, Susan was still unconscious because of the effect of anesthesia. Her mother was still standing near the wall. Now her hands were together. She was praying silently.

Andrew straightened sleeves of his short. He wore his jacket. He told nurse that he will collect his bag after sometime.

 

 

Word Meaning
Scullery Wash area for utensils and cloths

Andrew came out of the bedroom and went to ground floor. Through the kitchen he went to the wash area of the house. He drank a large quantity of water. He took his hat and coat from there.

 

 

Word Meaning
Expectant Eager
Thickly In a heavy and deep voice

Outside the house Joe was standing on the pavement. He was tense and eager to know. Andrew said in a heavy deep voice that baby and Susan both are safe. Sun rays had started falling on the earth. Day was emerging. It was about five in the morning.

Word Meaning
Spent Tired
Oblivious Not aware of

Some people working in the mine had already come to the street. They were going to their workplace. The night shift had come to the end. Andrew was slowly walking with them. He was tired. His footsteps were producing an echo. He kept thinking about today’s work. He had become unaware of other works done by him in the town of Blaenelly. He thought that he had done a good work for the first time.

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