Extract Based Questions
Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow.
Question 1 : Describe the nature of life on Venus.
Answer : The life on Venus was difficult as all the days were filled with cloudburst and torrent or rain water. There was water all over and continuous storms and tidal waves marked the existence of life on this planet.
Question 2 : Who are these children? Where were they living?
Answer : These children are the children of rocket men and women. They have been living on Venus since birth. They last saw the Sun when they were only two years old and therefore had no memories of the Sun.
Question 3 : What had these children been waiting for?
Answer : The children had been waiting for the Sun to appear after seven years. They were only two years old when they last saw the Sun and the day was the day predicted by the scientists when the Sun would shine again. The children were excited to see the Sun.
Question 4 : Why were the children in doubt? When did the Sun reappear?
Answer : While the children were excited to see the Sun, at the same time they had their doubts whether the Sun would appear or not. They had no memories of the Sun and therefore were confused whether the Sun really appeared after every seven years.
Question 5 : Why had these children come to Venus?
Answer : The children had come to the planet along with their parents, who had come to Venus to set-up civilization and had settled there forever. It was part of a mission in which humans were sent to Venus to locate and find the possibilities of life there at Venus.
Question 1 : What all did the children remember about the Sun?
Answer : The children remembered the Sun as a gold or a yellow crayon, while some remembered it as a large gold coin. However, they had hardly any remembrance of the Sun; so each child made his own estimate.
Question 2 : Did Margot remember the Sun? When did she come to Venus?
Answer : Margot remembered the Sun as she had come to Venus at the age of four. During her stay at earth, she had enjoyed the warmth of the Sun on each day. Therefore, she was very certain of how the Sun looked like and what she missed on Venus. She came to Venus because she was sent there and her parents were paid for this.
Question 3 : Why were the dreams of the children shattered?
Answer : The dreams of the children were shattered as that morning too it was raining heavily. The children were disappointed. They thought that though the scientists had predicted the appearance of the Sun, the Sun would not shine amidst heavy downpour.
Question 4 : What did the children do to keep the memory of the Sun alive? What were they taught?
Answer : In order to keep the memory of the Sun alive, the children wrote stories and essays describing the Sun. Also , the students had lessons about the Sun. They were taught what the Sun looked like, its characteristics and so on. Margot, too, wrote a poem about the Sun.
Question 5 : Describe the varied imagery used to describe the Sun.
Answer : Each child had/his own perspective of the Sun. Some called it a bright yellow and golden crayon, while some called it a large coin with which the entire world could be bought. At school, they were taught that it was like a big lemon and was very hot. For Margot, the Sun was a flower that bloomed for just one hour.
Question 1 : How was Margot so certain what the Sun looked like?
Answer : Margot had spent four years on Earth, where the Sun shined every single day. Thus, unlike the children living on Venus, who could see the Sun just once in seven years, she was clear how the Sun looked and how it felt to live in the summer.
Question 2 : Why the children refused to believe her?
Answer : The children refused to believe Margot because they could never think that anyone could have seen the Sun. The children on the Venus were confused about the Sun and when Margot spoke with certainty , they could not digest it.
Question 3 : Why were Margot’s parents taking her back to Earth? What did they feel?
Answer : Margot’s parents felt that the Sun was vital for Margot. Margot was becoming paler and paler. Her eyes had lost their blue and her cheeks their red colour. Also, Margot, would usually gaze out of the windows, perhaps she was always waiting for the Sun. So, even when it meant loss of money, they decided to take her back.
Question 4 : Why did children make fun of Margot?
Answer : The children made fun of Margot because she was different from them. She neither talked to them, nor played with them. She would only talk about the Sun as she used to miss it very badly.
Question 5 : What happened during the school shower? What did Margot understand?
Answer : During the school shower, she refused to shower in the school shower and clutched her hands to her ears and screamed that water shouldn’t touch her head. This was a very strange behaviour. The children laughed at her, while Margot understood that she was different from them.
Question 1 : Was the Sun finally out? What did it look like?
Answer : The Sun finally shone brightly . It was very large and it had the colour of flaming bronze. Against the bright blue sky, it looked very beautiful. With the coming of the Sun, finally the spring had come too.
Question 2 : In what manner did the children enjoy the Sun?
Answer : The children enjoyed the Sun by lying out in the open fields. They ran among the trees, removed their jackets allowing the Sun to burn their bodies. There was fun and frolic everywhere around. That’s the cheer that the Sun added.
Question 3 : Where was Margot when the Sun came out?
Answer : The school children, pushed by William, had locked Margot inside a closet. So, while all the children ran here and there and were enjoying the Sun, Margot was lying helpless behind the locked closet doors.
Question 4 : Comment on the role of the school teacher.
Answer : The school teacher has a minor role in the story. However, she is seen discipling the students, trying to protect them from any dangers, warning them to mind the time while the Sun is out and so on. However , the teacher fails to protect Margot.
Question 5 : Describe the diverse imagery used by the children to describe the Sun.
Answer : The children described the Sun as flaming bronze against a bright blue tile. The Sun brought a lot of cheer and smiles on the faces of the children. They wanted to play under the Sun, see it, feel it and absorb it. The Sun was a missing vital element that enlivened all of them.
Question 1 : What happened when the Sun disappeared again?
Answer : As soon as the Sun disappeared, rains set in again. The cold wind and mist returned casting a gloomy spell on everything yet again. Along with the fading Sun, the smiles on the children’s faces began to blur too.
Question 2 : Who reminded children of Margot? Where was she?
Answer : One of the girls, who saw the Sun fading away, reminded everyone of Margot. In one breath, she wailed seeing the Sun retreat; and in the other remembering that Margot was still locked.
Question 3 : Why were the children ashamed of themselves?
Answer : The children were ashamed of themselves because while they were playing and enjoying in the Sun, Margot remained behind closed doors, unable even to see the Sun even for an hour.
Question 4 : Why does the colour of children’s faces change?
Answer : The fading Sun again cast a gloom on everything around. The colour of the children’s faces becomes pale seeing the Sun retreat. Also, because they were apologetic of their behaviour. They were uncertain what to do.
Question 5 : Discuss the ending of the story. Why does the story not have certain end?
Answer : The ending of the story is slightly ambiguous. Though the children realised their mistake. They were unnecessarily making fun of Margot because Margot believed in the prediction about the Sun. Secondly, they had snatched away her chance to enjoy the Sun. At the same time, on opening the doors, the encountered complete silence. It is difficult to understand the reason behind the silence. It could be that Margot was dead or perhaps she had lost all hope of seeing the Sun again.
Question 1 : Name the planet on which this story is set. Describe the everyday life on this planet.
Answer : This story is set on the planet Venus. The everyday life on this planet differs from life on Earth because it is continuously raining on Venus for seven years due to the dense clouds. The Sun is visible only once in seven years, and that also only for an hour or two. The people there lived underground because of the water on the ground everywhere.
Question 2 : Describe the weather conditions on Venus. Why is it so?
Answer : In the absence of Sun, Venus was a wet and gloomy planet. There were continuous rains on the planet which led to storms and tides. The forests grew and got crushed under intense rains and everything had dull ashy colour. The rainy condition had confined the habitants to their habitats as it was too dangerous to go out. The children were deprived of the sight of the Sun due to continuous raining.
Question 3 : Describe Margot’s poem about the Sun. What does she describe about the Sun?
Answer : In Margot’s poem, the Sun is both a figure of joy as well as of sorrow. She describes the Sun as a flower, which is a thing of beauty. However, this flower blooms only for an hour. Thus, it gives pleasure for a brief period only. Margot further describes that only the Sun could cure her of her pathetic condition because of which she was to be transported back to Earth where she would have plenty of sunny sights.
Question 4 : Why was sunlight vital for Margot? How does it help her?
Answer : It is a universal fact that Sun is a very important source of life and energy. Having lived in the sun daily for four years of her life, Margot missed the sunlight these five years that she had spent on Venus. It was vital for her in order to restore the lost energy and zeal in her.
Question 5 : Why was there so much excitement in the school room that morning? What set Margot apart from the other children?
Answer : There was much excitement in the school room that morning because the Sun was going to appear after seven years. Margot is different from the other children because she had come from Earth five years ago and remembers the sight of the Sun. The other children in her class are different from her because they were all born in Venus. Her behaviour sets her apart from the other children because she does not participate in any activities with them, whether it is playing, singing songs or anything else.
Question 6 : Discuss the imagery used to describe Venus.
Answer : Venus is described as a great jungle, that grew and never stopped growing. It was like the nest of octopus, with its arms and weeds spread all around. In the absence of Sun, the landscapes on Venus had taken the colour of rubber and ash, the colour of stones and white cheese and ink.
Question 1 : How does the writer describe the Sun? How did the children enjoy when the Sun appeared?
Answer : The Sun is almost personified in the story. The narrator talks about the Sun ‘showing its face’ just once in every seven years. Margot saw the school children remembering Sun as a gold or yellow crayon and sometimes as a large gold coin. The school taught them that it was like a lemon, but only hot. Margot called the Sun a temporarily blooming flower in her poem. At another time, she called the Sun a penny and a fire in the stove. When the children did see the Sun, they saw it as flaming bronze against a balzing blue tile.
The Sun Appeared : While it was raining and raining, suddenly the rain stopped, there was dead silence. It appeared as if the picture of downpour had been replaced by a picture of spring and suddenly there was a bright golden glory changing the entire landscape and bringing bright warmth to everything around. These were the changes that occurred as the rains stopped and when the Sun came out. The children could not believe the silence. They felt as if something had been stuffed in their ears and they had lost their hearing power, but the truth was that a silent, beautiful world awaited them.
The Children Enjoyed the Sun : They enjoyed the Sun by lying out in the open fields, laughing and running around. They ran among the trees, played hide-and-seek, tears of joy fell from their eyes as they welcomed the Sun. They removed their jackets to feel its warmth. They allowed the Sun to burn their skin, they wanted to absorb this heat and warmth. They put their hands to see the amazing yellow and bright blue that they had never seen earlier. They breathed the fresh air and listened to the silence which was so soothing that they didn’t wish to let it go. Like animals set free from the jail, they ran hither and tither. The children were so happy that they didn’t even realise that the Sun was again fading away and the raindrops had begun to fall.
Question 2 : Describe how the planet was transformed when the sun came out and shone briefly over it. Why was Margot not able to witness this phenomenon? What emotion do you suppose the other children experienced when Margot emerged at the end of the story?
Answer : When the Sun came out and shone briefly on the planet Venus, the continuously falling rain stopped. The world ground to a standstill. The silence was immense and unbelievable. When the Sun came out, it was the colour of flaming bronze and it was very large. The sky around it was a blazing blue tile colour. The jungle burned with sunlight as the children, released from their spell, rushed out, yelling into the springtime.
Margot was not able to witness this phenomenon because the other children had locked her in a closet. When Margot emerged from the closet at the end of the story, the other children were ashamed of themselves for having locked Margot inside the closet for the time when the Sun came out. They were apologetic for their behaviour.