Long Questions and Answers
Question 1 : Discuss the importance of proper upbringing with reference to the poem Amanda by Robin Klein.
Answer : Upbringing plays an essential role in personality development of an adult. Whenever we wish to admire or criticise someone, we question the upbringing of that person. Robin Klien’s poem highlights the tension in the ‘proper’ upbringing of a child. To instill good values and moral principles in a growing child comes as a foremost duty for the parents. However, the poem Amanda shows how a child feels trapped within the cluster of instruction. Amanda is no less than a victim in this situation. No proper space is given no her creativity. She is instructed for everything. As a result, she feels trapped and seeks an escape. Her imagination proves to be her escape and also her defence against her nagging parents. Situation of Amanda is so worse that she wishes to be an orphan, in order to get rid of her parents. She imagines enacting various roles varying from mermaid to Rapunzel. Amanda wishes to live alone and carefree. It is very important to understand the situation of Amanda where her freedom is cut short by constant instructions and guidelines. Proper balance should be maintained when dealing with such delicate issues. Love and care should always be part of this two way transaction.
Question 2 : How does Amanda tackle the nagging nature of her parents? Explain with examples from the poem. What values does it portray about Amanda?
Answer : Amanda is a small girl who is termed as moody for her careless behaviour. But it is very surprising to know that this is her defence mechanism to shiled against her nagging parents. Amanda is getting instructions from her parents, which becomes too much to handle for the small girl. She is told not to eat her nails and sit in a proper position. Amanda’s response to it is her world of imagination where she is a mermaid drifting drifting effortlessly by the languid river.
Further, she is asked about cleaning her room and finishing her homework to which she reacts being an orphan roaming in the street and making patterns with her bare feet. Amanda then faces the heat for eating a chocolate, which had once caused her acne. She takes the form of Rapunzel and wishes to live on top of a tower away from everyone in her imagination.
Amanda’s parents are upset over her behaviour and casualness, but she stays in her own world. All these portray Amanda in a positive light and her parents in a negative light. We as readers feel very sorry for a child like Amanda.
Question 3 : State the key points in the poem Amanda. What do you learn from it?
Answer : Every child is special itself,and requires a great deal of patience and love to make them understand this.Parents should give proper space to children,as they learn through experiences as well.Children do tend to learn certain bad habits,to undo that requires great level of understanding and right approach.One cannot teach one’s child everything in one day and expect him/her to behave properly henceforth. ( my fingers are tired,hence I can’t type anymore)
Question 4 : Escapism is one way to run away from harsh realities. Discuss in context to the poem.
Answer : By going through the whole poem, we come to know that Amanda’s parents, specially her mother, keep instructing Amanda all the time. Amanda’s mother’s intention may be to discipline her daughter and make her a mature person. But very frequent checking and instructing using so many don’ts , leave no space for the child.
Children need love and caring attitude of their elders. An advice in the form of nagging leaves a very harmful impression on the child’s mind. The reality becomes harsh form them and they try to escape these realities by indulging in their own fantasy world.
Here in this poem, life of Amanda is quite frustrating as Amanda is forbidden to do anything without seeking permission. Continuous instructions of her mother and correcting her all the time leave a very negative impact on a child’s personality. In such situation the child adheres to a defence mechanism where she imagines herself to be free and without parents so that no nagging is done.
Amanda drifts into an imaginary situation to escape from the harsh realities of her life. The parent’s behaviour is forcing her to do so, as a result there will not be a balanced development of her personality. Parents need to understand that their child also requires freedom and his/her own space. If no space is given, child will develop one or the other complex which may hamper his/her normal growth.