NCERT Solutions

Thinking about the Poem (page 15)

Question 1 : There are many ideas about how the world will ‘end’. Do you think the world will end some day? Have you ever thought what would happen if the Sun gets so hot that it ‘bursts’ or grows colder and colder?

Answer : There are definitely many ideas about how the world will ‘end’. I do believe that the world will end some day as anything that has a beginning will have an ending. This stands true for the world also. If the sun got so hot that it bursts, the whole of the earth would perish immediately as no part of the earth can bear the heat of that intensity. But if the sun grew colder and colder, everything will come to an end as without sunlight, life will end.

Question 2 : For Frost, what do ‘fire’ and ‘ice’ stand for? Here are some ideas:

greed, avarice, cruelty, lust, conflict, fury, intolerance, rigidity, insensitivity, coldness, indifference, hatred

Answer : ‘Fire’ stand for greed, avarice, lust, conflict and fury.

‘Ice’ stands for cruelty, intolerance, rigidity, insensitivity, coldness, indifference and hatred.

Question 3 : What is the rhyme scheme of the poem?  How does it help in bringing out the contrasting ideas in the poem?

Answer : The rhyme scheme of the poem is – a b a a b c b c b

This rhyme scheme helps in bringing out the contrasting ides of ‘fire’ and ‘ice’ presented in the poem. The poet mentions that both fire and ice are probable ends of this world. He talks about how fire represents desire and can therefore bring an end to the world.

Frost also mentions Ice in between to symbolise that the coldness and indifference towards one another will be enough to end the world. In second stanza, he says that he knows of enough hate in the world to be sure that even destruction through ice would be sufficient to bring about the end of the world.

Extra Questions

Extract Based Questions

Read the following extracts carefully and choose the correct option.

Question 1 :

Some say the world will end in fire
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.

i) What can be the cause of world’s destruction as per these lines?

a) Fire

b) Ice

c) Both (a) and (b)

d) None of these

ii) According to the poet fire refers to 

a) Violent desires

b) passions

c) jealousy

d) all of these

iii) What does ice symbolise?

a) Indifference

b) Love

c) Sympathy

d) Passions

iv) What message does the poet want to convey through this poem?

a) Everything is transitory

b) Life is unpredictable

c) Death is inevitable

d) Both (a) and (c)

Answer : i) c) Both (a) and (b)

ii) d) All of these

iii) a) Indifference

iv) (d) Both (a) and (c)

Question 2 : 

But if it had to perish twice
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice

i) What does ‘It’ here refer to?

a) Fire

b) Ice

c) Earth

d) World

ii) The word ‘perish’ means………….

a) decay

b) loose one’s life

c) appear

d) improve

iii) Here the rhyming scheme used by the poet is 

a) ab ab

b) abc ab

c) ababa

d) aabb

iv) What does the poet want to convey through this poem?

a) We should not be greedy

b) All humans should check their desires and hatred

c) restrain our desires and love fellow beings

d) Both (a) and (c)

Answer : i) (d) World

ii) (a) decay

iii) (c) ababa

iv) d) Both (a) and (c)