Question Answers of My Mother at Sixty Six

My Mother at Sixty Six is a sentimental poem in which she talks about her mother. This poem is based on the filial relationship between mother and daughter.

The poet, Kamala Das who’s pen name is Madhavikutty’ was born in Kerala and is one of the first poets in India. Her subject – essentially her personality – is beautiful, sensitive, audacious and tormented. External factors are not reflected in her writings, her writings show her true feelings within. Her most popular poem is ‘composition’.

Read Also: Summary of My Mother at Sixty Six

Questions Answers Of My Mother at Sixty Six

Q. How does the poet describe her mother in the poem?
Answer: The poet describes her mother as an elderly woman who has become dull, inactive and worn out due to old age. She is often dosing and unconscious of herself as a dead person.

Q. Why does the poet look outside? What activities does the poet see outside the car window?

Answer: The poet realises that her mother is about to die. The thought of her mother’s numbered days makes her anxious, and she looks outside to distract her attention from her mother. Outside the car window, the poet sees young trees sprinting. She also finds very active, energetic and lively children coming out of their homes.

Q. Why are young trees described as sprinting?

Answer: The young trees are described as sprinting with respect to the car because the movement of the racing car makes the trees look as if they are running along. It has also a deeper meaning. By sprinting young trees, the poet means that the youth passes quickly out of human life and that a person enters his old age and approaches his death.

Q. Why is the mother compared to the late winter’s moon?

Answer: The mother is compared to the late winter moon because, like the moon of the winter season, the mother of the poet also looks dull, greyish, pale, and her strength is waning.

Q. What childhood fears do you think the poet is referring to in the poem “My Mother at Sixty Six”?

READ ALSO:  The Tale of Custard the Dragon Summary

Answer: The fear of childhood to which the poet refers is the anxious feeling of losing her mother. The poet feels uncomfortable and unprotected when she thinks she is losing her mother. She doesn’t expect to see her mother again. She, therefore, shows a childish reluctance to leave her mother.

Q. What does Kamala Das do after the security checkup? What does she notice?

Answer: The poet stands a few steps away from her mother and looks at her after the security checkup. She notices that her mother looks pale, wrinkled and worn out than ever before. This makes her realise that her mother is living her final days of life.

Extra Questions

a) What does the poet actually feel at this moment?

Answer: In fact, the poet feels very depressed and dismayed at the sight of her old mother.

b) Why did the poet say “see you soon Amma”? What does the poet actually mean by „smile and smile and smile….”? What kind of smile is it?

Answer: The poet said, ” See you soon Amma, ” to give moral support and encouragement to her mother. She said so that she would give her mother hope to see her daughter again.
By ” smile and smile and smile… “, she means to make herself and her mother hope to see each other again. In fact, it’s a painful smile. The poet tries to hide his swelling emotions with a smile. By using this poetic device of repetition, the poet has enriched the poetic language by depicting many hidden emotions through ” smile ”

Q. Cite an example of one device of contrast that the poet uses in the poem.

Answer: The device of contrast that the poet uses in the poem is between her mother’ s old age, and the young trees and children playing happily. The poet compares the suffering and weakness of the old age with the youth, energy, vitality and childhood jubilation.

Driving from my parent’s home to Cochin last Friday morning. I saw my mother, beside me, doze, open-mouthed, her face ashen like that of a corpse and realize with pain that she was as old as she looked

a) Where was the poet driving to? Who was sitting beside her?

READ ALSO:  NCERT Solutions - Question Answers and Summary of The Ghat of The only World | Class 11th English | Snapshots | Chapter 6

Answer: The poet was driving to Cochin. The poet”s mother was sitting next to her.

b) What did the poet notice about the mother?

Answer: She noticed that her mother was weak, pale and unconscious like a dead body.

c) Why did the mother”s face look like that of a corpse?

Answer: The mother”s face looked like a corpse because it had turned pale, greyish and was dosing open-mouthed due to old age.

Q. Discuss the mother-daughter relationship as described in the poem.

Answer: The relationship between mother and daughter as described in the poem is very sensitive and full of love, care and emotions. Mother has a profound emotional connection with her children and doesn’t want them to be away. In particular, she gets more concerned and worried about her children when the mother reaches her old age.

Daughter also tends to have a specific kind of emotional bond with her mother. She tries to keep her mother close and feels very bad and worried when she is separated from her. In this poem, the mother doesn’t want her daughter to leave her; the daughter likewise gives a mysterious and indefinable smile that shows unwillingness and anxiety to leave her mother.

Q. “My Mother at sixty-six” is an emotional account of the poet about her old mother. Discuss.

Answer: ” My Mother at Sixty Six” is a poet’s emotional account of her mother’s last days. She is very sorry and disappointed to see her old, grey, wrinkled and dull face. She tries her best to change her mind, but she remains unsuccessful, and this thought continues to haunt her mind. Till the end of the poem, she feels very sorry and depressed about her mother’s declining age. She can not shed her fears and emotions with the fear of dismaying her mother. She bids her mother farewell by smiling in order to hide her hurt feelings and to encourage her mother.

Q. Why has the poet brought in the image of the merry children ‘spilling out of their homes’?

Answer: The poet, Kamala Das, used the image of merry children who spill out of their homes to contrast the old age with the young. The pale, colourless face of her mother stands for old and fading age. Happy children symbolise life’s spring, vigour and happiness. They also symbolise the spontaneity of life, as opposed to her old mother’s passive and inactive life.

READ ALSO:  Palanquin Bearers -Summary, Analysis and| Questions Answers

Q. What do the parting words of the poet and her smile signify?

Answer: The poet’s parting words,’ see you soon, Amma,’ express the dilemma and the confusion of her mind. The words not only hide her anxiety and fear about her old mother’s rather fragile health but they also reflect a slight hope that the old woman will survive long enough that they will meet again.

My Mother at Sixty Six | Literacy Devices

Q. The poet compares her mother to many things. Pick out two similes which reinforce this comparison.

Answer: The poet has used many similes in this poem. Two of them are mentioned as follows:
1. “Her face ashen like that of a corpse.”
2. “I looked again at her wan, pale as a late winter”s moon”

Q. What image does the poet use to describe death in the poem?

Answer: The image of “corpse” has been used to describe death in the poem.

Q. Cite an example of one device of contrast that the poet uses in the poem.

Answer: The contrasting device used by the poet in the poem is the old age of his mother and the young sprinting trees and gorgeous children. The poet compares the energy, vitality and jubilation of childhood and youth with the old age.

Q. Smile and smile and smile… a poetic device. What is it called?

Answer: ” Smile, smile and smile… ” is a poetic device called repetition which is used to make a poem rhythmically impressive using fewer words. The words are repeated to make the poem thought-provoking.

Personification: This device of rhetoric is used to give human qualities to something which is not human. In this poem, the poetic device of personification is used for trees in line 12. The poet imagines the trees are running next to her car.

Apostrophe: This rhetorical device is used when a poet addresses his or her poem to a missing audience. In this poem, the poet uses the apostrophe device in line 18 when she speaks directly to her mother as ” Amma, ” although we never see the mother answering the poet.

Read Also: Summary of My Mother at Sixty Six

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter

One comment

Leave a Reply to Summary of My Mother at Sixty Six | Smart Solutions Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.