Questions and Answers of The Letter ‘A’ By Christy Brown

Questions and Answers of The Letter ‘A’ By Christy Brown

NCERT Solutions For Class 12 English-The Letter ‘A’ By Christy Brown

1. How did Christy’s mother know that her son was physically impaired?

When Christy was four months old, his mother observed he was unable to support his head.His head had habit of falling backwards According to Christy, Bridget concluded “there was something wrong with me” and several years later he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral is Latin for a part of the brain while palsy refers to paralysis, although Brown’s biographer Christina Hambleton explains that doctors in 1930s Ireland considered cerebral palsy a difficult condition to understand . Brown’s form of cerebral palsy affected his movement and posture and his doctors and extended family recommended Bridget place him in care. However Christy’s mother decided to raise Christy at home.

 Questions and Answers of The Letter 'A'

Christy Brown

Tag: Questions and Answers of The Letter ‘A’

2. ‘The doctors were so very sure of themselves that mother’s faith in me seemed almost impertinence. ‘

a. What did Christy’s mother think about him?
Ans. Christy’s mother thought that he was not imbecile as the doctors told her. She took him in her own hands. She was determined to treat her child in the same planes as other normal children. She believed that it was his body which was shattered not his mind. She loved him and believed in him.
b. Why is her faith in him described as impertinence?
Ans. Her faith in him is described as impertinence because she refused to accept the expert opinion of doctors and specialists that he was imbecile. She treated him in the same planes as normal children. She believed that it was his body which was shattered not his mind.

3. In spite of all that doctors and specialists told her, Christy’s mother would not agree that he was imbecile. What does this reveal about her as a person?
Ans. It reveals that she was positive person. Her positive attitude made her believe that her son could not be completely crippled.She loved him and believed in him. She believed that her son could not be something to be fed and washed and then put away. She thought that Christy’s disability is a social construct, a consequence of negative attitudes or physical barriers that can be overcome.To her, it was his body which was shattered not his mind.

4. What did Christy’s mother hope to achieve by showing him pictures of animals and flowers?
Ans. Christy’s mother wanted to prove that her son was not an idiot but normal like other children. She set out to prove this. By showing her son pictures of animals and flowers she wanted that he could speak and understand things by this.
She struggled to obtain some proof of her faith. Children are usually fascinated by colorful pictures.Further, they can be moulded well not because of any rigid sense of duty but out of love.

5.What was the advice offered by relatives and friends? Why was it lucky for the writer that his parents didn’t heed the advice?
Ans.The relatives and friends contended that Christy was an idiot. He should be taken kindly and sympathetically but not seriously. They told Christy’s parents not to look Christy as they would other children. This would only break their heart in the end.

The writer was lucky that his parents held out against the lot of them. Christy’s mother even set out to prove this. She showed him pictures of animals and flowers, told him stories, helped him to write and gave him a lot of love. She did not give up her struggle. Ultimately, she was successful.
6. Christy’s mother believed he was not an idiot (Ticket the correct option.)
∆ he was her son
∆ it was her duty as a mother to defend him
∆ she loved him and believed in him

Ans. She loved him and believed in him.

7. Christy feels that not many mothers would have treated him the way his mother did. How would Christy have been treated in another household?
Ans. Christy feels that not many mothers would have treated him the way his mother did.This is a fact. They would have treated him kindly and sympathetically but not seriously. They would have not struggled to the extent Christy’s mother struggled to mould him. Many mothers would have treated him as a “queer one” in the back room who are never spoken of when there are visitors present in the household.

8. ‘That was a momentous decision. ‘ What decision his mother take about bringing him up? Why did Christy consider the decision a momentous one?
Ans. Christy’s mother decided to regard him on the same plane as the others. She thought that it was his body which was crippled not his mind. Therefore, she decided to raise him like a normal children.

Christy considered her mother’s decision a momentous one because it meant that his mother was always to be with his side, to fight all the battles that were to come in his way and to inspire him with new strength when he was beaten. Eventually, the decision proved to be s significant one in Christy’s life.

9 Despite being surrounded by a loving family what were Christy’s feelings as he lay on his back in the kitchen or in the garden?
Ans. Christy felt himself lonely and imprisoned in a world of his own. He could not communicate with others. He felt cut off from them as if a glass wall stood between his existence and theirs. He longed to run and play with the rest but he was unable to break loose from his bondage.

10. While his father was busy brick laying, his mother was ‘patiently pulling down the wall, brick by brick’. Which wall was the mother pulling down?
Ans. The mother was pulling down the barrier that separated Christy from the other children. She was slowly and patiently penetrating beyond the thick curtain that hung over his mind, separating from it from theirs. She believed that Christy was not an idiot but normal like other children. It was just his body which was crippled not his mind. She worked hard to remove all the obstacles that come in the way of Christy’s progress.

11.’They now spoke of an institution. ‘
a. Who is the ‘they’ in the above line?
Ans. ‘they’ refers to the relatives and friends of Christy. They contented that Christy was idiot and should be taken to an institution for the mentality challenged.
b. What is the institution they are speaking of?
Ans. They are speaking of the institution for mentally challenged.
c. How did Christy’s mother respond to their suggestion?
Ans. Christy’s mother fiercely rejected their suggestion. She told them that Christy was not an idiot. It was his body that was shattered not his mind and she was sure of that.

12. Christy’s mother and father and siblings saw his forming the letter ‘A’ as (Ticket the correct option)
a. a sign of intelligence
b. as merely an imitative gesture.
Ans. A sign of intelligence.

12. Why was Christy surprised to see himself holding a chalk stick between his toes?
Ans. Christy was surprised to see himself holding a chalk stick between his toes because he could not believe his eyes how he was able to grip the piece of chalk between his toes. He hardly knew how it got there. He was also not knowing what to do with it next. It was really a unbelievable achievement for him.

13. Why was everyone tense in the room when they saw Christy attempting to write?
Ans. Holding a piece of chalk between his toes and attempting to write surprised everyone in the room. Till then everyone except Christy’s mother thought that he was an idiot and didn’t possess any intelligence .But when they witnessed Christy holding a piece of chalk and trying to write, it was almost an impossible achievement for them. They were excited and tense simply because everyone now wanted to see the outcome of Christy’s struggle.

15. What do you think finally helped Christy achieve the ” impossible “?
Ans. Christy achieved the impossible simple because he was given the chance by his mother to express himself. His mother didn’t give up hope but struggled for him. She gave him all important help that moulded him right way. She didn’t give ear to the doctors,relatives and friends that her son was imbecile. She loved him and believed in him. She thought that Christy was not an idiot. She took Christy in her own hand and treated him in the same plan as others. To her it was his body that was crippled not his mind. She removed all the obstacles that came in his way. She spent hours with him; showing pictures, telling him names of animals and flowers and gave him all care and love. Finally, her faith rewarded her and her struggle changed into triumph.

The Letter A

Tag: Questions and Answers of The Letter ‘A’

Long Answer Type Questions

Q. What did the writer’s mother notice about the physical growth of her son (Christy Brown) after the age of four months?
Ans. The writer’s mother noticed that his head fell backward, whenever she tried to feed him. She could not succeed in correcting it by placing her hand on the back of his neck. As he got older, she saw his hands clenched nearly all the time.

His mouth could not grasp the teat of the battle because his jaws would either lock together tightly or would suddenly become limp and fall hanging, dragging his mouth to one side.

When he was six months old he could not sit up without having a no. of pillows behind him. Even when he was twelve months, it was the same. The mother became worried about her son. She told her husband and they consulted the specialist doctors about it.

Q. How did the mother take the writer seriously after he was even left by the doctor?
Ans. Even though the doctors declared Christy to be an imbecile. Mother’s faith in him did not shatter. She took it as a challenge in her life. In spite of her relatives and friends advice to put him in an institution for mentally related she rejected their suggestion.

She decided to nourished him on the same plane like her other five healthy children. She showed him the pictures of animals and flowers with a hope that he would start recognizing and identifying them.

The mother’s faith in the child and God resulted positively. Christy was able to write letter ‘A’ with a piece of chalk held between the toes of his mental freedom. It was all the fruit of his mother’s confidence and labour.

Questions and Answers of The Letter A

The Letter ‘A’

Q. Who Was Christy Brown?

Christy Brown was born on June 5th 1932, in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, into a working class family of 22 children. His mother Bridget experienced complications while Christy was being born and when Christy was four months old, she observed he was unable to support his head. According to Christy, Bridget concluded “there was something wrong with me” and several years later he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy . Cerebral is Latin for a part of the brain while palsy refers to paralysis, although Brown’s biographer Christina Hambleton explains that doctors in 1930s Ireland considered cerebral palsy a difficult condition to understand . Brown’s form of cerebral palsy affected his movement and posture and his doctors and extended family recommended Bridget place him in care. She decided to raise Christy at home. At five years of age Brown attempted to draw the letter ‘A’ by grasping a piece of chalk with his left foot and his mother subsequently encouraged Brown to write and paint in this fashion. His first glimpse of fame came in 1944 when he won a painting competition for children run by the Sunday Independent. The paper ran a story about Brown, featuring a picture of him painting with his left foot. As a young man Brown attended Ireland’s first cerebral palsy clinic, in Dublin. Although this clinic was of great benefit to Brown, he spent much of his life using a wheelchair and he depended on others for physical assistance with daily tasks, such as preparing food and attending to bodily functions. He lived with his parents and siblings in his family home in Kimmage, until he married his carer Mary Carr, in 1972. After he married, he moved to Kerry and then to England. He struggled with alcoholism and depression for much of his life and he died in Somerset in England in 1981, after choking on a dinner. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin. Brown wrote and named his famous autobiography after his method of writing and painting. In My Left Foot, he reflects on growing up with cerebral palsy in mid-twentieth century Ireland. The book was an international success and in 1989, Jim Sheridan turned it into an Oscar winning film of the same name. In 1970, Brown published Down All the Days. This semi-autobiographical novel is told from the viewpoint of a mute, nameless teenager who has a disability similar to Brown’s. A lyrical and a dense novel, it shocked Brown’s friends and family for its portrayal of sex, disability, violence and alcoholism. It was a critical success. Brown went on to publish A Shadow On Summer in 1974; Wild Grow the Lilies in 1976 and a posthumously published work A Promising Career in 1982. He also penned several collections of poems; some relatively unsuccessful plays and he produced numerous paintings, for the Disabled Artists Association. Brown emerged as a writer during a time when Irish society held deeply conservative values about the suitability of certain publications. Historian Dermot Keogh describes how Archbishop McQuaid wrote to Taoiseach Eamon de Valera to thank him for enacting measures designed to prevent the “diffusion of evil books”, as well as works the Catholic Church objected to on moral grounds. This letter was written in 1953, just one year before My Left Foot was published. The chronology of Brown’s life is also significant from a disability studies perspective. For most of Brown’s lifetime, any consideration of what it meant to be disabled was framed under the medical model of disability. This model considers disability as a physical or mental condition of the individual, which requires a cure (Williams, 2001).

Throughout the 1960s and 70s there was a significant shift from locating disability within a person’s body towards considering society at fault for disabling an individual. This came to fruition in 1975 when the UK-based Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS) framed the social model of disability. This model considers disability as a condition imposed on top of a person’s impairment by society. It also regards people with disabilities as an oppressed group in society.

Tag: Questions and Answers of The Letter ‘A’


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