About the Poet
- Robin Klein was bom on 28 February, 1936, in Kempsey, New South Wales, Australia.
- She wrote more than 40 books, including Hating Alison Ashley, Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left and Came Back to Show You I Could Fly.
- She left school at the age of 15 and did several jobs to establish herself as a writer.
- She won the CBCA Children s Book of the Year Award in both the Younger Readers and the Older Readers categories, and a Human Rights Award for Literature in 1989.
- Klein is considered one of the most prolific and beloved authors of Australia.
Central Idea of the Poem
‘Amanda’ is the poem of a young girl who does one thing after other but she is instructed not to do so, by the poet. It is the ardent desire of every child to enjoy the beauty of the dreamy world of childhood. The instructions given by the poet curtail her freedom. As the poet tells her not to eat chocolates, she considers it to be an infringement of her freedom. She only wants to remain in fantasy. Amanda does not want to grow up. She wants to remain a child now.
The poem ‘AmandaV depicts the state of a little girl’s mind. She is constantly instructed about do’s and don’ts by her elders. The narrator scolds and instructs her. She is told not to bite her nails. She is told not to hunch her shoulders and to sit up straight. The girl imagines that she is in an emerald sea. She is told to finish her homework and tidy her room. She is an orphan, that is why she roams in the street. She is forbidden from eating a chocolate because she has acne on her face. But all the time, the little girl Amanda keeps dreaming of a life of freedom in the open. She dreams of mermaids in the sea, of roaming barefoot in the dusty street and of the golden-haired Rapunzel who lived alone in a high tower. She takes no note of what is being said to her. Then she is rebuked for being moody and sulking all the time. This way the girl has been advised.
Poem at a Glance
- This poem is about a girl, Amanda who bites her nails.
- The poet asks her not to do so and also sit straight.
- The girl is lost in the world of dreams and fantasy.
- She imagines as if she were a mermaid.
- Amanda lives in a peaceful emerald sea all alone.
- She roams all around freely like a mermaid.
- Amanda lives in a peaceful emerald sea all alone.
- She roams all around freely like a mermaid.
- The poet asks if she has finished her homework and cleaned the room.
- She is told to clean her shoes but she has not done so.
- She does not care for all the things.
- Amanda wants to walk on the dust with her bare feet.
- She is told not to eat chocolates as it might cause her some problem.
- Amanda is told to inculcate good manners. But she ignores all these things.
- Amanda imagines herself as Rapunzel living in a tower.
- There is the atmosphere of peace and tranquillity here.
- The poet calls Amanda moody.
- She asks her not to be unhappy.
English Amanda Important Questions and Answers
I. Short Answer Type Questions (20-30 words & 2 marks each)
What does Amanda imagine herself to be while day-dreaming and reaching the sea?
While reaching the sea in her daydream, Amanda imagines of being a mermaid. She finds the sea relaxed and peaceful as she dreams of drifting on the waves blissfully.
What sort of instructions did Amanda get?
Amanda is instructed not to bite her nail, complete her homework and clean her room. She is even asked not to hunch her shoulders. She is told to sit only in a straight manner.
What can you depict of Amanda’s nature?
Amanda is a moody girl. She is nagged most of the time. She often escapes from reality, which makes her moody and uninterested.
How does Amanda describe herself as an orphan?
Amanda says that she is an orphan. She roams the street freely. There is dust under her bare feet. With her bare feet, she creates patterns on the dust. Silence is golden and freedom is sweet.
Why is Amanda told not to eat chocolates?
Amanda is told not to eat chocolates because she had been suffering from acne. Eating more chocolates will cause pimples on her face. That is why she is told so.
II. Short Answer Type Questions (40-50 words & 3 marks each)
What is the importance of punctuation in a language? Why has the poet used the exclamation mark after Amanda in the title of the poem?
Punctuation in a language makes the sense of a text clear. It helps in conveying the message with clarity. It is further used to structure and organise a piece of writing. The exclamation mark used in the title ’Amanda’ is to show the mother’s surprise on seeing Amanda. Amanda is a moody girl and this trait of hers upsets her mother.
Who is instructing Amanda? Is he/she constantly giving instructions fulfilling some-thing?
Amanda’s mother is instructing Amanda. When she keeps on instructing her, Amanda sulks and becomes moody. Her mother intends to make her well-behaved by constantly giving instructions to her but Amanda doesn’t care much and nor can she ignore her mother, so she sulks down rather than executing all the instructions.
Despite imagining to be Rapunzel, Amanda does not want to do what Rapunzel did. Why?
Amanda wants to be Rapunzel to live a peaceful life in a tower. But she does not intend to
elope with a prince because she does not want to depart from the peaceful life on the top of the tower.
Why does Amanda seem moody most of the times?
Amanda seems moody because she is constantly trying to make an escape from her reality where she is instructed all the time. It is indeed a sorry state for a little kid like Amanda to bear. Here, the only solution she finds to escape this reality is her imaginary world. Therefore, it makes her look moody and indifferent towards her mother’s instructions.
III. Long Answer Type Questions (100-120 words & 5 marks each)
Why does Amanda want to escape into the dreamy world of mermaids and fairies? Discuss it on the basis of the poem ‘Amanda’.
In this world, each one (including child, young, old, etc.) wants to lead the life of freedom. Amanda also like other child loves freedom. She does not want to be a pampered child. Amanda does not want that her parents should control and guide her activities. She wants to do the activity of her own choice. She does not want to be dictated by anyone. She creates a world of her own choice. Amanda wants to live in the dreamy world of mermaids and fairies. She wants to enjoy freedom roaming around the streets like an orphan. Like Rapunzel, Amanda wants to live in an imaginary tower. She does not like the nagging of her mother. This way Amanda wants to escape into the dreamy world of mermaids and fairies.
How has the poet discussed the importance of proper upbringing with reference to the poem, ‘Amanda’?
Every child is bom with some innate quality. Their upbringing plays an important role in sharpening their personality. It is the moral duty of the parents to instil good values and moral principles in a growing child. Amanda shows how a child feels trapped in instructions. She is instmcted to do numerous things. Amanda is very frustrated. She wishes to be an orphan. She is even instmcted not to eat chocolate because it causes acne. She wants to live alone and lead a carefree life. So, children should be reared up with proper care.
State the value points in the poem ‘Amanda’.
Every child is unique in its own way. There are some positive and negative aspects in each child. It requires a great deal of patience and love to make them understand this. Parents should impart proper education to children, as they leam through experiences as well. If children do leam some bad habits, it requires great level of understanding and right approach to rectify them. Children cannot be taught everything in one day. They should be told to behave properly. It is natural for a child like Amanda to seek freedom at her place. Growing up of child should not be about do’s and don’ts only. The fact is that Amanda is forbidden to do anything without seeking permission. She can’t sit lazily around. She can’t eat chocolate because it could cause acne. Life of Amanda is very suffocating and limited in itself. She desires for more freedom and choice. The fact is that Amanda is innocent and naive. She is too small to understand the benefits of advice. That is why Amanda wishes to be an orphan. That is why she wants to be free.
I am an orphan, roaming the street
I pattern soft dust with my hushed bare feet.
The silence is golden, the freedom is sweet.
What does Amanda imagine herself to be? What does the poet want to convey through this?
Through this paragraph, the poet has tried to depict the state of a little girl’s mind and also instructs her to do something good and change her habit. When the poet tells her so, she assumes that had she been an orphan, she would have roamed into the street. She would have made design on the soft dust with her feet quietly. According to her, silence is golden and freedom is the sweetest thing in the world. She wants to lead the life of freedom not of bondage. Through golden silence, the poet estimates the worth of silence. Amanda seeks peace and calmness. It is absent in her reality. Through this paragraph, the poet wants to say that freedom is the sweetest thing in the world. Not only the girl like Amanda but all living beings want freedom.
English Amanda Textbook Questions and Answers
Thinking about the Poem
1. How old do you think Amanda is? How do you know this?
Amanda is a school-going girl. She may be about 9-10 years old. It is apparent from the instructions given to her not to bite her nails or to do homework.
2. Who do you think is speaking to her?
It seems that the poet is speaking to her.
3. Why are Stanzas 2,4 and 6 given in parenthesis? „
Stanzas 2, 4 and 6 are given in parenthesis because they are the thoughts of the child. And these are given in different conditions.
4. Who is the speaker in Stanzas 2, 4 and 6? Do you think this speaker is listening to the speaker in Stanzas 1, 3, 5 and 7?
In Stanzas 2,4 and 6, the speaker is the child, Amanda. No, she is not listening to the speaker in Stanzas 1,3,5 and 7. She is lost in her thoughts and she is clearly not listening to anybody.
5. What could Amanda do if she were a mermaid?
If Amanda were a mermaid, she would have drifted slowly on a languid emerald sea. She would be the sole inhabitant of the relaxed green sea.
6. Is Amanda an orphan? Why does she say so?
No, Amanda is not an orphan. She says so because she wants to be alone. She wants to roam around the street alone. She finds silence ‘golden’ and freedom ‘sweet’. It is for this reason that she calls herself an orphan.
7. Do you know the story of Rapunzel? Why does she want to be Rapunzel?
Rapunzel was a fairy. Amanda wants to be Rapunzel because she wants to live alone. Rapunzel lived alone in a tall tower and had long, beautiful hair. She was held captive by her grandmother, who came up the tower by climbing her long hair. The girl also wants to live alone in a tower as she would not have to care about anything as life in a tower would be tranquil, peaceful and rare. However, she also decided that she would never throw down her hair for anyone to come up as she wanted to live alone always.
8. What does the girl yearn for? What does this poem tell you about Amanda?
The girl yearns for freedom. She wants to stay alone. If she were a mermaid, she would have wanted to drift slowly on a calm sea where she would be the only inhabitant. She imagines herself to be an orphan, roaming the street in silence and freedom. She also wishes to be Rapunzel though she would not let her hair down for anybody to climb up. This shows that she is fed up with the continuous scolding she receives from her mother. She wants to go away from her home to some place where she would not be constantly teased or rebuked by anybody and would be able to live peacefully.
9. Read the last stanza. Do you think Amanda is sulking and is moody?
It does not seem that she is sulking, though she could be moody. She is completely lost in her thoughts. She is not even listening to her mother. Her mother perceives her to be sulking as she does not react to her instructions at all. Since Amanda does not listen to her, she concludes that she is very moody and continues to nag her.