13. A TALE OF TWO CITIES (John Peter)
CONTEXT: In this poem, the poet brings to light the destruction and devastation in China caused by the atomic explosion made by America. He mourns the dead and the loss caused by this explosion. The Chinese faced it with great patience. They started to reconstruct their nation and were successful in attaining the glory and dignity in the world.
EXPLANATION: LINES 1TO 4: In these lines the poet discusses the scenes of destruction caused by the explosion during the Second World War. The Americans dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These bombs caused great destruction and devastation. The poet says that there were smoke, ammunition, arms and horrible cries everywhere. The people were wounded. Some were lying dead. Some were burnt. They had become completely powerless. They were made helpless. Everything was looking gloomy.
EXPLANATION: LINES 5 TO 8: In these lines the poet depicts before us the horrible condition of two cities. He says that the condition after the explosion of bombing was so gloomy that it seemed as if the nature were mourning at their condition. The mountains were lamenting at their misery. A sense of dejection was prevailing everywhere. The people were crying with pain. They had never faced such calamity before. But at that time of misery, there was nobody to share their pains. They were completely helpless and powerless. They had to face this catastrophe all alone.
EXPLANATION: LINES 9 TO 12: In these lines the poet says that the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima proved extremely lethal. Even the Americans who used this bomb were not aware of its destructive results. Everything was dashed to ground. The flowers and the valleys were burnt, crushed and dashed. Everyone became the victim of this cruelty. No one could avoid it. A large number of people lost their lives in the twinkling of an eye. Every kind of life came to an end. It left nothing to see except the destruction it caused.
EXPLANATION LINES 13-16: In these lines, the poet says deplorably that the destruction which the atomic explosion caused was so horrible that no eye could see because it claimed millions of lives. Dead bodies were lying everywhere. Everything was dashed to ground. These two cities were wiped out of the map of the world in a few minutes. It was all due to fierce action taken by only one nation in the moments of fury which compelled the Americans to ignore all the human rights and destroyed two cities completely.
EXPLANATION: LINES 17 TO 20: In these lines the poet says that only one nation did a great damage and it did so blindly with its wild passions. This nation was so cruel and callous that it did not take care of the human rights. Apparently, they were the champions of human rights. But, they killed innocent children, woman and old people. They had gone mad. They could avoid this explosion but they did not keep the world safe from the destruction of bombing.
EXPLANATION: LINES 21-24: In these lines the poet pays tribute to the Chinese who bore the worst brutality of the history patiently. The poet calls them great people who did not lose heart and displayed boldness to face the terrible blow. They took heart and started to work hard for the nation building activities with new spirit. Within a short span of time, they made tremendous progress and became strong economically. They did not let their sacrifices go wasted and gained their lost glory once again. Today, they are one of the super powers of the world.
Q.NO.1: Who has written the poem, “A Tale of Two Cities?”
Answer: John Peter has written this poem “A Tale of Two Cities.”
Q.NO.2:What is the central idea of the poem, “A Tale of Two Cities?” OR What is the theme of the poem? OR What is the moral lesson of the poem? OR What kind of feelings does the poet create in reader’s mind? (FSD, 10, 11, LHR, 11)
Answer: In this poem, the poet gives the details of horrible destruction in two cities of Japan caused by the bombing dropped by America. He advises that all the countries should solve their disputes through negotiations not with bombing.
Q.NO.3: Why did the people of the two cities look powerless and helpless? (MN-08, BP-07, 10, DG, MN, LR-10, 12, DGK-12)
Answer: The people of the two cities looked powerless and helpless because they had faced ruthless atomic attack of the Americans. They had lost everything. Nothing remained behind except ashes.
Q.NO.4: Describe the circumstances the victims had to pass through? OR Describe the scene of devastation. (LHR-12, MUL-09, DGK-10, FSD-12)
Answer: The victims had lost everything they had. Many innocent people were killed. Many became wounded and crippled. Those who survived died later on. Their houses had become rubble.