7. My Grandfather by W.B. Yeats
1.Yeats and Summer Holidays OR Yeats’ Fears of Childhood
Q. No. 1: What is “something in myself” which Yeats felt that he gradually conquered during his life? OR Describe the fears Yeats felt in his childhood? OR How did the writer spend his holidays in Saligo? OR “I remember little of childhood but it pain. I have grown happier with every year of life as though gradually conquering something ……………………. Were not made by others but a part of my mind”. Comment. OR “My miseries were not made by other but a part of my own mind.” Discuss. OR “When you grow up, never talk as grown up people do of the happiness of childhood. ………………………. I might live.” Discuss. OR “We should not make light of the troubles of children. They are worse then ours, ……………………… and they can never see any end”. Discuss.
Answer: The essay “My Grandfather” is actually a detailed description of Yeats recollection of his childhood. He often spent his holidays with his maternal relatives. He remembers that the house owned by his grandfather was very big. One could easily hide in any room. He was never treated in a harsh way. He was given everything which he wished. However, it was reasonable to fear his uncles. That’s why, he did not want to face his uncles.
Yeats also remembers the miseries and pain of his childhood. He says that there was something which made him feel miserable. This something was a sense of guilt and remorse. He says that the grownups always frighten and scold a child for every minor mistake. The writer says that he also faced same miseries in his childhood. He also feared that every action done by him was a sin and would cause his punishment. For some of it was the fear of his grandfather. But the writer says that he conquered all these fears with the passage of time. That’s why, later he started loving his maternal relatives. (Words: 184)
2. Character Sketch of Yeats’ Grandfather
Q. No. 2: What are W.B. Yeats’ impressions of his grandfather? OR Draw a character sketch of Yeats’ grandfather?
Answer: In this essay, Yeats highlights different aspects of his grandfather’s personality. He remembers one of his grandfather’s achievements and says that his grandfather had never boasted of his bravery and achievements of winning freedom of some Spanish city. His grandfather had visited many parts of the world like Jordan, Chili and India. He had also a great collection of different things from these countries.
He owned many ships and himself worked on many ships. He always did his job himself and never asked for help. Temperamentally, he was violent. That’s why, it was a common custom to fear and admire him. However, he was always kind to others.
He was also very simple person. It was very easy to deceive him because of his artlessness. He had no relatives but he had few friends. He had never ordered anyone to do anything which he himself could not do. He was strict disciplinarian. He did not allow the misuse of his railway pass. He liked to read the Bible. (Words: 168)
3. Character Sketch of Yeats’ Grandmother OR Comparison between Yeats’ Grandfather & Grandmother
Q. No. 3: Compare Yeats’ grandfather with grandmother. OR Draw the character sketch of Yeats’ grandmother.
Answer: Yeats’ grandmother was a kind, sympathetic and affable lady. She was sober and polite in her attitude towards everybody. She had entirely different personality than that of her husband. She was very caring and loving lady. She helped the needy and down trodden. She distributed the clothes among them. She was well aware of her husband’s habit that he always kept a hatchet beside his bed to cope with the burglars. That’s why, she always went about the night with a candle to see if he had hit some burglar or not. She treated everyone very nicely. The disturbance created by Yeats’ grandfather and his uncles was handled in a careful manner.
She was a woman of artistic taste. She was a true lover of gardening. She painted her favourite flowers on rice paper. She also hung Chinese paintings and pictures having scene of war upon the wall.
We can say that Yeats’ grandfather’s house would not have presented the present scene if she had not been so sensible and caring. (Words: 171)
4. Simplicity of Yeats’ Grandfather
Q.No.4: How did it become easy to deceive the grandfather?
Answer: The essay, “My Grandfather” is about writer’s memories of childhood. He spent his summer vacation with his grandfather and grandmother in Silago. His grandfather was a man of principles. It was a custom to fear him. However, the way the other members treated him shows that actually they were not afraid of him. There are many incidents which show that it was very easy to befool him. First incident is of railway pass which the writer’s uncle asked the writer to borrow from a cousin. His grandfather wouldn’t have tolerated it if he had known it. But he could not know about it. Similarly, he had ordered his servants to lock the stable at every night but once he decided to lock all of them in the stable for some trouble. However, once again he was befooled. All the persons except his grandfather knew that the gate had not been locked. We can say that it was easy for the writer’s uncle and other members of his family to make grandfather a fool because of his simplicity. (Words: 177)