NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English (Kaleidoscope Drama) Chapter 1 Chandalika – Here are all the NCERT solutions for Class 12 English (Kaleidoscope) Chapter 1. This solution contains questions, answers, images, explanations of the complete chapter 1 titled Chandalika taught in Class 12. If you are a student of Class 12 who is using NCERT Textbook to study English (Kaleidoscope), then you must come across chapter 1 Chandalika. After you have studied lesson, you must be looking for answers of its questions. Here you can get complete NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English (Kaleidoscope) Chapter 1 Chandalika.
NCERT Solutions Class 12 English Chapter 1 Chandalika
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NCERT Solutions Class 12 English chapter 1 Chandalika
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Question & Answer
Q.1: Why does something so ordinary and commonplace as giving water to a wayfarer become so significant to Prakriti?
Ans : Prakriti belonged from the lower cast of chandals. She was a chandalini herself. Throughout her life, she has faced contempt and was detested by members of the higher caste as is the common fate of everyone belonging to the lower castes. She was considered ‘unclean’ and ‘untouchable’. As a result of the years of neglect and contempt, she had never grown to love and respect herself for who she is. However, when the Buddhist monk Ananda made her realise her worth, treating her with respect and even accepting water from her hands, despite of her being a Chandalini - a feat which was considered a blasphemy in those times- she was overcome with the newfound emotions of self-respect as well as regard, honor, and love for the monk who had changed her through his words “Give me water” and washed away the years of self-loathing in an instant. She found a new freedom as she says that it was a new birth which the monk gave her through his words. She felt she was as much a human as others and had every right to perform the common acts like others. An ordinary act of giving water to a wayfarer liberated her from the chains of societal pressure and hence, it became so significant to Prakriti.
Q.2: Why is the girl named Prakriti in the play? What are the images in the play that relate to this theme?
Ans : Tagore’s play ‘Chandalika’ is interwoven with the decorations of language. Tagore has used metaphors in his character’s names to express the themes of the play. ‘Prakriti’ which means ‘nature’ stands for the character’s realization of being a woman and awakening to her identity as a woman. Her yearning for natural desires depicts the workings of nature. She comes to realize and embrace her identity, breaking free from the shackles of the society which had unjustly treated her as an ‘untouchable’ throughout her life. Her realization instills in her new courage and she understands that she is as much a human and a natural part of the society as any other person. She becomes sensitive to her natural needs as a woman, thereby justifying her name. The image of Prakriti finding liberation through the act of serving water to the monk hints at the theme of the play. ‘Water’ is a part of nature and it washes away all the dirty and unwanted things. Similarly, Prakriti, through serving water to the monk, washes away the years of unjust oppression and tyranny of the society and truly becomes one with nature when she realizes her worth as a human, thus justifying her name ‘Prakriti’. Her name proves ironical in another instance in the play when she forces her mother to put the monk under a spell and bring him to her so that she can offer herself to him and she yearns for his love in return. This very act goes against the nature of the monk since he is sworn to celibacy and can neither reciprocate her feelings nor satiate her womanly desires. Thus, despite her name being ‘Prakriti’, she goes against the natural order of things by committing this act and it leads to a heavy price which she had to pay.
Q.3: How does the churning of emotions bring about self-realisation in Prakriti even if at the cost of her mother’s life?
Ans : Prakriti’s mother, at her behest, had cast a spell on the monk to bring him to her daughter. However, performing the spell demanded every ounce of her strength. While at the very end of it, she asks Prakriti to look into the magic mirror to see how far the monk is from their home. However, when Prakriti does so, she recoils in horror at the sight. Up until then, her ego had blinded her to the point of being so selfish that she had begun to hope for the impossible even at the cost of her mother’s death. She was ecstatic in her thoughts about the monk. She had dragged the monk against his will to herself in the hope of receiving his love and offering herself to him. She had forced her mother to perform the spell despite her mother’s warnings. However, when she looked into the mirror, she saw a weary image of the monk. All the radiance, the purity, and the heavenly glow had dissipated. His head hung low in shame since he unwillingly went against his sworn of celibacy. When she witnessed how she had reduced the purity of the monk to such depths, she understood the weight of her actions and cried out for her mother to stop and undo the spell. She realized her mistake and begged for forgiveness at his feet saying “the dust has soiled your feet, but they have not been soiled in vain. The veil of my illusion shall fall upon them.” The realization finally dawned upon her about the seriousness of her dastardly act and she had to pay the price in the form of her mother’s death.
Q.4: How does the mirror reflect the turmoil experienced by the monk as a result of the working of the spell?
Ans : The spell cast by Prakriti’s mother at her behest was a very powerful one. It manifested its effects in the monk building up a turmoil within him between his duties and his natural desires evoked by the effect of the spell. Tagore provides glimpses of the turmoil to the readers through Prakriti’s eyes, as she looks into the mirror to trace the monk’s steps to her home. At the beginning of Act 2 of the play, the readers are given a glimpse of the monk’s turmoil when Prakriti says, “Must the king of the forest crash to the dust at last, his cloud-kissing glory broken?” As the play progresses, another image of the monk engulfed in flames is portrayed. This depicts the inner fire of purity in the monk fighting against the ‘serpent-like’ fire of the spell cast by Prakriti’s mother, locked in a deadly duel to the finish. The image ended with torment on the monk’s face symbolizing his defeat against the powerful spell.
Q.5: What is the role of the mother in Prakriti’s self-realisation? What are her hopes and fears for her daughter?
Ans : Prakriti’s mother acts as the voice of reason in her daughter’s life. In every step of the way, she tries to make her see reason. Although she agreed to fulfill her daughter’s impossible desire of being with the monk because Prakriti was the apple of her eyes, yet she warned her of the grave consequences of this dastardly act that she was going to perform. While performing the spell, she chides Prakriti continuously while sensing the monk suffering under the effects of her spell. She even gives her life to make her adamant daughter realize the injustice of her actions. Prakriti is overcome with grief when she realizes she has destroyed the purity of the monk and subjected him to terrible suffering by trying to drag him to her against his will. Her mother makes her look into the mirror and witness his suffering so that she comes to her senses. Prakriti’s self-realization comes but it claims her mother’s life in undoing the spell. Prakriti’s mother hopes that her daughter will find a better life through marriage. She tells Prakriti that she had a good chance to be with the king’s son when he came deer-hunting and stopped at the well near their house, saying ‘Women alone can in a moment overstep the bounds of caste; when once the curtains of destiny are drawn aside, they all stand revealed in their queenliness.’ However, she fears the reckless nature of her daughter. She is wary of her adamant desire of obtaining the monk and warns her against the negative consequences of such an act- a warning which indeed comes to be true.
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