Short Questions and Answers
Question 1 : Why does poet like animals?
Answer : The poet likes animals for their self-contained and quiet nature. The fact that animals are not like human beings as they are satisfied with their lives, appeals to the poet a lot. The fact that animals have been able to retain the basic good values is appreciated by the poet.
Question 2 : Explain the satisfaction that animals have and humans don’t.
Answer : Animals do not have the desire to possess worldly things. Whereas, the more humans own, the more their desire to own grows, leaving them dissatisfied forever. The absence of this greed in animals keeps them satisfied.
Question 3 : Why do animals not weep for their sins?
Answer : Animals do not weep for their sins because they do not need to do so. They are innocent creatures that commit no sins. It is humans, who weep yet commit sins. Animals lead their life in a simple and pure way so there is no need for them to cry over their misdeeds.
Question 4 : What makes the poet sick?
Answer : The fact, that humans commit all kinds of sins and still discuss their duty of God, makes the poet sick. This shows the hypocrisy of humans, who on one hand do wrong and on the other pray to God.
Question 5 : Differentiate between humans and animals in terms of desire.
Answer : Animals are very different from humans as they have no desire to own things. They are happy without an unending greed while humans become mad uncontrollable in their greed for possessing valuables.
Long Questions and Answers
Question 1 : Why do you think the poet has called the desire to won things, a mania? Is the poet right in doing so? Write your views.
Answer : The poet uses words such as ‘demented’ and ‘mania’ for never ending desires of human beings to own things. The more we get, the more greedy we become. Acquisition of materialistic things is a rat race in which human beings keep running after them continuously. There is no end to greed. The words ‘demented’ and ‘mania’ shows that poet is comparing these desires to madness as people are madly trying to acquire more and more, never feeling satisfied. Animals are better off according to the poet as they do not fall into the mad race of acquiring more and more. They are free from from sins, worries and complaints. In order to gain more wealth, all the important values such as morality and kindness are left behind.
Question 2 : What according to you should be the virtues that humans should possess?
Answer : Human beings should be gentle not only to their own kind but also to everyone and everything. Virtues such as kindness being along other important values like innocence and honesty that together make the world a better place to live. The lack of such values results in a corrupt society where people commit sins and weep over them in dark. This situation makes them dissatisfied and unhappy in life. Humans beings probably had these virtues in them but along with civilisation processes, they have left them behind and adopted greed and cunningness and jealousy. Animals are continuing possessing these virtues as even today we find them faithful, innocent, kind and generous.
Question 3 : The key to happiness is ‘Do not complain but accept the situation’. Elaborate it in context of the poem ‘Animals’.
Answer : The poet Walt Whitman in his poem ‘Animals’ compares animals to human beings and differentiates between them on the basis of their characteristics. Animals have been ranked much higher than humans in poet’s perception. Since animals do not complain about their situation, they are considered to be much happier than humans. Animals live in natural surroundings, they accept their natural lives. Humans, on the other hand, have never accepted nature, i.e. they complain about it and try to change it, leading to an unhappy life. Human beings are very demanding, greedy and non-caring about others. Humans continuously keep complaining about their situations, problems as their expectations are never ending.
Question 4 : The poet in the poem ‘Animals’ laments the loss of certain values on the part of human beings, whereas animals seems to have retained them and are self-contented. Analyse the cause of degeneration of values in today’s hard times.
Answer : In the modern civilized world, human beings have achieved a lot of material values but lost the real virtues. The more developed and modern human beings became, the more they lost the essence of their characters. Animals, whereas, never adapted to any material goods and always remained natural. This natural aspect of animals has helped them maintain their values. Humans, in order to possess more and more have forgotten kindness and innocence. They indulge in all unethical practices which are devoid of any good virtue, hence the poet laments (complaints) the loss of good values on part of human beings.