The White Seal: MBOSE Class 11 English Core notes, solutions

The White Seal
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Get summaries, questions, answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF of Class 11 English Core textbook (Resonance), chapter 6, The White Seal (Adapted and abridged from The Jungle Book), which is part of the syllabus of students studying under MBOSE (Meghalaya Board). These solutions, however, should only be treated as references and can be modified/changed. 

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“The White Seal,” adapted from Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book,” is a tale set on the Island of St. Paul in the Bering Sea, where seals gather in massive numbers each summer. The story begins with Sea Catch, an old seal, battling for prime spots on the rocks at Novastoshnah Beach, known for its excellent accommodation for seals. Despite the fierce battles among the male seals, their wives only arrive later to avoid the chaos. Sea Catch’s wife, Matkah, arrives and gives birth to a unique white seal named Kotick.

Kotick grows up playing with other seal pups and learning to survive the dangers of the sea, such as killer whales. As he matures, he witnesses the brutal reality of seal hunting. Men, led by Kerick Booterin and his son Patalamon, drive the seals to killing pens, where they club them for their skins. Horrified by the sight of his friends being slaughtered, Kotick decides to find a safe place where seals can live without the threat of hunters.

Despite skepticism from his peers, Kotick embarks on a journey to find this sanctuary. He consults with Sea Vitch, the walrus, who directs him to the elusive Sea Cow, known for inhabiting remote, safe waters. After a lengthy search, Kotick finally encounters the Sea Cows and follows them through an underwater tunnel to a hidden island. This island, with its perfect beaches and abundant food, seems to be the ideal refuge for the seals.

Elated by his discovery, Kotick returns to Novastoshnah to share the news. However, the other seals mock him and doubt his claims. Determined to prove himself, Kotick challenges a young seal to a fight and emerges victorious. This display of strength convinces the others to follow him.

Leading nearly ten thousand seals, Kotick guides them through the Sea Cow’s tunnel to the new island. Over time, more seals from Novastoshnah join Kotick in this safe haven, ensuring their survival away from human hunters.

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Textual questions and answers

State whether true or false

1. Novastoshnah had the finest and safest accommodation for seals.

Answer: True

2. Sea Catch was 45 years old.

Answer: False

3. It took Kotick one year to learn deep sea fishing.

Answer: False

4. Kerrick was pleased to see a white seal.

Answer: False

5. Sea Vitch was uglier and with worse manners than Sea Cow.

Answer: False

Answer these questions briefly

1. a. What business did the seals have in Novastoshnah?

Answer: They came in the summer months by hundreds and hundreds of thousands out of the cold grey sea for the finest accommodation for seals of any place in all the world.

1. b. What one word describes their movement?

Answer: Migration

2. a. Why did the older male seals fight?

Answer: The older male seals fought for a good place on the rocks as close to the sea as possible.

2. b. Who are they compared to?

Answer: They are compared to men.

3. a. Describe the activities of the little seals.

Answer: The little seals crawled inland, played together like puppies, and learned to swim in beach-pools.

3. b. Describe the behaviour of bachelors.

Answer: The bachelors, or holluschickie, played about on the sand dunes in droves and legions, rubbing off every single green thing that grew.

4. a. What quality did the Sea Porpoise have?

Answer: The Sea Porpoise was very wise.

4. b. He gave Kotick some good advice. What was it?

Answer: He advised Kotick to follow him to learn how to catch fish and where to swim to.

5. How was Kotick different from the other seals physically and intellectually?

Answer: Physically, Kotick had a white coat. Intellectually, he was curious and determined to find a safe place for the seals where men did not come.

6. Why did the seal hunters come to the shore of Novastoshnah?

Answer: The seal hunters came to the shore of Novastoshnah to drive up the seals to the killing-pens to be turned into sealskin jackets.

7. a. Why did the seal catchers and seals take one full hour to cover half a mile?

Answer: The seal catchers and seals took one full hour to cover half a mile because if the seals went too fast, they would get heated, and then their fur would come off in patches when they were skinned.

7. b. How did the seal catchers go about their work?

Answer: The seal catchers drove the seals slowly, let them cool off for thirty minutes, and then clubbed them on the head as fast as they could.

8. What dream did Kotick have?

Answer: Kotick dreamt of finding a quiet island with good firm beaches for seals to live on where men could not get at them.

9. Who was waiting for Kotick on his return and why?

Answer: The seal who thought that she would put off marrying till the next year was waiting for Kotick on his return because she saw by the look in his eyes that he had found his island at last.

10. How did Kotick ‘persuade’ the seals to follow him to the new safe place?

Answer: Kotick fought with a young seal, proving himself the best fighter on the beaches, and then roared to the seals about the safe island he had found, finally leading nearly ten thousand seals away to the Sea Cow’s tunnel.Ans

Answer these questions in context

‘I am going to follow’

1. Who spoke these words?

Answer: The young seal about Kotick’s own age spoke these words.

2. When were they spoken?

Answer: They were spoken after Kotick had described the place he discovered and asked the other seals to follow him there.

3. Explain why he was going to follow.

Answer: He was going to follow because Kotick had defeated him in a fight and proved his strength and determination to find a safe place for the seals.

Answer the questions in detail

1. Describe the natures of

a. Matkah
b. Sea Catch.

Answer: Matkah is depicted as a soft, sleek, and gentle-eyed seal. She exhibits patience and understanding, particularly when dealing with Sea Catch’s gruff and aggressive demeanor. Her nature is nurturing and supportive, as seen when she cares for Kotick and acknowledges Sea Catch’s efforts in securing a place on the rocks despite his injuries.

Sea Catch, on the other hand, is characterized by his gruffness and toughness. He is a seasoned fighter, as evidenced by his numerous battles for a good spot on the rocks each spring. His nature is protective and determined, showcasing a strong sense of responsibility towards his family and territory.

2. The seals in the story believe in superstitions and traditions just as humans do. List the superstitions and traditions in the story.

Answer: The seals in the story adhere to several superstitions and traditions:

  • The tradition of male seals fighting each spring for the best spots on the rocks, reflecting a territorial and competitive nature.
  • The belief that the appearance of a white seal, like Kotick, is unprecedented and possibly significant.
  • The old seal’s mention of a prophecy that a white seal would come out of the north and lead the seal people to a quiet place, indicating a long-held superstition among the seals.

3. Describe the general behaviour of the other seals regarding their fate.

Answer: The general behaviour of the other seals regarding their fate is one of resignation and acceptance. They continue with their usual activities, such as fighting for territory and playing, without questioning the seal hunters’ presence or actions. This behaviour indicates a lack of awareness or concern about the dangers they face, reflecting a fatalistic attitude. They do not show any initiative to change their situation until Kotick intervenes.

4. How did Kotick change the attitude of the other seals?

Answer: Kotick changes the attitude of the other seals through his determination and perseverance. After witnessing the slaughter of his fellow seals, he embarks on a quest to find a safe place for them. Despite facing skepticism and ridicule, Kotick’s discovery of a secure island and his ability to defeat a challenging opponent in combat convince the other seals to follow him. His actions demonstrate that change is possible, inspiring the seals to leave their dangerous home and seek safety.

5. What lessons did Kotick learn on his journey to adulthood? Do you think that the story symbolises some aspects of human nature and human behaviour through the behaviour of the seals? What do you think Kipling is trying to say?

Answer: On his journey to adulthood, Kotick learns several important lessons:

  • The value of perseverance and courage in the face of adversity.
  • The importance of leadership and the willingness to stand up for what is right, even when it is difficult.
  • The necessity of challenging the status quo to bring about positive change. The story symbolises aspects of human nature and behaviour, such as the struggle for survival, the resistance to change, and the role of a visionary leader in guiding others to a better future. Kipling seems to be conveying that true leadership requires bravery, foresight, and the ability to inspire others to follow a new and better path. Through Kotick’s journey, Kipling illustrates that progress often comes from questioning existing norms and having the courage to pursue a vision of improvement.

Beyond the text

1. Do you think Kotick is a ‘typical adolescent?

Answer: Kotick can be seen as a ‘typical adolescent’ because he exhibits traits commonly associated with adolescence, such as curiosity, a desire to explore, and a drive to challenge the status quo. His journey of self-discovery, questioning of established norms, and quest for a better future for his community mirrors the developmental path of many young people seeking their own identity and purpose.

2. By choosing to follow his own path, Kotick was able to save the lives of an entire community. To do this he had to fight a fierce struggle for leadership. Do you think having the courage to follow a chosen path and face all challenges is an essential quality of all leaders?

Answer: Yes, having the courage to follow a chosen path and face all challenges is an essential quality of all leaders. Leadership often requires making difficult decisions, standing up against opposition, and persevering in the face of adversity. Kotick’s determination and bravery in seeking a safe place for his fellow seals, despite the skepticism and resistance he faced, exemplifies the courage and resilience necessary for effective leadership.

3. Do you think there is a lesson in this story that you can apply to your own life?

Answer: The story of Kotick teaches the importance of perseverance, courage, and the willingness to challenge existing norms for the greater good. It highlights the value of seeking positive change and the impact one determined individual can have on their community. These lessons can be applied to personal life by encouraging the pursuit of one’s goals despite obstacles, standing up for what is right, and striving to make a positive difference in the lives of others.


1. ‘My wig!… It was a long dive, but it was worth it.’ Describe in detail the place that was ten times better than Novastoshnah.

Answer: The place Kotick discovered was a stunning haven for seals, far surpassing Novastoshnah. It featured long stretches of smooth-worn rock perfectly suited for seal nurseries, and spacious playgrounds of hard sand that gently sloped inland. There were rollers for seals to dance in and long grass for them to roll in, along with sand dunes to climb. The water around this place felt pure and untouched by humans, with a line of bars, shoals, and rocks running northward that would prevent any ships from approaching within six miles of the beach. The stretch of deep water between the islands and the mainland ensured safety from human intrusion. This idyllic environment, with its ample food supply and safe, expansive terrain, was a true paradise for the seals, free from the dangers they faced at Novastoshnah.

2. Kotick dared to be different. He had to undergo difficult times and rejection as well. Imagine you are Kotick; make a diary entry describing your fears and hopes for the future of your clan.


June 3

Dear Diary,

Today, I feel a mixture of hope and fear for the future of my clan. My journey has been long and arduous, filled with moments of doubt and the pain of rejection. Many times, I questioned if I was on the right path, especially when the other seals laughed at me and dismissed my discoveries. Yet, I couldn’t stand by and watch as they continued to live under the constant threat of hunters.

Finding the safe island was a turning point. It’s a place where we can finally be free from the annual slaughter, where our young can grow without fear. I see in this island not just a refuge, but a new beginning for all of us. My greatest hope is that the others will see the potential of this new home, that they will trust in my vision and follow me to safety. I want them to understand that change, though difficult, is sometimes necessary for survival.

My fear, however, is that old habits and the comfort of the familiar will hold them back. The fight for leadership was tough, and though I won, it’s clear that convincing everyone will take more than just my words. I must show them the benefits of this new place, and lead by example.

In the depths of my heart, I believe we can create a new life here, one of peace and prosperity. I hope that future generations of seals will look back on this moment and understand that courage and determination can change the course of history. For now, I must remain steadfast and continue to guide my clan with the hope that they will see the brighter future I envision.


Extra fill in the blanks

1. All these things happened several years ago at a place called ______. (Novastoshnah/St Paul)

Answer: Novastoshnah

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27. Kotick’s mother, Matkah, begged him to ______ and settle down. (marry/fight)

Answer: marry

Extra true or false

1. Novastoshnah is located in the Bering Sea.

Answer: True

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29. Kotick’s new island had the same dangers as Novastoshnah.

Answer: False

Extra question and answer

1. Where did the events in the story take place?

Answer: The events took place in Novastoshnah on the Island of St Paul in the Bering Sea.

Missing answers are only available to registered users. Please register or login if already registered

25. Describe the place Kotick discovered that was ten times better than Novastoshnah.

Answer: The place Kotick discovered was an idyllic location with long stretches of smooth-worn rock ideal for seal nurseries, hard sand playgrounds sloping inland, rollers for seals to dance in, and long grass and sand-dunes for play. The water felt pure, and Kotick knew no men had ever come there. The site had green trees, was hidden in rolling fog, and was surrounded by bars, shoals, and rocks that would prevent ships from approaching. It was a perfect, safe haven for the seals, free from human threats.

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