In Celebration of Being Alive

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Here, you will find all the answers and solutions of NBSE class 10 Alternative English chapter 4 In Celebration of Being Alive for the academic year 2019-20. Additional questions will be added soon. However, these notes should be used only for references. These materials should be modified/changed as per the needs.

SUMMARY of IN CELEBRATION OF BEING ALIVE: Dr Barnard begins by saying that he could not understand the purpose of suffering. He provides a general idea of the number of children who die or are ill physically or mentally. He also gives us a personal anecdote in which he and his wife were in an accident while crossing a road. Their broken bones had kept them away from their duties for some time. He was angry that it had happened. He could not find comfort in his father’s way of looking at suffering as God way of making us better people. His personal encounter with the suffering of children began with his father showing him the biscuit his brother had bitten before he died as a child with an abnormal heart.

As a doctor, he was particularly moved by the suffering of sick children because they believed that doctors could cure them and accepted their illness and suffering. His anguish changed to the appreciation of life when he saw two children in a children’s hospital racing in a food trolley as if it were a car. One of them was visually challenged and the other had only one arm. The other children in the ward cheered them on just as spectators do in a motor rally. The spirit with which the children used whatever faculties they had to enjoy themselves was an eye-opener to Dr Barnard. He concludes that we learn to value the good things in life because we see so much of the suffering around us.

I. Choose the correct option

1. Which of the following words best describes the children Dr Barnard witnessed taking part in the Grand Prix?

Answer: a. Resilient

2. What does Dr Barnard mean by ‘joy in the real sense of the word’?

Answer: b. Looking past your troubles to enjoy every day and everything you have.

3. According to Dr Barnard, why is suffering important?

Answer: d. Because it makes you a better and more sympathetic person

4. Which of the following sentences from the text demonstrates Dr Barnard’s compassionate nature?

Answer: a. But as a doctor, I see nothing noble in a patient\ thrashing around in a sweat-soaked bed, mind clouded in agony.

5. Why do you think Dr Barnard became a cardiothoracic surgeon?

Answer: a. He was torn by the plight of all the suffering children in the world.

II. Read the lines and answer the following questions:

1. More and more, as I near the end of my career as a heart surgeon, my thoughts have turned to the consideration of why people should suffer.
a. What gives the speaker the authority to speak knowledgeably about suffering? Give two reasons.
b. What are the lines in the text that tell you that suffering is widespread?
c. What are Dr Barnard’s contributions to the battle against suffering?

Answer: a. The speaker can speak so knowledgeably about suffering because he is a surgeon and he sees people suffering on a daily basis. He knows the agony of their suffering. Further, he also experienced suffering at a personal level when he learned about the unfortunate death of his brother as a child and when he and his wife met with an accident while they were crossing a street.

b. In the beginning, when the author mentions that of the 125 million children born each year, 12 million are unlikely to reach the age of one and another six million will die before the age of five and, of the rest, many will end up as mental or physical cripples, tells us that suffering is universal.

c. Dr Barnard was a cardiothoracic surgeon. He performed the first human heart transplant on 3 December 1967. As a surgeon, he saved the lives of many and later on founded the Christiaan Barnard Foundation to help the underprivileged children around the world.

2. If you can’t, they accept their fate.
a. Who do ‘you’ and ‘they’ refer to?
b. What is the fate that they accept?
c. Why do you think they accept their fate more willingly than others?

Answer: a. Here, ‘you’ refers to the doctors while ‘they’ refers to the suffering children.

b. They accept the fate that they cannot get better and the doctors have tried their best to help them.

c. They accept their fate more willingly than others because they are children and they trust others wholeheartedly. So if the person they trust fails, they assume they cannot get better. Other, on the other hand, cannot trust the doctors the way the children do and they assume there is always something more that can be done.

III. Answer these questions briefly

1.What upset him most about the death of his brother?

Answer: What upset him the most about the death of his brother was that he died as a child suffering much agony because he was born with an abnormal heart which could have been corrected if the technologies in those days were sophisticated enough.

2. Why could he not accept his father’s belief that suffering was God’s way of making us better people?

Answer: He could not accept his father’s belief that suffering was God’s way of making us better people as he could see nothing noble in a patient’s thrashing around in a sweat-soaked bed, mind clouded in agony. Nor could he see any nobility in the crying of a lonely child in a ward at night.

3. What was his changed attitude to suffering?

Answer: After he witnessed the two children in what he described as “Grand Prix of Cape Town’s Red Cross Children Hospital”, who suffered much and yet showed resilience, he had a completely changed attitude towards suffering. He understood that the business of living is the celebration of being alive and he was looking at suffering from the wrong end. The children showed him that it’s not what you’ve lost that’s important but what you have left.

IV. Answer the questions

1.What was the cause of Dr Barnard’s ‘gloomy thoughts’?

Answer: Dr Barnard’s ‘gloomy thoughts’ had probably stem from an accident that he had few years ago while he and his wife were hit by a car. They were trying to cross a street after a lovely meal together. The car knocked him into his wife and she was thrown into the other lane and struck by another car coming from the opposite direction. During the next few days in the hospital, he experienced not only agony and fear but also anger. He could not understand why his wife and he had to suffer.

2. As a doctor, why is Dr Barnard upset with sickness?

Answer: Dr Barnard is upset with sickness because suffering seems so cruelly prevalent in the world. He mentioned that of the 125 million children born each year, 12 million are unlikely to reach the age of one and another six million will die before the age of five and, of the rest, many will end up as mental or physical cripples, tells us that suffering is universal. He also was affected by the death of his brother who died while he was still a child and that left a lifetime mark on him.

3. Why is Dr Barnard particularly saddened by sick children?

Answer: Dr Barnard is particularly saddened by sick children because he feels the children trust the doctors and nurses completely. They believe the doctors are going to help them and if they cannot, the children accept their fate. They go through mutilating surgery and afterwards they don’t complain.

V. Going beyond

1. Recollect something that you have lost that was very dear to you. How did you react to that loss? How could you have applied Dr Barnard’s message to deal with it?

Answer: Do it yourself (not important for exams)

2. Imagine you are one of the boys from the Grand Prix. Write a diary entry talking about your problems and how you found the strength to cope with them.

Answer: Do it yourself (not important for exams)

3. Dr Barnard’s recollection describes how his attitude towards suffering changed from being negative to positive. Share the story of what you last changed your opinion about with the class. Be sure to mention what caused the change of heart.

Answer: Do it yourself

Get notes of other chapters of NBSE Class 10 Alt. English


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