Here, you will find summaries, questions, answers, textbook solutions, pdf, extras etc., of (West Bengal Board) WBBSE Class 10 (Madhyamik) English Lesson 8: The Snail William Cowper. These solutions, however, should be only treated as references and can be modified/changed.
The poem explores the solitary world of a snail through close and vivid observation of its habits and habitat. The snail moves slowly, sticking closely to surfaces like grass, leaves, fruit, or walls, moving along without any fear of falling. The snail and its shell seem fused together, moving as one integrated being. The shell provides a secure home where the snail can retreat for safety when danger threatens from storms or bad weather. Just a light touch on its horns makes the snail quickly shrink back into its shell in displeasure, taking cover in its hard enclosure.
The poem reveals how the snail leads an isolated, self-contained existence. Wherever it lives, it dwells alone, without companions or possessions, except for its own shell. The snail needs nothing and no one else to be satisfied, content to be its own “whole treasure.” Through precise and vivid description, the poet takes us inside the snail’s tiny world, showing how it lives in a self-sufficient way within its protective shell. The snail’s habits and habitat are observed in minute detail, providing an intimate glimpse into its small yet completely self-sustaining universe. The poem uses close observation of a single snail to reflect on ideas of solitude, self-reliance, security, and oneness with nature.
To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall
The snail sticks close, nor fears to fall
As if he grew there, house and all,
The snail sticks closely to surfaces like grass, leaves, fruit or walls without fear of falling. It seems as if the snail and its shell grow together from the surface.
Within that house secure he hides
When danger imminent betides
Of storm, or other harm besides
Inside its hard shell, the snail hides securely when any imminent danger like a storm or bad weather threatens it.
Give but his horns the slightest touch,
His self-collecting pow’r is such,
He shrinks into his house with much
If you just slightly touch the snail’s horns, it will quickly shrink back into its shell, showing its ability to withdraw into itself. This is done with much displeasure or irritation.
Where’er he dwells, he dwells alone,
Except himself has chatells none,
Well satisfied to be his own
Wherever the snail lives, it lives alone, without any possessions or belongings. It is quite satisfied to be solitary and its own master.
1. Choose the correct alternative to complete the following sentences:
(a) With the slightest touch, the snail shrinks into its house with
(i) displeasure (ii) pleasure (iii) pain (iv) surprise
Answer: (i) displeasure
(b) In its house, the snail lives with
(i) parents (ii) friends (iii) relatives (iv) no one
Answer: (iv) no one
2. State whether the following statements are True or False. Provide sentences/phrases/words in support of your answer:
(a) The snail fears to fall from the wall.
Answer: False. “The snail sticks close, nor fears to fall”
(b) The snail comes out of his house during a storm.
Answer: False. “Within that house secure he hides When danger imminent betides Of storm”
3. Answer the following questions:
(a) What does the snail usually stick itself to?
Answer: The snail sticks to surfaces like grass, leaves, fruit or walls.
(b) What makes the snail well-satisfied?
Answer: The snail is well-satisfied to live alone and be its own master, without needing any possessions or belongings.
Grammar in use
4. Change the following sentences into questions, as directed:
(a) Siraj always rises early. (Interrogative sentence using ‘does’)
Answer: Does Siraj always rise early?
(b) Joyce is the best singer in the class. (Information question using ‘who’)
Answer: Who is the best singer in the class?
(c) He saw the rainbow. (Interrogative sentence using ‘did’)
Answer: Did he see the rainbow?
(d) I go to school by bus. (Information question using ‘how’)
Answer: How do I go to school?
5. Write a letter (within 100 words) to the editor of an English daily about the disturbances caused by the thoughtless use of loudspeakers.
Kolkata, West Bengal
July 31, 2023
Subject: Thoughtless use of loudspeakers
I am writing to draw your attention to the noise pollution caused by the rampant use of loudspeakers in public places.
Loudspeakers are often played at unbearably high volumes near schools, hospitals and residential areas. This causes immense disturbance to students, patients and people at home. The sounds breach privacy and make concentration difficult.
I request the authorities to enforce strict laws on loudspeaker use. Zones such as silence zones near exam centers, hospitals and courts must be implemented.
I hope you will highlight this issue and help curb noise pollution.
A concerned citizen
1. Where does the snail hide when in danger?
A. Under a leaf B. In his house C. In a shell D. In a hole
Answer: B. In his house
2. What causes the snail to retreat into his house with displeasure?
A. A touch to his horns B. The sound of a bird C. The touch of rain D. The sight of a human
Answer: A. A touch to his horns
3. What does the poem suggest the snail is well satisfied with?
A. Other snails B. Being his own whole treasure C. Eating leaves D. Crawling on the wall
Answer: B. Being his own whole treasure
4. According to the poem, the snail dwells alone. What does this suggest?
A. The snail is solitary B. The snail is a social creature C. The snail is afraid of other creatures D. The snail enjoys company
Answer: A. The snail is solitary
5. What does the snail use for self-protection?
A. His speed B. His horns C. His ability to fly D. His strength
Answer: B. His horns
6. What does the snail do when he perceives danger?
A. He hides under a leaf B. He runs away C. He shrinks into his house D. He climbs a tree
Answer: C. He shrinks into his house
7. In the poem, what is referred to as the snail’s “chatells”?
A. His friends B. His possessions C. His children D. His food
Answer: B. His possessions
8. How does the snail react to an imminent storm?
A. He prepares for a journey B. He hides in his house C. He stays out and enjoys the weather D. He searches for food
Answer: B. He hides in his house
Extra true, false, supporting statement
1. The snail enjoys climbing up walls and trees.
Answer: False. “To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall / The snail sticks close, nor fears to fall”.
2. The snail’s house provides protection when threatened.
Answer: True. “Within that house secure he hides / When danger imminent betides”.
3. The snail comes out quickly if its horns are touched.
Answer: False. “Give but his horns the slightest touch, / His self-collecting pow’r is such, / He shrinks into his house with much / Displeasure.”
4. The snail likes to live with other creatures.
Answer: False. “Except himself has chatells none”.
5. The snail finds fulfillment in material possessions.
Answer: False, “Well satisfied to be his own / Whole treasure”.
6. The poet observes the snail’s world closely.
Answer: True. “in minute detail”.
Extra questions and answers
1. What does the snail stick close to, according to the poem?
Answer: The snail sticks close to grass, leaf, fruit, or wall.
2. What does the snail do when he senses danger?
Answer: When the snail senses danger, such as a storm or other weather-related harm, he hides securely within his house.
3. What kind of reaction does the snail show when his horns are touched?
Answer: If his horns are touched, the snail shows displeasure and retreats into his house.
4. Does the snail live with others?
Answer: No, the poem states that the snail lives alone.
5. What is considered the snail’s “whole treasure” in the poem?
Answer: The snail is well satisfied to be his own whole treasure.
6. Does the snail fear to fall?
Answer: No, the poem indicates that the snail doesn’t fear to fall, sticking close to whatever surface it’s on as if he grew there.
7. What can make the snail shrink into his house?
Answer: The slightest touch to his horns can make the snail shrink into his house.
8. What are the things that the snail perceives as dangers?
Answer: The poem mentions dangers such as storms or other harmful weather conditions.
9. How does the poem describe the snail’s sense of safety?
Answer: The poem describes the snail’s sense of safety as being within his house, where he hides when danger is imminent.
10. What does the poem suggest about the snail’s relationship with its environment?
Answer: The poem suggests that the snail feels closely connected to its environment, sticking to grass, leaf, fruit, or wall as if he grew there. He is also content to be alone and possess only himself as his whole treasure.
Get notes of other boards, classes, and subjects