Answer :

A. (i) Tao Ying’s son was refused entry at the temple because she didn’t show his ticket. She didn’t buy a ticket because she assumed that her child was exempted from it. Tao Ying started panicking when she saw her child wanted to go back to her. She argued that it was written behind the ticket that a child below 110 centimetres would be exempted from a ticket and so she didn’t buy one. They asked her to measure his son’s height, which was one centimetre above the limit. She insisted on re-measuring his height with her yellow tape because she wanted to show that he was shorter than the required height for a ticket.

(ii) Tao Ying re-measured her son’s height to make him look shorter than 110 centimetres so that she would be exempted from a ticket. But his son disapproved of this because he didn’t trust her mother’s measurement and argued that everybody said he was tall except her because she didn’t want to buy a ticket for him. His mother was holding a yellow tape in her hand, which became a poisonous viper in the eyes of her son. Tao Ying hit her son accidentally while trying to smooth down his hair. As a result, he ran away, which made Tao Ying believe that she was losing him.


B. (i) The woman being talked about is Frau Frieda. She had met the writer about 35 years ago in Vienna. The ring bothered the narrator because he had seen the same snake ring and observed her wearing it always. It added to her personality and provided mystery and power to her. To be assured that it was the same woman he wanted to check the finger on which she wore the ring as he has seen Frau Frieda wear it on the right-hand forefinger.


(ii)The snake ring intrigued the writer because it was a gold ring shaped like a serpent with emerald eyes. It was special because Frau Frieda to whom the ring belonged used to make her living by selling dreams to people and interpreting them. It was their family custom of telling dreams before breakfast. She believed herself to be a dream teller and the one who could see the future. She would never take this ring off her right forefinger.


C. (i) This poem describes the four virtues, namely mercy, pity, peace, and love. The poet states the pity and poverty go hand in hand. Pity would not exist without poverty and human sufferings. Also, mercy would not be required if everyone was happy. The poet advises everyone to sprinkle kindness wherever they see poverty.


(ii) In these lines, the poet visualizes a society free from poverty or any unhappiness. The poet denies accepting these as ideal virtues because an ideal world would be the one where there is no need for any pity or mercy because everyone would be happy and spread peace and love in the world.


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