Childhood class 11 Central Idea & Explaination

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Childhood class 11 Central Idea

In this poem, the poet thinks deeply over the question of his lost childhood. Childhood is a stage of innocence in which the child believes others and loves unconditionally. The poet has tried to identify some stages of his life when his thoughts and perceptions of the world changed. The poem describes the first step to maturity or
loss of childhood as when one is able to think logically and rationally. Forming one’s own opinion and not
getting influenced by others is also a sign of maturity or loss of childhood. The poem also hints at the hypocrisy
prevalent in our society, where people pretend to be nice to each other but in reality they do not like each other.

childhood Poem class 11 Central Idea Explanation

childhood Poem class 11 Stanza 1

When did my childhood go?
Was it the day I ceased to be eleven,
Was it the time I realised that Hell and Heaven,
Could not be found in Geography,
And therefore could not be,
Was that the day!

Word Meanings

go – end; ceased to be – stopped being;

Explanation The poet wonders when he lost his childhood. He reflects that perhaps it was the day when he crossed the age of eleven. Maybe it was the stage when he realised that the concepts of Hell and Heaven, about which he had been taught since his childhood, did not exist in reality. Geography textbooks did not give the location of any such places. The poet realises that he might have lost his childhood when he gained

childhood Poem class 11 Stanza 2

When did my childhood go?
Was it the time I realised that adults were not
all they seemed to be,
They talked of love and preached of love,
But did not act so lovingly,
Was that the day!

Explanation In this stanza, the poet reflects that maybe the loss of childhood occurred when he was able to see through the hypocrisy of adults. These people followed double standards, actually following and preaching different standards of behaviour.

They told the poet to be loving and caring; however they themselves were argumentative, violent and discourteous. Their behaviour was far from the love they sermonised about and advocated so reverently to the child.

childhood Poem class 11 Stanza 3

When did my childhood go?
Was it when I found my mind was really mine,
To use whichever way I choose,
Producing thoughts that were not those of other
people, But my own, and mine alone
Was that the day!

Word Meanings

really mine – when not influenced by others’ opinions;

Explanation The poet asks the same question again and again. He is trying to guess when he actually lost his childhood. Perhaps, it was the day when he realised that his mind could think independently, form his own opinions and was able to take his own decisions. He gained a sense of individuality, which set him free from the preconceived opinions of others. His own individual opinions and experiences shape his thoughts now and he realised that this might have been the time when he lost his childhood innocence completely.

childhood Poem class 11 Stanza 4

Where did my childhood go?
It went to some forgotten place,
That’s hidden in an infant’s face,
That’s all I know.

Word Meanings

forgotten – unremembered;

Explanation In this stanza, instead of wondering about the time, the poet wonders about the location where his childhood has gone. He realises that his childhood has gone been lost forever. He can never relish his childhood now.

The only way in which he can see his childhood is by looking at. The innocent face of a child who does not have
any pretensions and rationality and who trusts others unconditionally. In other words, one can find one’s own
childhood in a small child’s innocent face and that is everything that the poet knows.

Poetic Devices Used in the Poem

  • Alliteration In this figure of speech, a number of words having the same first consonant sound occur close together in a series. For example: ‘Hell and Heaven’, ‘that the day’, ‘my mind’, ‘whichever way,’ etc.
  • Antithesis This figure of speech refers to the placement of opposing or contrasting ideas together. It can be seen in the use of words Hell and Heaven.
  • Enjambent This figure of speech refers to the practice of running lines of poetry from one to the next without using any kind of punctuation to indicate a stop. The example is in the second line of the second stanza.
  • Personification It is the attribution of human characteristics to non-human things. In the poem, ‘childhood’ is personified in the line ‘It went to some forgotten place’.
  • Repetition It is the repetition of a word or a phrase to put emphasis or bring poetic effect. In the poem, the
    phrases, ‘‘when did my childhood go? ‘‘and’’ was it that day!’’ is repeated to emphasise the difference between childhood and adulthood.

I hope that the notes childhood class 11 will be of great assistance to you, and that if you study it carefully, you will be able to pass the CBSE exam. If you have any questions or concerns with childhood class 11 summary , please post them in the comments below or contact us and we will do our best to answer them. CrackCBSE professionals prepared this childhood class 11 extract questions if you notice any errors, kindly let us know by leaving a comment. the childhood class 11

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