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CBSE Class 10 English Book Poem 6 Amanda Explanation and Summary

Class 10 English Poem 6 Amanda

By Robin Klein

Introduction

Robin Klein has expressed the views of a little girl, Amanda who is constantly pointed out by her mother for making mistakes. Mistakes which she considers so as they are not part of the code of good conduct laid out by the society in which we live.About the Author

About the Poet 

Robin Mc Maugh Klein is and Australian author of books for children. She writes Children’s and young adult fiction. Some of her famous books are Hating Alison Ashley, People might hear you, etc.

Class 10 English Poem 6 Amanda Summary

The poem describes a girl named Amanda and her mother who is nagging her for her mistakes. She is first pointed out most probably by her mother for biting her nails and for not sitting in the right posture. The mother also feels that Amanda sits in a very lazy manner. To this, Amanda imagines herself as a mermaid who lives a calm and relaxing life in the beautiful green sea. Further, she is nagged for not cleaning her room and shoes and also for not doing her homework. She then imagines herself to be an orphan because she is now fed up of being watched by her parents continuously. She says that she would have enjoyed her freedom then, by making the patterns of her bare feet on the sand and would live a peaceful life. Next, Amanda is scolded for eating too many chocolates as this causes pimples. She is also scolded for not listening to her mother. 

So, now Amanda thinks of being Rapunzel, a character from a fairy tale and wants to live in a huge tower like her. In the tower she will be alone and will live a peaceful life and will never allow anyone to come in. Finally, the mother asks her to stop being moody because she doesn’t want anyone to blame her for harassing her daughter. At this time the poet has not written any reaction from Amanda’s side. This constant nagging has made her so sad that she has even stopped to imagine herself as someone else. She used to do so in order to escape from the continuous harassment and dominance of her parents. The poet is describing Amanda, a little girl who is always pointed out by her mother for her mistakes and how she imagines her life to be. 

The poet says that the mother is pointing out Amanda for biting nails which is a bad habit. Next she asks her to sit straight without bending her shoulders. Amanda who has habit of bending her shoulders and sitting lazily is being pointed out because her mother wants her to sit in the right posture. At this point of time, when she is being scolded by her mother, she imagines herself to be in a deep green sea. She says that she wants to be the only resident of this beautiful green sea. She imagines herself like a mermaid who is alone there and leads her life in a very relaxing way. She says that she wants to be carried away by the current of water and feel the relaxing environment there

Literary devices: 

  • Anaphora: Repeated use of a word at start of two or more lines (don’t bite… don’t hunch) 
  • Assonance: use of vowel sound ‘o’ (don’t hunch your shoulders)
  • Rhyme: aaba ccc (Amanda, Amanda, straight, Amanda, sea, me, blissfully) 
  • Metaphor: use of word emerald sea for green colour of sea being similar to the colour of emrald Repetition: use of word ‘Amanda’
  • Imagery: drifting blissfully 
  • Alliteration: ‘Stop that slouching and sit up straight’ – ‘s’ sound is being repeated at the start of closely placed words. 
  • Allusion: ‘mermaid’ is a well known imaginary creature.

Here the poet says that Amanda’s mother is inquiring her about whether she has done her homework or not? And then she asks her whether she has cleaned her room or not. Moreover she is also reminded to clean her shoes. So, here we can see that the mother is constantly asking her questions regarding her homework being done or not or whether she had cleaned up her room and shoes or not. But on the other hand, while Amanda is listening to her mother’s instructions, she imagines herself to be an orphan who is roaming in the streets.

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This means that she imagines if she would have been without parents she would have walked freely in the streets. She would have drawn designs on the soft dust with her uncovered feet very quietly. So, we can see that she thinks opposite to her mother. Her mother wants her to keep everything neat and clean. But Amanda wants to play in dust with her bare feet. Moreover, she is so fed up of these constant instructions from her mother, that she says silence is golden which means that silence is very crucial and precious. She further says that freedom is sweet. This means she never feels free when she is with her mother.

Literary devices:

  • Anaphora: Repeated use of a word at start of two or more lines (did you finish….did you tidy) 
  • Rhyme: Rhyme scheme is aada eee (Amanda, Amanda, shoes, Amanda, street, feet, sweet) 
  • Assonance: use of vowel sound ‘o’ (Thought, told, you, your, shoes) 
  • Repetition: use of word ‘Amanda’ 
  • Metaphor: silence is golden – silence is said to be glorious like golden colour freedom is sweet – freedom is said to be sweet in taste.
Next, Amanda’s mother is disallowing her to eat chocolates. She reminds her of pimples that Amanda faces due to eating chocolates. At last she scolds her for not paying attention to what her mother says. At this moment Amanda imagines herself to be Rapunzel. Rapunzel was a character from a fairy tale that was captured in tower by a witch. 

The witch used to climb the tower with the help of long hair of Rapunzel that were let down by her through the window. So, now Amanda wants to be Rapunzel because she feels that life in the tower will be peaceful and unusual. She thinks she will be free and live in a peaceful environment in the tower. She also confirms to herself that she will never let her hair down to anyone so that nobody could come to her in the tower

Literary devices:

  • Allusion: use of famous fairy tale character Rapunzel
  • Rhyme: rhyme scheme aafa ggg (Amanda, Amanda, you, Amanda, care, rare, hair) 
  • Assonance: use of vowel sound ‘e’ and ‘o’ (Will you please look at me when I’m speaking to you Consonance: use of sound ‘r’ (I am Rapunzel; I have not a care Bright hair) 
  • Repetition: use of word ‘Amanda’ 

Amanda’s mother now warns her for behaving in a very odd manner. She asks her to stop being in a bad mood. Moreover she blames her of having such an unstable mood. She also scolds her by saying that her behavior will one day make people think that Amanda was constantly being harassed by her mother. So, here we can say that though Amanda is always pointed out by her mother on every small thing but she can’t react to this. If she reacts towards this by getting emotional her mother takes this against her sense of pride and scolds her that she should not behave like this as others would think that Amanda’s mother is very dominating towards her child. 

Literary Devices: 

  • Alliteration: ‘Stop that sulking’ – ‘s’ sound is repeated at the start of closely placed words 
  • Repetition: use of word ‘Amanda’ Rhyme scheme: aaha (Amanda, Amanda, you, Amanda)

Class 10 English Poem 6 Amanda Explanation

Stanza 1

Don’t bite your nails, Amanda! 
Don’t hunch your shoulders, Amanda! 
Stop that slouching and sit up straight,
Amanda!

In the above lines, Amanda is getting instructed, most probably by her parents for biting nails and sitting lazily with her shoulders bent. The tone of instruction here is not a friendly one and thus fails to make any sense to Amanda. The poet here, focusses on the aspects related to the upbringing of a child (girl) and how parents go to any limit to bring proper sense to their child. Amanda is thus, getting trained for the society she is a part of. The pressure of making oneself presentable to the society triumphs over every other behaviour and manners. The last phrase or word ‘Amanda!’ is used with an exclamation mark which shows the irritation and frustration of the parent.

 Stanza 2

(There is a languid, emerald sea, 
where the sole inhabitant is mea 
mermaid, drifting blissfully.) 
It is to be noted that the above lines are given within brackets. Brackets are used to provide more meaning to the phrase. Here the poet uses it to present the imagination of the little girl, the free-flow of pure thoughts. Amanda uses her imagination as an escape point from day-to-day commands of her parents. 

She feels suffocated in the real world and thus finds peace in her very own created world where there are no restrains. She imagines herself to be a joyful mermaid sailing without any confines alongside soft waves of the green sea. This world of Amanda is free and contained in itself and her happiness doesn’t require any other human being. For a child, mermaid is a symbol of freedom and wonder

Stanza 3

Did you finish your homework, Amanda? 
Did you tidy your room, Amanda? 
I thought I told you to clean your shoes, 
Amanda! 

Amanda is now being asked about whether she has finished her homework, or tidied up her room and also whether she has cleaned her shoes. This set of instructions marks a shift from the instructions given in Stanza 

Now Amanda is being coached about the things that are related to her surroundings. The pattern of instructions explains that how every aspect of her is related to questioning and proper guidance. She is being disciplined for every little thing, making her lose her freedom. Her innocence is eventually getting lost with passage of time. The way these instructions are delivered points out the regular nature of these lessons. Her name being called again with an exclamation mark shows that the parents seem to be losing their cool and are troubled.

Stanza 4 

(I am an orphan, roaming the street. 
I pattern soft dust with m hushed, bare feet.
The silence is golden, the freedom is sweet.)
In this stanza, we once again see Amanda’s reaction to her mother’s harsh words. Amanda withdraws into another imaginary world. The very first line is awfully depressing where Amanda imagines herself to be an orphan suggesting how much frustrated she is with continuous questioning of her parents specially her mother. 

She has no shoes on her feet and instead she is getting them even dirties by making designs on the dusty ground with them. However, she makes no sound while making these dusty designs. She cherishes the silence as well as the freedom to do as she likes that world of her imagination. Her love for silence is a result of the shouting and yelling of her parents.

Stanza 5

Don’t eat the chocolate Amanda!
Remember your acne, Amanda! 
Will you please look at me when I’m speaking to you, 
Amanda! 
The set of instructions provided here indicate how much essential it is for Amanda to understand the value of external beauty, and steps to be taken to preserve it form a very tender age. Amanda is stopped by her parents from eating a chocolate as previously that had caused her acne. Here, we see how a child is made conscious of a natural experience such as acne. However, Amanda is still lost in her own thoughts and doesn’t care enough to look up to her scolding parents. This carelessness further angers the parents and they ask for her attention when she is being scolded. The role of appearance in the society is given more significance than the basic values and creativity.

Stanza 6 

(I am Rapunzel, I have not a care; 
life in a tower is tranquil and rare;
 I’ll certainly never let down my bright hair!)

Amanda is still lost in her down dreams She pictures herself to be the long golden-haired Rapunzel who lived in a castle and had no care about anything. Amanda imagines that the life of Rapunzel must have been very peaceful and fantastic in the tower. But she wishes to evade the fate that was met out to Rapunzel as she is unwilling to let her hair down. 

Amanda doesn’t want her peace to be disturbed anyhow. She seeks a life which is away from any other human form. We can see here how the presence of her parents and their inhuman behaviour had made her against any human connection. Hence, she only wanted to live by herself as the presence of another being in her life would require her to act in a certain way. Amanda wanted to live as a free and happy person.

Stanza 7 

Stop that sulking at once, Amanda! 
You’re always so moody, Amanda! 
Anyone would think that I nagged at you,
Amanda! 
The parents keep instructing Amanda on the dos and don’ts, but Amanda remains lost in her own dreams. The parents believe that Amanda is not reacting because she is annoyed. Amanda’s behaviour has made her parents look bad and they are worried about their image. They are concerned about how society will perceive them if their child always remains in a foul mood. They want to prove themselves as responsible parents who manage to balance out what the child wants and what the society expects out of Amanda. However, they have already failed in their efforts.

Last Lines

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