English Class 11

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow: 

  1. The tests of life are its plus factors. Overcoming illness and suffering moulds character. Steel is iron plus fire, soil  is rock plus heat. Sometimes the plus factor is more readily seen by the simple-hearted. Myers tells the story of a mother  who brought into her home - as a companion to her own son- a little boy with a hunchback. She had warned her son to  be careful, not to refer to his disability. The boys were playing and after a few minutes she overheard her son say to his  companion “Do you know what you have got on your back?” The little boy was embarrassed, but before he could reply,  his playmate continued, “It is the box in which your wings are, and some day God is going to cut it open and then you  will fly away and be an angel.”  
  1. Often it takes a third eye or a change in focus, to see the plus factor. Walking along the corridors of a hospital  recently where patients were struggling with fear of pain and tests, I was perturbed. What gave me a fresh perspective  were the sayings put up everywhere, intended to uplift. One saying made me conscious of the beauty of the universe  in the midst of pain, suffering and struggle. The other saying assured me that God was with me when I was in deep  water and that no troubles would overwhelm me.  
  2. The import of those sayings also made me aware of the nectar springs that flow into people’s lives when they  touch rock bottom or are lonely or guilt ridden. The nectar springs make recovery possible, and they bring peace and  patience in the midst of negative forces.  
  3. The forces of death and destruction are more psychological than physical. When malice, hatred and hard  heartedness prevail, they get channeled as forces of destruction. Where openness, peace and good heartedness prevail,  the forces of life gush forth to regenerate hope and joy. The life force is triumphant when love overcomes fear. Both fear  and love are deep mysteries, but the effect of love is to build, whereas fear tends to destroy. Love is generally the plus  factor that helps build character. It creates bonds and its reach is infinite.


Q. 1. On the basis of your reading of the above passage,  make notes using headings and subheadings. Use  recognisable abbreviations wherever necessary.  Use a format you consider suitable. (5 Marks)  



                                                The Tests of Life   

  1. Necessity of the Tests of Life:  
  1. Illness & suffering mould charctr.  
  2. Simple hearted-view disability pstvly.  
  1. Change in focus  

            a.    Sayings in hospital:  

                       i) Awaken to the beauty of universe amidst  pain & suffering  

                       ii) Makes us realise the presence of God  

                       iii) Give strength to overcome obstacles,  

                       iv) Bring peace  

  1. Forces of Destruction:  

             a.    Not physical but psychic & psychlgcal.  

             b.    Malice, hatred & hard heartedness  

  1. Forces of Life:  

              a.    Regenerate hope & joy

              b.    Overcome fear, build charctr.  



                                                                   Key to Abbreviations  

















Q. 2. Write a summary of the above passage in about 50  words. Supply an appropriate title to it. (3 Marks)  



The tests of life like illness and suffering  build character. The simple hearted person views  disability as signs of hope and the presence of God.  A change in focus is required to give us strength  to overcome obstacles. The forces of destruction  can be overcome by the power of love and good  heartedness. 


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CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 14 years and a teacher from the past 18 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo