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Small Pain in My Chest Reference to the Context Class 9,10 ICSE

1- "The soldier boy was sitting calmly underneath........ figutes on the ground lay still by morning's light"
Question a. Why was the soldier boy sitting underneath a tree during the war?

Answer a.The soldier boy was sitting underneath a tree as he was fatally wounded in the war. He was unable to move on therefore he confined himself to the tree's shade.

Question b. What is meant by 'sitting calmly'?What does it show about the condition of the soldier?

Answer b.The meaning of the given phrase is that the soldier was completely exhausted to move on about himself, therefore, he sat down calmly underneath the tree. The condition ofd the soldier was tremendously horrifying as war left him so much disabled that he was unable to get up by himself.

Question c. Why does the soldier ask the narrator to come near him?

Answer c.The soldier boy asked the narrator to come near him to get some help.

Question d. How can you conclude that 'the battle had been long and hard'?

Answer d.The battle had been long and hard can be concluded by the evidence provided in the poem. The battle had been long can be stated when the soldiers were fighting all the night along with the explosion. It was hard as it caused death of near about all the soldier on the battlefield.

Question e. What does the poet want to convey in the above extract?

Answer e.the poet wanted to convey in the given extract that war cauises agony and suffering to a great extent. therfore war must be avoised at every platform of the political atmosphere.


2-"I wonder if you'd help me, sir , he smiled as......for I have a small pain in my chest"
Question a. Who has been referred to by the soldier as 'sir' in the first line of the extract?Where was he at the time?

Answer a.'Sir' has been referred to the narrator on the battlefield. He was on the battlefield on the present time.

Question b. Why does the narrator say that the soldier'smiled as best he could'? Which trait of the soldier is portrayed by his smiling?

Answer b.The narrator said that the soldier smiled as best as he could because he tried to hide his pain while asking for the service. It portrays that soldiers sacrifice their life for the protection of their country without any regrets on their faces.

Question c. Why does the soldier want 'A sip of water'?

Answer c.The soldier boy wanted a sip of water to get some relief from the pain he was struggling from.

Question d. Why couldn't the soldier take any rest? What does it tell us about the condition of the soldier?

Answer d.The soldier boy couldn't take any rest because of the war that went on all night. moreover, there was an explosion that occurred at night that caused death near about all the soldiers. It tells us that the condition of the soldier was sympathetic because he was unable to get up because of been exhausted in the war.

Question e. Why was the soldier having a pain in his chest? Why does he call it 'small'?

Answer e.The soldier boy was having a pain in his chest because of the wound that he availed in the war. The soldier boy stated the wound small as he was a soldier and for him, no physical injuries should affect him.


3-"A I looked at him,I could see the large stain.......I just have a small pain in my chest"
Question a. What caused the large stain on the soldier's shirt?

Answer a.The large stain was caused due to the blood that ran out from his wound which got mixed well with the Asian dirt.

Question b. Give the meaning of the following: warm blood mixed in with Asian dirt.

Answer b.The meaning of the given line is that the warm blood of the soldier boy got mixed with the dirt during the war.

Question c. What does the soldier mean by saying :"Not much"? Why does he say so?

Answer c.The soldier mean to say that he didnot require much water for relief. He says so because his wound was nothing in comparison to the wounds of his dead soldier colleagues.

Question d. Why does the soldier consider himself more lucky than the rest? What has happened to the rest?

Answer d.The soldier boy considered himself more lucky than the rest because all other soldiers were dead due to the explosion at night but he was still leaving state on that battlefield.


4-"Must be fatigue", he weakly smiled.......I felt this small pain in my chest."
Question a. Why does the soldier say that'Must be fatigue'? What is the reason for his fatigue?

Answer a.The soldier said that it must be fatigue because he was feeling weak due to the injury on his chest. The cause of his fatigue was the constant fighting at the night along with the injury on his chest. Moreover the soldier discharged substantial blood from his injury. All these things were the causes of his pathetic condition.

Question b. Why does the soldier smile weakly? What does it tell about the condition of the soldier?

Answer b.The soldier smiled weakly because he was totally exhausted in the war and was suffering from pain in his chest chest. But though he was suffering from this pain yet he was trying hard to smile to hide his pain.

Question c. Why does the soldier feel that he is getting old?

Answer c.The soldier felt that he was getting old because he was feeling fatigued due to prevention of rest in the war. Moreover he was feeling cold due to the discharge of extensive blood from his chest.

Question d. Explain why the soldier feels cold despite the sun shining brightly?

Answer d.The soldier was feeling cold despite the sun was shining brightly in the sky because he was on the verge og dying due to the fatal wound on his chest.

Question e. Give the meaning of: 'The night exploded'. What was the result of this?

Answer e.The meaning of the given line is that there was an explosion at night in the war. the explosion caused the horrifying death of the troop of soldiers leaving this young soldier on the battlefield.


5- "I'm grateful, sir", he whispered , as I handed my canteen........HERE one day with this pain in my chest?"
Question a. Why does the narrator describe the soldier's smile as the brightest that he has ever seen?

Answer a.The narrator described the soldier's smile as the brightest that he has ever seen because the soldier wanted to express his gratitude to the narrator for providing him water as well as to hid his pain so that it did not become relevant to the narrator.

Question b. What does this extract tell us about the physical condition of the soldier?

Answer b.The soldier was suffering from fatal injuries which he acquired due to the explosion last night on battlefield. He endured the wound the whole night under the tree till the narrator approached the battlefield. His shirt was stained due to the blood that mixed with the dirt. The soldier boy was suffering from fatigue.

Question c. Why does the soldier consider it silly to be defeated by a small pain in his chest?

Answer c.The soldier considered it to be silly to be defeated by a small pain in his chest because being a soldier it was deplorable for him to get up just due to a silly injury.

Question d. What does the soldier think about the reaction his wife and mother would have on seeing him sitting on the battlefield because of a pain in his chest?

Answer d.The soldier felt ashamed of himself to think about his wife as well as mother's reaction. It is because his mother would not have imagined this type of pathetic condition when she had held him to her chest.His wife would have never thought of her young and strong husband getting defeated so easily.

Question e. What does 'HERE' in the last line of the extract signify? What is the mental pain suffered by the young soldier?

Answer e.Here refers to the battlefield in the given poem. The soldier was undergoing a mental pain on the battlefield.


6-"Can it be getting dark so soon?.........Large one in my chest."
Question a. Why does the soldier feel that it is getting dark earlier than it used to be?

Answer a.The soldier felt that it is getting dark earlier than it used to be because the soldier was on the verge of losing life. He was also feeling cold and weak due to the injury in his chest during the war.

Question b. Who is 'he' referred to in the first line of the extract? Why does he wince up at the sun?

Answer b.'He' is being referred to as the soldier in the poem. He winced up at the sun to figure out why it was getting darker in the early morning.

Question c. Give the meaning and significance of the following:1-I think, before I travel on, I'll get a little rest.2-I think I must have cried.

Answer c.Meaning: The meaning of the line is that the soldier wanted to take rest before travelling on. Significance: The soldier was on the verge of dying. :2-I think I must have cried. Ans:Meaning: The soldier thought that he must have cried. Significance: The soldier thought like that because the soldier boy after suffering the pain died pathetically for which the narrator was feeling sorry.

Question d. What does the narrator realise when he pulls the soldier towards him?

Answer d.When the narrator pulled the soldier boy towards himselfhe felt their wounds being pressed with each other.He also realised the gravity of the pain that was being endured by the soldier boy.

Question e. Why does the narrator say that he has a large wound in his heart compared to the small one in soldier's chest?

Answer e.The narrator said that he has a large wound in comparison to the soldier because he was badly hurt by the suffering and ultimate death of the soldier. He would remember this pathetic scene whenever he would recall this incident.


7- "As I looked at him, I could....just have a small pain in my chest"
Question a. How does the expression 'Asian dirt' indicate the venture of war? Mention any two hardships experienced by the soldier.

Answer a.The expression 'Asian dirt' indicate that the venue is Asian continent where the war had taken place. War can be explained as a phenomenon that is characterized by brutality and the agony of soldiers and common mass. This soldier boy had to face hardships like fatal injuries and thirst and hunger. Also, other soldiers lost their lives in this horrible butchery. The condition of the soldier boy states that war must be prevented as much as possible because conflicts or bloodshed can never become a solution for any political problems of the different countries.

Question b. Inspite of his injury why didn't the soldier abandon the battlefield?

Answer b.Despite his injury the soldier boy didn't vacate the place because he thought that it is disgraceful for a young soldier like him who is full of vim and zest was leaving the ground only for a small pain due to an injury in his chest.

Question c. Why is the phrase: a small pain in my chest repeated throughout the poem?

Answer c.The phrase small pain in my chest has been repeated throughout the poem to emphasize the misery, pain and the sufferings of the soldier boy in the bloodshed. not only this young soldier boy but all the soldiers like him had to undergo this struggle of pain and traumatising condition for which they are not responsible too.

Question d. Do you like the way the poem ends? Give two reasons to substantiate your opinion.

Answer d.According to my opinion the ending of the poem is not a good one because it terminated in the sorrowful manner. First of all, war should never be supported because it is always delineated with misery and massacre. Similarly in this poem, Small Pain In My Chest the explosion in the war caused the death of Two hundred young soldiers on the battlefield along with pain and suffering. Also, the soldier boy, in the end, died pathetically due to the wound in his chest. These two reasons substantiate my opinion of dislikeness at the end of the poem.

Question e. Small pain in my chest is an anti-war poem. What message does it give to its readers?

Answer e.The message of the Poem Small pain in my chest is straightforward and simple about the traumatizing effects of war. It brings along with us bloodshed, loss of property, and agony of common mass. At every platform of political problems, war must be prevented and discouraged. the solution of politics should be based on peace and mutual cooperation. Historical records show us that many a time the peaceful solution has protected the world from a terrible conflict. Therefore it is always best to set foot with peace and prosperity.

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