Summary of Amanda NCERT class 10
About the poet - Robin Klein is an Australian author of books for children.
Introduction to the poem Amanda – Amanda by Robin Klein addresses an important issue that every child (especially girls) face in their life which is being controlled and monitored by the elders and asked to behave in the way the society expects them to. Poet has given parenthesis in the brackets and these are the thoughts of the Amanda.
Theme of the poem – Through the following poem Robin Klein describes how difficult it is for children to compromise their freedom and behave according to the societal norms as this not only restrains them but also is responsible for making a child lose his/her individuality as controlling all of them would simply take away their uniqueness and originality.
Don’t bite your nails, Amanda!
Don’t hunch your shoulders, Amanda!
Stop that slouching and sit up straight,
(There is a languid, emerald sea,
where the sole inhabitant is me—
a mermaid, drifting blissfully.)
1) Hunch - raise (one's shoulders) and bend the top of one's body forward
2) Slouching - sitting in a lazy way
3) Languid - relaxed
4) Emerald – a gemstone that is green in colour
5) Sole – one and only
6) Inhabitant - a person or animal that lives in or occupies a place
7) Drifting - carried slowly by a current of air or water.
In the following stanza Amanda’s mother is scolding her, telling that she should not look lazy and drowsy and so she should sit straight without stooping her shoulders or slouching on the sofa. We come to know that Amanda’s mother is very nagging and continuously monitors and control her which is why when her mother is asking her to do all these things she is lost in her own thoughts, in a place where she is truly free to be anything she wants, live, walk, sit or stand the way she likes. She imagines that she lives like a mermaid in the beautiful sea that looks emerald green and the only person that lives or dwells there is Amanda herself living a relaxed life. This shows that she longs for freedom.
Did you finish your homework, Amanda?
Did you tidy your room, Amanda?
I thought I told you to clean your shoes,
(I am an orphan, roaming the street.
I pattern soft dust with my hushed, bare feet.
The silence is golden, the freedom is sweet.)
1) Tidy - clean
2) Orphan – a child whose parents have passed away, or who is abandoned by the family just after birth.
3) Roaming – moving about aimlessly especially over a wide area.
4) Hushed - very quiet and still.
5) Bare – naked, uncovered
In the second stanza too, we see that Amanda’s mother is still scolding her and asking her to finish her homework, clean her room as well as shoes. However, we see in the parenthesis what Amanda actually feels like doing. In the world she pictures she imagines herself to be an orphan because then there would be no one to scold her or nag her and she could live freely the way she wants. Her ears are so fed up of constant nagging that she literally feels that in her world there will be silence and this silence would be golden or worth than gold and the freedom she will experience will be sweet and not bitter like her mother’s scolding. Her feet would be uncovered or without any shoes quiet and calm soaked in soft dust creating a pattern or some design. The fact that she wishes to be an orphan itself signifies the amount of pressure she feels and how society’s code of conduct has made her to think so. This also shows that the mother does not share a very god and healthy relationship with her daughter because she fails to understand what her daughter likes.
Don’t eat that chocolate, Amanda!
Remember your acne, Amanda!
Will you please look at me when I’m speaking to you,
(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!)
1) Acne - a skin condition characterized by red pimples on the skin
2) Rapunzel - Rapunzel is a German fairy tale about a young woman named Rapunzel with impossibly long hair and who lives alone in a tower, held captive by a witch.
3) Tranquil - free from disturbance.
On one hand Amanda’s mother is asking her not to eat chocolate because that would cause acne which usually happens with teenagers at this age as their body is undergoing many changes. Her mother further asks her to look at her while she is talking to her as these are not good manners and it shows that you are being disrespectful towards the one who is talking to you and disinterested as well. On the other hand, Amanda feels that she is Rapunzel and like she lived in her tower and did not care about the outside world she also wants to live in such peace and tranquillity. However, unlike Rapunzel she refuses to let down her long golden hair with the help of which people can climb up to her tower because she does not want anyone to accompany her and interrupt her peace.
Stop that sulking at once, Amanda!
You’re always so moody, Amanda!
Anyone would think that I nagged at you,
1) Sulking - bad-tempered out of annoyance or disappointment.
2) Nagged - harass (someone) constantly to do something that they are averse to.
The last stanza of the poem Amanda is quite ironic because it is her mother who nags her which makes Amanda sad and disappointed but her mother asks her not to feel sad even because that way anyone could figure out that she has been nagged! This shows the amount of control Amanda’s behaviour as well. This also shows that how difficult it becomes for children to fit in the societal norms as this results in souring the relationships at home.
POETIC DEVICES USED IN POEM
1) First stanza – aaba ccc
2) Second stanza – aafa ggg
3) Third stanza - aada eee
4) Fourth stanza – aaha