CBSE Class-12 Compartment Exam 2019 : Question Paper-English Elective (C)
SECTION A — (Reading) 30
1. Read the passage given below : 10
1 My father was the son of a poor cottager, and while still a boy he grew up and left home. When he was barely thirteen years old he took his school bag and set forth from his native village. Despite the discouragement of villagers who could speak from ‘experience’, father went on to Vienna to learn a trade there. This was in the fiftieth year of the last century. It was a painful trial, that of deciding to leave home and face the unknown with three golden coins in his pocket. But when the boy of thirteen was a lad of seventeen and had passed his apprenticeship examination as a craftsman he was not content. Quite the contrary. The continuing economic depression of that period and the constant want and misery strengthened my father’s determination to give up working at a trade and strive for ‘something higher’. As a boy it had seemed to him that the position of the priest in his native village was the highest in the scale of human achievement; but now that the big city had enlarged his outlook, the young man looked up to the dignity of a state official as the highest of all. With the determination of one whom misery and trouble had already made old when only half-way through his youth, the young man of seventeen obstinately set out on his new project and stuck to it until he had succeeded. Father became a civil servant. He was about twenty-three years old, I think, when he succeeded in making himself what he had resolved to become. Thus he was able to fulfill the promise he had made as a poor boy not to return to his native village until he was ‘somebody’.
2 Now at last, when father was fifty-six years old, he gave up his active career; but he could not bear to be idle for a single day. On the border of the small market town of Lam Bach in Upper Austria he bought a working farm and tilled it himself. Thus, at the end of a long and hard-working career, he came back to the life which his father had led.
3 It was during this period that I first began to have ideas of my own. I spent a good deal of time scampering about in the open, on the long road from school, and mixing up with some of the roughest of the boys, which caused my mother many anxious moments. All this tended to make me something quite the reverse of a stay-at-home. I gave scarcely any serious thought to the question of choosing a vocation in life, but I was certainly quite out of sympathy with the kind of career which my father had followed. I think that a natural talent for speaking now began to develop and take shape during the more or less heated arguments which I used to have with my comrades. I had become a juvenile ring-leader who learned well and easily at school but was rather difficult to manage. In my free time I practised singing in the choir of the monastery church at Lam Bach, and thus it happened that I was placed in a very favourable position to be emotionally impressed again and again by the magnificent splendour of a church ceremonial. What could be more natural for me than to look upon the Abbot as representing the highest human ideal worth working for, just as the position of the humble village priest had appeared to my father in his own boyhood days ? At least that was my idea for a while. But the juvenile disputes I had with my father did not lead him to appreciate his son’s oratorical gifts in such a way as to see in them a favourable promise for such a career, and so he naturally could not understand the boyish ideas I had in my head at that time. This contradiction in my character made him feel somewhat anxious.
1.1 On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer the following questions very briefly : 1x6=6
(a) Why was leaving home considered a sore trial ?
(b) What led to father’s discontentment ?
(c) In what way did a big city change father’s thinking ?
(d) What had the writer’s father resolved to become and why ?
(e) What did he do to keep himself busy ?
(f) Which boyish ideas of the writer were not appreciated by his father ?
1.2 Choose the meanings of the words given below from the given options : 1x4=4
(ii) Running about
(ii) Speaking skills
(ii) Magnificently beautiful