On the Face of It | Susan Hill | Chapter 6 | Vistas | Class 12 | English |


On the Face of It | Susan Hill | Chapter 6 | Vistas | Class 12 | English |

Summary of On the Face of It

Derry is a young lad of fourteen who has pessimistic approach towards others and himself due to an incident which burnt his half of the face. Therefore, he often avoids people and looks for places which have no signs of humans. He thinks people either get afraid of him or make fun of his deformity whenever he comes across them. Having seen an empty garden, he enters there stealthily.

Having entered there, he finds Mr. Lamb there who is the owner of that garden. Mr. Lamb puts Derry at ease stating that former can sit there as long as he wants.  But Derry keeps on talking about his half-burnt face and the terror it creates among the minds of the people. Having listened to him, Mr. Lamb understands the gravity of the situations and tries to mould him with his words and impeccable examples.

He tells Derry that he is also deformed and has a tin leg. Besides, he elaborates how Children ridicule him by calling him Lamey Lamb.  He further adds that he never minds their words because he has accepted his reality and learnt the way to live life blissfully. In spite of all that, he makes toffees, jellies for children.

Having heard him for a while, Derry states the reason of disliking his mother since she kisses him on the clear side of the face instead of kissing him on the burnt side.  He adds that how people hurt his sentiments saying the words he never wants to listen. Mr. Lamb sets a few examples to transmute his perspective towards the life and other people and eventually manage to succeed. He narrates him a story wherein a man dies when a picture falls upon his head with a message that whatever happens, happens for a reason which makes Derry laugh.

Ultimately, his ego is slightly hurt when Mr. Lamb tells him that he is always making excuses of his half-burnt face further stating that he would never come back to his garden. Derry takes his words seriously, runs back to home, argues with his mother and comes back to his garden in order to exhibit that he too can do the things. But, to his surprise, he finds Mr. Lamb lying dead on the ground. All of a sudden, he starts crying and shouting saying that he has come back. Mr. Lamb, though dead now, finally manages to change a pessimistic boy into an optimistic one ultimately.

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Short Answer Type Questions of On the Face of It

Q1. Who was Derry? What complex did he have?

Derry was a young boy of fourteen whose half face was burnt due to an acid. He always looked for vacant place to live because he thought people made fun of him.

Q2. Why was Derry startled on entering the garden?

Derry was startled on entering the garden because he had not expected anybody there. When he entered there, he found that somebody else was already present there.

Q3. Who was Mr. Lamb? Why did he keep his doors opened?

Mr. Lamb was the owner of that garden where Derry had entered stealthily. He always kept his doors opened because he welcomed everybody whosoever came to his garden.

Q4. How did Children make fun of Mr. Lamb? Did he mind their words?

Children made fun of Mr. Lamb by calling him lamey lamb but he never minded their words because he had accepted his reality and learnt the way to live life. He made toffees, jellies & lollies for children, yet they made fun of him.

Q5. How did people console Derry against his complex?

People consoled Derry by giving him certain examples like he should look at the people who are worse than him, should pay attention to his work instead of his burnt face and many more.

Q6. Why did Derry despise his mother?

Derry despised his mother because he thought she was partial to him. She always kissed him on the clear side of the face instead of kissing him on the burnt side which made him think like that about his mother.

Q7. What complex did Mr. Lamb have?

Mr. Lamb had a tin leg that he had lost one of his legs in the war. But he was extremely positive about his personality and never took anybody’s words gravely. He was matured enough to take his decisions.

Q8. “So you are not lost completely” Why did Mr. Lamb utter these words?

Mr. Lamb uttered these words when he got to know that Derry liked his garden & home. Seeing the liking of Derry & his positivism, he uttered these words. He considered Derry as a negative person but he had some positive things left in him.

Q9. What made Derry laugh?

Derry laughed when Mr. Lamb made him hear a story of a man who had locked himself in a room due to fear of death. But he died because a picture fell down on his head. Hearing this story, he started laughing.

Q10. What did the lady remark on seeing Derry in the market?

The lady remarked that he had got such an ugliest face that could only be loved by his mother. Derry was surprised to hear that how could people be so mean to him and his burnt face.

Q11. How did Mr. Lamb challenge Derry to test him?

Mr. Lamb told him that so many people had assured him to come back to his home but no one did. He challenged him if he could do so. He just wanted to provoke Derry so that he could succeed in his mission.

Q12. “You should not believe all you hear.” Why did Derry say those words to her mother?

That statement was once delivered Mr. Lamb to Derry when he told him about the comment of the woman in the market. He repeated the same words to his mother when she told him that Mr. Lamb was not a good person.

Q13. Why did Derry want to go back to Mr. Lamb?

Derry wanted to go back to Mr. Lamb because he was the only person who had encouraged him to be optimistic. If he had some positivism that day, it was because of Mr. Lamb.

Q14. What did Derry notice on reaching the garden again?

Derry noticed that Mr. Lamb was lying dead having been fallen from the ladder while plucking the apple. He was shocked to see that the man, who had recently challenged him to come back, was no more in this world.

Q15. Why did Derry have tears in his eyes?

Derry had tears in his eyes because he wanted to stay with Mr. Lamb as he was the only person who had transformed his life completely. Mr. Lamb had changed him from a pessimistic to an optimistic.

Q16. What doubt did Derry’s mother have about Mr. Lamb?

Derry’s mother thought that Mr. Lamb was not a good person who distracted the children from their path. Moreover, she had heard ill of him from somebody. That’s why she did not want her son to go to his house again.

Long Answer Type Question of On the Face of It

Q1. How did Mr. Lamb change Derry’s negative energy into optimism?

When Mr. Lamb observed that Derry was completely lost, he tried his level best to make him sit with him. He asked Derry about his liking and tried to clear all the doubts whatever he had in his mind. He told him that beauty lies in the eyes of a man not in his physical appearance. He made him hear a story which was about a man who wanted to escape his death. Hearing that story, he laughed a lot. By giving him many examples like weeds and plants, bees singing and many more, he changed his personality completely. In the end, Derry got ready to come to his home which shows that he was very much influenced with his personality.

He reached his home and found that he was no more. Having felt that he was no more, he started crying which shows his emotions were aroused by the positivism of Mr. Lamb. Now he was a complete personality who considered that the work done by an individual is more important than his physical appearance.

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