The Poem “O Where Are You Going” is the 3rd Poem of 1st Year English Book 3. In this post, we will explain all the stanzas with reference to the context, short questions and answers, and Multiple Choice Questions.
Summary of the Poem, “O Where Are You Going”
The reader (who has been represented as a scared character) warns the rider (who has been represented as a courageous man) that he should not go to the next valley. He tries to scare the rider by saying that it is a deadly valley where furnaces burn. He warns him that the heaps of dung and garbage, lying ahead, will madden him. He will find himself helpless and it will prove to be his grave. Infact, the reader represents the weaker self of a man who tries to scare to undertake ventures in life.
Reference: These lines have been taken from the poem “O Where Are You Going” written by W. H. Auden.
Context: In this thought-provoking poem, the poet has described two different forces of man’s personality. One force frightens him to go ahead in life, whereas, the other force encourages him to move ahead in order to gain ground. This poem shows the inner conflict of man.
Explanation: In these lines, the reader (who has been represented as a scared character) warns the rider (who has been represented as a courageous man) that he should not go to the next valley. He tries to scare the rider by saying that it is a deadly valley where furnaces burn. He warns him that the heaps of dug and garbage, lying ahead, will madden him. He will find himself helpless and it will prove to be his grave. Inface, the reader represents the weaker-self of a man who tries to scare a man to undertake ventures in life.
Explanation: In these lines, the fearer tries to scare the farer that darkness in the way will obstruct him. Dusk will make his way hazy. His diligence will turn into laziness. He would have to walk through granite to grass. He would be exhausted during the journey. Hence, the fearer tries to stop the farer in every possible way.
Explanation: This stanza shows the psychoanalysis of a man that the weaker-self of a man tries to scare him, whereas, the stronger-self of a man notivates him. The weaker-self tries to horrify him with superstitions signs and images of charms and magic in the form of a bird or a ghostly figure or in the form of a fatal disease.
Explanation: In these lines, the hearer replies to the reader, to shut up his mouth and go out of his sight. the stronger-self tells the weaker-self that he is not scared. All the fears are for the fearer. The rider is ready to take initiative with confidence. Infact, the poet wants to give us the message of bravery and courage that success favours the brave.
Questions and Answers (O Where Are You Going)
Q. What kind of feelings does the poet create in the mind of the readers?
Ans. Initially, the poet creates feelings of horror and terror in the minds of the readers. But at the end of the poem, he gives the message of courage and confidence.
Q. What do you feel after reading the poem?
Ans. After reading the poem, one feels confident and courageous in life. One should not feel scared of the challenges of life. One should have the power of decision even in adverse circumstances.
Q. What does the title of the poem signify?
Ans. The title of the poem, “O where are you going” is a kind of warning and it throws light on the difficulties of life. However, he says that man should be courageous to face the challenges of life.
Q. What kind of man the rider is?
Ans. The rider is a bold and courageous person. He is not afraid of dangers. He is ready to face dangers.
Q. How does the reader frighten the rider?
Ans. The reader tries to frighten the rider by telling the stories of burning furnaces, stinking smell, and deep depths in the valley.
Q. How does the rider answer to the reader at the end?
Ans. The rider answers to the reader that all those dangers were only for him, and not for the rider. He leaves him behind and starts his journey.
Q. What is the theme of the poem “O Where Are You Going”?
Ans. The theme of the poem is that life is full of hardships and challenges. One should be courageous and determined. Only those successed in life who dare to face challenges.