Word Meaning, Summary, Important Questions Of Chapter 6 On the Face of It
| Class 12

Chapter 4 A Thing of Beauty

Hindi Meaning Of Difficult Words | Chapter 6 On the Face of It

1RustlingSound when tree leaves moveसरसराहटmurmur, scuffling
2Walk tentativelyWalk aimlessly or hesitantlyअस्थायी रूप से चलेंmove cautiously
3Screen of bushesGroup of bushesझाड़ियों की स्क्रीनcurtain of bushes
4Close at Handvery nearबहुत निकटclose, nearby, not far away
5Startledsurprisedचौंकाamazed, tremble
6Empty placeplace where nobody livesखाली जगहspace, vacuum, gap
7Lad boyबालकchild, tad
8ScrumpSteal a fruitबगीचे या बाग़ से फल चुरानाwhip, steal, pilfer
9UnderneathActually, in your thoughtsअंदर सेinside
10Whole of youyour complete personalityआप का पूरा collectively, jointly
11Magic fruitVery good fruitजादू का फलmiracle fruit, miracle berry
12Give me a handhelp meसहायता करनाredound, relieve
13BesideNearपास मेंbeside, hereabout
14WeedUnwanted grassजंगली घासtrash
15Tin legArtificial leg of metalटिन पैर…………
16Blown offcut in a bomb blastस्फोट पृथकनbroken off, ditched, dumped,
17Silken ladderweb of a spiderमकड़ी का जालाcobweb, spiderweb, gossamer.
18Monstroushorribleराक्षसीtribble, demonic, infernal
19Now and thenOccasionallyअब और तबSometimes, periodically
20Wet seasonRainy Seasonबारिश का मौसमmonsoon season.
21Draft in your headMentally sickमानसिक रूप से बीमारderanged, insane.
22DribbleWater coming out of mouthलार बहानाslobber, ooze
23Went byCrossed, Went aheadगुज़रनाundergo, wend, pass off
24WhisperedSpoke in low voiceफुसफुसाएgossip, hearsay, scuttlebutt
25PeculiarStrangeअजीबUnusual, weird, odd
26HiveHouse of beesमधुमुखी का छत्ताbeehive, swarm.
27BuzzSound of beesभनभनाना hum, ping
28TrespassingEntering without permissionघुसनाpenetration, infiltration
29SwishMove quickly in air with a soundसर-सरrustle, sough, susurration
30Get on betterbecome betterबेहतर हो जानाboost, Develop, grow.
31SignifyTo be importantमहत्त्वपूर्ण होनाcount, signify, weigh
32Make outAssessपता लगानाFind out, Determine
33To make fussworry or get angry without causeबेचैन होनाthink too much of, undulate
34Nobody caresnobody bothersकिसी को परवाह नहींno one is interested, no one minds
35Dafymadपागलstupid, unreasonable, crazy
36ThumpSound of fallingमार की आवाज़slap, pummel, punch
37CreakSound of bendingचरमराहटsound of breaking or grinding
38Devilbad personशैतान Lucifer, Beelzebub

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About The Poet | Susan Hill | Chapter 6 On the Face of It

Susan Hill was born on February 5, 1942 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. She is a writer and a producer, known for ‘The Woman in Black, ‘The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death. She is a novelist, playwright and a publisher. She wrote her first novel, ‘The Enclosure’ at the age of 15. She won the Somerset Maughan Award and the Whitbread Award for her novels.

Short Summary Of Chapter 6 On the Face of It
In English

Derry was a pessimist teenager, who was withdrawn from the mainstream society. He developed this attitude after one side of his face was disfigured by acid. He avoided company of others and remained lonely so that he is not noticed by other people. He believed that no one loved him. His mother, he thought, loved him out of compulsion. His ugliness invites the curiosity of some, the pity of others and disgust of many. He is often subjected to stares of people who are either scared of his ugly face or disgusted by it. His family too, during discussions expressed their concern for his future. This made him withdraw and he is locked in his own world. He developed bitterness and self-pity. He also heard rude remarks from insensitive people who went to the extent of saying that he should have been put in a hospital where he would have met people of the same kind. His self confidence was shattered. He used to stay away from the people.

One day in order to find some solace he walks in slowly and cautiously to Mr. Lamb’s garden. Mr. Lamb’s voice offering him apples startled him. Mr. Lamb tried to reassure him and also cautioned him to save himself from the fallen apples otherwise it may cause him to trip. Derry gets scared and told him that he was not expecting anyone to be there. Mr. Lamb reassured him and welcomed him to the garden. He said that he saw Derry had climbed the wall even though the gates were open. Derry got angry and said he did not come to steal anything. Mr. Lamb reassured him that young boys steal the apples and Derry was not so young. He should not be scared. Derry said people are scared of him because of his ugly face.

Mr. Lamb said that he would get the ladder, pluck apples and make some jelly. This makes Derry think that even Mr. Lamb is trying to avoid the conversation like others. He asked Mr. Lamb if he was not interested in knowing about what happened to his face. To this Mr. Lamb replied that he was interested in everything God has made and outer beauty or physical appearance is inconsequential. He respected each creation’s individuality. Just as Mr. Lamb was old and Derry was young, Derry burned his face and Mr. Lamb had a tin leg. Derry asked him about his leg and he told it was blown off years back. Children used to call him ‘Lamey-Lamb. But soon everybody got tired of teasing him. He asks Derry to adopt the same attitude. Derry is however filled with bitterness against the world even his mother. He said his mother kisses him on the other side of his face not the burnt side. Mr. Lamb advises him to look at the bright side of the life and the beautiful things of the world.

Derry then discusses that he heard two women talking and they were discussing about his face. Mr. Lamb explains to him that he should not listen to everything said by others and concentrate on good things in life. He must think about people who are worse off than him.

Mr. Lamb is reminded of his hive of bees that he has to tend to. Some people feel that bees buzz, but he feels bees sing. It is an individual’s perception  and the way we look at things. So it is the attitude that shapes the man.

During their conversation Derry said that he does not like coming near people as he feels they are scared of him. Mr. Lamb then narrated a story to Derry. There was a man who was very timid. He locked himself in a room as he thought that if he moves out he may meet a fatal accident. But one day a picture that was put on the wall of the room fell on his head and he died. Mr. Lamb tried to explain Derry through this story that everyone is destined for certain things or events. Derry laughs at his story and this becomes the beginning of change.

Mr. Lamb tells Derry that he does not like curtains as that closes the things and the light entering. Even Derry says he likes the sound of the rain. Derry demonstrates his sensitive side which his bitterness curtailed. He did not like the sympathetic attitude of his family towards him. They were way too concerned for him. Mr. Lamb said he can do whatever he aims for. In fact he could do better than others. Mr. Lamb encourages Derry. He said that he considers Derry to be his friend and explains him the significance of people, saying, “people are never just nothing”. He asked Derry to love everyone as hatred can be more humiliating and dangerous than acid.

Derry somehow gets concerned for Mr. Lamb. He asked if Mr. Lamb would climb the ladder to pick up crab apples, What if he falls down. He may die in that case if nobody is there. Mr. Lamb believed in destiny and he reaffirmed by saying that he could. Derry gets worried of getting late and wishes to go home. Lamb says that people worry. Mr. Lamb now understands how Derry had confined himself. So he challenges Derry. He said that he was sure that Derry would never come back to meet him again. He only wanted Derry to break all barriers, insecurities, complexes that were becoming hindrance to his growth.

This conversation infused the spirit of overcoming the challenges in Derry. He goes back home and tells his mother that he is going back to Mr. Lamb. But this time his will was very strong. In spite of his mother’s objection he goes back to Mr. Lamb only to find him unconscious/dead. Mr. Lamb had fallen from the ladder and did not respond to his voice. Seeing him in this state Derry begins to cry.

Important Previous Year Questions From Chapter 6 On the Face of It

SAI (2 marks)

  1. In what sense is the friendship between Mr. Lamb and Derry fruitful? (Delhi 2014 C)

2 Why did Mr. Lamb help Derry? (AI 2014 C)

  1. If you were to give a different ending to the story. “On The Face of It” how would you end it? (AI 2013)
  2. How does Mr. Lamb keep himself busy when it is a bit cool? (Delhi 2012)
  3. What peculiar things does Derry notice about the old man, Mr. Lamb? (AI 2012)

SA II (3 marks)

  1. Why does Derry’s mother not want him to go back to visit Mr. Lamb? (2018)
  2. Why did Derry insist that he would go back to Mr. Lamb? (Delhi 2015 C)
  3. How did Derry’s handicap damage his life?

LAI (5 marks)

  1. What benefits did Derry reap from his association with Mr. Lamb? (Delhi 2014)
  2. Both Derry and Lamb are physically impaired and lonely. It is the responsibility of society to understand and support people with infirmities so that they do not suffer from a sense of alienation. As a responsible citizen, write in about 100 words what you would do to bring about a change in the lives of such people. (AI 2014)

LA II (6 marks)

  1. “Things that matter. Things nobody else has ever said. Things I want to think about.” What are the things’ that Derry is referring to? How did Derry’s chance meeting with Mr. Lamb prove meaningful for him? (AI 2019)
  2. Derry and Mr. Lamb both are victims of physical impairment, but their attitudes towards life are completely different. Elaborate. (Delhi 2019)
  3. Derry sneaked into Mr. Lamb’s garden and it became a turning point in his life. Comment. (Delhi 2016)
  4. Both Derry and Lamb are victims of physical impairment, but much more painful for them is the feeling of loneliness. Comment. (AI 2016)
  5. Both Derry and Lamb are victims of physical impairment, yet each has a different attitude from the other. Comment. (Foreign 2016)
  6. What change took place in Derry when he met Mr. Lamb? (Delhi 2015 C)

LA III  (7 marks)

  1. What is the bond that unites the two- the old Mr. Lamb and Derry, the small boy? How does the old man inspire the small boy? (Delhi 2013)
  2. The lesson, ‘On the Face of It, is an apt depiction of the loneliness and sense of alienation experienced by people on account of a disability. Explain. (Delhi 2011)

LA IV (10 marks)

  1. How did Mr. Lamb’s meeting with Derry become a turning point in Derry’s life? (Delhi 2015 C)

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Answer Of Chapter 6 On the Face of It
​ For The Above Questions

  1. Mr. Lamb helped Derry overcome his sense of inferiority. He advised him not to pay too much attention to what others thought about him; to celebrate life and its wonders. Mr. Lamb brought about a positive change in Derry’s attitude.
  2. Mr. Lamb helped Derry because he too was handicapped, therefore he understood how Derry felt. Also, he was concerned about Derry’s negative attitude towards life. Mr. Lamb wanted to save the little boy from the habit of self-pitying.
  3. The play is quite sad and open ended. According to me, the play should have ended on a positive note, giving the reader a sense of hope. I feel, even if Mr. Lamb dies in the end, Derry would show some positive changes in his character. He would not remain his old withdrawn and defiant self. Instead, he would become as cheerful, open and friendly as Mr. Lamb.
  4. When it is a bit cool, Mr. Lamb likes to keep himself busy by breaking crab apples and making jelly from them. He enjoys the humming of bees in his garden while he sat in the sun reading books.
  5. Derry notices that Mr. Lamb always leaves the gates open for anybody and everybody so as to welcome strangers. Derry is amazed that unlike others old Mr. Lamb treated him with utmost kindness, that he is not repulsed by Derry’s scarred face. Derry also finds it peculiar that Mr. Lamb lives in a huge house with a huge garden but without curtains.
  6. Derry’s mother does not want him to go back to visit Mr. Lamb because she has not heard good things about him and hence, she does not have positive views about him. She thinks that Mr. Lamb is not a nice man and forbids Derry to get acquainted with him or even see him.
  7. Derry insisted that he would go back to Mr. Lamb because it was for the first time that Derry felt comfortable and happy in someone’s presence. That someone was Mr. Lamb. While Derry was jovial with Mr. Lamb, Derry completely forgot about his burnt face. He felt that he too could live an independent life for he had all his faculty intact. Therefore, even though his mother forbade him from meeting Mr. Lamb, Derry insisted on going; he did not want to lose his new found companion. Fourteen years old Derry had half a burnt
  8. face, which resulted in poor self image. He became conscious of people’s stares and their comments hurt him. This made him avoid people. Eventually, he become introvert. Thus, Derry’s handicap damaged his life.
  9. Derry is a withdrawn and defiant boy. He does not like to be around people because they look at his face and pass uncharitable remarks. Once, one side of his face got burnt by acid, which left a scar on his face. This created a complex in his mind. He thinks that people are afraid of him. Mr. Lamb is a physically challenged man, whose one leg is made of tin.

Mr. Lamb is a complete contrast to Derry when it comes to his attitude and outlook towards life. He is an optimist who does not allow trivial teasing and name calling bother him. In fact, he likes having company. Mr. Lamb is not repulsed by Derry’s scarred face. Neither he is angry nor put off by the boy’s rudeness. Instead, Mr. Lamb understands Derry’s anguish and tries to make him realize that being handicapped is not a drawback.

His meeting with Mr. Lamb becomes a turning point in Derry’s life because Derry is ready to overcome his obstacles and face the world. He finds courage and strength to get and do what he wants.

  1. In the story, both Derry and Lamb are physically impaired and lonely. To bring about a change in the lives of such people, as a responsible citizen, I shall treat them with respect and honor and not punish them with heartless ridicule and pity. People like Derry and Mr. Lamb expect empathy rather than sympathy from others. Therefore, instead of looking down upon them with a pessimistic approach, I shall be supportive and considerate. They must be treated as equals. That is why I shall encourage them to take part in all activities. They deserve to study in regular educational institutions and gem regular jobs. Therefore, advocation of this idea is very important. Only proper awareness and empowerment can make the world view then as equals and at same time make the ‘different abled people feel socially accepted.
  2. Derry is an angry, withdrawn and defiant young boy. One side of his face was burnt because of which he lacked self-confidence. He was lonely because he had no friends. People either feared him, found him disgusting to look at, treated him with pity or made fun of him. Derry had alienated himself from the society completely. One day, Derry sneaked into Mr. Lamb’s garden and it became a turning point in his life.

One of Mr. Lamb’s leg was made out of tin. Due to his physical impairment, he could not move around much. As a result, Mr. Lamb too was isolated from the rest; children called him lamey Lamb. However, it did not affect him. Instead, he always kept the gates of his garden open.

Seeing Derry suffer so much at such a young age Mr. Lamb struck up a conversation with him, spending time with Mr. Lamb made Derry look at the world and love and admire everything he saw and heard. Mr. Lamb encouraged Derry to make friends and not be bothered by their comments. He told the boy not to hate people.

Mr. Lamb’s life and attitude inspired Derry quite a lot. In spite of his handicap, Mr. Lamb lived an independent and happy life seeing his positive approach to life, Derry decides to get rid of the habit of self-pity and face the world boldly with his newly gained self-confidence.

  1. Refer to answer 11.
  2. Refer to answer 9.
  3. Mr. Lamb and Derry have different sorts of physical disability. While Mr. Lamb has a tin leg, one side of Derry’s face was burnt by acid and now is scarred. Both Derry and Mr. Lamb are victims of physical impairment, but much more painful for them is the feeling of loneliness. Both suffer alienation from the society. Derry feels that he is feared rather than accepted by the society because of his scarred face. Mr. Lamb also has to face name calling- Lamey  -Lamb’ although it does not bother him much. Loneliness has caused constant pain for both Derry and Mr. Lamb. They both crave for friends, but neither of them have it. However, while his isolation makes Derry a bitter person, Mr. Lamb has a positive outlook and believes that being a handicap is not a drawback. Both expect that the society would neither treat them differently, as freaks, nor with pity. They want to be treated with empathy as equals.
  4. Refer to answer 11.
  5. Refer to answer 11.
  6. Mr. Lamb turned Derry into a confident boy from a complex one. Both were physically handicapped but with different perspectives towards life. In the beginning Derry was a defiant and withdrawn boy who hated meeting people. Their stares, jibes and pity made him frustrated. He suffered a lot due to his burnt face and had a pessimistic approach to life. Mr. Lamb transformed his vision of life and suggested to live it on his own terms. Mr. Lamb discussed his own situation with Derry to make him understand that he should be open-minded. He told him that God has made all the things and one should not keep oneself in a room forever. He also kept his garden gate open and welcomed all.

Moreover, Derry could open up the layers of his heart and complexes in front of Mr. Lamb, which unburdened his heart. He got a new ray of hope in his life. He also taught Derry to use whatever God had given to him. The lesson of Mr. Lamb could not be ignored by Derry. He was disheartened to find about his death.

To meet Mr. Lamb, defying his mother and his return to Lamb’s garden shows his appreciation for living life as shown by Lamb. He learnt the lesson of optimism.

  1. Refer to answer 14.
  2. Refer to answer 9.

For more chapters word meanings click on the links given below.


Chapter 1 The Last Lesson 
Chapter 2 Lost Spring 
Chapter 3 Deep Water 
Chapter 4 The Rattrap 
Chapter 5 Indigo 
Chapter 6 Poets and Pancakes 
Chapter 7 The Interview 
Chapter 8 Going Places


Chapter 1 My Mother at Sixty-six 
Chapter 2 An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum 
Chapter 3 Keeping Quiet 
Chapter 4 A Thing of Beauty 
Chapter 5 A Roadside Stand 
Chapter 6 Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers


Chapter 1 Third Level  
Chapter 2 The Tiger King 
Chapter 3 The Enemy 
Chapter 4 Journey to the End of the Earth 
Chapter 5 Should Wizard Hit Mommy? 
Chapter 6 On the Face of It 
Chapter 7 Evans Tries an O-level 
Chapter 8 Memories of Childhood

Download Free pdf For NCERT English Solutions Class 12

Chapter 1 The Last Lesson 
Chapter 2 Lost Spring 
Chapter 3 Deep Water 
Chapter 4 The Rattrap 
Chapter 5 Indigo 
Chapter 6 Poets and Pancakes 
Chapter 7 The Interview 
Chapter 8 Going Places

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