Unit 2 Poems Class - 12 Guide : Chapter - 3, I Was My Own Route Solution

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Unit 2 Poems

Class - 12

Chapter - 3, I Was My Own Route

Julia de Burgos

Question Answer.....

I Was My Own Route

"I Was My Own Route" is a poem written by Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos. The poem explores the theme of self-identity and the importance of finding one's own path in life.

The poem begins with the speaker declaring that she was her own route, and that she had never relied on anyone else to find her way in life. She proudly proclaims that she was not a follower, but rather a leader who forged her own path in the world. The speaker also states that she did not need anyone to light her way, as she was the light that guided herself.

The poem then moves into an exploration of the speaker's sense of self-identity. She describes herself as being like a tree, deeply rooted in the earth, and a child of the sun, which fills her with light and energy. The speaker also mentions her connection to the sea, which she describes as her "soul's melody". She is at one with nature and sees herself as a part of the universe.

The speaker also addresses the question of what she desires in life. She does not desire material possessions or riches, but rather a sense of freedom and the ability to be true to herself. She rejects societal expectations and the constraints placed on women by society, instead choosing to live life on her own terms.

Throughout the poem, the speaker's voice is strong and confident, expressing a sense of self-assuredness that comes from being true to oneself. The poem ends with the speaker declaring that she will continue to walk her own path, and will not be swayed by the opinions of others. She will remain true to herself, even in the face of adversity and opposition.

In "I Was My Own Route", Julia de Burgos celebrates the importance of finding one's own identity and the value of staying true to oneself. The poem is a powerful statement about the importance of individualism and the need to resist societal pressures to conform. It also highlights the importance of self-determination and the freedom to choose one's own path in life.

Understanding the text

Answer the following questions.

a. Why did the speaker try to be the way men wanted her to be?

The speaker tried to be the way men wanted her to be because she thought that by conforming to their expectations, she could find happiness and fulfillment. She believed that conforming to the patriarchal society's standards would help her find love and acceptance.

b. What do you understand by her feet ‘would not accept walking backwards’?

The line "my feet would not accept walking backwards" represents the speaker's refusal to conform to society's expectations of women. It is a metaphor that describes her unwillingness to go back to the way things used to be, to the time when women were expected to be subservient to men.

c. Who are the old guards? Why did they grow desperate?

The old guards represent the established powers and institutions that try to maintain the status quo. They grow desperate because the speaker's refusal to conform threatens their authority and challenges their control over society.

d. How did the speaker have ‘a feeling of intimate liberation’?

The feeling of intimate liberation refers to the speaker's sense of freedom and independence. By rejecting the traditional roles and expectations of women, she is able to live life on her own terms, free from the constraints of societal norms.

e. Why did the speaker’s desire to follow men warp in her?

The speaker's desire to follow men warps in her because she realizes that by conforming to their expectations, she is sacrificing her own identity and suppressing her true self. She understands that by trying to please others, she is denying herself the opportunity to live a fulfilling and authentic life.

Reference to the context

a. What does the speaker mean when she says she was playing a game of hide and seek with her being’?

 In "I Was My Own Route," the speaker talks about how she used to try to be what men wanted her to be, but she came to realize that she was playing a game of hide and seek with her being. This means that she was not being true to herself and was hiding who she really was in order to please others. She was trying to fit into their expectations, rather than being authentic and true to herself. The game of hide and seek implies that she was trying to hide her true self, but eventually, she came to realize that she could not continue to do so and still be happy.

b. Why, in your view, was her back ripped by the old guards as she was advancing forward?

The old guards in the poem refer to the societal norms and expectations that the speaker was trying to break away from. These norms were deeply ingrained and difficult to break, so the old guards grew desperate and tried to hold her back. The line "her back ripped by the old guards" suggests that she experienced resistance and pushback from these old guards as she was trying to move forward and break free from their constraints.

c. What, according to the speaker, did it feel like to be free?

According to the speaker, the feeling of intimate liberation was like being reborn. She felt free from the constraints that had held her back and was able to embrace her true self. This liberation allowed her to be at peace with herself and to live a life that was true to who she was. The feeling of freedom and liberation gave her a sense of empowerment and allowed her to take control of her own life.

d. Why does the speaker prefer the present to the past?

In the poem, the speaker prefers the present to the past because she has learned to be true to herself and to embrace her own path in life. She has left behind the societal norms and expectations that held her back and is now free to pursue her own goals and dreams. The present represents a time of growth and self-discovery, whereas the past was a time of conformity and self-denial.

e. John Donne, in his poem “No Man is an Island”, says, “No man is an island entire of itself.” Would Burgos agree with Donne? Do you agree with Donne or Burgos?

Burgos might agree with Donne's sentiment that "No man is an island entire of itself," as she seems to be advocating for individual freedom within a larger community or society. However, she is also advocating for the importance of personal growth and self-discovery, which requires breaking away from societal expectations and norms. In this sense, she might argue that while we are not islands entirely unto ourselves, we must also be true to our own individuality and not be constrained by the expectations of others. As for whether I agree with Donne or Burgos, I believe that both sentiments have value. While we are social creatures and need to be part of a community, we also need to be true to ourselves and pursue our own path in life. Striking a balance between the two is the key to a fulfilling life.

Reference beyond the text

a. Write an essay on My Idea of Freedom.
My Idea of Freedom

Freedom is a complex idea that has been conceptualized and interpreted in various ways throughout human history. My idea of freedom is a state of being where individuals have the autonomy to exercise their free will and make choices without being constrained by external factors. It is a state of mind where people are able to pursue their interests, desires, and passions without fear of oppression or retaliation. For me, freedom is not just a physical state but also a psychological one that allows individuals to live life on their own terms.

Freedom has both personal and social dimensions. At the personal level, freedom means the ability to live life according to one's own principles, values, and beliefs. It involves the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, as well as the freedom of speech and expression. It also includes the freedom to pursue one's passions, creativity, and intellectual pursuits. At the social level, freedom means the ability to participate in the political process, to have access to education, healthcare, and other basic needs, and to enjoy economic opportunities without discrimination or inequality.

However, with freedom comes responsibility. An individual's freedom should not infringe on the freedom of others. It is essential to have a balance between individual freedom and social responsibility. For instance, freedom of speech does not allow one to use hate speech or to incite violence against others. Similarly, freedom to pursue one's interests should not come at the expense of others' rights or the environment. This means that freedom should be exercised within the bounds of ethical and moral considerations.

In conclusion, my idea of freedom is the ability to exercise one's free will and make choices without being oppressed or constrained by external factors. It is a state of mind that involves both personal and social dimensions, but it also comes with responsibility. It is the responsibility of individuals to exercise their freedom in an ethical and moral way that respects the freedom of others.

b. Not all people, however, seem to agree with the kind of freedom upheld by Burgos in this poem. For example, William Faulkner, in his novel Requiem for a Nun, says, ‘“The past is never dead. It’s not even past. All of us labor in webs spun long before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity.” Do you agree with Faulkner? Why? Why not?

Faulkner's statement, "The past is never dead. It’s not even past," suggests that the present is shaped by the past, and that our actions in the present can have consequences that extend far into the future. He argues that the events of the past continue to have an impact on the present and that individuals are not free from the historical, social, and cultural influences that have shaped their lives.

I agree with Faulkner's statement because our present actions are shaped by our past experiences and by the cultural and societal norms that we have been exposed to. These experiences and norms influence our values, beliefs, and perspectives, which in turn shape the decisions we make and the paths we take in life. The past also has a direct impact on the present through the institutions, laws, and policies that were created in the past and continue to influence our lives.

However, while the past has a significant impact on the present, it is important to note that individuals are not entirely determined by their past experiences. People have agency and the ability to make choices, even in the face of difficult circumstances. It is also possible for individuals to learn from the past and to use that knowledge to create a better future.

Faulkner's statement also highlights the importance of acknowledging and confronting the legacies of past injustices, such as racism, colonialism, and discrimination. These historical injustices continue to shape the present, and it is only by acknowledging them and working to redress them that we can move towards a more just and equitable society.

All Class 12 English Book Solution Link Unitwise

Section I : Language Development

Section II : Literature
Unit - 1 Short Stories

Unit - 2 Poems

Unit - 3 Essays

Unit - 4 One Act Plays

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