On Killing A Tree | Descriptive Question Answer | Class XII WBCHSE | Set-1

Descriptive Question Answers from On Killing a Tree:

We are providing a collection of the most common descriptive type questions that often occur in board examinations, especially in WBCHSE. We have gone through possibly all books that are available in the market and have come up with these sets of important Descriptive Question Answer.


 1.   Justify the title of the poem “On Killing A Tree” by Gieve Patel.

Ans:  The phrase, used in the title, ‘on killing a tree’ literally means about killing a tree or about the process of killing a tree. The title “On Killing A Tree” also ironically hints at the fate of the tree. A tree is a selfless and generous helper not only to human beings but also to the entire living world. But human beings cut down resulting in deforestation without any regrate. The poem tells us about the processes, which human beings use to cut a tree down or in other words to kill a tree completely. As a simple jab of the knife or chopping is not enough to kill a tree, men use a number of methods for doing that. They uproot it or snap it out of the earth. Then by scorching, choking, browning, hardening, and twisting they the task of killing a tree. The poet treats the tree as a sensitive living thing. He also adds human elements to highlight their struggle for existence. Thus the title “On Killing A Tree” is both ironically and literally appropriate.

 2.   “And out of its leprous hide Sprouting leaves.” – What does the term ‘leprous hide’ refer to? What is the significance of the expression? Bring out the irony suggested here?

Ans:  The term ‘leprous hide’ refers to the bark of a tree which looks like the skin of a leprosy patient.

The poet here personifies the tree by describing its bark as leprous. He uses a medical term to personify a tree.

The expression leprous is ironic. Leprosy usually eats away the body and slows down normal growth. But here leprosy is a source of new life. The leaves grow from under it and these leaves help the tree to produce food. It is not only a symbolic image of decay but also of growing life too. 

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