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I Was My Own Route (poem) Exercise: Class 12 English

Class 12 English Poem Section Chapter 3: I Was My Own Route Exercise, Question Answer Solution note (Poem by Julia de Burgos).

I Was  My  Own Route Exercise

Julia de Burgos Poem: I Was My Own Route Exercise, Questions Answers Solution Notes Class 12 English Book Poem Section Chapter 3.



Understanding the Text


Answer the following questions


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

Answer➜ The speaker tried to be the way men wanted her to be because she was living in a society where females were anticipated to be like what men want them to be like with their dominant male idea.


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

Answer➜ By her feet ‘would not accept walking backwards’, We understand that she refused to accept males’ inferior concept of females and instead desired to race like males with equal resources in order to achieve the ultimate objective of independence and equality.


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

Answer➜ The old guards are the rigid members of male-dominated society. They behave women as inferior creatures and dominate them in each and every aspect of their lives. They grow desperate because Julia was advancing her steps to the liberation of the women race.


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

Answer➜ As she crossed the patriarchal society's barrier and kissed a new path of liberation, rejecting the old one defined by males, the speaker had "a feeling of intimate liberation." 


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

Answer➜ The speaker's desire to follow men warp in her because if something warps or is warped, it becomes damaged by bending or curving. Often because of the effect of heat or water. and the character of men it tends to make damages on them or it influenced them in a bad way.



Reference to the Context


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

Answer➜ 

When she says 'she was playing a game of hide and seek with her being’, she means the crucial situation of her life under patriarchal ideologies where there is a question mark in her being as well as identity. Her life under patriarchal ideology was similar to the game of hide and seeks which she was playing with her being as well as her identity under men's domination.


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

Answer➜ 

In my view, she has feminist ideology. The old guards are the traditional beliefs of a patriarchal society cause so many problems to women. The problems were mainly for the women. She stood as the representative of whole women. So, such traditional bad beliefs were imposed on her life. Her back was ripped by these beliefs as she was advancing because she was brought up in the male dominated society.


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

Answer➜ 

According to the speaker, to be free, it felt like a blossom that can grow without any restrictions anywhere on the earthly soil. It is a kind of feeling that flows from the balance between her life and the truth of the kiss of the new paths.


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

Answer➜ 

The speaker prefers the present to the past because women were supposed to follow the patriarchal rules. Thy were dominated by the norms of masculine superiority in the past. She feels complete freedom and liberation in the present. Women rights are guaranteed so such activities make her prefer the present to the past.


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?

Answer➜ 

John Donne, in his poem “No Man is an Island”, says, “No man is an island entire of itself.” He is referring to the entire human race and their importance in the evolution of society. The expression "no man is an island" represents the belief that humans function poorly when they are isolated from others and must be a part of a society to survive. It signifies that no one is fully self-sufficient and in order to live, everyone must rely on the company and comfort of others. 

I agree with John Donne and support his concept of societal equality in every aspect. He talks about male and female equality, but Burgos appears angry and upset by the male-dominated culture, and she expresses her displeasure and rejection of male philosophy and ideas that limit women's liberties and changes in society. She appears to be a radical feminist who not only advocates for female freedom but also challenges male norms and beliefs. 

In any case, I admire Donne because he advocates for the development of society as a whole, including the advancement of both men and women.



Reference Beyond the Text


a. Write an essay on My Idea of Freedom.

Answer➜ 

My Idea of Freedom - An Essay

Freedom is an fundamental right which humans have since their birth. Freedom is not something that can be touched, seen, felt or reached. All this gives a vague idea about freedom. Different people have different opinion, definition and thoughts about the idea of freedom. Some talk about freedom in political sense, some talk about social freedom, some about personal freedom and some define it as religious freedom. But the fact that everyone wants to be free, holds true in all cases. Freedom is the choice to live one's life doing what one wants, live where one wants, live where one wants, eat by own choice and learn what one's heart desires. This means that freedom can apply to different aspects of life and freedom is not an absolute term.


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 labour 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?

Answer➜ 

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". To go ahead, everything we do and experience becomes history. 

In the webs we've been weaving from the beginning of time, we're caught in the crossfire of history and karma that began before we were ever born. Time moves in a straight line, and so does our existence. The past will always be with us. We can't say something happened if we're still thinking about it and making choices based on it today. It doesn't matter what happened, it all becomes a part of our history, but the memories they evoke live on in our brains, thus the past never really ends. It implies that we're stuck in the past all the time. It will be with us till the end of time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Our memories and actions are shaped by our past experiences. In Faulkner's view, there is no such thing as the present; everything is constantly relying in the past. Consciousness records all we see and hear. Everything that happened in the past is still there for the time being.

From the poem of Julia Burgos, we can infer that, because her history is so dreadful, she aspires to be completely free of it. It is, however, impossible to do so. The freedom that Julia de Bures fights for completely disproves the notion that there was a past too. She wants to transcend the presence of men in order to create her identity by denying the past and disapproving the existence of men.

However, the world will come to a halt if men are avoided. The fact that she's a radical feminist means that she's outraged by the way men dominate women. For the sake of humanity's survival, it is critical that both sexes be present. 

Our history forms our identity and assists us in every choice making. His view of the past is grounded in reality. We cannot ignore it, as Burgos states in her poetry. After reading these two authors, I have to say that Faulkner was right.



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About the Author

Iswori Rimal is the author of iswori.com.np, a popular education platform in Nepal. Iswori helps students in their SEE, Class 11 and Class 12 studies with Complete Notes, important questions and other study materials.

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