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The Awakening Age (poem) Exercises

The Awakening Age

by Ben Okri


Understanding the text

Answer the following questions. 

a. Who are the people who travel the meridian line?

Answer: The people who travel the meridian line are African (Nigerian) inhabitants.

b. What does the poet mean by 'a new world?

Answer: By a new world the poet means the place where there is peace, unity, harmony and prosperity with good knowledge, wisdom and prosperity.

c. How are people connected to each other?

Answer: People are connected to each other with hope where there is harmony, wisdom and prosperity.

d. What can gain after our perceptions are changed?

Answer: We can gain various things like unity, prosperity, wisdom, creativity etc. after our perceptions are changed. We can also gain truthfulness away from pains and sufferings.

e. How are we benefited by new people?

Answer: We are benefitted with their supportive works with wisdom, and creativity. It helps to reach the height of success and prosperity.

f. Describe the rhyme scheme of this sonnet.

Answer: The poem has seven couplets having two lines. The rhyme pattern of the poem is very simple and sonorous. It follows the rhyme scheme AA BB CC DD EE FF GG.


Reference to the context

a. What does the poet mean by 'the awakening age?

Answer: The awakening age refers to the time when African people have a recognition, realization and awareness of their condition. This is the age of enlightenment where there is peace, wisdom, prosperity, freedom, unity etc. among the people and birth of their new world.

b. Why, in your view, have these people lived with poverty's rage?

Answer: During the colonial period, the Africans was exploited by the European people in the name of utilizing the natural resources. On the other hand, African countries involved in long civil war. There was imbalance in of national wealth as a few powerful people have taken control of power. The ordinary people did was more than their poverty. These are the reasons why African people have lived with poverty's rage.

c. Why does the poet appeal for solidarity among the people?

Answer: The poet appeals for solidarity among the people because they are divided and fragmented due to civil war. It is possible and true that they can get success when they are united.

d. Does the poet present migration in a positive light? Why? Why not?

Answer: The poet presents migration in a positive light. Migration boosts the working-age population. Migrants arrive with skills and contribute to do something better and skillful way so that development is possible. They also support progress with new technologies

e. Nepal is also known for its economic as well as educational migrants. Have you noticed any change in the perceptions and behaviours of these migrants when they return home from abroad?

Answer: Many Nepalese youths go abroad for further studies and employment. They go for economic as well as educational progress. We have noticed changes in their perceptions and behaviours when they return home. After returning back home, they bring new hope and skill as potential benefits. The people. working abroad can increase their income, acquire new skills, and collect savings and assets. When they return, they bring both the financial and human capital accumulated abroad to their homeland. Benefits appear when returned migrants are successful in using skills, knowledge and savings for the sake of his/ her family, society and country.  

f. Relate the rhyme scheme of this sonnet to the kind of life idealized by the poet.

Answer: The poem has the rhyme scheme AA BB CC DD EE FF GG. This pair rhyme scheme indicates harmony among the people. It also gives complete thought through this rhyme scheme. The poet visualizes the feeling of unity and togetherness among the African people. According to the poem the people are chased because of an unseen force. They can be connected together with a hope.

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