The Terrorist, He Watches Summary Notes

The Terrorist, He Watches About the Author

Wislawa Szymborska was born in Bnin in western Poland and she became a Polish poet and translator who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996 at the age of 73. Szymborska is one of the few women poets who have received the prize, and her personal example and devotion to poetry has inspired young women all over the world to choose a career in literature. She lived through the II World War and the rise of communism and many of her peoms revolve around these important milestones in the history of mankind.

She was equally conversant with theatre and films. Her well-known collections of poems include, To Pociech, Chwila and Dwukropek. While, scepticism has marked her view, it has not stopped her from believing in the power of words and the joy arising from imagination.

She often uses ordinary speech and proverbs but, gives them a fresh and arresting meaning. The Poem ‘The Terrorist, He Watches’, reflects the contemporary problem human society is faced with and powerfully captures the dangerous, cold mindset divest of all human emotions in the perpetrators. The translator of this poem, Adam Czerniawski, is an internationally acclaimed Polish poet.

The Terrorist, He Watches Summary

The poetry explains the blasting of a bomb. A terrorist, is the observer of the scene and he narrates the incidence vividly as seen by him. A bomb is planted in a bar, where many people keep coming and going out of the bar.

The place is bustling with activity. The blast is timed to explode at twenty past one. There are men who come in and go out of the bar at different instant of time. This is a commentary of the people coming and leaving the bar at sixteen minutes past four, seventeen minutes past forty seconds, eighteen minutes, nineteen minutes and ten seconds to twenty past one and twenty past one.

There are three persons – a woman in yellow jacket, tall chap and a girl with green ribbon who enter the bar at a difference of about one minute each. They are unlucky to be victims of the bomb blast. The persons who leave the bar are man in dark glasses, smaller boy and a fat bald man, they also leave the bar at a difference of about one minute and they are lucky to escape from the bomb blast.

The fat bald man is so unlucky as having left the bar, comes back and becomes a victim of the blast. Every instant of time is crucial at twenty past one, there is a curiosity of whether the blast would happen or whether it may fail. But it did happen. The poetry thus explains the authors concern by reflecting the contemporary problem that is faced by human society and powerfully captures the dangerous cold mindsets divest of all human emotions in the perpetrators.

The Terrorist, He Watches Comprehension Questions and Answers

Question 1.
At what time is the bomb scheduled to explode?
Answer:
At twenty past one.

Question 2.
How has the terrorist ensured safety for himself?
Answer:
He is telling that the terrorists are on the other side. The distance between them protects him from all harm.

Question 3.
Where do you think the bomb has been planted?
Answer:
The bomb is planted inside the bar, and will explode at twenty past one.

Question 4.
Who among the crowd do you consider lucky? why?
Answer:
A man in dark glasses, smaller one of the boys in jeans are lucky as they come out of the bar before the explosion of the bomb.

II. Answer the Following Questions in About a Page:

Question 1.
Who do you think are the unlucky ones among the crowd? Why?
Answer:
A woman in yellow jacket, boys in jeans except the smaller one, the tall chap and the fat bald man enters the bar and will never come back before the bomb explodes. The fat bald man is so unlucky because he comes out and once again goes inside the bar, he will not come out till the bomb explodes.

Question 2.
Why is it not possible to say if the girl in green ribbons has entered the building or not?
Answer:
The bus suddenly hides her and the girl disappears, this will create a doubt of knowing whether the girl has entered the building or not.

Question 3.
In what way do the gloves prove ominous to the fat, bald man?
Answer:
The fat bald man first leaves the bar, after searching his pockets, he comes to know that he has forgotten to take his gloves and returns to pick the gloves and will not come out of the bar, thus the gloves prove ominous to the fat, bald man.

Question 4.
Note that the victims and the location are nondescript. This is to signify that:-
(a) the victim, could be anyone.
(b) the place of explosion could be anywhere.
(c) both a and b above.
Answer:
Both a and b, the victim could be anyone, and the place of explosion could be anywhere.

Question 5.
Describe the people going inside or coming out of the building where the bomb has been planted?
Answer:
A man in dark glasses, smaller one of the boys in jeans, is lucky as they come out of the bar before the explosion of the bomb. A woman in yellow jacket, boys in jeans except the smaller one, the tall chap and the fat bald man enters the bar and will never come back before the bomb explodes. The fat bald man is so unlucky because he comes out and once again goes inside the bar, he will not come out till the bomb explodes.

Question 6.
The unusual constructions of sentences like ‘the, terrorists he watches’, ‘A woman in yellow jacket, she enters’ lend a conspiratorial tone: to the poem. Pick out more such constructions from the poem.
Answer:
‘A man in dark glasses, he leaves.’ ‘the taller chap he walks in.’ A girl, she walks by, a green ribbon in her hair’. ‘A fat bald man leaves.’

III. Answer the Following Questions in About two Pages:

Question 1.
It is sheer chance which moves the people towards their death or away from it in the poem. Do you agree? Give reasons?
Answer:
The given statement is very much true. We can observe from the poem there are people who come inside the bar and will never leave till the bomb explodes like a women in yellow jacket, Boys in jeans except the smaller one of them and the taller chap.

There are people who leaves before the blast, like a man in dark glasses and the smaller one of the boys with jeans and there are people who appear to have entered the building but it is not sure, like the girl with green ribbon and, there are people who leaves and then comes back like the fat bald man and finds their end.

Question 2.
The people in the poem become the terrorist’s target though they are too commonplace and have nothing to do with any issues related to the terrorists. Discuss?
Answer:
Terrorists target public places, creating loss and damage to property and innocent people who are in no way related to their issues. It may be The motive of the terrorists is to create fear and scare among people. They may engage in indiscriminate shooting of people nor a bomb blasts.

The method adopted by them is not a solution for any specific problem, instead it is advisable to adopt different logical solutions, which do not involve loss of life. Even if they succeed in achieving their goals, it may be just a temporary solution, and will not hold good for a long term.

Question 3.
The poet succeeds in capturing the anxious, suspense ridden moments and the poignancy of the game of death that the terrorist plays. Substantiate?
Answer:
The poet succeeds in capturing the anxious, suspense ridden moments in the last last paragraph, where the poet creates a situation to think as though the bomb might not blast by elaborating more about the last moment that is twenty past One. The suspense is ultimately broken by the blast of the bomb.

The Terrorist, He Watches Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words given below.

A loud …………… rocked the apartment building and ……………….. struck the hearts of the inhabitants in and around the places surrounding it. The sound could be heard in the …………….. places and unmindful of the people started converging in the area. Cries of …………….. and fear rent the air. A person who ……………. from a motorcycle happened to be an inspector and wasting no time, he alerted the control room, called the …………….., to send ………………. immediately. He gathered all the …………….. and plunged into action, reaching out to the victims.

Answers:

  1. Terror
  2. Distance
  3. Explosion
  4. Helplessness
  5. Distant
  6. Ambulances
  7. Volunteers
  8. Hospital authorities
  9. Dismounted

Use the following words as verbs/nouns/adjectives by making use of them in sentences of your own.

Eg: Explode (vb) – The bomb exploded at the scheduled time as it was assembled by skilled hands.
Exploding noises (adj) – The exploding noises of the crackers scared the baby.
Explosion (n) – The criminal was tried and sentenced for master-minding a series of bomb explosions.

  1. Terrorist
  2. Protect
  3. Search
  4. Disappear
  5. Leave

1. Terrorist (vb) – A group of unknown terrorized the whole place.
Terrorist (adj) – Terrorizing public to achieve their goals is inappropriate.
Terrorist (n) – Terrorist is a person harmful for the society

2. Protect (vb) – The small shelter protected the victims of the flood.
Protect (adj) – Bulletproof jacket is a protective shield for the soldiers.
Protect (n) – The young one always needs protection by their mothers.

3. Search (vb) – They searched for the thief, but he was not found around.
Search (adj) – We are searching for alternative fuels for petrol.
Search (n) – The search ended when we found the lost bike.

4. Disappear (vb) – The animal we saw in the bush disappeared to the jungle.
Disappear (adj) – The greenery on our country side is disappearing.
Disappear (n) – The disappearance of the magician was an amazing act.

5. Leave (vb) – The guest who had been here for a week left to his place.
Leave (adj) – Many started leaving the auditorium as the show was not interesting
Leave (n) – He was about to leave, and he remembered to take a book from his shelf.

English Summary

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