Chapter 8 – The Sower.

21 Nov 2020 6:06 pm

Chapter 8, The Sower, fyjc, 11th std, English, Maharashtra board,

Make a list of words related to agriculture.


Words related to agriculture are as follows:

Aanimals, arid, agrarian, acres
Bbarn, biofuel, barren, botanical
Ccattle, cultivation, crops, chemicals
Ddrought, development, domestication, drainage
Eequipment, erosion, ecology, environment
Ffarm, fertile, furrow, farmer
Ggraze, ground, grain, germination
Hharvest, hectare, husbandry, harrow
Iirrigation, intercropping, insects
Llabour, livestock, land
Mmachinery, manure, materials, mulch
Nnutrient management, nature, nitrogen
Oovercrop, organic
Ppesticide, pollination, ploughing, produce
Rreap, region, rear, resource
Sseed, sow, soil, sprout
Ttillage, tractor, technique, trade
Wwool, water, weather, wheat

Discuss the activities carried out by a farmer.


In our country engineering, teaching, and medical fields are much sought after. Other professions, occupations though they make a significant contribution to society, do not get their due.

(a)Farmerhighly unpredictable economic gains
(b)Conservancy workers________________


i.Farmerhighly unpredictable economic gains
ii.Conservancy workersNo protective clothing for handling waste, no provision of clean water and soap at the dumps for washing, high risk of skin-related and respiratory diseases due to the handling of and exposure to toxic waste.
iii.Veterinariananimal bites, scratches, exposure to chemicals, exposure to radiation and disease-causing pathogens, etc
iv.Sales Personnelextensive travelling, long working hours, income partly dependent on variables.
v.Factory Workerslow wages, unpredictable working hours, working overtime, health risks, and dangers while handling heavy machinery.

Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy’. Fill in the boxes supporting this statement. Complete the following web diagram.


There are a number of challenges a farmer in India faces. Discuss with your friend, how it is possible to improve the condition of farmers.

1.Water ScarcityRain Water Harvesting
2.Credit and In-debtedness 
3.Land Issues 
4.Climatic changes 
5.Social Groups 
6.Lack of advanced technology 
8.Market Risks 


1.Water ScarcityRain Water Harvesting.
2.Credit and IndebtednessProviding subsidies and waiving loans.
3.Land IssuesPreventing soil erosion, watershed management, crop diversification, etc.
4.Climatic changesInsuring crops damaged due to natural disasters, engaging in climate forecasting to limit the extent of damage
5.Social GroupsSocial groups need to stop influencing a farmer’s choice in terms of the adoption of new methods, diversification, etc. Farmers ought to stop giving in to the pressure put on them by these social groups.
6.Lack of advanced technologyProvision of modern solutions to deal with modern problems, adopting methods that increase yield, making advanced technology available at subsidised rates.
7.DiversificationProvision of agriculture insurance to limit the risks involved in crop diversification, and to reduce the dependence.
8.Market RisksRegularisation of market prices by the government, minimum revenue guarantees for farmers, etc.

The poet has observed the sower closely. Express in your own words the reverence the poet has for the sower.


The poet notices the sower for the first time when the twilight sets in. The sower captures the poet‟s attention because the working hours are over, but the sower is still working hard in the field. As the poet continues to observe the sower, he realises that the sower is committed to his work. The sower‟s silhouette against the twilight sky makes his form dominate the deep furrows. The poet‟s reverence increases when he sees the sower striding across the field in order to scatter the grains far and wide, despite the deepening darkness. For the poet, the actions of the sower are dignified because he knows that the sower was not sowing only for himself, but for everyone else. He persevered so that others could enjoy the fruits of his hard work. The poet‟s respect for the sower increases manifold and he sees the sower as being tall enough to touch the skies.

The poet is prompted to call the sower an ‘august personality’ which means one who has reached the highest position in his workplace.

1.Explain this using the following point.

Hard work


Hard work: The sower is termed as an ‘august personality’ by the poet for his absolute commitment towards his craft. The sower’s diligence can be seen when he continues to work well beyond the working hours. Though the daytime is over, the sower maintains a calm and patient attitude and carries on with his work.

2.Explain this using the following point.



Perseverance: The sower’s perseverance can be seen when he marches along the plain with determination to sow the seeds and hopes for a good harvest. The poem suggests that the sower is old and must have seen many bad harvests in his lifetime. In spite of this, he continues to persevere. He sows the seeds with the same hope and enthusiasm – that of a good harvest.

3.Explain this using the following point.



Dedication: The dedication of the sower can be seen when he takes strides to move back and forth in the field to ensure that the grains are scattered all around so that it results in a good yield.

Pick out the examples of alliteration from the poem and write them down.


  1. Sunlight, I see, dying fast – The consonantal sound ‘s’ is repeated pleasingly.
  2. Darkness deepens. – The consonantal sound ‘d’ is repeated pleasingly.

‘Seems to touch the starry skies’. The poet has used word imagery. Describe the idea and pick out other similar examples from the poem.


The poet has created a mental picture of a farmer touching the sky filled with stars.

Similar examples of word imagery are as follows:

  1. Twilight hastens on to rule.

Write an appreciation of the poem considering the following points:

  • About the poem/poet/title.
  • Theme
  • Poetic devices, language, style
  • Special features/ novelties/focusing elements
  • Values, message
  • Your opinion about the poem.


Appreciation of the poem ‘The Sower’

‘The Sower’ is a poem about the hard work and persistence of a sower, who works tirelessly and relentlessly while the poet observes his actions and terms him as an august personality, who works not for himself, but for others. Originally written by Victor Hugo in French, this poem has been translated to English by the Bengali poet, Torulata Dutt, who was the first Indian poetess to write verses in English and French. The title of the poem represents the central character of the poem, that is, the sower.

The central idea of the poem revolves around the act of sowing seeds by the sower, while the poet observes him and begins to revere him for his noble actions. The poetic devices used in the poem are Alliteration, Antithesis, Consonance, Hyperbole, Inversion, Personification, Repetition, and Synecdoche. An example of Personification from the poem is ‘Twilight hastens on to rule’ where ‘Twilight’ has been given the animate quality of ‘hastening (rushing in)’. The language used by the poet is slightly complex because it has been written in a way that it maintains the rhyme scheme of ‘abab’. It has a steady rhythm and a consistent metre, meaning that there is consistency in the number of syllables used in a line. The poet follows the narrative style of writing, where he gives a first-person account of observing the sower working hard in the field.

The special features used in the poem are imagery and symbolism. The poem is full of descriptive imagery, as each line either describes the scene or the action of the sower or the poet. The dominance of the silhouette of the sower over the deep furrows is symbolic of the dominance of man over nature. The ‘precious grain’ is so-called because each grain holds importance for the sower. He shall sow these grains carefully and hope for a good harvest.

The novelties in this poem are the exact translations of lines from French by Toru Dutt. She chose to provide a true account of the observations, as written by Victor Hugo, instead of trying to refine the lines that sound inelegant when translated. Her retention of the optimistic tone of the poem makes the poem refreshing and appealing. The focussing elements in the poem are the dedication and commitment of the sower, his perseverance, and the poet’s acknowledgment of the sower’s actions as being selfless and noble.

The values that one can learn from this poem are determination, perseverance, and selflessness. The message given by the poet, through this poem, is that one should keep working with a positive attitude in life because one shall eventually reap the benefits of one’s hard work.

The sower’s commitment towards his work and the poet’s admiration of the sower, give the poem a positive and encouraging tone, thus making it a fine read.


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