Father To Son – Summary in simple language | Question-Answers | Class 11
About the Poem
The central idea of the poem is the generation gap which occurs when the communication link between two generations breaks due to a mutual lack of understanding, tolerance, and acceptance.
The unhappy father complains that he cannot understand his child despite having lived together, for so many years in the same house. Instead of bonding together, they have drifted apart. The gap has resulted in non-communication and non-understanding of each other. If both of them decide to take a lead and are willing to forget and forgive, their relationship may improve.
1. Why is the father unhappy and what is the problem? 2011, 2017
Ans. Father is unhappy because he has no communication with his son. They do not understand each other and treat each other like a stranger. Though they lived below an equivalent roof, they have nothing common in them.
2. Why does the father want to build a relationship with the son?
Ans. The helpless father wants to build a positive relationship with his son because there is literally no communication between them. They do not understand each other and they are strangers to each other. There is nothing common between them.
3. How did the father feel helpless in spite of the fact that the son is built to his design?
How the father’s helplessness brought in the poem? 2011,2012, 2013 2017
Ans. Physically, the son is built up as his father wanted him to be. But the father feels helpless because he wanted his son to grow up into a man of his choice but the son, growing up chose another of his own. He had his own likes and dislikes which the father could not relate. There is a communication gap between them. They do not understand each other and treat each other like a stranger.
4. What will the daddy need his son to do?
Ans. The father wants his son to return to his father’s house. He is ready to forgive him for all the wrong he has done. He does not want him to go away but return to him.
5. What does the father mean when he says, ‘Silence surrounds us.’
Ans. By this, the father means that now complete silence prevails between the father and the son. They no longer talk to each other and only silence surrounds them.
6. What do the words ‘an empty hand’ signify?
Ans. The words ‘an empty hand’ signify that neither father nor the son has gained anything from their state of estrangement. Both of them are empty-handed.
7. ‘….we must live on the same globe and the same land’. Explain the significance of these lines.
Ans. The father wants to convince his estranged son. In spite of their deep differences, they must live on the same globe. They will have to live in the same world. Living together in the same world, it becomes necessary that they should develop mutual understanding. They should build up a relationship between them.
8. ‘Father to son’ doesn’t talk of an exclusive personal experience only but it has a fairly universal appeal. Justify this statement. 2018
Ans. In the poem, the poet does talk of an exclusive personal experience. He talks about the deep differences that separate both of them. But the poem does have a universal appeal. The father and the son represent the generation gap that separates every father and every son in every family.