Class 11 English Chapter 2 NCERT Solutions We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All Be Together Free PDF Download
I honing our seafaring skills
It refers to the efforts made by the narrator and his wife to perfect or sharpen their knowledge of navigation, handling of the boat and equipment and other sea skills.
It refers to the silence just before an impending danger. The peace and quiet suggests that something bad is going to happen.
They are radio-telephonic calls which are given by aircraft or ships stuck in a disastrous situation. They are distress calls made to secure help from other ships nearby.
pinpricks in the vast ocean
This phrase refers to tiny islands in the vast ocean.
They are so small that they appear like tiny pinheads on a map of the vast ocean.
a tousled head
It refers to hair in disarray or the disarranged hair of the author’s son. His hair was all messed up and uncombed.
We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All Be Together Understanding The Text
List the steps taken by the captain
(i) to protect the ship when rough weather began.
(ii) to check the flooding of water in the ship.
(i) In order to protect the ship from rough weather, the captain decided to slow it down. So he dropped the storm jib and lashed a heavy mooring rope in a loop across the stern. Then they double-fastened everything and went through their life-raft drill, attached lifelines and donned oilskins and life jackets.
(ii) To check the flooding of water in the ship, the captain made some repairs and stretched waterproof oilskins in the openings. He secured waterproof hatch covers across the gaping holes which diverted the water to the side. When the two handpumps were lost overboard and the electric pump short-circuited, he found another electric pump and connected it to an out-pipe and managed to pump out the water.
Describe the mental condition of the voyagers on 4th and 5th January.
On 4th January, the mental condition of the voyagers was vacillating between hope and despair. After 36 hours of continuous pumping they could pump much of the water out. But they had to keep pace with the water still coming in. However, their respite was only short-lived. The storm started building up and the situation again became worse.
The narrator went to comfort the children. Jon asked innocently if they were ‘going to die’ but added that he did not mind dying as long as all the family members were together. This statement of the narrator’s child boosted his morale. He became resolute to fight the sea. Those were critical moments for all of them. Mary and the narrator sat together holding each other’s hands. They were scared and felt that their end was very near.
Describe the shifts in the narration of the events as indicated in the three sections of the text. Give a subtitle to each section.
The text has been divided into three sections
Disaster Strikes This part describes the narrator’s desire to go sailing around the world, the preparations they made and the start of their journey and the coming storm. The family celebrates a wonderful Christmas. However, by the New Year the sea becomes rough and the next evening an enormous wave wrecks the ship and injures the narrator and his family members.
Survival Attempts and Searching for Land
This section describes the frantic efforts to save the boat from flooding and the display of heroism by all in the face of disaster. Near the end of this section, the efforts of the narrator to navigate to some nearby islands for safety is mentioned, which the narrator terms as ‘pinpricks in the vast ocean’.
Triumph of the Spirit This part describes the triumph of the spirit and seamanship of the narrator as they reach an island safely. Fittingly, the narrator is given the title of ‘The best daddy and the best captain’ by his son.
We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All Be Together Talking About The Text
Discuss the following questions with your partner.
What difference did you notice between the reaction of the children and the adults when faced with danger?
There was not much difference between the reaction of the children and the adults when faced with danger. However, it was not on the expected lines, as the children were only 6 and 7 years old.
When the adults faced the danger, they were anxious and found ways of battling it. Later, when the motion of the boat brought more and more water in, both Mary and the narrator sat holding hands as they felt the end was very near.
On the other hand, the children showed great courage and did not get lose hope. When Sue hurt herself, she did not worry others about her injury. When the narrator went in to comfort them, Jon said, that they weren’t afraid to die if they could all be together. Sue also gave a card to the narrator that she made with the message of hope.
Thus, the children showed greater positivity than their parents. Hence, we can say that the children were more optimistic than the adults.
How does the story suggest that optimism helps to endure “the direst stress”?
The voyagers did not even once lose their hope or show any weakness.
When the waves were high, the hopeful crew slowed the ship down, fastened everything with a mooring rope and went through the life-raft drill. When the storm struck their ship, the captain was almost killed and the ship was nearly a wreck. However, he held onto the wheel. Water was getting into the ship, but Larry and Herb kept pumping like madmen. This shows that they were not willing to give in to danger and were ready to fight it.
They didn’t lose hope. Even the little girl was so brave that she didn’t inform her parents about her injuries. The little boy, an epitome of courage, said that he was not afraid of dying. All this gave the captain a new hope and a will to fight.
The narrator checked and calculated that their only chance of survival was a 65 kilometre wide island in 150000 square kilometre of ocean. Still they set sail towards it. They were optimistic about finding the small island in the vast ocean. Finally, they set foot on land and survived. Their optimism paid off. All this shows that optimism was the key to their survival. It helped them endure the direst stress.
What lessons do we learn from such hazardous experiences when we are face-to-face with death?
Such experiences teach us that courage, perseverance and tolerance can achieve what seem to be insurmountable odds. They teach us how to react in the most difficult situations. They make us learn to never lose hope and find reasons to stay positive and optimistic in the face of adversity. We learn to try our best to stay calm and composed. We also understand the importance of unity and teamwork and how to utilise our common sense, skill and efforts to avert any catastrophe. Further, we learn to be very careful and cautious in our actions when facing such hazardous experiences.
Why do you think people undertake such adventurous expeditions in spite of the risks involved?
The world is full of all sorts of people. Most of them like to lead a risk-free and peaceful life, but there are a few among us who believe that if we want to live life to the fullest, we have to go beyond the day-to-day routine. They don’t hesitate even to undertake dangerous expeditions. If that were not the case, a lot of mysteries, places and events would not be known to the world.
Such expeditions are risky. But still people go on them without caring for even death or disaster. They are very daring. It takes much courage to perform such tasks. For them life is a battle which can be won only after fighting for it, rather than sitting relar.^U and carefree. The history of mankind shows that our progress owes much to such brave and fearless people.
We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All Be Together Thinking About Language
We have come across words like ‘gale’ and ‘storm’ in the account. Here are two more words for ‘storm’: typhoon, cyclone. How many words does your language have for ‘storm’?
In Hindi, ‘storm’ is known as ‘aandhi’, ‘toofan’, ‘jhanjavat’ and ‘chakravat’.
Here are the terms for different kinds of vessels: yatch, boat, canoe, ship, steamer, schooner. Think of similar terms in your language.
‘Naav’, ‘Nauka’, ‘Pot’, ‘Jahaaz’ and ‘Kishti’ are some of the words used in Hindi for the word ‘boat’.
‘Catamaran’ is a kind of a boat. Do you know which Indian language this word is derived from? Check the dictionary.
The word ‘Catamaran’ is derived from the Tamil word ‘Kattumaram’, that means ‘tied wood’. Catamaran is a name applied to any craft having twin hulls. Originally, it denoted a form of sailing and paddling raft employed on the coasts of India.
” Have you heard any boatmen’s songs? What kind of emotions do these songs usually express?
Yes, we have heard boatmen’s songs. They usually express love and nostalgia. They revolve around the longing to meet a loved one or express their love for the sea.
We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All Be Together Working With Words
The following words used in the text as ship terminology are also commonly used in another sense. In what contexts would you use the other meaning?
(i) in a rope / string / ribbon: a joint made by tying together two pieces of rope / string / ribbon etc.
e.g. Tying a knot while wearing a tie
(ii) (verb) way of tying two ropes / strings,
e.g. knot together two ropes
(iii) a tangled mass.
e.g. many ropes / strings jumbled together which . are hard to separate
(iv) a tight group of people.
e.g. A knot of people surrounded the politician.
(v) tight feeling or tenseness.
e.g. I could feel a knot of fear in my throat.
(vi) a lump in a tree trunk.
e.g. The old tree had many knots on its trunk.
(vii) a dark round patch in a plank of wood.
e.g. The wooden plank was of poor quality due to having too many knots.
(viii) lump in the outer surface of the body.
e.g. The old man had many knots on his face and back.
(i) serious and usually disapproving.
e.g. The teacher gave the student a stem look.
e.g. The father gave a stem warning to his son.
(iii) serious and difficult.
e.g. The government faced stem opposition to the new law.
(i) (noun) sudden increase in trade and economic activity.
e.g. A boom occurred before 2008.
(ii) (noun) increase in popularity.
e.g. The boom in cricket tournaments is giving much money to players and sponsors.
(iii) (noun) a large increase in quantity.
e.g. A population boom occurred after the war ended.
(iv) (noun) a deep loud sound.
e.g. the boom of the cannons could be heard far away.
(v) (noun/adjective) long pole for a microphone / the microphone fixed on a long pole.
e.g. The boom mike could be stretched right across the stage.
(vi) (verb) making a loud sound.
e.g. A voice suddenly boomed out of the darkness.
(i) (verb) to come out of an egg.
e.g. The chicken takes many days to hatch from an egg.
(ii) (verb) to create a plan.
e.g. The thieves took a long time to hatch a plan for robbing the bank.
(iii) (noun) opening in a wall between two rooms.
e.g. The kitchen had a serving hatch to the dining room
(i) (noun) person or thing giving a feeling of safety,
e.g. The grandfather was the anchor of the family in all the crises they faced.
(ii) (noun) co-ordinator of a programme.
e.g. Satish is the anchor of this popular TV programme.
(iii) (verb) fix firmly in position.
e.g. The athlete anchored his foot on the starting block.
(iv) (verb) base on some subject.
e.g. Premchand’s stories are anchored in real life.
The following three compound words end in ship. What does each of them mean?
(a) airship A large aircraft without wings, filled in its balloon with a gas which is lighter than air. It is driven by an engine.
(i) (noun) The main ship in a fleet which also carries the navy’s flag.
e.g. The flagship carried the tricolour.
(ii) (adjective) The most important product / service / programme that an organisation owns or produces.
e.g. The flagship programme of BBC TV is its . World News.
(c) lightship A small ship with a powerful fight that stays at a fixed point at sea to warn other ships to stay away because of some danger.
The following are the meanings listed in the dictionary against the phrase ‘take on’. In which meaning is it used in the third paragraph of the account:
take on sth: to begin to have a particular quality or appearance; to assume sth take sb on: to employ sb; to engage sb; to accept sb as one’s opponent in a game, contest or conflict
take sb/sth on: to decide to do sth; to allow sth/sb to enter e.g. a bus, plane or ship; to take sth/sb on board
In the third paragraph, in the lines “…….. we took on two crewmen to help us tackle …….. roughest seas ……..”, the phrase ‘take on’ means ‘to employ’ or ‘to engage’.
We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All Be Together Things To Do
Given is a picture of a yacht. Label the parts of the yacht using the terms given in the box.
Here is some information downloaded from the Internet on lie Amsterdam. You can view images of the isle if you go online.
|Location||South Indian Ocean, between southernmost parts of Australia and South Africa|
|Latitude and longitude||37 92 S, 77 67 E|
|Political status notes||Part of French Southern and Antarctic Lands|
|Census notes Land area in square kilometres||Meteorological station staff 86|
Locate Ile Amsterdam on the world map.
We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All Be Together Short Questions and Answers (2 Marks)
Where did the narrator want to go? Why?
The narrator and his family loved adventures. The narrator wanted to duplicate the ‘round-the-world’ voyage made by the famous explorer Captain James Cook 200 years ago. So, he set sail in Wavewalker, a boat specially designed and made for the purpose. Perhaps the dangers and adventure involved in the voyage and their desire to accomplish something unique beckoned them to undertake the journey.
What preparations did the narrator and his wife make for their round-the-world sea voyage?
The narrator and his wife wanted to ‘duplicate’ the round-the-world voyage made 200 years ago by Captain James Cook. They had been making formidable preparations for the last 16 years. First of all they got a boat especially designed and professionally built for this purpose. They tested it for months in the roughest weather. They spent all their leisure time in strengthening their seafaring skills in British waters. They were both mentally and physically prepared to undertake their exceptionally long and challenging sea voyage.
Describe the boat Wavewalker.
The narrator wanted to duplicate the round-the-world voyage made by Captain James Cook 200 years ago. In order to undertake this journey they got a boat built professionally. The boat, named Wavewalker, was a 23 metre, 30 ton wooden-hulled sailboat. They had spent months fitting it out and testing it in the roughest weather they could find.
Why did they take on two crewmen with them at Cape Town?
Before heading East from Cape Town, they took on two crewmen who were experienced seamen. They were Larry Vigil, an American and Herb Seigler, a Swiss. The narrator took this step because he knew that they would require help to tackle one of the world’s roughest seas – the southern Indian Ocean.
What troubles did they face after completing the first leg of their journey?
The first leg of their journey passed pleasantly as they sailed down the West Coast of Africa to Cape Town. But the trouble started when they left Cape Town.
On the second day out of Cape Town, they began to encounter strong gales. Gales didn’t worry the narrator but the size of the waves was alarming. They rose as high as the main mast. The howling of the wind and the spray was painful to the ears.
How did the voyagers celebrate their Christmas and where?
On Christmas Day, the voyagers were 3500 kms East of Cape Town in the southern Indian Ocean. Though the sea was rough, they enjoyed a wonderful holiday. They celebrated Christmas singing carols complete with a Christmas tree with them. They expected the weather to improve but it didn’t.
How was the weather on the morning of 2nd January?
On New Year’s Day, the weather saw no improvement and was bad. On 2nd January, it got even worse. The waves were gigantic. They were sailing with only a small storm jib but still were going pretty fast. As the ship rose to the top of each wave they could see the endless, enormous sea rolling towards them. The wind seemed to be howling.
What attempts did the narrator make to protect himself and his family from the huge waves?
The waves were gigantic on 2nd January. In order to protect themselves, they decided to slow down the boat. They dropped the storm jib and lashed a heavy mooring rope in a loop across the stem. Then they double-lashed everything, went through their life-raft drill, attached lifelines, donned oilskins and life jackets and prepared themselves for the worst case scenario.
What were the first indications of the ‘impending disaster’that ultimately struck them on January 2?
The first indication of the impending disaster came at about 6 pm on January 2. An ominous silence prevailed all around. The wind dropped. The sky immediately grew dark. Then came a growing roar. A huge vertical wave, almost twice the height of the other waves, came roaring towards the ship. These were the indications of the coming disaster.
What happened after the ‘ominous silence’?
The ominous silence was the first indication of impending disaster. The wind dropped and the sky immediately grew dark. The narrator saw what he thought as an enormous cloud coming towards the ship. With horror he realised that it was not a cloud but a wave like no other he had ever seen. It was almost twice the height of other waves.
The wave hit the boat and wrecked it completely. Water gushed from all sides and the boat started filling with water.
What was the result of the ‘tremendous explosion’?
The gigantic wave hit the boat and a tremendous explosion shook the deck. A torrent of green and white water broke over the ship.
The narrator’s head smashed against the wheel and he was flung overboard. He was almost dead and the whole ship was reduced to a wreck.
Others were also hurt in the process. Then the frantic efforts to save the boat and everybody’s life began.
How did the narrator accept his ‘approaching death’ and why was he still peaceful?
The narrator saw a torrent of green and white water breaking over the ship. His head had smashed into the wheel. He felt himself flying overboard and sinking below the waves.
He was losing consciousness. He accepted his approaching death without murmuring. He felt quite peaceful even when death was approaching and Wavewalker was near capsizing.
How did the narrator hurt himself on January 2?
The narrator hurt himself very badly on January 2 when a tremendously high wave hit their boat and he was initially thrown overboard before being tossed back by the wave to hit the boom of the boat. Subsequent waves tossed him around the deck like a rag doll, cracking his left ribs and breaking his teeth.
“I had no time to worry about bumped heads”, says the narrator. What problem do you think deserved his immediate attention?
The problem that deserved immediate attention was the repair of the starboard side, which had bashed open; with every wave, it was letting water enter the boat. If he did not make some repairs, the boat would have surely sunk and they would have drowned.
What are Mayday calls? Why was the ship getting no replies to its Mayday calls?
Mayday calls are distress signals sent through the radio by ships facing trouble in the sea. They are made to get help from other ships passing nearby.
The boat Wavewalker was not getting replies to its Mayday calls because the boat had reached a remote part of the sea where other ships did not go.
What did Sue say when she was asked by her father about why she had not complained about her grave injuries?
Sue had been injured badly when the wave had hit the ship. Her head had swollen alarmingly. She had two black eyes and she had also showed to her parents a deep cut on her arm. When asked why she had not complained about her injuries earlier, she replied that she had not wanted to worry her parents when they were trying to save them all.
“I didn’t want to worry you when you were trying to save us all.” What does this show about the speaker?
This shows that she was very courageous. The speaker of these lines is the little girl, Sue. She is just 7 years old. After the gigantic wave hit the ship, she was also hurt. Her head was swollen when the narrator saw her in the cabin. However, she never mentioned the deep cut in her arm because she didn’t want her father to worry about her when he was trying to save everybody else.
What happened on the morning of 3rd January?
By the morning of 3rd January, they had managed to pump out the water out of the boat to a reasonable level and the situation was under control but, they suspected a huge leak somewhere and found that nearly all the boat’s main rib frames were damaged down to its bottom. The narrator knew that Wavewalker will not be able to hold together long enough to reach Australia. So the narrator made some calculations and found two small islands a few hundred kilometres to the East. They hoped to reach one of them.
What were the chances of the voyagers’ survival after the big wave hit them?
The chances of the survival of the Wavewalker’s crew were very bleak. They somehow survived for 15 hours after the wave hit the boat. But the
narrator knew that the Wavewalker was not going to hold on much longer. He checked his charts and calculated that there were two small islands a few hundred kilometres to the East. Their only hope of survival was to reach these islands in the vast ocean.
Why did the narrator and his wife Mary feel that ‘the end was very near’? What situation made them feel so?
The situation which made them feel that “the end was very near” that at 4 PM on January 4, black clouds began building up behind their boat, within an hour the wind increased to 40 knots and the waves were getting higher. The weather continued to deteriorate throughout the night, and by dawn on January 5, the motion of the boat brought more and more water in through the broken planks. Thus, they felt that the boat would sink and they would all die.
How and when did Wavewalker ride out the storm? How did the narrator feel at that time?
The Wavewalker rode out the storm on the morning of January 6 when the wind eased. He was able to calculate the boat’s position using the sextant and accordingly he asked Larry to steer the boat towards lie Amsterdam, as he was very tired. The narrator felt that they had to survive, seeing the optimism of his two children. But he was still having doubts about it and so felt heavy-hearted. But his calculations proved correct and they reached lie Amsterdam by evening.
Justify the title of the story: “We’re Not Afraid to Die…”
“We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All Be Together” is the story of rare courage and perseverance that was shown by the narrator, his crewmen, his wife and children. Everybody confronted the disaster with patience, courage and determination. Even the children showed courage. They did not give up hope even till the last moment. The narrator made all possible attempts to save their lives. Like his father, Jon reacted very bravely that they were not afraid to die, but it would be better if they died together. Hence, the title is apt and logically justified.
Why did Jonathan call the narrator, the best daddy and best captain in the world?
Jonathan called the narrator the best daddy and the best captain in the world because they had reached the island lie Amsterdam. His son was expressing his relief and gratitude towards his father due to the narrator’s devotion to save them all from death as well as his seafaring skills. He was the “best daddy” because his devotion to them helped them survive the storm with his efforts to keep the boat afloat. He was the “best captain” because he had correctly enabled them to steer to the island so that they survived.
Why did the narrator call lie Amsterdam the most beautiful island in the world?
lie Amsterdam was the only hope of survival for the voyagers and so, when they reached there, it looked the most beautiful island in the world to the narrator. He was successful in saving his family and crewmen by reaching it. He had won the fight for survival. If they had not reached the island, they surely would have sunk.
Describe lie Amsterdam. How did its inhabitants behave with the newcomers?
lie Amsterdam was a French scientific base. It was ‘a bleak piece of volcanic rock’. It had little vegetation but still it appeared to be ‘the most beautiful island in the world’. The boat anchored offshore for the night. The next morning all 28 inhabitants of the island cheered them and helped them ashore.
What did the narrator think of on landing at He Amsterdam? Why?
On landing at lie Amsterdam, the narrator’s thoughts were fuH of Larry and Herb, his crew members who remained cheerful and optimistic throughout the hardships they had faced. He thought of his wife also who stayed at the wheel for aH those crucial hours. He also thought of his daughter, who had been so brave aU through the ordeaL and had not bothered about her head injury.
We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All Be Together Long Questions and Answers (6 Marks)
Highlight the tremendous courage and forbearance shown by the two children during the struggle to keep the boat from sinking. What values do you learn from them?
The two children, Suzanne and Jonathan, showed tremendous courage and forbearance during the epic struggle put up by their parents and the crewmen to keep the boat from sinking. Sue had been injured badly when the big wave hit the boat. Her head had swollen alarmingly and both her eyes were hind. She also had a deep cut on her arm. But she did not complain about her injuries as she did not want to worry her parents when they were trying to save them aU. When the author went to comfort the children, his son Jonathan, asked him if they were going to die. When he was assured that they would aU survive, he told his father that they were not afraid of dying if they could aU be together. Moreover, Sue had patience and power enough to even draw the caricatures of her parents with a message of hope and gratitude to her parents. The children, thus, exhibit extraordinary patience, courage and tolerance.
“We’re Not Afraid to Die” is a saga of patience and bravery. Comment.
The story ‘We’re Not Afraid to Die’ is a story of the rare courage and perseverance of the narrator’s family. The narrator’s undertaking to replicate Captain James Cook’s voyage was a challenging task, as they had to sail in some of the roughest seas. However, the voyagers kept their spirits high and made aH efforts to save the boat and their lives. Even in the worst of circumstances, the captain did not give up hope and tried his best to protect the ship from flooding. AU the dangers and disasters were confronted with patience, courage and determination.
Even the children showed exemplary courage. They were not afraid to die if they were all together. The two crewmen continuously pumped out water and never complained. They trusted their captain and
worked as a team. Luckily the voyagers were able to come out of a near death experience due to their never-say-die attitude. Thus, the story proves to be a saga of patience and bravery.
The hurdles of life can be challenged if we have confidence to make optimum use of our potential. Elaborate.
The statement holds true in the light of the story ‘We’re Not Afraid to Die…….’. The narrator along with his wife, children, and two crewmen overcame the worst situations and defeated death by fighting the adverse situations which cropped up during their voyage. When the big wave hit the boat, it was severely damaged and the narrator was badly injured. However, he did not pay attention to it and held on to the wheel. Both Larry and Herb kept pumping out water and did not stop.
Moreover, when the handpumps stopped working and the electric pump short-circuited, he did not lose confidence and used electric pump to drive out water from the boat. Even the children had confidence in their father and they hoped to survive. They also : showed great courage. Jon said that they were not afraid to die if they are all together. Sue made a card to thank her parents. It was a great example of unity and trust that they had on each other,
Thus, it can be concluded that by staying optimistic like the children and making the best use of your potential like the narrator, one can fight adversities and be a winner.
The reaction of the crew and children gives us an insight into the human mind and how it can help us to survive any disaster. Discuss.
The reaction of the crew and children gives us an insight into the human mind. The crew reacted to the danger with a fighting spirit and optimism. Their undaunted efforts helped them to survive the disaster. On the other hand, the children showed amazing maturity and resilience in the face of disaster. They remained strong and composed.
Despite serious injuries, both the children displayed courage and patience.
Adopting a courageous attitude in times of difficulties motivates one to face the upheavals of life courageously. It is rightly said “Cowards die many times before their death; the valiant face death only once”, and when the valiant do die, they die a heroes’ death. The story inspires us to maintain our calm in a crisis. Stress and panic only worsen the situation. If we accept difficulties as a way of life and face them with a brave front, they soon fade away. By being positive and not losing faith in ourselves can help us to survive any disaster.