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Summary of On the Face of It? by Susan Hill Class 12 English Vistas


Summary of On the Face of It? by Susan Hill Class 12 English Vistas

Notes for On the Face of It

  • Derry was a teenager, highly pessimistic and withdrawn from the mainstream society.
  • He developed this attitude after one side of his face was disfigured by acid. He avoided company of others and remained lonely lest he be noticed by other people.
  • He believed that no one loved him and his mother loved him because she was supposed to.
  • Once he heard two women commenting about his monstrous appearance. They said only a mother could love a face like his.
  • On another day Derry heard his parents conversing that he would not survive after their death because he was deformed.
  • The shock he received from these words was big.
  • On another occasion Derry heard his relatives saying that in their opinion a deformed boy like Derry could accommodate himself with other deformed boys and girls. Derry had his ears always open for such comments and used to respond to them in his silent way.
  • He concluded that the world altogether didn‘t need a boy like him.
  • One day Derry accidently met a man called Mr. Lamb.
  • Mr. Lamb was an old man with a lame leg. After he became lame, Mr. Lamb began to develop a positive attitude with his deformity.
  • He worked hard to defeat this impairment and learnt to walk and climb ladders. He was happy to be alive and ignored his lameness.
  • He made everyone his friend and had a house with no curtains and open doors. He welcomed anyone who came to him.
  • While Mr. Lamb took his impairment as a challenge and tried to overcome it, Derry believed that he was unwanted and lost. His pain was physical and mental. Being a child he was not as strong as Mr. Lamb about suffering.
  • He couldn‘t take the sneering and sympathizing world as taken by Mr. Lamb. Mr. Lamb was able to sit smart and unaffected as long as he wore trousers and sat but Derry had no way to hide his face. After meeting Mr. Lamb Derry realized how foolish he had been to believe his parents.
  • For him Lamb was a man who opened the doors of his closed world in an hour‘s time the same of which were shut on him by his parents and therefore believed that his company with Lamb would make him a perfect person.
  • At the end Derry goes back to his house where his mother cross questioned him. She had instructed him not to step out of the house.
  • Derry tried to convince his mother that Mr. Lamb was an extremely good man but she was not ready to listen.
  • Ignoring his mother‘s thoughtless restrictions, Derry left his home and ran to Mr. Lamb‘s garden.
  • On reaching, Derry found a motionless Mr. Lamb fallen from the ladder. He had fallen while pulling the crab apples down from the tree.


On the Face of It Summary in English

This play deals with the problem of the disabled people and depicts that merely the encouraging words may change our tensed feelings. It is for us to see and understand life in every organism. It does not matter what we look like but it matters how we can uplift a disabled man. It is not the actual pain or inconvenience caused by a physical impairment that troubles a disabled man but the behaviour of the people around him. People discard him as a useless limb and refuse to accept him in the mainstream of life. So he feels alienated from the society and wants to live in seclusion. In a way Derry suffers from
inferiority complex. Mr. Lamb motivates him to think positively about life, people and things.
It is a fine day and Mr. Lamb is in his garden. He is an old man with a tin leg. He leads a lonely life and is always ready to accept any visitor who comes in his garden. One day Derry, a young boy of fourteen sneaks into Mr. Lamb‘s garden. He has a burnt face with acid so he looks very ugly. He has become defiant and withdrawn due to his disfigured face. He does not want to face the world with his ugly and disfigured face.
Derry climbs over the wall and cautiously walks through the long grass. He is quite close to Lamb. He is sacred when Lamb speaks to him. Lamb asks him to tread carefully because the long grass is littered with wild apples dropped by wind. Derry is utterly confused as he has come there considering the place empty. Having been detected by Lamb, Derry panicked and wants to go. Lamb asks him not to leave as he does not mind anybody‘s coming into his garden. He keeps the gate always open. He advises to enter through the gate rather than by climbing over the garden wall. Lamb tells that all who come to his garden, are welcome. But Derry says that he has not come to steal but he wants only to come into garden. He rather tells Derry not to afraid of anything but Derry points out that the people are afraid of him because of his ugly and disfigured face. Derry adds that he is afraid of himself when he sees his face in the mirror.
Lamb tries to console him. He asks him to face the harsh realities of life bravely. He tries to divert the views of Derry from his burnt face to the fruits in the garden, but Derry keeps on talking about his ugly face. Lamb tries to make him understand that it is the inner beauty of a person that matters, not his outer beauty. Derry does not agree with it. He tells lamb that it is important to be handsome from outside also. He says that even his mother kisses him on the other side of his face. He says that he has to spend whole of his life with his half face. Mr. Lamb points out that there is no difference between a flower plant and a weed since both are living and growing plants. Derry remarks that Mr. Lamb can put on trousers and cover up his tin-leg. Then Mr. Lamb reminds Derry of a fairy tale of Beauty and The Beast in which the princess kisses the Beast who in turn changes into a handsome prince. This makes Derry understand that ugliness is only skin deep. A man is not what he looks like but what he really is. Handsome is that handsome does. This story is to inspire Derry and he should not care for his burnt face. But Derry tells that people stare at his face and they are afraid of him.
Derry tells Lamb that women talk of his ugly face. They say that none will kiss except his mother. Mr. Lamb tells him that he must have heard so many other things also. The best thing is to keep his ears shut and need not pay attention to such talks. Mr. Lamb talks about the bees in his garden. Some people like their buzzing while others hate. But Lamb calls it a sweet music. It is only the difference of attitude.
Derry tells that people stare at his face so he avoids them. But Mr. Lamb tells that keeping alone is not a fine thing. He tells a story about a man who was always afraid of being run over or getting infected or meeting with some accident. So he locked himself in a room. There a picture fell on his head and
killed him.
Derry says that his family often talks about him downstairs when he is not there. They are worried to think what is going to happen to him when they are gone and how he will get on in this world. Mr. Lamb does not agree with him. Lamb encourages him that he has got two arms, legs, eyes, ears, a tongue and a brain.
He can achieve whatever he likes. He can be better than others. He tells Derry that he has got a full body. He can do anything like other people or may do better than others.
He asks Lamb several questions to know more about him. Mr. Lamb says that he sits in the sun and reads the books. He likes the windows open to hear the wind. Lambs tells that he has a lot of friends everywhere. Everybody who comes in his garden is his friend. Derry wonders how a person can be his friend about whom he knows nothing. Derry says that there are some people he hates. But Lamb remarks that hatred would do him more harm than any bottle of acid. Acid only burns our face or so but hatred can burn us away inside.
Lamb asks him to be a friend. Derry asks how they can be friends only in one meeting. But Lamb tells him that he can come there at any time even if he is out. Derry thinks to help him. He tells Lamb that with one leg he can fall off a ladder and die. Derry offers to help him but he wants to inform his mother where he is since she will be worried. Lamb doubts if he would come back. Derry assures him to return but Lamb says to himself that people never come back though they say that they will come back.
Derry goes back to his house and tells everything to his mother. Derry says that he wants to go there, sit and listen to things and look. Nobody else has ever said the things the old man has said. His mother stops him from going to the old man‘s house. She tells that she has heard strange stories about the old man. She urges him not to go there again. Derry insists that he must go there otherwise he will never go anywhere in this world. In spite of his mother‘s strong resistance, Derry slams the door and runs away to help Lamb in collecting crab apples.
In the meantime Mr. Lamb climbs on the ladder for the apples. The ladder falls back and Mr. Lamb is killed. Derry opens the gate and says excitedly that he has come back. Suddenly he catches sight of Mr. Lamb. He runs through the long grass and says, 'I came back Lamey-Lamb. I did come back'. But there is no response. Derry kneels by him and weeps and realizes that he has lost his only friend in this world.

Summary of On the Face of It in Hindi

कहानी एक किशोर लड़के (डेरी) से शुरू होती है जो एक बगीचे में प्रवेश करता है। दुर्घटना के कारण उनके चेहरे पर तेजाब गिरा और एक तरफ जल गया। उन्हें लोगों का सामना करने से डर लगता था इसलिए वह छिपने के लिए वहां गए हैं। क्योंकि दूसरे लोग उन्हें ऐसा चेहरा होने पर चिढ़ाते हैं। बगीचे में प्रवेश करने पर वह पाता है कि कोई वहां पहले से मौजूद है। इसलिए, वह जाने की कोशिश करता है लेकिन बूढ़ा आदमी, मिस्टर लैम्ब (बगीचे के मालिक) उसे रोक देता है।

बिना अनुमति के नहीं आने पर डेरी दोषी महसूस करता है। हालाँकि, श्रीमान् लैम्ब अपने बगीचे में उनका स्वागत करते हैं और उनसे कहते हैं कि केवल उनकी उपस्थिति के कारण उन्हें न छोड़ें। लोगों को उसका चेहरा पसंद नहीं है जो डैरी सोचता है और इसलिए वह छोड़ना चाहता है। फिर श्रीमान् लैम्ब ने उसे वहीं रहने के लिए कहा। उसके बाद उनकी बातचीत शुरू हो जाती है कि कैसे डेरी जैसा कोई नहीं और उनके साथ ऐसा व्यवहार करने वाले लोगों से कैसे नफरत करता है। साथ ही, श्रीमान लैम्ब उसे सांत्वना देने का प्रयास करते हैं।

मिस्टर लैम्ब ने उसे बताया कि उसके पास टिन का पैर है और बच्चे उसका कैसे मज़ाक उड़ाते हैं। फिर भी वह अपने जीवन का भरपूर आनंद उठाते हैं। उनकी बातचीत चलती रही और ऐसी स्थिति में होने के बारे में डैरी के डर, घृणा और अवसाद के बारे में कई बातें सामने आईं। साथ ही, श्रीमान लैम्ब उसे सकारात्मक बातों के बारे में सोचने के लिए कहते रहते हैं। जल्द ही वे दोस्त बन गए और मिस्टर लैम्ब ने डेरी से उसके बगीचे के केकड़े सेब तोड़ने में उसकी सहायता करने के लिए कहा।

डेरी ने उसे बताया कि वह अपने घर से बहुत दूर आ गया था और उसने अपनी माँ को इस बारे में कुछ नहीं बताया था। इसलिए, श्रीमान लैम्ब ने उसे अपनी माँ से अनुमति लेने के लिए कहा। बर डेरी को यह मुश्किल लगता है और इससे उन दोनों के बीच एक छोटी सी बहस हो जाती है। आखिरकार, डेरी सहमत हो जाता है और मिस्टर लैम्ब से कहता है कि वह अपनी माँ से अनुमति माँगकर वापस आएगा। हालाँकि, उसकी माँ नहीं चाहती कि वह जाए लेकिन वह अपना वादा पूरा करने के लिए वापस आ गया।

इस बीच, श्रीमान लैम्ब केकड़े के सेबों को तोड़ने के लिए अपने दम पर एक सीढ़ी चढ़ते हैं क्योंकि उन्हें यकीन था कि डेरी वापस नहीं आएंगे। इसके अलावा, उनकी विकलांगता के कारण, उनके लिए चढ़ना मुश्किल था। तो, वह सीढ़ी से फिसल जाता है और मर जाता है। दूसरी ओर, डेरी उसकी मदद करने के लिए बगीचे में लौटता है लेकिन बगीचे में प्रवेश करने पर वह उसे फर्श पर पड़ा हुआ देखता है। इसके अलावा, वह उसे स्थानांतरित करने का प्रयास करता है लेकिन उससे कोई प्रतिक्रिया नहीं मिली। अंत में उसे पता चला कि वह मर चुका है और रोने लगा।

इसके सारांश के आधार पर, लेखक यह कहना चाहता है कि हमें कभी भी अपनी शक्ल पर शर्म नहीं करनी चाहिए। साथ ही हमें अपने बारे में सकारात्मक और आशावादी होना चाहिए।

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