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Childhood Class 11 English Notes

Please refer to Childhood Class 11 English Notes and summary provided below. The following summary and solved questions have been designed as per the latest syllabus and books issued by CBSE, NCERT, and KVS. By going through and learning the below notes for Class 11 English you will be able to understand the entire chapter and easily solve questions in your exams. Also, refer to the Class 11 English Chapter Summary for all chapters in your textbooks.

Class 11 English Childhood Summary and Questions

The following Childhood Class 11 English Notes and questions answers will help you to easily learn the entire chapter. You will be able to solve all questions in upcoming Class 11 English exams and score better marks


Childhood is the golden period of life. A child is close to God or an angel. The reasons are obvious. He is simple and carefree. He has not been corrupted by the wicked ways of the world. He is innocent and lovable. It is a fashion to regret the loss of childhood.

In this very simple poem, the poet longs for the revival of childhood. He is fed up with the evil symptoms of growing up. As the child grows in years, in body and mind, he loses his simplicity. He starts questioning old ideas and old values. He refuses to be led by the nose, to accept the existence of hell and heaven. Grown-ups become more and more hypocritical. They talk about the virtues of love and brotherhood, but they don’t practise it. They think independently chiefly to disagree with others. The poet’s search for his childhood remains futile. It is the privilege of a small child only.


The poem deals with the problems of growing up, from childhood to manhood. Only a child up to a certain age remains simple-hearted, believing and submissive. But with physical growth there comes a change in his thinking as well.

The poet wonders when he lost his childhood and became a teenager or grown-up. Perhaps the turning point was the age-factor. When he was past eleven, he refused to accept mutely what elders taught him. He started questioning the very existence of heaven and hell. He called them the creation of man’s imagination, with no geographical existence.
With growing up, he also discovered to his shock that grown-up people were blatant liars. Their actions did not match with their words. They preached love but practised hatred. They were selfish, greedy and untrustworthy.

The poet hits upon a new idea about when he ceased to be a child and became an adult. It was when he began to think freely and even differently from others. He began to judge people and their words critically. Such confidence gave him a sense of maturity.

But none of the alternatives satisfies the poet. He realises that it is impossible to become simple and trusting like a child. Childhood is a stage, a beginning. Once you have crossed the border-line, you become so-called worldly-wise and even wicked.

when did my childhood go–the poet wonders when he outgrew his childhood and became an adult. This change is as much a matter of physical growth as of mental growth. Childhood denotes innocence whereas an adult becomes worldly-wise and even wicked; ceased–stopped: realised–with age came wisdom and understanding. He was convinced that hell and heaven are just myths and unreal. They do not exist on earth; in Geography–on world map; could not be-hence they have no fixed location anywhere on the earth.

Short Questions

Question. How did the poet feel about the heaven and hell in his childhood? what does he think about them now?
Answer: In his childhood, the poet felt that heaven and hell were real places. One went to live there after ones death. But now he thinks that they are not real places they are just product of imagination.

Question. Why does the poet think that heaven and hell aren’t real places?
Answer: As the poet has grown up,he has become rational. He can’t find heaven and hell anywhere in books on geography. That is why he thinks that is not real places.

Question. What do adults usually talk and preach of ? how do they differ in their actions?
Answer: Adults usually talk and preach of love but in their action they aren’t so loving their loving and caring is only in their preaching and speaking.

Question. What has the poet found about his mind? How can he use mind?
Answer: The poet is found that his mind is really his own. It belongs to him and none else. He can use it in whatever way he likes.

Question. Why does the poet say that his childhood has gone to some forgotten place?
Answer: The poet remains caught in a way of the world he hardly ever remember his childhood. That is why he says that his childhood has gone to some forgotten place.


When did my childhood go?
Was it the day I ceased to be eleven,
Was it the time I realized that Hell and Heaven,
Could not be found in Geography,
And therefore could not be,
Was that the day!

Question. Why does the poet suspect science in connection with his losing his childhood?
Answer: The poet blames science for his losing his childhood. As a child he had strong belief in God and  Heaven, all that he had learnt in his catechism/moral training classes but when he attended school, teachers told him that Heaven was not found in Geography so he concluded that Heaven and God were just lies.

Question. What is the age of the poet?
Answer: The poet is an adult.

Question. What did the poet realize when he was twelve years?
Answer: At the age of twelve, the poet learnt that Hell and Heaven were not real but mere stories and that science didn’t support the existence of Hell and heaven.

Question. What is the poet’s mood?
Answer: The poet is sad and helpless. He is lamenting/sad that he has been stripped off of his childhood’s innocence.

When did my childhood go?
Was it when I found my mind was really mine,
To use whichever way I choose,
Producing thoughts that were not those of other people,
But my own, and my alone,
Was that the day!

Question. What happened to the poet when he was aware of his ego?
Answer: At the end of his childhood, the poet realized that he too was a separate individual. He began to take his own decisions. He seldom listened to his elders because he began to place himself at the center of everything.

Question. What did the poet discover about his mind? What was the impact of this discovery?
Answer: The poet discovered that he was different from others hence an independent person. This discovery paved the way to his self-centrism and ego. He ceased to be listening to other people because his ideas started clashing with those of others.

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