Chapter 5 On the Face of It Class 12 Vistas English NCERT Summary are organized in a systematic manner, making it easier for readers to understand and strengthen their concepts. By following these notes, readers can learn the chapter in a structured way, allowing them to build a stronger foundation of knowledge.
Chapter 5 Class 12 Vistas English NCERT Notes serve as a valuable resource for reinforcing understanding and improving studies of the students.
Chapter 5 On the Face of It Class 12 Vistas NCERT Notes
About the Chapter
In this play, we will explore the deep friendship between a young boy named Derry and an old man named Mr. Lamb. The central theme of the play revolves around Mr. Lamb’s facial scar and the emotional distress it causes him. The story unveils the heartbreaking reality of how society often marginalizes individuals with physical disabilities, making them feel unwanted and isolated. The play emphasizes that it is not the physical pain or challenges faced by disabled individuals that truly trouble them, but rather the discriminatory attitudes of those around them.
About the Author
Susan Elizabeth Hill is an accomplished English writer known for her novels and short stories. Her career gained momentum in the late 1960s and early 1970s when she published a total of eight novels, three collections of short stories, and one compilation of radio plays. Hill’s talent was acknowledged through several prestigious awards, including the Somerset Maugham Award in 1971, the Whitbread Literary Award in 1972, and the Rhys Memorial Prize in 1972.
On the Face of It Class 12 Vistas English NCERT Summary
Derry, a young boy of fourteen who has a burnt and disfigured face, is feeling defiant and withdrawn because he believes his appearance is too ugly to face the world. Having been this, he builds up the courage to climb over a wall and cautiously walks through long grass. As he approaches Lamb, Derry becomes scared when Lamb speaks to him. Lamb warns Derry to be careful because the long grass is filled with wild apples that have fallen from the wind. This confuses Derry, as he had thought the place would be empty and not filled with obstacles.
Derry feels bad for breaking into the garden without permission. Mr. Lamb greets him and encourages him not to go simply because he is present. In response to Lamb’s request for him not to leave, Derry reassures Lamb that he has no intention of causing any harm or stealing from the garden. He simply wants to enter the garden and enjoy its beauty.
Lamb tells Derry that he should not be scared of anything, but Derry points out that others are afraid of him because of his awful and damaged face. Derry adds that he feels terrified of himself when he looks in the mirror. Lamb offers consolation by encouraging Derry to confront the harsh realities of life with bravery.
Lamb attempts to shift Derry’s focus away from his disfigured face towards the beauty of the fruits in the garden. However, Derry remains fixated on his physical appearance and continues to express his concerns about his ugly face. Lamb tries to convey the notion that inner beauty holds more significance than outer beauty, but Derry disagrees. He argues that it is crucial for a person to be attractive on the outside as well, citing an example of his own mother kissing him on the side of his face that is not burnt.
When Derry claims that they are not the same, Mr Lamb claims that there is no difference. e points out that he is old, while Derry is young with a burned face. Additionally, Mr. Lamb mentions his tin leg, explaining that his real leg was lost in the war. Despite some kids calling him “Lamey-Lamb,” he remains unbothered as there are numerous other things about him to draw attention to. Mr. Lamb then refers to the story of Beauty and the Beast, implying that appearances can be deceiving.
Derry is feeling discouraged about his burnt face and the way people react to it. He confides in Lamb about how people stare at him and are afraid of him because of his appearance. Derry also shares that women have spoken negatively about his ugly face, claiming that no one would want to kiss him except for his mother. Mr. Lamb advises Derry to not let these hurtful comments affect him. He suggests that Derry should ignore such talk and keep his ears shut to any negativity, focusing instead on the positive aspects of his life.
Mr. Lamb discusses his garden and the presence of bees within it. He acknowledges that opinions on the buzzing sound of bees vary, with some people enjoying it while others hate it. However, Mr. Lamb personally finds the buzzing to be a pleasant melody which he refers to as sweet music. He highlights that the difference lies solely in one’s attitude towards the bees.
Derry shares with Mr. Lamb that he tends to avoid people as they often stare at his face. In response, Mr. Lamb advises Derry that isolating oneself from others is not a positive thing to do, implying that social interaction is important for one’s overall well-being. Mr. Lamb then proceeds to share an intriguing story with him, recounting the tale of a man who lived in constant fear of everything around him. This man chose to isolate himself from the world by locking himself in his room and remaining confined to his bed. However, tragedy struck when a picture unexpectedly fell off the wall and landed on his head, resulting in his untimely demise.
Derry is curious about Lamb and asks what he does all day. Mr Lamb shares that he spends his time sitting in the sun and reading books. His house is filled with books, and he prefers not to have curtains as he enjoys both the light and darkness. He mentions that he can hear the wind from his open window, while Derry adds that he can hear the sound of rain on the roof during rainy days. Mr Lamb reflects that if they are able to hear things, it means they are not lost.
Derry shares that he has overheard people discussing him in a concerned manner when he is not present. It seems that they are worried about his future. However, Mr Lamb offers Derry some encouraging advice. He tells Derry that he has all the necessary abilities and talents given to him by God. Mr Lamb assures Derry that if he is determined and focused, he can achieve success just like everyone else, and even surpass them if he desires to do so.
Mr. Lamb said he has hundreds of friends and his gate is always open, allowing people to come in freely. Not only do kids come to his place for apples and pears, but also for the toffee that he makes using honey. Mr. Lamb acknowledges that sometimes friendships can be one-sided. He advises Derry against hating others, stating that it is worse than any bottle of acid as it causes more harm. While acid only burns our faces, hatred can burn us from the inside out. Mr. Lamb believes that while everything may seem the same, there is also an element of difference present in everything.
Lamb invites him to be a friend. Derry wonders how they can be friends in just one meeting. Lamb reassures him that he can always come visit him at his location, even if he is not physically present. Derry then suggests the idea of helping Lamb, but expresses the need to inform his mother so she won’t worry. Despite Derry’s assurance that he will return, Lamb doubts that people truly come back after saying they will.
Derry returns to his house and tells his mother everything. Derry says he wants to go there and sit and listen and focus. Nobody else has ever said what the elderly guy has. His mother restricts him from visiting the old man’s home. She claims to have heard strange things about the old guy. She strongly advises him not to return there. Derry says he has to go there or he will never go anywhere else in the world.
Even though his mother strongly tells him not to, Derry slams the door and runs off to help Lamb pick crab apples. While that is going on, Mr. Lamb goes up the ladder to get the apples. Mr. Lamb is killed when the ladder falls back. Derry shouts with joy that he has arrived back as he opens the gate. He sees Mr. Lamb all of a sudden. He runs through the tall grass and says, “I came back Lamely Lamb. I did come back.” But there’s no answer. Derry kneels next to him and cries. He knows that he has lost the only friend he had in the world.