Thinking about the Poem
There are many ideas about how the world will ‘end’. Do you think the world will end some day? Have you ever thought what would happen if the Sun gets so hot that it ‘bursts’ or grows colder and colder?
There are definitely many ideas about how the world will ‘end’. I do believe that the world will end some day as anything that has a beginning will have an end. This stands true for the world also, if the Sun got so hot that it burst, the whole of the Earth would perish immediately as no part of the Earth can bear the heat of that intensity. But if the Sun grew colder and colder, everything will come to an end as without sunlight, life will end.
For Frost, what do ‘fire’ and ‘ice’ stand for?
‘Fire’ stands for greed, avarice, lust, conflict and fury. ‘Ice’ stands for cruelty, intolerance, rigidity, insensitivity, coldness, indifference and hatred.
What is the rhyme scheme of the poem? How does it help in bringing out the contrasting ideas in the poem?
The rhyme scheme of the poem is- a b a a b c b c b
This rhyme scheme helps in bringing out the contrasting ideas of ‘fire’ and ‘ice’ presented in the poem. The poet mentions that both fire and ice are probable ends of this world. He talks about how fire represents desire and can therefore be a cause of the end of the world. Frost also mentions ice in between to symbolise that the coldness and indifference towards one another will be enough to end the world. In the second stanza, he says that he knows of enough hate in the world to be sure that even destruction through ice . would be sufficient to bring about the end of the world.
Fire and Ice Extra Questions and Answers Class 10 English First Flight
Extract Based Questions [3 Marks each]
Read the following extracts carefully and answer the questions that follow.
Some say the world will end in fire
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
(a) What is the poet’s opinion of the world in these lines? [CBSE 2014]
(b) What is the poet’s opinion about the world?
(c) What is the contradictory opinion of public?
(d) How are ice and fire similar to each other though they have contradictory traits? [CBSE 2011]
(a) In the poet’s opinion the world will end in fire.
(b) Aaccording to the poet, the world will end in fire.
(c) The contradictory opinion of public is the debate whether the world will end in fire or ice.
(d) Both ice and fire are similar in the in the sense that both of them would destroy everything in the world.
But if it had to perish twice I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.
(a) What does ‘it’ refers to in the first line?
(b) What do you mean by ‘perish’?
(c) What does ice stand for?
(d) What would be the cause of destruction? [CBSE 2015]
(a) ‘It’ refers to the world.
(b) Perish means to die or to be destroyed.
(c) Ice stands for coldness.
(d) Ice or fire would be the cause of destruction.
Short Answer Type Questions [2 Marks each]
For Frost, what do ‘fire’ and ‘ice’ stand for?
The word ‘fire’ stands for desire. In the poem, it
indicates all types of greed and lust. In today’s world, mankind’s greed is endangering the very existence of the planet Earth. The word ‘ice’ in the poem indicates hatred and indifference which is as cold as ‘ice’.
How has Frost brought out the contrasting ideas in the poem?
‘Desire’ propels us in hot pursuit of something, hence, it is compared with fire. ‘Hatred’ makes us cold towards other’s feelings. The coldness of ice can numb our senses. Similarly, the coldness of our hearts can numb our kindness. That is why ‘hatred’ has been compared with ice.
Write down the two different views about the end of the world? [CBSE 2012]
There is a debate that is going on about the end of the world. People say that the world will end in fire or in ice. World is transitory, nothing is perennial in this universe.
How does Robert Frost caution the common man?
Man is selfish, avaricious, lustful, indifferent and
hateful. Robert Frost cautions the common man and says that he should not forget the bitter reality that everything in this world is transitory and death is inevitable.
Why does the poet hold with those who favour fire?
The poet takes side with those who believe that the
world will be destroyed by fire. Frost connects fire with desire. According to the poet, desire is powerful and would be a quick end. Moreover, the fact that he has had personal experience with desire leads him to first conclude that the world will end in fire.
Write the sum and substance of the poem ‘Fire and Ice’.
The crystal clear message that the poet is trying to give is that nothing in this world is eternal. Everything will perish either in fire or ice. We should, thus, not forget this supreme reality and keep ourselves above all selfish matters.
Briefly write about the ideas about how the world will end. [CBSE2016]
The world will end as a direct result of either fire or ice. Some scientists believed that the world would be incinerated from its fiery core, while others were convinced that the coming ice age would destroy all living things on the Earth’s surface.
Frost introduces a more emotional side, associating desire with fire and hatred with ice. The poem, thus, does not allow for any other opinions in the black and white debate between fire and ice.
To say that for destruction ice is also great for the poet, what does ‘ice’ stand for? How is it sufficient to bring destruction? [ CBSE 2014]
‘Ice’ symbolises hatred. Hate is just as powerful as desire. While desire consumes quickly, hate can occur and linger in people’s minds and hearts for years and sometimes even lifetimes. Hate consumers the hater perhaps even more than the person or group hated and it can ruin lives. Hate can, thus, be very destructive and sufficient to bring destruction.
‘But if it had to perish twice’. How will the world perish twice?
According to the poet, the world will end due to the ‘fire’, which symbolises desire. But if the world had to end twice then it will be due to the hatred symbolised by ‘ice’. The poet feels that there is enough hatred in the world that is spreading among the people. This hatred will end the world one day.
Which age old question does the poem revolves around? [CBSE 2013]
The poem revolves around the age old question of whether the world will end in fire or in ice. This is similar to another age old question, whether it would be preferable to freeze to death or burn to death. The poet determines that either option would achieve its purpose sufficiently well.
Long Answer (Value Based) Type Questions [8 Marks each]
Discuss how extreme behaviour can hasten the end of the world with respect to ‘Fire and Ice’. [CBSE 2013]
‘Fire’ symbolises desire and ‘Ice’ symbolises hatred. Desire is a kind of intense love or want that focuses people on getting and possessing and acquiring. Our society is full of people who spend their lives working to get a bigger and better TV, a more stylish car or a more extravagant house. This kind of desire can lead people to destruction in the form of bankruptcy or even broken relationships. Frost’s poem speaks on the issue of greed corrupting people and even society. The power of hate, which is symbolised by ice is just as great as desire. While desire consumes quickly hate produces shy yet restrained devastation. For instance, Kate is the root cause of racism and war. It can linger in people’s mind for lifetimes. Moreover, it consumes the hater even more than the person hated. It thus, ruins lives.
The poem ‘Fire and Ice’, carries with it very deep thematic ideas. Elaborate on these darkest traits of humanity.
Frost presents the two of the darkest traits of humanity; the capacity to hate and the capacity to be consumed by lust or desire. Of the two, he attributes the greater of the two evils, is desire. In giving desire the foremost position with regard to the destruction of the world, Frost is providing a powerful statement on the subject of greed and jealousy, saying that above all trait of humanity that is most likely to lead to its demise. Desire represents the greatest problem that attributes to the cause of the war. Frost then attributes hatred with the same capacity to do harm. However, he lessens the relative importance of hatred but still presents it as having the ability to lead to the destruction of the world if it were to happen for a second time.
The poet presents two reasons which will lead to the destruction of the humanity. What values do you garner from the two possible causes provided by him?
The poet provides and deals with two possible causes for the end of the world. He points more towards the emotional and sentimental side of the issue. As for him, fire denotes deep passion and burning desire, while ice is highlighted for its icy cold and hatred side of the emotions. He favours both the arguments and says that either the deep burning passion or the cold hatred and jealousy factor will push the people to walk on the path of destruction. The poet is sure of this destruction of humanity. He first talks about the destruction because of fire and in case this fails, then ice will end the world. The love that people have for one another will turn into hatred. In race of climbing up and out do one another, people will tend to hate each other. These negative emotions will become so strong that it will surpass all the love and lead to the destruction of humanity.
How will the world end? Support your answer with scientific explanation. [CBSE 2014]
According to the scientists, the two reasons for the destruction of the world will be either fiery core or the ice age.
Some scientists believed that the world would be incinerated from its fiery core, while others were convinced that a coming ice age would destroy all living things on the Earth’s surface. In other words, either the deep heat or fire under the Earth beds will lead to natural calamities like volcano eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis which will one day end the world or the melting of ice from the snowy mountains due to global warming will shrink the world. As a result, one day the entire world will die of the icy water. Frost, thus, tries to warn people against the two greatest problems facing humanity and the consequences of human vices with an increased effectiveness
MCQ Questions for Class 10 English First Flight Poem 2 Fire and Ice with Answers
What is the name of the poet?
(a) Sylvia Plath
(b) W.B Yeats
(c) Robert Frost
(d) Robert Burns
Answer: (c) Robert Frost
Why do some people say that the world will end in ice?
(a) because love among people is increasing fast.
(b) because hatred among people is increasing fast.
(c) because lust among people is increasing fast.
(d) None of the Above
Answer: (b) because hatred among people is increasing fast.
What is ‘Ice’ a symbol of?
Answer: (d) Hatred
What is ‘fire’ a symbol of?
(a) love and new desires
(b) lust and endless desires
(c) love and beginning of a new thing.
Answer: (b) lust and endless desires
Where has he used personification?
(d) both 1 and 2
Answer: (d) both 1 and 2
Name the poetic device used in the line “Some say the world will end in fire”.
Answer: (b) Imagery
What is the rhyming scheme of the poem?
(a) abaa bcbcb
(b) aaba bcbcb
(c) aaab bcbcb
(d) abab bcbcb
Answer: (a) abaa bcbcb
What would suffice if the world were to perish twice?
(d) both 1 and 2
Answer: (d) both 1 and 2
What does the poet compare fire with?
(d) both 1 and 3
Answer: (b) desire
Name the poetic device used in the line “To say that for destruction ice is also great”.
Answer: (b) Imagery