Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Solutions Poem 4 – The Spider and the Fly
Poem 4 The Spider and the Fly
Tamilnadu Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Solutions Poem 4 The Spider and the Fly
B. Read the following lines from the poem and answer the questions in a sentence or two.
1. The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve many curious things to show when you are there”
How to reach the spider’s parlour.
The spider’s parlour can be reached through a winding stair.
What will the fly get to see in the parlour?
The fly will get to see many curious things in the parlour.
2. ” Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind Sir, that cannot be,
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”
Is the fly willing to enter the spider’s pantry?
No. The fly is not willing to enter the spider’s pantry.
Can you guess what was in the pantry?
No, I cannot guess what was in the pantry.
3. “Sweet creature!” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!”
List the words used by the spider to describe the fly.
Sweet, witty, wise, handsome, gauzy, brilliant.
Why does the spider say that the fly is witty?
The spider is flattering. So it says that the fly is witty.
4. The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
Why is the poet using the word den to describe the spider’s web?
The spider is like a lion in its web. So the poet uses the word.
Why was the spider sure that the fly would come back again?
The fly was silly and ignorant. So the spider was sure that the fly would come back again.
5. With buzzy wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue
Who does she’ refer to?
She refers to the fly.
What was she thinking of?
She was thinking of her brilliant eyes and green and purple hue.
6. And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed:
Who does T’ refer to?
T refers to a poet
What is the advice given to the readers?
The poet advises us not to fall prey to flattery and sweet words.
Additional Questions and Answers
1. ‘I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high
Will you rest upon my little bed? “said the spider to the fly.
Who does T’ refer to?
I refers to the spider.
Who does ‘You’ refer to?
You refers to the fly
Who was weary according to the spider?
The fly was weary.
Why was the fly weary?
It was because the fly was going up very high by flying.
What did the spider ask the fly?
The spider asked the fly if she would rest upon his little bed.
2. There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin.
And if you like to rest awhile.
I’ll snugly tuck you in.
Describe the spider’s bed.
There are pretty curtains around and the sheets are fine and thin.
What is the condition laid by the spider?
If the fly likes to rest awhile, the spider will snugly tuck the fly in.
3. I have within my pantry, good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome – will you please to take a slice?
What is the pantry?
A pantry is a room where beverages, food, dishes are used.
What kind of pantry is it?
It is good pantry of all nice things.
4. So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly
And set is table ready, to dine up the fly.
Who wove a subtle web?
The spider wove subtle web.
What is a subtle web?
A subtle web is the dwelling place of a spider.
What is the table mentioned here?
It is the dining table.
What is the table ready?
The table is ready for eating the fly.
5. Your robes are green and purple – there’s a crest upon your head
Your eye are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead.
Whose robes are green and purple?
The fly’s robes are green and purple.
What is there upon the fly’s head?
A crest is upon the fly’s head.
What are the fly’s eyes compared to?
The fly’s eyes are to bright diamond.
Whose eye are dull like lead?
The spider’s eyes are dull like lead.
6. Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast,
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den.
Why did the spider jump up?
The spider caught the fly so he jumped up.
How did the spider hold the fly?
The spider fiercely held the fly fast.
Who dragged whom up the winding stair?
The spider dragged the fly up the winding stair.
Where did the spider take the fly?
The spider took the fly into his dismal den.
What is meant by dismal den?
“Dismal den’ means a gloomy or horrible cave.
What is the dismal den?
The dismal den is the cobweb (home of the spider).
Why is it called a dismal den?
The spider kills and eats his prey in the cobweb. So it is called a dismal den.
7. Unto an evil counsellor, close heart, and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the spider and the fly.
To whom one should close heart, ear and eye?
One should close heart, ear and eye to an evil counsellor.
What lesson do the readers take from this tale?
Don’t listen to evil counsellor and don’t take their advice, is the lesson from this tale.
Do you want to be the spider or the fly?
I don’t want to be the spider or the fly.
Who is an evil counsellor in general?
In general, the one who makes the other as his prey through their evil advice.
What is the advice given here?
“Beware of evil counsellors” is the advice given here.
8. So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the fly.
What is meant by subtle?
Subtle means are delicate or faint or mysterious.
Pick out the rhyming words.
The rhyming words are ‘sly’ and ‘fly’.
9. “There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in.”
What do you understand by the term, ‘snugly’?
‘Snugly’ means to be secured or have a feel of comfort.
Mention the figure of speech in the above lines.
Assonance is the figure of speech employed.
The sound of ‘aw’ in drawn and around.
The vowel sound in snugly and tuck.
10. I have within my pantry good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome; will you please to take a slice?”
What is a pantry?
A pantry is a storeroom for foods or wines.
Give the rhyming word for nice.
The rhyming word for nice is ‘slice’.
5. Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little fly,
Hearing his wily flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
Why is the little fly silly?
The little fly is silly because it came back enticed by the spider’s flattering words.
What is ‘wily’?
‘Wily’ is cunning.
B. Complete the summary.
The poem begins with the spider’s (1)…………… of the fly. He (2)…………. to the fly to come into its home. The spicier describes his parlour as the (3)…………. one. The spider kindles the curiosity of the fly so that she may enter his home. Fortunately, the fly was (4)……….. and refused to get into his home. Now the spider pretends to be a(5) ……….. man and asks her to come and rest in his home. He offers her (6)………… and a. thin fine sheets to rest. This time also the fly (7)………… the spider’s offer very politely. The next weapon that the spider uses is (8)……….. The spider praises the (9)……….. and (10)………. of the fly and also praises her (11)……… He invites her to look at herself in the (12)………… which is in his parlour. The fl y is (13)……….. by the words of the spider and she falls a (14)………. to her (15)……….
C. Answer the following
Write a character sketch of the spider.
This poem takes us through a spider’s ultimately successful attempts at enticing a fly into its web. The spider is cunning in capturing its victim. It ensnares the fly through the use of seduction and flattery. In stanza one, it does its best to trap the fly into its parlour with the promises of pretty things to see. Next, it tries a different tactics, offering the fly a pretty and a comfortable place to sleep, and lovely food. Finally, it tries to flatter the fly by praising its beauty and traps the fly in his den.
What happens if we fall prey to flattery? Give instances from the poem ‘The Spider and the Fly’.
If we fall prey to flattery, we have to face evil consequences, just like the fly who falls prey to the spider’s flattery and seduction. The spider uses different tactics to entice the fly into its web. It invites the fly into its parlour with the promises of pretty things to see. When the fly refuses, it entices him by offering a pretty, comfortable bed and lovely food. When the fly refuses again, finally it flatters the fly for its beautiful appearance. The fly gets flattered and gets trapped in its den. This poem teaches us that we should be cautious against those who use flattery and charm to disguise their true evil intentions.
In your own words, give a detailed description of:
(a) The Spider’s Parlour.
The Spider’s Parlour had winding stairs. It is the prettiest parlour that had ever been seen by the fly. It has been filled with many pretty things, which would arouse the curiosity of the fly. There are also pretty curtains, whose sheets are fine and thin. It had a pretty and comfortable bed.
(b) The Fly’s Appearance
The fly had gauzy wings and brilliant eyes. But the spider flattered it saying that it had pearl and silver wings, green and purple body and its antenna is like a crown on him.
Appreciate the poem
Figures of speech
Repetition of similar consonant sounds in the neighbouring words.
Ex: “T is the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
Pick out one more instance of consonance from the poem.
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly.
Repetition of similar vowel sounds in the neighbouring words.
Ex: “T is the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
Pick out one more instance of consonance from the poem.
The spider turned him roundabout and went into his den,
“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high.”
Repetition of a word or a phrase at the beginning of a sequence of sentences, paragraphs and lines.
Ex: How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
Identify the figures of speech.
“Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead! ’’
A simile is the figure of speech.
Repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words.
Pick out the words in alliteration.
“Sweet creature! ” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you ’re wise,”
Sweet – Spider; and witty – wise are alliterated.
D. Listen to the passage and fill in the blanks with appropriate answers:
1. Without trust there is no …………..
2. ………….. is a very rare thing to find in life.
3. When people betray you learn from the …………
4. Don’t let ………….. on the road throw you back.
5. If we keep moving forward you will have a wonderfully …………
- small bumps
- fulfilling life
E. The cunning spider was waiting for a chance to put the fly into its web and it used all the possible ways to trap her. Have you ever been trapped by flattery to do something you did not want to do? Discuss in pairs and share your experience in the class.
A jay and I are – friends. A jay is elder to me by a year of age. We used to go everywhere to¬gether. Ajay is cleverer than me. We both were studying in the same class. We occupied the same bench in the class. Many have called us twin though we don’t look alike nor brothers even. Ajay was in the habit of making fun of me often. But I never minded it. One day he told me about going to the river and bathe there. He knows swimming.
But I don’t swim well. He flattered me that day saying that I could swim well and he promised me to make me swim well and he promised me to make me swim better. Even though I refused to swim, he com¬pelled me to get into the river. 1 trusted him and jumped into the river. The river was deep and the water was flowing faster. He saw me struggling in the river shouting for help. Ajay took it as fun and did not come to my rescue.
I thought that I would die. But to my surprise, a few people were watching me in this panic-stricken situation swam across the river and took me to the bank of the river. They advised Ajay not to be playful and betraying anyone. He was ashamed for his senseless active. Later I was taken to my house. I forgave Ajay but never wanted to be his friend anymore.
” Only a friend in need is a friend indeed”
F. The fly gives into flattery and becomes the spider’s prey. I you are asked to give a happy ending to the poem, how will you save the fly? Write in your own words.
The cunning spider tried to ensnare the fly. Firstly the fly refused to accept the invitation to enter the spider’s parlour. Then the spider used flattery to seduce the fly. The spider started praising the fly. The fly believed the spider’s words and gave into his praises. At last the spider jumped up and caught the flypast. The fly released the danger and wanted to escape. While the spider was trying to make the fly its prey, there came a lizard.
The spider was scared of it. So the spider went up leaving the fly-half – dead. The fly became alert. It struggled hard to come out of the thin thread of half hazard. The fly got some hope. In the last attempt, the fly fell down and flew away from there. The spider’s hard effort with great flattery entered in vain. The spider had to wait for another chance to get any little creatures as it prey.
“Where there is a will, there is a way”
The Spider and the Fly by Mary Botham Howitt About The Poet:
Mary Botham Howitt (1799 – 1888) was an English poet. She was born at Coleford, in Gloucestershire. She was home-schooled and read widely. She commenced writing verses at an early age. In 1821, she married William Howitt and began a career of joint authorship with him. William and Mary were associated with many important literary figures of the day including Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In 1837, she started writing her well-known tales for children, a long series of books which met with signal success. She received a silver medal from the Literary Academy of Stockholm. Together with her husband William Howitt she wrote over 180 books.
The Spider and the Fly Summary:
‘The Spider and the Fly’ teaches the reader not to be misled by flattery and be trapped. Here a spider lures a fly to enter its web, upon which he can feast upon her. He invites the little fly to enter its pretty parlour using the winding stairs since there are so many curious things to see there. The fly refuses by saying that whoever enters the parlour can never be freed.
The spider further persuades the fly saying that she must be tired by flying so high and that she can come and take rest in his bed. For this, the fly replies that she has heard that whoever sleeps in his bed never wakes up again. The spider then tries to tempt the fly asking her to come and see his pantry where all nice things are available for her to taste and see.
The fly answers the spider saying I has already heard what is available in your pantry and I am not willing to see them. When all the attempts failed, the spider praises the fly saying that she is very witty and wise, with her gauzy wings and brilliant eyes. He asks her to come and have a look in the mirror that he has in his parlour. For this the fly thanks him and says she will come some other day. The spider knowing that the fly has been flattered, and will surely come to his web, makes ready his table to dine upon the fly.
Then the spider comes out and starts to sing merrily describing the beautiful features of the fly once again comparing it with his. After hearing these words, the fly cannot resist herself from thinking about her beauty and falls into the spider’s web. The spider quickly grabs her and traps her in his den from where she never comes out. The poet now asks the little children not to fall a prey to such silly, flattering words and also, never listen to an evil counselor.
The Spider and the Fly Glossary:
counsellor – a person who advises
flattering – to praise or compliment insincerely
pantry – a room where beverages, food, dishes are stored
parlour – a tidy room in a house used for entertaining guests
subtle – delicate or faint and mysterious
weary – very tired, especially from hard work
winding – a twisting movement or course
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