On the Face of It: Key Questions and Answers for Class 12 English

Get ready to delve into the world of 'On the Face of It' from Class 12 English (Vistas Chapter 5) with our comprehensive guide to important questions and answers. Uncover the nuances of this captivating story as we break down key concepts, characters, and themes. Our in-depth analysis will equip you with the insights needed to excel in your studies. Explore the article now!

on the face of it class 12 question answers

SubjectEnglish Language & Literature
Chapter NameOn the Face of It
TypeImportant Questions and Answers
Book NameVistas Chapter 5

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

- Lao Tzu

On the Face of It Class 12 Important Questions and Answers

Q. No. 1) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract:

MR LAMB: Look, boy, look.... what do you see?

DERRY: Just....grass and stuff. Weeds.

MR LAMB: Some call them weeds. If you like, then.... a weed garden, that. There’s fruit and there are flowers, and trees and herbs. All sorts. But over there.... weeds. I grow weeds there. Why is one green, growing plant called a weed and another ‘flower’? Where’s the difference? It’s all life.... growing. Same as you and me.

DERRY: We’re not the same.

MR LAMB: I’m old. You’re young. You’ve got a burned face, I’ve got a tin leg. Not important. You’re standing there.... I’m sitting here. Where’s the difference?

i. Like the play, the given extract is a study in contrasts. What does Mr. Lamb seek to do by bringing up distinctions?

a. To explain that weeds are important and should be valued and cared for as much as flowers.

b. To emphasize that distinctions are made by man to serve specific purposes and uses.

c. To highlight that labels are arbitrary and essentially reflect a common life experience.

d. To remind Derry that the only difference that matters is that of attitude and experience.

Ans. Option (c)

ii. How would you describe Derry’s tone when he says – “We’re not the same”?

a. angry

b. perplexed

c. gloomy

d. practical

Ans. Option (c)

iii. Look at the given images of books. In which of the following are you NOT likely to find Mr. Lamb’s words as given in the extract?

on the face of it class 12 important questions and answers

a. Options (i) and (iii)

b. Options (i) and (iv)

c. Options (ii) and (iv)

d. Options (ii) and (iii)

Ans. Option (b)

iv. Which of the following represents Mr. Lamb’s analysis of flowers and weeds?

a. Comparison is an act of violence against the self.

b. If you have a garden in your library, everything will be complete.

c. One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.

d. The cosmos is within us. We are made of star stuff.

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No. 2) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract:

DERRY: What do you do all day?

MR LAMB: Sit in the sun. Read books. Ah, you thought it was an empty house, but inside, it’s full. Books and other things. Full.

DERRY: But there aren’t any curtains at the windows.

MR LAMB: I’m not fond of curtains. Shutting things out, shutting things in. I like the light and the darkness, and the windows open, to hear the wind.

DERRY: Yes. I like that. When it’s raining, I like to hear it on the roof.

MR LAMB: So you’re not lost, are you? Not altogether? You do hear things. You listen.

DERRY: They talk about me. Downstairs, When I’m not there.

i. According to Mr. Lamb, what does the idea of being ‘lost’ signify?

a. He who does not hear what other people say is lost.

b. He who does not appreciate man and nature is lost.

c. He who does not pause to reflect on wind and rain is lost.

d. He who is closed off to nature and its wonders is lost.

Ans. Option (b)

ii. Read the following analysis of Mr. Lamb’s character based on the given extract. Choose the option that fills in the given blanks most appropriately:

Mr. Lamb’s (i) ____________ and daily activities reflected the values he lived by and the kind of person he was. His openness, inquisitiveness, and his (ii) ____________ to nature were embodied in his work and words. Being close to and experiencing (iii) _________ was not only significant to him but was at the heart of finding meaning and (iv) ________ in life.

a. (i) preferences ; (ii) attunement ; (iii) nature ; (iv) direction

b. (ii) choices ; (ii) loyalty ; (iii) the world ; (iv) hope

c. (iii) words ; (ii) attitude ; (iii) gardening ; (iv) worthiness

d. (iv) sermons ; (ii) proximity ; (iii) life ; (iv) values

Ans. Option (a)

iii. Choose the option that best describes the sequence of Derry’s emotions in the above extract:

a. shyness – friendliness – reluctant acceptance

b. inquisitiveness – nostalgia – mild sadness

c. curiosity – measured delight – disappointment

d. defiance – excitement – grouchy insecurity

Ans. Option (c)

iv. “You do hear things. You listen.” Choose the option that captures the difference between hearing and listening.

hear: listen :: _________: _________

a. shut in: shut out

b. smile: laugh

c. act: reflect

d. chance: attend

Ans. Option (d)

Q. No. 3) If Derry were in a library at the beginning of the play, which of the following sections of books would he NOT explore?

  1. science fiction
  2. fantasy
  3. self-help
  4. non-fiction

a. Options (1) and (2)

b. Options (2) and (3)

c. Options (3) and (4)

d. Options (1) and (4)

Ans. Option (b)

Q. No. 4) “Ah, but do you care if you never kiss them.” What does Mr. Lamb aim to do with such a statement?

a. Empower Derry to take charge.

b. Inspire Derry to have dreams.

c. Comfort Derry by distracting him.

d. Question Derry about his desires.

Ans. Option (d)

Q. No. 5) Choose the option that best constitutes a message from the play:

a. People’s attitude should not stop one from experiencing life.

b. What people say has no bearing upon how one feels about things.

c. People cannot be changed. One can and should only change oneself.

d. One’s opinions cannot be based on what people say behind one’s back.

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No. 6) Based on the slogans and tag lines, for which of the following brands might Mr. Lamb be a suitable brand ambassador?

on the face of it class 12 important questions answers

a. Options (i), (ii), (iii)

b. Options (ii), (iii), (iv)

c. Options (iii), (iv), (v)

d. Options (iv), (v), (i)

Ans. Option (d)

Q. No. 7) DERRY: You’re... peculiar. You say peculiar things. You ask questions I don’t understand.

MR LAMB: I like to talk. Have company. You don’t have to answer questions. You don’t have to stop here at all. The gate’s open.

DERRY: Yes, but...

MR LAMB: I’ve a hive of bees behind those trees over there. Some hear bees and they say, bees buzz. But when you listen to bees for a long while, they humm....and hum means ‘sing’. I hear them singing, my bees.

DERRY: But....I like it here. I came in because I liked it .....when I looked over the wall.

MR LAMB: If you’d seen me, you’d not have come in.


(On the Face of It)

i. List the playwright’s purpose of using ellipses (…) in this extract.

Ans. To indicate to the character to pause for thought/ to act showing the gathering of thoughts.

ii. Select the option that best describes Derry and Mr. Lamb in the extract.

a. Derry: introvert; Mr. Lamb: friendly

b. Derry: fearful; Mr. Lamb: domineering

c. Derry: friendly; Mr. Lamb: weird

d. Derry: open-minded; Mr. Lamb: charming

Ans. Option (a)

iii. Which of the following best summarises Mr. Lamb’s attitude towards the bees?

a. Beauty is being true to yourself.

b. There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.

c. Beauty is the promise of happiness.

d. The beauty of the world lies in the details.

Ans.  Option (d)

iv. Derry says, “I came in here because I liked it ….” What was the one significant thing Derry might have liked about the place, as per the extract?

Ans. Away from prying eyes/ people.

Q. No. 8) ‘It is not merely age but experience that counts.’

With reference to any one example from the text, comment on how Derry found Mr. Lamb different from other adults he had encountered.

Ans. Derry found Mr. Lamb different from other adults due to his kind and understanding nature. Despite his disfigurement, Mr. Lamb showed empathy and didn't judge Derry based on appearances. This experience taught Derry the value of looking beyond the surface.

Q. No. 9) Imagine that Mr. Lamb had not fallen off the ladder at the end. Recalling his conversation with the bees, do you think Derry’s return might have changed him as much as he had changed Derry? Elaborate.

Ans. I think it is likely that Derry's return would have changed Mr. Lamb just as much as he had changed Derry. In his conversation with the bees, Mr. Lamb expressed a deep sense of loneliness and isolation. He felt like he didn't belong anywhere and that he was just "passing through." However, his relationship with Derry gave him a sense of purpose and belonging. Derry was the first person who had ever accepted him for who he was, and their friendship helped Mr. Lamb to start to heal from the trauma of war.

If Mr. Lamb had not fallen off the ladder, he and Derry would have had the opportunity to continue their friendship and to grow and change together. Derry would have helped Mr. Lamb to become more open and accepting of others, and Mr. Lamb would have helped Derry to overcome his self-doubt and to see himself in a more positive light. They would have been a source of strength and support for each other, and they would have helped each other to live more fulfilling lives.

Q. No. 10) In On the Face of It, Mr. Lamb told Derry about his tin leg and how kids called him 'Lamey Lamb'. Why do you think Mr. Lamb shared these details? State two reasons to support your answer.


  • Mr. Lamb intended to show Derry that it is okay to be imperfect.
  • He wanted to show Derry that he is not alone.
  • He wanted to show Derry that he should not be afraid of what people think of him/say to him/say about him.

Q. No. 11) Do you think Derry’s mother is protective of him? Justify your opinion with textual evidence.

Ans. Yes, Derry's mother is protective of him. She worries about his interaction with Mr. Lamb due to his appearance, cautioning him not to be curious. She tells Derry that she's concerned for his safety, highlighting her protective nature and concern for his well-being.

Q. No. 12) Why did Derry go back to Mr. Lamb’s garden even after opposition?

Ans. Derry returned to Mr. Lamb's garden because he realized that Mr. Lamb's physical appearance didn't define his character. He wanted to learn more about Mr. Lamb and understand the person beyond the surface, defying the opposition from his mother.

Q. No. 13) Why does Mr. lamb say, “So you are not lost, are you? Not altogether?“


  • Derry is bitter about life and people.
  • Has no faith in the goodness of people.
  • So when he says that he likes the sound of raindrops on the roof Mr. Lamb comments that some humanness is still left. Life has not distorted his vision totally.

Q. No. 14) How do you think Derry’s mother contributes to his sense of alienation and isolation?


  • The mother is overprotective and doesn’t understand her son’s longing for companionship.
  • She treats him with a sense of pity and robs him of his dignity by perpetually treating him like a helpless victim.

Q. No. 15) What does the play ‘On the Face of It’ suggest about the importance of empathy in overcoming prejudice and stereotypes?

Ans. The play highlights the damaging effects of prejudice and stereotypes on both the victim and the perpetrator. However, it also suggests that empathy and understanding can overcome these barriers.

Through the development of a relationship between the two characters, Derry and Mr. Lamb, we see how their initial assumptions about each other are challenged and ultimately broken down.

This underscores the importance of empathy in recognizing and overcoming prejudices, as it allows individuals to see beyond surface-level differences and connect on a deeper level.

Q. No. 16) What is the bond that unites old Mr. Lamb and Derry, the boy? How does the old man inspire the boy?


  • It is not only Mr.Lamb’s strange ideas that attract Derek but also his loneliness and longing for company
  • he returns to him at the end the two have a great affinity
  • both have suffered loneliness
  • both long for a company- both are physically impaired both have suffered rejection from others
  • Mr. Lamb revives the almost dead feelings of Derry toward life
  • He motivates him to think positively about life, changes his mindset about people and things
  • Everything appears to be the same but is different‐ eg. bees and weeds
  • The gate of the garden is always open
  • Derry is inspired and promises to come back.

Q. No. 17) Mr. Lamb and Derry are two different sides of the same coin. Do you agree? Justify your answer with evidence from the text.


  • Both suffer from physical impairment -not by birth
  • Both are lonely
  • Derry is pessimistic and draws Lamb’s attention toward his face.
  • He tells him that his face is ugly and horrible. Nobody likes him.
  • The people show signs of fear when they look at his face and avoid his presence.
  • They call him a poor boy because one side of his face is burnt.
  • Even his mother kisses him on the right side of his face. And that too out of duty
  • Lamb draws his attention towards his garden. He has a positive attitude towards life.
  • He doesn't mind the children calling him ‘Lamey-Lamb’.
  • He does not want to shut out the world.
  • He loves reading, picking crab apples, and making toffees for children.
  • He tells Derry that the people have other things to do and see rather than looking at him. The bitterness and hatred he has inside him could be more damaging than the acid that burnt his face or the bomb that blew up his leg. He tells him that he should look at all those people who are in pain but never complain or cry. He should think about those who are worse off than him
  • Lamb teaches Derry the art of discovering beauty and leading a happy life.
  • The positive attitude of Lamb, his kindness and his ability to do things himself without any help make him different from Derry.

Q. No. 18) Mr. Lamb calls Derek his friend while Derek refuses his affirmation. Would you consider their relationship with each other as friendship? Support your answer with reference to the instance(s) from the text.

Ans. Relationship--- Friendship

Mr. Lamb’s positivity, attitude towards life, optimism, maturity, explaining with examples, persistence towards Derek---accepting of Derek will all his imperfections— calling him a friend ---said there were friends everywhere— explains saying they aren’t enemies

Derek gradually opens up---finds his company appealing -- --Derek argues---his condition has made him bitter--- people’s behavior and treatment ---believes if he becomes Mr. Lamb’s friend, others might stop considering him their friend----his words have an impact---he overcomes issues holding him back

Conclusion ---Even though Derek did not affirm out loud, the fact that Mr. Lamb’s words inspired trust enough to help him open up ----also got back to Mr. Lamb’s garden—overcame his own challenges--- recognized Mr. Lamb’s impact---- Was a bond they shared—can call it friendship.

Q. No. 19) Compare and contrast the characters of Mr. Lamb and Derry.

Ans. Value points: Both Mr. Lamb and Derry suffer from problems. Mr. Lamb had a tinned leg whereas Derry had a burnt face. But both of them differ in their attitude toward handling their problems.

Mr. Lamb

  • Very positive in his outlook. Sees the beauty in everything, including weeds.
  • Doesn’t let physical handicaps prevent him from living life to the fullest.
  • Very friendly, and opened his doors to the world.
  • Sees that the world and people are important.
  • Strong- doesn’t let people’s negative comments hurt him.
  • Practical; knows one’s life is in one’s own hands.
  • Shows understanding of Derry’s problems.


  • Scared of meeting people as he hates seeing their fear of him and facing their rejection.
  • Very sensitive—people’s comments hurt him deeply.
  • Upset with his parents’ over-protectiveness and his mother’s revulsion with his face.
  • Defiant, and rude as he is too scared to talk to people.
  • Negative about everything – sees everything in a bad light.
  • Indulges in self-pity over his face.
  • Hates sympathy.
  • Hates the world and keeps away from it.
  • The inner deep desire to be accepted which he hides under an abrasive exterior.
  • Changes at the end after listening to Mr. Lamb. Ready to face the world and overcome obstacles to do so. Finds courage and strength to get what he wants.

Q. No. 20) Imagine that a few days after Mr. Lamb's fall from the ladder, Derry writes his thoughts on how his meeting with Mr Lamb changed his perspective towards life. Think of yourself as Derry and express these thoughts.

You may begin like this:

A few days ago, I met an extraordinary person....

Ans. A few days ago, I met an extraordinary person. Mr. Lamb, unlike anyone I've ever encountered, didn't flinch or show fear when he looked at me. It was refreshing to talk to someone who treated me just like anyone else, without judgment or sympathy for my burns. He opened my eyes to the idea that despite my appearance, I'm no different from others. His analogy of flowers and weeds being the same regardless of their looks really hit home. He showed me the importance of self-acceptance, teaching me that it's vital to be comfortable in my own skin. Through his words, I learned how to deflect the hurtful comments and opinions of others, understanding that they don't define me. Mr. Lamb inspired me to embrace life without reservation, to live it to the fullest, no matter the challenges.

Q. No. 21) Optimism in one’s attitude helps deal with all the challenges in life. Prove the statement by referring to the character Mr. Lamb from the chapter “On the Face of It”.

Ans. The character of Mr. Lamb in "On the Face of It" exemplifies the profound impact of optimism in navigating life's challenges. Through his portrayal, the narrative vividly demonstrates how a positive attitude can empower individuals to confront adversity with resilience and grace. In contrast to Derry, who grapples with physical and emotional handicaps, Mr. Lamb stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration.


  1. Physical Handicap and Self-Perception: Derry bears the physical scars of his burnt face, which makes him acutely aware of his differences. This self-awareness contributes to his poor self-esteem and sense of isolation.
  2. Feeling Victimized: The societal gaze and judgments directed at Derry fuel his feelings of victimization, further eroding his self-confidence.

Mr. Lamb:

  1. Physical Handicap and Positive Attitude: Despite his physical disability (missing a leg), Mr. Lamb radiates optimism. He defies his physical limitations and doesn't allow them to define his outlook on life.
  2. Understanding and Empathy: Mr. Lamb's understanding and empathy for Derry stem from his own experiences. He creates a safe space for Derry, fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance.
  3. Friendliness and Confidence Building: Mr. Lamb's friendly demeanor helps Derry shed his inhibitions. Through their conversations, he instills confidence in Derry by treating him as an equal, showing that one's worth isn't dictated by appearances.

Examples from the Text:

  1. Bees and Weeds Analogy: Mr. Lamb's analogy of bees and weeds in the garden conveys the essence of his optimism. He teaches Derry that just as flowers and weeds share the same core, people's true worth isn't skin-deep.
  2. Facing Mortality: Mr. Lamb's fearless perspective on death reveals his positive outlook on life. His discussion with Derry about the inevitability of death underscores his courage and acceptance.
  3. "Beauty and the Beast" Tale: By narrating the "Beauty and the Beast" story, Mr. Lamb showcases his belief in the transformative power of seeing beyond appearances.
  4. Dealing with Mockery: Mr. Lamb's response to children calling him "Lamey Lamb" reflects his unwavering resolve. He maintains his dignity and doesn't allow derogatory comments to affect him.
  5. Symbolism of Curtains: The curtains in Mr. Lamb's house symbolize his openness and willingness to engage with the world despite his physical limitation.
  6. Attitude of Patience: Mr. Lamb's mantra of "waiting, watching, listening" epitomizes his patient and optimistic approach to life's challenges.

In conclusion, Mr. Lamb's character underscores the undeniable truth that optimism shapes one's perspective and aids in navigating challenges. His unwavering positivity, understanding, and ability to see the inherent worth in individuals, regardless of appearances, inspire Derry and readers alike to embrace life with optimism and resilience.

Q. No. 22) Derry mentions two kinds of responses people often have to justify misfortune, one “‘Look at all those people who are in pain and brave and never cry and never complain and don’t feel sorry for themselves”; and secondly, “think of all those people worse off than you.” Far from comforting him, these empty words only agitate him.

In both cases, one’s sense of self is derived from others and how they live their lives.

a. How far might looking at others itself be the cause of suffering?

b. In what way can people, especially children, be empowered to face their challenges without the spectre of comparison?


a) The Pitfall of Comparisons: Looking at others as a basis for justifying misfortune can indeed be a source of suffering. While the intention may be to provide perspective, it can inadvertently lead to negative outcomes. Constantly measuring one's pain against others' experiences can magnify feelings of inadequacy and self-pity. It might perpetuate the belief that suffering is a competition, undermining the validity of one's own emotions. This comparison-driven mindset can be isolating and prevent genuine emotional processing, amplifying the burden of misfortune.

b) Empowering Individuals without Comparison: To empower individuals, especially children, to face challenges without resorting to comparisons, a different approach is essential. Encourage a focus on internal growth and personal progress, rather than evaluating their struggles against others. Teach them emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and healthy coping mechanisms. Nurture their individual strengths, passions, and abilities, fostering self-confidence that isn't contingent on external benchmarks. Promote a supportive environment where expressing emotions is welcomed and validated, allowing them to confront their challenges authentically. By cultivating resilience and self-compassion, children can learn to navigate difficulties with a healthier mindset, unburdened by the specter of comparison. This approach empowers them to develop a robust sense of self, independent of external circumstances.

Q. No. 23) Imagine that the encounter with Mr. Lamb marked a turning point in Derry’s life. Many years later, Derry is invited to present a TED Talk on the challenges he faced and overcame. He thinks about the bitterness he carried earlier towards people and the world, and how his attitude changed.

He decides to speak about the transformation in his relationship with himself, and understanding what kindness towards oneself might actually mean.

He agrees to weave his speech on ‘Not the face of a victim’. As Derry, create the speech draft for the TED Talk.

Ans. Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests, and fellow seekers of wisdom,

I stand before you today, humbled and honored, to share a journey that transformed my life's trajectory. Many years ago, bitterness nestled in my heart like a thorn, directed towards both people and the world that seemed to label me as different. However, a fateful encounter with an extraordinary man named Mr. Lamb reshaped my perspective.

In the face of adversity, Mr. Lamb exuded a profound kindness, a kindness that extended beyond mere compassion. He taught me that kindness isn't solely directed outward; it's about embracing oneself, scars and all. My bitterness gave way to understanding, that the true strength lies not in denying our struggles, but in acknowledging them with gentleness.

Today, I present to you the essence of my transformation: "Not the face of a victim." It's about refusing to be defined by misfortune, about recognizing that each challenge can be a stepping stone towards growth. It's understanding that kindness towards oneself is the catalyst for resilience. As I share my story, I hope we all can embark on a journey to redefine strength, to embrace kindness, and to craft our own narratives, not as victims, but as triumphant souls.

Thank you.

Q. No. 24) In today’s world, the mantra for success is considered to be the ability to think out of the box. At the same time, as in the play, acceptance is difficult for those who are different.

As Derry says, “After I’d come home, one person said, “He’d have been better off stopping in there. In the hospital. He’d be better off with others like himself.”

How would you reconcile both these ideas, of a demand for difference, on one hand, and a need to isolate difference on the other hand?

Ans. In today's complex world, the pursuit of success often glorifies "thinking out of the box." This encourages innovation and the breaking of conventional norms. Simultaneously, the struggle for acceptance persists, particularly for those who deviate from the norm. As Derry aptly voiced, "He'd have been better off stopping in there. In the hospital. He'd be better off with others like himself." This seemingly contradicts the call for celebrating uniqueness.

However, these two ideas aren't entirely irreconcilable. Embracing diversity and thinking innovatively doesn't necessarily require isolation. The key lies in fostering an environment where individual differences are respected while interconnectedness is nurtured. True progress emerges when we appreciate diverse perspectives and experiences, fueling creative thought. Isolation arises from fear and ignorance, hindering social growth.

Society must evolve to recognize that difference doesn't necessitate separation. By valuing individuality and encouraging empathy, we create a space where innovation thrives while marginalized voices find inclusion. It's the convergence of these ideas that pave the way for a world where thinking out of the box coexists harmoniously with embracing and celebrating diversity.

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