“Ready? … for a look at the hidden sun.”
Question (i): What is suggested in the extract above?
Answer (i): In the above extract the children are getting ready for the moment when the rainfall would stop. They are peering out of huge glass windows for a look at the sun which is hidden, and as predicted by the scientists, was expected to come out of clouds soon. This suggests that these children live somewhere where sight of sun is rare.
Question (ii): The story opens with the question “Ready? What are the characters getting ready for?
Answer (ii): The characters are getting ready for the moment when the rainfall would stop for two hours so that they could go out for a glimpse at the sun and basked in the sunshine.
Question (iii): Why do you think the sun is hidden?
Answer (iii): The story is set on the planet Venus where it rains incessantly and the sky is forever filled with clouds hiding the sun during daytime.
Question (iv): Why are the children peering out?
Answer (iv): The children are peering out of huge glass windows of an underground school building for a look at the hidden sun which is expected to come out of clouds soon.
Question (v): Give an example of a comparison from the extract above. Explain the comparison.
Answer (v): The children are compared with so many roses and so many weeds intermixed together.
The author is comparing the children to roses and weeds, because they are closely bunching together and just like roses and weeds they need sunlight. The author is also hinting that they are not all sweetness and innocence.
“And this was the way life … it’s stopping! Yes, yes!”
Question (i): What kind of people are there on planet Venus?
Answer (i): A group of school children lived on the planet Venus with their families. They are the children of men and women who had come to Venus from Earth on rockets to set up a civilisation and live out their lives in underground colonies. They were born on Venus and were only two years old when the sun was last seen. They seem excited about appearance of the sun and are looking forward to experiencing sunshine for the first time in their lives.
Question (ii): What does the phrase “rocket men and women” indicate?
Answer (ii): The phrase “rocket men and women” refer to people who had migrated from Earth to Venus in rockets.
Question (iii): What is referred to as the “raining world” why?
Answer (iii): The planet Venus is referred to as the “raining world” because it rains there incessantly. The sun remains hidden and comes out of cloud for only one hour, once every seven years.
Question (iv): “It’s stopping!, it’s stopping!” What is stopping? What does it tell us about the lives of the characters?
Answer (iv): It has been raining constantly for seven years and the rain was now stopping.
The characters are schoolchildren who are nine years old and do not remember to have seen the sun before. Continuous rainstorms on planet Venus had constraint their activities within echoing tunnels of the underground city. Since, the sunshine was a rare occurrence on Venus, children are excited and are looking forward to basking under brilliant sunshine for the first time in their lives.
Question (v): State how the story is based on science fiction.
Answer (v):The story is based on science fiction because it takes place in distant future on planet Venus. Men and women from Earth had gone there in rockets to set up civilization and live out their lives in underground buildings. Also, in reality, Venus is a hot planet with atmosphere consisting mainly of carbon dioxide, clouds of sulfuric acid and trace amounts of water. But in the story it is described as a “raining world” where days are filled with the drum and gush of water.