Class 9 Supplementary English Reader Lesson “The Lost Child”: The Notes given here include a summary in English and Hindi, Themes of the story, Tone, language and Character Sketch etc. These Notes will help students a lot in understanding the lesson.
Notes: ‘The Lost Child’
Introduction: “The Lost Child” is a heart-warming story from the Class 9 NCERT book “Moments” that highlights the innocence and purity of a child’s heart. The story revolves around a young boy who gets lost in a fair while his parents are busy shopping. The child wanders around the fair, enchanted by the various attractions and games, and forgets all about his parents. However, as the night falls and the fair closes down, the child realizes that he is alone and lost.
Through the story, the author, Mulk Raj Anand, portrays the child’s fear, anxiety, and desperation to reunite with his parents. He encounters various people, including a kind-hearted gardener, a generous fruit-seller, and a group of merry musicians, who offer him comfort and solace. The child’s journey through the fair is a metaphor for the journey of life, where one meets different people, faces challenges, and experiences moments of joy and sorrow.
The story beautifully captures the essence of childhood and emphasizes the importance of family and parental love. It teaches us to appreciate the small things in life and value our loved ones. Overall, “The Lost Child” is a touching tale that leaves a lasting impression on the reader and is a must-read for anyone who wants to experience the innocence and beauty of childhood.
Setting: The story takes place at a spring festival in India.
Characters: The child, the child’s father, and the child’s mother.
Themes: The story explores the themes of childhood innocence, desire, and disappointment. The story emphasizes the beauty of nature and contrasts it with the artificiality of human desires. It shows how children can be easily fascinated by the world around them and how their desires can be limited by the decisions of their parents. The story also shows how easily a child can become lost and frightened when separated from their parents.
- Parent-Child Relationship: The story explores the tension between a child’s desires and a parent’s responsibility to protect them. The story shows the parent-child relationship, where the child tries to convince his parents to buy him a toy and then gets busy exploring things. However, the parents are more interested in nature and don’t allow him to indulge in buying toys, balloons, or flowers, which leads to the child feeling neglected.
- Human Nature: The story portrays the fascination of human beings towards different things, including nature, sweets, flowers, and toys. It also shows the child’s curiosity towards things he encounters, such as dragonflies and insects.
- Fear and Panic: The story depicts the child’s fear and panic when he gets lost in the fair and cannot find his parents.
Plot: The child and his parents are at a spring festival in India. The child is fascinated by the toys in the shops but is denied his request for a toy by his father. The child’s mother then draws his attention to a mustard field, where dragonflies and other insects are flying around. They continue to walk on the footpath and the child is distracted by other insects and worms. The family then reaches a grove where the child collects flowers but is distracted by the sound of doves cooing. As they approach the fair, the child is fascinated by a sweetmeat seller, flower seller, and balloon seller, but he knows his parents will not buy them for him. They reach a snake-charmer and a roundabout, but the parents do not allow the child to approach them. The child suddenly realizes that his parents are no longer with him, and he becomes frightened and starts to cry.
Mood: The mood of the story is generally light-hearted and cheerful as the child and his parents enjoy the festival. However, the mood changes to one of fear and panic when the child becomes separated from his parents.
Tone: The tone of the story is nostalgic and reflective, as it captures the essence of childhood innocence and wonder. It also has a tone of cautionary advice, warning parents to be vigilant of their children in crowded places.
Language: The language of the story is descriptive and vivid, using sensory details to bring the festival to life. It also includes dialogue to convey the interactions between the child and his parents.
Summary of ‘The Lost Child’
The story is about a child’s experience at a spring festival where he is accompanied by his parents. The child is fascinated by the toys in the shops that line the way and desires to own them. However, his parents do not yield to his requests.
The Beauty of Nature: As they walk through the fields, the child’s mother draws his attention to the beautiful mustard field, and the child is captivated by the dragonflies and butterflies hovering around. He is engrossed in chasing them until his mother reminds him to come back to the footpath.
The Playful Mood of a Child: The child then gets distracted by insects and worms along the path and plays with them for a while until his parents call him to join them at the shade of a grove where they had seated themselves on the edge of a well. A shower of young flowers falls upon the child as he enters the grove, and he begins to gather the raining petals in his hands.
The Temptations of the Fair: As they get closer to the fair, the child sees many other footpaths full of throngs, converging to the whirlpool of the fair, and he is fascinated and repelled by the confusion of the world he is entering. He sees a sweetmeat seller, a flower-seller, a man selling balloons, and a snake-charmer, and desires to own them all but refrains from asking his parents as he knows they will refuse.
Lost and Scared: When the child sees a roundabout in full swing, the child asks his parents if he can ride the roundabout, but they do not respond. When he turns around, he realizes they have disappeared. He becomes frightened and starts to cry. Panic-stricken, he runs around, crying for his mother and father.
The Search for His Parents: The child runs around in a frenzy, looking for his parents in all directions. He becomes dirty and dishevelled, and his cries turn into sobs. He tries to search for them among the people on the green grass and at a shrine, but they are nowhere to be found.
The Kind Stranger: A man in the crowd hears the child’s cries and lifts him up to safety. He tries to comfort the child by offering him a ride on the roundabout and showing him different attractions, but the child only wants his parents.
The Desperate Search Continues: Despite the man’s efforts, the child remains inconsolable and continues to cry out for his parents. He refuses to be distracted by the snake-charmer’s music, the balloons, the flowers, and even the sweet shop.
Conclusion: The story ends with the child running around in fear, looking for his parents, with tears rolling down his face. The story shows how a child is fascinated by the world around him, but also vulnerable to its dangers. It also portrays the parental guidance and the importance of keeping an eye on children at crowded places
The lost child’s story is a poignant reminder of the fear and desperation that children can experience when they become separated from their parents in a crowded place. The kindness of strangers can offer temporary relief, but there is no substitute for the comforting embrace of a parent.