CBSE Study Notes for Class 9 English Chapter 8 Reach for the Top and Poem On Killing a Tree


CBSE Class 9 English Chapter 8- Download The Free PDF Notes

Reach for the Top is the eighth chapter of the class 9 English textbook Beehive. It is a story about an inspiring woman Santosh Yadav. Santosh Yadav, a mountain climber, achieved the milestone of tracing Mount Everest twice. Despite being born in a narrow-minded society that did not welcome a girl child, she made her own path and achieved the unbelievable feat. Students are advised to read this chapter line by line to understand its message. Students can supplement their reading with the PDF Notes provided by GharPeShiksha.

The study material available at the website of GharPeShiksha has helped numerous students to enhance their understanding of this chapter and its teachings. The material contains the vocabulary of the chapter with meaning, textbook exercise questions with solutions, previous year questions with solutions, important questions that may come in the exam, teachings of the chapter, model answer sheet and many more things all compiled by expert teachers. You can download the PDFs through the website of GharPeShiksha.

On Killing a Tree

On Killing a Tree written by Gieve Patel is a very sensitive poem and it aims to make the readers understand the importance of Trees. The poet appeals to its readers that the trees are also like human beings and should not be subjected to cruelty. To understand all the moral values embodied in the poem it is necessary to study it from a credible source. The best way to understand the poem is to study it from the PDF notes provided by GharPeShiksha.

The PDF Notes contain a summary of the poem in easy language, vocabulary with meaning, textbook exercise questions with solutions, previous year questions with solutions, important questions that may come in the exam, literary devices used in the poem, rhyming scheme analysis and many more things all compiled by expert teachers of GharPeShiksha. This study material is available at the website of GharPeShiksha only.


Reach for the Top

Chapter 8

Short Questions (2 Marks)

Question 1 : What kind of society was
Santosh Yadav born in? How was her
grandmother different from others?
: Santosh Yadav was born in a
society where the birth of a son was regarded
as a blessing and a daughter was generally
not welcomed. Her grandmother was
different from others as she wanted a girl. In
general, the society was orthodox and

Question 2 : What surprised the travelling
‘holy man’? Did his blessing work?
Answer :
The travelling ‘holy man’ assumed
that like everyone Santosh’s family also
wanted a son. When Santosh’s grandmother
requested him for a daughter, he was
surprised for he never anticipated so. Yes, his
blessings seemed to work because as per
grandmother’s wish, a daughter was born.
Question 3 : How did Santosh fulfil her
wish to study in Delhi?
Answer : Santosh’s wish to study in Delhi
was fulfilled when she threatened her
parents of never getting married if she didn’t
get proper education. She left home and
enrolled herself in a school in Delhi. This is
how she fulfilled her wish to study in Delhi.

Question 4 : What happened when
Santosh’s parents refused to pay for her
Answer :
When Santosh’s parents refused to
pay for her fees, she politely informed them
of her plans to earn money by working part
time to pay her school fees. Then, they agreed
to pay for it.

Question 5 : Why did Santosh want to fight
the system?
Answer :
Santosh’s parents were affluent.
They could have sent her to the best schools
but as per the tradition, she was sent to the
local village school. As a result, she felt
discontented and decided to fight the system.
She wanted education for her and she got it.

Question 6 : What motivated Santosh for
mountain climbing?
: When Santosh was in Maharani
College, Jaipur, she lived in Kasturba hostel.
From her room, she could see the Aravalli
Hills. She used to see villagers climbing up
the hills and suddenly disappearing. She
decided to check it out herself. She met some
mountaineers. When she asked if she could
join them, they answered in the affirmative.
This motivated her to take to climbing.

Question 7 : What made Santosh scale Mt
Everest the second time? How was it
Answer :
Santosh scaled Mt Everest the
second time as she was invited to the
member of an Indo-Nepalese women’s
It was important as she secured a unique
place for her and India by becoming the only
woman in the world to have scaled the
Everest twice within a year.

Question 8 : What is the secret of
Santosh’s success?
Answer :
Santosh had a strong will power,
great physical endurance and an amazing
mental toughness. The single-minded
determination and dedication helped her
overcome all hurdles to emerge as a winner.
She had qualities of hard work and sincerity.

Long Questions (8 Marks)

Question 1 : What qualities in Santosh
Yadav helped her get into the record
books both times she conquered Mt
Everest? What values can one learn from
Answer :
Success comes at a cost. It is never
without a cost. You have to pay for it in the
currency of dedication, hard work, focus and
will power. The same was with Santosh when
she achieved success for herself. Santosh
Yadav was born in an orthodox society where
the girl child was not welcomed.
From her early childhood, she showed the
qualities of a rebel. She went to study out of
her village despite her parents’
unwillingness. She also enrolled herself to
pursue mountaineering which required a lot
of hard work, dedication and determination.
Santosh showed qualities in her training like
physical endurance, iron will, mental
toughness and resistance to cold and altitude.
These qualities helped her to scale Mt
Everest twice and get her name into the
record books. She is an inspiration for all of
us but specially for girls.
One can learn the values of being mentally
tough, determined, dedicated and helping
others from her. Her life shows us that
nothing is impossible if one is passionate and
determined about one’s goal.

Question 2 : Santosh Yadav defied all
orthodox social customs to choose her
own path. What traits do you admire in
her that made her a successful woman?
Write about the lesson that we learn from
the life of Santosh Yadav.
: Santosh Yadav was born in a
society where women did not have much
freedom but she lived life on her own terms.
Where other girls in her village used to wear
traditional Indian dresses, she wore shorts.
In place of getting married like other girls at
sixteen, she wished to study in Delhi. She
threatened her parents that she would never
marry if she did not get proper education.
When her parents refused to pay her fees, she
told them that she would work part time to
pay her school fees. This made her parents
agree to pay for her education. These
incidents prove that she was a rebel and
defied all orthodox customs to choose her
own path.
Her determination, passion for work,
dedication and strong will-power are the
main traits which made her a successful
woman. Her life teaches us that we can also
touch the sky and achieve our goals if we are
determined and honest with our work.
Despite the problems and obstacles in our
path, we should not lose hope and give our

Question 3 : Santosh Yadav possesses a
deep feeling for others. What did she do
on her expedition to Mt Everest to make a
special place in the hearts of fellow
climbers? Which important value does her
deep feeling for others teach us?
Answer :
A human being is identified by the
compassion, love, care, sympathy and other
virtues. It is obvious the if someone cares for
others then this is inevitable. If Santosh
Yadav has these values then she is a real
human being. Santosh Yadav is a good human
being. She was a true team-member and
companion. She got a special place in the
hearts of fellow climbers because of her
concern for them and desire to work together.
During her expedition to Mt Everest in 1992,
she provided special care to a climber who
lay dying at the South Col. But, she couldn’t
save him. However, she managed to save another
climber, Mohan Singh, who would have died
if she had not shared her oxygen with him.
With such characteristics, she becomes a role
model for us. We should also help our
classmates, friends, family members or
anyone who is in need or facing trouble.
Humanity is always bigger than any personal
achievement and it makes a person a real

Part 2 : Maria Sharapova

Short Questions (2 Marks)

Question 1 : Why did Maria have to stay
away from her mother? How did she feel
about that?
: Maria had to stay away from her
mother because she had to go to the United
States for her professional training and her
mother could not accompany her due to visa
restrictions. She felt very lonely and
depressed about that. She had to bear with
this separation.

Question 2 : Why did Maria not retaliate
against the humiliation at the hands of the
other athletes?
Answer :
Maria did not retaliate at against
the humiliation at the hands of the other
athletes because she was working hard to
become the world’s number one tennis
So, she took it as a challenge and worked
harder to achieve success. Had she retaliated
against these then she would not have
reached there.

Question 3 : Why does Maria call herself
totally Russian?
Answer :
Though Maria lives in the USA, but
at heart she is a Russian. She says that her
blood is totally Russian, and wants to
represent Russia in the Olympics.
This is just an indication of her patriotism
and her true love for her country.

Question 4 : Detail some of the hobbies of
Maria Sharapova?
Answer :
Like all the teenagers, Maria, too,
has the same hobbies. It was no less than the
hobbies of common youngsters. Maria’s
hobbies are fashion, signing and dancing. She
also loves reading novels of Arthur Conan

Question 5 : How are Maria’s
achievements significant?
Answer :
Maria’s achievements were
significant as she worked very hard and
sacrificed her childhood for being the
number one in tennis. Se had scarce
resources and the economic condition of her
father was no better. Under the constraints,
anything achieved is substantial.

Question 6 : What does Maria declare to
be her ‘Mantra’ for success?
Answer :
Maria considers herself very
competitive and works hard to be the best in
the whatever she does. She does not allow
herself to be emotional and sentimental. This
is her ‘Mantra’ for success.

Question 7 : Maria’s parents played an
important role in her success. How?
Answer :
When Maria went to the US for
tennis training she was only nine-years old.
So, her father accompanied her there and
worked hard to keep her tennis training
going. So, her parents played an important
role in her success.

Long Questions (8 Marks)

Question 1 : Was it money or her dream of
becoming number one in the world that
motivated Maria to play tennis? What
traits in one’s personality are reflected
when one is motivated in the right
direction? What values one develops
when motivated?
Answer :
Everybody needs something in
order to excel in the walk of life. Some can
motivate themselves with power, some can
with money, some can with attitudes etc. But,
in the modern days, money rules the most. So
, we can say it to be one of the greatest
motivation but not the ultimate means to any
thing. Maria Sharapova became the world’s
number one player in women’s tennis at the
age of eighteen. She became famous and
earned money through tennis. She considers
money as her motivation as tennis is both a
business and a sport.
But she considers being number one in the
world more important than anything else to
her and dreams to achieve her goal at any
cost. She works hard as success has not made
her arrogant and wants to represent her
native country ‘Russia’ in the Olympics. One
can learn from her life that success comes
after hard work and dedication. One should
not become arrogant after success if one
wants to remain on the top of the world.

Question 2 : Mental toughness and
determination became a key to Maria’s
success. How these qualities in an
individual can help him in pursuing his
Answer :
Success demands the best of your
efforts. If you can put the best then success
comes to you. One can get depressed and
would surely be deprived of success in this
case. But, the young Maria was not the one to
lose her hope. Maria Sharapova, a Russian
tennis player, moved to the USA at the age of
nine for her training. She was accompanied
by her father as her mother was unable to
join her due to the visa restrictions. She
shared her room with other girls who bullied
her but she did not get depressed. She
became more determined and due to this, she
achieved her goal of becoming world’s
number one in women’s tennis. Her mental
toughness and determination helped her
reach the top at the age of eighteen.
She teaches us that success comes after hard
work, dedication and sacrifices. One has to
conquer the hurdles of life. If one sacrifices
the luxuries of life in the start, one can reap
the fruit of hard work and taste success. So,
to achieve one’s goal , one has to be ready to
work hard and sacrifice because hard work
never goes waste. One, who hesitates from
doing the hard work. can’t taste it. Since,
Maria was devoted to her sports she achieved
what she wished.

Question 3 : Why did Maria Sharapova’s
mother not accompany her to USA? What
did Maria feel for her mother? How this
separation from her mother helped her
accomplish her goal? What important
values do we learn from this incident?
Answer :
Maria Sharapova’s father Yuri
wanted her to be trained in the USA so that
she could be a better player of tennis. She
was only nine years old when due to visa
restrictions, her mother Yelena could not
come with her to the USA.
This heart-wrenching (breaking) separation
was for two years. She terribly missed her
mother. But it was like a boon for her as she
became more determined and mentally tough
to achieve whatever she has thought. She
learnt how to take care of herself. She used to
say that with nothing, one can be more
determined and hungry. She never felt
depressed and she worked hard for her
success and became world’s number one
player in women’s tennis in 2005. This
incident teaches us that hard work and
determination help us achieve the goal of our
life but it requires sacrifices also. If one is
ready to sacrifice the immediate comfort then
one can achieve what one wishes. Remember,
success comes at a cost.

Poem On Killing a Tree

On Killing a Tree

Short Questions (2 Marks)

Question 1 : Why does it take much time
to kill a tree?
Answer :
A tree will take much time to be
killed because it has got strength its roots are
safe under the earth, and simple blows from
the tools won’t do any harm to it.

Question 2 : How has the tree grown to its
present size?
Answer :
The tree has grown to its present
size by absorbing the resources from earth
and from its surrounding like air, water and

Question 3 : What has been compared
with ‘Leprous hide’?
Answer :
‘Leprous hide’ has been compared
with the bark, which has got discoloured over
a period of time. It looks like that of someone,
who has leprosy and the skin of the body has
got discoloured.

Question 4 : A simple jab of knife was not
enough to kill a tree. What did the poet
suggest to do after that?
Answer :
A simple jab of knife was not
enough to kill a tree. The poet, therefore,
suggested that it should be uprooted hacked
and chopped to implement severe blows.
Question 5 : What will be the effect of
hacking and the chopping on the tree?
Answer : The hacking and chopping of the
tree would make the tree bleed i.e. secret a
liquid but this pain will be relieved soon and
the bleeding bark will heal itself.

Question 6 : How can the tree get back to
its former size?
Answer :
The bleeding bark will be heated
and from the place closer to the ground, there
will be new twigs arising out of it, new
boughs will take place which will make the
plant grow to its former size.

Question 7 : Explain the usage of
‘anchoring earth’.
Answer : ‘Anchoring’ is used to show a
condition or a situation which is compulsory
to a process to take place. The earth is such
as compulsory and important factor to the
tree. So, ‘anchoring earth’ has been used.

Question 8 : Why did the poet want the
tree to be snapped out?
: The earlier methods of killing the
tree were not successful. Therefore, the poet
used the way to pull out the roots and then to
be snapped out to kill the tree for sure.

Question 9 : What is the source of the tree
as used in the poem? How does it look
: The source of the tree is its roots
and it looks like a white sensitive matter,
which is wet and hidden inside the earth for

Question 10 : How is the tree killed
: When a tree is exposed of its
strength i.e. its roots then the sun and air
burn it. They choke it and the roots are
exhausted. Thus, the tree is killed finally.

Long Questions (8 Marks)

Question 1 : What is the underlying
message of the poem?
: The poem describes the process of
cutting or killing a tree. It seems contrary to
our established belief that we generally tend
to plant more and more trees. The poet, here,
mentions how to implement the effective
killing. The underlying message of the poem
is that the poet wants us to do a job
completely when we start it once. We should
not drop it in the mind. It may seem to us that
we have done is perfectly, but at times, it is
just an illusion. Therefore, we should finish
the job completely just like the complete
killing of the tree. Also, the poet reminds us
of the fact that the efforts must be optimum
and should be put whole-heartedly.

Question 2 : The poem is about killing a
tree. Do you think it is justified to cut
trees? Why does the poet say so then?
Answer :
The poem is all about killing a tree.
The poet has mentioned the various ways
through which a tree can be killed. But, it is
not justified to kill a tree for our selfish
motives. Still, the poet used the theme of the
killing. He wanted to convey the message that
despite the clinical methods of killing a tree,
there always remains a contemptible act. The
poet used this way to comment in a
contrasting way and it was of the nature in
which someone taunts. He knew that people
are aware of the fact that it is a great harm to
cut trees but they do it more often. Hence, he
used his way.

Question 3 : The poet has described the
ways of killing a tree which is against the
corollary. What did the poet what to
convey with this?
Answer :
The poet has conveyed the
strongest message to the readers. He has
used a different method which is opposite to
the corollary (outcome). But, this has
something to do with the poem. The poet is
highlighting the evils all around us which
have its deep-roots inside us. We are prone to
its devastating (harmful) effect. He wants us
to alleviate (remove) ourselves from these
evils, which is an obstacle to our growth.
Evils will take time in getting out but it needs
to be eliminated. We need strong will power,
perseverance (determination) and complete
dedication to root them out. It is never so
easy as these have got inside completely and
we are required to put out utmost efforts.
Value based questions

Question 1.
After reading the poem, what similarities
can we draw between trees and some great
people of yesteryears?
Trees go on live on for years. There are
some trees in the Amazon forest which are
said to be more than five hundred years
old. We may take some lesson from them
to spread our roots deep inside the earth.
There had been some great people of
yesteryears who still live in our memories.
They had spread their roots inside our
consciousness and as a result refuse to die.
The hidden root gives all the sustenance to
a tree. One needs to snap this source of life
to kill a tree.

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