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B Wordsworth – V S Naipaul

  1. How was B Wordsworth different from the rest of the callers?
    Most people who called on the narrator’s family to borrow money and food. Very rarely, there were rogues who behaved absurdly. On the contrary, B Wordsworth came only to observe the bees in the narrator’s yard. He was least like the others.
  2. Why does B Wordsworth like to be known so?
    B Wordsworth was a poet with a different way of understanding the world, himself and poetry. He had a lot of love for nature just like William Wordsworth. Apart from this similarity with Wordsworth, he was of a dark complexion. For these reasons, he liked to be called B Wordsworth, where B stands for ‘Black.’
  3. Why was the narrator’s mother worried about B Wordsworth?
  4. What makes B Wordsworth a peculiar character in your opinion?
  5. What did B Wordsworth refer to as ‘a poet’s tragedy?’
    By a poet’s tragedy, B Wordsworth refers to the tragedy of poets who have no buyers for their most beautiful poems even at the cost of four cents. He felt it tragic owing to the mentality of the people who consider the creativity of a poet absurd and worthless.
  6. What for did B Wordsworth visit the narrator the second time?
  7. What was special about B Wordsworth’s hut and its surroundings in Albert Street? (1 mark)
  8. Why did mother beat the narrator? What did he do in response to it? (1 mark)
  9. “But this poet was never born because the girl died and the young poet died with her, inside her. The girl’s husband was very sad so he said that he would never touch a thing in the girl’s garden.”
    1. Do you think that B. Wordsworth is the boy poet in the story? Why do you think so? (2 marks)
Writing

As the narrator of the story, write a diary entry about your meeting B Wordsworth. Include details such as: what is so special about him; why you like him; why your mom hated him; what do you think about him as a poet, etc.

Monday, 12 January, 1966

Dear diary

Today I met the most noted man in my life. His name is Wordsworth. When came to our yard in the morning we thought that he had come for some help but he was not. He said he had come to watch the bees on our trees.

(Continue…)

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