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What I Require From Life Exercise

What I Require From Life by John Burdon Sanderson Haldane Exercise: Questions & Answers Class 11 English

Understanding the text 

Answer the following questions.

a. How does the writer distinguish between a peaceful age and a heroic age?

➜ The writer distinguishes between a period of peace and a period of heroism, and compares two different periods: he calls the moment of birth a period of peace and his youth as a period of heroism. When the First World War broke out (22 years old), he wanted to live in peace but devoted himself to the heroic war.


b. Why does the writer want more freedom of speech than most people?

➜ The writer wants more freedom of speech than most people because he wants to freely talk and write about very dangerous people and institutions. He wants to write against the capitalists who have rioted all the industries. He wants to write what he thinks about.

c. According to the writer, what are the four general human needs?

➜ According to the writer, work, freedom of speech, health and friend are the four general human needs.


d. What is the difference between desire and demand according to the writer?

➜ According to the author, the difference between desire and demand is that desire is a simple wish for a person to have a specific benefit in life, and demand is a desire that is specifically supported by the ability and willingness to pay for a particular good. The writer wants different things but does not ask for them, but he can happily fulfil all his wishes.


e. Why does the writer demand security?

➜ The author calls for security because the safety of life is more important than any other aspect. Life safety is the primary aspect while other requirements are secondary. During critical times of war, the writer first claims the security of life. If the security of life is insured, anything can be possible.

 Reference to the context 

Explain the following lines with reference to the context:

a. “The satisfaction of adventure is something much more solid than a thrill.”

➜ The author believes that adventure is not only about emotions, but also about satisfaction in performing a creative activity. He served on the war front in Madrid for six months and looked forward to reading a book of Rimbaud's poetry for a thrill.


b. “I want the workers to see the fruit of their own work not in profits for others, but in their own and their friends’ well-being.”

➜ Here in this line, the author, as a socialist, wants the workers to exercise the fruits of their labour so as not to enrich the bourgeois capitalists but to benefit from the wages of the workers themselves for their own economic prosperity.


c. Why do you think the essayist has taken reference from the ancient philosophers?

➜  I think the essayist has taken reference from the ancient philosophers because he wants to strengthen his arguments and provide us with specific details about the paragraphs he has provided.

d. Discuss the essay in terms of its language, purpose, subject, point of view and mode of writing.

➜ The writer has used simple and clear language to express his ideas about socialism in this essay. He has done his best to present various needs of people from their daily lives. The writer here is advocating for equality as well as democratic activities in the workplace for all working-class people. His primary goal as a sociologist is to better the lives of working-class people. He desires equality for all people in all sectors. He has discussed various issues concerning the needs, rights, and classes of people in his presentation of the major subject of life-related requirements. He has voiced his opposition to capitalism, which has resulted in widespread unemployment. As a social critic, his point of view can be seen in the essay. He began his essay in a descriptive mode, but later on, he presented his political arguments in order to persuade his readers.


 Reference beyond the text 

a. What do you require from your life to be happy and satisfied?

➜ To be happy and satisfied, I require good health, a job, friendship, freedom & security from my life.


b. What is socialism? How is it different from capitalism?

➜ Socialism is a system of social and economic equality in which private property and ownership are not prioritized. It differs from capitalism because capitalism does not provide economic equality. Capitalism, unlike socialism, ignores people's needs and does not promote equal opportunity.

c. Write an essay about your dream house.

➜ My Dream House

My dream home is a place of beauty, serenity and inspiration. It is a bungalow with a huge lawn, planted with fruit trees and flowering plants. There is plenty of space for a table and chairs so that when the weather is fine, my family can sit outside to have a meal or read the newspapers. There is also a lovely waterfall in the garden to soothe our minds with the sound of water falling. Birds perch on the trees to sing or nest and give us free concerts. 

My dream home is large and spacious. There are plenty of windows to make the place bright and airy. I do hate houses that are small, cramped and all shut up. It is for this reason that I dislike living in flats or condominiums. Every room in my dream house and every piece of furniture in it is designed to create beauty, warmth and peace. 

My kitchen is small and neat. I am not a fussy cook so I do not need a large kitchen. In Malaysia, one does not really need to cook all the time since there are plenty of restaurants. However, if I ever cook or bake, I would like to do it on the latest Italian hob and oven. My dream kitchen has a huge refrigerator and is fitted with cabinets made of oak. It also has a radio-CD player so that I can listen to music as I do my cooking.

All the bedrooms in my dream house are spacious. They have attached bathrooms and are fully air-conditioned. Each has a mini-refrigerator stocked with drinks and tidbits so that there is always something to munch on even in the bedroom. One of the most important rooms in my dream house is the library. Wonderful books on every subject in the world fill up the shelves that line the walls. I also have the latest table-top computer here on which I work or surf the internet. 

Another important room is the music room where I have the latest hi-fi system to play songs and music from all over the world. I love music. My grand piano is also placed there where I often play pieces that I have composed myself. 

My dream home is a place of joy, peace and beauty. Right now it exists only in my dreams. Someday, I hope it will become reality.

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