NCERT Solutions for Class 11th: Childhood Hornbill English
According to the poem, the process of growing up involves the attainment of mental maturity. A person is said to be grown up when he has become logical, rational and is able to build his own thoughts. A grown up has the power to distinguish between reality and fantasy.
A grown up individual understands the actions of others just as the poet recognises the hiatus between the preaching and the practice of the adults. He realises the hypocrisy and the double standards maintained by the adults. A mature individual also asserts his thoughts and opinions.
The poet does not appear to feel sad or upset at the loss of his childhood. He only seems to be puzzled at the disappearance of childhood and the arrival of adulthood. He expresses his confusion when he asks the questions ‘When’ and ‘Where did my childhood go’?
The lines that seem to be the most poetic are:
‘It went to some forgotten place,
That’s hidden in an infant’s face;
That’s all I know.’
These lines sum up beautifully the process of growth and the disappearance of a particular stage of life. These lines express metaphorically that an infant’s innocent face hides many things behind its smiles. Perhaps the childhood also lies hidden somewhere in the child’s consciousness.
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