My Grandfather


Q.1      Why didn’t the writer and his uncle think it wrong to outwit the grandfather’s violence and rigor?


“My Grandfather”, a touching piece of prose by W.B. Yeats contains delicate memories of his childhood and a sincere and thankful account of the glimpses of his grandfather. Yeats narrates that, despite all his admirations and alarms neither he nor his uncle thought it wrong to outwit (deceive) the violence or rigidity of his grandfather. He added that his grandfather’s innocence and lack of suspicion made easy for them to outwit his violence and rigor.

He points out that one night his uncle asked him to ride to Rosses Point, to borrow a railway pass from a cousin. His grandfather also had a railway Pass, but to him, it was unlawful to use someone else’s pass. His cousin was, however not so particular in this regard. Yeats, rode and took the railway pass from his cousin and returned home by two or three in the morning.

To Yeats, his grandfather would never think of such an adventure. He believed that every night at eight, the stable-yard was locked and he was brought the key. He locked the doors of the home but the writer’s uncles and servants know how to go out at the nights. Due to strict discipline and principles, but the lack of suspicion of his grandfather, he, the writer, and his uncles did not think it was wrong to outwit the violence and vigor of his grandfather. 228


Q.2      What is the “something in myself” which Yeats felt that he  gradually conquered during his life

Or       “Indeed I remember little of childhood but its pains” and “my miseries were not made by others but were a part of my own mind.”

Or       Describe the strict atmosphere of the Grandfather’s house.


The writer at the beginning of the essay points out that he had “Something in himself” which he gradually conquered during his life. This something was the unknown fear of his grandfather who was a stout, energetic, and strict disciplinarian.

The grandfather was a disciplined man. He also maintained it in his house. For example, none was allowed to eat between meals. Breakfast was served at 9 am and diner at 4 p.m. the stable door was locked at 8 p.m. Nobody could go out after that.  Children had to be in formal dress. Such things caused uneasiness among the children.

His uncles sometimes broke the discipline but Yeats never did so for the fear of being punished. He remained under constant fear and nervousness besides this fact he was never treated harshly or punished. Yeats did not like that the rules should be applied equally to the elders and the younger. The Grandfather must have realized that the children needed a little freedom every now and then.

This is why Yeats says, “Indeed I remember little of childhood but its pains” and “my miseries were not made by others but were a part of my own mind.” He felt very lonely and had unknown fears. However, his fears of childhood vanished as he grew up. He was growing happier with every year of life as though gradually conquering something in himself. So he had developed a psychological fear. 240


Q.3    Justify the space and detail devoted to yeast grandparents.

Or       Why do yeats include a comparison of his grandmother with his grandfather?


“My Grandfather” by Yeas is based on his recollection of his maternal relations. His grandfather and grandmother stand out of all these relations. Yeats’s grandmother was a sharp contrast to his grandfather. She was a woman of a very gentle polite and charitable nature. She feared his husband’s temperament. She did very noble deeds at home. At night she would go round the house if there were not any thief. She was a true lover of flowers. She was also a lover of Chinese paintings. She also could paint beautifully on rice paper. Her handwork was wonderful and delicate. The grandfather was also a lover of Chinese painting. His favorite books were “The Bible” and “Falconer’s Shipwreck”. He was proud and did not like his neighbor.

But the grandmother was very kind and helped the needy. The grandmother was apposed to grandfather in temperament. He was harsh and strict while she was benevolent. She, however, cared that their grandfather was satisfied with his principle. She was not very strict about looking after the stable as the grandfather demanded. She did only the convenience of the stable man. It shows her benign attitude towards the servants. It also indicates that she was a good house manager and could solve the problems at her discretion. Grandmother was a kind and affectionate lady. The writer remembers that she punished him only once on some childish indecency. He was not allowed to come to the dining table and had to take his meal all by himself.

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