Keeping Quiet Class 12 English Exam Questions

Exam Questions Class 12

Please refer to the below Keeping Quiet important questions for Class 12 English. These questions and answers have been prepared as per the latest NCERT Book for Class 12 English. Students should go through chapter wise Class 12 English Important Questions designed as per the latest examination pattern issued by CBSE. 

Chapter Summary of Keeping Quiet

  • The poet talks about the need of silence, quiet introspection and importance of quietude and calmness. He also talks about creating a feeling of mutual understanding among human beings.
  • The poet asks us to keep still and count up to twelve. He also asks us to sit still. For a moment we should not speak any language. We should not move our arms so much.
  • It will be a moment of complete silence without rush or worry. This would be an exotic moment.
  • Then a sudden strangeness will prevail which we all will enjoy. It will be bliss.
  • The fisherman would not harm the whales on the cold sea. Even the man gathering salt would stop working and look at his hurt hands and reflect at the pain and harm his strenuous task has caused him.
  • All kinds of wars must be stopped at once. The green wars against the environment, wars with poisonous gases, firearms, must be stopped at once.
  • People, who all the time prepare for wars leave no survivors behind, ought to find time to wear clothes and walk around with their brothers strengthening the message of peace and brotherhood.
  • At the same time the poet cautions us to not confuse stillness with total inactivity. Life is an ongoing process and should not be associated with death. It is to be lived with positive attitude.
  • He does not want us to ruminate over death.
  • But he feels that if for once we do not focus ourselves single-mindedly to keep our lives moving but do some introspection or spend some time in silence doing nothing, we can understand ourselves better and escape from the threatening calls of death.
  • The earth can teach us a lesson how once everything seem dead and comes to life next moment.
  • In the same manner a quiet introspection can bring all evil thoughts to an end and bring in a new life of peace and tranquility.
  • Now the poet will count up to twelve and if we keep quiet, he will go.


1. Sudden strangeness

2. Hurt hands

3. Clean clothes

4. We will

5. We would

6. Wars with Repetition

7. Wars, wars with gas

8. Pun – arms , Metaphor

1. Clean clothes

Question. Read the extracts and answer the questions that follow-
“Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the Earth
let’s not speak in any language,
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.”

Question. Why does poet prohibit us to speak in any language?
Answer. Speaking creates rucks, we don’t need any language for self-introspection; moreover, we divide people on the name of languages.

Question. What do you understand by counting to twelve?
Answer. Counting to twelve denotes twelve hours of a day, poet wishes that after working for twelve hours for a while we should withdraw ourselves from the hassles of life to introspect and reflect on our deeds.

Question. What do ‘arms’ refer to?
Answer. ‘Arms’ could refer to weapons that we have been using incessantly to destroy humanity. It could also be used to show unceasing activities of man in the modern world like machines.

Question. Read the extracts and answer the questions that follow-
“Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.”

Question. What has happened to the man gathering salt? What must he do?
Answer. The man gathering salt has injured his hands. He must take care of his hurt hands and should realize that his actions are self-destructive.

Question. What do ‘Fisherman’ and ‘whales’ signify?
Answer. The fisherman symbolizes man’s indiscriminate exploitation of nature and humanity for his vested interests whereas ‘whales’ could signify nature or exploited class.

Question. Read the extracts and answer the questions that follow-
“Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victory with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.”

Question. Why does poet ask warmongers to put on clean clothes?
Answer. The poet urges warmongers to put on clean cloths i.e. to put aside all their selfish motives and ill-will for a while so that they can reflect on their deeds which may lead them to a better tomorrow, peace, co-existence, mutual understanding and harmony.

Question. What do green wars signify?
Answer. Relentless exploitation of the nature is a self-destructive war that man has waged against Mother Nature.

Question. Read the extracts and answer the questions that follow-
“I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the Earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.”

Question. What does earth teach us?
Answer. The Earth can teach us how new life emerges from the ashes of the dead remains. Likewise quiet introspection will enable us to live a life of peace and harmony.

Question. Explain, ‘no truck with death’
Answer. Poet doesn’t want us to misconstrue his advocacy of silence to death. He advocates life and wishes that we should create perfect harmony with it by means of introspection and meditation.

Question. What is the ‘sadness’ that the poet refers to in the poem? 
Answer. The poet refers to the ‘sadness’ which arises due to the fact that people fail to understand themselves. They have no time to introspect about the consequences of their actions.

Question. ‘Under the apparent stillness there is life’. Justify.
Answer. Under the apparent stillness there is life, we can learn it from the earth. During winter season, the earth under snow looks dead, with no activity or growth. But when the spring comes and snow melts away, seeds sprout and grass grows. All activities of life start again.

Question. Why do men become sad? How can this sadness be overcome?
Answer. Men fail to understand themselves and become sad. They always threaten themselves with death. A long silence might interrupt this sadness and make them feel good.

Question. What is the sadness that the poet refers to in the poem ‘Keeping Quiet’?
Answer. The poet refers to the sadness which surrounds man due to not having any time for himself, the pain of not understanding what he or his fellow human beings want. He has no time for introspection; as a result, he is unable to analyze his own actions and understand its consequences.

Question. What symbol from the nature does the poet invoke to say that there is life under the apparent stillness?
Answer. The poet did not want to equate stillness with total inactivity. Under the apparent stillness there was life. We could learn it from the earth when everything seemed dead, the earth still remained alive. The life on earth goes on under the apparent stillness.

Question. Why does Pablo Neruda urge us to keep still?
Answer. Stillness is necessary for reflection and quiet introspection. We can hear the voice of our conscience and thus withdraw ourselves from undesirable actions and contribute to create a society of peace and mutual understanding.

Question. What will counting upto twelve and keeping still help us to achieve ?
Answer. Counting upto twelve would help us to put a brake on the rush and humdrum of life. It would help us to introspect and experience, silence and peace. In that moment of silence, we could find a solution to all our problems and predicaments.

Question. Do you think that the poet advocates total inactivity and death?
Answer. The poet did not advocate total inactivity and death. In fact he wanted to live life fully and boldly. But by advocating quietness, he wanted mixture of physical and spiritual aspect of life.

Question. How, according to Neruda, can keeping quiet change our attitude to life?
Answer. Keeping quiet and suspending all our activities for a brief moment will give us time to introspect and analyze our own actions. We will develop a new understanding of our surroundings and thus change our attitude to life. We will check our destructive ways and try to be more positive and constructive.

Question. How can suspension of activities help?
Answer. The poet believes that suspension of activities will allow man to introspect, which can help them in analyzing their own actions, and in solving many of their problems based on caste, religion or nationality. It will help them develop a new understanding of their surroundings, and thus make them mend their destructive ways.

Question. Which is the exotic moment that the poet refers to in ‘Keeping Quiet’?
Answer. The poet refers to the moment of stillness and quietness as an exotic moment. It would be an exotic moment; as such tranquility will initiate peace and brotherhood. There would be no movement, no talk, no activity and consequently, no violence.

Extract Based Question

Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. For once on the face of the Earth let’s not speak in any language, let’s stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines, we would all be together in a sudden strangeness.

Question. What does the poet feel is needed to be at peace ?
(a) meeting with people
(b) talking with people
(c) interaction with the people
(d) Soul searching



Question. What does number 12 represent ?
(a) hours of the day and months of a year
(b) earth
(c) clock
(d) cricket players



Question. How long is the poet expecting everyone to stay still ?
(a) for 10 minutes
(b) for 12 minutes
(c) for 15 minutes
(d) for 1 second till we count 12



Question. What does counting upto 12 signify and how will it help ?
(a) hours of the day
(b) months of a year
(c) it will help to create peace and harmony
(d) all



Keeping Quiet important questions