Class 12- Play “On The Face Of It” Full Analysis

on the face of it,Mr Lamb

Vistas, “On The Face Of It” by Susan Hill, Summary, Theme, Important Excerpts, Character Sketches, Extra Questions and Supplementary Reader Question Answers.

Next on Vistas: Vistas “Memories Of Childhood” by Zitkala-Sa


  1. Acceptance: The process of Derry and Mr Lamb accepting each other despite their differences is a crucial aspect of the narrative.
  2. Daft: Derry uses the term “daft” to describe Mr Lamb’s behaviour, suggesting eccentricity or unusualness.
  3. Defiant: Derry displays defiance, particularly in his initial interactions with Mr Lamb, indicating resistance or rebellion.
  4. Empathy: Mr Lamb’s empathy towards Derry’s situation is a central theme of the play, highlighting the importance of understanding and compassion.
  5. Isolation: Describes Derry’s feelings of being isolated or alienated from others due to his disfigurement.
  6. Loyalty: Derry demonstrates loyalty by returning to Mr Lamb’s garden after the accident, emphasising the strength of their bond.
  7. Miserable: Mr Lamb reflects on the potential loneliness and misery of being alone.
  8. Panic: Derry experiences panic when he feels exposed or vulnerable.
  9. Resilience: Derry and Mr Lamb demonstrate resilience in adversity, showing strength and determination to overcome challenges.
  10. Scrump: The young lads steal apples, indicating stealing fruit from the garden without permission.
  11. Solace: Both characters find solace in each other’s company, offering comfort and understanding.
  12. Tentative: Derry’s footsteps are described as uncertain, suggesting uncertainty or hesitation.
  13. Trespassing: Reflects the legal and moral implications of entering someone’s property without permission.
  14. Tragedy: The play culminates in tragedy when Mr Lamb falls from a ladder, highlighting the fragility of human life.
  15. Vulnerability: Both characters display vulnerability, revealing their inner struggles and insecurities throughout the play.
  16. Withdrawn: Derry is described as withdrawn, indicating his reluctance to engage with others due to his facial disfigurement.

Summary “On The Face Of It” Susan Hill:

“On The Face Of It” by Susan Hill is a poignant play that explores the unlikely friendship between a disfigured young boy named Derry and an elderly man named Mr. Lamb. Despite Derry’s initial hesitance and defiance due to his facial disfigurement caused by acid burns, Mr Lamb’s gentle and accepting nature gradually breaks down Derry’s barriers. Both characters find solace and understanding through their conversations in Mr. Lamb’s garden. However, when Mr Lamb falls from a ladder while picking crab apples, tragedy strikes. In the end, Derry returns to Mr. Lamb’s garden, demonstrating his loyalty and the depth of their connection. The play emphasises acceptance, friendship, and the importance of human connection despite physical differences.

Theme “On The Face Of It” Susan Hill:

The Power of Human Connection and Empathy:

The central theme of “On The Face Of It” revolves around human connection, empathy, and understanding in overcoming prejudice, isolation, and adversity. The play delves into the unlikely friendship between Derry, a young boy with a disfigured face, and Mr Lamb, an elderly man with a prosthetic leg, who meet in Mr Lamb’s garden. Despite societal judgments and personal insecurities, Derry and Mr Lamb form a bond based on mutual acceptance, empathy, and companionship. Through their interactions, the play explores themes of compassion, resilience, the impact of physical appearance on social interactions, and the importance of finding solace and understanding in human relationships. 

“On The Face Of It” suggests that genuine connections can transcend external differences and provide healing and emotional support in adversity.

Character Sketch:


Derry, one of the central characters in “On The Face Of It” by Susan Hill, is a complex individual whose experiences and emotions drive much of the play’s narrative. Here’s a character sketch of Derry:

  • Physical Appearance: Derry is a young boy, around thirteen or fourteen. He has a disfigured face due to acid burns, which has left him with visible scars and likely affects his self-image and interactions with others.
  • Emotional State: Derry is emotionally vulnerable and sensitive, as evidenced by his initial reluctance to engage with Mr Lamb and his admission of feeling isolated and misunderstood by society. His disfigurement has deeply impacted his sense of self-worth and belonging, leading to feelings of anger, panic, and insecurity.
  • Defiance and Independence: Derry demonstrates defiance and independence despite his vulnerability, particularly in his interactions with Mr. Lamb and his mother. He resents being pitied or judged by others and strives to assert his autonomy and individuality.
  • Yearning for Connection: Beneath his tough exterior, Derry longs for genuine connection and understanding. He seeks solace and companionship in Mr. Lamb’s garden, drawn to the older man’s empathy and acceptance. His willingness to return to the garden despite societal pressures reflects his deep-seated desire for human connection and belonging.
  • Inner Strength and Resilience: Derry exhibits inner strength and resilience despite facing societal stigma and personal challenges. His decision to confront his fears and return to Mr Lamb’s garden highlights his courage and determination to forge meaningful connections and reclaim his sense of agency.
  • Search for Identity: Derry grapples with questions of identity and self-acceptance throughout the play. His disfigurement serves as a constant reminder of his perceived otherness, prompting him to question his place in the world and reconcile his appearance with his sense of self.
  • Transformation and Growth: Through his interactions with Mr. Lamb, Derry experiences transformative growth and emotional healing. Their unlikely friendship challenges Derry to confront his insecurities and embrace his inner worth, ultimately fostering a sense of acceptance and belonging.

Derry emerges as a complex and multifaceted character whose journey of self-discovery and resilience forms a central narrative arc in “On The Face Of It.” His experiences highlight the universal themes of human connection, empathy, and the power of acceptance in overcoming adversity.

Mr Lamb: 

Mr Lamb, a pivotal character in “On The Face Of It” by Susan Hill, possesses a distinctive personality shaped by his experiences and interactions with others. Here’s a character sketch of Mr Lamb:

  • Physical Appearance: Mr Lamb is an elderly man, likely in his later years, as indicated by his age-related ailments and the loss of his leg. He walks with a prosthetic limb, his “tin leg,” suggesting a sense of humour and resilience in the face of adversity.
  • Warmth and Empathy: Mr. Lamb exudes warmth and empathy in his interactions with Derry and others who enter his garden. He demonstrates genuine concern for Derry’s well-being and seeks to create a welcoming environment where individuals feel accepted and understood.
  • Philosophical Outlook: Mr. Lamb possesses a philosophical outlook on life, often engaging in reflective conversations with Derry about topics ranging from human nature to the complexities of existence. His musings reflect a deep appreciation for the beauty of life and the interconnectedness of all living beings.
  • Resilience and Adaptability: Despite facing physical challenges, such as losing his leg, Mr. Lamb exhibits resilience and adaptability. He refuses to be defined by his disability and embraces life with optimism and zest, evident in his love for gardening and beekeeping.
  • Openness and Acceptance: Mr Lamb embodies openness and acceptance, welcoming Derry into his garden without judgment or prejudice. He encourages Derry to embrace his individuality and find solace in their shared experiences, fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance.
  • Loneliness and Isolation: Beneath his affable exterior, Mr. Lamb grapples with loneliness and isolation, hinted at by his solitary lifestyle and the absence of curtains in his house. His interactions with Derry offer moments of connection and companionship, providing respite from his solitude.
  • Wisdom and Patience: Mr. Lamb possesses a wealth of wisdom and patience from a lifetime of experiences and observations. He imparts valuable lessons to Derry about resilience, empathy, and the importance of embracing life’s uncertainties with grace and humility.
  • Symbol of Hope: In the play, Mr. Lamb emerges as a symbol of hope and redemption, offering Derry a glimpse of kindness and compassion beyond societal prejudices and superficial judgments. His friendship with Derry serves as a beacon of light in the darkness, inspiring both characters to confront their fears and embrace the beauty of human connection.

Mr Lamb is a complex and empathetic character whose presence enriches the thematic exploration of friendship, acceptance, and resilience in “On The Face Of It.” His unwavering kindness and wisdom impact Derry and readers alike, highlighting the transformative power of compassion and understanding in the face of adversity.

Important Scenes/Lines from the Play “On the Face Of It: 

1. Mr Lamb and Derry’s First Encounter:

  • MR LAMB: “Mind the apples!”
  • DERRY: “What? Who’s that? Who’s there?”
  • MR LAMB: “That’s all right. I’m here. What are you afraid of, boy? That’s all right.”
  • DERRY: “People are afraid of me.”
  • MR LAMB: “No, Not the whole of you. Not of you.”

The dialogue between Mr Lamb and Derry during their first encounter is meaningful because it establishes trust, recognises Derry’s fear and isolation, and shows Mr Lamb’s empathy and understanding towards Derry’s situation. It sets the stage for exploring themes like acceptance, compassion, and genuine connection despite external appearances throughout the play.

2. Derry’s Perception of Himself:

  • DERRY: “What they think. What do they think, then?”
  • DERRY: “But I’m not…I’m not afraid. People are afraid of me.”
  • MR LAMB: “You’re a boy who came into the garden. Plenty do. I’m interested in anybody. Anything.”

Derry’s perception of himself is characterised by his awareness of how others perceive him and the fear they exhibit due to his disfigurement. When he questions Mr Lamb about what people think, it reflects his deep-seated insecurity and his constant scrutiny from society. 

Despite asserting that he is not afraid, Derry acknowledges the fear others have of him, which contributes to his sense of isolation and alienation. Mr Lamb’s response highlights his open-mindedness and genuine interest in connecting with individuals regardless of their external appearance, offering Derry a glimmer of acceptance and understanding amidst his struggles.

3. Discussion on Differences:

  • MR LAMB: “It’s all relative. Beauty and the beast.”
  • DERRY: “We’re not the same.”
  • MR LAMB: “Why have you got a tin leg?”
  • DERRY: “But you can put on trousers and cover it up, and no one sees; they don’t have to notice and stare.”

The discussion on differences between Mr. Lamb and Derry highlights their contrasting perspectives and experiences regarding physical appearance and societal acceptance.

  • Mr Lamb’s Philosophical View: When Mr Lamb remarks, “It’s all relative. Beauty and the beast,” he suggests that perceptions of beauty and ugliness are subjective and can vary from person to person. This implies a broader understanding of human diversity and challenges conventional notions of attractiveness.
  • Derry’s Recognition of Disparity: Derry’s response, “We’re not the same,” reflects his acknowledgement of the fundamental differences between himself and Mr Lamb. He is acutely aware of the physical attributes that set them apart, particularly his disfigurement and Mr. Lamb’s prosthetic leg.
  • Derry’s Perception of Visibility: Derry’s comment about Mr Lamb’s ability to conceal his tin leg with trousers highlights his frustration with the constant visibility of his disfigurement. He resents the attention and stares his appearance elicits from others, contrasting with Mr Lamb’s ability to maintain a semblance of normalcy by covering his prosthetic limb.

4. Reflections on Fear and Pain:

  • MR LAMB: “Some do. Some don’t. They get tired of it in the end.”
  • DERRY: “After I’d come home, one person said, “He’d have been better off stopping in there. In the hospital.”

These dialogues’ reflections on fear and pain illuminate the characters’ internal struggles and societal perceptions surrounding adversity and suffering.

  • Mr. Lamb’s Resilience and Acceptance: Mr Lamb’s statement, “Some do. Some don’t. They get tired of it, in the end,” suggests his acknowledgement of people’s varying responses to adversity and physical challenges. Despite facing ridicule and discomfort due to his prosthetic leg, Mr Lamb maintains a resilient attitude and chooses not to dwell on the negative perceptions of others.
  • Derry’s Experience of Judgment and Alienation: Derry’s recollection of the hurtful comment about him, “He’d have been better off stopping in there. In the hospital,” reflects the harsh judgment and lack of empathy he encounters from society. This comment highlights the pervasive stigma and misunderstanding surrounding his disfigurement, highlighting the psychological pain and isolation he experiences as a result.

5. Exploring Friendship and Isolation:

  • MR LAMB: “Friends everywhere. People come in…. everybody knows me.”
  • DERRY: “But I’m not a friend.”
  • MR LAMB: “Certainly you are. So far as I’m concerned.”

The exchange between Mr Lamb and Derry delves into friendship and isolation, highlighting contrasting perspectives and the potential for genuine connection amidst perceived differences.

  • Mr Lamb’s Inclusive View of Friendship: Mr. Lamb’s assertion that he has “friends everywhere” and that “everybody knows” him reflects his open-hearted approach to relationships. He emphasises the welcoming atmosphere of his garden and home, suggesting a desire for connection and community with those around him.
  • Derry’s Perception of Exclusion: Derry’s response, “But I’m not a friend,” highlights his isolation and alienation from others. His disfigurement and past experiences of rejection contribute to his belief that he does not belong or fit in with societal norms of friendship and acceptance.
  • Mr. Lamb’s Rejection of Exclusion: Mr. Lamb’s counterargument that Derry is indeed a friend “so far as I’m concerned” challenges Derry’s self-perception and societal expectations. It suggests that genuine friendship transcends external appearances or societal judgments and is grounded in acceptance and mutual understanding.

6. Derry’s Desire for Something Unique:

  • DERRY: “I want….something no one else has got or ever will have.”

Derry’s statement reflects his longing for uniqueness and individuality in the face of his perceived difference and societal rejection.

  • Yearning for Distinction: Derry’s desire stems from his experience of being marginalised and judged based on his disfigurement. He seeks something that sets him apart from others, perhaps to reclaim agency and assert his identity beyond external appearances.
  • Quest for Personal Significance: His statement suggests a deeper yearning for validation and significance, independent of societal norms or standards. Derry may be searching for a sense of purpose and meaning that transcends his physical attributes and challenges the limitations imposed by societal prejudices.
  • Emotional Resilience: Despite his adversity, Derry’s desire for uniqueness reflects his resilience and determination to assert his individuality in a world that often overlooks or dismisses his worth. It highlights his inner strength and capacity to define his identity on his terms, regardless of external perceptions.

7. Derry’s Return and Mr Lamb’s Fall:

  • DERRY: “You see, you see! I came back. You said I wouldn’t, and they said…but I came back, I wanted…”
  • DERRY: “Mr Lamb, Mr…You’ve…..”
  • DERRY: “I came back. Lamey-Lamb. I did…..come back.”

Derry’s return to Mr. Lamb’s garden and his reaction to Mr. Lamb’s fall are potent moments that encapsulate themes of perseverance, connection, and vulnerability.

  • Derry’s Triumph and Assertion: Derry’s triumphant declaration, “You see, you see! I came back,” highlights his determination to defy expectations and assert his agency. Despite doubts and discouragement, Derry’s return symbolises his resilience and refusal to succumb to societal pressures or limitations.
  • Desperate Plea for Recognition: As Derry calls out to Mr Lamb, “Mr Lamb, Mr….You’ve…..,” his fragmented speech reveals his growing concern and fear for Mr Lamb’s well-being. His words reflect emotional turmoil and vulnerability in uncertainty and potential loss.
  • Affirmation of Connection: Derry’s affirmation, “I came back. Lamey-Lamb. I did…..come back,” serves as a poignant acknowledgement of his bond with Mr. Lamb, transcending societal prejudices and external judgments. Despite their differences, Derry’s return highlights the depth of their connection and the significance of their relationship in both their lives.

8. Mr. Lamb’s Perspective on Life:

  • MR LAMB: “Everything’s yours if you want it. What’s mine is anybody’s.”
  • MR LAMB: “Waiting. Watching. Listening. Sitting here or going there. I’ll have to see to the bees.”
  • MR LAMB: “There, my dears. That’s you seen to. Ah….you know. We all know. I’ll come back. They never do, though. Not them. Never do come back.”

Mr. Lamb’s reflections on life convey a sense of openness, mindfulness, and acceptance of the transient nature of existence.

  • Generosity of Spirit: Mr Lamb’s statement, “Everything’s yours if you want it. What’s mine is anybody’s,” reflects his generous outlook on life. He sees the world as abundant and open to sharing, emphasising the importance of generosity and interconnectedness in human relationships.
  • Embrace of Contemplation: Mr Lamb’s mention of “Waiting. Watching. Listening. Sitting here or going there” suggests an appreciation for quiet contemplation and observation moments. He finds solace and meaning in being present and attuned to the rhythms of nature and life around him.
  • Acceptance of Transience: Mr Lamb’s acknowledgement, “There my dears. That’s you seen to. Ah….you know. We all know. I’ll come back. They never do, though. Not them. Never do come back,” reflects a deeper understanding of the transient nature of existence. He recognises the impermanence of life and the inevitability of change, yet he remains steadfast in his commitment to return and fulfil his duties.

9. Derry’s Defiance and Desire:

  • DERRY: “I want the world….I want it…I want it….”

Derry’s declaration, “I want the world….I want it….I want it….,” reflects his defiance against societal constraints and his profound longing for freedom and fulfilment. It encapsulates his desire to transcend limitations, explore new horizons, and carve out his path in life. This statement resonates with the universal human yearning for agency, exploration, and life’s boundless possibilities.

10. The Final Scene – Derry’s Reaction to Mr. Lamb’s Fall:

  • DERRY: “Mr Lamb, It’s all right…You fell…I’m here, Mr Lamb, It’s all right.”
  • DERRY: “I came back. Lamey-Lamb. I did…..come back.”

In the final scene, Derry’s reaction to Mr. Lamb’s fall reflects concern, reassurance, and affirmation of their bond.

  • Expression of Concern: Derry’s immediate response, “Mr Lamb, It’s all right….You fell….I’m here, Mr Lamb, It’s all right,” highlights his concern and empathy for Mr Lamb’s well-being. Despite the shock of the situation, Derry instinctively reaches out to reassure and comfort his friend in distress.
  • Affirmation of Commitment: Derry’s declaration, “I came back. Lamey-Lamb. I did…..come back,” affirms his loyalty and commitment to their relationship. Despite uncertainties and obstacles, Derry’s return highlights their connection’s depth and willingness to stand by Mr Lamb in adversity.

11. Mr. Lamb’s Invitation and Reassurance:

  • MR LAMB: “The gate’s always open. You’re welcome.”
  • MR LAMB: “No, no. The young lads steal….scrump the apples. You’re not so young.”
  • MR LAMB: “So you did. Here we are, then.”

Mr Lamb’s invitation and reassurance to Derry convey warmth, acceptance, and a sense of belonging:

  • Open Invitation: Mr Lamb’s statement, “The gate’s always open. You’re welcome,” extends a heartfelt invitation to Derry, emphasising his openness and hospitality. It creates a welcoming atmosphere, assuring Derry he is valued and accepted in Mr Lamb’s space.
  • Acknowledgement of Equality: By remarking, “No, no. The young lads steal….scrump the apples. You’re not so young,” Mr Lamb acknowledges Derry as an equal rather than categorising him with younger troublemakers. This subtle distinction suggests respect for Derry’s age and individuality.
  • Embrace of Connection: Mr. Lamb’s affirmation, “So you did. Here we are, then,” acknowledges Derry’s presence and validates their encounter as significant. It reflects Mr Lamb’s readiness to engage with Derry and foster a genuine connection despite any initial reservations or uncertainties.

12. Derry’s Sense of Isolation and Perception of Others:

  • DERRY: “You think… ‘Here’s a boy.’ You look at me…and then you see my face, and you think. ‘That’s bad.”
  • DERRY: “You think, ‘Poor boy.’ But I’m not. Not poor.”
  • DERRY: “Why have you got a tin leg?”

Derry’s expressions reveal his acute awareness of how others perceive him and his sense of isolation:

  • Perception of Pity and Judgment: Derry’s statement, “You think…. ‘Here’s a boy.’ You look at me…and then you see my face, and you think. ‘That’s bad. That’s a terrible thing. That’s the ugliest thing I ever saw,’” reflects his perception of how people react to his disfigured face. He keenly feels the weight of their judgment and pity, contributing to his isolation and alienation.
  • Rejection of Pity: Despite being labelled as a “poor boy” by others, Derry vehemently asserts, “But I’m not. Not poor.” This assertion highlights his desire to be seen beyond his physical appearance and to resist being defined by others’ perceptions of him. It highlights his inner strength and resilience in the face of adversity.
  • Curiosity about Others’ Challenges: Derry’s question, “Why have you got a tin leg?” reveals his curiosity about Mr. Lamb’s prosthetic limb. This inquiry suggests that Derry recognises the complexities of human experience and seeks to understand others’ challenges and experiences, even as he grapples with his sense of isolation and difference.

13. Discussions on Perception and Acceptance:

  • MR LAMB: “It’s all relative. Beauty and the beast.”
  • MR LAMB: “You tell me.”
  • MR LAMB: “Certainly. You might find others here, of course.”

In these exchanges, Mr Lamb initiates discussions on perception and acceptance, fostering a deeper understanding between himself and Derry:

  • Relative Nature of Beauty: Mr Lamb’s remark, “It’s all relative. Beauty and the beast,” challenges conventional notions of beauty and ugliness. He encourages Derry to consider that perceptions of beauty vary and are subjective, implying that true beauty lies beyond superficial appearances.
  • Encouragement of Dialogue: By stating, “You tell me,” Mr. Lamb invites Derry to share his perspectives and experiences. This open-ended invitation promotes mutual understanding and encourages Derry to voice his thoughts and feelings without judgment.
  • Acknowledgement of Possibilities: Mr Lamb’s assurance, “Certainly. You might find others here, of course,” acknowledges the potential for Derry to encounter others in the garden. Despite the uncertainty of Derry’s reception by others, Mr. Lamb remains open to the possibility of their presence, emphasising inclusivity and acceptance.

14. Derry’s Conflicted Feelings:

  • DERRY: “I hate it here.”
  • DERRY: “But I’m going back there. Only to help him with the crab apples.”

Derry’s conflicted feelings are evident in his statements:

  • Expression of Discontent: “I hate it here.” Derry expresses his dissatisfaction with his current environment, indicating a sense of discomfort or unhappiness with his surroundings or circumstances.
  • Resolution to Return: “But I’m going back there. Only to help him with the crab apples.” Despite his aversion to his current situation, Derry expresses his determination to return to Mr Lamb’s garden. This decision highlights Derry’s sense of obligation or connection to Mr Lamb and his desire to engage in meaningful activities and relationships outside of his immediate environment.

15. Mr. Lamb’s Insights and Encouragement:

  • MR LAMB: “That’d do you more harm than any bottle of acid.”
  • MR LAMB: “Ah….if you chose. I don’t know everything, boy. I can’t tell you what to do.”

In his dialogue, Mr. Lamb offers insightful reflections and encouragement:

  • Perspective on Emotional Harm: “That’d do you more harm than any bottle of acid.” Mr Lamb emphasises that holding onto hatred or resentment can be more damaging to Derry than the physical scars he bears. This insight highlights the importance of emotional well-being and forgiveness in overcoming adversity.
  • Acknowledgment of Choice: “Ah….if you chose. I don’t know everything, boy. I can’t tell you what to do.” Mr Lamb recognises Derry’s autonomy and the complexity of his situation. By acknowledging Derry’s ability to make choices, Mr. Lamb empowers him to navigate his path and determine his course of action.

Question Answers “On The Face Of It”:

Reading with Insight:

Q1. What is it that draws Derry towards Mr Lamb in spite of himself? 

A1: Derry is drawn towards Mr Lamb despite himself due to Mr Lamb’s genuine acceptance and interest in him. Despite Derry’s initial resistance and fear of judgment, Mr. Lamb’s non-judgmental attitude, willingness to listen, and genuine kindness create a sense of belonging and connection for Derry, which he may not experience elsewhere.

Q2. In which section of the play does Mr Lamb display signs of loneliness and disappointment? What are the ways in which Mr Lamb tries to overcome these feelings? 

A2: Mr Lamb displays signs of loneliness and disappointment in Scene One,  where he reflects on the fleeting nature of human connections and the tendency of people not to return. Despite his openness and hospitality, Mr. Lamb experiences a sense of solitude as he observes others coming and going without forming lasting bonds. To overcome these feelings, Mr. Lamb engages in activities he enjoys, such as tending to his bees and finding solace in nature.

Q3. The actual pain or inconvenience caused by a physical impairment is often much less than the sense of alienation felt by the person with disabilities. What is the kind of behaviour that the person expects from others? 

A3: People with disabilities often expect understanding, acceptance, and empathy from others. Beyond physical accommodations, they seek genuine human connection and inclusion in social interactions. This includes respectful communication, avoiding pity, and treating them as equals rather than focusing solely on their disability. Acceptance and inclusion contribute significantly to their sense of belonging and well-being.

Q4. Will Derry get back to his old seclusion, or will Mr Lamb’s brief association effect a change in the kind of life he will lead in the future?

A4: It remains to be seen whether Derry will return to his old seclusion or if his brief association with Mr Lamb will change his future life. While he initially desires to return to Mr Lamb’s garden, his final decision and future actions will depend on various factors, including his internal conflicts, external pressures, and the depth of his connection with Mr Lamb. The play’s resolution leaves room for interpretation regarding Derry’s future path.

Alternate Ending:

Q: What could be an alternate ending to the story/play “On The Face Of It”?

A: An alternate ending to the story/play involves Derry overcoming his initial resistance and forming a deeper bond with Mr. Lamb over time. Instead of Mr Lamb’s fall being the climax, it could be a moment of realisation for Derry about the importance of human connection and empathy. In this alternate ending:

  • Derry could rush to help Mr Lamb after his fall, showcasing his growing empathy and care for another person.
  • The incident could be a turning point for Derry, leading him to reevaluate his perceptions about himself and others.
  • Derry might consciously defy societal judgments and prejudices, embracing his uniqueness and the connections he forms with people like Mr Lamb.
  • The play could end with Derry and Mr Lamb continuing to spend time together in the garden, nurturing their friendship and finding solace in each other’s company.

Extra Questions “On The Face Of It”: 

Short Answer Type:

Q1: How does Derry’s perception of himself evolve throughout the play?

A1: Initially feeling isolated and misunderstood due to his facial disfigurement, Derry gradually realises his worth beyond physical appearances. His interactions with Mr. Lamb foster self-acceptance and the understanding that true beauty lies within.

Q2: What draws Derry towards Mr Lamb despite his initial reluctance?

A2: Derry is drawn to Mr Lamb’s genuine acceptance and lack of judgment. Mr. Lamb’s open-hearted invitation and willingness to listen make Derry feel valued and understood, sparking a deep connection between them.

Q3: How does Derry’s initial encounter with Mr Lamb impact his perception of himself and others?

A3: Derry’s meeting with Mr Lamb challenges his belief that people judge him solely based on his appearance. Mr. Lamb’s acceptance prompts Derry to reconsider his self-worth and the nature of human connection.

Q4: How does Mr Lamb’s attitude towards Derry differ from others?

A4: Mr. Lamb treats Derry with genuine acceptance and interest, contrasting sharply with the fear and avoidance Derry faces from society. His kindness and openness create a unique bond that transcends Derry’s appearance.

Q5: What role does the garden play in the relationship between Derry and Mr Lamb?

A5: The garden serves as a sanctuary where Derry and Mr Lamb connect on a deeper level. It symbolises acceptance and understanding, offering them a space free from judgment and prejudice.

Q6: How does Derry’s return to Mr Lamb’s garden reflect his internal struggle?

A6: Derry’s return symbolises his yearning for acceptance and belonging despite societal pressures. It highlights his desire to defy expectations and embrace genuine connections, even when facing rejection.

Q7: What internal conflicts does Derry face regarding his identity and place in the world?

A7: Derry grapples with feelings of isolation and self-doubt due to his facial disfigurement. He struggles to reconcile societal perceptions with his sense of worth and belonging, seeking validation and acceptance.

Q8: How does Mr. Lamb’s perspective on life contrast with Derry’s initial perceptions?

A8: Mr. Lamb’s optimistic outlook and acceptance of life’s uncertainties contrast Derry’s initial cynicism and fear of rejection. Through their interactions, Derry learns to embrace hope and resilience in adversity.

Q9: What themes of resilience and human connection emerge from the play?

A9: The play explores themes of resilience as characters confront adversity and societal prejudice. It highlights the transformative power of human connection, emphasising the importance of acceptance, empathy, and understanding in overcoming barriers to belonging.

Q10: How does Mr Lamb challenge Derry’s perception of himself and the world?

A10: Mr. Lamb’s kindness and acceptance challenge Derry’s belief that society inherently rejects him. Derry begins to see the possibility of genuine connection and acceptance through their interactions.

Q11: What role does empathy play in the relationship between Derry and Mr. Lamb?

A11: Empathy is the foundation of their relationship, enabling them to bridge the gap between their differences and understand each other’s experiences. It fosters mutual respect and allows them to form a genuine bond built on acceptance and understanding.

Q12: How does Derry’s journey throughout the play reflect the universal human desire for connection and acceptance?

A12: Derry’s journey mirrors the universal human longing for connection and acceptance in a world that often judges based on appearances. His pursuit of belonging highlights the inherent need for empathy and understanding in fostering genuine relationships.

Q13: How does the play “On The Face Of It” address the complexities of human relationships and societal perceptions?

A13: Through nuanced characters like Derry and Mr Lamb, the play delves into the intricacies of human connections and challenges societal norms, urging audiences to reconsider preconceived notions and embrace empathy and acceptance.

Q14: How does “On The Face Of It” illustrate the impact of societal judgments on individuals with physical differences?

A14: The play vividly portrays the profound effects of societal judgments on individuals like Derry, highlighting the alienation and isolation they endure due to societal perceptions, thereby prompting reflection on the importance of empathy and acceptance.

Q15: How does “On The Face Of It” challenge traditional notions of beauty and acceptance?

A15: “On The Face Of It” challenges conventional (traditional) notions of beauty by portraying characters like Derry, whose physical appearance is undesirable, yet they seek acceptance and understanding. It prompts reflection on the deeper qualities that define human worth beyond appearances.

Long Answer Type: 

Q1: How does Derry’s initial perception of Mr Lamb contradict his eventual bond?

A1: Initially, Derry views Mr Lamb as just another judgmental figure. But as they interact, Derry discovers Mr Lamb’s genuine acceptance and understanding, fostering a unique bond based on mutual respect and empathy. 

Despite their differences, they find solace and companionship in each other’s company, challenging Derry’s preconceptions and revealing the depth of human connection beyond superficial judgments. 

Through their evolving relationship, the play highlights the transformative power of empathy and acceptance in overcoming societal barriers and forging meaningful connections.

Q2: How does the theme of isolation manifest in “On The Face Of It”?

A2: “On The Face Of It” portrays isolation through Derry’s experiences as he grapples with societal perceptions of his disfigurement. His sense of alienation is palpable, reflected in his reluctance to engage with others due to fear of rejection. 

Likewise, Mr. Lamb’s loneliness, hinted at through his solitary existence, highlights the pervasive theme of isolation in the play. Despite their isolation, both characters find solace in their brief encounter, emphasising the potential for human connection to alleviate feelings of loneliness and alienation. 

Through their experiences, the play highlights the universal longing for acceptance and companionship amidst societal prejudices.

Q3: How does Mr. Lamb’s attitude challenge societal norms regarding physical appearance and disability?

A3: Despite his disfigurement, Mr. Lamb’s acceptance of Derry challenges societal norms that often marginalise based on physical appearance. 

Through his compassionate demeanour and inclusive attitude, Mr. Lamb demonstrates that true acceptance transcends superficial empathy and understanding regardless of one’s physical condition. 

His willingness to engage with Derry on a human level, devoid of prejudice, is a poignant reminder of the importance of seeing beyond external attributes to recognise every individual’s inherent dignity and worth.

Q4: What role does empathy play in the relationship between Derry and Mr Lamb?

A4: Empathy is the cornerstone of Derry and Mr Lamb’s relationship, bridging the gap between their disparate experiences. Mr. Lamb’s empathetic response to Derry’s struggles fosters understanding and validation, providing Derry with the emotional support he craves. 

Likewise, Derry’s willingness to open up to Mr. Lamb reflects his recognition of genuine empathy, enabling them to form a profound connection rooted in shared vulnerability and mutual respect. 

Through their interactions, the play highlights the transformative power of empathy in fostering meaningful connections and challenging societal barriers to acceptance and belonging.

Q5: What role does the garden symbolise in the play “On The Face Of It”?

A5: The garden in “On The Face Of It” represents a haven of solace and transformation for the characters, particularly Derry and Mr Lamb. 

It serves as a symbolic space where individuals confront their inner turmoil and societal perceptions, seeking refuge from the harsh realities of the outside world. Within the garden’s serene ambience, Derry finds acceptance and understanding from Mr. Lamb, challenging his preconceived notions of self-worth and belonging.

Mr. Lamb, despite his physical isolation, discovers companionship and purpose through his interactions with Derry and other visitors. The garden thus becomes a transformative landscape, fostering empathy, resilience, and the capacity for human connection amidst adversity, emphasising the power of nature to nurture and heal the human spirit.

Q6: How does Mr. Lamb’s philosophy of acceptance and openness impact his relationships with others?

A6: Mr. Lamb’s philosophy of acceptance and openness profoundly influences his relationships, fostering genuine connections with others. By welcoming people into his garden and home without judgment, he creates a space where individuals feel valued and accepted, regardless of their backgrounds or appearances. 

This inclusive attitude enables Mr. Lamb to form meaningful bonds with diverse individuals, transcending societal barriers and prejudices. His genuine curiosity and empathy towards others allow for honest communication and mutual understanding, laying the foundation for real friendships. 

Through his actions, Mr. Lamb exemplifies the transformative power of acceptance and compassion, inspiring those around him to embrace difference and celebrate the inherent worth of every individual, thereby enriching the fabric of human connection and community.

Q7: Justify the title of the play “On The Face Of It.”

A7: The title “On The Face Of It” encapsulates the play’s central theme, which revolves around the superficial judgments people make based on outward appearances and the deeper truths that lie beneath the surface. 

In the play, characters like Derry and Mr Lamb grapple/struggle with societal perceptions of physical appearance and disability, highlighting the tendency to judge others solely by their external features. However, as the narrative unfolds, the title adds significance as characters confront their prejudices and perceptions, realising that true understanding and connection require looking beyond superficial impressions. 

The title invites readers to ponder the complexities of human interaction and the importance of seeing beyond appearances to uncover the profound truths that define us as individuals.


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