Class 9- The Lost Child Summary and Analysis

The Lost Child,Mulk Raj Anand

Chapter 1, Mulk Raj Anand’s ‘The Lost Child’ Summary, Theme, Idiomatic Exprressions, Character Sketches, Important Passages, Question Answers with Extra Questions.

Chapter 1- The Lost Child by Mulk Raj Anand:

Also Read: Chapter 1- ‘The Fun They Had‘ by Issac Asimov , Poem 1- ‘The Road Not Taken‘ by Robert Frost


Abreast – side by side and facing the same way.
Capers – playful skipping or dancing.
Cautionary – serving as a warning.
Coarse – rough or harsh in texture or sound.
Congested – overcrowded, full of people.
Convulsed – taken over by violent, involuntary contractions.
Filmy – thin and translucent.
Fluttering – flapping wings quickly and lightly.
Gaudy – extravagantly bright or showy, typically to be tasteless.
Gaily – in a cheerful or light-hearted manner.
Groves – small wood, orchard, or group of trees.
Hawked – offered goods for sale by calling out.
Hefty – large and heavy.
Intercepting – stopping or catching something or someone before they reach their destination.
Jostled – pushed or bumped against someone roughly.
Lingering – staying in a place longer than necessary.
Silken – smooth, soft, and shiny like silk.
Steered – guided or directed the course of something.
Suppress – to hold back or restrain.
Teeming – full of or swarming with.
Tyrant – a cruel and oppressive ruler.
Whirling – rushing around in circles.

Idiomatic expressions used in the story “The Lost Child” by Mulk Raj Anand:

Brimming over with life and laughter – Full of energy and happiness.
Cold stare of refusal – A look that indicates rejection.
Double-pitched strain – Two high-pitched sounds indicating intense crying.
Eyes still lingering – Continue to look at something even while moving away.
Filled with an overwhelming desire – Having a powerful wish for something.
Full, deep cry – A loud, intense cry.
Gaily clad humanity – People dressed in bright, cheerful clothing.
Heavy men, with flashing, murderous eyes – Men who appear dangerous or threatening.
Hither and thither – In various directions.
In his familiar tyrant’s way – Acting in a strict, controlling manner that is well-known to others.
Invisible ears – Not literal ears, indicating the music was perceived but not seen.
Melting gold – Very bright yellow, resembling gold that is being heated.
Men, women, and children, carried away in a whirling motion – Deeply engaged in the activity, experiencing it intensely.
No sign of them – No indication or trace of them being present.
Panic-stricken – Overcome with sudden fear.
Rainbow glory – Beautiful, multicoloured appearance.
Shrieked at the highest pitch of his voice – He screamed as loudly as possible.
Suppressed into sobs – Crying quietly, holding back loud cries.
Throat tore into a thousand shrill sobs – Cried intensely, with high-pitched sounds.
A rage of running – Running frantically and wildly.

Summary “The Lost Child”:

In “The Lost Child” by Mulk Raj Anand, a young boy visits a spring festival with his parents. Enthralled by the colourful toys, sweets, flowers, and attractions, he repeatedly asks his parents for them but anticipates their refusal. Eventually, he loses sight of them in the crowd and becomes frantic. 

He desperately searches for his mother and father, crying and calling out to them. A kind man tries to comfort the child by offering him sweets, a ride on a roundabout, and other distractions, but the boy only wants his parents. The story highlights the child’s intense dependence on his parents and the fear and distress of being separated from them.

Theme “The Lost Child”:

Childhood Innocence and Parental Bond:

The theme of Mulk Raj Anand‘s “The Lost Child” centres on innocence and dependence on childhood. The story highlights how children are naturally curious and easily distracted by the wonders around them, yet their sense of security and happiness is deeply tied to their parents’ presence. When the boy loses his parents at the festival, his initial excitement and desires for toys and sweets vanish, replaced by fear and longing for them. 

The story emphasises the emotional bond between children and parents, showing that material attractions cannot replace the love and comfort of family. This theme highlights the importance of parental guidance and children’s vulnerability.

Similes in “The Lost Child”:

1. “It was a flowering mustard field, pale like melting gold as it swept across miles and miles of even land.”

This simile compares the appearance of the flowering mustard field to melting gold. The use of “pale like melting gold” suggests the golden-yellow colour of the mustard flowers under the sunlight, producing a sense of beauty and richness that extends over a vast area. It enhances the visual imagery, making the field appear enchanting and precious.

2. “A snake-charmer stood playing a flute to a snake which coiled itself in a basket, its head raised in a graceful bend like the neck of a swan, while the music stole into its invisible ears like the gentle rippling of an invisible waterfall.”

This passage contains two similes:

“its head raised in a graceful bend like the neck of a swan”: The simile compares the snake’s raised head and the graceful curve of its neck to that of a swan. It emphasises the elegance and fluidity of the snake’s movements, making the potentially frightening creature appear beautiful and serene.

“the music stole into its invisible ears like the gentle rippling of an invisible waterfall”: The simile compares the way the snake hears the music to a waterfall’s gentle, soothing sound. It suggests a soft, calming effect that the music has on the snake, enhancing the mystical and enchanting atmosphere of the scene.

Character Sketch: 

Character Sketch of the Lost Child:

1. Curious:

  • The child is easily fascinated by his surroundings, such as toys, sweets, flowers, insects, and the attractions at the fair.
  • His curiosity leads him to lag behind his parents as he explores and gets distracted.

2. Innocent:

  • His desires, like toys, sweets, balloons, and rides, are simple and genuine.
  • He expresses his wishes honestly, even though he expects his parents to refuse.

3. Dependent:

  • Despite his curiosity, the child’s sense of security is deeply tied to his parents’ presence.
  • When he loses them, he becomes frantic and desperate, highlighting his emotional dependence on them.

4. Emotional:

  • The child’s emotions are intense and transparent, shifting quickly from joy and excitement to fear and panic.
  • His cries for his parents and subsequent sobs reveal his vulnerability.

5. Obedient:

  • He responds promptly to his parents’ calls, showing willingness to obey and follow them.
  • His obedience contrasts with his moments of distraction and fascination.

6. Trusting:

  • The child trusts his parents completely, believing in their protection and care.
  • When a stranger tries to comfort him, he refuses all offers, showing his unwavering trust in his parents alone.
  • It shows children’s inherent trust in adults when they are distressed.

7. Naive:

  • The child’s naivety is evident in his failure to foresee the consequences of being separated from his parents.
  • His simple understanding of the world is centred around his immediate desires and parents’ presence.

8. Expressive:

  • The child openly displays his emotions by running towards attractions, pleading for things, and crying out for his parents.
  • His expressive nature makes his distress evident when he is lost.

9. Easily Distracted:

  • He frequently needs to catch up to his parents, drawn to various sights and sounds.
  • Shows a typical child’s tendency to be captivated by the environment.

10. Emotionally Vulnerable:

  • He becomes frantic and terrified upon realising he is lost.
  • His desperation and fear highlight his emotional dependence on his parents.

11. Unmaterialistic:

  • He loses interest in toys, sweets, and attractions once separated from his parents.
  • He prioritises finding his parents over all other desires.

Character Sketch of the Parents of the Lost Child:

1. Caring and Attentive:

  • Frequently call out to their child to keep him close.
  • Ensure their child stays near them while exploring the festival.

2. Practical and Disciplined:

  • Generally (the father) is reluctant to indulge the child’s requests for toys, sweets, and other items.
  • Display a balance between affection and discipline.

3. Loving and Protective:

  • The mother shows tenderness, giving the child her finger and guiding his attention to the mustard field.
  • The father, although strict, ensures the child stays within sight and protected.

4. Aware and Responsible:

  • Take caution in keeping the child close in the bustling festival environment.
  • Seat themselves in shaded areas and maintain a steady pace to avoid losing their child.

5. Traditional and Values Simplicity:

  • Value experiences like the beauty of the mustard field over material possessions.
  • It encourages the child to appreciate simple joys rather than indulging in every whim.

6. Culturally Rooted:

  • Participate in the traditional spring festival, indicating a connection to cultural and communal activities.
  • They likely instil cultural values and traditions in their child.

7. Balanced Parental Roles: 

  • The father represents a stricter, more authoritative figure with a “tyrant’s way” of looking at the child.
  • The mother embodies a softer, more nurturing presence, melted by the free spirit of the festival.

8. Emotionally Supportive:

  • Their presence provides a sense of security and comfort to the child.
  • Their absence immediately triggers the child’s distress, highlighting their emotional significance.

Important Passages from “The Lost Child”  by Mulk Raj Anand: 

1. “A group of dragon-flies were bustling about… the child followed them in the air with his gaze.”  

The boy sees a group of dragonflies flying around with bright, colourful wings in a mustard field. He becomes captivated by their movement and watches them closely. He tries to catch one, but the dragonfly flies away each time he gets close. This passage highlights the boy’s curiosity and wonder at the small details of nature around him.

2. “A shower of young flowers fell upon the child… he began to gather the raining petals in his hands.”

As the boy enters the grove, flowers fall from the trees like rain. The boy is delighted and completely forgets about his parents for a moment. He becomes so engrossed in this enchanting scene that he collects the fallen petals in his hands. 

This shows how easily the child is captivated by the beauty of nature and how easily he can be distracted by new and exciting experiences.

3. “As they neared the village… felt at once repelled and fascinated by the confusion of the world he was entering.”

The boy sees many people coming from different paths, all heading towards the fair. The crowd is large and bustling with activity, which makes the boy feel two opposing emotions simultaneously. He feels “repelled,” meaning he is somewhat scared and overwhelmed by the noise and chaos. 

At the same time, he feels “fascinated,” meaning he is interested in what is happening around him. This mixture of fear and excitement highlights the boy’s innocent perspective as he navigates through a new and busy environment.


a. “The child stared open-eyed… his mouth watered for the burfi that was his favourite sweet.”

  • The expression “his mouth watered” means he wants to eat the burfi because it looks so delicious. However, he doesn’t ask his parents for it because he thinks they will say he is greedy. This shows the boy’s awareness of his parents’ likely response and hesitation to express his desires openly.

b. “The child seemed irresistibly drawn… ‘I want that garland.'”

  • Even though he wants the garland, he doesn’t insist on getting it. This passage highlights the boy’s repeated experience of wanting things but restraining himself because he anticipates his parents’ disapproval.

c. “The child was simply carried away by the rainbow glory of their silken colours… desire to possess them all.”

  • The boy notices a man selling colourful balloons. Because of their bright colours, the balloons are beautiful to him, and he strongly desires to have them all. 
  • However, he knows his parents will think he is too old for balloons, so he doesn’t ask for them. This shows how the boy is captivated by colourful and playful objects, but he often holds back from asking for them because he predicts his parents’ reactions.

d. “The child went towards the snake-charmer… knowing his parents had forbidden him to hear such coarse music.”

  • The music and the snake’s movements fascinate him. However, he remembers that his parents have told him not to listen to this kind of music, which they consider rough or inappropriate. So, even though he is interested, he moves on. This passage shows how the boy respects his parents’ rules, even when tempted to do something forbidden.

e. “There was a roundabout in full swing… ‘I want to go on the roundabout, please, Father, Mother.'”

  • He wants to ride the roundabout and makes a bold request to his parents, asking them to let him go on the roundabout. This shows the boy’s excitement and desire to participate in the fun activities at the fair. However, this is the moment he realises his parents are not with him, leading to his panic and fear.


These passages collectively illustrate the boy’s natural curiosity and desire for various attractions at the fair. They also highlight his awareness of his parents’ likely responses, which often restrain him from openly expressing his desires. The story portrays the boy’s innocent perspective and the balance he tries to maintain between his wishes and his parents’ expectations.


a. “There was no reply… He looked behind. There was no sign of them.”

  • This moment marks the realisation that he is alone. He feels lost and begins to understand that he has been separated from his parents in the busy and crowded fair. The situation creates a sense of fear and confusion for the boy, who relies on his parents for security and guidance.

b. “Panic-stricken, he ran to one side first, then to the other… knowing not where to go.”

  • The boy’s fear turns into panic. “Panic-stricken” means that he is terrified and anxious. He runs frantically in different directions, trying to find his parents but not knowing which way to go. 
  • He is overwhelmed by the situation and doesn’t know how to handle it. This passage emphasises the boy’s desperation and fear as he realises he is lost in the crowded and unfamiliar environment of the fair.


These passages show a crucial turning point in the story. The boy, previously enjoying the fair and its attractions, suddenly finds himself alone and lost. His initial excitement and curiosity turn into fear and panic. This transition highlights the boy’s dependence on his parents and the sense of security they provide. The passages effectively convey the emotional turmoil the boy experiences as he struggles to find his way back to his parents.

8. “He ran quickly again… might have been trampled underfoot.”

The passage shows the boy’s determination to find his parents despite the danger and chaos of the crowded fair. It also highlights the vulnerability of the child in a situation where he could be physically harmed.

9. “The man in the surging crowd heard his cry… lifted him up in his arms.”

A man in the crowd hears the boy’s cries for his parents. The man struggles through the crowd to reach the boy and then lifts him in his arms, taking him out of the immediate danger. 

This excerpt introduces a helpful and caring adult who assists the lost and frightened child. It shows that, despite the overwhelming and chaotic environment, only some people are willing to help.


In Passage 8, the boy’s vulnerability is highlighted as he navigates through a dense and potentially dangerous crowd. His desperation and the physical danger he faces emphasise his need for help. 

Passage 9 provides a turning point where the boy receives assistance from a compassionate stranger. The man’s actions offer a glimmer of hope and safety for the boy in a distressing situation. These passages together illustrate the boy’s peril and the kindness of strangers in moments of crisis.


a. “The child wept more bitterly than ever now… only cried, ‘I want my mother, I want my father!'”

  • Despite the man’s efforts to comfort him, the boy is troubled and cries harder than before. The only thing the boy can think about or say is that he wants his mother and father. This shows how deeply he misses his parents and how nothing else can console him.

b. “The child’s throat tore into a thousand shrill sobs… ‘I want my mother, I want my father!'”

  • Here, the man’s attempts to distract the boy by offering a ride on the roundabout fail. The boy cries so intensely that his throat hurts, producing high-pitched sobs. He continues to repeat that he wants his mother and father. Emphasises the boy’s distress and his single-minded focus on finding his parents despite any attempts to make him feel better.

c. “The child turned his eyes from the flying balloons… just sobbed, ‘I want my mother, I want my father!'”

  • The man then tries to distract the boy with colourful balloons, thinking their bright colours might cheer him up. However, the boy shows no interest in the balloons and continues to cry for his parents. This further demonstrates how deep the boy’s longing for his parents overrides his usual interest in such attractions.

d. “The child turned his nose away from the basket… reiterated his sob, ‘I want my mother, I want my father!'”

  • Next, the man takes the boy to the flower seller, hoping the nice-smelling flowers might comfort him. But the boy turns away from the flowers and cries for his parents. This passage shows that even the pleasant sight and smell of flowers cannot distract the boy from his sadness and fear.

e. “Thinking to humour his disconsolate charge… ‘I want my mother, I want my father!'”

  • Finally, the man tries to cheer up the boy by offering sweets, hoping that something delicious might make him happy. However, the boy again shows no interest in the sweets and repeats his cry for his mother and father. The passage emphasises the boy’s state of despair and his unwavering desire to be reunited with his parents.


The concluding passages collectively highlight the boy’s deep distress and his singular focus on finding his parents. Despite the kind man’s numerous attempts to distract and comfort him with various attractions from the fair, nothing can alleviate the boy’s sadness. 

His continuous crying and repeated pleas for his mother and father demonstrate his emotional need for their presence and comfort. These passages convey the intensity of the boy’s fear and longing, underscoring the importance of his bond with his parents.

Question Answers “The Lost Child”:

Textbook Question Answers:

Q1: What are the things the child sees on his way to the fair? Why does he lag behind? 

A1: Things the child sees on his way to the fair:

  • Toys in the shops.
  • Dragonflies with gaudy purple wings.
  • Little insects and worms along the footpath.
  • A shower of young flowers in a grove.
  • Cooing doves.
  • Other people walk towards the fair.

The child lags because he gets easily distracted and is fascinated by the many exciting and attractive things he encounters on his way to the fair. His natural curiosity causes him to stop and admire the toys, watch the dragonflies, observe the insects, gather the falling flowers, and listen to the doves. This habit of getting absorbed in his surroundings causes him to fall behind his parents repeatedly.

Q2: In the fair he wants many things. What are they? Why does he move on without waiting for an answer? 

A2: Things the child wants in the fair:

  • Burfi (his favourite sweet).
  • A garland of flowers.
  • Colorful balloons.
  • To listen to the snake-charmer’s music.
  • A ride on the roundabout.

The child anticipates that his parents will refuse his requests. He believes they will think he is being greedy, that the items are too cheap, or that he is too old for them. Knowing this, he doesn’t insist or wait for an answer, choosing instead to move on to avoid the expected refusal.

Q3: When does he realise that he has lost his way? How have his anxiety and insecurity been described?

A3:  The boy realises he has lost his way after he asks his parents if he can ride the roundabout. Upon looking around, he receives no reply and discovers that his parents are nowhere to be seen.

His anxiety and insecurity are described in the following ways:

  1. Panic and fear: He frantically runs in all directions, crying for his mother and father, his face flushed and tears streaming down.
  1. Physical and emotional distress: His sobs are intense, and he continually cries for his parents, showing his deep fear and sense of loss.
  1. Inconsolable despite distractions: The kind man’s attempts to comfort him with sweets, balloons, flowers, and rides fail; the boy only wants his parents, highlighting his deep need for their presence and security.

Q4: Why does the lost child lose interest in the things that he had wanted earlier? 

A4: The lost child loses interest in what he had wanted earlier because his primary concern is finding his parents. As he realises he is separated from them and experiences fear and panic, his focus shifts entirely to reuniting with them. 

The toys, sweets, flowers, balloons, and other attractions that had initially captivated him lose their appeal in the face of his overwhelming anxiety and the urgent need to find his parents.

Q5: What do you think happens in the end? Does the child find his parents?

A5: (Subjective AnswerIn the end, the child likely finds his parents with the help of the kind man who lifts him in his arms. Though the story doesn’t explicitly state whether the child reunites with his parents, the compassionate intervention of the man suggests a positive outcome. 

The man’s actions indicate that he is taking the child to a place of safety or seeking assistance to help him find his family. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that the child ultimately reunites with his parents, resolving his distressing experience of being lost at the fair.

Extra Questions “The Last Child”: 

Short Answer Type Questions:

Q1: What fascinated the boy as he walked to the spring festival with his parents?

A1: As the boy walked to the spring festival with his parents, he was fascinated by the toys in the shops lining the way. His eyes lingered on the receding toys, and he felt a strong desire to have them, even though he knew his parents would likely refuse his requests.

Q2: How did the child react when he saw the toys in the shops?

A2: When the child saw the toys in the shops, he was captivated and lagged, pleading with his parents to buy them. Despite knowing his parents’ likely refusal, he could not suppress his desire and kept lingering on the toys with longing eyes as he hurried to catch up with them.

Q3: What did the child do when his mother showed him the flowering mustard field?

A3: When the child’s mother showed him the flowering mustard field, he was enchanted by the sight. He followed the flight of dragonflies and tried to catch them, delighting in the beauty and movement around him. However, he eventually returned to his parents when his mother called him.

Q4: Why did the boy refrain from asking for the balloons and the garland?

A4: The boy refrained from asking for the balloons and the garland because he knew his parents would refuse his requests. He believed they would think he was too old for balloons and that the garland was too cheap, so he moved on without waiting for an answer.

Q5: How did the child get separated from his parents at the fair?

A5: The child got separated from his parents at the fair when he became engrossed in watching the roundabout. After boldly requesting to ride it, he turned to find his parents were not there. In his excitement, he hadn’t noticed them moving ahead, leaving him alone and lost in the crowd.

Q6: How did the child feel when he realised his parents were not with him?

A6: When the child realised his parents were not with him, he felt a deep, overwhelming fear. Panic-stricken, he cried out for his mother and father, tears streaming down his face. He ran frantically in all directions, his cries turning into desperate sobs as he struggled to find them.

Q7: What was the child’s reaction when a man tried to comfort him by offering him sweets and toys?

A7: The child reacted with persistent distress when the man tried to comfort him by offering sweets and toys. Despite the man’s attempts with the roundabout, snake charmer, balloons, flowers, and sweets, the child continued to sob and repeatedly cried out for his mother and father, rejecting all distractions.

Q8: How did the man try to console the lost child after finding him?

A8: The man tried to console the lost child by offering him various attractions from the fair. He suggested a ride on the roundabout, listening to the snake charmer’s music, buying balloons, smelling flowers, and enjoying sweets. Despite his efforts, the child refused each offer, only crying for his mother and father.

Q9: Why did the child reject all the man’s attempts to distract him with various attractions?

A9: The child rejected all the man’s attempts to distract him with various attractions because he was overwhelmed with fear and longing for his parents. His emotional distress was so intense that no sweets, toys, or entertainment could comfort him; he only wanted to be reunited with his mother and father.

Q10: What does the child’s persistent plea for his parents signify about his emotional state?

A10: The child’s persistent plea for his parents signifies his deep emotional distress and sense of vulnerability. His repeated cries for his mother and father reveal his overwhelming fear and desperation in the unfamiliar and chaotic environment of the fair, seeking the comfort and security only they can provide.

Long Answer Type Questions:

Q1: Describe the setting as the family approaches the fair.

A1: As the family nears the fair, the atmosphere becomes bustling and vibrant. Various footpaths, crowded with throngs of people, converge towards the entrance, hinting at the impending whirlpool of activity. 

The child is simultaneously repelled and fascinated by the chaotic world before him. At the entrance, a sweetmeat seller tantalises passersby with treats while a crowd gathers around his colourful display. Nearby, a flower seller hawks his wares, adding to the sensory overload with the sight and scent of fresh blooms. 

A snake-charmer’s music fills the air, and a roundabout spins with shrieking laughter. The scene is alive with the energy and excitement of the fair, enticing the child with its myriad sights and sounds.

Q2: How does the child’s behaviour change as he searches for his parents?

A2: As the child searches for his parents, his behaviour changes. Initially carefree and playful, he becomes increasingly frantic and distressed as he realises he is lost. His laughter turns to tears, and his joyous demeanour is replaced by fear and panic. 

He runs back and forth, calling out desperately for his mother and father, his cries growing louder and more desperate with each passing moment. His initial curiosity and excitement about the fair’s attractions are overshadowed by his overwhelming sense of abandonment and vulnerability. 

Despite the attempts of others to comfort and distract him, his single-minded focus remains on finding his parents, driving him to search tirelessly amidst the chaos of the fairgrounds.

Q2: How do the people around the child attempt to comfort him?

A2: As the child becomes increasingly distressed, the people around him attempt to comfort him in various ways. Initially, a man lifts him and tries to soothe him with gentle words, asking about his family and offering reassurance. 

He then tries to distract the child by taking him to different attractions at the fair, such as the roundabout, the snake charmer, and the balloon seller. Undeterred by the child’s resistance, the man persists in trying to divert his attention, hoping that the sights and sounds of the fair will calm him down. The man tries to offer the child sweets and flowers, hoping to elicit a positive response and alleviate his distress.

Q3: Why does the man take the child to various attractions at the fair?

A3: The man takes the child to various attractions at the fair to distract him from his distress and calm him down. Seeing the child’s panic and desperation, the man tries different methods to divert his attention and provide some comfort. 

He hopes that the sights and sounds of the fair, such as the roundabout, the snake charmer, the balloons, and the sweet shop, will capture the child’s interest and alleviate his fear of being lost. 

By engaging the child in different activities and offering him treats, the man seeks to create a sense of familiarity and enjoyment amidst the chaos of the fairgrounds. He ultimately aims to ease the child’s anxiety and help him cope with the situation.

Q4: How does the child respond to the man’s attempts to distract him?

A4: For all the man’s persistent attempts to distract him, the child remains inconsolable and unresponsive. He rejects the man’s efforts to engage him in various activities and attractions at the fair. 

When the man takes him to the roundabout, the snake charmer, the balloons, and the sweet shop, the child focuses solely on his overwhelming desire to find his parents. He rejects the man’s offers of rides, music, and treats, shutting out the distractions and clinging to his single-minded mission of reuniting with his family. 

The child’s distress and longing for his parents overshadow any attempts to alleviate his anxiety, leaving him unable to find solace in the distractions offered by the well-meaning stranger.

Q5: What is the recurring plea of the child throughout the story?

A5: Throughout the story, the child’s recurring plea is a desperate cry for his parents. His calls become increasingly frantic and poignant as he navigates through the bustling fairground and realises he is lost. 

With tears streaming down his face and his voice trembling with fear, he repeatedly shouts, “Mother, Father!” This simple yet powerful plea captures the child’s deep sense of abandonment and longing for the comfort and security of his parents. 

Regardless of the distractions and attempts by others to soothe him, the child’s unwavering focus remains on reuniting with his family, echoing his desperate cry for maternal and paternal reassurance amidst the overwhelming chaos of the fair.

Q6: What role does the setting play in intensifying the child’s isolation and vulnerability?

A6: The setting in “The Lost Child” heightens the child’s sense of isolation and vulnerability in several ways. Firstly, the bustling fairground’s crowded pathways and chaotic atmosphere contrast the child’s initial sense of security with his family. 

As he navigates through the crowds of people, the vastness of the fair becomes overwhelming, exacerbating his feelings of being lost and alone. The vivid descriptions of colourful attractions and enticing vendors highlight the distractions that further isolate the child from his primary goal of finding his parents. 

Moreover, the unfamiliar surroundings and faces contribute to his sense of disorientation and fear, increasing his vulnerability in an environment where he feels increasingly out of place and powerless.

Q7: How does the author use symbolism to convey the story’s themes of innocence and loss?

A7: In “The Lost Child,” the author uses symbols to show innocence and loss. The mustard field represents the child’s innocence and joy, a vast space where he feels free. 

However, as he gets lost, it symbolises his vulnerability. The toys and attractions at the fair symbolise fleeting desires that distract him from his genuine need for love and safety. 

As the child wanders, his yellow turban becomes united, and his clothes become muddy, showing his vulnerability and loss of security. This undoing symbolises his emotional distress as he feels more lost and scared in the unfamiliar place.

These symbols highlight the loss of innocence as the child faces the challenges of the adult world and the fear of being alone.

Q8: Discuss the cultural and societal influences that shape the child’s behaviour and perceptions throughout the story.

A8: In “The Lost Child,” the child’s behaviour and perceptions are shaped by cultural and societal influences. In Indian culture, respect for elders and obedience to parental authority are deeply ingrained values. 

The child’s obedience to his parents’ commands and reluctance to express his desires reflect these cultural norms. Societal expectations regarding gender roles may influence the child’s interactions, as evidenced by his father’s stern demeanour compared to his mother’s more tender approach. 

Furthermore, the bustling fairground represents a place of societal complexity, where the child steers through various temptations and distractions. These cultural and societal influences contribute to the child’s internal conflict as he struggles with his desires while trying to adhere to societal expectations.

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