Don`t bite your nails, Amanda!

Prepared By: Nityanandesh Narayan Tripathi
PGT English
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya
Robin Mc Maugh Klein is a wellknown Australian author of books
for children. She was born 28
February 1936, in Kempsey, New
South Wales and now resides
near Melbourne.
The Poetess of the Poem
Don’t bite your nails, Amanda!
Don’t hunch your shoulders, Amanda!
Stop that slouching and sit up straight,
(There is a languid, emerald sea,
Where the sole inhabitant is me –
A mermaid, drifting blissfully.)
Did you finish your homework, Amanda?
Did you tidy your room, Amanda?
I thought I told you to clean your shoes,
(I am an orphan, roaming the street,
I pattern soft dust with my hushed, bare feet.
The silence is golden, the freedom is sweet.)
Don’t eat that chocolate, Amanda!
Remember your acne, Amanda!
Will you please look at me when I’m speaking to you,
(I am Rapunzel, I have not a care:
Life in a tower is tranquil and rare;
I’ll certainly never let down my bright hair!)
Stop that sulking at once, Amanda!
You’re always moody, Amanda!
Anyone would think that I nagged at you,
Instructions that
Amanda did not Like
Desires of Amanda
• Don’t bite nails
• Don’t hunch shoulders
• Stop slouching and sit up
• Finish homework
• Tidy the room
• Clean the shoes
• Don’t eat the chocolate
• Look in the eyes when being
• Don’t sulk
• Don’t be moody
• To become mermaid –
So that she could live alone at
a peaceful place without any
• To become Orphan –
So that she may not have any
guardian to give her strict
• To become Rapunzel –
She would be happy even in a
secluded and prison like place
where she will not have
anybody to instruct her.
Meaning of difficult words
Hunch – Bend
Slouch – Droop, Bend
Languid – Relaxed, Lazy
Emerald – Bright green
Sole – Single, Alone
Inhabitant – Occupant, Resident
Drift – Float, Glide
Bliss – Happiness, Pleasure
Tidy – Neat, In order
Orphan – Without parents
Hush – Silence
Bare – Naked, Without cover
Acne – Spots, Bad Skin
Tranquil – Calm , Relaxing
Sulk – Be in a temper, Be in a mood
Nag – Irritate, Harass
Text Book Question & Answer
1. The age of Amanda is between 5 to 10 years. It is so
because the children of this age group deny the rules
laid down by elders. They also imagine to become the
characters like Mermaid and Rapunzel.
2. Amanda’s elders are talking to her. They may be her
brother, sister, mother or father.
3. Stanzas 2, 4 and 6 are given in parentheses because
these are the thinking or desires of Amanda. However no
body listens it.
4. Amanda is the speaker in stanzas 2,4 and 6. The elders
speaking in the stanzas 1,3,5 and 7 are not listening to
Amanda’s desires expressed in the stanzas 2,4 and 6.
5. If she were Mermaid then Amanda would in the emerald
ocean alone.
6. Amanda is not an orphan but still she calls herself an
orphan because she wants to be free from the rules and
regulations put on her by parents.
7. Rapunzel was a beautiful princess who was captured by
a monster and put in a tower. Rapunzel had long hairs.
One day a prince climbed onto the tower with the help of
the same hair and then saved the princess. Amanda also
wants to live in the same tower where she may have
peace and freedom. But she will not put her hair down
from the tower to be saved by any prince.
8. The little girl Amanda desired for a free and peaceful life
where no body was there to instruct her all the time.
From this poem we came to know that Amanda was a
kind of person who did not like to be under the rules and
regulations because she was ignorant about the
difference between freedom, bondage and discipline.
9. Yes, Amanda is moody and she is sulking also because
she is asked by her elder to stop being sulky and moody
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