NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter-2

Class 11 English Chapter-2 NCERT Solutions - We're Not Afraid to Die, if We Can All Be Together

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Access NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 2- We’re Not Afraid to Die…If We Can All Be Together part-1

Access NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 2- We’re Not Afraid to Die…If We Can All Be Together

1.   Notice these expressions in the text. Infer their meaning from the context.

  • Honing our seafaring skills

Ans: Honing our seafaring skills means enhancing the art of travelling by sea. Mary, his wife, and the author practised sailing for about 16 years in British waters, dreaming to take their dream world voyage one day.

  • Ominous silence

Ans: Ominous silence means a threatening and worrying silence especially before something bad happens. There was silence around 6 p.m. in the sea before the disaster hit them.

  • Mayday calls

Ans: Mayday calls are emergency procedures used via radio communications to convey distress. After they were struck in the sea many Mayday calls were sent out, but they received reply for none. 

  • Pinpricks in the vast ocean 

Ans: Pinpricks in the vast ocean refers to trying to find something extremely insignificant compared to the vastness in which you are searching for it. Everyone was trying to figure out two small islands in the vast ocean. They were somewhere in 150,000 kilometers of ocean looking for a 65-kilometre-wide island.

  • A tousled head

Ans: A tousled head means untidy or unkept hair. Author’s son had his hair tangled up and it appeared as a mess on his head. 

2. List the steps taken by the captain

(i) to protect the ship when rough weather began.

Ans: The first indication of the impending disaster was received around 6p.m. when an ominous silence took over the sea. The sky grew darker, and the wind dropped and a wave almost vertically hit them. The narrator stretched some canvas to cover the gaping holes. He slowed down the ship, dropped the storm jib, and lashed the mooring rope across the stern. He further instructed everyone to wear life jackets. They proceeded with every safety measure that could be done to protect them from the havoc of nature.

(ii) to check the flooding of the water in the ship.

Ans: After the wave hit, Larry and Herb were pumping like madmen. The narrator immediately found the hammer and nails and stretched the canvas across the holes to control the water. When the pumps stopped working, he operated the one under the chartroom, connected it to an out-pipe, which thankfully worked.  


3. Describe the mental condition of the voyagers on 4 and 5 January.

Ans: On 4 January after 36 hours of pumping the water level was under control. They still could not set any sail on the main mast since it was weak and would pull the main mast. They had a small meal of corned beef and cracker biscuits, their first meal in almost two days. Their happiness was short lived and by January 5 the situation was again desperate. He further tried to protect everything he had been motivated by what his kids said and used an improvised sea anchor of heavy nylon rope and two 22 litre plastic barrels of paraffin.

4. Describe the shifts in the narration of the events as indicated in the three sections of the text. Give a subtitle to each section.

Ans: The three sections of the narration are as following: 

  1. Around the world voyage dreams

The narration opens with the narrator announcing his voyage along with his family members in July 1976. He also happily tells the readers about his dream to duplicate the world voyage and how he and his wife have been honing their seafaring skills for the past 16 years.

  1. The wave hits

The happy sailing journey soon changes to a disaster after an almost vertical wave hits them and shakes the deck. Many waves subsequently hit the ship and wrecked it. They were swallowed by the waves and were trying every possible way to keep the ship together and avoid it from sinking. They tried to pump the water out and used canvas, electric pumps, jibs and other equipment available on the ship to make the best out of the situation.

  1. Landed on the island

Eventually after days of trying and failing everyone lost hope and were waiting for their death. It was the hope and motivation that the kids had in their eyes that encouraged the author to take a 185 degrees steer course which landed them on Ile Amsterdam and they all were saved.

5. What difference did you notice between the reaction of the adults and the children when faced with danger?

Ans: As a human being grows, he loses faith and the mystical spark he as a kid had. They become more practical and lead to conclusions just seeing the practical surroundings around them. The kids on the other hand try to find magic and happiness in everything they have. The kids and the adults behaved in opposite ways when they encountered the dire situation. 

The adults lost all the hope they could muster and sensed that their end was near. The children on the other hand were optimistic. Sue made a card despite being gravely injured and her head swollen and bleeding. She made caricatures of Mary and the narrator. 

Even the little boy of six, Jon told his dad that he was not afraid to die if they all could be together. The optimism of the kids even inspired the elder to not give up and he asked Larry to steer a course of 185 degrees which finally landed them on the island. The kids' optimistic outlook even while looking into eyes with death motivated everyone and eventually saved everyone.

6. How does the story suggest that optimism helps to endure “the direst stress”?

Ans: Optimism helps us to view even the direst situations through a positive lens. It helps us overcome all the difficulties that life throws at us. Optimism helps especially when we are stuck in troubled waters and helps us get out of it, more courageous and stronger. It raises our spirits and keeps us working hard consistently. The family, despite being struck in storm and in a wrecked ship did not lose hope and tried their best to survive. Mary steered the ship through the storm during the critical hours whereas Larry and Herbie maintained their calm and remained optimistic even under the stressful situation. His seven-year daughter tried to make the best out of the situation they were in and did not trouble them with her head injury which took about six minor operations to heal. The positive outlook of the kids motivated the narrator. His final decision to steer the ship a course of 185 degrees saved them. The family stayed together and survived the storm by reaching Ile Amsterdam by the evening.

7. What lessons do we learn from such hazardous experiences when we are face-to-face with death? 

Ans: All experiences in our life teaches us something that helps us further and changes our perspective. Some unfortunate and hazardous experiences teach us courage, perseverance, and tolerance towards everything life throws at us. These situations can be extremely uncomfortable for us in the beginning but once we come out of it, life feels better and fulfilling. It also makes us optimistic about the sun that we will see after the dark moment passes by. At that moment death does not become something we must fear but something we have enough courage to fight with. It brings everyone fighting against the odds closer.

8. Why do you think people undertake such adventurous expeditions in spite of the risk involved?

Ans: Adventure sports are thrilling and give you a change from the usual schedule we all are in. They are physically demanding but the rush of adrenaline is exciting and refreshing. Adventure sports are not for everyone but are worth trying for everyone. Activities like rock climbing, rope challenges, paragliding etc. Adventure sports are most frequently taken by individuals. The people who involve themselves in such activities are aware of the risk involved but their desire to be in the lap of nature and experience its beauty pushes them to such expeditions.

9. We have come across words like `gale’ and `storm’ in the account. Here are two more words for `storm’: typhoon, cyclone. How many words does your language have for `storm‟?

Ans: In Hindi, storms are called ‘aandhi’ and ‘toofan.’ There are varied words for different intensities of the wind, and they also vary with the local language spoken. For example, a storm is called candamaruta in Kannada.

10. Here are the terms of different kinds of vessels: yacht, boat, canoe, ship, steamer, schooner. Think of similar terms in your language.

Ans: ‘Naav’,  ‘Nauka,’ ‘Jahaaz’ and ‘Kishti’ are some of the various words used in Hindi for the word ‘boat.’

11. ‘Catamaran’ is a kind of a boat. Do you know which Indian language this word is derived from? Check the dictionary.

Ans: A Catamaran has two parallel hulls and is a geometrically stabilised watercraft. It is used for fishing and day sailing. The word ‘Catamaran’ is derived from the Tamil word ‘Kattumaram.’

12. Have you heard any boatmen's songs? What kind of emotions do these songs usually express?

Ans: Yes, there are various songs that celebrate the sea journey and the life of boatmen. Their songs express the sailors' love for the sea and the vast expanse of beauty that the ocean is. It also has nostalgic emotions as they miss their families and close ones who are not with them. 

13.  The following words used in the text as ship terminology is also commonly used in another sense. In what contexts would you use the other meaning?


  • Knot: Knot means a fastening made using a string interlacing. 

Example: I still find it difficult to knot my shoelaces. It also means to make something tangled. 

Example: leaving my hair open while travelling left it terribly knotted. 

  • Stern: Stern means serious or unfriendly. 

Example: The new boss wore a stern expression on his face throughout the meeting.

  • Boom: Boom means a reverberating sound.

Example: The boom caused due to the blast terrified everyone. It also means to make a resonating, deep sound.

Example: the sports teacher boomed at the students for creating indiscipline during break.

  • Hatch: Hatch refers to a door in a spacecraft, submarine, or aircraft.

Example: the flight could not take off because of some issue with the hatch. It also means to brood and produce a young animal. 

Example: About five eggs hatched this morning.

  • Anchor: Anchor is a heavy object attached through a cable to moor the ship. Example: the ship anchored at the Bombay port last night. It also means to coordinate a television or radio show. 

Example: She anchored her first news show yesterday.

14. The following three compound words end in-ship. What does each of them mean?                                                 


  • Airship : Airship is a self-propelled, lighter than air aircraft device. It is also called a dirigible balloon. It works by gaining lift from a gas that is less dense than air around it. There are currently only 25 operating airships.

  • Flagship: Flagship is used by a commanding officer. It is the lead ship among a fleet of vessels and is the largest, fastest, and heavily armed. 

  • Lightship: Lightship refers to a ship that is anchored at a specific location which flashes a very bright light guiding the ships to avoid dangerous areas.

15. The following are the meanings listed in the dictionary against the phrase `take on‟. In which meaning is it used in the third paragraph of the account:

take on sth: to begin to have a particular quality or appearance; to assume sth

take sb on: to employ sb; to engage sb 

                     to accept sb as one's opponent in a game, contest, or conflict

Take sb/sth on: to decide to do sth; to allow sth/sb to enter

                             e.g., a bus, plane, or ship; to take sth/sb on board

Ans: In the third paragraph, in lines: “… we took on two crewmen to help us tackle … roughest seas…,” the phrase “took on” means to hire or engage someone in a task alongside you. Example: She took on the duties of the assistant diligently.

Discussion of Ch 2 Hornbill Class 11

Learning your chapters from home, without any proper guidance, is difficult. Vedantu offers to ease the process and guide you in a step by step path. It is difficult for students to comprehend the text by themselves with its metaphors, innuendos and the underlying emotion between the lines. Our in-house expert teachers, who have years of experience have prepared the summary of all the chapters so that we can guide students through the chapters.

This is a chapter which accounts for the tumultuous storms a group of voyagers, i.e. the narrator and their family faced in the middle of a stormy sea. It is a story about how the voyagers united and faced the hardships bravely in the face of grave danger. It is a good read for the students of Class 11, but it can be difficult for them to comprehend the entire chapter by themselves.

The voyagers were placed in a perilous disposition in the storm. They could not rest for over two days and continued to drain water out of the ship. Even when they could repose, it was short-lived. They faced even worse situations in the next day and feared death every second.

More Into the Story

The ambitious family is set for their dream- an around-the-world voyage. The hazardous situations faced by them are described vividly and paint a terrifying picture of their hardships. The climax of the chapter is when the narrator is overthrown into the sea and is deeply injured. After the near-fatal accident, he still maintains his composure and finally, the family unites and remains fearless to achieve their ultimate victory.

The award the narrator receives for his victory is the sweet pleasure when his children acknowledge him as "the best daddy" and "the best captain".

Vedantu offers the answers to all the in-text questions form NCERT and much more for the students. You can refer to the text and go through it before reading our study-materials. You can frame the answers yourself and then refer to our answer to include portions of it you like.

Related Questions

Q. What was the difference in the reactions between the adults and the children in the face of danger?

Answer: We could note a stark difference between the way the children and the adults reacted to the storm. The adults were mentally broken when faced with a dangerous situation. He lost their composure and their hope. He gave up very quickly and waited for certain death.

On the other hand, the children forced themselves to be motivated. They offered moral support whenever they could to their parents. They were very mature in handling the situation and their parents. They made cards to cheer them up. They continuously reminded their parents how much they loved them. Sue was incredibly strong since she hid her serious injuries to not stress her parents any more in the time of crisis.

Q. Why do people undertake such dangerous expeditions knowing the risks involved?

Answer: The spirit of knowing the unknown and the curiosity to witness the unique elements of nature is an innate wish in every human being. Some are brave enough to act on them, and most are not. It requires immense courage to accept the challenges that nature throws in our way. It takes even more determination and strength to seek out our dreams. Only passionate and ambitious people are willing to accept such significant challenges. The desire to be one with nature and experience the beauty of our environment in her lap is worth taking all the risks that may come in the path.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Why are the NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 2 a Reliable Content?

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 2 contains simplified versions of all the intext questions and many more. These solutions will be helpful for you to understand and frame the answers. They will undoubtedly help you to prepare for your upcoming exams. We have arranged all the answers successively according to their order in the book. The straightforward arrangement will help you to go through the chapter in an orderly fashion. It is always practical to read all the answers to a single question to see the different angles with which you can approach the answer. Expert teachers have framed the solutions and have years of experience. NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 2 is hence, a reliable study material.

2. What are the Benefits I can Avail if I Refer to NCERT Solution of English Class 11 Hornbill Chapter 2 for Free?

Students can avail the NCERT Solution of English Class 11 Hornbill Chapter 2 from to learn about the vital aspects of the chapter. It isn't easy to understand the complex meanings of the topic by yourself. Vedantu has provided you with free solutions that you can download in the PDF format. We ensure that all central aspects of the chapter are covered in the solutions. You can also clear out your doubts from the chapter by following the solutions closely. We provide the answers in a stepwise fashion so that all your doubts are cleared. Try Vedantu now to perform your best in the examinations.

3. What lesson do you get from Chapter 2 of Class 11 English Hornbill?

Chapter 2 of Class 11 English Hornbill teaches us that we should not feel discouraged at any point in life and we should face every danger with courage. A person may have to face dangers in life anytime, therefore one should be prepared to face the dangers. We should face these dangers happily and should keep patience. We should not fear because any kind of fear can destroy our courage and we cannot face adverse circumstances boldly. We can overcome all dangers boldly with our presence of mind. 

4. What is the Chapter 2 of Class 11 English Hornbill story about?

Chapter 2 of Class 11 English Hornbill is a story about the difficulties faced by a group of sailors. The narrator and his family have to face many difficulties during the middle of a stormy sea when they were all on a voyage. The story tells how the voyagers unitedly faced the dangers bravely and overcame the hardships on their voyage. It is an interesting and adventurous story and students will enjoy reading the story.

5. Where will I find the NCERT Solutions for Chapter 2 of Class 11 English Hornbill?

Students can download the NCERT Solutions for Chapter 2 of Class 11 English Hornbill online on the Vedantu website and on the Vedantu app at free of cost. These solutions are given in simple language. Students can easily understand the main theme of the story and they can use the solutions to prepare for their exams. The PDF of these solutions can also be downloaded for free to access them offline.

6. How did the adults and children react when they faced the danger?

Adults and children reacted differently when they faced a stormy night. The adults were fearful and lost hope. They thought that their death was certain and lost all hope. The children did not lose hope and they felt motivated. They supported their parents morally and handled the whole situation bravely thus also encouraging their parents to handle the situation bravely. They made cards for their parents to make them happy. 

7. How do NCERT Solutions for Chapter 2 of Class 11 English Hornbill can help to prepare for the exams?

Students can use the NCERT Solutions for Chapter 2 of Class 11 English Hornbill to prepare for the exams because they are easy to download and available at free of cost. All NCERT Solutions are given in simple and understandable language. Students can study offline by downloading the solutions on their computers. They can also make short notes of Chapter 2 of English Hornbill to revise before the exams and prepare well for their exams. 

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