Class 11 English Chapter 2 ” We’re  Not Afraid To Die……..if  We Can All Be Together”

Class 11 English Chapter 2 ” We’re  Not Afraid To Die……..if  We Can All Be Together”  The answer to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 2 ” We’re  Not Afraid To Die……..if  We Can All Be Together”, Class 11 English Hornbill Question Answer, HS 1st year English Notes and select needs one.

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Class 11 English Chapter 2 “We’re  Not Afraid To Die……..if  We Can All Be Together”

Also, you can read the SCERT Class 11 English Chapter 2 ” We’re  Not Afraid To Die……..if  We Can All Be Together” book Notes online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per AHSEC (SCERT) Book guidelines. These solutions are part of SCERT All Subject Solutions. Here we have given Assam Board Class 11 English Chapter 2 ” We’re  Not Afraid To Die……..if  We Can All Be Together” Solutions for All Subjects, You can practice these here.

“We’re  Not Afraid To Die……..if  We Can All Be Together”

Chapter: 2




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

honing our seafaring skills: sharpening the skills and gaining expertise in sailing.

ominous silence: a silence or quietness indicating something bad about to happen.

Mayday calls: distress signals or call for help.

pinpricks in the vast ocean: tiny spots in the vast ocean.

a tousled head: uncombed and messed hair.


1. List the steps taken by the Captain

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

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

Ans. (i)To protect the ship when rough weather began, the captain took the following steps: 

(a) He decided to lower the speed of the boat.

(b) The storm jib was dropped.

(c) Heavy ropes were tied across the stern.

(d) They went through their life-raft drill.

(e) Lifelines were attached.

(f) They put on oilskins and life jackets.

(ii) To check the flooding of the water in the ship, the captain did the following-

(a) He took the hammer, screw and canvas and struggled to make repairs.

(b) He stretched the canvas and waterproof hatch covers across the gaping holes.

(c) Most of the water was now eflected over the sides.

(d) Spare hand pumps and an electric pump were put to work as the earlier ones had failed.

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

Ans. Some sign of respite was seen among the voyagers on January 4 as the water level in the ship receded to the last few centimetres. They just had to keep pace with the water still coming in with every wave. They could not set sail on the main mast, so hoisted the storm jib. They had their first meal in a most two days. But this relief was short-lived. In the evening black clouds began to build up and waves rose higher and higher. The furious storm blew throughout the night.

A hopeless situation greeted then the next dawn, i.e. on January 5. The Captain went in to comfort the children. Jon asked him if they were going to die. The Captain assured him that they would come out of it, but Jon said they weren’t afraid to die if they all could be together. These words strengthened the Captain’s resolve to fight the sea with all his might though a feeling of despair gripped them. He sat with Mary in the evening, almost staring at their impending death.

3  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. Title: Embarking on a Dream voyage. The first section is a description of the preparation and beginning of a dream voyage. The Captain, a thirty-seven year old businessman, embarked on an adventure round the world along with his wife and two children. It was an attempt to repeat what Captain James Cook had achieved 200 years before. They had spent sixteen long years in sharpening their sea-faring skills. Their boat ‘Wavewalker’ was professionally built and tested in the roughest weather. They began in July 1976 and had a pleasant sail upto Cape Town. There they took two crewmen, an American and a Swiss to help them tackle the rough southern Indian Ocean. However, trouble started only when they left Cape Town. Gigantic waves hit them on 2 January. Hectic efforts were made by all the members to save Wavewalker from capsizing.

Title: Surviving the Disaster.

The second section deals with their struggle for survival. Strong gales and waves had hit Wavewalker. The weather worsened on the boat was filled with water everywhere. The Captain was injured and so was his little daughter. Continuous pumping of water kept Wavewalker from sinking. The Captain went on with repairs and replacements. On January 4, they ate their first meal in two days. Soon another storm hovered over them which further worsened through the night. This section dwells on the highly emotional response of the little children to such a trying situation.

Title: Revival of Hope.

The third section brings in a sense of relief to the cabin members and crew and also to the readers. They were finally able to reach lle Amsterdam, a tiny island in the vast ocean. Jon came and broke the good news to his father. They all saw the island in front of them. The next morning, all 28 inhabitants of the island cheered and welcomed them ashore.


Discuss the following questions with your partner.

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

Ans. The reaction of the adults in the face of danger was courageous as expected. The Captain took all possible steps to encounter ne huge waves. Larry and Herb busied themselves pumping Out the water. Mary was at the wheel though she was alarmed at the gushing water in the boat. Both the crewmen maintained Composure of optimism and cheerfulness. Though there were Shades of despair, the Captain was determined to fight the sea with whatever he had and come out of it.

The children, on the other hand, displayed tremendous strength, patience and endurance without any sign of panic. It was their indomitable spirit that boosted the morale of the adults. The boy was even prepared to die provided they could all be together and the little girl quietly suffered the pain of injury without, once bothering her distressed parents. (100-125 words)

2. How does the story suggest that optimism helps to ensure  “the direst stress”?

Ans. The title reflects the spirit of the story and conveys a clear message on positive attitude. Hope is the greatest survival factor. Even in the face of extreme adversity, they kept their hope and faith alive. When the captain and his family set sail, they did not have the faintest idea that disaster would strike them in this

manner. Yet, when it struck, all they knew was that they had to overcome it and never give up. The two crewmen who accompanied them were amazingly optimistic and cheerful even when Wavewalker was on the verge of capsize. With broken ribs and a bleeding mouth, the Captain fought the wild sea to find a tiny island in the midst of the vast ocean. This spirit of hope and optimism was reflected even in the behaviour of the two chil-dren. They all saw rays of hope in the face of despair. (100-125 words)

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

Ans. The first lesson that we learn is that disaster strikes without any warning. Life can be very uncertain. So, we should always be prepared to face adversities in life and tackle problems with courage and conviction. Unity is a big strength which becomes an inspiration to fight. But, the biggest strength is the will power that enables one to surmount the unthinkable. The young boy displayed the true spirit of courage by saying that he was not afraid to die, but wished they were all together even in death.

Thus, their close encounter with death teaches us that determination, will-power and optimism can help us overcome the stormy seas of life. (100-125 words)

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

Ans. Adventure beckons only those who dare to face challenges life. It’s the thrill and excitement that they see and not the risks involved. They fulfil an inner urge that propels them fearlessly Right from the discovery of different places on the globe, unravelling various mysteries of nature, studying hazardous natural phenomenon, men have tested their strength and capability in extreme situations. These people have always been trying to know the unknown, see the unseen and tread the untrodden paths. There is no limit to human endurance and capability.The narrator and his family, who set out to do what others would not have dared, have shown this. The spirit of adventure is inherent in them and therefore, they undertake hazardous expeditions despite knowing the risks involved. (100-125 words)


1. 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. [Please note : Students wilI try to answer these in their respective language.]

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

Ans. [Please note : Students may discuss with their teacher and find similar words in their own language.]

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

Ans. ‘Catamaran’ is derived from the Tamil word ‘kattumaram’, ‘kattu means ‘tie’ and ‘maram’ means ‘log tree’. Catamaran is a narrow log raft or float propelled by sails or paddles. It is a boat with two parallel hulls.

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

Ans. Boatmen’s songs usually depict the flow of water as a simile to life. Often with a lilting melody, these songs always express the course of life as perennial journey to one’s destination.


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

Knot  stern boom hatch  anchor

Ans. knot : (a) a tangle caused by intertwining of one or more pieces of rope or string;

(b) a cluster or group;

(c) an ornamental bow of ribbon or twist of braid;

(d) something that ties closely;

(e) a hard lump on a tree where the branch grows out.

Example in sentences:

(a) We decided to make a tight knot on the string.

(b) After the meeting was over, people hung around in knots.

(c) She tied her hair in a lovely knot.

(d They hesitated to tie the nuptial knot (get married).

(e) The cross section of the knot appeared like a design on the wooden board.


(a) hard;

(b) sever;

(c) strict

(d) grim

(e) forbidding;

(f) that cannot be changed;


(h) firm.

Example in sentences:

(a) The principal was always stern with the boys.

(b)The authorities had to take stern measures when the warning was not heeded.

(c) He made himself unapproachable with his stern face.

(d) It is a stern reality and cannot be changed.

(e) He surmounted the obstacles with stern determination.

Boom :

(a) to make a deep, hollow, resonant sound (thunder, heavy guns, etc.);

(b) to increase suddenly or grow swiftly;

(c) a period of business prosperity.

Example in sentences :

(a) The boom of the machine gun was heard even in nearby villages.

(b) The fighter jet boomed right over our heads.

(c) The boom in the share market is very temporary.

(d) The property business is on a sudden boom.

hatch :

(a) to bring forth young ones from eggs;

(b) to plot;

(c)to mark or engrave in lines as in shading.

Example in sentences :

(a) The eggs were hatched this morning.

(b) The newly hatched chicks look like yellow cotton balls.

(c) The workers hatched a plot to murder the businessman.

anchor :

(a) fix firmly;

(b) anything regarded as giving stability or security;

(c) coordinate radio or TV reports.

Examples in sentences :

(a) The flag staff was firmly anchored.

(b) In these trying times, she needs someone to anchor her.

(c) Her fluency in English helped her anchor several programmes on TV.

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

Airship    flagship      lightship

Ans. airship : any self-propelled aircraft that is lighter than air and can be steered.

Flagship : the ship carrying the commander of a fleet or squadron and displaying his flag. It also means the finest, largest or newest of a steamship line.

lightship : the ship moored in a place dangerous to navigation and bearing lights, foghorns and sirens, etc. to warn or guide pilots.

3. 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, the phrase ‘take on’ is used to mean to employ or engage somebody. “There, before heading east, we took on two crewmen-American Larry Vigil and Swiss Herb



Given below is a picture of a yacht. Label the parts of the yacht using the terms given in the box.

Bow        cabin         rudder         cockpit stern        boom        mainsail       mast

2. Here is some information downloaded from the internet in lle Amsterdam. You can view images of the isle if you go online.

LocationSouth Indian Ocean, between southernmost parts of Australia and South Africa
Latitude and longitude37° 92° S, 77° 67° E
Political status notesPart of French Southern and Antarctic Lands
Census notesMeteorological station staff
Land area in square kilometres86

3. Locate lle Amsterdam on the world map.

Ans. [Please note : Students will do themselves ]


1. What had the Captain and his wife been dreaming for a long time ? How did they prepare to bring the dream to Realisation ?

Ans. A thirty-seven year old businessman and his wife Mary had long been dreaming of repeating what Captain James Cook had done 200 years earlier, i.e. make a voyage round the world. This they decided would take them three years. They spent all their leisure time in sharpening their skills at travelling by sea. The businessman would captain the boat which was

professionally built and named ‘Wavewalker. It was a beautiful body of wood weighing 30 tons and measuring 23 metres. They had spent months fitting it out and testing it in the roughest of weather around the British Isles so that it would sail through the rough southern Indian Ocean. Thus, in July 1976, they set sail from Plymouth in England along with their two children.

2. Describe the first disastrous attack of the wave and the struggle of the voyagers.

Ans. On the second day from Cape Town, they began experiencing strong winds and alarmingly high waves. On 2 January, gigantic waves rushed towards them. Every precaution was taken and they all put on life jackets. A strange silence prevailed in the evening, the wind dropped and the sky suddenly grew very dark. Then came a thunderous roar and a huge wave towered over the rear of the boat and broke over them with an exploding effect. The Captain was hurled at the wheel, his ribs cracked by the impact and blood filled his mouth. Continuous huge waves played havoc on the boat. Little Suzanne was badly hurt. Mary took the steering wheel while the Captain made all attempts to plug the holes to save them from sinking. The two crewmen relentlessly pumped out water.

Despite all their efforts, the weather worsened still and water began to gush in through all the broken planks.

3. Describe the behaviour of the people on board, especially the children, during the hours of crisis.

Ans. Everyone on board showed great fortitude and courage in the face of danger. Even with broken ribs and a bleeding mouth the Captain was resolute on saving them all. Larry and Herb busied themselves in pumping out the water, but maintained their composure and optimism. Mary was at the wheel though she was alarmed at the gushing water in the boat. Though there were shades of despair, the Captain was determined to fight the sea with whatever he had and survive the storm.

The children displayed tremendous courage and endurance at their age. It was their indomitable spirit that boosted the morale of the adults. The boy did not even fear death and the little girl quietly suffered the pain of her injury without once bothering her distressed parents.

SHORT ANSWER TYPE (30-40 words)

1. What was the voyage that the narrator and his wife dreamt of and did they undertake it ?

Ans. The narrator and his wife had long dreamt of making a voyage round the world in the same way as had been made by Captain James Cook, 200 years earlier. They started in July 1976, along with their two children, from England.

2. Describe the boat on which they undertook this voyage.

Ans. Named Wavewalker, it was a 23 metre strong wooden hulled boat weighing 30 tons. It was professionally built and took months to fit out. It was also tested for months in the roughest of weather on the seas.

3. How did the first leg of the voyage go ? Why did they take on two crewmen ?

Ans. The first leg of the journey of 1,05,000 km along the west coast of Africa up to Cape Town passed off very pleasantly. They took two other crewmen to assist them in tackling the rough southern Indian Ocean.

4. How did the voyagers celebrate Christmas and where ?

Ans. They were around 3,500 kilometres east of Cape Town on Christmas. Though the weather condition was very bad, yet they celebrated with a Christmas tree on Wavewalker in the midst of the ocean.

5. When and how did they encounter the first trouble on the voyage ?

Ans. They began experiencing strong winds from the second day out of Cape Town, but that did not worry the Captain much. What came as a sign of alarm was the enormity of the waves which rose as high as the main mast. Instead of improving, the weather changed for the worse.

6. What and when was the first indication of impending disaster ?

Ans. The first indication of the looming disaster came with a sinister silence in the evening on January 2. The strong wind suddenly stopped and the sky was covered in darkness. With a through thundering roar, an enormous wave built up vertically towards the rear of the ship, with a dreadful top about to break on the ship.

7. What precautionary measures did the voyagers take even before the huge wave struck them on January 2 ?

Ans. They lowered the storm jib to slow down the boat. Everything was tightly and securely fastened, they went through their life raft procedure, and attached the lifelines. Putting on waterproof clothes and life jackets, they waited in apprehension of disaster.

8. Who were the two crewmen and how did they help ?

Ans. The two crewmen were Larry Vigil, an American and Herb Seigler,a Swiss. VWhen disaster struck them, these two crewmen offered tremendous help by pumping out water for 36 continuous hours. Their optimism and calm enabled the others to override the stormy sea.

9. Why was their respite short-lived after the first disastrous strike ?

Ans. After almost two days, they had their first meal of corned beef and biscuits. However, the respite was very short-lived. Towards evening, on January 4, the weather deteriorated with strong winds and rising waves. It continued throughout the night creating a desperate situation by dawn.

10.How did the children react to the situation ?

Ans. The rare courage shown by the children all through the calami, was commendable. There was no display of panic though the must have been very scared. Sue was badly hurt on her forehead, but endured the pain without a word. Amazing heroism was displayed in Jon’s comment on his fearlessness to die it they could all be together.

11. When did the Captain and his wife feel that the end was near ?

Ans. On the evening of January 5, when they saw that despite their best efforts they were unable to stop the gushing water they were gripped with despair. More and more water entered the broken planks. The Captain and his wife then felt their end was imminent.

12. What did the captain do when Wavewalker rode out of the storm ?

Ans. When they finally rode out the storm on 6 January, the Captain realised they could not make it to Australia on this wrecked ship. In the chartroom, he worked on wind speeds and made calculations to reach a 65 kilometre-wide island called lle Amsterdam somewhere in the 1,50,000 kilometres of ocean.

13. Why did Jon want to hug his father ?

Ans. Jon wanted to hug his father for bringing them all to safety. When they were off the shore of the tiny island, both Jon and Sue came to their father’s cabin to give the good news. Jon exclaimed that his father was the best in the world and had also proved to be the best captain.

14. How did the Captain react to this piece of information ?

Ans. The Captain exclaimed in excitement and disbelief and rushed on to the deck to see it himself. He gazed with relief at the clear outline of lle Amsterdam.

15. What were the Captain’s thoughts on the members of his team after reaching safety ?

Ans. The Captain’s thoughts were of gratitude towards Larry and Herb who worked relentlessly to save the ship from sinking. He also thought of his wife Mary who stayed at the wheel throughout the disaster. But, he was immensely grateful and over – whelmed at the courage and fortitude of his two little children.

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