The Penalty Of Death | Question And Answers | Class 12

Question and answers of "The Penalty Of The Death". "The Penalty Of The Death" was written by Henry Louis (H.L.) Mencken (1880-1956). Mencken was an German-American writer. He worked as newspaper reporter, editor, and columnist. He is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. As a scholar Mencken is known for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States. His satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey Trial", also gained him attention. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements. His writing criticizes the pompous (अहम भावना) and hypocritical (पाखण्ड) attitude of the middle class family. Mencken reflects the ideas of the abolitionists (मृत्युदण्ड विरोधीहरु) and gives reason in favour of capital punishment in his essay "The Penalty Of The Death".

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Summary Of "The Penalty Of Death"
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Question And Answers Of "The Penalty Of The Death"

Question No. 1: Identify Mencken's three reasons for his support of capital punishment. Do all three seem to you equally strong? (Mencken ले मृत्यु दण्डको पक्षमा दिएका ३ ओटा कारणहरु पहिचान गर्नुहोस्। के तीन ओटै उत्तिकै बलिया कारण हुन्?)
Answer: Mencken argues for capital punishment. He gives three reasons to support his argument. They are "revenge" (catharsis), "determine" and "no complaints of hangman's job". Among three reasons the first one is "revenge". He uses the word catharsis became this is stronger. Punishment has the cathartic effect in which the victim is satisfied with the suffering of criminals. Thus, the account of suffering is balanced. When the emotional tension is released, he will be calmed down.

Question No. 2: In paragraph 3, Mencken asserts that there are at least half a dozen reasons for punishing offenders. In his essay, he mentions two, deterrence and revenge. What others can you supply? (तेश्रो अनुच्छेदमा मेन्कन भन्छन् अपराधीलाई सजाय दिनु पर्ने कमसेकम ६ ओटा कारणहरु छन्। निबन्धमा हतोत्साहन र बदला दुईओटा कारण उल्लेख गरिएको छ। बाँकी के के होलान्?)
Answer: Other reasons for punishing offenders are: (1) to maintain peace, and order in society, (2) to protect the life and property to people, (3) to compensate (क्षतिपूर्ति दिनु) the victims, (4) to relieve criminal from waiting under the shadow of death.

Question No. 3: For which class of offenders does Mencken advocate the death penalty? (मेन्कन कस्ता दर्जाका अपराधीलाई मृत्यु दण्ड दिनु पर्छ भन्छन्?)
Answer: Mencken advocates the death penalty for those who deliberately murder people challenging all human civilization.

Question No. 4: How do you react to Mencken's final statement? What does it contribute to his purpose. (मेन्कनको अन्तिम भनाईलाई कसरी प्रतिक्रिया व्यक्त गर्नुहुन्छ? यसले उसको उद्देश्य पूरा हुन कति मद्दत गर्छ?)
Answer: The final statement of Mencken asserts that the God will instantly forgive a whole herd of murderers. It means that there should not be delay in killing the criminals after the court has pronounced the punishment. If he is given capital punishment soon, he will not have to live in mental tension.

Question No. 5: How would you characterize Mencken's humour? Point to examples of it. In the light of his grim subject, do you find it funny? (मेन्कनको हास्यलाई तपाई कसरी देखाउनु हुन्छ? यसको उदाहरणहरु दिनुहोस्। विषयवस्तुको गम्भीरताको सवालमा के हाँस उठ्दो जस्तो लाग्छ?)
Answer: Mencken presents a very serious matter humurously (हाँस उठ्दो पाराले). His humour is not just for the shake of amusement but it is a genuine humour. It is a kind of weapon to present very serious subject matter. He says that criminals should be killed. But he says it humurously that catharsi is achieved "by wafting the criminal to the realms of bliss". Again in connection to the imprisonment he says it is "our brutal American habit". These are some examples of humour the writer uses in this essay.

Question No. 6: In his first paragraph, Mencken pares his subject down to manageable size. What techniques does he employ for this purpose? (मेन्कनले आफ्नो पहिलो अनुच्छेदमा विषयवस्तुलाई साँघुर्याएर ठिक्कको आकारमा ल्याउँछ। यो उद्देश्यका लागि उनी कुन विधि प्रयोगमा ल्याउँछन्?)
Answer: Mencken narrows down his subject to manageable size in the first paragraph. He gives the synopsis of the abolitionist's argument in two points. In other paragraphs, he explains his idea in detail.

Question No. 7: At the start of paragraph 7, Mencken shifts his stance from concern for the victims of crime to concern for the victim of life imprisonment. Does the shift help or weaken the effectiveness of his earlier justification for capital punishment? (सातौ अनुच्छेदको सुरुमा मेन्कन अपराधका दोषीहरुबाट जन्म कैद पाएका अपराधीहरुका चिन्ता तर्फ जान्छन्। यसले उसको पहिलेको मृत्यु दण्डको प्राथमिकतालाई कम्जोर पार्छ कि सहयोग गर्छ?)
Answer: Mencken talks about the victim of capital punishment and later on the talks about the victim of life imprisonment. His concern is changed here. This shift obviously has helped the effectiveness of his earlier justification for capital punishment. He says that if the punishment is delayed to the victim from the time of the pronouncement of the court, he will under the shadow of the death. Once he commits crime, he is watching death. This kind of waiting is painful waiting. The life imprisonment is a brutal act and it should be avoided. These points support the idea of life punishment.

Question No. 8: Do you think the author expects his audience to agree with him? At what points does he seem to recognize the fact that some readers may see things differently? (लेखक आफ्ना पाठक आफू सँग सहमत होलान् भन्ठान्छन्। कतिबेला केही पाठहरु कुनै कुरालाई फरक रुपमा हेर्छन् भन्ने तथ्य लेखकले स्वीकार गरेको जस्तो देखिन्छ?)
Answer: The essay is very persuasive. The author does not expect that his audience should agree with him. He has forwarded his opinion and it is free for criticism. The only point is that the essay is convincing. The writer is conscious about the fact that some readers may see things differently. In one place he says, "I do not argue that this yearning is noble. I simply argue that it is almost universal among human beings". Here the author is open for discussion.

Question No. 9: Mencken opens his argument by referring to those who reject capital punishment as "uplifters". What connotations does that word have for you? Does the use of this loaded word strengthen or weaken Mencken's position? Explain. (मृत्यु दण्ड अस्वीकार गर्नेहरुलाई "Uplifters" भनेर उल्लेख गर्दै Mencken आफ्नो छलफल सुरु गर्दछन्। त्यो शब्दले कस्तो खालको अर्थ सङ्केत गर्दछ। यस्तो खालको अर्थयुक्त शब्द प्रयोग गर्दा उसको स्थान बलियो हुन्छ कि कम्जोर हुन्छ? व्याख्य गर्नुहोस्।)
Answer: Mencken has used a connotative word "uplifter" to refer to those who reject the act of capital punishment. The word has deeper meaning rather than simply it connotes. The deep meaning of the word is that it makes people try to better the moral, social or cultural conditions. It has very positive meaning. But the writer has used this word differently. The word is used ironically to mean the fact that the abolitionists have tried to better the condition of criminals morally, socially or economically. The use of such loaded word does not strengthen the position of the writer because all the people will not understand the connotative meaning of such words. So his concept will not clearly be understood.

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