- Advertisement -


0 45,838





(a) Discuss how the spider tricks the fly into his back what does his tail teaches us ?

 In the poem,”The Spider and the Fly’ the poet Mary Howitt has described a fantastical conversation between a spider and a fly.The intention of the spider is to bring the fly to his place and devour her.The spider uses the age old formula of flattery in order to influence and seduce the fly.In the beginning of the poem,when he invites the fly to his lair,the smart fly responds negatively.She is well aware of the fact that the spider cannot be trusted
and going to his home would surely mean death.

- Advertisement -

The spider spots the fly and calls out to her inviting her to his home.He tells her that he has a variety of things to show and that his
parlour,up a winding staircase is a wonderful place to be.The invitation to the wonderful parlour is actually an invitation to death for the fly.The fly has known that it doesn’t matter
if the parlour of the spider is wonderful or not,she is sure of the fact that once anyone goes up to that parlour,they don’t return alive.The spider informs the fly that in his parlour there are a lot of delicacies which the fly is welcome to eat and relish.He boasts about the
delicious variety in his pantry which the fly was missing.

The fly tells him that it may be that his pantry is full of delicacies but this is a truth as well that anyone who went to that pantry has ended up being themselves served as a delicacy.So,’though the kind offers of the spider were appreciated,the fly clearly refused to accept the invitation. Seeing that his offerings are not working with the fly,he changes his tactic.He keeps on mending his web with confidence and begins to praise the fly.He tells the fly that her wit
and wisdom needs to be appreciated.The spider showers praises on the fly talking about her beautiful wings and colourful eye,pointing out to her handsomeness,word after word.

When he is done with the praise he informs the fly that in his parlour is a mirror which would show the fly her real beauty which she must have been unaware of until now. The spider is thus,finally successful in enticing the fly to enter his lair by using his seductive
praise.The spider possesses the art of flattery.He is sure about the power of his flattering words and the strength in his charm.

 GET WORKBOOK SOLUTIONS FOR CH- 9 The Spider and the Fly REVERIE POEMS  ON www.ischub.com

(b) “The Spider and the Fly” is a cautionary tale against those who use flattery and charm to disguise their evil intentions. Discuss.

Mary Botham Howitt compares the Spider to evil counsellors and the Fly to common people.According to the poem,evil counsellors always suggest ideas to people,ones that make people uncomfortable for their personal gains.To do so,they suggest features and facilities that go beyond the usual.Thus,making the facilities irresistible. Howitt describes the character of evil counsellors through the character of a creature as simple as a spider that works with similar techniques to have its daily meal.
To a Spider,a Fly is nothing but a meal but its actions display a character and the intent similar to evil counsellors-people who pose to be helpful but their intention is restricted to
only their personal needs.

The Spider tries to lure the Fly to its den,telling the Fly how lucky it would be to enjoy luxuries at its cave.Evil counsellors are similar,offers proposed
by them seem to be very helpful and attractive but later,people fall into their trap due to greed. Howitt has made an attempt to describe the methods used by evil counsellors by relating to
the life of a Spider.People,at times,consider a Spider to be a negative creature,due to the fears they have of them.Howitt also urges people to be aware of the decisions they make as
the evil counsellors ideas to capture people doesn’t remain stagnant.They expand continuously.

- Advertisement -

"So he wove a subtle web,in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the Fly.”

The lines above are the evidence from the poem which show how evil counsellors think and that they do not count on one single idea to capture others for themselves. Howitt describes that people should stay away from people with the Spider-like character.
In her poem,Howitt describes such people to be evil counsellors.People should stay away
from ideas that seem extremely suspicious and not approach them the second time.The Fly is similar to common people who are aware of every situation they face but fail to prove
their point in the end.They get lured by empty offers,which have no material in them and are meant to exploit them.

The Fly is clever at the beginning of the poem.She dodges the Spider’s offers,which are directed towards trapping her,and is stubborn,acting upon her will and what she believes.
There are several lines supporting this statement.Some of them are:

"O no,no,’said the little Fly,’to ask me is in vain,”
"Ono,no,’said the little Fly,for I’ve often heard it said,”
"O no,no,’said the little Fly,’kind Sir,that cannot be;”

- Advertisement -

People often fall prey to flattery and in the same way,the Fly also fell prey to flattery by the Spider,which helped the Spider to have her for his dinner.The line”Hearing his wily flattering words,came slowly flitting by.”shows how people,no matter how stubborn they are,
fall prey to flattery.The poem’s motive is to make people aware that flattery is never good and people should stay away from it.
The fly in the poem,possesses a strong personality and she resists the temptation to enter the spider’s parlour for long.The spider introduces various specialities of his home to her
but she refuses to accept his invitation.She says she is aware of the dangers of entering his house.

She knows that those who go up the winding stairs of his parlour,never return.And
those who enter his pantry are themselves reduced to food.The fly is determined not to fall prey to the enticement of the spider but finally when he begins to praise her,she starts weakening.

GET WORKBOOK SOLUTIONS FOR CH- 9 The Spider and the Fly REVERIE POEMS  ON www.ischub.com


The flattering words that he uses for her beauty,her wings and her eyes,make her forget how dangerous and untrustworthy the spider was.As he keeps on praising her, she moves close to the web and loses complete sense of the perils she was putting herself in.
The spider merely gave a boost to her ego and she forgot all that she had learnt about him and lands directly in his grasp.He grabs her and takes her to his lair to feed on her.The fly lost her determination because she was tempted by the seductive praises of the spider,who used great words to befool her into believing she was very beautiful.
In the final stanzas of the poem,Mary Howitt has narrated a fable about a spider and a fly.

In the initial stanzas,she narrates the story of how the spider tries to tempt the fly to come to his den but she refuses each time and finally when he showers her with praises,she loses
control on herself and foolishly comes within the spider’s grasp.This leads to her being killed and devoured by the spider.After narrating the story,the poet moves on to give a priceless advice to the reader.The poet advises all her readers not to be fooled by flattering words that any cunning person can use to tempt them to do something.

One should have a strong control over one’s self because the self is hungry for praise and adulation and it is
tempted by the flattery it receives.Young people are raw in age and don’t often understand the layers of human personality.It is possible that they mostly believe the words they hear.
It is necessary for the young ones to know that a person may not really mean what they are saying.Not everyone who praises you is a real well wisher.It is probable that people praise
us and shower us with adulation in order to make us believe a thing that is not true.A strong person is that who stands undeterred and unshaken in the face of praise or criticism.

(c) How is “the spider and the fly” are didactic poem?

A didactic poem is a poem which teaches or explains some thing such as a truth, a moral, a principle or a purpose.
‘ The Spider and the Fly’ is no doubt a didactic poem as it has a strong moral or message for the readers. Howitt has originally written this poem to educate people especially children about the realities of the naturel world. The poetess tells successfully the children, how a cunning fellow with evil intentions, uses flattery to trap an innocent fellow.

- Advertisement -

Howitt shows four different ways, how tricky and cunning Spider, who symbolises — crooked men, follows to trap the naive fly who symbolises — innocent women.
Initially the spider tries to appeal the Fly’s sense of curiosity, to lure her into his home. He uses very friendly words to invite her into his ‘prettiest parlour’ which is also filled with ‘many pretty things’. The fly replies that it is futile to invite her, because she knows that anybody who goes in, never comes out.
Next time the spider appeals to the fly’s weariness. Showing his concern he offers her, his comfortable bed with fine sheets saying


 “there are pretty curtains drawn around and the sheets are fine and thin”.

The spider also offers her to securely tuck her into his bed. The fly responds in negative as she has often heard that those who sleep on Spider’s bed” never wake again”.
Third time the spider appeals to her hunger. Showing his courtesy he tries to tempt her with the offer of nice food from his pantry. But the fly replies that she doesn’t wish to see whatever lies in his pantry.
Now, being rejected so many times, the spider ultimately plays his best trick which he had saved for the last. He targets the weakness of being taken over by flattering comments. He flatters the fly by sweet, witty and wise. He appreciates her beautiful wings and brilliant eyes. He offers her to look upon herself in his mirror. This time the fly is quite flattered, she not only thanks him for appreciating her but says she will call on another day.

“And bidding you good-morning now, I’ll call another day.”

At this point the spider goes inside his ‘den’ to weave a subtle web, because he realises that he has successfully flattered and deceived the fly.
When the spider praises the fly’s beautiful wings, her diamond like eyes, she is trapped to such an extent that she herself moves towards her death, “thinking only of her brilliant eyes and green and purple hue” and her ‘’crested head’.

The Fly despite knowing the spider’s evil intent and cunningness, falls into his trap. The poem thus ends with an appeal never to pay heed to “idle, silly, flattering words”. Thus one should always remember this tale when encountered by an “evil counsellor”.

GET WORKBOOK SOLUTIONS FOR CH- 9 The Spider and the Fly REVERIE POEMS  ON www.ischub.com

- Advertisement -