What I Require From Life Summary

This essay “What I Require from Life” was written by a British-Indian writer, John Burdon Sanderson Haldane. This essay reflects socialistic convictions demanding democratic activities in work places. The essayist has not demanded a very big and impossible thing here. He has demanded just the basic needs; they are food, water, clothes, and shelter.

Along with these needs, he thinks that there are other things like basic needs such as work, freedom, health and friendship. He has demanded a decent wage the workers so that they will be benefitted from it. Every man and woman should be employed and they should be paid to uplift their living standard. He wants the workers to see the fruit of their own work not in profits for others. The fruit of the work should be used for their own and their friends’ well-being.

His personal complaint is that his work is not applied. He claims that workers do not get an opportunity to use the fruits of their work in capitalism; only the company owners will be benefitted, and there increases a vast gap between the workers and the owners.

He wants freedom; particularly, freedom of speech so that everyone can speak and write what to think to create awareness and put down their opinions. He demands health facility because if we become ill, we cannot work. So, he wants to be fit for work and enjoyment in the intervals. He wants to die if he cannot work any longer. He wants that industry should be controlled by the workers, and freedom should start in the work place.

He wants friendship in scientific and political work. He wants the society of equals who will criticize him, and whom he can criticize. He says that he cannot be friends with a person whose orders he has to obey  without criticism. And also, he wants friendship with the persons who have equal status with him; and it is possible only in socialism but not in capitalism. So he wants the classless society where everyone is equal.

In addition to these, he demands peace and security because fascism (a political system of government led wants there should not be wars like the world wars. He believes that fascism should be dead to have perfect peace. So in conclusion, he says that he requires food, warmth, work, liberty, health, and friendship. He requires socialism in the society where he lives. Finally, he wants a very splendid death like the death of Socrates.

What I Require From Life Questions And Answer: Understanding the text

a.How does the writer distinguish between a peaceful age and a heroic age?

Ans: The writer distinguishes between a peaceful age and a heroic age as he considers that his birth is a peaceful age while his youth is a heroic age in which he can do brave things in the youth.

b.Why does the writer want more freedom of speech than most people? 

Ans: The writer wants more freedom of speech than most people because he wants to speak and write against the dictator and the capitalism.

c.According to the writer, what are the four general human needs? 

Ans: According to the writer, the four general human needs are

i. work,

ii. freedom.

iii. health, and

iv. Friendship.

d. What is the difference between desire and demand according to the writer?

Ans: According to the writer, desire is a wish to have something for our own interest whereas demand is a very firm request for something that somebody needs.

c.Why does the writer demand security?

Ans: The writer demands security for peace because peace is also one of the important needs for the human beings as everything and everyone is polished in the peaceful environment.

Reference to the context

a.Explain the following lines with reference to the context: 

a. “The satisfaction of adventure is something much more solid than a thrill.” 

Ans: The essayist thinks that adventure is not what we do to risk it for the mere sake of risk because love of adventure does not mean love of thrills. He spent six weeks in Madrid and he got only thrill from reading Rimbaud’s poetry. So, it is also something creative activity for a change in the society which is more solid than a thrill.

b.”I want the workers to see the fruit of their own work not in profits for others, but in their own and their friends’ well-being.” 

Ans: The essayist wants that there should be socialism but not capitalism because the workers can enjoy the fruits of their works in socialism which profits for themselves for their own and their friends’ well-being; but in capitalism, they have to work for the profits for capitalists and they cannot taste the fruits of their work. So, there wages should enrich them but not the others, i.e. capitalists.

c.Why do you think the essayist has taken reference from the ancient philosophers? 

Ans: I think the essayist has taken reference from the ancient philosophers because those philosophers also argued for the sake of the workers and socialism. So, to make his arguments strong on workers’ welfare and socialism, he has done so.

d. Discuss the essay in terms of its language, purpose, subject, point of view and mode of writing. 

Ans: The writer has written this essay in simple and lucid language to express his opinions about socialism very clearly. His purpose of writing this essay is to convince the readers to uplift the life standard 

to show the life standard of the workers in socialism and capitalism. His point of view is that the workers should be benefitted themselves from their works for their prosperity and that should not profit for others. He has used a descriptive mode of writing in his essay “What I Require from Life”.

Reference beyond the text

a. What do you require from your life to be happy and satisfied ? 

Ans: As the essayist has mentioned in the essay, I require the basic need- food, water, clothes and shelter along with freedom of speech and security to be happy and satisfied.

b. What is socialism? How is it different from capitalism ? 

Ans: Socialism can be defined as a set of political and economic theories based on the belief that everyone has an equal right to share of a country’s wealth and that the government should own and control the main industries whereas capitalism is taken as an economic system in which a country’s businesses and industry are controlled and run for profit by private owners rather than by the government. So in socialism, everyone gets equal chance in the country’s wealth while only the limited people get benefit economically in capitalism.

c.Write an essay about your dream house. ‘मेरो सपनाको घर’ शीर्षकमा एउटा निबन्ध लेख्नुहोस् ।


My Dream House

I have a dream of my house that I will build in my future. My house will be of two and half stories in a modern architecture. It will be an earthquake resistant house. The rooms will be spacious with the facility of ventilation for air and light. There will be ten rooms in total; four rooms on the ground floor, four on the first flat and two on the top floor.

The rooms on the top floor will be used for the kitchen and the dining room. On the first floor, there will be a drawing room, two bed rooms and one for study. Likewise, the rooms on the ground floor will be given to people for rent. There should separate toilets and bathrooms in each flat. My house will have a paint of multicolours including pink, light green and sky blue on the walls of outside and inside. I will appoint an interior designer for internal decoration of the house. There should be a small but beautiful garden in front of the house where there are different flowers blossoming and the various insects will be busy hovering around the flowers and sucking the nectar. There will be the garage beside the house where my white coloured car will be parking. In front of the house at the front door, I will have a verandah to perform activities. A big and beautiful gate will add a beauty to my house. The house will be enclosed by a big, decorated and colourful wall from surrounding. To sum up, a house is a place where we get peace, laughter, and protection from everything. So I will build it with the consultation of an architect for the same.