Where the Mind is Without Fear Summary and Questions

Where the Mind is Without Fear poetry by Rabindranath Tagore.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Where the mind is without fear appreciation.

Read the poem write an appreciation  The of the poem in 12 to 15 sentences with the help of the following points


  • Title
  •  Poet
  •  Rhyming scheme
  •  Favourite line
  •  Theme/ Central idea
  •  Figures of speech 
  •  Special feature-  type of poem, language, tone, implied meaning, etc 
  •  Why I like / dislike the poem

About the Poet

Where The Mind Is Without Fear is written by Rabindranath Tagore. Rabindranath Tagore is a freedom fighter and a famous poet, painter and writer. He is also a Nobel Laureate. He won the Nobel for his book Gitanjali. This poem is part of Gitanjali one of his vastly read and discussed poems. It was originally composed in Bengali and later he himself translated it into English. It is a poem with no uniformity of rhyme.

Rhyming Scheme

Rhythm is a free verse poem with figures of speech like Metaphor, Alliteration, Synecdoche, Apostrophe.  

Summary of the poem

Rabindranath Tagore wrote this poetry while the country was looking forward to breaking away its shackles and gaining independence from the British. He writes in the poem that he looks forward to live in a country where there is no fear and people can walk proudly or without fear. He wants to live in a country that is united and not divided by petty differences. He wants the citizens of the country to be truthful and work towards perfection. The citizens should be driven by reason and logic and not by tradition. He believes that when people are open minded only then will the country be truly free.

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The central or main idea

The main idea of the poem Where the mind is without fear, is that the poet wants his country to be free, living in peace and not broken because of differences. He doesn’t desire narrow mindedness. He wants this place just like heaven where there are no lies, no fear and knowledge should be free. Everyone should be on the right path. The poem is like a prayer. The poet is praying to God for heaven on earth.

My favourite line in the poem

My favourite line of the poem is where the ‘mind is without fear and the head is held high’  it means that there should be no fear and you should be proud of the place you live. 

Line by Line explanation of Where the mind is without fear

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Why I like the poem

I like this poem because it tells us to be united, truthful, stop being narrow-minded and achieve our goals.

Questions and Answers.

What does the poet pray to the almighty for ? 

The poet prays that knowledge should be free. World should be united not broken into small pieces there should be no discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, class and colour in societies and between countries of the world.

Everyone should speak the truth and each and everyone should  work hard to achieve their goal. All the rituals and superstitions which are harmful should be stopped. The poet wants the world to be free and the conditions of total freedom are good thoughts, good words and good deeds while respecting others. The poet wants the world to be just like heaven.

What are ‘reason’ and ‘dead habit’ compared  to ?.

  1. Reason is compared to a clear stream. It is supposed to be the right path. Whatever we are doing is beneficial for everyone and not to do things which may harm or hurt others. That we accept reason, logic and science.
  2. Dead habit is compared to dreary desert sand. These are the old tradition, ritual, customs, superstitions which may cause harm. 

What does the poet wish for ?

The poet wants the world just like heaven where people do not cheat others and there is no narrow-mindedness and everyone is full of good thoughts and positive energy. The word should come out from the depth of truth which means people should tell the truth. Everyone must make efforts to do their best and achieve the goal of freedom for everyone. 

English Workshop

(1) In your Notebook write down lines from the poem as a proof of the following.

(a) Tagore wishes for a nation where people are truthful

Where words come out from the depth of truth

(b) The poet would like everyone to work hard to reach their goal and in the long run reach perfection.

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection

(c) The poet wishes that everyone in his country holds his head high in dignity.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

(d) The poet dreams of a nation where knowledge should be free to all.

Where knowledge is free

(e) The poem is a ‘prayer’.

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

(2) Read the columns carefully and match the expressions with their meanings.

(1) The head is held high

(c) A person with self respect and proud of possessing it.

(2) Narrow Domestic Walls

(d) Narrow mindedness

(3) Knowledge is free

(e) Education is given to all

(4) Depth of Truth

(b) Sincerity of heart

(5) Mind is without fear

(a) A fearless person

(6) Stretches its arms

(h) Aim at perfection

(7) Clear stream of reason

(g) Clear thinking

(8) Dead habits

(f) Dried, infertile land of sands

(9) Ever widening thought and action

(i) Broadening the outlook and attitude

(3) (A) Answer the following questions in your own words. 

(a) How is the world broken into fragments ?

The world is broken into fragments due to the divisions on the basis of religion, caste, class and color. In societies and between countries of the world people or narrow minded people think only about themselves. 

(b) Explain what the tireless striving should be for ?

Tireless striving means continuous efforts and struggle should be made because there is no elevator for success you have to take stairs. 

(c) Where words come out with depth of truth. Explain in your own words ?

The line means that you should never lie no matter what. If your truth can help an innocent or even go against you – go for it. Justice should always prevail. Justice should never be denied. If truth prevails no innocent person will be punished for a crime of another.  

(d) Who is thee in the poem? What does the poet appeal to thee to do ?

Thee means you and in the poem Where the mind is without fear, the poet is praying to almighty God. He  asks god for peace. The poet appeals to god that no one should fight, everyone should respect one another and speak the truth instead of lying and trying to harm each other.

(d) What qualities does the poet wish to inculcate in his country men ?

The poet wants his countrymen to never fear and tell the truth. If this will be the case then the people will be proud of themselves and the country. He wants everyone to be united. He wants no discrimination on the basis of caste religion gender society extra. Everyone should work on the right path and not follow or do anything that may cause harm to others. Everyone should have good thoughts and respect one another. 

(B) Write in your own notebook your own responses and justify, where needed

(a) Is the poem a prayer for India alone ?

No. The poem Where the mind is without fear is for every country and nations should follow it to make the world a better place. 

(b) What should the words we speak reflect ?

The words we speak should reflect the truth, sincerity and we should have good thoughts for everyone. 

(c) What should people keep on widening? How can it be done ?

We should keep widening our thought and action. In other words it means our outlook. We should be a just society where there is no discrimination, so that we can achieve our goals and dreams and help others find their and achieve their goals too. Our thought and actions should not be selfish but selfless.

(d) From what darkness of night should a nation awaken ?

From old dead habits which are old traditions, customs, rituals which are harmful for a progressive society. 

(e) What attribute of Rabindranath Tagore does the poem (prayer) reflect ?

The poem ‘Where the mind is without fear’ reflects the sincerity of Rabindranath Tagore and his love for the nation.