Snapshot Notes (Class 11)

CBSE Class 11 English Snapshot Chapter 7 Birth

Written by cbselearners

Birth – A.J. Cronin


Birth – A.J. Cronin




This excerpt is all about Andrew Manson who is newly out of medical college and has just commenced his practice under the supervision of Dr Edward Page as an assistant in Blaenelly. It also highlights the efforts made by Andrew Manson in saving the life of a newly born dead child who finally gets to live because of him.
At the beginning of the chapter, we find Andrew Manson very sad and monotonous after having a disappointing evening with Christine, the girl whom he loves a lot. On reaching his home, he finds Joe Morgan, waiting for him, whose wife in pains and expecting her first baby after a long time. On a special request of Joe Morgan Andrew Manson goes to his home to help his pregnant wife. Although he is dead tired yet he picks up his bag and reaches Joe’s home with even complaining once.
Joe refuses to enter his house as he can’t see his wife in pains and decides to wait outside until the good news comes. But, Andrew Manson enters the home and finds two other women over there as helping hands i.e. Mrs Morgan’s mother and an elderly midwife who is sitting beside the patient waiting for the right time. Meanwhile, Andrew is given a cup to tea and he starts waiting for the moment whence he has to start his work on the patient. While waiting, he gets lost in the imagination of the episode that happened at Cardiff station and other married people’s life which is worthless and unreasonable.
At half-past three, he is called by the nurse on the top floor. Andrew Manson, without delaying, starts working on the patient incessantly. In spite of working so hard on the patient for such a long time, he finds the child born as lifeless when it is born. He hands over the dead child to the nurse and draws his entire attention to Susan Morgan who is breathless as well as desperate seeing the lifeless child. He manages to help her retain her breath after injecting the medicine through a hypodermic.
Now, Andrew Manson pays his all heed to the child who is lying lifeless. He kneels down & finds the child who is perfectly formed with the skin of lovely texture but dead. He feels out of wits as he has no idea how to save the lifeless child. Soon he is reminded of the same incident wherein a boy was resuscitated by the team of doctors born in the same scenario at Samaritan. Without wasting a single second, he begins the special method of respiration which makes no difference. He asks the nurse to bring two basins of cold and hot water each. When the water is brought, he starts dipping the child from one basin to another incessantly.
Despite his untiring efforts, the child doesn’t breathe. Andrew Manson doesn’t give up and continues his efforts until the lifeless child is brought to breathing. At last, the boy gets back to life which is seen and announced by the midwife. The child starts crying and the efforts put in by Andrew Manson bring fruit. He, though worn and tired, takes his jacket and goes out of the home without worrying about his bag. He gives this good news to Joe Morgan who has been expecting a child for a long time. Finally, he takes a sigh of relief that he has done something good at last.

Important Questions

Q. What did the elderly midwife think of the young doctor?
A. The midwife in the story remains doubtful about the young doctor’s success throughout the story. She was sceptic about modern medicine on one side and quite worried about the growing demand for modern doctors in front of her eyes, quite experienced and not ready to accept a change. Her act of placing the stillborn under the cot cements this suspicion about her character. She was indirectly establishing the failure of modern medicine by doing so.

Q. Why was Susan’s case one that called all Dr Manson’s attention?
A. Susan Morgan was about to bring forth her first baby after fifteen years’ of married life. Susan herself was keenly particular that the baby should survive any danger during her labour, even at the cost of her life. The miner family had been awaiting this childbirth and therefore, from the old woman to the rest, everyone trusted Dr Manson’s entire potential and skill for the baby’s safety.

Q. Why was Dr Andrew Manson’s mind heavy when he rushed to attend a case at Joe’s Morgan’s?
A. Dr. Manson was already a lot of exhausted, physically from his work and mentally because of his doubtfully considering marriage. He was worried about his own marriage that was yet to happen on one side and on the other he had to answer to the shattered and meaningless married life of his friends.

Q. Why did Joe Morgan come to Dr Andrew Manson’s residence? 
A. Though it was nearly midnight when Andrew reached Bryan Gower, he found Joe Morgan waiting for him, walking up and down with short steps between the closed surgery and the entrance to the house. At the sight of him, the burly driller’s face expressed relief. “Eh, Doctor, I’m glad to see you. I have been back and forward here this last hour. The missus wants ye — before time, too.” Andrew abruptly recalled from the contemplation of his own affairs, told Morgan to wait.

Q. ‘He had no premonition that this night call would prove unusual, still less that it would influence his whole future in Blaenelly.’ Comment. 
  • Susan Morgan’s case was very complicated.
  • The baby was born ‘stillborn.’
  • Dr Morgan exhibited unparalleled patience and hope.
  • The baby got resuscitated.
Q. Walking to Number 12 Blaina Terrace, Dr Andrew Manson was quite a lot less than himself. What had reduced Dr Manson into this state?

A. He went into the house for his bag, then together they set out for Number 12 Blaina Terrace. Usually so perceptive, Andrew now felt dull and listless.

Q. What set of character traits of Joe Morgan do you find interesting?
A. Interesting character traits of Joe Morgan are the followings:
  • The two men walked in silence until they reached the door of Number 12, then Joe drew up short.
  • “I’ll not come in,” he said, and his voice showed signs of strain.
  • “But, man, I know you’ll do well for us.”
Q. What did Andrew feel when he saw the lifeless baby?
A. Initially, Andrew was lost for a while. He didn’t know what was there to do. He felt like his dreams melting into thin air. He had two obligations – one to Susan Morgan who lay collapsed and the other to the stillborn baby. Both equally worth saving. He smashed a glass ampule and injected medicine into Susan’s blood. Throwing the syringe in haste, he made all attempts to bring Susan to breathing. Susan began to breathe though still half alive.

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