Topic outline

    • The Power of Determination (by Burt Dubin)

      About the passage

      Read to understand

      A. Answer these questions with reference to the context.

      ‘…he again heard the doctor and his mother speaking quietly.’

               a)   Who does ‘he’ refer to?

      Ans. ‘He’ refers to Glenn.


               b)   What situation was ‘he’ in?

      Ans. He heard the doctor saying that the fire has destroyed so much flesh in his lower body, that he has been crippled by his lower limbs for the rest of his life. Even on hearing this, he did not give up and decided that he would not be confined to a wheelchair. He will walk on his feet.


               c)   Why were the doctor and his mother speaking quietly?

      Ans. The doctor and his mother were speaking quietly so that Glenn would not get upset.


      2. ‘Once more, Glenn strengthened his resolve…’

               a)   When was the first time Glenn made a resolve?

      Ans. Glenn made a resolve for the first time when he heard that he would die.


               b)   What was his strengthened resolve the second time?

      Ans. His strengthened resolve the second time was that he would not be a cripple confined to a wheelchair. He would walk.


               c)   What helped him to make this resolve?

      Ans. His strong determination helped him to make this resolve.

      B. Answer these questions.

      1. What caused the accident at the school?

      Ans. One cold morning, someone had filled gasoline in the kerosene container. Glenn tried to use it to light the coal stove in the school room and disaster struck.


      2. Were the doctors hopeful of a recovery for Glenn? Why?

      Ans. The doctors were not hopeful because he had major burns and the lower half of his body was severely damaged.


      3. How did Glenn progress to the point of being nicknamed the ‘Kansas Flyer?

      Ans. When Glenn’s legs became strong enough then he began to run to school and everywhere else. Later in college, he joined the track team and participated successfully in events which earned him the title of ‘Kansas Flyer.


      4. What three factors helped Glenn to achieve his goal?

      Ans. The three factors that helped Glenn to achieve his goal were his parents’ love and support, his iron persistence and resolute determination and the encouragement he got from the townspeople.


      5. What distinction did he achieve in 1934?

      Ans. In 1934, he participated in an athletics event at New York’s Madison Square Garden and set a record for running a mile in 4 minutes and 8 seconds, the world’s fastest indoor mile.


      6. Match the columns to make meaningful sentences.



      a) Glenn Cunningham was given the

      i) discovered alive by the teacher and students. e

      b) The container was

      ii) in a half-dead condition. c

      c) He was rushed to the hospital

      iii) fame as the man who ran the fastest mile. f

      d) He spent many

      iv) task of warming the school before the others arrived. a

      e) Glenn was fortunate to have been

      v) filled with gasoline. b

      f) He eventually gained

      vi) months in the hospital. d


      7. Frame a question for each of the statements you made in the previous question.

      Ans. Questions

      a) What task was Glenn Cunningham given?

      b) What was the container filled with?

      c) What was his condition when he was rushed to the hospital?

      d) How long was he in the hospital?

      e) Why was Glenn fortunate?

      f) What did he become famous for?

      Discuss and write

      1. Is it possible to develop a sense of determination as a young child?

      Ans. Sense of determination means making one’s own choices, learning to effectively solve problems, and taking control and responsibility for one's life.

      Yes, it is possible to develop a sense of determination as a young child. Self-determination skills are most effectively learned and developed by practicing them. Young children should be given ample opportunity to use their self-advocacy, decision-making and socialization skills to prepare themselves for working and living in their community.


      2. What role do you think Glenn’s parents played in helping him achieve his goals?

      Ans. Glenn’s parents were brave too. When Glenn was released from hospital, his parents would massage his little legs every day. They wanted him to overcome his disability. His parents’ love and support played a great role in helping him achieve his goals.