The Rebel


The Rebel by D.J. Enright from English Honeycomb

In this tutorial, we have covered the summary of the poem English Honeycomb written by D. J. Enright named 'The Rebel' and a detailed stanza-wise explanation for students to understand every stanza separately. The tutorial also incorporates a brief description of the author, the meaning of difficult words, and answers to the FAQ questions from the text to help readers take a thorough analysis of the poem.

Synopsis of ‘The Rebel’

The poem draws the picture of a revolutionary voice of the person who does not wish to be a part of mob mentality and does everything in opposition to prove his disagreement. A rebel is a person who does not follow the preset pattern of the crowd and defines his path in life differently.

The author has given many examples throughout the poem of how a rebel tries to act differently as the speaker says that the rebel will walk away from the trend if people are keeping short hair then he will grow the length of his hair.

There are several contradictory examples the author has given to form the character of a rebel because this person does not like the ways of the world. And the poet has majorly focused on teenage life when young people try to revolt against everything they find undesirable.

Detailed Explanation of ‘The Rebel’

Line 1 to 4

The speaker here addresses a person who is unlike ordinary people or at least tries to be. The poet says that when people follow the style of short hair, the rebel who is intending to look distinctive would increase the growth of his hair.

Similarly, just when the people start keeping long hair the rebel will unhesitantly chop off his long locks to again look distinguished. Thus, his rebellious nature will not let him sit quietly in the changing world and he will always strive to look different.

Line 5 to 8

The poet has now moved to a classroom stating that this rebellious nature becomes a part of some people from a young age. He says that when the whole class is gossiping during the school lesson or others taking part actively in class, the rebel would sit quietly in a corner and will not utter a word. But when other students are attending the lesson silently he would do just the opposite of the previous situation.

The revel would disturb the whole class with his mischievous activities and will not let others concentrate in the class as he would love to stand in situations like these by creating some noise and disturbance.

Line 9 to 12

The speaker gives another physical example of how the rebel would try to change his appearance by avoiding the compulsory instructions at school. The rebel would come decked in fashionable clothes when everyone else is wearing the uniform just to show his disagreement with conformity. And when others come dressed in fancy costumes he would portray himself in a much moderate style.

The author says that no matter what the situation is a rebel will always be ardent about his choices and show himself as someone unique.

Line 13 to 16

Now, the speaker has shifted the view from physical presentation to personal choices. He says that the rebel would prefer the company of a cat in a world where people admire dogs more. The rebel will always put a different point of view when a group of people has similar views on something.

Whereas in a different situation where a group of people chooses cats the rebel would again make a reverse preference by expressing his good remarks for dogs that how much he loves spending time with dogs or that they are the most loyal animals.

Line 17 to 20

In this stanza, the speaker is addressing nature and how the rebel would again manipulate his choices for nature also by expressing his desire for rain when everyone else is enjoying their time in the sunlight. And when people are amused by the rainfall and the fresh breeze flowing everywhere a rebel will complain about the sun not being present. He would wish for the sun to come and prove his contradictory thoughts right.

Line 21 to 24

A rebel would prefer to keep no company and sit in the corners of his home to read a book while others are going out to make new friends and do something productive like work. In the reverse situation when people are chilling at home and reading a book the rebel would suddenly feel the urge to go out, meet people and make themselves useful. The rebel will always pick a distant path where nobody goes as it is the key trait of their personality.

Line 24 to 28

Here, the speaker is again indicating the choices made by the rebel as he denies new opportunities when others are saying yes to the new things in life. And when people are satisfied with what they have, the rebel would try to achieve something new in life and wait curiously to grab any opportunity and say 'Yes please'.

Line 29 to 30

In the final lines, the poet gives two contradictory statements that it is good to have rebelled in our society as they bring change and transformation but becoming one can be a risky task. Because rebels have to face difficult situations as their nature is not accepted by the people who are living their lives on an orthodox pattern. So the poet warns the readers to not become a rebel themselves.

Difficult Words from the Lesson with Meanings

Rebel – a person who stands in opposition

Fantastic – something extraordinary

Soberly – in a simple manner

Preference – an act of choosing

Remark – to comment.


Qns 1. If someone doesn’t wear a uniform to school, what do you think the teacher will say?

Ans. The students will get punished if he/she doesn't wear a uniform to school because it is the protocol of every school that children must wear a uniform. If a student doesn't follow the instruction and wears fancy clothes to the school, he/she will have to face consequences.

Qns 2. When everyone wants a clear sky, what does the rebel want most?

Ans. The rebel always desires a different situation so when everyone wants a clear sunny sky he would want the rainfall most to change the way others look at the world and how uniquely he thinks.

Qns 3. If the rebel has a dog for a pet, what is everyone else likely to have?

Ans. If the rebel has a dog for a pet, everyone else would likely have a cat because a revel always likes to stay out of the trend

Qns 4. Why is it good to have rebels?

Ans. It is good to have rebels because rebellious humans have unique qualities that do not let them fit into society or become the voiceless part of this mob mentality.

Qns 5. Why is it not good to be a rebel yourself?

Being a rebel sometimes has its drawback as people do not accept the thought process of the rebel and they often get criticized by people for not following the preset norms of society.


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022

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