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Literature Chapter 2 - We're Not Afraid to Die

This article will help you to learn about the summary, characters and themes in chapter 2, NCERT Class 11 English Hornbill – We’re Not Afraid to Die. It will help you to understand the gist of the story and important phases in this story.


This chapter deals with a first-person account of an adventurous ordeal that one family experiences. The author gives a brief about the voyage, taken by his family to duplicate round the world voyage which was made 200 years earlier by Captain James Cook.

The author and his family had always dreamt of sailing in the British Waters. In this chapter, you will study about the adventure and the struggle of this family during the voyage. The never accepting defeat attitude by all the family members is beautiful to learn.

Character List

  • Author – A 37-year old businessman who has dreamt to sail and has spent many years honing his sailing skills to finally achieve his dream of sailing in the British Waters.

  • Mary – Author’s wife, a woman with courage. She supports her husband’s dream of sailing and is ever ready to face any adventures.

  • Jonathan – Author’s – 6-year-old son. A little boy with great wisdom and understands the importance of family and wishes to be together even if they all die.

  • Suzanne – 7-year-old girl with patience and perseverance. She dares to endure pain and chooses to remain silent, not to bother her father. She understands the severity of the situation and behaves way ahead of her age.

  • Larry Vigil – American crewman.

  • Herb Seigler – Swiss crewman to help the family sail in the Indian Ocean.


The story We’re Not Afraid to Die speaks about the adventures of a family which is out on a voyage. This story is an encounter described by the author which he experienced while taking the voyage. You will witness a stream of unfortunate events that lead to a disaster for this family living its dream of sailing. The story brings many emotions which helps you to understand the importance of bonding in a family and you will see how each member of the family perseveres to survive this deadly situation.

In this story, all the characters are brave and love each other immensely. The surprise package is the kids who show great courage in such a difficult time and give moral support to their father who struggles to save everyone. The story represents how courage can help you overcome any situation. It beautifully highlights the struggle of each member of the family and the combined efforts of all the members that helped them survive such a catastrophic event.

The story also shows the struggle of a father determined to save his family and leaves no stone unturned to bring the situation under control. It also brings the combined efforts of each character to fight this situation. The little boy Jonathan exhibits a great deal of courage and is also ready to die if all his family members are together. All that matters is that they are together. The young girl Suzanne is seriously injured but chooses not to bother her father who is struggling to save everyone.

This entire story revolves around the family and their positive attitude which saved everyone. The whole family stands together and fights this situation with an indomitable spirit. The story shows how unity might help you to overcome the toughest of situations. The family members trust the author and how their faith in him boost his confidence to fight. In this chapter, you will learn how your attitude can affect your performance in any situation.

To know more on NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 2, and for ‘Were Not Afraid to Die’ NCERT Solutions, refer to NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 2 PDF.

Click on the links below to browse Class 11 English Chapter 2- We’re Not Afraid to Die question and answers.  

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