A Farmer's Dream

In spite of being able to see many other things in this picture, we can say that the main subject of this picture is a human. This human is not only sitting in the boat but he is also doing something. Although he is just sitting in the boat, he is not free to spend his day without doing any work. He is both sitting in the boat and washing jute*, so we can possibly say that this man is either a farmer or a day worker.

A farmer’s daily activities are many, whether he has land or not. He has to cultivate land and he has to work hard every day. He both takes care of his land and prepares it for cultivation. He chooses a particular piece land and at the same time he cultivates crops that are suitable for his land. When his crops are ready, he collects them. When the crops produce a large enough quantity, he gets the money he deserves for his hard work when he sells the crops at the market.

Generally, a farmer has either a family to support, or if not, he has to live and work alone. After seeing this picture, I imagined that this man has a family. If that is true, then he probably has a wife and children to support. Though he is probably poor, I am sure that he wants to provide everything his family needs.

When we look at him it seems that his eyes show not only his struggle but also his dreams. We know that in our country almost every farmer lives ‘from hand to mouth’. He is also doing this, so he is probably neither happy with his life nor satisfied for this reason. In spite of this, he tries to live in a very good way even though he does not always live well.

Although he is poor, I think he is honest, and I think he is not only a hard worker but also patient. I think this picture shows what the farmer life is like, as well as his desire and future plans. For this reason, the man in this picture shows us a little of the dreams of the farmer and the things which he desires.

However, in spite of his pleasant dream, he still needs the right opportunity to make it come true. Not only does he need to work hard, but he also needs luck to work in his favour. To make his dream come true he needs to find a way to be successful while he carries out his plans. Although it is tough, he needs to continue working hard and not give up. He also needs to know both modern ways of farming and proper agricultural knowledge. We can see in his eyes that his desire is very strong, even though the picture shows us his poverty.

This farmer looks very simple, but it seems he wants to live in the same way as other people who have more comfortable lives than his own. Basically, his eyes show what he desires, so his dream is showing through in the end. Although this picture shows us that he is poor, it also presents us with the idea of the dreams of a farmer, a farmer who wants to improve his life and provide a better future for his family.


Learning Activities


  1. Words from the second 1000 high frequency General Service Word List. These words are very common in English, so it is important to learn them well.

agricultural    cultivate/cultivation improve        satisfied
collects    deserves luck        suitable
comfortable    honest patient        tough
crops    imagined probably        washing


  1. Glossary

Jute = a long, soft, shiny fibre produced from plants, that can be made into thread from which other items (such as rope and sacks) can be made. 


Comprehension Questions

  1. Understanding: What is this piece of writing mostly about…

a) a farmer’s daily business 

b) a farmer’s wife and family

c) a farmer’s dreams for the future

d) a farmer’s struggles?

  1. Remembering: Before cultivating his crops, what does the reading say a farmer needs?

  2. Remembering: What word in the last sentence shows that the farmer wants to make his life better? 

  3. Understanding: What two things does a farmer need to do or have make his dreams come true?

  4. Understanding: What does the expression “to live from hand to mouth’ mean?


Critical Thinking Questions

  1. Applying: Apart from hard work and luck, can you think of any other ways that poor people in Bangladesh can improve their lives and make their dreams come true?

  2. Analyzing: Work with a partner. Make a list of all the things a farmer has to do in his daily life (some from the reading, and some from your own knowledge). Now make a list of all the things that you have to do in your daily life. Which things are the same? Which things are different and why?

  3. Evaluating: In your opinion, which is better, to be poor and honest or to be rich and dishonest? Why?

  4. Creating: Work in a small group with other students. 

Imagine you are a community group in a farming area. The government has given your group a large amount of money to improve the life of farmers in your area. What would you spend the money on and why?

Create a short presentation in English to explain to the rest of your class… 

  • what you would do with the money 

  • why you would use the money in this way 

Imagine that your classmates are the farmers in your area. After you give your presentation they are going to work in pairs for about ten minutes and think of questions to ask you. Before they ask you questions, think about the kinds of questions they may ask you and be ready to answer them.