One Act Plays

1. The Bear

Q.1.    Describe the quarrel between Smirnove and Popova.

Or      Why does  Popova call Smirnove Bear and Bourbon?

Or      Why does Smirnov demand of her and why? 1997

Or      what is the attitude of towards Smirnove?

            Smirnov is a landowner and retired army officer. Nicholai, Popova’s late husband, had owed him a sum of 120 rubbles before he died. He comes to Popova for the repayment of the loan. She is in her mourning condition and does not deal with money matter. She says that she has no ready cash that time. Moreover, her steward will pay him when he comes from the town.

            Smirnov has his own problems. He has to pay interest on a mortgage the next day. If he fails to pay, they will take his estate. Secondly, his debtors avoid him on one excuse or the other. He is filled with rage and insists on getting payment. Popova says that she cannot pay him that day. They both lose temper and assume hard attitude to each other. She forbids him to get inside. But Smirnov does not budge at all. He prefers to stay at her place even if it is for a week or for a year.

            Popova is in a great fix. She does not know to deal with such a strong headed person. He becomes just like a rough or ill-mannered person. He shouts and threatens Luka, her servant. He criticizes women. When it all becomes intolerable for her, she calls him a boor, a bear and a monster for many times due to his rough and ill manners. The title bear is named after her word. They both challenge to fight a duel with pistols. Popova does not know how to fire. There is turning point when he tells him he how to fire. During this training they fell in love with each other. 276

Q.2.   Explain the life/feelings of Popova after the death of her         husband?

Or      what kind state of mind is Popova in? 1997

Or      Why does Popova shut herself in the four walls of the house?

            Popova is a young and beautiful with roses in her cheeks. She becomes widow at the prime of her life. Her husband was a rich land lord of Russia. She loves her husband very much. When the play opens, Popova is in deep mourning. She has fixed her eyes on the photograph of her late husband. She has mourned the death of her husband for seven months. Luka, her servant, wants her to come into lime light and enjoy life but she does not heed to Luka’s advice. She declares ‘My life is already at an end. He is in his grave, and I have buried myself between four walls. We are both dead.‘ She feels that life has lost all its meaning for her since her husband died. ‘Let his ghost see how well I love him.’

She loves her husband even though he was unfair, cruel and unfaithful. She professes her sincerity and loyalty to her husband by saying, My love will die out with me, only when this poor heart ceases to beat. Nickolas, her husband, deceived and quarrelled with her. He neglected her for weeks. She claims that she loves him in his death and will never forget him though he wasted her money for his own enjoyments. She says that she will not marry anybody till the last moment of her life. She further says as: “This best of men shamelessly deceived me at every step! After his death I found in his desk a whole draw full of love letters.” Despite the shameful acts of her husband, she claims that she loves him truly. (Words 270)

Q.3    What are the complaints of Popova against her husband?

Or      Why does Popova condemn her husband?

Or      Write a note on popova’s married life.

            Popova is a young and beautiful with roses in her cheeks. She becomes widow at the prime of her life. Her husband was a rich land lord of Russia. She loves her husband very much. She is a loving wife but she is not satisfied with her husband. In her own words she is a good virtuous little wife. She condemns him and has many complaints against him. She says that her husband was unfair, cruel and unfaithful to her. He always deceived and quarrelled with her. She says to Smirnove, I gave him my youth, my happiness and my fortune but this best of men deceived me at every step. He was thankless and satisfied his animal spirits. As a young imaginative woman she loves him sincerely and passionately. But he was not a worthy husband. He led his life like an irresponsible foolish playboy. He made fun of her feelings. He spent her wealth lavishly. He used to leave Popova alone for weeks. She could not enjoy the pleasures of matrimonial life. She says, “He used to make love to other women and betray me before my very eyes.” She further says as: “This best of men shamelessly deceived me at every step! After his death I found in his desk a whole draw full of love letters.” Despite the shameful acts of her husband, she claims that she loves him truly. (Words 234)

Q.4.   Is Popova true to her profession of love for her dead husband?

Or      Popova catches our attention by not what she says but by what she does. comment.   2008

Or      Popova makes a mere show as a mourner. Discuss.

Or      The Bear shows the hypocracy of human beings. Discuss.

Or      Discuss Popova as an unreal and fake prude.

            The Bear is a satire on man’s hypocritical nature. Popova seems not to be true to her professions of love for her dead husband. She pretends and protests to be a true lover of her late husband. But she does not do what she says. It seems as if she were mourning for not enjoying the happiness of matrimonial life. She proved to be an unreal and fake prude by her false claims of being true to her husband even after his death.

When the play opens, she is in deep mourning. She has fixed her eyes on the photograph of her late husband. She declares ‘My life is already at an end. He is in his grave, and I have buried myself between four walls. We are both dead.’ She feels that life has lost all its meaning for her since her husband died. ‘Let his ghost see how well I love him.’

Nickolas deceived and quarrelled with her. He was unfair, cruel and unfaithful. He neglected her for weeks. He wasted her money for his own enjoyments. She professes, besides these  that her love will die out only with her death.

Popova protests love too much but changes her attitude just when Smirnov comes in her way. At first sight, he falls in love with her and offers to marry her. After a little show of anger, she accepts the offer because he is rich and strong masculine character. She can enjoy her missed matrimonial bliss. This attitude of Popova also brings the attention of the reader towards her. 261

Q.5.   What does Luka Advise to Popova? 1999 or Give Character     Sketch Of Luka

            Luka is an old faithful servant of Popova. When the play opens, we see him as an adviser. He is experienced. He is faithful and sympathetic. He takes care of Popova. He shows concern for her.  He advises Popova to stop mourning for her late husband. She is young and beautiful. She must come out and mix up with the neighbours and the army officers. She must enjoy her life. He gives his own example to her. He tells that his wife died when her time came. He grieved over her and wept for a month. He advises her to give up her isolation and resume her social life. She does not heed to Luka’s advice.

At the arrival of Smirnov he is in a fix. Luka provides food for laughter. His reactions, exclamations, his fears and worries about the new situation are a source of enjoyment for us. He is to obey his lady and he is intimidated by Smirnqv. He finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. He obeys Popova but he is helpless before Smirnov. Luka at once turns into a defender at the prospect of the duel. He begs Smirnov to leave the place but does not succeed with him. He is much worried about the duel. He cares for his mistress too much. He raises hue and cry to protect Popova. He calls the servants who rush with their respective tools to save their lady. He collects them to lace Smimov. But they are all surprised to see the couple in love. 258

Q.6    Discuss the play “The Bear” as a farce            2009 I

Or   The play “The Bear” is a farce full of noisy boisterous and        laughter. Discuss

Or      Write a short note on the comic elements in the play “The     Bear”.

Or      Bring out the ridiculous behavior of the characters.

            “The Bear” is a farce full of noisy boisterous laughter. The humour lies in the strange behaviour, actions and witty remarks of both Popova and Smirnov. Both are serious as well as non-serious. Both are obstinate as well as yielding. Both are ridiculous, funny and sentimental.

Smjrnov can mimic any situation. His way of talking, mimicry and pointed remarks provoked laughter. His way of entering the house is very enjoyable. His noisy remarks and orders to Luka excite laughter. Popova says that she is not the pleasure of being either your husband or your fiancé, so please do not make scenes.” When she gets angry, he bows before her and calls her “poetic creature”. Again he calls her gunpowder for her fiery nature which excites laughter.

Popova is also equally a source of laughter. In the beginning, she seems to be cherishing the memory of her dead husband. In the end, we see her in the arms of her enemy. She accepts Smirnov’s challenge to fight a duel. Then she tells him that she does not know how to fire a pistol. This thing provokes laughter. Once she rebukes Smirnov in these words “Do you think I am afraid of you because you have large fists and bull’s throat,” She calls him Bear, Monster and Bourbon and then she falls in his arms. The expected end of the play, the duel fight, also proves farce. 235

2. The Boy Comes Home

Q. NO.1. How does the war contribute to Philip’s maturity? What is the effect of war on Phillip’s personality? How does Phillip prove himself a mature person? 

War serves as the background of the story of the play. It does contribute to Philip’s outlook on life. It has affected and developed his maturity and personality. It helps him to understand human nature and matters of life. He has served the army for four years. He has developed a practical approach to human problems. As a result of his dealings with army personnel, he has learnt how to tackle the issues.

He has been mess president for two years. He has managed mess affairs quite capably and gained experience. He has been in command of the company for four years. During the course of his army service he has met grave situations. The war has widened his scope of understanding and broadened his view of life. Practical situations have enabled him to solve difficult questions concerning men and matters of life.

Aunt Emily, a kind hearted lady, does realise the new change and the new development in the personality of Philip. Just one incident about his dealing with the cook is enough to convince her of his abilities.

Uncle James is adamant and blind to his potentialities. He fails to appreciate the change brought on Philip by his four years in the army. His maturity reveals to him through dream. He brings Uncle James to his knees through tactful handling. He proves that he can look after himself and his affairs very well. He should be left to himself and entrusted with his father’s money. 247

IMPORTANCE OF DREAM SCENE

Q. NO. 2. Discuss the importance of the dream. or

“Was it a dream or wasn’t it. He will never be quite certain.” Explain.

Uncle James wants to settle his conflict with his nephew regarding money matters. He sits comfortably in wait for him. Soon he is asleep and dreams a dream. The important incident of the play takes place in his dream.

In dream, Uncle James orders Philip to get up early in the morning and take breakfast on time. He objects to Phillips’ smoking. He asks to join in his business of jam. Philip wishes to become an architect and demands for money left by his father. But James refuses to give till he attains the age of 25. He asks him frankly, “Do you think four years at the front have made no difference at all?” This is a pertinent question. But the uncle is blind to the new development. He calls him “an impertinent young puppy.” He also threatens to use the power of the money to force the boy into submission.

He takes out his revolver to put down the power of purse. He tells him ‘this revolver has killed twenty Germans.’ He points the pistol at his uncle. He asks timidly, “You are going to shoot your old uncle?” Philip further fills him with fear by saying, “I ought to “have thrown half a dozen bombs at you first,” When Philip counts one two, the old man falls on “his knees and offers to accept his terms and conditions. He begs for mercy. Uncle James proves to be a jackal in the grab of a lion. The nephew has done his job well’. Now his dream is over and he is awake. He is a changed man. Philip enters and agrees to join in his business of Jam. James baffles at his behaviour and says, “Was it a dream or wasn’t it. He will never be quite certain.” Uncle James is not sure about this new situation. 309

CONFLICT BETWEEN UNCLE JAMES AND PHILLIP

Q. NO.3. The play presents the universal problem of generation gap. Explain.

How was the conflict between Uncle James and Philip resolved? 2001, 2003

What is the nature of the conflict between Philip and his uncle?

The play moves round a conflict between Uncle James and his nephew Phillip. Both of them have different temperament and behaviour. It is due to the universal problem of generation gap. Uncle James represents old generation where as Philip represents young or new generation. Uncle James (old generation) is authoritative, conservative, disciplined, rigid and inflexible. He respects old values and traditions.  Phillip (The young generation) is adventurous, undisciplined, flexible and open to new ideas and rules. He disrespects old values and traditions. He does not accept any authority. He believes to put down force by using force. He wants to work independently. Uncle James orders him to get up early in the morning and take breakfast on time. He objects to Phillips’ smoking. He asks to join in his business of jam. He wishes to become an architect. Philip demands for money left by his father. But James refuses to give till he attains the age of 25. He uses the power of purse to make Philip submissive. Philip tells him that he is a matured young man and can manage his matters himself. But James does not give in. Philip takes out a revolver and a bomb to put the power of purse with the power of force. James understands the whole situation and agrees to give him money. In this way the conflict between Uncle James and Philip is resolved by the use of force. 237

Uncle James is not a lion but a jackal in the grab of a lion. 2006II

Uncle James is authoritative, conservative, disciplined, rigid and inflexible. he is a man of rules and principles. He respects old values and traditions. He is the guardian of Philip since the death of his father. He is a successful business man. He is very strict old man. He takes breakfast at 8 and does not allow any one to against it. His actual character is revealed through his dream. Uncle James orders him to get up early in the morning and take breakfast on time. He objects to Phillips’ smoking. He asks to join in his business of jam. Philip wishes to become an architect. Philip demands for money left by his father. But James refuses to give till he attains the age of 25. James is authoritative and proud of his wealth. He uses the power of purse to make Philip submissive. Philip tells him that he is a matured young man and can manage his matters himself. But James is still rigid and stiff. He does not give in. when Philip takes out a revolver and a bomb to put the power of purse with the power of force, James understands the whole situation and agrees to give him money. In this way, we see that Uncle James who is brave in the start of the play proves to be a cowardly person in his dream. So we can say that Uncle James is not a lion but a jackal in the grab of a lion. 248

Context:

     3. SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT

Q.1.    What do the Sydneys think about the burglar?

Or      What is the attitude of young generation towards crimes and             criminology?

 The Sydneys are a strange rich family where nothing happens except marriages and funeral. If an extraordinary thing happens to them they try to enjoy it however worst it may be. Enjoying the worst circumstances is the hall mark of Sydney family.

On a charismas morning a notorious burglur breaks into the house of Sydney. When he is trying to open the safe, Guy Sydney comes there. Wolf orders him to raise his hands by pointing his pistol at him. Guy Sydney instead of being afraid, receives Wolf warmly and offers him wine and soda. He tells him “You’re manna in the wilderness—you are indeed.”

Lattice comes into the room with the consent of Wolf. She exclaims “How brave of him! How thrilling!’ She says, “let’s sing to him gently—a Christmas carol.”ThenLord Redehester appears there. He says, ‘Glad to know you.” Lady Redehester, too, expresses her wonder to find Wolf in their house. She examines Wolf and exclaims, “The terror of England! And under our roof! How nice of him!’

Finally, the Bishop is brought to the scene of burglary. He sees Wolf and addresses him in his true colours. He does not praise him nor does he express his surprise at his presence in the mansion. The Bishop handles Wolf tactfully and at last dupes him into accepting an offer of making a large fortune by looting an another estate at a distance of three miles from there.

At the exit of Wolf, Lord Redehester calls him a grand fellow who has given them something to talk about. 263

Q. No. 2. Write down the theme of the play, ‘Something to about

Wolfs words: There ain’t no criminal classes, any more than virtuous classes. The rogues and the rulers may both come from the gutter or the Palace. A man can be in the House of Common today and the House of Detention tomorrow…’ best describe the theme of the play. In this world no body is born to be a thief or a lord. Circumstances make him what he is. It is possible that a child born in humble house may become a king and a child born in a palace may become a beggar or a thief. Wolf desires to have a caring and loving father like Redchester. He reveals the bitter fact that his father has not treated him well. It might be his father’s carelessness and indifference to him due to which he is a burglar. Otherwise his love and respect for his mother and his philosophical arguments show that inwardly he is a noble person. On the other hand Bishop who is born in an aristocratic family and is a religious person, is a materialist. Wolf dislikes Bishop for his hypocritical nature. He tells him: ‘You might be one of us yourself” Lettice’ words: ‘Gold always suits Uncle Charles’ throw light on the real nature of Charles. 210

Q. 3.             How does the Bishop try to get back the Christmas gifts?

Or     How does the bishop overcome the burglar? How are the tables     turned on Wolf?

Or     What is the role of the Bishop?

            When Wolf refuses to give them back their Christmas gifts, all the members of the family, except Lord Redchester, start abusing and cursing him. But all their entreating and cursing fail to soften his heart. Upon this, the Bishop comes forward and plays the dirtiest game. He uses the trump card. He asks the Wolf to spare them and in return they will help him plunder their neighbours. He tells him that Lord Wallaby is their next door neighbour. He is worth ten millions. He has got a precious gold plate in his dining-room and portable pieces of old china in the drawing room. The Wallabys will dine with them tonight and so from eight till eleven their house will be at his mercy. He can break into his house and grab booty worth many million pounds. He also tells him the secret corner of entering into house. Guy offers him their touring car to get the booty to town. The Wolf falls a prey to their trick and gives their presents back in the hope of getting more money from their neighbours. Thus the tables are turned and the robber himself becomes the robbed. Even he hands over his revolver to Lord Redchester. In this way, bishop succeeds in saving his family gifts from the burglur.  217

Q. 4   Draw a character sketch of the Wolf.

The Wolf is a notorious burglar of England. He is dressed in tight-fitting. He has a black cap on his head and a black mask over his eyes. He is carrying an electric torch in one hand and a bag of tools in the other. He has also got a revolver. He is said to be skilled in breaking safes. On the Christmas morning he enters Lord Redchester’s house with a view to robbing them. But he comes out himself robbed by them.

He is philosophical in his thinking. He thinks that there is no criminal classes or virtuous classes. The rogues and the rulers may both come from some humble place or some grand palace. He means to say that being rich does not mean that you are pious too. His speech is a mild attack on people in power. His behaviour and ideas show he is not a bad person by nature. He respects Lord Redchester because of his nobility and presents him his revolver. He hates people like Bishop who pretends to be what they are not. He tells Charles: ‘You might be one of us yourself” due to his hypocritical nature. His conversation shows that he is not clever but intelligent. We can say that he is not a wolf in sheep’s clothing but a Sheep in wolf’s clothing. 223

Q.5     The Wolf proves to be a sheep in the Wolf’s clothing. Discuss. 2001, 2002

Or

The Wolf is a burglar with a difference. Discuss.

            Lettice calls him a ‘lost sheep in wolfs clothing’. He pretends to be like the bloody brute but his behaviour shows that he is a gentle sheep. He is the ‘terror of England’ but there is nothing terrifying about him. During the time he stays at Redchester’s house he tries to open the safe but fails. He meets all the members of the family one by one. He threatens them to ‘plug’ them with his revolver but he does not harm any of them. He rather accepts their demands and makes them happy. His behaviour and ideas show he is not a bad person by nature. Circumstances seem to have forced him to be a thief. His words:  ‘If I’d had a father like that I might have been a very different man’ shows that his father is responsible for making him a thief. Even now he is a burglar but with a difference. He respects Lord Redchester because of his nobility and presents him his revolver. He hates people like Bishop who pretends to be what they are not. He tells Charles: ‘You might be one of us yourself” due to his hypocritical nature. His conversation shows that he is not clever but intelligent. We can say that he is not a wolf in sheep’s clothing but a Sheep in wolf’s clothing. 223

Q.7     Draw a character sketch of Guy Sydney.

Guy Sydney is a young man He is the son of Lord Redchester. He is the first who meets the Wolf. When we first see him he is in pajamas and slippers Wolf orders him to raise his hands by pointing his pistol at him. Guy Sydney instead of being afraid, receives Wolf warmly and offers him wine and soda. He tells him “You’re manna in the wilderness—you are indeed.”

Guy Sydney introduces the Sydney family. He seems to be proud of his being Sydney. He talks too much about them and considers them free from all evils. ‘Sydneys couldn’t be treacherous. ‘Sydneys never pull people’s legs. ‘A Sydney can’t lie.’ ‘A Sydney never talks through his hat. “The Sydneys are faithful unto death.’

He being intelligent person at once sides with his uncle and prompts the Wolf to follow his advice. He also tries to make him understand the right way to enter their neighbour’s house. He offers him his touring car to shift the booty to town.

Guy may have many qualities but the way he introduces his sister. Lettice, to the Wolf is just shameful. It shows his moral degradation. By mentioning her age and stressing upon her beauty he acts as a pimp. 208

Q. 8. What does the title ‘Something to Talk About’ signify?

The title ‘Something to Talk About’ suggests that the arrival of the world famous burglar in the house of Lord Redchester is an exciting incident about which they can talk at length in the days to come. They are spending a dull and boring life. Nothing ever happens to them. They never run away with other men’s wives or their money. They have never got into newspapers. They never even have accidents while hunting. The Sydneys are a strange rich family where nothing happens except marriages and funeral. If an extraordinary thing happens to them they try to enjoy it however worst it may be. Enjoying the worst circumstances is the hall mark of Sydney family.

But after the arrival of the Wolf everything changed. It was like a stone thrown into the stagnant water. It had created ripples in the calm of Tudor Manor. Now they found ‘some Christmas’ for them. The burglar had brightened their life. However, the ‘Something’ of the title is ambiguous Will they talk about the ‘terror of England1 or about the way they terrorized him and sent him home empty-handed? 186

4. SMOKES SCREEN

Discuss the conflict between old and new generations. Or

Smokes screen as a comedy of conflicts? Or

What type of ideas three main characters in the play, Primrose, Lucy and Susan represent? Or

What is the theme of the play?

            The play ‘Smoke-Screens’ presents the conflict between old and new generations on three levels. Conflict is one of the themes of the play.  Susan aged 50, represents the old while Primrose, 20 years of age, stands for the young generation. Lucy who is 40 years old serves as a bridge between the two.

            Susan is a simple country wife. Her married life is greatly successful. She does not approve of smoking, make up and going out on the part of Primrose. She does not like personal freedom that her niece enjoys. People of old generation advocate discipline and strict control over the children. They don’t wish to give them a free hand. They keep an eye on the activities of a child. She prefers even to spank a child in order to teach discipline.

            Primrose is a young girl of modern age. She has progressive views. To her, smoking is not something to be taken seriously. Going out to see friends is not a matter to be worried about. Applying make-up for attractive appearance is a matter of personal freedom. She says going with out make up is just like going out naked. She is vocal and outspoken. She pays no heed to moral lecture of her aunt. Primrose enjoys an intimacy with her mother whom she addresses by name rather than relationship.

            Lucy is the mother of Primrose. She has ruined her married life. She has divorced her handsome husband. She runs her own business of taxicab. Lucy bridges the gap-between the two. She is well aware of the old values and is also conversant with the modern trends. She gives her daughter latitude and shows full faith in her. She does not put any restriction on her daughter. She is also not against her going to night clubs.   323

            The conversation between Susan and Lucy is an analysis and appreciation of the conflict between the old and the new generations.

CONFLICT BETWEEN SUSAN AND PRIMROSE

How is Susan responsible for the conflict between herself and Primrose? OR Discuss the duplicity of Susan as the cause of her conflict and difference with primrose.

            Primrose and her aunt Susan don’t have happy relations with each other because of generation gap. Susan aged 50, represents the old while Primrose, 20 years of age, stands for the young generation. Susan is responsible for the conflict between her and Primrose. She becomes rude to her when her aunt teases her and tries to detain her from going to night club by concealing her bag. Primrose does not go to club without applying lipstick. So she pushes her aunt and finds her bag from under her. This makes her rude to her aunt. Generation gap is also another reason of their conflict.

            Primrose is a young girl of modern age. She has progressive views. To her, smoking is not something to be taken seriously. Going out to see friends is not a matter to be worried about. Applying make-up for attractive appearance is a matter of personal freedom. She says going with out make up is just like going out naked. She is vocal and outspoken. She pays no heed to moral lecture of her aunt.

            On other hand, Susan is a simple country wife. She has orthodox views about life. She does not approve of smoking, make up and going out on the part of Primrose. She does not like personal freedom that her niece enjoys. She advocates discipline and strict control over the children. She does not wish to give them a free hand. An eye should be kept on the activities of a child. She prefers even to spank a child in order to teach discipline. So the generation gap between the old and the young is the main cause of conflict. 277

CHARACTER SKETCH OF PRIMROSE

How does Primrose tackle the question of her marriage? OR Do you think Primrose is an intelligent girl? Is her decision of Marrying wise? OR What is the difference between the attitude of Lucy and Primrose?

Primrose is brought up in a peculiar situation. Her mother has married and divorced her father, Charles, who was a handsome fellow. She has received her schooling among children of broken homes. Her mother has afforded her liberal altitude and latitude. She tackles the matter of her marriage wisely and tactfully.

Primrose is an intelligent, understanding sort of girl. She can put two and two together to appreciate a situation. She does not take sides but entertains a good view of both the parents. She has learnt an experience and made a worthwhile conclusion about the marriage of her parents.

She has fallen in love with John, a footballer of international repute. He is running an advertising agency quite successfully. But he is an ugly-looking fellow. He is not charming like her father. But that is what she does not prefer in her life. She says that the success of marriage life depends on sincerity of feelings between husband and wife. He can give her joy and comfort. He can make her happy. Primrose uses her friend Clarice, John’s sister, to break the news of her intended marriage with her brother.

Primrose discusses the question of her marriage from all points of view. She alludes to the failure of her mother’s marriage. She says that she is not so brave and hard working as her mother is. She needs security and protection of a male member. She tells that she is a marrying kind of woman like her aunt. She explains why she prefers an ugly-looking lover or husband and convinces her mother of her choice. Thus   Primrose   tackles   the   question   of   her   marriage intelligently and tactfully. Her decision is correct because John has a good heart in his ugly body. 291

CHARACTER SKETCH OF LUCY

Lucy is failed not only as a mother but failed as a wife. Elaborate. 2009

`Lucy is a young and charming woman of 40. She loves and marries a handsome man named Charles. She looks at the things outwardly. She gives importance to his physical beauty and does not try to know what type of man he is. This is the basic mistake she has committed in her life. Her marriage is based on romantic love. She expects of her husband to attend to her and love her. But he is insincere to her. She does not tolerate his this attitude and divorces her husband. She is not greedy woman. She wants love of her husband not money. She does not accept any alimony. Apparently it seems that she is responsible for the failure of her married life but the onus of failure rests on her husband.

She has decided to live without the support of male member. She has established the business of taxicabs and has beaten men at their own game. Now she has a flourishing business. Since she remains busy in her business she can not pay proper attention to the psychological needs of her daughter. She has sent her daughter for schooling among children of broken homes. Her mother has afforded her liberal altitude and latitude. She has brought up her daughter with great efforts. Her daughter is the centre of her attention. She is the only source of solace and peace for her. She finds herself secure and happy in her company. When Primrose declares to marry against her wish, she suffers from a sense of loss and separation. So, she is pained at it. She cannot tolerate her separation. But she allows her to marry because she knows that all men are not alike. Here it seems that she is failed as a mother but it is not so. Though she can not pay proper attention to her, yet she loves her deep. She says to john showing her deep love and affection, “If you’r not kind to primrose I shall shoot you.” She has not spoiled her daughter. She proves to be very sensible, sensitive and confident girl who considers that inner beauty is important than outer for successful married life.

PRIMROSE’S DECISION TO MARRY AN UGLY

“It is always a losing game to be a mother,” says What does she mean by it? Or What is the reaction of Lucy at the decision of Primrose to an ugly man? Or What happens when primrose tells that she wants to marry the ugliest man of London? 2009II

Lucy has divorced her husband. She is leading a lonely life. Her only companion and friend is her daughter. She has established the business of taxicabs and has beaten men at their own game. Now she has a flourishing business. She has brought up her daughter with great efforts. Her daughter is the centre of her attention. She is the only source of solace and peace for her. She finds herself secure and happy in her company. When Primrose declares to marry against her wish, she suffers from a sense of loss and separation. So, she is pained at it. She cannot tolerate her separation.

After separation from her husband, she has to fight on two fronts. She has to earn her livelihood and to bring up her daughter. In childhood, her daughter completely depends on her. Now, she is young. Her dependence on her mother dwindles. She wants to be herself. She wishes to marry an ugly man who weighs 190 pounds. She says that although John is ugly yet he has a loving heart. Lucy objects to it but soon gets ready.

Then she realizes with a sense of pain that she is engaged in a losing game. She feels that now she will be deprived of the company of her daughter. She will remain alone. There will be no source of her consolation. She is not worried at her daughter’s marrying ugly person. She is visited by a sense of loss. That is why, she proclaims, “It is always a losing game to be a mother” Lucy assures Primrose that ‘I shall be very glad to see your future husband.’

LUCY’S MARRIED LIFE

What kind of life did Lucy have? How was her independent career a living protest against the necessity of marriage? 1999

Life is crook and fights back crooked. Life is fighting back at me through Primrose. Write a note on married life of Lucy in the light of the above statement. 1996

            Lucy is a young and charming woman of 40. She loves and marries a handsome man named Charles. She gives importance to his physical beauty and does not try to know what type of man he is. This is the basic mistake she has committed in her life. Her marriage is based on romantic love. She expects of her husband to attend to her and love her. But he is insincere to her. She does not tolerate his this attitude and divorces her husband.

            She has decided to live without the support of male member. She is leading a lonely life. Now she has to fight on two fronts. She has to earn her livelihood and to bring up her daughter. In childhood, her daughter completely depends on her. Now, she is young. Her only companion and friend is her daughter. She has established the business of taxicabs and has beaten men at their own game. Now she has a flourishing business.

            In spite of this she is not happy. She is sad and broken hearted. So she says,” Can any one fight life successfully? Life is cunning, life is crook and fights back crooked. Life is fighting back at me through Primrose.”  She has brought up her daughter with great efforts. Her daughter is the centre of her attention. She is the only source of solace and peace for her. She finds herself secure and happy in her company. She expects much from her daughter. When Primrose declares to marry against her wish, she suffers from a sense of loss and separation. So, she is pained at it. She cannot tolerate her separation. It is then she proclaims, “It is always a losing game to be a mother” so Lucy is not happy and satisfied with her life. Her independent career is a protest against marriage. 307

All the important characters are not what they seem or profess to be. Discuss.

Smokes screen brings out the conflict or contrast between inner and outer life of human beings. Or Explain thee title of the play 2001-II

            All the characters in Smokes screen suffer from inner conflict. They are not what they seem to be. They are happy and satisfied outwardly but inwardly they suffer from tension.

            Lucy is a smoke screen of a kind mother to Primrose. She brings up her daughter properly. Primrose wants to marry the ugliest man in London. Lucy does not agree but soon she gives her consent and pretends to be happy and satisfied hiding a lurking tension in her heart. She is inwardly broken and unhappy. She says that she will shoot John if he is not kind to Primrose. She will remain behind the screen.

            Charles Aston is a smokes Screen of a crooked and insincere person. He is beautiful and charming outwardly but inwardly he is an ugly man. From his appearance he is a lady killer.

Primrose is also not as she seems to be. She is a smokes screen of loving, beautiful, attractive and charming daughter. She goes out at night to night clubs decorated face. Without decoration, she considers herself naked. She marries the ugliest man in London. This decision startles reader and shocks her mother.

            John is a smokes screen of a good and nice man. His physical appearance is a smokes screen. He is ugly outwardly but inwardly he is a beautiful and charming man.

Susan is also not as she seems to be. She is a smokes screen of good woman who has regard for moral values. She is a liar and hypocrite.

            So, we can say that all the character suffer from inner and outer conflict. They are hiding their true identities and are using their outward faces as screens. 279

Write a short note on Victorian morality.

Queen Victoria raised the moral standards of the upper and middle classes and vice became unfashionable. Her era was well-known for the virtues of piety, honesty and integrity of character.    

Susan represents the Victorian attitude to life. She does not approve of Primrose’s liberty and latitude that her mother has allowed her. She hates her smoking. She objects to her independent movements.

Lucy serves as a bridge between the aunt and the niece. She understands Victorian attitudes and objections to the behaviour of children. She trusts her daughter and has full faith in her. Susan docs not like her niece to expose herself to the world outside her home.  She is a practical and well meaning sort of lady. But she sticks to Victorian values. She would even spank a child, if necessary, to teach discipline.

The Victorians treated their children harsh when young because they were going to be rich when old. They trained children to fit them for life’s battles. Susan is a country wife. Her marriage with her husband is successful. She has two immaculate sons. The success of her married life has depended on the integrity of character. Divorce in her case is out of question.

Who is John ? What is his appearance ?
Ans: John is brother of Clarice who is Primrose’s friend. He is an ugly fellow. Primrose chooses him for her husband. His sister Clarice admits this fact that he is the ugliest fellow of France. His external appearance is very ugly. According to Clarice, he is an absolutely devoid of beauty because ‘not ugly plus charm’. His face like a full moon with bristles on the top of it i.e. on his head he has rough hair. He is clean-shaven. He is clean, every way, but if a smudge is put on his nose it might improve it because it would be visible. She says that his weight is approximately one hundred and ninety pounds like a charging bull. Due to his over-weight he has given up dance.
Clarice more explains hid ugliness statically in these words that he is as much charming as a hippopotamus. In the end, she says that God has made him and no beauty parlour can do anything for him.

Author: readingi

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