1. The Killers
Q.1: Describe the scene in Henry’s Lunchroom on the arrival of the Killers.
Or Describe Henry’s lunchroom and what happened there? PU 2004
Henry’s Lunch-room was a small restaurant, situated in Summit, a small town of America. It was visited regularly by middle and lower-middle class people. It was often visited by criminals in pursuit of their victims. At the time of preparations for dinner, two killers Al and Max entered the lunchroom at 5 p.m. They asked for some food that was not ready at that moment. They were provided with the available food like eggs, ham and Bacon. They ate with their gloves on. Their faces were different but they were dressed like twins. They were wearing derby hats, tight over coats, silk mufflers and gloves. They talked vulgarly.
After lunch, Al took both Nick and Sam into the kitchen forcefully. He tied them back to back and gaged them. Then Max told their intention to kill a man named Ole Anderson. By this murder, they wanted only to oblige and please their friend.
The atmosphere in the lunchroom was charged with horror and suspense. Then, slowly the suspense began to dissolve, as the victim did not turn up at his usual time. The killers decided to go back at 7 p.m. and the atmosphere came back to normal. After their departure, the proprietor sent nick Adams to Ole Anderson’s residence to warn him against the danger to his life. The business in the lunchroom resumed.225
Q. 2: What is the purpose of visiting Henry’s lunch room?
Or why do the killers enter Henry’s lunch room?
Or Why did they want to kill old Anderson?
Or The killers is a story about anonymous people nearly in anonymous setting. 2002
The story is about the attempt of the murder of old Anderson who often visited Henry’s lunch room, situated in Summit, a small town of America. It was often visited by criminals in pursuit of their victims. At the time of preparations for dinner, two killers Al and Max entered the lunchroom at 5 p.m. They asked for some food that was not ready at that moment. They were provided with the available food like eggs, ham and Bacon. They ate with their gloves on. Their faces were different but they were dressed like twins. They were wearing derby hats, tight over coats, silk mufflers and gloves. They talked vulgarly.
After lunch, Al took both Nick and Sam into the kitchen forcefully. He tied them back to back and gaged them. Then Max told their intention to kill a man named Ole Anderson. By this murder, they wanted only to oblige and please their friend.
The atmosphere in the lunchroom was charged with horror and suspense. Then, slowly the suspense began to dissolve, as the victim did not turn up at his usual time. The killers decided to go back at 7 p.m. and the atmosphere came back to normal. After their departure, the proprietor sent nick Adams to Ole Anderson’s residence to warn him against the danger to his life. In the end, Anderson said to nick Adams, “I am through with all that running around.” He had annoyed some one in Chicago. Since the hirelings were after him to kill him.253
Q.3: Who is Ole Anderson? Describe his strange reaction towards the incident. Or Character sketch of Ole Anderson
Ole Anderson is the central character around whom, the whole story revolves. He is a Swede boxer but now seems to be retired from the ring. He has so gentle nature that even the caretaker lady praises him. “He is an awfully nice man” When the killers leave the restaurant Nick the waiter goes to Ole Anderson to tell him about the incident but he behaves in a strange way. It seems that he is tired of running from his death. When Nick tells him about the killers about their appearance he just ignores it and says. “I don’t want to know what they were like” Nick even tries that he should inform the police but Anderson again refuses and says, “That wouldn’t to any good” He is also sure that the killers are after him that’s why he tells Nick. “No. it ain’t just a bluff’. His behaviour is so strange that all the time that he talks to Nick. He even doesn’t look at him but sees it well. It seems that he is really disappointed with his life. However, he discloses the reason that he was in trouble in Chicago. 192
Q. 4: “The Killers” is a powerful story. Discuss.
Or “The Killers” is a story of suspense and horror Discuss.
Or Discuss the Killers as a story of atmosphere.
Or The killers leave the place yet they leave behind them a looming shadow of death under which the reader experiences horror. Discuss. 2000-I
Or The killers is a thriller or crime story.
From the beginning till end, the writer has created a very powerful impact of horror and suspense in the reader’s mind. The killers’ entrance, their strange dresses and behaviour with the restaurant staff create suspense. Setting of sun and getting dark outside also contribute a lot to the horror in the atmosphere.
Al’s taking of Nick and Sam into the kitchen forcefully; tying and gagging them there show their terrible intention. When they disclose that they want to kill Ole Anderson, all the staff of the restaurant get terrified. They know even a minute detail of Ole Anderson’s visits to the restaurant. Then they keep watch mysteriously. The servants are certain of their death at any moment. The reader is also afraid.
Sam the cook is really frightened as he says to his colleagues “You better stay away out of it”. Nick is also horrified and he decides to leave the town immediately. In the end, when Nick informs Ole Anderson about all what has happened he is not afraid of his death. It is also an element of suspense. Hence the killers do create an atmosphere of suspense and horror which the readers can’t help feeling. 197
Q. 5 What does the story tell us about American Society?
The story is a realistic picture of American social life at the lower level of society. It is a movie picture. We can see the characters in action and can hear what they say. We learn a lot from what we see and hear. We learn that Americans are very practical and business like. They are neither romantic nor emotional. They do not try to sugar coat their bad deeds. They do not waste time in excuses and explanations. The killers in the story just announce that they are going to kill a man. They do not bother about excuses. They are callous like machines— horror proof and even shame proof. We see that crime is no longer a horror in American society. For some people it is just business. You can hire a killer as easily as you can engage a taxi. This is, of course, the bottom of moral decline. American society of the present day is a purely materialistic society. The people have lost their softer human side. They think only in terms of money and power. Everybody lives for himself. Therefore nobody cares for what another does. Nobody is interested in the affairs of the man next-door. Nobody likes anybody to stand in his way. Therefore they do not hesitate from doing away with their rivals. This purely selfish attitude of individuals results in the collapse of society. And American society is now on the verge of a terrible collapse. 244
Q. 6 The killers are not only strange in their dress but also in their behaviour. Discuss.
Or How did they behave with the attendants of the hotel?
The Killers is an interesting story by Hemingway in which two hirelings named Al and Max want to kill a man. As they enter the restaurant no one suspects them to be professional cutthroats. They look strange not only in their outward appearance but also in their behaviour. They ate with their gloves on. Their faces were different but they were dressed like twins. They were wearing derby hats, tight over coats, silk mufflers and gloves. They behave in a strange way with the staff of the restaurant. They make fun of the counterman George. “You are a pretty bright boy aren’t you?” “He is dumb” Both eat their food with their gloves on. Max flares up when George tries to laugh. “You don’t have to laugh at all, see?”
While Al takes Sam and Nick into the kitchen, Max sits at the counter. He continuously looks into the mirror while he is talking to George. It is also strange when George asks Max again and again what is going on, he does not tell him anything, instead he advises George to watch movies more. While leaving the restaurant they again make fun of George. “So long, bright boy, you got a lot of luck” “That’s the truth, you ought to play the races bright boy” 216
2. Rappaccini’s Daughter
Q. 1. Discuss the love affair between Giovanni and Beatrice.
Or How does Giovanni’s love for Beatrice change into hate?
Or Describe love hate relationship of Giovanni and Beatrice.
Or “I would rather have been loved not feared before dying. Analyse this statement.
Or Do you think Beatrice is sincere and true in her love?
Or Discuss “Rapaccini’s Daughter” as a tragic love story.
Or Discuss that the last scene of the story is very pathetic.
Or Why was Giovani unable to avoid Beatrice.
Or Do you think Beatrice defeats the evil plan of her father and foils it by her sincere love to Giovani?
“Rapaccini’s Daughter” is a tragic love story of Giovanni and Beatrice, the only daughter of Dr. Rapaccini. Giovanni was a young student at the University of Padua. The window of his room opened to Rappaccini’s garden where he saw Beatrice and fell in love with her at first sight. Beatric too loved him. Their mutual love was spiritual.
Strange incidents for instance; an animal died when a drop of water of flower fell on it, the flower withered when Beatrice took it to her Breast, an insect grew faint over the wall when Beatrice gazed at it delightfully and a bunch of flowers began to wither in Beatrice’s hand did not change his love into hatred. Even he managed to enter the garden to meet her. He found her very innocent and humane.
Giovanni was unaware that her breath or touch could cause him poisonous. One day when he breathed upon an insect, it instantly died. He began to hate her then. He accused her of making him the subject of her father’s experiments. She says, “Giovani, believe it, though my body is fed with poison, my spirit is God’s creature and needs love as its daily food.” These words show her true and sincere love. Giovanni gave an antidote to Beatrice to save his love but she died with these words, “My father, why did you bring this terrible fate upon your child.” She also says to her father, “I would rather have been loved, not feared.” The love hate relationship here comes to an end defeating the evil plans of Dr. Rapaccini. 269
Q. 2 Rappaccini’s Daughter is a fantasy in which a great scientist cares more for science than for mankind”. Discuss.
Or Rappaccini’s Daughter is a science fiction. Discuss.
Or Rappaccini’s Daughter is an imaginative story. Discuss. Narrate the incidents of horror that take place in the story.
Or Discuss the story as a fantasy. 2001-I
A fantasy is an unreal story. It is purely a product of the imagination. There is nothing real or life-like in it. “Rappaccini’s Daughter is a fantasy and science fiction in which a great scientist cares more for science than for mankind” Firstly we have Dr. Rappaccini engaged in a kind of experiences which cannot be done in life at all. This doctor made the plants into medicine as powerful as magic.
He had a special garden where he had grown such plants as were poisonous. The smell and touch of them were deadly. None was allowed to enter the garden. Only his daughter Beatrice looked after it and the poison of plants had entered into her flesh and blood so much that her touch or breath could cause death of any one. All this cannot happen in real life.
Strange incidents for instance an animal died when a drop of water of flower fall on it, the flower withered when Beatrice took it to her Breast, an insect grew faint over the wall when Beatrice gazed at it delightfully and a bunch of flowers which Giovanni threw at her also began to wither in her hand also can’t happen in real life. Hence the story is a fantasy and science fiction. The moral of the story is that one should not seek deadly knowledge at the expense of others. 230
Q. 2. Describe Dr. Rappaccini as a scientist.
Or What did Rappaccini want to do?
Or Why had Rappaccini grown poisonous plants in his garden?
Or Why did Rappaccini select Giovanni as the study of his experiments?
Rappaccini was a highly ambitious and famous doctor of science in Padua, Italy. He had grown a garden of wild and poisonous plants with powerful properties. Most of them were not natural growth, but the result of Rappiccini’s experiments. He wanted to acquire scientific knowledge at the cost of human life and human values. He selected sick as well as healthy persons for his new experiments. He never saw beyond himself. He even sacrificed his own innocent and beautiful daughter for his selfish ends. She looked after the poisonous garden and the poison of plants had entered into her flesh and blood so much that her touch or breath could cause death of any one. He had cut her off from the rest of the world.
Giovanni, an innocent young student, who had come to study at Padua was his next victim. He was trapped by the charming love of his daughter Beatrice. He wanted to test the poisonous properties of his plants upon him. That is why he was highly pleased to see Beatrice’s closeness to Giovanni and to find that she had infiltrated poison into him. It was a matter of great pride for him to see the credibility of his experiments. Thus he cared more science than for mankind. 212
Q.4 Write a character Sketch of Giovanni.
Giovanni was a young student of medicine at the University of Padua in Italy. He took a house on rent by the poisonous garden of Dr. Rappaccini who had grown a garden of wild and poisonous plants with powerful properties. Rappaccini’s daughter Beatrice looked after the poisonous garden. Giovanni through the window saw Beatrice and fell in love with her at first sight. Beatrice too loved him. But he was shocked to discover that the girl’s breath was poisonous.
Rappaccini was highly pleased to see Beatrice’s closeness to Giovanni and to find that she had infiltrated poison into him. It was a matter of great pride for him to see the credibility of his experiments. Giovanni was no more than a pawn on the chess board of experiments of Rappaccini. Giovanni gave an antidote to Beatrice to save his love but the well-meant attempt ended in the girl’s death. The cure for poison killed her because poison was her life. Giovanni acted in love. His failure turns into Professor Rappaccini’s punishment for his evil designs. So we can say that Giovanni’s humane role brings out the moral lesson of the story.191
Q.6 Write a character Sketch of Beatrice.
Beatrice was the daughter of a cruel scientist. She played an important role in explaining the theme or back ground idea of this fantasy. She was young, attractive, beautiful and lovely. She was full of life, health and energy. Every young man in the city wished to have a glimpse of her beauty. She had a refined taste. She was innocent, humane, gentle and worthy to be worshipped. She was more beautiful in her soul than in her body. Beatrice looked after her father’s poisonous garden and the poison of plants had entered into her flesh and blood so much that her touch or breath could cause death of any one.
She was very simple, selfless and sincere in her love. One day when Giovanni, her lover, breathed upon an insect and it instantly died, he accused her of making him the subject of her father’s experiments. She says, “Giovani, believe it, though my body is fed with poison, my spirit is God’s creature and needs love as its daily food.” These words show her true and sincere love. Giovanni gave an antidote to Beatrice to save his love but she died with these words, “My father, why did you bring this terrible fate upon your child.” She also says to her father, “I would rather have been loved, not feared.” She stands for the beautiful world of nature that is being corrupted and polluted by the science. 238
3. The New Constitution
Q.1. Describe the feelings and hatred of the native people towards the British. Or “The New Constitution” is a criticism on the Indian political and social scene before independence. Discuss.
Or Describe the feelings of hatred against the British Imperialism.
Or Why did Ustad Mangu hate the British? 2003
Or Why did Ustad Mangu call the English’ white mice’? 1999
‘The New Constitution” is a criticism of the British imperialism. It reflects the social, political and economic life of the Indians. The British victimized the natives. They missed no chance of insulting and disgracing them. They did not allow them even the basic human rights. They always suppressed them.
Mangu was a representative of the Indians. He hated the British rule. He often said, “Look at them, came to the house to fetch a candle and before you knew, they had taken it over. I can’t stand the sight of them, these human monkeys. The way they order you around as if one was their father’s slave.” After a quarrel with the gora soldier, he often remained depressed and dejected.
The Hindus and the Muslims had strained relations. The Muslims were very poor. The Hindus exploited them. They had full control over the business and industry of India. They were supported by the British. There was no economic, political or social equality in the society. The British lived the life of luxury while Muslims lived in utter poverty. Hence, Mangu was justified in his hatred against the British and the Hindus. 191
Q.2. What was the new constitution? What were the expectations of the Indians and especially of Ustad Mangu. 1995
Or What was the New Constitution? What could it change if enforced?
The story “The New Constitution” has been written with reference to the Government of India Act 1935 which was going to be promulgated on 1st April 1935. The Indians thought that it would bring justice, equality and prosperity to them. Their rights would be recognized and accepted. Racialism and bigotry of the British would come to an end and they would be treated as human beings.
Ustad Mangu was a tonga wala. He was considered a man of wisdom among his friends. He was uneducated and unlettered but he possessed great political insight. He hated the British rule. One day, he picked two fares from the district courts. He heard from them that India Act was going to be enforced on 1st’ April. He hoped that it would change their destiny. They would get freedom from the slavery of the British. They would get jobs. Their human rights would be recognized. They would be treated equal to the British. He thought of many good things that lay in future. He felt excited and thrilled. He said to himself, “The new constitution is going to be like boiling hot water which will destroy these bugs who suck the blood of the poor” He further said, “The new constitution will make these white mice once and for all, back into their miserable holes.” The new constitution was enforced on 1st April. But it brought no change in the social, political, economic and religious sphere of the life of the Indians. All of their hopes and expectations remained unfulfilled. 256
Q.4. Do you think that the expectations and hopes of Ustad Mangu about the India Act 1935 came true?
Or How was Ustad Mangu disillusioned on 1st April?
Or What were the feelings of Ustad Mangu on 1st April?
Or Mangu wanted to see the constitution brought out with the same razzle dazzle. 2002
On 1st April, Ustad Mangu got up early, decorated his tonga and came on the road. He was very excited and happy. He wanted to witness the new constitution with his open eyes. Mangu wanted to see the constitution brought out with the same razzle dazzle. He thought of many good things that lay in future. He felt excited and thrilled. He thought that it would come like a procession. He went round the streets and bazaars. There was no colour, no light. Nothing was new. People moved about as usual. He saw the students of Government College all dressed in shabby clothes.
He went to the cantonment. There he picked up a gora soldier. He was the same man that had beaten him a year before. He wanted to go to the dancing girls’ bazar. Mangu demanded five rupees as fare. The soldier beat him with a stick. Mangu also hit him in his chin. Then he beat him with blows mercilessly. He was arrested. He cried, “The New Constitution, The New Constitution”. He was told that there was no new constitution. The new constitution was enforced on 1st April. But it brought no change in the social, political, economic and religious sphere of the life of the Indians. All of his hopes and expectations did not come true. He was bitterly disillusioned when he was locked up in the jail.232
Q.2. Write a character sketch of Ustad Mangu.2002
Ustad Mangu is a representative of the Indians. He is the central character in the story. He is illiterate and uneducated but he is considered a man of wisdom by his friends. He is very popular with his fellows. He shares every good or bad news with them. He is interested in the political situation of India. He hears of the India Act 1935 and breaks this news to his friends. Now he is very self-possessed. He is the supporter of the equal human rights to every body in India. He sees the fulfillment of his dreams in the Government of India Act 1935.
He hates the British. His hatred for the white rulers reflects the general hatred. It was this hatred that eventually leads to the exit of the white rulers. He thinks that they are ruling over India against the will of the Indians. He calls them lepers and human monkeys. He often says, “Their red faces remind me of decaying carcasses.” To him they were something rotting and decaying. He hates them because they humiliate and disgrace the Muslims for nothing.
When he learns of the New Constitution, he is happy. Now he wants to maintain his self-respect. When the gora soldier hits him with a stick, he beats him mercilessly. He thinks that they are of equal. In short, Ustad Mangu is very attractive, sweet and lovable person. 209
Q.1. Describe the writer’s meeting with the labourers. What did they offer him as breakfast? Give the summary of Breakfast.
This story gives a vivid description of the passions and feelings of a poor and God fearing American labouring family encamped in a valley for twelve days for cotton-picking. One cold morning, while travelling in a valley, the writer came across a tent beside which a rusty iron stove was burning. He saw a young woman frying bacon and baking bread. In her arms she was carrying a baby that was sucking her. She was dressed in a faded cotton skirt and waist. Her hair was tied back with a string. A young and an old man came out of the tent. They seemed to be father and son. Their hands and faces were wet with water. They sat beside the stove to warm up their hands. They bade the writer good morning and offered him to have breakfast with them. The writer was already attracted by the smell of frying bacon and baking bread. He, therefore, sat with them. Then they began to talk. They told the writer that they had got twelve days’ work of cotton-picking and “they even got new clothes.” Their breakfast consisted of bacon, biscuits, bacon gravy and coffee. The old man took it with relish. He chewed and swallowed. He thanked God that it was good. The young man thanked God that they had been eating food for twelve days. After breakfast they stood up to go for cotton-picking and invited the writer to accompany them. But he left with a pleasant impression and memory. 251
Q. 2. Breakfast is a story in which purity of living is described.” Discuss.
Or The story depicts the beauty and simplicity of God-fearing people. Discuss.
Or “The writer portrays the acute poverty and self-sufficiency of seasonal labourers.” Illustrate. Does the story convey a moral lesson?
Or The story gives us a glimpse of the free, happy and peaceful life of cotton- pickers. Do you agree?
The story presents a poor family of seasonal labourers who live upon cotton-picking. They have no complaint or grudge against any person for their poverty. They thank God who has given them good food for twelve days at least. It shows their simple living, God-fearing nature and self-sufficiency. It throws light on the contentment of those who thank God under all circumstances. This is also the moral of the story.
The poor family comprised four members: a young man, an old man, a young lady and a baby. They were dressed in simple cotton clothes. They had put up a tent in a valley surrounded by mountains. They had got twelve days’ work of cotton-picking, during which they would get new clothes and free food. They were thankful to God for providing them good food and good clothes for at least twelve days. The young woman was cooking breakfast on a rusty iron stove before the tent. The sucking baby was in her arms. She was frying bacon and cooking bread. There was no expensive crockery in the tent. She set a platter of bacon, a bowl of bacon gravy, a pot of coffee, tin cups, tin plates, knives and forks etc. Their dress and their utensils spoke of thin simple living. They were content with their lot, with whatever God had provided them. 224
5. Take Pity
Q.1. Do you think that “Take Pity” is a story of Unusual heroism and determination.”
Or Discuss the theme of the story with examples from the story.
Or How does Eva lead her life after the death of her husband?
Or Why does Eva reject every offer of Rosen?2009,08
Take pity is a story of unusual heroism, undaunted struggle and determination of a young and attractive woman of 38 with two daughters. After the death of her husband, she has to struggle a lot against adverse circumstances. She is suffering from financial problems. She is s heroic and courageous woman. She is steadfast and self respecting woman who wants to maintain her ego at every cost. She is determined to make her own living by running her husband’s business. She repays the loan, decorates the store and purchases new goods with the insurance money of 1000 dollars, left by Kalish. She works hard to run the store and does her best to make it attractive for the customers. But her business fails miserably. No money is left with her.
Rosen takes pity upon her and pays her credit on behalf of his company without her knowledge. Then he advises her to leave her store to creditors, shift to his house and find some job. He also promises to look after her daughters. He even proposes to her. But this head strong lady rejects his advice as well as his offer of generosity. It breaks Rosen’s heart and changes his whole character. In the end when she comes to know his attempt to suicide leaving his all property for Eva and her two daughters she repents on her stiffness towards the sincere and kind-hearted man and decides to accept his offer of marriage. But now he rejects her. 248
Q. 2. Describe the miserable life of Axel Kalish leading to his tragic death. Or Give Character sketch of Kalish.
Axel Kalish was a Polish refugee. He was a Jew When Hitler, during the Second World War, occupied Poland and began to massacre the Jews, Kalish came to America along with his wife Eva and two little daughters and settled in Newark, a big city. In America he worked like a blind horse to feed his family. He had saved about three thousand dollars with which he wanted to open a grocery store. He also applied to his friend Rosen’s company for a loan which was granted.
But Rosen advised him not to open a store in Newark as that town was a “grave” and the chances of the success of a store were very bleak. He advised him not to waste his money in store, but to move to some other city and find some job. But Kalish turned a deaf ear to his advice. He invested all his money in a store because there were no customers. Within a few months he got bankrupt and began to starve. He had no money to repay the loan and feed his family. All his capital was used up. Before he could auction his store he died. His death was an unbearable grief for his wife Eva and his little daughters. Rosen was shocked too. Kalish himself was to blame for his tragic end as he did not follow Rosen’s sincere advice. 231
Q. 3. Why did she reject his proposal and offers of charity?
Or Describe the different ways through which Ro tries to help Eva.
Or Why did Rosen propose to Eva?
Or Give Character sketch/ role of Rosen.
Rosen is a coffee salesman. He is a very kind-hearted man. He does his best to save the poor family of Axel Kalish from abject poverty and death. But Axel’s widow Eva is too willful. Rosen advises her to shift to some other city, find some job and get married, as she is quite young but she turns down his advice and is determined to run her own business. One day, he brings a piece of beef and second day biscuits for the girls. The girls refuse to accept them by saying that they are fasting.
Rosen offers her to come to his family house where an old lady will be available to look after her daughters in her absence. Rosen sends her some money showing that it is from her husband’s friend who wants to pay it through installment but she returns the money. Rosen uses every trick to save the unfortunate family from starvation. He even offers to marry her. And finally he even tries to kill himself, leaving all his property to Eva and her daughters. He fails even in this last desperate attempt. It breaks Rosen’s heart and changes his whole character. In the end Eva repents on her stiffness towards the sincere and kind-hearted man and decides to accept his offer of marriage. But he rejects now.
So we can say Rosen is a noble, lovable, selfless and sincere character who goes far out of his way to help the starving family. His offer for help is based more on pity than on love. 259
Q.4. How do Eva and Rosen stand in contrast to each other in the story?
Or Write the character sketches of Eva and Rosen.
Rosen and Eva are the two prominent characters in the story. Their characters stand in contrast to each other. Rosen was a middle-aged sick man with one kidney only. Eva was young and handsome. Rosen was a retired coffee salesman with bank balance, insurance money and two houses. Eva, on the contrary, was a widow with two little daughters to feed, with nothing to live on.
Rosen was a bachelor hoping to have a wife who could look after him in sickness and old age. Eva had enough of married life and did not want to marry another sick husband. Rosen was an optimist. He was in favour of moving from one place to another for better prospects. That is why he had advised both Eva and her husband Axel Kalish to shift to some other place and find some job, in order to lead a prosperous life. Eva, on the contrary, was a fatalist. Neither she neither accepted any help from him nor shifted to some other place. She stuck to that place, and very soon fell to starvation.
Rosen was very considerate and generous. He tried to help her in every possible way, but she rejected every offer of his help. His offer for help was based more on pity than on love: He even proposed to her and offered his house to her, but she turned it down. Although he debased himself by offering her help again and again but he was sincere at heart. She was rigid in her rejection of his offers, but ultimately she looked towards him when it was too late. Rosen was an American, whereas Eva was a Polish. Thus there was a conflict of two cultures with different social backgrounds. 288
6. The Happy Prince
Q.1. Why was the Happy Prince weeping? (P.U.95-S/95
Or What is meant by the palace Sans Souci PU. 2000
Or The prince was called happy Prince but he did not consider himself happy. Why?
Or Give a brief account of the life lived by the Happy Prince when he was alive. What made him weep after death?
Or What kind of happiness did Prince enjoy when he was alive.
Or Why was the prince happy when he was alive and had human heart? What made him weep despite having a heart of lead?
Or Discuss the title of the story. OR Was the Prince really Happy?
The title of the story “The Happy Prince” is ironical. He was called happy Prince but he did not consider himself happy. He was happy when he lived in his beautiful palace, situated in a grand garden, surrounded by a tall wall. When he was alive, he played all the day and danced in the evenings with his companions. He spent his life luxuriously in his palace of Sans Souci. During his lifetime he did not get the opportunity to see the sufferings of the people due to the high walls of his palace. He was also not allowed to have any contact with the outside world. This kept him unaware of the miserable plight of the masses living outside the palace in the city. He did not weep during his life instead of having human heart. But after death, when his statue was erected on a high column in the centre of the city, everything was visible to him. He saw the miserable condition of the people. He became unhappy to see the misery and agony of people. He could do nothing then to alleviate their misery. He saw the sick son of a poor seamstress, a starving playwright and a little girl weeping after losing her match. These woeful scenes brought tears into his eyes despite having a heart of lead. 223
Q. 2. Discuss the role of the Swallow?
Or What did the Swallow do for the Happy Prince?
Or How did the Prince alleviate the misery of the poor?
Or Describe the scenes of misery and ugliness
The Swallow is an important character in the story. He acts as an agent of the Prince. In autumn all of his companions had flown to Egypt in search of warm climate. But he, in love with a reed did not go. He requested his sweetheart reed to accompany him to Egypt. On reed’s refusal he all alone set out for Egypt and stayed for one night in winter under the Prince’s statue.
While resting there a drop of Prince’s tears fell upon him. The Swallow asked the Prince why he wept. He replied that he wept over the misery of the people. The Swallow stayed for two more nights to help him in alleviating the suffering of the people.
When he saw the sick son of a poor seamstress in need of oranges, he asked the Swallow to take a ruby from his sword to her, so that she might buy oranges for her son. Then he asked the Swallow to give a pearl from his eye to a hungry playwright. Again he asked the Swallow to give the pearl of his other eye to a little girl who was weeping because her match had fallen into a gutter and she had no money to buy new one. When the Swallow reported to the Prince about the general suffering of the poor in the town he asked him to tear all the gold from his body and distribute it among the poor. The Swallow picked all the gold from his statue till it turned dull and grey. 258
Q. 3. Describe the sacrifice of the Happy Prince for his people and
the sacrifice of the Swallow for the Prince.
Or How were they rewarded for these sacrifices? What is the moral of the story?
The Happy Prince and the Swallow both made remarkable sacrifices and were rewarded for the same. The Prince sacrificed every precious thing of his statue: rubies, diamonds, gold and even his eyes for the suffering masses.
When he saw the sick son of a poor seamstress in need of oranges, he asked the Swallow to take a ruby from his sword to her, so that she might buy oranges for her son. Then he asked the Swallow to give a pearl from his eye to a hungry playwright. Again he asked the Swallow to give the pearl of his other eye to a little girl who was weeping because her match had fallen into a gutter and she had no money to buy new one. When the Swallow reported to the Prince about the general suffering of the poor in the town he asked him to tear all the gold from his body and distribute it among the poor. The Swallow picked all the gold from his statue till it turned dull and grey.
The Swallow fell in love with him. He decided not to fly to Egypt and stayed there. He kissed the Prince’s lips and fell dead at his feet. Thus the Swallow sacrificed his life for the Prince. One day God ordered an angel to bring two precious things to Him. The angel brought the Prince’s leaden heart and the dead Swallow. Thus both got spiritual salvation.
The story bears the moral that those who love their fellow beings are loved by God. Love and sacrifice both are redeeming forces. 263
Q. 4. Discuss the story as a “fantasy.” OR How does the writer “mirror modern life in a form remote from reality?”
A fantasy is an unreal and imaginary story with a moral lesson. “The Happy Prince” is really an unreal and imaginary story as events narrated in the story do not happen in real life. The statue of the Prince and the Swallow talk to each other. They feel and think like human beings which is unreal. How can an inanimate statue see the suffering people and feel sympathy for them? How can it ask a Swallow to tear pearls and gold from its body, and distribute among the poor? Then how can a bird fall in love with a statue? All these incidents can’t happen in real life. Hence it is a fantasy to teach the moral lesson that the rich should feel for the poor and help them in misery. It is a romantic story where the statue and the Swallow speak, think and feel like human beings. A fantasy is remote from reality. The writer, therefore, discusses the poverty and misery of the Victorian age in a form remote from reality or in a fairy tale form. 179
Q.5. “The story brings in all the problems of the Victorian age poverty, hypocrisy and exploitation.” Discuss.
The Victorian age had many problems as poverty, hypocrisy and exploitation. The suffering masses led a life of misery and pain as narrated in the story. These descriptions of a poor seamstress, a starving dramatist and a little girl weeping to buy a new match: are the “glaring examples of poverty. The poor were being exploited by the rich who lived in palaces and grand buildings. As long as the Prince lived, he had no contact with the suffering masses as he lived in a palace surrounded by a huge wall. He was happy as he led a life of luxury. He played all the day and danced in the evenings. The entire society was based on hypocrisy. It was presumed that the people beyond the walls of the palace were living happily. But, on the other hand, they led a miserable life. Most of them were starving. Greed and lust were the order of the day. When the statue looked dull and grey after all the gold over it had been torn off, the Mayor and Councilors wished to erase the statue and got their own statues erected in that place. The huge amount spent on the erection of statues could be used to help the poor, but they preferred the statues to immortalize their name. That was hypocrisy. 221
Q.6. Towards the end of the story the mayor calls happy prince little beggar than a beggar why? 2007
The happy prince is a story that not only gives us a moral lesson and that is to help the poor and the needy but also reveals some of our moral lapses. The whole story is full of satirical elements. The writer has tries to satrize different people for their deficiencies. One of them is lust for reputation. At the end of the story when the mayor come where the statue of the happy prince is fixed. He is surprised that the happy prince is no more beautiful. All of his gold leaves had been pulled and he looks very drab Here the mayor says that the happy prince is little better than a beggar. He says this because he wants that his own statue should be now fixed in place of the happy prince. Now here the writer wants to criticize human beings’ lust for reputation. When the councilors begin to fight and every one of them says that his own statue should be fixed there, the writer is totally justified in his satire. When the prince was alive and had gold all over his body every one likes him including the mayor who pretends of having an artistic taste. Actually he is not so but only pretends. And now when the prince looks drab the mayor says that he is little better than a beggar just to show that he is having an artistic taste. 236
Q. 1 How did the narrator take a fancy to Mangan’s sister?
Or How did the narrator and Mangan’s sister express love to each other?
The narrator was a school boy. He lived in Dublin (Ireland) with his uncle and aunt. He played after school time in the street. His friend Mangan‘s sister often came to call him in to tea. Gradually he began to take interest in her. He was too small to be a lover, but he fell in love all the same. He loved her madly. Her word was more than a law for him. Her figure, her dress and the style of her hair attracted him.
One day he happened to see her closely in the light of the street lamp opposite to his door. He desired to talk to her, but was too shy to do so. He never spoke to her except a few causal words. It was Mangan’s sister who broke the ice and asked him if he was going to Araby, a grand bazaar held near the city. He did not know what to answer. He asked her “Why can’t you?” She replied that she could not go as there would be a treat in her convent. He replied that he would go to the bazaar and bring some beautiful gift for her. He thought that he would win her heart by giving her gift. 208
Q. 2. Discuss the story as a conflict between the objective world and the feelings of the hero.
Or Discuss the story as a conflict between appearance and reality.
Or How does the narrator run after shadows which are ultimately shattered?
Or How was the narrator disappointed in his love?
Describe briefly the effect of romantic love of the adolescent mind of the boy. 2009
The story shows a conflict between appearance and reality or between the dreams of the boy-hero and the objective world. The narrator was a teenaged boy living in his dream world. He was obsessed with the idea that it was quite easy to win the heart of a girl. He was attracted by her figure, her dress and the style of her hair. He often stood in the shadow and saw her on the doorstep. Her figure always moved before her eyes. He dreamt to win her by simply offering her a gift. But unfortunately his dream did not materialise because he was poor and dependent on his uncle and aunt. He visited Araby at his beloved request to buy some beautiful gift. He reached araby very late due to late arrival of his uncle. At that time almost all the stalls were closed. Only one stall of porcelain vases was open, but he had not enough money to buy a costly vase or tea set. Thus he was disappointed. All his rosy hopes to win his beloved were dashed to the ground.
Thus we see that the boy was running after shadows or dreams which could never be materialised. His dependence on his uncle and aunt and his immature feelings of love proved a hindrance in the fulfillment of his ideal love. He ultimately found himself a creature driven and derided by vanity. 234
8. The Tell Tale Heart
Q. 1. Why did the narrator or the hero kill the old man? What was wrong with the eye of the old man?
The narrator in the story or the hero or the killer was not mad, but he was very nervous. This disease of nervousnesshad sharpened his senses. He loved and respected the old man because he had never wronged him. “He had never given me insult.” But one thing always haunted him. That was the pale-blue eye of the old man, which was as hideous as the eye of a vulture. It had a film over it. It was not the old man but his evil eye that troubled him. Whenever the old man saw him with that eye, his blood ran cold. He, therefore, made up his mind to kill the old man and rid himself of that evil for every Although the narrator did not consider himself to be mad, yet he was, in fact, a maniac. The reason for which he killed the old man was not sound enough for murder. Nobody in his senses can kill a man just for his ugly appearance. Therefore the killer was not a normal man in full possession of his senses. 181
Q. 2. How did the narrator manage to murder the old man?
The narrator, with the intention to murder the old man, proceeded with great caution. Just before a week of killing him, he was very kind to him. He waited for many nights to get an opportunityto kill him. Every night, at about midnight, he opened the door of his room by turning the latch. He made an opening in the door to thrust in his head. It took him almost an hour to put his whole head within the opening. He repeated this practice for seven nights in the hope of finding the vulture eye open, but it was always closed. At eight night, suddenly his thumb slipped on the tin fastening and the old man sprang up in the bed and he heard the groan of the old man. The murderer threw a thin ray of his lantern upon the eye of the old man. He became furious to see the vulture eye. It provided him the cause of killing. He could hear the fast heartbeat of the old man. With a loud cry he moved into the room and pulled the heavy bed on the old man. The old man shrieked only for once and died instantly. Afterwards the murderer chopped his corpse. He cut off the head, the arms and the legs of the old man and hid them underground. 224
Q.3. What happens after the murder?
Or The heartbeat of the old man proved a cause for the murderer’s arrest. Discuss.
It is strange to note that the vulture eye of the old man was the major cause of old man’s murder. At the time of murder, the heartbeat of the old man made the killer more angry to kill him at once. At the last scene, it was again the heartbeat of the old man that proved a cause of the murderer’s arrest.
By 4O’clock, the killer had disposed off the old man’s dead-body. Just then there came three policemen who told him that some of the neighbours had reported a cry in that house. The killer confidently told them that it was his own cry during sleep. He said the old man was not at home. The policemen searched the house, but found nothing. Being overconfident he brought chairs into the room and placed his own chair right on the spot where the corpse was hidden. The killer began to chat with them.
Suddenly, he heard the same heartbeat of the old man that he listened at the time of murder. He tried to keep cool, but the noise became louder. He thought the policemen were also hearing that noise and tried to hush up the fear by speaking loudly. He got so nervous that he confessed the murder and handed himself over to the police. So the story has been titled as the Tell-Tale Heart as the heart proves helpful for the murderer’s arrest. 236
Q: 4 Describe the elements of suspense and horror in the story?
The story is replete with the elements of suspense and horror. From the beginning till end we are suspense bound what is going on happening next. The incident of murder and the arrest of murderer are full of suspense.
First of all we are terrified with horror that the murderer wants to kill the old man merely on a petty reason. The murderer speaks again and again to the readers as if we were standing before him, “You fancy me mad, mad men know nothing. But you should have seen me”.
The old man springs up in the bed and keeps sitting for a long time making the atmosphere full of suspense. While we see the old man’s groaning we are also horrified as does he with horror. How horrible when one knows that someone is going to be killed. Then the murderer makes no noise while he is in the room is also full of suspense.
We feel extreme horror when the murderer throws light upon the vulture eye of the old man and we know that the last moments of the old man have approached. Afterwards his chopping the corpse is really intolerable. The last scene of is full of suspense when the murderer admits his crime by listening the heartbeat of the old man but actually it was the punishment of his conscience which prompts him to do so. 232
9. The Necklace
Q. 1. What sort of life does Matilda Loisel have? What sort of life does she dream? (P.U.95-S)
Or she was born in a family of clerks, then why did she think of large drawing room etc. explain. 2000-II
Madame Matilda Loisel belongs to a family of clerks. She is the wife of Loisel, a petty clerk in the office of the Minister of Public Instruction. But she is exceptionally beautiful and charming. She is, therefore, very conscious of her beauty. But she does not have costly clothes and jewels to wear. She lives in a small house with her husband. She has a maid-servant who does all of her household work. Thus her standard of living is very moderate.
she is very much conscious of her beauty, she suffers from some complex. She
always dreams of a life quite beyond her means. She dreams of wearing costly
dresses and jewels. She wants to move in higher circles of society. She envies
the rich who attend big parties and big balls. She is totally dissatisfied with
her small house, its worn-out furniture and faded goods. She dreams of spacious
drawing rooms, costly furniture and elegant dinners. She is so crazy for
wearing beautiful ornaments that she has to borrow a necklace to attend a
party. She, as well as her husband, has to suffer a lot to pay the cost of the
borrowed necklace which is lost. 199
Q. 2. Why did Madame Loisel borrow the necklace? 2002-II
Or What was the reaction of Mathilda at he invitation to ball?
Or Why did she refused to attend the ball at first? How were her demands met? 2001-I
Or Why was she reluctant to go to party? 2001-I
Matilda Loisel was a beautiful charming young lady who was born into a family of clerks and married to a petty clerk in the office of the Board of Education. She had no dowry, no jewels and no dresses to look conspicuous. She always dreamt of fine jewels and elegant dresses.
One day her husband Mr. Loisel brought her an invitation to a ball at the house of the Minister of Public Instruction. She showed quick reaction and threw away the invitation card, saying that she had no proper dress and no jewels to wear on the occasion. He gave her five hundred francs which he had saved to buy a gun. She purchased an elegant dress with this amount. Then she insisted on having costly jewels or ornaments. He advised her to wear some natural flowers instead of ornaments. But she was adamant.
He, therefore, asked her to borrow a set of diamonds from her rich friend Madame Forestier. As she was vain of her beauty she borrowed a necklace of diamonds from her friend. Her sole purpose in borrowing the necklace was to look as graceful as other rich ladies at the ball. She wanted to become the grace of the party and to fascinate the hearts of the people. 212
Q. 3. How was the necklace lost? 200-II
Matilda Loisel bought an elegant dress with five hundred Francs and borrowed a set of diamonds from her rich friend Madame Forestier to attend the party.
When Madame Loisel went to the ball in her new dress and borrowed necklace, she was looking very charming and fascinating. She was the graceof the party and attracted the hearts of the people. She kept on dancing the whole of the night. The party continued till morning. As it was cold Loisel covered her shoulders with a very ordinary wrap. Not to be noticed by other women who had costly wraps, she descended the steps hurriedly. They found a carriage with great difficulty and reached home at 4 a.m. As she removed the wraps from her shoulders before the glass to have a final view of herself, she uttered a cry. Her neck was without the necklace. Probably it was lost somewhere in the party, on the way or in the carriage. After that she, as well as her husband, had to suffer a lot for ten long and tough years to pay the cost of the borrowed necklace which was lost. 190
Q. 4. How did Madame Loisel and Mr. Loisel pay the cost of the lost necklace?
Or How does Matilda change in personality and appearance over the years? (P.U.1995-S)
Or The necklace is story of vain proud and showy woman. 2000 Who is responsible for her tragedy?
Or The story necklace has been called the story of vanity. 2000-II
Or Do you think Mathilda is responsible for her tragedy?
Or Explain the story as a tragic story. Was this desire of hers that ultimately become responsible of her tragedy?
Or The necklace is a criticism on pride and materialism. Elaborate? What does the story necklace expose?
Or Why were they shocked to learn about the reality of the necklace?
The necklace is a tragic story of a vain, proud and showy woman who wants to take part in functions and parties and become the centre of attention for her beauty. She had so much desire to please, to be envied, to be enticing, to be sought after.
One day Mr. Loisel brought home an invitation to a ball. Madame Loisel was reluctant to attend party for not having elegant dress and costly ornaments. So to attend party, she borrowed a necklace which was lost somewhere in the party, on the way or in the carriage. They did their utmost to trace it, but failed. At last they bought a new diamond necklace for thirty six thousand francs and returned to Madame Forestier. They had to borrow half of the amount from different quarters. To repay this loan they had to labour hard for ten long years. They had a rented house. She herself did all the washing, fetched water and went out shopping. Her husband also worked at different shops, besides his office job. Thus after ten years’ long and tough labour, her hair turned grey and wrinkles appeared on her face. She looked pale. He too looked older than before.
One day, when Madame Loisel met Madame Forestier who got shocked to see her pale and wrinkled face. She also told her that the necklace was not real, but fake worth five hundred francs only. She regretted over the futile labour for ten long years. But what could not be cured must be endured. So it was her desires and role of fate that ultimately become responsible of her tragedy. 276
10- The Duchess And The Jeweller
Q. 1. How did Oliver Bacon, the jeweller rise from a poor boy of dirty streets to the richest jeweller of the country?
Or Describe Oliver Bacon’s rapid progress in life?
Oliver Bacon, the jeweller was born in a poor family. As a child he used to play marbles in dirty, narrow streets. As a boy he used to sell stolen dogs in White chapel to fashionable ladies. Once he was arrested by a dog owner and going to be killed when his mother saved him. She requested the man not to kill him. She scolded her son and forced him to find some job. He, therefore, began to sell cheap watches at a shop.
Then he came to Amsterdam (Holland) and began to sell diamonds on commission. These diamonds were probably stolen. From this business he made a handsome fortune. Then he went to a jeweller’s shop in Hatten Garden (London) with the scales, the safe and magnifying glasses. Here, he moved among jewelers who discussed prices, diamonds and gold-mines. Then he owned his own shop at Bond Street, London. He rose to be the richest jeweller in England. His shop was famous in Europe and America. He got a villa at Richmond overlooking the river Thames. It was a well-decorated flat with the best chairs, sofas and silken curtains. There were red roses hanging by the walls and Mademoiselle, a young girl used to pick one every morning and stick it in his buttonhole. Later on he shifted to a fashionable quarter of the city. He moved in the highest circles of society, but still was not satisfied with his lot. 242
Q.2. Describe the meeting between the jeweller and Duchess.
Or Why did the Duchess go to the jeweller’s shop?
An old Duchess (the wife of a duke) comes to the jeweller’s shop to sell ten pearls. She puts them before him. He picks one of the pearls to see if it was false or true. She tells him that she is selling these without the knowledge of her husband for the sake of her daughter. He asks her, “How much?” She demands twenty thousand for them. The jeweller was about to push the bell to call his assistant to examine-the pearls when she exploits his passion of love for her daughter Diana with whom he is in love. She invites him to spend the weekend at her house as Diana would be there. She even begins to weep. The jeweller withdraws his hand from the bell and is lost in Diana’s sweet memories. He immediately writes a cheque for twenty thousand pounds and hands it to the Duchess. After she has left, he examines the pearls. They were false. But nothing could be done now. He was prepared to do anything for Diana’s sake.
The jeweler and the Duchess both cheated each other. Both were evil and corrupt as the writer says, “They were friends, yet enemies — each cheated the other, each needed the other, each feared the other.” 210
Q. 3. “The characters of the Duchess and Oliver Bacon, the jeweller depict loss of faith in human values.” Discuss. (P.U. 95)
The characters of the Duchess, and Oliver Bacon depict the moral bankruptcy and decadence of English society during the early 20th century. Both of them are liars, dishonest, clever and corrupt. Both know the weak points of each other. The actions and behaviours of both flout human values. But the Duchess is more loathsome than the Jewler.
The Duchess does not have income enough from her husband’s estates to maintain her false standard of living and her evil habit of gambling. She, therefore, steals her husbands’ jewels and sells them. She has sunk so low that she sells fake pearls. She abuses her husband before the jeweller and to exploit him even sheds crocodile tears. She even uses her daughter to grab money from the jeweller and asks him to spend the weekend with her daughter. Thus she does everything at the cost of human values. Abusing of her husband and offering of her daughter depict the height of her meanness and evil nature.
Similarly the jeweller has risen from filthy boy of dark streets to the highest position of a jeweller simply because of his dishonesty, stealing, cheating and corruption. Despite having every comfort of life, he is not satisfied. He wants more riches. His love for the Duchess’s daughter blinds him so much that he gives twenty thousand pounds to the Duchess for fake pearls.
Both depict distrust and doubt found among politicians, businessmen and higher classes for one another. Both the Duchess and the jeweller distrusted each other. “They were friends, yet enemies _ each cheated the other, each needed the other, each feared the other.” 269
Q.4. “The Duchess and the Jeweller mentions a change in the English society.” Discuss. (P.U. 95)
The story depicts the change in the English society at the turn of the 20th century. The landed gentry or the aristocracy who had been controlling the destiny of England right from the beginning were sinking day by day with the rise of industrialization, democracy and commerce. The rising middle class or the commercial class began to control the affairs of the country. The aristocratic people were involved in financial difficulties. They were not able to maintain their castles and traditional standard of living. To keep up their appearances they committed theft and fraud.
In this story the Duchess represents the sinking aristocracy and the jeweller stands for the rising commercial class. The Duchess does not have income enough from her husband’s estates to maintain her false standard of living and her evil habit of gambling. She, therefore, steals her husbands’ jewels and sells them. She has sunk so low that she sells fake pearls. She even uses her daughter to grab money from the jeweller and asks him to spend the weekend with her daughter. The jeweller, on the other hand, has risen from a filthyboy of slums to the wealthiest jeweller of the country. He is financially better than most of the aristocrats of the day. He lives in a fashionable house in a posh area of the city and moves in the higher circles of society. 230
11. THE SHADOW IN THE ROSE GARDEN
Q.1. Describe the emotional tension between Frank and his wife.
Or Describe the unpleasant relationship between Frank and his wife.
Or What are the causes of conflict between husband and wife? 2000
There is husband and wife who did not love each other because of some misunderstanding between themselves. Frank was an electrician in a mine. He married a girl, a bit older than himself. She looked older than himself. To him she was not as young as he had expected. He was not happy with her behaviour and talk. He was in the habit of rising early. That is why when he got up early and told her that he was waiting, she tensely asked if he was waiting for her or for the breakfast. When they went to the seaside for holiday, she asked him not to talk to anybody about her past in the village where she had lived for two years. This created suspicion in him about her past. Actually she had an affair with Archie, a rector’s son before her marriage. He thought that she was hiding something from him. He felt that she thought herself superior to him. He was not happy with her. She kept him waiting downstairs for breakfast. Often he found her gazing at the sea, lost in her thoughts. Frank had developed some misunderstanding against her; she too disliked him for his interference in her independence. She did not like his odd questions. “She was sick of him”. She had always the picture of her old lover Archie in her mind. 229
Q. 2. Describe the strange incident in the rose garden.
Or Describe the “Shadow” in the rose garden.
Or Describe the meeting of Frank’s wife with her old lover Archie in the
Or Describe the meeting of Frank’s wife with her mad lover.
Or Describe the visit of Frank’s wife to he garden. Whom did she meet
there? 2000 sup
Once, Frank along with his wife paid a visit to a beautiful seaside resort for some days. Often he had to wait for her at breakfast table. One morning after having breakfast together, Frank desired her to accompany him out. She asked him to go alone as she had to do many things at home. He asked him not to talk about her past in the area she had spent two years there before marriage. Hence, he went out all alone.
In his absence she went to the rose garden to relieve herself of tension. For some time, she wandered through the garden then sat in a seat among white roses. Soon she was lost in her sweet memories. Suddenly a shadow crossed her. It was a young man with black hair. He was wearing her ring. He sat beside her. She was shocked to see that it was Archie, her old lover. He was a sub-lieutenant in the army and was sent to South Africa. There he had sunstroke. He was rumoured to be dead, but, in fact, he had gone mad. She had to marry Frank. She asked him if he recognised her. But there was something strange about him. He looked at her constantly but did not recognise her. She was shocked to see him in that condition. 221
Q. 3. How was the tension between husband and wife resolved?
Or what was the reaction of the husband when he came to know that her wife had been in love with a military man?
Or What passed between husband and wife the wife met her old lover?
Or How did the woman behave after she met her mad lover?
Or how did Frank’s wife confess her love?
Frank’s wife, after her strange experience in the rose garden returned to her cottage nervous and dejected. Sitting in her bed she began to stare at the sea across the window. When he returned she was sitting mum on the bed. He asked her what had happened to her, but she did not answer. He asked her if she had met someone or if she was not feeling well. She did not like his questioning. She was lost in her thoughts. When they were in the bedroom she openly revealed everything to him of her past affairs with Archie. She told him that their love affair lasted for about a year after which Archie had to go to South Africa on a mission, after he lost his job as a result of a quarrel with his colonel. At first Frank hated her in anger, but then felt at ease as she had confessed everything to him. She added that he (Archie) had gone mad as seen by her in the rose garden.
After hearing all this, he forgot his anger. Both were shocked and were impersonal. They were reconciled and no longer hated each other. He left her and went out.
12. A CONVERSATION WITH MY FATHER
Q. 1. What kind of story did Grace Paley write twice and relate to her father? Or What objections did the writer’s father raise to her stories?
Or What were the reactions of her father to her stories?
Grace Paley was young story writer. She had her own technique of writing stories. Her father of eighty six, had his own concept of writing stories. He had been a doctor as well as an artist. He was very much impressed by Guy De Maupassant, Chekhov and Turgenev. Her father asked her to write a story. She wrote a story and related it to him. It started as such: “Once in my time there was a woman and she had a son.” The woman lived in a small apartment in Manhatten (America). Her son became an addict, but after some time he left this habit. Then he went away leaving her. But soon she became an addict.”
The writer’s father found fault with the story as it lacked necessary details. He wanted such a story as had persons of strong and solid character. He asked her to elaborate “Her looks”, “Her hair”, “What her parents were like?”, “What about the boy’s father?” “Why didn’t you mention him?” She was perturbed by such questions. He wanted a story to be realistic and in detail with proper beginning, middle and ending.
The writer wrote the story for the second time and related it to him. Now she wrote in more detail. The boy was shown falling in love with a girl. The boy and the girl both left the boy’s mother saying that she must give up her habit of drugs. She missed her son much and cried in pain. The writer’s father was still not satisfied with the story for he was demanding, irritating and family-orientated. 265
Q. 2. How does the story depict the generation gap?
OR Relate the conversation between the writer and her father about the art of story writing.
Or Why did the writer’s father object to her stories?
The story depicts the gap between the old and new generations. There are only two characters in the story: Grace Paley, the young writer and her eighty six year old father. Every generation has its own principles and values and it sticks to them. The older people are very touchy about their values and traditions. They never budge an inch from their stand.
The writer’s father had been a doctor and an artist. He had read the stories of Maupa-ssant, Chekhov, Turgenev and other writers of 19th century. That is why he asks her daughter to write realistic stories with a beginning, a middle and an end. He asks her to create persons of sound character. He does not like her plain stories.
She writes the story of a woman and her son, who goes addict and then she too turns addict. He rejects her story and asks her to write it in detail with a proper background. She modifies but even then it is not up to his expectations.
The writer has her own principles, technique and taste. The two cannot agree, because they live in different worlds. They have different attitudes about life as well as writing.
The writer cannot incorporate the literary values of both the old and new generation. She cannot write in the sensibility of her father’s times. Thus she fails to come up to the expectations of her father
The writer’s father is demanding and irritating. During his days the things were nice, family-orientated and clear; but now the things have changed. Now they are complex and depressing.
13. THE FLY
Q. 1. Why did Mr. Woodifield pay a visit to the boss? What did they talk about?
Mr. Woodifield was a retired old man. The sons of both, Mr. Woodifield and his boss had been killed in the First World War. Both, therefore, were highly grieved. Mr. Woodifield became a heart patient due to grief. His wife and daughters kept him all the days at home; except Tuesdays on which he was free to call on his old friends. One Tuesday he called on his ex-boss in his office to relieve himself. The boss, though five years older than Mr. Woodifield, looked healthier and stronger. Despite the grief of his son’s death, the boss was doing his business well. A beautiful photograph of the boss’s dead boy in uniform was lying on his table. Seeing the photograph Mr. Woodifield began to tremble. The boss offered him whisky, so that he might feel better; even though he knew that it was injurious to a heart-patient. After taking whisky Mr. Woodifield felt better. He told the boss that last week he, along with daughters, went to the graves of his son Reggie as well as his (boss) son. He added that their graves lay in a beautiful garden with wide paths and flowers all around. These words aroused the boss’ grief. Woodifield left but he was overwhelmed with grief. 210
Q.2. Describe the miserable condition of the boss after Mr. Woodifield’s departure.
Or Write down the memories of the boss about his dead son?
Or What did the boss feel when he came to know that Mr. Woodifield’s daughters visited the graveyard where his son was buried?
When Mr. Woodifield told the boss about his visit with his daughters to the graves of his son Reggie as well as his (boss) son in Belgium, the boss could not control his passions. He was in a miserable condition. He was overwhelmed with grief. He sunk his face into his hands. He shut himself in his room and asked his attendant Old Macey not to let anyone in. He imagined that his son’s grave had opened and he saw him lying in it. Six years had passed since his death, yet he imagined him lying in his uniform in the grave unchanged. For some months after his death he could not overcome the shock of the death of his only son. He went on weeping, but with the passage of time he composed himself. Then he remembered his son’s childhood. He was a promising boy, liked by the staff of his office. It was his only son who had given him some charm to live. He often took him to his office teaching him different techniques of business. He thought that his son would step into his shoes after him. Then one day Mackey gave him a telegram about his death. All of his hopes were dashed to the ground. 211
Q. 3. How and why did the boss kill the fly? 2001, 02
Or Describe briefly the fate of the fallen fly?
Or Why does the boss kill the fly with wanton cruelty? What does it signify? 02
The boss in this story proved to be a cruel and revengeful person. He killed the fly to take revenge of the death of his only son on the destiny. As fate has killed his son, he killed the fly with wanton cruelty. When Mr. Woodsfield told the boss about his visit with his daughters to the graves of his son Reggie as well as his (boss) son in Belgium, the boss could not control his passions. He was in a miserable condition. He was overwhelmed with grief. When the boss was looking at his dead son’s picture and recalling his son’s childhood, he saw a fly that had fallen into his broken inkpot. It was trying to come out, but fell back again and again. He picked it out with his pen. It dried its wings and was about to fly when he put a heavy drop of ink over it. It again dried its wings and attempted to fly, but he again dropped a blot of ink over it. It again cleaned its wings but the boss once again repeated his callous action. Three times, the fly made effort to escape from the clutches of death and was sure of its new life. The boss dropped one more drop of ink on it for fourth time. Now it was dead. Then he threw it into the waste-paper basket.
He killed the fly just to test its courage. This is how; the strong creatures normally kill weaker creatures in the world. Being stronger than the fly, the boss kilted the fly. 262
Q. 4. “The story is about the conquest of time over grief.” Discuss.
Or What is the theme or main idea of the story?
This is a symbolic story with more than one layers of meanings. It signifies the fact that time is the best healer. When the son of the boss died six years ago, fighting in the First World War, he thought that he could never forget and control his grief. Then he went on weeping for months together with no hope to recover. The memory of his beautiful, promising son always haunted him. He imagined him lying in his grave wearing his beautiful uniform. It was his only son who had given him some charm to live. He often took him to his office teaching him different techniques of business. He thought that his son would step into his shoes after him. His death made his life meaningless. It took away his courage to live. But with the passage of time he overcame his grief. He was taking keen interest in his business. He had recently decorated his office with new carpets and furniture, and made it comfortable. Thus the lapse of six years had lessened the intensity of his grief. He tried to keep himself busy as much as possible. 190
Q. 5. What does the title “The Fly” mean?
Or “As flies to the wanton boys are we to gods; they kill us for their sport.”
Or Everybody in the story is fly. Explain 2002-II
This is a symbolic story that can be interpreted in many ways. It is not simply the story of the death of a fly by the boss. The fly symbolizes all the creatures — birds, animals, insects and humans, who are killed mercilessly by the cruel hands of fate. The boss in the story symbolizes the fate. He kills the fly just out of fun or to test its courage and endurance. Similarly, the cruel hand of fate or chance kills human beings. As the boss killed the fly, the fate snatched his only son from him. The boss can also die like his son. Some bigger or stronger creature or force can also kill him. It normally happens that strong creatures kill the weak creatures.
Human beings are just like toys for gods who kill them for sport or pleasure. That is why Shakespeare said, “As flies to wanton boys are we to gods; they kill us for their sport.” A large number of innocent people die of diseases or as a result of accidents or bomb explosions just like flies before fate or death. Man is helpless before it. Thus the sons of Mr. Woodifield and the boss are just like flies to gods or fate. They were killed in the prime of their youth. The story, in fact, reflects the writer’s own life. She herself fell a victim to the cruel hands of fate as she died at thirty eight. 242
14. A Passion in The Desert
Q. 1. How did the French soldier escape? Where did he take refuge?
During Napoleon’s expeditions in Egypt a French soldier was taken captive by the Arab Africans or Moors. They took him beyond the Nile tied his hands and left him there. During their sleep at night, the French soldier took a dagger and a rifle and escaped on horseback. But on the way his horse died of fatigue. For quite some time, he walked on foot and reached a small green hill with palm trees where he stayed for the night. Being dead tired he instantly went to sleep. He was awakened early next morning by the rays of the sun. He wandered about the hill lonely and friendless. He cried in loneliness. He discovered a cave at the foot of the hill. It was quite safe for the night. Probably the cave had been used by some other party before him. Being tired he fell into deep sleep. 148
Q.2. How did the French soldier come across a panther? How did he make friends with him?
Or Explain the relationship between the soldier and the lioness.
Or Describe the emotional love between the soldier and the lioness.
During his sleep, at night, the soldier was disturbed by a strange noise in the cave. As he awoke up he was shocked to find a panther or lioness sleeping in the cave beside him. Her eyes were shining like two yellow lights. The soldier was horrified. He tried to kill the beast, but desisted. The beast moved gently towards him. Her mouth was blood-stained. Perhaps she had eaten the flesh of his horse. The soldier caressed the animal and moved his hand gently over its skin. In response the beast waved its tail. They had become friends. He named her Mignonne after his beloved’s name. The panther responded at the call of Mignonne. One day when the soldier ran towards the Nile for sight seeing the animal followed him. When he was stuck in the sand, the beast drew him out. He played with her as his dog. In excitement she began to move her tail and purr. Soon she began to rub her body against his leg like a cat. She was expressing her love for the writer. After some time she began to lick his boots. Thus she proved his companion in the desert. 197
Q. 3. Why did the soldier kill the panther? (P.U.96)
Or They ended as all great passions do end by misunderstanding. Elaborate. Or
“it was as though I had murdered a real person”
Or It was panther not he soldier who wins in the matter of love. Elaborate
The panther was the soldier’s only companion in the wilderness. Out of love, he gave her the name of his sweetheart in France, Mignonne. Although she had never tried to attack or threaten him, yet he always kept his hand on his dagger.
One day when he was playing with the panther as usual, she caught hold of his leg in her teeth. He feared that she was going to kill him. He, therefore, stabbed his dagger into her throat. After uttering a cry of pain she died. He regrettedover his haste and folly. There arose a conflict in his mind — whether she wanted to kill him or not. Perhaps she did not want to kill him. Her death saddened him as the death of a human being. But what was done in haste could not be undone. He was prepared to sacrifice everything to restore her to life, but it was impossible to do so. 157
Q. 4. What does make the story a tragedy? (P.U.95-S)
“A tragedy is a play or a story of a serious or solemn kind with a sad ending.” The story can be studied in the light of this definition.
Firstly, the story
is of a serious or solemn kind. It is about a French soldier who is taken
captive by Egyptian Arab Muslims in Egypt. They tie his hands and then go ahead
after leaving him on a hill. During this absence he escapes on a horseback
towards his army, but loses the way. His horse dies of fatigue and he is forced
to take refuge in
a cave. He goes to sleep, but at about midnight he is shocked to find a panther in the cave. Initially he is afraid of the panther lest she should attack him, but later she expresses love for him as he pats her.
Thus the story deals with a serious theme. There is nothing funny or humorous about it. The story has a tragic ending as the French soldier kills the panther with his dagger when the panther one day holds his leg in his sharp teeth. He did it against his will as he regrets at his hasty act. The panther was his only loving companion in wilderness. He felt very restless after killing the panther. Now he was as alone as before. 221
Q. 5. What does the title of the story stand for? How is the story a fantasy?
Or Do you think it is a military story or a fantasy? 2002-II
The title of the story “A Passion in the Desert” means the French soldier’s passion of love for the panther. He called her Mignonne after the name of his sweetheart. The soldier was first of all afraid of the panther, but later a passion of love developed between them. The soldier patted the panther lovingly and kindly. The panther, in response, waved her tail and licked his feet. Passion may stand for the soldier’s and panther’s love for each other.
A “fantasy” is an unrealistic or fantastic story. The story is a fantasy in the sense that the love or passion of a human being for a beast is quite unrealistic and unnatural.
A beast is
naturally and instinctively man’s enemy, unless it is tamed. It attacks man whenever it finds a chance.
But in the story we are surprised to find a panther in the cave with the French
soldier at night. The panther does not attack the soldier. Similarly the
soldier too does not attack the panther at first sight. Out of fear, the
soldier rubs her body with love and kindness. The panther also responds to his
love by waging her tail and licking his feet. 200
15. The Little Willow
Q.1. What does “The Little Willow” stand for or symbolize?
Or Simon keeps the little willow as a token of Lisby’s love which gives him strength till his death. 1998, 2001
Or How did Lisby express her love for Simon?
The little willow was a little willow tree made of hard green stone and crystal designed by a Chinese artist. Lisby had bought it from an antique shop. In the story the little willow symbolises Lisby’s love for Simon Byrne. She presented it to him as a token of her love. It had an emotional importance for her.
Lisby’s sisters Brenda and Charlotte attracted their lovers with their charming looks, bright dresses and capitulating talk. She, on the other hand, was simple, silent and modest. She did not profess her love openly like them. She had fallen in love with Simon Byrne, the moment he visited their Court House. One day When Simon came to the Court House to say good bye for the war, she expressed her love by presenting to him her little willow tree, a decoration piece made jade and crystal. He stammered, “It is much too lovely.” Lisby hoped his retune. He said, “I would try to……. In the spirit, if not in flesh” To her sisters, little willow was quite useless, but for her and Simon it had an emotional and spiritual significance. That is why Simon kept it with him even on the war front till it was shattered into pieces by a shell. The little willow, a token of her love, gave Simon strength enough to bear death cheerfully. 169
Q. 3. The little willow is a story of untold and silent love. Explain.
Or The little Willow is psychotically story.
Or Describe the theme of the little Willow.
Or How did Simon die and how did he express his love for Lisby?
Or How did Lisby know about Simon’s love for her?
The little willow is a psychological story of unexpressed and silent love of Simon Byrne and Lisby who loved each other deeply. They had silent and sincere emotions of love for each other. Lisby came to know of Simon’s love for her after his death through Captain Oliver, Simon’s friend. He came on the wedding day of Charlotte with Richard Harkness. Brenda, Lisby’s sister asked Oliver about Simon. He told that he was nice and loveable person. Suddenly Brenda saw Charlotte and went to her. He turned to lisby and told her Simon’s death. She was very sad.
Oliver told her that the night before his death, he requested him to write a letter to his mother. Oliver asked him if he was interested in none else. At this Simon told Oliver that he was in love with “a little, quiet creature” meaning Lisby who never knew that she was his. She was a source of consolation for him in great pain. Her memory comforted him in pain. He also told him of the little willow tree given by her. It was broken by an enemy shell. Lisby could not help bursting into tears and cried, “He was my dear, dear love.” She wept soundlessly. The next morning, when Brenda told her that was no letter foe her, she retorted, at once,” I have had mine_____one that was never written.” This makes the story pathetic. 236
Q 4. What do you know about the characters of Charlotte and Brenda? Why were they called charmers?
Or Give the comparative study of Charlotte and Brenda and Lisby.
Charlotte and Brenda were two elder Avery sisters. They were very fond of outward pomp and show. They tried to attract and fascinate young army officers with their physical. They, therefore, tried to look as beautiful and as graceful as possible. That is why they were called “charmers”
To captivate young army officers, they tried to talk and dress in the most attractive manner. Every young man visiting the Court House was allured by them at first sight. Their lovely, graceful faces and their crisp conversation had magnetic attraction. Their artistic taste attracted the musicians, artists and writers. They had decorated the drawing room very profusely. They welcomed the guests, kept them busy in conversation and music and saw them off. They also walked with them in the adjacent garden and also entertained them.
Brenda had a sweet, soft voice and played on the piano beautifully. Charlotte had special taste for flowers. Both were seductive in their own way. They selected the young men of their choice and then flirted with them, in order to select future husbands. In this attempt they tried to excel each other.
But they were not
sincere in their love. If any officer who had been coming to them died in war
they easily shifted their love to someone else. In this way their love was
hollow and superficial. Lisby, on the contrary, was true, sincere and steadfast
in her love for Simon. 238
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.1. How does the war contribute to Philip’s maturity?
Or 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 and learnt how to tackle the issues. During the course of his army service he has met grave situations. 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. 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
Q. 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
Q.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
Q. 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
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.
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
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
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.
- “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.’
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. 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.
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. 185
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.