1. 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


  1. 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 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



  1. 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.

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