English Chapter. The Story Teller

Chapter. The Story Teller

The Story Teller.

C1. Answer the following questions in a sentence each:

Question 1.
Who were the occupants of the carriage?
Answer:
The occupants of the carriage were an aunt with a small girl, a smaller girl and a small boy and a bachelor.

Question 2.
What questions haunted Cyril when he saw sheep in the field?
Answer:
When Cyril saw some sheep in the field he wanted to know why the sheep were being driven from one field to another. When he was given the lame answer that the grass in the other field might be better, he wanted to know why it was better.

 

Question 3.
What made the aunt decide that the bachelor was a hard and unsympathetic man?
Answer:
The author indirectly points out that bachelors get annoyed by the repetitive and persistently demanding behavior of children. Bachelors have no patience with the grown-ups who are incompetent at handling children. During their journey in the railway carriage, the three small children got bored and restless.

Their innumerable questions could not be answered by their aunt. Seeing the distractions by the children and the unsuccessful effort of the aunt, the bachelor’s frown was changing to a scowl. Observing this, the aunt decided that the bachelor was a hard and unsympathetic man.

Question 4.
Who saved the little girl in the aunt’s story?
Answer:
The aunt’s story was built on the cliched idea that the good get rewarded. The little girl was saved from a mad bull by a number of rescuers who admired her moral character.

Question 5.
Name the little girl in the bachelor’s story.
Answer:
The little girl in the bachelor’s story was Bertha.

Question 6.
What remark of the bachelor’s story created a wave of reaction in favor of the story?
Answer:
The idea that being good can be unpleasant appealed to the children. The word ‘horrible’ in connection with goodness was a novelty. It seemed to introduce a ring of truth that was absent from the aunt’s tales of infant life.

Question 7.
How did the Prince of the country come to know about Bertha?
Answer:
The Prince of the country came to know about Bertha from everybody who talked about her goodness.

Question 8.
How did the Prince of the country honour Bertha?
Answer:
The Prince of the country allowed Bertha to walk in his park once a week which was outside the town.

 

Question 9.
Why was it a great honour for Bertha being allowed into the Prince’s park?
Answer:
Being allowed into the Prince’s park was a great honour for Bertha because no children were allowed into the park.

Question 10.
When did Bertha begin to wish that she had never been allowed into the park?
Answer:
When a wolf entered the park and started chasing her, Bertha began to wish that she had never been allowed into the park.

Question 11.
The wolf located Bertha while she was hiding in the bushes by
a) sniffing around
b) the clinking sound of the medals
c) her spotlessly white pinafore.
Answer:
(b) the clinking sound of the medals.

Question 12.
What was the aunt’s reaction to Bertha’s story?
Answer:
Naturally, the aunt thought of the story as improper. She thought that the bachelor’s story had undermined the effect of years of careful teaching. Though the aunt had her own reasons to think so, she should have also realized that if stories turn out to be merely preaching material, they fail to convince the children.

C2. Answer the following in a few lines each:

Question 1.
How did the bachelor describe

the pigs in the park
the fish in the park
the wolf in the park?
Answer:

The pigs in the park: The bachelor knew how to capture the attention of the children. He said that there were lots of little pigs running all over the place. They were black with white faces, white with black spots, black all over, grey with white patches and some were white all over. They had eaten all the flowers.
The fish in the park: There were ponds with gold and blue and green fish in them.
The wolf in the park: The wolf which came prowling into the park was enormous. It was mud colour all over, with a black tongue and pale grey eyes that gleaned with unspeakable ferocity.
Question 2.
What qualities of Bertha earned her the three medals?
Answer:
Bertha won several medals for goodness. She earned a medal for obedience, another medal for punctuality and a third for good behavior.

 

Question 3.
Give reasons for:

the absence of sheep in the Prince’s park
the absence of flowers in the Prince’s park
Bertha feeling sorry for the absence of flowers in the Prince’s park.
Answer:

The absence of sheep in the Prince’s park: There were no sheep in the Prince’s park because his mother had a dream once that her son would be killed by either a sheep or a clock falling on him.
The absence of flowers in the Prince’s park: There were no flowers in the Prince’s park because the pigs had eaten them all.
Bertha feeling sorry for the absence of flowers in the Prince’s park: Bertha had promised her aunts that she would not pick any of the kind Prince’s flowers and she had meant to keep her promise. It made her feel silly to find there were no flowers to pick.
Question 4.
What are the two different thoughts of Bertha on her being extraordinarily good, when she was in the Prince’s park?
Answer:
Initially, when Bertha was walking up and down the park admiring the trees, the ponds with fish, the beautiful parrots, the hummingbirds, she felt that she was able to enjoy all these only because she was extraordinarily good, It was because of that she was let into the park.

When the wolf started chasing her to eat her, she ran and hid in the myrtle bushes terribly frightened and thought to herself that if she had not been extraordinarily good, she could not have been allowed into the park and she wouldn’t have had to face the hungry wolf and could have remained safe in the town.

C3. Discuss in groups and answer the following questions:

Question 1.
How did the medals earn respect for Bertha, as well as cause her death?
Answer:
Bertha was an extremely well-behaved girl and won medals for obedience, punctuality, and good behavior which were pinned on her dress every day. Every day people talked about her dress and the Prince of the country got to hear about it and allowed her to walk once a week in his park. It was a beautiful park and the children were not allowed in it. So it was a great honor for Bertha to be allowed to go there.

Once when she was in the park, Bertha saw a wolf stealing towards her. She hjd herself behind a bush. Being unable to trace her, the wolf tried to go in search of a pigling. But when Bertha trembled and her medals clinked, the wolf could locate her and killed her.

 

Question 2.
The aunt terms the bachelor’s story the most improper one. Do you agree with her? Give reasons.
Answer:
In her own way, the aunt was right because it is important that we influence children positively and make them have faith in the power of the good. However, when we narrate stories, we need to be imaginative so that we don’t lose out on the interest of the children. When it comes to the bachelor’s story, we see that technically it is a brilliant story as it has a powerful description, convincing turn of events and an interesting plot. If we go by these elements, we consider the story a proper one and disagree with the aunt’s conclusion that it is an improper story. 3

When it comes to the question of morality, we see that the bachelor gives the clear message that goodness gets punished. The question is whether it is advisable to give such a message to children. Here again, there are three points to be borne in mind. First of all, in life too not always does good get rewarded.

So, we can take it as the bachelor coming up with a realistic story. Secondly, we see that the bachelor in a subtle manner shows that the girl who is good, is good in a deliberate manner. She lacks the spontaneity and sincerity of children. Maybe the bachelor is giving a moral of a different kind. People who are too conscious of being good are not genuine.

Thirdly, the bachelor must have had the sensitivity of knowing that not all children could be expected to be good like Bertha. Such children are unnecessarily made to feel pathetic about not being good. So the bachelor must have wanted to make the children feel better about their own inadequacy. Going by all these reasons, we can conclude that though the story seems to be morally inappropriate at the first glance, a deeper analysis of the story shows that it has its own positive elements.

Question 3.
What elements in the bachelor’s story appealed to the children?
Answer:
The descriptive element, the unexpected twist, convincing answers to the questions raised in the course of the story made the children conclude that it was the best story that they had ever heard.

Question 4.
How would the story have ended if Bertha had not pinned the medals on her pinafore?
Answer:
The wolf would have gone away without spotting Bertha and would have probably satiated its hunger by eating a piglet.

Additional Questions:

Question 1.
Which were the two parties travelling by train?
Answer:
One consisted of a small girl, a smaller girl, a small boy, and their aunt. The other was a bachelor.

 

Question 2.
What was the name of the boy?
Answer:
Cyril.

Question 3.
How did the boy produce a cloud of dust?
Answer:
By smacking the cushions of the seat.

Question 4.
Why were the sheep being driven out of the field, according to the aunt?
Answer:
The aunt said that the sheep were being driven to a field where there was more grass.

Question 5.
Why was the bachelor frowning?
Answer:
He was irritated by the noise made by the children and the fact that the aunt was unable to control them.

Question 6.
Why did the aunt call the children to listen to a story?
Answer:
The bachelor was annoyed and he stared at the aunt twice and at the communication cord once. It suggested that he was planning to pull it. So, the aunt wanted to pacify the children by telling them a story.

Question 7.
What made the bachelor think that the aunt did not rank high as a storyteller in the children’s view?
Answer:
When the aunt offered to tell a story to the children, the children moved reluctantly towards her. They did not seem to be much interested in her story. So, the bachelor thought that the aunt’s reputation did not rank high in the children’s view.

Question 8.
What was the opinion of the children about the story told by the aunt?
Answer:
The bigger girl opined that it was the stupidest story she had ever heard. The boy said that he never listened to the story after the first half because it was so stupid. The smaller girl seemed to have stopped listening to the story long back, as she had started reciting her favourite line.

Question 9.
What prompted the bachelor to tell the children a story?
Answer:
After listening to the story of the aunt, the children expressed their displeasure about it. Seeing this reaction the bachelor expressed that perhaps the aunt was not as successful as a storyteller. Hearing this comment, the aunt replied that it was not easy to tell a story that children could both understand and appreciate. The bachelor did not agree and he was challenged by the aunt to tell the children a story. The bachelor took up the challenge and started telling a story.

Question 10.
What were the good qualities of Bertha as noted by the bachelor?
Answer:
Bertha was an extraordinarily good girl. She did all that she was told, she was always truthful, she kept her clothes clean, ate milk puddings as though they were jam tarts, learned her lessons perfectly and was polite in her manners.

 

Question 11.
How was Bertha rewarded for her goodness?
Answer:
Bertha was so good that she won several medals for her goodness. There were medals for obedience, for good behavior and for punctuality. Ultimately, when news spread and the Prince of the country heard about it, he even allowed her to walk in his beautiful park once a week. This was an opportunity which no other child got.

Question 12.
How did the bachelor describe the park?
Answer:
It was a beautiful park. There were no flowers in the park but there were lots of pigs running all over. They were of different colours. There were ponds with colourful fish in them. The fish were gold, blue and green coloured. The trees were full of birds such as the hummingbird which hummed the popular tunes of the day and the beautiful parrots that said clever things at a moment’s notice.

Question 13.
What was the opinion of the children about the bachelor’s story?
Answer:
The children liked the story very much. They were immensely happy to hear it. The smaller of the girls said that though the story began badly, it had a beautiful ending. The bigger of the girls said that it was the most beautiful story that she had ever heard. Cyril said that it was the only beautiful story he had ever heard.

Question 14.
Why did the aunt consider the bachelor’s story as improper?
Answer:
The aunt reckoned that the story would damage the careful upbringing, particularly where values were concerned. The aunt had tried to teach values to the children all these years.

This would be undermined by the story told by the bachelor. So, the aunt considered it an improper story to be told to children.

Question 15.
What were the thoughts of the bachelor as he walked down the platform?
Answer:
As he walked down the platform the bachelor thought that the children would attack and pester their aunt with demands of an improper story for at least another six months.

Multiple Choice Questions:

Question 1.
Nearly all of the children’s remarks began with
A) Do not
B) Yes
C) No
D) Why?
Answer:
D) Why?

Question 2.
The aunt decided that the bachelor was a hard, unsympathetic man when
A) the frown on the bachelor’s face turned into a scowl.
B) Cyril asked why the grass in the other field was better.
C) she could not find a satisfactory answer for Cyril’s question.
D) she tried to divert Cyril’s attention.
Answer:
A) the frown on the bachelor’s face turned into a scowl.

 

Question 3.
The line, the smaller girl went on repeating over and over again, was
A) Jack and Jill went up the hill
B) On the road to Mandalay
C) Pussy cat pussy cat where have you been
D) Twinkle twinkle little star.
Answer:
B) On the road to Mandalay

Question 4.
The aunt decided to tell the children a story when
A) the bachelor asked her to keep them quiet
B) Cyril asked her to tell a story
C) the bachelor looked at the communication cord
D) the smaller girl did not stop her singing.
Answer:
C) the bachelor looked at the communication cord

Question 5.
The children did not show interest in the aunt’s story because it was
A) very interesting
B) about a good girl
C) full of novelty
D) uninteresting and unenterprising.
Answer:
D) uninteresting and unenterprising.

Language Activities:

A) Vocabulary:

V1. Match the words in column ‘A’ with their meaning in column ‘B’:

A B
1. banish a) the place where a person lives
2. humble b) turn quickly
3. domicile c) stinking
4. foul-smelling d) expel
5. predator e) modest
6. flip f) an animal that hunts, kills and eats other animals
Answer:

d
e
a
c
f
b
V2. Which of the following expressions is correct?

a flock of birds/aflight of birds.
a flight of birds.
a swarm of insects/a colony of insects.
a swarm of insects.
a herd of goats/a flock of goats.
a herd of goats.
a troupe of actors/a company of actors.
a troupe of actors.
a wad of banknotes/a roll of banknotes.
a wad of banknotes.
a pack of cards / a deck of cards.
a deck of cards.
a team of experts/a panel of experts.
a panel of experts.
a bunch of grapes / a cluster of grapes.
a bunch of grapes.
V3. Write the synonyms and antonyms for the following words:

for Class 9 English Prose Chapter 8 Ethics 1

Word Synonyms Antonyms
1. calm quiet, rest, peace violence, unrest, struggle
2. ignore neglect, carelessness, slackness, disregard care, heed, solicitude, notice
3. gentle moderate, sobriety, mild rough
4. curious interested, inquisitive uninterested, indifferent
5. humble humility, modest, timid, unobtrusive conceited, vain, arrogant
6. revive renovate, restore, renew, regenerate, refresh weaken, replace, return
7. encounter arrive, confront, conflict, clash, meet depart, rebuff
8. pleasant agreeable, amusing, pleasing, enjoyable painful, unpleasant
9. deter discourage, hinder, remonstrate encourage, prompt, instigate
10. warm hot, welcoming, cordial, earnest cold, reticent, indifferent
11. dignified reputed, honor, stately disreputed, undignified
12. charming pleasing, beautiful, delightful displeasing, ugly, unattractive
B) Grammar And Usage:

G1. Read the following table carefully and match the details given in column A with the details given in Columns B, and C. One is done for you.

No. A B C
Statement Tense form Time reference
1. Every day, I study for six hours. Past Future
2. Meet me tomorrow. Present Future
3. The train arrives on platform No. 4 in a few minutes. Past Present – up to now
4. My aunt is visiting us next Sunday. So, I cannot join you for the next party. Present Future – up to then
5. We are going to buy a new car. Present Past (Single event)
6. I have finished my homework. Present Past
7. I had finished my homework by the time my friend came.
So, my father allowed me to go with him. Present Present, past and future (all time)
8. Sushma won the first prize in the recitation competition. Present Future
Answer:

No. A B C
Statement Tense Time
1. Every day, I study for six hours. Present Present, Future
2. Meet me tomorrow. Present Future
3. The train arrives on platform No. 4 in a few minutes. Present Future
4. My aunt is visiting us next Sunday. So, I cannot join you for the next party. Present Future – up to then
5. We are going to buy a new car. Present Future
6. I have finished my homework. Present Present – up to now
7. I had finished my homework by the time my friend came.
So, my father allowed me to go with him. Past Past
8. Sushma won the first prize in the recitation competition. Present Past (Single event)
G2. a) Fill in the blanks with suitable forms of the verbs given in brackets:

I am Shankar. I am an English teacher. I ………… (work) in Sarvodaya High School in Jayanagar. Every day, I ………….. (go) to Bangalore by train. The train is at 6 O’clock. So, I ………… (get) up at 4:30 a.m. and leave home around 5:30 a.m. My friend, Suresh, …………. (join) me on the way to the railway station. He is also a teacher. He …………. (teach) Biology. The train ……………. (reach) Bangalore around 8:30 a.m. We ………….. (take) a
B.M.T.C. bus from the railway station to Jayanagar.
Answer:
I am Shankar. I am an English teacher. I work in Sarvodaya High School in Jayanagar. Every day, I go to Bangalore by train. The train is at 6 O’clock. So, I get up at 4:30 a.m. and leave home around 5:30 a.m. My friend, Suresh, joins me on the way to the railway station. He is also a teacher. He teaches Biology. The train reaches Bangalore around 8:30 a.m. We take a B.M.T.C. bus from the railway station to Jayanagar.

 

b) Construct sentences using the appropriate tense form of the verbs underlined in each.

Everyday Yesterday
1. Go to school Go to Vijayapura to attend a friend’s marriage
2. Evening – practice music Evening – visit Golgumbaz
3. Help her brother with his homework. Go to a movie
Every week Last week
4. Visit her grandmother Spend time with relatives
5. Thursday – go swimming Thursday – attend a music concert
Answer:

Lakshmi goes to school every day, but yesterday she went to Vijayapura to attend her friend’s marriage.
Susheel practices music every day, but yesterday he visited Golgumbaz.
Bharathi helps her brother in his homework every day, but yesterday she went for a movie.
Kanthi visits her grandmother every week, but last week she spent time with her relatives.
Every week, on Thursday, Shantha goes swimming; but last Thursday, she attended a music concert.
G3. Complete the following conversation using the correct form of the verbs given in brackets:

Dhaman: Good morning, Mr. Salunke. I am from Suyama Karnataka’s newspaper. I _______ (write) an article on the lifestyle of wrestlers. Can I trouble you tomorrow for an interview?
Salunke: I _______ (be) afraid I will not be free tomorrow. I ______ (go) to Hyderabad to attend a conference. I ______ (back) day after tomorrow.
Dhaman: Oh! I am to submit my article the day after tomorrow. Do you _______ (think) you can spare a few minutes now?
Salunke: Umm! Well, I think I can _______ (spare) five minutes for you now.
Dhaman: Thank you very much. Tell me how you _______ (prepare) yourself for the wrestling competition.
Salunke: Everyday, I ______ (get) up very early in the morning. I _______ (spend) nearly six hours in the gymnasium. But my friend Raghu ______ (spend) only two hours in the gym. Our trainer ________ (train) us rigorously.
Dhaman: What diet _______ you _______ (follow) ?
Salunke: I ______ (prefer) lots of cereals and greens. But Raghu _______ (prefer) non-vegetarian diet.
Answer:

Dhaman: Good morning, Mr. Salunke. I am from ‘Suvarna Karnataka’s newspaper. I am writing an article on the lifestyle of wrestlers. Can I trouble you tomorrow for an interview?
Salunke: I am afraid I will not be free tomorrow. I am going to Hyderabad to attend the conference. I will be back the day after tomorrow.
Dhaman: Oh! I am to submit my article the day after tomorrow. Do you think you can spare a few minutes now?
Salunke: Umm! Well, I think I can spare five minutes for you now.
Dhaman: Thank you very much. Tell me how you are preparing yourself for the wrestling competition.
Salunke: Every day I get up very early in the morning. I spend nearly six hours in the gymnasium. But my friend Raghu spends only two hours in the gym. Our trainer trains us rigorously.
Dhaman: What diet do you follow?
Salunke: I prefer lots of cereals and greens. But Raghu prefers a non-vegetarian diet.
G4. Give reasons for the following. Use the verbs given in brackets. The first one is done for you:

for Class 9 English Prose Chapter 8 Ethics 2
for Class 9 English Prose Chapter 8 Ethics 3
Answer:
for Class 9 English Prose Chapter 8 Ethics 4

G5. Past Tense:

Rewrite the following by filling in the blanks with the past form of the verbs given in brackets. (You may have to use the past simple, past progressive and past perfect):

1. The children …………… (make) a lot of noise which ………….. (disturb) the bachelor. The little girl ……….. (sing) the first line of a poem repeatedly. Cyril ………… (smack) the cushions of the seat. When the aunt …………… (ask) him to look out of the window, he ………….. (start) asking questions about the sheep that ………….. (be) in the field. The aunt…… (try) to calm down the children by telling them a story. But the children did not like her narration.
The bachelor …………. (decide) to tell them a story. His style of narration ………….. (appeal) to the imagination of the children.
They ………….. (listen) to the story with rapt attention and ……………… (enjoy) the story.
Answer:
The children were making a lot of noise which disturbed the bachelor. The little girl was singing the first line of a poem repeatedly. Cyril was smacking the cushions of the seat. When the aunt asked him to look out of the window, he started asking questions about the sheep that were in the field. The aunt tried to calm down the children by telling them a story. But the children did not like her narration. The bachelor decided to tell them a story. His style of narration appealed to the imagination of the children. They listened to the story with rapt attention and enjoyed the story.

 

2. When I came home, my sister ……………… (work) on the computer. When I came home, my sister was working on the computer.
3. While Suresh ………….. (read) the text, Sony ………….. (note down) the main points.
While Suresh was reading the text, Sony noted down the main points.
4. The phone ……………. (ring) while I ………….. (have) my dinner. The phone rang while I was having my dinner.

Ethics by Saki About The Author:

Hector Hugo Munro (1870-1916), whose pen name is Saki, was a British writer. His stories are generally witty, mischievous, and sometimes very grim. He is compared to O. Henry and Dorothy Parker for his short stories. He is considered a master of the short story. He was influenced by writers like Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling and Oscar Wilde, in turn, he also influenced many other writers of younger generations. The present story depicts something different from the usual stories told to children.

Ethics Summary in English
The short story ‘The Story-Teller’ by H.H. Munro is set in a train. We get introduced to a family of four, comprising an aunt with her two nieces and a nephew. The only other occupant is a bachelor. The story humorously refers to the difficulty of the aunt in keeping the children occupied and in ensuring that they do not disturb the other passengers. She is unable to answer their questions convincingly and hence, offers to narrate a story. But, even as a storyteller she fails as the children bombard her with questions.

It is at this point that the bachelor observes aloud that the aunt did not seem to be a good storyteller. The aunt retorts that it is difficult to narrate stories that are both understandable and entertaining to children. She also challenges the stranger to come up with an effective story.

The bachelor accepts the challenge and begins with a story. Though the story has the conventional beginning of a good girl named Bertha, it catches the attention of the children when the bachelor, while answering a question, remarks that the girl is not as pretty as the little girls in the compartment. He further amuses them by describing the girl as being horribly good. Never had the children come across an oxymoron such as ‘horribly good’.

The bachelor tells the children that the Prince of the country honours Bertha for being good by permitting her to walk in his park once a week. When the children want to know whether there are sheep in the park and are answered in the negative, they want to know the reason. The aunt is secretly happy thinking that the bachelor too would find it impossible to answer the ‘why’ questions.

But the bachelor exhibits his power of imagination by saying that there are no sheep or clock as the prince’s mother had a dream that the prince would meet his end because of a sheep or a clock. When the tricky question is asked whether the prince actually died because of either of the two, the bachelor uses his wit to avoid an inappropriate answer by saying that the prince is still alive and hence the question cannot be answered.

The bachelor exhibits his power of description while talking about the pigs, the fish and the wolf. The bachelor perhaps appeals to the children because he makes fun of Bertha in a subtle manner. We see that Bertha is elated at the opportunity of being in the park, but is disappointed that she cannot give further proof of her goodness by not touching the flowers in the park as there are no flowers.

The bachelor explains the absence of flowers by adding that the pigs in the park had eaten them all. The bachelor’s explanation that the prince had chosen pigs over flowers amuses the children as it is an unusual choice. The bachelor also gives an unexpected twist to the story by showing that Bertha meets with a tragic end because of her goodness.

A wolf comes to the park and spots Bertha because of her pinafore which is spotlessly white and is able to locate her in the thick bushes because of the sound made by the three medals that she had won for obedience, good conduct, and punctuality. The good girl’s reward for good turns out to be the cause of her death.

The story, which is termed improper by the aunt, is highly appreciated by the children. The bachelor wryly responds to the aunt by saying that he was at least able to keep the children occupied for ten minutes. The chosen piece does not explicitly answer the question of whether children need to be given morality in the form of stories- or whether it is acceptable for stories to uphold the value of entertainment alone. However, the piece clearly shows that storytelling is an art and children cannot be given silly answers to the questions that they raise.

Glossary:

sultry: uncomfortably warm
persistent: doing something continuously
smack: to hit forcefully
reluctant: unwilling
fatuous: stupid
frown: facial expression showing annoyance
scowl: a very annoyed expression
wager: bet
listlessly: unwillingly
petulant: ill-tempered
retort: angry reply
flicker: begin to go down
grin: to smile widely
pinafore: loose garment without sleeves, worn over clothes to keep them clean
leaps and bounds: very quickly
shrubbery: undergrowth
sniff out: recognize by smelling
dissentient: differing from the opinion of the majority
undermined: damaged.

The Portrait Of The Lady.

Chapter On Saying Please.

Chapter/Prose Mauritius.

Chapter/Prose An Astrologers Day.

Chapter/Prose A question Of Space – Questions And Answers.

Chapter – The Collecters.

Chapter – The Story Teller.

Chapter – The Best Advice I Ever Had.

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