LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
Q1. You are a neighbour of Mrs Slater on Upper Cornbank Street. You have witnessed the indifferent and insensitive manner in which Mrs Slater looks after her father and how the poor father contrives ways to stay out of the house. Write a letter to a friend expressing your grave concern at the way in which the elderly people are neglected.
Post Carter Road,
30 March, 2010
With a heavy heart, I am writing this letter as I fear for our advancing age. The Slaters are our neighbours and Mrs. Slater treats her father so badly, that I fear how our old age will fare. The old father is very sporting, friendly and happy-go-lucky and still treated badly. He is not the demanding type, but still Mrs. Slater is always cribbing about keeping him. Mr Abel, that is his name, hardly stays at home and goes about to visit people even when he is sick and should be tended. His granddaughter Victoria is the only one who cares for him but a child cannot have her way. Mrs Slater is always trying to take away Mr Abel’s things, one way or the other. These days he appears to be looking better because I have heard in the neighbourhood, that he is apparently seeing some old widow Mrs. Shorrock. Atleast there is some light in his life, some flicker of hope. God save us from such children. I hope we do not face any such problems. Do write to me.
Q2. Discuss the character-sketch of Mrs Jordan and Mrs Slater as opposed to the characters of their husbands.
Ans : Mrs Slater is clever, manipulative and mean, much like her sister Mrs. Jordan. Their aim in life is to do nothing for their father and derive maximum benefit. If Amelia takes away her father’s slippers, bureau and clock, Elizabeth wants to take away her father’s watch. Both the ladies spare no thought for their father and worry about outdoing each other in wearing mourning dresses. For them the death of their father is like a drama that needs to be staged with best outfits. Both the husbands are henpecked and they go according to their wives. Henry knows that his wife is an opportunist but he assists her in carrying the bureau down. The husbands have no individualities except to pamper the whims of their wives.
Q3. Victoria is the only one who loves her grandfather. She is also a witness to the manipulations and the mercenary behaviour of her parents and her aunt and uncle. She writes a diary expressing shock at their attitude and the emotional loss she would undergo after her grandfather’s departure. [C.B.S.E. 2011 (T-1)]
Today is the worst day of my life, when Grandpa was supposed to have passed away. I am deeply shocked at the behaviour of my mother and father, who are pinching the belongings of my Grandpa. Imagine none even went to look up Grandpa. I know Grandpa was not happy living with us, I tried my best but mummy never listens. Even papa supports her. I am so ashamed to see their hypocrisy. I don’t know how they will expect respect from me, when they have behaved so abominably. I pity Grandpa for this treatment. Oh! how I wish I was grown up enough to look after him.
Q4. Many years have elapsed. Mr Abel Merryweather passed away some years back. Mrs Slater is old and she realises how greedily she had behaved with her father. She is griefstricken and regrets her actions. She unburdens her self in a diary-entry. Compose this on her behalf.
I am so depressed because for a long time I have not received any letter from Victoria. Victoria has always been cold and unresponsive towards me. I know she will never forgive the treatment I gave to my father. The minds of young children are impressionable and she will never change her opinion or learn to respect me. I am sick, old and I need care but do I deserve any care, after the way I treated my father. On God! I feel so guilty. I wish I could turn the clock back. I made my father most unhappy so ill-luck and misery has to happen to me. I wish I could make amends.
Q5. You are Abel Merryweather. Express your ideas feelings after you wake up and come to know about your daughter’s feelings/greed and intentions.
Abel in “The Dear Departed” is very upset at the behaviour of his family. He expresses his feelings to a close friend in a letter. As Abel, write this letter. [C.B.S.E. 2011 (T-1)]
You must be surprised to get my letter after such a long time. But frankly speaking I did not find anyone in this whole world to become a witness to my marriage with Mrs. Shorrock, a widow, running a school in our neighbourhood.
Don’t get shocked to hear about my marriage at this ripe age when I have a full fledged family of two children and grand children. I myself never thought of taking such a drastic step had I not got over drunk one night and slept till late in the morning. That was a blessing in disguise, I could see the hypocrisy of my daughters. My supposed death was no loss to them since they considered me a burden. My death became a kind of competition for both of them. They outshone each other in wearing the best mourning dresses and took away the things from my room in the presence of my supposed dead body and started accusing each other. It is only my granddaughter who has some feelings for me.
Sensing the mercenary nature of my daughters, I have taken a stern decision, to spend the fag end of my life in good care. I have outwitted all of them and have planned to Marry Mrs Shorrock who would look after me better. Moreover, I am going to take away all my things and leave nothing for them. I hope you will appreciate my decision. Do come to St. Wilson church on Monday, the day I am getting married, at 11 a.m.
Yours very own