LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
1. Miss Mebbin, after acquiring the cottage at Dorking, writes to her sister how she managed to get the cottage, taking advantage of the vanity of two women. Draft a letter on her behalf. [C.B.S.E. 2011 (T-1)]
25 July, 20……
I am floating on Cloud Nine these days. Can you believe that I have fulfilled my lifelong ambition of acquiring a weekend cottage, near Dorking. It is so beautiful and scenic. All my friends were wonderstruck at my fortune and even you would feel that it is a ‘marvel’ and a great asset. Can you believe that your sister is so smart that she benefited the most from the tug-of-war between two jealous social butterflies, who could go to any length to hurt each other. One of them tried to hunt a tiger and shot the goat instead. I grabbed this opportunity and got a lot of hush-money to keep her secret. These women really deserve this treatment. One of them has already learned a lesson and decided not to indulge in game-shooting.
Rest of the details, I’ll give later.
2. What plans did Mrs. Packletide make to outshine Loona Bimberton? Was she successful?
Ans: Mrs. Packletide had made quite an elaborate plan to outshine Loona, in all respects. She decided to hunt a tiger to counter her fame. Moreover, she had planned a luncheon party, at Curzon Street, to pretend that it was given in Loona’s honour. The tiger skin would be in the background, media people were to be called. And she had also decided that a tiger claw brooch would be given to Loona as her birthday gift. Yes, she was, but at a great financial cost.
3. Why was Mrs Packletide’s tiger-hunt not thrilling and adventurous? What precautions did Mrs Packletide take to hunt the tiger without risking her life?
Ans: Mrs. Packletide was neither adventurous nor sporting. She had never held a rifle before, nor had she ever shown any inclination for any kind of game or shooting. The sole objective of the tiger-hunt was to make Loona jealous. So the tiger-hunt took on the flavour of some kind of exploit that is undertaken to degrade others.
Mrs. Packletide sat on a high platform which was far from the reach of the tiger, she had an automatic rifle, and a goat with a persistent bleat was selected to attract the tiger. Moreover, she had taken help from the villagers and had her paid companion with her for any kind of emergency.
4. After reading the lesson, you have come to the conclusion that ‘False vanity ends up in loss.’ On the basis of your observation and reading of the lesson, write an article.
FALSE VANITY ENDS UP IN LOSS
Man is a slave to his passions and when it comes to women, whims and fancies rule the roost. Women belonging to the upper rung of society, often end up making a farce of their eccentricities and become subjects of ridicule. It is a fact now known to all, how a top socialist shot a tiger just for making her friend jealous and have her photos splashed all over the newspapers. Heedless killing of animals for one’s whims is the greatest cruelty one can inflict on poor helpless creatures. That lady, to satisfy her vanity, resorted to tiger-killing which can never be pardoned in any way. These days we are pledged to ‘SAVE TIGERS’ campaign, so such kind of wanton acts cannot be forgiven. Strict laws should be made to punish such heedless acts, which resort not only to cruelty but also end in financial losses like expenditure or even blackmail. One never knows.
5. You are Mrs Packletide. You are indebted to the villagers who never let you down at any juncture whereas your companion Miss Mebbin, on whom you relied heavily, stabbed you in the back. Write a letter to a friend regarding the faith and betrayal you faced from the people around you, giving vent to your inner feelings.
10 July, 2011
I could not write to you since there were so many preoccupations that needed to be sorted out in my personal life. If you remember, I had mentioned that I was planning to shoot a tiger. The tiger was shot and all the villagers helped me in every way. Some lay in ambush for my protection, others tried their best to stop the tiger from going to the neighbouring village. They even arranged for a goat and gave all kinds of support, when it was discovered that I had shot the goat instead of the tiger. But my paid companion, Louisa who was supposed to be loyal, threatened to divulge this secret to my arch rival Loona. Out of compulsion, I had to honour her by gifting her a very expensive cottage as blackmail. Imagine my state of mind when people on whom you depend stab you in D – 22 New Wave Communicative English – X the back. Now I have lost faith in people I trusted earlier.
Q 6. Mrs. Packletide develops extreme jealousy for Loona Bimberton. She gives vent to her feelings by writing a diary entry. As Mrs. Packletide, write a diary entry. [C.B.S.E. 2011 (T-1)]
Today I am feeling extremely jealous for Loona Bimberton who had recently been carried in an airplane by an Algerian pilot. I have been belittled by her adventure. I am no less than her in any way, be it money, lifestyle or fame. I could not bear to see her photographs in the newspapers. So, I have decided to outshine her by hunting a tiger and possessing its skin. I will invite photographers of all the leading magazines to click my photographs with the tiger. I have also planned to throw a party pretending to honour Loona for her adventure but most of the talk would revolve round my bravery of killing a tiger. This would make Loona squirm with embarrassment. To humiliate her more, I would even present a tiger-claw brooch to Loona on her birthday.
What do you say???
Isn’t it a brilliant idea?
Q 7. Do you think the writer is trying to make fun of the main characters in the story i.e., Mrs Packletide, Miss Mebin and Loona Bimberton? Narrate the instances from the story that point to this fact.
Ans: Through the characters like Mrs. Packletide and Loona Bimberton, the writer wants to highlight the vanity of two women who can go to any foolish an extremes. He pokes fun at those who are largely governed by passions like jealousy. They are far removed from normal human beings and their world comprises of parties, media attention and meaningless adventures. They unnecessarily waste thousands of rupees just to outshine each other. Despite being bitter enemies and having an extreme hatred for each other, both Loona and Mrs. Packletide pretend to be part of the same circle of friends. Their activities are not for the welfare of the society but only to fulfill their eccentricities and whims.
The writer has created another character like Miss Mebbin who has no sense of loyalty for her employer and resorts to blackmail Mrs. Packletide for her optimum benefit. After threatening Mrs. Packletide that she would tell Loona that she had shot at the goat and not the tiger and the latter’s death was caused by a heart attack, she was able to procure a week-end cottage from her.
All the three characters are the epitome of vanity and pretentious.