Q.1. Describe the first meeting between Sergei and Lushkoff. How did Sergei take pity on Lushkoff?
- One day advocate Sergei came across a beggar. He was dressed in very poor clothes. He was crying and requested Sergei to have pity on him.
- He told Sergei that he had the offer of a position in Katuga, but he did not have money to get there. So he wanted some money to pay for the fare.
- Sergei looked at the beggar closely. Suddenly he remembered that he had seen him the previous day in Sadovya Street. Then he had told him that he was a student and had been expelled for not paying his fees.
- At first, the beggar denied the charge. But when Sergei rebuked him, he admitted that he earned his living by lying. He told Sergei that his name was Lushkoff and that he was out of work.
- Sergei refused to give him alms. But he said that he would give him work of chopping wood. He brought Lushkoff home. He called his maidservant Olga and told her to take him into the woodshed and get some wood chopped.
- Sergei could see from a room that Lushkoff was weak as well as unwilling to do the chopping work. However, after one hour, Olga came and told Sergei that the wood had been chopped. Set-did gave Lushkoff half a rouble.
Q.2. Sergei brought Lushkoff home to get some wood chopped. How did he help Afterthought?
- After getting wood chopped, Sergei was happy that he had helped a man. He had reformed a beggar. He told Lushkoff that he could come on the first of every month and chop wood for money. La Lushkoff came on the first of every month.
- Although he was so weak that he could hardly stand on his legs, yet there was always work for him and he did it.
- Sometimes, it was chopping of wood. At other times, he had to shovel snow or put the woodshed in order. Sometimes, he was asked to beat the dust out of mattresses and rugs. Every time he received from twenty to forty kopecks.
- One day Sergei moved to another house. He hired Lushkoff to help in packing and hauling furniture. This time, he was silent and sober. At these: the pork was done.
- Sergei offered to find better work for him. He wrote a letter to one of his friends. He gave this letter to Lushkoff and told him that he would find the job of copying the written matter. In this way, Sergei LushkotT. He was pleased with having put a man on the right path.
Q.3. Describe the last meeting between Sergei and Luslikoff. How did Olga help Lushkoff to be a real man?
- One day, after two years, Sergei came across Lushkoff standing at the ticket window of a theatre, paying for a seat. He was wearing a coat collar of curly fur and a sealskin cap. Sergei recognized him.
- Lushkoff told him that now he was a notary and was paid thirty-five roubles a month. Sergei was pleased to hear this. He congratulated Lushk off for standing on his own feet in life.
- At this, Lushkoff disclosed something to him. He said that it was not because of him, but his maidservant Olga that he had reformed himself.
- When he used to come to his house to chop wood, he could not do so because he was weak and inexperienced. Then Olga would take pity on him and chop the wood for him.
- He told Sergei that he never chopped a single stick. It was all done by Olga. Her kindness transformed him. He stopped drinking and started earning his living by hard work. In this way, Olga’s kindness had changed his life.
Q.4. During their conversation, Lushkoff reveals that Sergei’s cook, Olga, is responsible for the positive change in him. How has Olga saved Lushkoff?
What values did Olga exhibit while saving the life of Lushkoff?
- Olga, Sergei’s seemingly ill-tempered cook, had been the main motivating factor behind Lushkoff’s positive change.
- She saved him by rousing the positivity in him that had got suppressed due to his alcoholism. She scolded him, cursed him but also shed tears for him and suffered misery for his sake.
- Outwardly she expressed disgust for Lushkoff but went out of her way to help him reform himself. She risked the displeasure of her master, Sergei, by hiding the truth about the odd jobs assigned to Lushk off.
- She gave true humane affection to him and showed both pity and concern. Her affection is exhibited by the fact that she chops wood for him so that he can earn some money to feed himself and stay alive.
- It is Olga’s sincere and selfless efforts that finally give Lushkoff a lease of life. Lushkoff too remembers her with gratitude for her kind words and her noble deeds.
Q.5. Sergei’s sympathy was as important as Olga’s noble deeds that reformed Lushkoff. Discuss.
- Lushkoff gave the credit of his reformation to Olga, but it is true that Sergei’s sympathy towards him was also important.
- If Sergei had not taken the initiative to assign work to Lushkoff and had instead handed him over to the police, the beggar’s life would have ended in a disaster.
- Sergei, like Olga, went out of his way to uplift the ragged beggar by making him do odd jobs and paying him in return. Sergei was not obliged in any way to spend money on a beggar in this manner, but it was his concern for Lushkoff that he made sincere efforts to reform him.
- Sergei also arranged a ‘cleaner employment’ of a copier for Lushkoff by sending him to his friend with a letter of recommendation.
- Again, it was Sergei who brought Lushkoff to Olga. If this had not been done, Olga would not have been able to help him.
- Hence, the contribution of Sergei in the reformation of Lushkoff was as important as that of Olga.
Q.6. How was Lushkoff, the beggar different from Lushkoff, the notary?
Lushkoff, the beggar used to resort to lies in order to get sympathy and money from people:
- He had a repulsive and disgusting appearance.
- He wore a ragged fawn-coloured overcoat and his eyes were dull and drunken.
- Each of his cheeks had a red spot.
- One of his overshoes was higher than the other.
- He was hated for his dishonesty and swindling.
- He was very weak, both physically and emotionally because of alcoholic habits.
- He did not have any self-respect or dignity and quietly took all the jeering from others.
Lushkoff, the notary, in contrast, looked like a gentleman:
- He wore a coat collar of curly fur and a worn sealskin cap.
- He was paid thirty-five roubles a month for his ‘clean employment’.
- He was a respectable and responsible person now, not the alcoholic who had stooped to telling lies and begging alms for survival.
- He now had both a reformed soul and an improved life.
Q.7. What are the different ways in which the writer refers to Lushkoff? Why?
The writer refers to Lushkoff by numerous derogatory terms:
- He calls him a suppliant, mendicant, beggar, ragged creature, swindler, scarecrow of a beggar, pseudo-teacher, spoiled, drunken, sick man, waif, miserable creature, unlucky man, an unhappy one.
- He does so to convey to the reader the miserable plight into which Lushkoff had sunken himself owing to his alcohol addiction.
- These derogatory terms not only highlight a character marred by alcoholic habits but also amplify his improvement later in the story.
- This technique of employing contrast is used by the writer to make the reader realise that alcoholism ruins an individual completely.
- His reformation thus gains significance because of varied adjectives that indicate his depravity.
- It also emphasizes the impact of compassion and concern while rehabilitating an addict.
- It eventually builds faith that transformation is possible if a person is made to realise his mistakes and is given proper support and effective counselling.
Q.8. Imagine you are advocating Sergei. You meet Lushkoff after a gap of two years and are happy to see him as a reformed man. Write a letter in about 150 words to your friend Antonio Banderas to whom you had sent Lushkoff with a letter of recommendation.
In your letter you should write:
- When and where you met Lushkoff.
- What revelation he made about Olga.
- How you felt after learning the truth.
Today is a day of pleasant surprises for me. I met Lushkoff, who I had sent to you two years ago with my letter of recommendation. I am extremely happy to share with you that he is now a notary who earns thirty-five roubles a month.
I met him by chance at the theatre and was delighted to see his transformed appearance. He was dressed well and looked good. During the course of our conversation, he made a surprising revelation. He told me that he had never cut a single stick of wood when I had assigned him that task. It was actually my cook, Olga, who would chop it for him. The noble deeds and kindness of the woman reformed him and he quit drinking forever. I salute the spirit of my cook Olga whose selfless service saved a precious life. Her values of humility and mercy have made me realise that compassion has greater worth than money. I must admit that I was a bit startled by this revelation. However, I am genuinely happy because I had honestly wanted Lushkoff to return to the right path.
May God bless the kind Olga for her noble deed!
Hoping to see you for Christmas this year.
Q.9. How can we help beggars/abolish begging?
- Most of the countries face the nuisance of begging especially in poor countries. Beggars can be seen in all public places. Some of the beggars have made it a business. It has become a serious problem.
- Our society and the government should take the necessary steps to solve this problem. The global spread of education is required. Our government should pass strict laws against begging.
- Beggars should be given an opportunity to work. Financial support can be provided to them in order to set up some work. Beggars may be turned into skilled labourers.
- The government should set up a beggar’s home only for the handicapped. Begging is a bad practice and is an impediment in the way of progress. So, we should discourage begging and beggars.
Q.10. Sergei helped out Lushkoff to return to normal life. Write down Sergei’s contribution to Lushkoff.
- Lushkoff was a beggar. He sought the attention of people by telling lies.
- Sergei caught him telling lies one day. He threatened that he would send for the police to arrest him. The beggar now told him the truth.
- Sergei wanted to change his life. He offered him work at his home. He asked him to chop the wood and paid money in lieu of that work. He handed over Lushkoff to Olga.
- The time passed, and Sergei realised he was unfit for physical work. He sent him to one of his friends to do copying work.
- After some time, he met Lushkoff as a successful man. Lushkoff expressed his sense of gratitude to Sergei and thanked him greatly.
- In this way, Sergei contributed a lot tout Lushkoff’s life on the right track, s act
Q.11. Compassion and pity can bring positive changes in human beings. How did Olga prove it?
- Yes, it is true that compassion and can bring positive changes in human beings.
- Olga came to know about the condition of Lushkoff. She understood that he was a victim of his bad habits and circumstances.
- She helped him by working in his place. This brought a positive change in Lushkoff, who became a good and successful person in life.
- In general life, a convict can be made a true human by love and compassion. Bur When he gets love and compassion from others, it arouses a feeling in his heart to hr improve and become a good man and this makes him realise his mistakes.
- By self-introspection, he finds that the path he has chosen is not a path of true human and lent gradually, he starts to modify himself as a true human.
- A convict who is not improved by harsh punishment can easily be improved by the loving and sympathetic attitude towards him.
Q.12. Every man must work to make a living. Explain this idea with respect to the story still 'The Beggar'.
- Lushkoff was a middle-aged man and belonged to the Russian choir. He was not a born beggar.
- He was sacked from the choir because of his drinking habits. He became a beggar by choice as he did not like to work hard at that stage.
- Sergei played a very important role in improving the condition of the beggar. It was because of Sergei that Lushkoff could earn thirty-five roubles a month.
- He offered him the job to chop wood at his home. Later on, he sent him to one of his friends to do the job of copying. Lushkoff was highly obliged to Sergei because now he was a notary because of him.
Q.13. Olga’s affectionate nature was instrumental in making Lushkoff to give up drinking and reform himself. Do you agree?
- Lushkoff was a beggar. He pretended to be a teacher and sometimes a student. He used to tell lies and got the people’s support.
- One day Sergei caught his lie and brought him to his house. He asked him to chop the wood. But Lushkoff did not like to do that job.
- When Olga saw him she glared at him angrily. She shoved him aside with her elbow. She was in anger and unlocked the shed moving ahead. Olga treated Lushkoff like a son.
- She kept scolding him for his bad habits. She wanted to improve his condition. She did his work and gave him money. Lushkoff started respecting her. He accepted her advice and became a successful man again.
Q.14. To reform a person, it is important to use both strictness and love. Discuss with reference to the lesson ‘The Beggar’.
- In the story, when Sergei threatened the beggar, he exposed himself. He told the reality about his life. He was neither a teacher nor a student.
- All that was false about him. He was a singer in a Russian Choir. He had been expelled from the choir because of his drinking habits.
- Sergei asks Olga to provide work to the beggar Luskoff. She is very kind and affectionate to the beggar.
- Seeing that the beggar is not strong enough to cut wood, she herself cuts the wood for him. She helps Lushkoff to get paid for it.
- Though she is outwardly rude to the beggar, she has much kindness and affection for him. She plays an important role in bringing back Lushkoff to mainstream life. She is a very good person.
Q.15. ‘It is better to help one by giving work than giving alms’. Comment with the help of the character Sergei in the Beggar’.
- Begging is a curse in our society. Giving alms to a young and lazy person is not to help him. By giving work instead of alms, he can be made to lead a decent life.
- In the story, Sergei was a kind and nobleman. He found Lushkoff begging. He offered him the task of chopping wood.
- Sergei did not have any other work to offer him at that time. But Lushkoff was not fit for the physical labour. His health was very poor. Olga, a kindhearted lady helped Lushkoff much by working in his place.
- He was deeply inspired by Olga and left drinking. He regained his confidence and self-respect. This brought a positive change in Lushkoff who became a good and successful person in life.