Q. 1. How did the narrator come to know about Mrs. Dorling and the address where she lived?
Ans. Years ago, during the first half of the war, the narrator went home for a few days to see her mother. After staying there a couple of days she noticed that something or other about the rooms had changed. She missed various things. Then her mother told her about Mrs. Dorling. She was an old acquaintance of her mother she had suddenly turned up after many years. Now, she came regularly and took something home with her everytime she came. She suggested that she could save her precious belongings by storing them at her place. Mother told her address, number 46, Marconi Street. The narrator asked her mother if she had agreed with her that she should keep everything. Her mother did not like that. She thought it would be an insult to do so. She was worried about the risk. Mrs. Dorling faced carrying a full suitcase or bag.
Q. 2. Describe narrator’s first visit to Mrs. Dorling’s house in Marconi Street.
Ans. The narrator was sure that her mother’s belongings must still be preserved by Mrs. Dorling. One day, she felt an urge to see and touch those objects. So, she went to Mrs. Dorling’s house in Marconi Street. She rang the bell. A women opened the door a chink and looked at her searchingly. The narrator came closer and introduced herself that she was Mrs. S’s daughter. The woman kept staring at her in silence. There was no sign of recognition on her face. The narrator thought perhaps she had come to the wrong house. But she saw that the woman was wearing her mother’s green knitted cardigan. She knew at once that she had made no mistake. She asked the woman whether she knew her mother. The woman could not deny this. She said. “Have you come back ?” The narrator said that she had come there specially to talk to her for a moment. The woman regretted that she could not do anything for her. She asked the narrator to come some other time and cautiously closed the door. The narrator realized that her visit was in vain. She stood on the step for a while and then left the place.
Q. 3. Describe the narrator’s second visit to Mrs. Dorling’s house.
Ans. The narrator’s first visit to Mrs. Dorling’s house was in vain. She decided to try for a second time. This time a girl of about fifteen opened the door to her. Her mother was not at home. The narrator said that she would wait for her. Following the girl along the passage, the narrator saw their oldfashioned iron candle-holder hanging next to a mirror. The girl made her sit in the living room and went inside. The narrator was horrified to find herself in a room she knew and did not know. She found herself in the midst of familiar things which she longed to see again but which oppressed her in the strange atmosphere. She dared not look around her. The woollen table cloth, the cups, the white tea-pot, the spoons, the pewter plate, everything was full of memories of her former life. Suddenly the objects linked with her former life lost their value in strange surroundings. They too appeared strange to her. She no longer had desire to possess them. She got up, walked to the door, and came out of the house.
Q. 4. What did the narrator learn about Mrs. Dorling from her mother?
Ans. The war was going on. The narrator was home for a few days. She immediately noticed that something about the rooms had changed. Various things were missing. She looked at her mother questioningly. Then her mother told her about Mrs. Dorling. The narrator had never heard of that woman. Obviously, she was an old acquaintanceof her mother, whom she had not seen for years. Since then, she had been coming to their house regularly. Every time she left the place she took something with her. She took all the table silver cutlery set, then the antique plates and several other precious things. She herself explained that she wanted to save all their nice things because they would lose everything in case they had to leave the house. The narrator’s mother never doubted her intention. She rather felt obliged to Mrs. Dorling for taking all the trouble while carrying their things.
Q. 5. Comment on the significance of the title of the story ‘The Address. ’
Ans. The story has been aptly given the title, ‘The Address.’ This title is significant. The story moves around Mrs. Dorling’s address : Number 46, Marconi Street. Mrs. Dorling was an old acquaintance of the narrator’s mother. She had carried their valuables to her house for safety during the war time. She said that she wanted to save all their nice things because they would lose everything if they had to flee from the place. The narrator’s mother told her Mrs. Dorling’s address. The narrator had remembered the address. When the war was over and things became almost normal, one day the narrator had an intense longing to see and touch the objects which were linked with the memories of her former life. She knew that all the things must still be preserved by Mrs. Dorling. So, she went to number 46 in Marconi Street. She was horrified to find in a room she knew and did not know. She found herself in the midst of familiar things which she longed to see again but which oppressed her in the strange atmosphere. Suddenly, the objects lost their value in strange surroundings, they too appeared strange to her. She realized that the address lost all its significance for her and she wanted to forget it.