VERY SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Read the following extracts and answer the questions.
Ques 1: “Nicola, the way you and Jacopo work, you must earn quite a bit. You spend nothing on clothes. You eat little enough ... .’’
(a) Who said the above lines?
Ans: These lines are spoken by the narrator.
(b) Why did the speaker get the feeling that the boys were not spending any money?
Ans: The boys were always seen wearing torn clothes and they seemed to hardly eat anything except black bread and fig.
(c) What do the above lines reflect about the two boys?
Ans: The boys were of sacrificing nature and they cared very deeply for their sister. Her well-being was their sole concern.
Ques 2: I had already told Luigi he might take the day off. However I answered, “I’ll drive you out myself.”
(a) Who was Luigi?
Ans: He was the driver of the narrator.
(b) Why did the speaker offer to drive himself?
Ans: Luigi had been granted a holiday and the narrator did not wish to recall him and as a last gesture of goodwill he offered to drive himself.
(c) Where did the boys wish to go?
Ans: The boys wished to go to Poleta, 30 km away, to look up their sister.
Ques 3: When the war was over and we had peace at last, they came back to their beloved sister. And they found her ....
(a) Identify ‘they’.
Ans: ‘They’ refers to the brothers – Nicola and Jacopo.
(b) Who is the beloved sister?
Ans: Lucia is the boys’ sister who had not been keeping well.
(c) In what condition did they find their sister?
Ans: The brothers found that their sister had contracted tuberculosis of the spine.
Ques 4: “Of course, everything is so difficult now, the food so scarce and dear we could not keep going unless we charged a fee.”
(a) Who are the speaker and the listener?
Ans: The speaker is the nurse, and the listener is the narrator.
(b) Why was food so expensive?
Ans: Due to a war waged by Germany, starvation had resulted.
(c) For what purpose does the speaker need to charge a fee?
Ans: Lucia had been contracted Tuberculosis, so money was needed for her medical expenses.
Ques 5: “They couldn’t do it better,” I agreed.
(a) Who is ‘I’ and who are ‘they’?
Ans: ‘I’ is the narrator, and ‘they’ refers to Nicola and Jacopo.
(b) What great thing had the above-mentioned people done?
Ans: The determination of the brothers to do so many jobs to provide for their sister.
(c) Do you think the speaker is earnest in his saying?
Ans: The speaker is sincere and full of admiration for the boys.
Ques 6: ‘When the resistance movement began secretly to form they were among the first to join. When the war was over and we had peace at last, they came back to their beloved sister.’
(a) Who are the “they” referred to here? [C.B.S.E. 2011 (T-1)]
Ans: Here ‘they’ refers to the two brothers, Nicola and Jacopo.
(b) Why did they join the resistance movement?
Ans: They joined the resistance movement because the war waged by Germany had killed their father, destroyed their house and had separated them from their
(c) What had happened to their sister?
Ans: Their sister, Lucia, who wanted to be a singer, had been contracted with tuberculosis of the spine due to cold and starvation.
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Ques 1: Nicola said to the narrator, “Waiting for the last bus from Padua. We shall sell all our papers, when it comes in.” Why were the boys waiting for the last bus?
Ans: Both the brothers— Nicola and Jacopo were desperate to make as much money as possible to provide medical care for their sister Lucia, who was undergoing treatment for Tuberculosis. They worked late at night and were waiting for the last bus to sell the unsold newspapers.
Ques 2: Why did the two boys survive only on black bread and figs, despite making a decent earning?
Ans: The boys did not wish to spend any money on themselves. They just ate the minimum required for survival. Lucia’s treatment was expensive so they willingly gave away all the money they earned for her recuperation (wellness). Their own misery or poverty did not mean anything to the boys.
Ques 3: Why does the narrator make an offer for help to the two boys? What does it entail?
Ans: The narrator is very impressed by the hard work and zest (great enthusiasm and energy) exhibited by the two brothers. His visit was coming to an end, so the narrator offered help as the last sign of goodwill. Jacopo requested the narrator to take them to Poleta, which was 30 km away. Since the narrator had already given the day off to his driver, he volunteered to drive the boys, himself.
Ques 4: For what reason does Jacopo request for a lift to Poleta?
Ans. Lucia is Jacopo’s and Nicola’s sister who was undergoing medical treatment for tuberculosis of the spine at Poleta. The boys were working very hard to provide for their sister and went frequently to look her up. Jacopo wanted to save the expenses of the trip, so he requested the narrator for a lift to Poleta.
Ques 5: Why did the narrator enter the large red-roofed villa?
Ans: Both the boys looked poor and bedraggled (untidy). When they halted before a beautiful villa, the narrator was surprised. Out of curiosity, he couldn’t restrain himself, and entered the red-roofed villa to know the reason for the trip made by the two boys.
Ques 6: What scene does the narrator see through the glass partition?
Ans: The narrator saw that the two brothers were seated on a hospital bed, with a girl of about 20 years. She appeared to be their sister. There were so much love and affection visible and the scene looked like a happy family reunion.
Ques 7: What did the narrator discover regarding the family background of the two boys? How did the war affect their family?
Ans: The nurse, who was looking after Lucia, told the narrator the entire story of the two boys. All the three children belonged to a prosperous family and Lucia was training to be a singer. The war waged by Germany killed their father, their house was destroyed by a bomb and the boys were separated from their sister. Due to neglection, Lucia contracted to Tuberculosis.
Ques 8: The nurse said regarding the two boys, “I don’t know what they do, I don’t ask. Work is scarce in Verona.” What does this remark reflect upon the speaker?
Ans: The nurse was very surprised at how the boys managed to bring insufficient money for the treatment of their sister, when work was scarce in the city. The nurse had no idea how hard the boys worked and how they tried to pitch in for all kinds of work that was available. The comment reveals that even the nurse respected the privacy of the boys and wanted to retain their dignity by not prodding (pressuring) them.
Ques 9: Why didn’t the two boys disclose their problems to the author? [C.B.S.E. 2011 (T-1)]
Ans: The boys were working hard to provide all possible help to their sister, Lucia, who was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. They did not disclose their problems to the author as they wished to retain their pride and dignity. They did not want their private suffering to be made public.
Ques 10: What traits of the boys attracted the narrator to them? How were the children helpful to the narrator? [C.B.S.E. 2011 (T-1)]
Ans: The narrator was attracted towards the boys due to the zest and willingness, demonstrated by them for undertaking all kinds of work. The boys were also very eager to provide all kinds of comfort to the author. They were always at the beck and call of the author.
Ques 11: What were the hardships faced by Nicola and Jacopo?
Ans: The children’s father had died in the war, waged (initiated) by Germany. A bomb had destroyed their house, their sister had contracted tuberculosis due to cold and starvation. The two boys worked day in and day out, took every possible job, starved themselves to provide for their sister’s treatment and built, from the rubble of their house, a shelter for themselves.
Ques 12: What provoked the author’s interest in the two boys of Verona? [C.B.S.E. 2011 (T-1)]
Ans: The author found the zest (enthusiasm) and willingness of the boys for undertaking all kinds of work—selling strawberries, polishing shoes, taking tourists around the city — remarkable. The author found the boys to be very innocent and friendly.
Ques 13: How did Luigi show his disapproval on seeing the two boys and why? [C.B.S.E. 2011 (T-1)]
Ans: When the author and his companion Luigi saw the boys selling strawberries, they were shabbily dressed. Luigi disapproved of them due to their skinny (very thin) and shabby (dressed in poor condition) appearance and cautioned (advised) the author against purchasing the fruit since better quality strawberries could be procured from the market.