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Short Answer Questions (with Solutions) - Best Seller Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9

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Read the extract and answer the questions that follow.

Q1.“The next morning at eleven sharp, I rang the doorbell of that World’s Fair main building.”

(a) Who had Pescud come to meet?

Ans. Pescud had come to meet Jessie’s father.

(b) What was the purpose of his visit?

Ans. He had come there to talk to Jessie’s father and to disclose his liking for her.

(c) Why was he surprised to see the inside of the big building?

Ans. He was surprised because the inside of the building was impoverished and had very old furniture.

Q2.“For about nine seconds, he had me rattled, and I came mighty near getting cold feet and trying to sell him some plate-glass.”

(a) The speaker is talking about

Ans. He is talking about his meeting with Colonel Allyn, Jessie’s father.

(b) What does the word 'rattle' mean here?

Ans. It means shaking vigorously, confused and nervous.

(c) What did the speaker do after these ‘nine seconds’?

Ans. After these nine seconds, he got over his nervousness, gained confidence and talked about his liking for Jessie.

Q3.“Good-luck to you, Trevelyan,” “And may you get the petunias for your princess!” [CBSE 2011 (Term II)]

(a) By whom have these words been spoken?

Ans. These words have been spoken by the narrator to Pescud.

(b) ‘Trevelyan’ was the hero of _________.

Ans. Trevelyan was the hero of the best seller ‘The Rose Lady and Trevelyan’.

(c) Who is the ‘princess’ mentioned here?

Ans. Princess here refers to Jessie, Pescud’s wife.


Answer the following briefly.

Q1. “This fellow chases the royal chair-warmer home as I said, and finds out who she is”
 (i) Who is the ‘fellow’? Who is the ‘royal chair warmer’?
 (ii) Discuss the context of the above remark.

Ans. (i) The ‘fellow’ refers to the hero of the Bestseller. He is an American who belongs to the upper class and is fashionably dressed.
The ‘royal chair-warmer’ refers to the royal princess from Europe with whom he has fallen in love, and so chases her to find out who she is.

(ii) The above remark is made in the context of the Bestseller which was thrown on the floor of the chair-car by John A. Pescud. The narrator who was also sitting in the same chair-car recognized Pescud and they had a conversation on issues like life, romance, literature, and ethics. During that conversation only, Pescud talks to the narrator about the story of the bestseller he had thrown on the floor. The above-mentioned remark is made by him for the hero of the novel and the royal princess whom he had chased to marry her.

Q2.“You don’t see or hear of any such capers in real life”
(i) Who is the speaker and who is the listener?
 (ii) What is the purpose of the above comparison?

Ans. (i) The speaker is John A. Pescud and the listener is the Narrator.

(ii) The purpose of the above comparison by Pescud is to draw the attention of the narrator to his own (Pescud’s) real-life story. By speaking so negatively about the romance in the Bestseller between an American and the royal princess from Europe, Pescud is successful in having the narrator asks him if he had met his ‘affinity’. Perhaps, ordinarily, he would not have been able to tell the narrator (or anybody else) that his romance was also of a very ‘special’ kind – something different from the normal course. He had a broad grin on his face when he got the chance to tell the narrator about his romantic story. So, his purpose of making the above comparison was fulfilled.

Q3. Pescud was obsessed with his plate-glass business but he let this business go to smash for a while. Why?
Once when Pescud was going to Cincinnati, he happened to see in his chair car a girl who he felt was the finest looking girl he had ever laid his eyes on. He was so impressed by her beauty that he started thinking of marrying her. At that moment, he forgot completely about his plate-glass business, of which he used to be so obsessed, and let it go to smash for a while. All the places that she went to — from Cincinnati to Louisville, to Shelbyville, Frankford and Lexington — he followed her. He got down from the train at the last station that she got down at, ie., Virginia, but throughout he tried to keep himself out of her sight. After meeting her father and making a few more efforts, he was able to marry the girl. All this while, the thought of his plate-glass business did not even occur once to his mind.

Q4. How did Jessie know that Pescud was following her?
Ans. During their conversation, when Jessie came to know that Pescud was from Pittsburg, she told him that he was quite far from his home. At this, Pescud replied that he could easily go a thousand miles farther. Jessie then said, “Not if you hadn’t woken up when the train started in Shelbyville”, and then she started blushing. Later, she also reminded him that he was about to miss his train at Powahatan Junction also. This shows that she knew very well that Pescud was following her. When Pescud asked her how she knew that, she replied that she knew that he was present on every train which she was travelling in.

Q5. “I thought you were going to speak to me and I am glad you didn’t.'' Why does Jessie say so?
Ans. Jessie says she is glad that he didn’t talk to her in the train because she knows that she would not have taken any interest in talking to him there. Perhaps if Pescud had expressed his liking for her in the train, she would have rejected him. It seems that now when Pescud is talking to her, after having made all the efforts to be near her, she has also started developing some sort of liking for him. Moreover, now she is also in a position to clearly show the status that her family has, and let Pescud decide upon his next step.

Q6. Give two reasons to show that Jessie was very proud of her family.
Ans. While talking to Pescud and telling him about her family, she referred to her family as ‘The Allyns’. She also said that hers was a proud family and that her father was a lineal descendant of ‘belted earls’ — those who were invested with a sword by the king himself. She gave the amazing details of the big mansion that the Allyn family had lived in for the last hundred years. All these things show that she was proud of her family.

Q7. Point out the significance of the last statement of the writer, “And may you get the petunias for your princess.”
Ans. The writer and Pescud had started their discussion in the beginning on the bestseller, “The Rose Lady and Trevelyan”. Pescud had apparently projected that he was a critic of such marriages where the status of the boy and girl were wide apart. Gradually when Pescud told his own story, it was no different from the story of the bestseller. So when Pescud gets down at Coketown to get Petunias for his wife, the writer speaks out this statement with an element of sarcasm, meaning that Pescud himself had married a princess, while he was condemning the marriage between Trevelyan and the princess.

Q8. What was John Pescud’s opinion about bestsellers? Why ? [CBSE 2011 (Term II)]
Once, while travelling in a train, the writer chanced to meet Pescud, an old associate, who was reading a bestseller ‘Rose Lady and Trevelyan’. Pointing towards the book Pescud said that the novel revolves round the romance of an American Hero with a royal Princess from Europe. He believed that such type of romances only happened in novels because in real life any sensible person will pick out a girl from the same kind of status and family. He criticises and mocks the stories of best sellers calling them melodramatic and unrealistic.

Q9. In the lesson ‘Bestseller’ what did Pescud inform the speaker about his prosperity ? [CBSE 2011 (Term II)]
While travelling in a train, the writer met with an old friend John A Pescud who was a travelling salesman for a plate-glass company. During the conversation, Pescud told the writer that he was quite satisfied with his work. He told that he was doing well and believed that plate-glass was the most important business in the world. He informed the writer that professionally he was prospering and he had also invested in real estate.

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