NCERT (CBSE) Literature Reader for English
(Text Book Exercise Solution)
Q.1: ‘John Perkins prophesied to himself with gloomy and downtrodden cynicism the foregone conclusions of the monotonous day.’ Make a list of the things that John Perkins expects to find on reaching home. Why has he been described as ‘being gloomy and downtrodden’ ?
Ans: John Perkins expected t do the same things he did everyday. He would receive a sweet, ‘flavoured’ kiss from his wife Katy. He would remove his coat. He would seat upon a macadamized lounge. He would read of Russians and Japanese slaughtered. He would have same things to eat in the dinner.
He has been described as ‘gloomy and downtrodden’ because he feels sad and bored with the monotonous routine of his life at office and home. Playing pool is the only change and entertainment for him.
Q.2: Why has the writer added the adjective ‘blushing’ to describe the strawberry marmalade ? What is making it blush ? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans: The strawberry marmalade in its red colour, is seen blushing because it is certified to be pure with a label on the bottle, suggesting it to be otherwise. John Perkins did not enjoy his dinner it had no variety. He had routine dishes to eat.
Q.3: What does the nightly gas leak refer to ? Who is responsible for this leak ?
Ans: The nightly gas leak refers to the smoke emitted by the vehicles on the streets at night. The drivers of the vehicles are responsible for this leak. They do not maintain their vehicles properly because of which the vehicles emit too much smoke.
Q.4: Quote the sentence from the text that tells us that John’s wife would become very angry. What would make her so angry ? What effect did it have on their marriage ?
Ans: “Now, where are you going, I’d like to know, John Perkins ?” This sentence uttered in an angry tone reveals the anger of John’s wife. John’s leaving her alone to play pool with his friends would make his wife angry.
This affected their married life adversely.
Q.5: ‘To-night John Perkins encountered a tremendous upheaval of the commonplace when he reached his door.’ What upheaval was Perkins faced with ? What was responsible for this extraordinary occurrence ?
Ans: Perkins faced great upheaval when he reached at his home. His wife Katy was not at home. Shoes were lying in the middle of the floor. Everything was disarray. Katy had to go hurriedly to see her ailing mother. So one may say that it was the illness of the Katy’s mother, which was responsible for the upheaval of the commonplace.
Q.6: Describe the condition of the flat when Perkins reaches his flat. What are the feelings generated in him at this right ?
Ans: When Perkins reaches his flat, he finds his flat in a bad condition. He finds everything disarrayed. Shoes are in the middle of the floor. Curling tongs, hair bows, powder box, all jumbled together on dresser and chairs. Katy always places these things on their right places. Perkins is really upset when he sees the disorder in the flat. He feels sad and desolate.
Q.7: How does Perkins learn about the whereabouts of his wife ?
Ans: Perkins learns about the whereabouts of his wife from a note left by his wife for him. He sees note, a folder paper, hanging to the gas pipe by a string. He learns that Katy has gone to see her ailing mother and she will write him the next day.
Q.8: “Tears: - - - yes, tears came into John Perkins’ eyes. When she came back things would be different.” Why is the word ‘tears’ stressed twice ? What resolution does Perkins make while tidying up his room ? Does he stick to these resolutions ?
Ans: The word ‘tears’ has been stressed twice in order to bring home the point that Perkins who has been neglecting his wife made John tearful on her sudden disappearance. It is quite unexpected. While tidying up his room, he resolves to take care of his wife in future. He also resolves not to go out for a game of pool at McCloskey’s.
But when his wife comes back, he forgets his resolutions, and goes out for a game of pool with his friends.
Q.11: ‘John Perkins looked at the clock. It was 8.15.’ Why is the time significant ?
Ans: The time 8.15 is significant since it is the time when John Perkins goes out for a game of pool with his friends at McCloskey’s.
Q.12: ‘At a quarter past eight he would summon his nerve.’ Who had to summon his nerve ? Why did he have to do so ?
Ans: It was John Perkins who had to summon his nerve at a quarter past eight to go out for a game of pool. He had to do so because he knew his wife would be angry with him for leaving her alone at home for his own recreation.
Q.13: Do you agree with the title of this story ? Why / Why not ?
Ans: The title of the story ‘The Pendulum’ is quite appropriate. We agree with it. John Perkins fickle mindedness is appropriately conveyed by the idea the oscillation of the pendulum. In the absence of his wife, he resolves to take care of her and not to go out for a game of pool as he would do every night. But the moment his wife comes back, he forgets his resolutions.
John’s fickle mindedness reminds us of the oscillations of a pendulum. Thus, the title is not inappropriate, even though it sounds somewhat strange.
Q.14: Why has the room been described as one of its essence gone, life and soul departed ? What are the other phrases used to describe the empty house ?
Ans: Katy is the life and soul of the house. The house is certainly looks empty without her presence. She is the essence of the house.
The other phrases that reveal the emptiness of the house without Katy are -
(a) She become so thoroughly annealed into his life,
(b) John Perkins stood among the ‘dead remains’, etc.
Q.15: The relationship between the man and his wife has been described as being ‘like the air he breathed; necessary, but scarcely noticed.’ What is the literary device used here ? How does the device drive home the meaning forcefully ?
Ans: The literary device used here is the simile. It drives home the point forcefully because the comparison is simple and familiar. We breathe the air without being conscious of it. Perkins has become used to the presence of his wife Katy in a similar manner. Although he can not live without her, yet he is unaware of the importance of her presence.
Additional Important Questions
Q: Briefly describe the routine life of John Perkins.
Q: Give a character sketch of Katy Perkins.
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