The Bishop’s Candlesticks | Class IX Interact in English (Literature Reader)


Solutions of CBSE (NCERT) English Course (Communicative)

Class 9, English Literature Reader - The Bishop’s Candlesticks

(NCERT Textbook Exercise Solution)

Q.4: Copy and complete the following paragraph about the theme of the play:
The play deals with a ____ and _____ Bishop who is always ready to lend a _____ hand to anyone in the stress. A _____ breaks into the Bishop’s house and is ______ and warmed. The benevolence of the Bishop somewhat ______ the convict, but, when he sees the silver candlesticks, he ______ then, and runs away. However, he is ________ and brought back. He expects to go back to jail, but the Bishop informs the police they are a _______. The convict is ____ by his kindness of the Bishop and before he leaves he seeks the priest’s blessing.  
Ans: convict, a, helping, convict, fed, confounds, steals, arrested, gift, moved.

Q.6: Answer the following questions briefly:  
(a) Do you think the Bishop was right in selling the salt-cellars? Why / Why not?
(b) Why does Persome feel the people pretend to be sick?
(c) Who was Jeanette? What was the cause of her death?
(d) The convict says, “I am too old a bird to be caught with chaff.” What does he mean by this statement?
(e) Why was the convict sent to prison? What was the punishment given to him?
(f) Do you think the punishment given to the convict was justified? Why / why not? Why is the convict eager to reach Paris?
(g) Before leaving, the convict asks the Bishop to bless him. What brought about this change in him?
(a) Bishop was right in selling the salt-cellars. As an ideal priest, he could not bear the thought of an old, ailing lady to be thrown out of her house because she can not pay the rent. He sells the salt-cellars to pay the money to this woman so that she may pay her rent. This act of kindness behoves a priest like him. It is another thing that worldly-wise people like Persome do not approve of it.
(b) Persome is not as generous as her brother. She feels the people pretend to be sick in order to exploit her brother’s (Bishop’s) magnanimity. People want the Bishop to be near them and help them financially.
(c) Jeanette was the convict’s wife. She fell ill. As the convict had no work and no money; he could not treat or even feed her. She died of starvation. The convict had almost forgotten her due to his loss of faith in all human relationships.
(d) The convict means to say that he is an experienced person. He knows how people make excuses and trap others. He cannot be taken in easily. He thinks the Bishop will play a trick on him on the excuse of going out to bring the keys of the cupboard to give him food.
(e) The convict was sent to prison as he stole food. He had no work or no money at that time. He was sent to jail for ten years. He was often mercilessly beaten in the jail. He fed on rubbish. He slept on boards. He suffered from vermin on his body. The harsh punishment turned him into a wild beast.
(f) The punishment given to the convict for a minor crime was too much and was unjustified. He did not commit a murder or indulge in any other major crime. His circumstances forced him to steal. He should have been given a light punishment in stead of ten years in a “hell”.
The convict is eager to reach Paris and get lost in the crowd. He wants top escape from the police which would be looking for him everywhere as he has not yet completed his sentence.      
(g) The convict had lost all faith in goodness. The Bishop’s love, kindness and generosity bring about a remarkable change in him. He feels as if he were a man once again. He regains his faith in God. So he asks the Bishop to bless him.        

Q.7: Read the extracts given below and answer the following questions:
(1) ‘Persome: Monseigneur the Bishop is a ------------ ahem!’
(a) Why does Persome not complete the sentence?
(b) Why is she angry with the Bishop?
(2) “She sent little Jean to Monseigneur to ask for help, and” -------
(a) Who sent little Jean to the Bishop?
(b) What did she want from him? Why?
(c) How did the Bishop arrange to fulfill her needs?
(3) “I offered to take her in here for a day or two, but she seemed to think it might distress you.”
(a) Who speaks these words? Whom is he speaking to?
(b) Who is the person being spoken about?
(c) Why did he wish to take her in?
(d) Why did she think her being “taken in” might distress the person being spoken to?
(4) “You have your soul to lose, my son; it is of more value than my heart.”
(a) Who says these words and to whom?
(b) What has the person being spoken to just threatened to do?
(c) How does the speaker save the listener’s soul?     
(1)(a): Persome (the speaker) does not complete the sentence because it would have been derogatory. She does not want to utter rude words even when she is angry.
(1)(b): She is angry as the Bishop has sold his salt-cellars to help an old lady pay her rent. She feels that everybody is taking advantage of her brother’s generosity.
(2)(a): Mere Gringoire sent little Jean to the Bishop.
(2)(b): She wanted some help because the bailiff threatened to turn her out if she did not pay the rent.
(2)(c): The Bishop arranged to fulfill her needs by selling his silver salt-cellars.
(3)(a): The Bishop speaks these lines to his sister Persome.
(3)(b): It is Mere Gringoire, an old lady. She is ill, bed-ridden and needs care and attention.
(3)(c): He wished to take her in because she was ailing and needed care and attention.
(3)(d): She thinks her presence will distress Persome as she knows that Persome is a stingy woman and does not like her.
(4)(a): The Bishop says these words to the convict.
(4)(b): The convict threatens to drive his knife through the Bishop’s heart. He says that he has nothing to lose.
(4)(c): He saves the convict’s soul by making him believe by his action that there is still hope for him and that there is still good in the world.       

Q.9: What do you think are the situations that can be termed as the turning points in the convict’s life?
Ans: There are many turning points in the convict’s life. His arrest on having stolen the food is the first important turning point in his life. The encounter with the Bishop, his arrest for having stolen the Bishop’s candlesticks and the Bishop’s magnanimity in saving him from the police and gifting him his candlesticks are other tuning points in his life.   
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