The Third Level
1.How was the third level different from the second level?
A. In the third level the room was smaller; there were fewer ticket windows and train gates. The information booth in the centre was wood and old looking. The man in the booth wore a green eyeshade and long black sleeve protectors. The lights were dim and flickering as they were open-flame gaslights. There were brass spittoons on the floor.
2.How does the narrator describe Galesburg, Illinois?
A. The narrator states that Galesburg, Illinois is a wonderful town with big old frame houses, huge lawns and big trees whose branches roof the streets. Summer evenings were twice as long. People sat out on their lawns, men smoking cigars and talking quietly, the women waving palm-leaf fans.
3.What did the narrator do the next day when the clerk in third level warned him? Why was his psychiatrist friend worried over his action?
A. In the third level the clerk warned the narrator for tendering insufficient money for two tickets to Galesburg. The next day the narrator withdrew his entire money from the bank and bought old-style currency to buy tickets. When his psychologist friend learnt it he became worried and thought that the narrator’s ‘ailment’ could have created more problems.
4.What is so enigmatic about Sam Weiner’s disappearance and resurfacing in Galesburg? What could his ‘old business’ be?
A. Sam Weiner’s disappearance and resurfacing in Galesburg may be due to the narrator’s insistence on the existence of third level, which affected his mind. He may have found Galesburg a good place and may have gone there
5.What do you think does ‘the third level’ stand for?
A.I think the third level stands for the escapist’s world -away from the world of worries, anxieties and tension. But why the narrator couldn’t find it again though the psychiatrist found out is highly enigmatic. It may be narrator could overcome his escapist’s tendency where as the psychiatrist fell in it.
THE Tiger King
1.How did the chief astrologer react to the tiger king’s question about the manner of his death? How did the tiger king take it?
A. When the baby barely ten days old opens its lips in speech the chief astrologer was wonderstruck. He thought it to be incredible that the baby raised an intelligent question –to know about the manner of his death. The astrologer told that the prince was born in the hour of the bull. The bull and tiger are enemies. Therefore, death to him shall come from the Tiger. The tiger king growled, “Let tigers be ware!”
2.Why was it celebration time for all the tigers inhabiting Pratibandapuram?
A. There was a celebration time for all the tigers inhabiting Pratibandapuram because the state banned tiger hunting by any one except the Maharaja and a proclamation was issued to the effect that if any one dared to fling a stone at a tiger, all his wealth and property would be confiscated.
3.What did the Maharaja do when he stood in danger of losing his kingdom in refusing the British officer permission for tiger hunting?
A. The Maharaja obtained some fifty expensive diamond rings of different designs from a British Jewellery Company in Calcutta and send them to the British officer’s good lady expecting her to choose one or two rings and send the rest back. But she kept all the rings and thanked the Maharaja for the gift. This cost the Maharaja three lakh rupees; but his kingdom was saved.
4.What plan did the Maharaja think of to fulfill his vow to kill hundred tigers after the tiger population became extinct in his state?
A. When the tiger population became extinct in his state the Maharaja planned to marry a girl of royal family of a native state with a large tiger population so that he would kill the remaining thirty tigers in the sate of his father –in-law when he visits that.
5.What caused the death of the Maharaja?
A. The prophecy of the chief astrologer came true. A toy-wooden tiger-the hundredth tiger killed the Maharaja. The silver quill on the wooden tiger pierced his hand when he was plying with it on the crown prince’s third birthday. It caused a suppurating sore that spread all over the arm. He was operated but died
Journey to the End of the Earth
1.What, according the author, did exist in place of Antarctica six hundred and fifty million years ago?
A. Six hundred fifty million years ago in place of present day Antarctica a giant amalgamated southern super continent - Gondwana existed Things were quite different then. Then humans had not arrived on the global scene. The climate was much warmer. There was a huge variety of flora and fauna.
2.What is that thing that can happen in a million years and would be ‘mind- boggling’?
A. In a million years India may push northwards, jamming against Asia to buckle its crust and form the Himalayas. South Africa may drift off to join North America. The Drake Passage may open up to create a cold circumpolar current. Antarctica may remain frigid, desolate and at the bottom of the world.
3.Why all earthly sense of perspective and time are lost in Antarctica?
A. In Antarctica there is no human markers like trees, billboards and buildings. One feels like walking on a giant ping-pong ball here. He loses all earthly sense of perspective and time.
4.What are the microscopic phytoplanktons? How are they important in the food chain and photosynthesis?
A. The microscopic phytoplanktons are the grasses of the sea, which nourish and sustain the entire South Ocean’s food chain. These single- celled plants use the Sun’s energy to assimilate carbon and synthesise organic compounds in the important process called photosynthesis.
5.What was the best epiphany that occurred in the Antarctic journey?
A. Their vessel got wedged into a thick ice-stretch. The captain decided to turn around and instructed them to walk on the ocean. While walking on the ocean they saw underneath their feet 180 metres of living, breathing salt water. Crab eater seals stretching and sunning themselves on the ice floes like stray dogs under a banyan tree. It was the best epiphany.
1.Why didn’t Dr Sadao put the wounded man back in the sea even though he was his enemy?
A. Dr Sadao could not put the wounded man back in the sea even though he was an enemy because he was a Doctor and the foremost duty of a doctor is to save life. He knew the man would die if not tended medically. This would be against medical ethics. So, he rescued him to give medical treatment.
2.How did the servant express their displeasure?
A. The servants did not like the idea of helping an enemy. Yumi refused to wash the white man. They stopped working; but became watchful as long as a white man was harbored there.
3.How did Hanna show her human side to the wounded man after the operation?
A. Hanna nursed the man herself. When he was getting ready to face some fearful eventuality she told him not to be afraid of anything. Then she knelt and fed him gently from the porcelain spoon. She also told him that he would be soon strong.
4.What did Dr Sadao do to send off the man?
A. As soon as it was dark Dr Sadao dragged the stout boat down to the shore. He put food, bottled water and two quilts. He medically examined the man. Then gave him his own little flashlight to signal for food, gave him Japanese clothes, covered his blond head and let him go.
5.What message does ‘The Enemy’ give?
A. ‘The Enemy’ gives the message that humanism transcends all man made prejudices and barriers. Here Dr Sadao upholds the ethics of medical profession in treating an enemy. The story is a great lesson of peace, love, sympathy, fellow feeling and humanism.
Should Wizard Hit Mommy?
1.What was usually the basic storyline of the tale that Jack told Jo almost daily?
A. The stories that Jack used to tell Joe were the slight variation of the basic tale about a small creature usually named Roger. Roger would go to the wise owl whenever in trouble. The wise owl would ask him to go to the wizard who would finally solve Roger’s problem.
2.Decribe the wizard’s room.
A. The wizard’s room is a white house over the crick. Inside it are all magic things all jumbled together in a big dusty heap as the wizard did not have any cleaning lady.
3.How did Roger Skunk’s mommy react when he smelling ‘roses’ went home?
A. When Roger Skunk smelling ‘roses’ reached home his mommy asked what was that awful smell. Roger Skunk replied that the wizard had made him smell like that. She got angry and with Roger went to the wizard and hit his head with an umbrella.
4.How did Jo react to Jack’s storyline?
A. Jo did not agree with Jack’s version of the story in which Roger Skunk’s mommy hit that wizard right over his head for changing Roger Skunk’s smell. Instead she wanted the wizard hit Skunk’s mommy and did not change that little Skunk’s smell back.
5.What does Jack actually want Jo to know and understand in the story?
A. Jack actually wants Jo to know and understand that parents always love their children as they are. Smelling good or bad is immaterial against the natural biological bond. But this thing is Jo’s beyond understanding. She understands what she sees around; but not beyond that.
On The Face of It
1.What is it that draws Derry towards Mr. Lamb inspite of himself?
A. Mr. Lamb is a good inspirer, a motivator and a patient listener. He holds a positive attitude to life. On seeing Derry he neither asks anything about his face nor does he look disgusted rather he makes Derry feel comfortable with his burnt face. He instills confidence in Derry. He wants him to understand the world and see the difference by watching and listening due to these qualities Derry is drawn towards Lamb.
2.What does Mr. Lamb tell about himself?
A. Lamb tells that he is old and has a tin leg. Children tease him calling Lamey-Lamb, but still they come to his garden. They are not afraid of him because he is not afraid of them. He is never bothered about his old age or tin leg as life has many more things to offer.
3.It’s all relative, beauty and beast. Justify the statement.
A. Mr. Lamb and Derry though both have physical deformity perceive things differently. Mr. Lamb tells Derry there are plenty of things to stare at and if people look at their handicap they should not mind, as they will be tired of soon. Beauty or ugly depends upon individual’s perceptions. One may see beauty in a thing; but to another it may be a beast.
4.How does Derry’s attitude change?
A. Due to his burnt face Derry had withdrawing attitude. He curses his handicap; is afraid of people’s stare at him. But Lamb a lame person changed his attitude. Lamb instilled courage in him to live life as it is. He cited his own example. Children call him Lamey Lamb but he does not mind. He has a tin leg but that does not stop him from making friends
5.What do you think the play ‘On the Face of It’ is all about?
A. It is play about frustration, loneliness and sadness of the physically disabled persons. It is about their suffering due to criticism by some unscrupulous people which is shown by Derry. There are people like Lamb who finds way to live inspite of their disabilities.
Evans Tries an O-Level
1.What kind of a person Evans was?
A. Evans was a young, clever prisoner. He had escaped thrice from the prison for which he was known ‘Evans the Break’. He was not a violent short of a person. He was quite a pleasant person and was a star at the Christmas concert.
2. What were the precautions taken for the smooth conduct of the examination?
A. For smooth conduct examination various precautionary measures were taken. All sharp instruments like razor nail scissors were removed. The Governor, senior prison officer Jackson and officer Stephen were put on duty. A special invigilator was arranged. A microphone was fitted in the prison cell where the examination was to be conducted.
3. Why was the sigh of relief short lived after the examination?
A. After conducting the examination the governor heaved a sigh of relief. But their relief was short lived as they found Evans had escaped from the prison injuring McLeery. Later truth came to light that Evans had stayed as injured McLeery
4.What helped the prison officers track Evans?
A. The German question paper helped. A photocopied sheet had been superimposed over last page of the question paper with the plan and instruction which helped track Evans.
5.What did the Governor do to find out about the correction slip?
A. The governor immediately dialed the Examination Board Office; but could not contact as the line was engaged. He applied his own knowledge of German which he had studied up to sixth standard and was convinced that it was about the agreement of adjectives. Then he heard the invigilator announcing the correction which sounded genuine.
6.Do you agree that between crime and punishment it is mainly a battle of wits?
A. Yes, it is a battle of wits between crime and punishment. If the government and law enforcing officials are vigilant crime can be detected and criminals can be booked. But criminals like Evans can hoodwink the authorities and escape punishment as long as the officials are slow and lack alertness and wit.
Memories of Childhood
1.Why was the narrator taking an hour or half to reach home instead of ten minute?
A. The narrator was taking an hour or half to reach home as she used to watch the roadside fun and games. The entertaining novelties like the performing monkey, snake charmer’s display of snake, marathon cycling, dried fish stall by the statue of Gandhi, street play or puppet show used to pull her stand still on her way back home.
2. How had Zitkala – Sa been subjected to extreme indignities?
A. Since the day she was taken from her mother Zitkala had suffered many indignities. She was stared at and tossed like a wooden puppet. Her long hair was shingled like a coward’s. In her pain when she cried for her mother no one came forward to comfort her. She was just like one of animals driven by a herder.
3.What did Judewin tell the narrator? What was the effect?
A. Judewin who could understand a little English informed the narrator that the strange woman intended to cut their long hair. But the narrator had learnt from her mother that the enemy cut the hair of the unskilled warrior when they are captured and among their people mourners wear short hair and cowards shingled hair. So, she decided to resists. She hid herself under a bed in a dark room.
4.How did Bama come to know about untouchability?
A. Bama saw an elder carrying a packet containing food with its string and without touching the packet gave it to the landlord. She found it funny and told her elder brother about it. Her elder brother told her that the man who handed over the food packet was a low caste- an untouchable. Then she came to know about untouchability.
5. Why did Bama study so hard?
A. Bama’s brother who was studying at a University told her because they were born in a low caste they are deprived of honour and dignities. He advised her to study and make progress to throw away the indignities. The words of her brother left a deep impression in her mind and she studied hard.
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The Third Level