Odisha State CHSE Alt. English –The Little Wife by William March

Answers to questions …

Questions for discussion (Section 1)

Q1. Can you guess where Joe  …………………………………………………?

Ans .. Joe Hinckley possibly worked in a publishing company. This is apparent because he was a salesman of books.

Q2. What was the occasion of his ……………………………?

Ans.  Joe had received a telegram from his mother asking him to rush back home as his wife was grievously sick. Joe was very agitated, and very fearful.

Q3. What was the initial reaction of Joe …………………………?

Ans .. At the first instance, Joe thought the telegram might not be for him. He felt some one was playing a prank on him.

Q4.  Who were his co-travelers? ………………………….journey? 

Ans .. Two young girls and an elderly woman, possibly a farm hand, were there adjacent to Joe’s seat. The journey was not very pleasant due to the sultry weather that robbed the passengers of any comfort.

Q5. What things came to his mind after ……………………….in this section?

Ans .. Joe was perplexed. He couldn’t find any reason how the delivery had come a month in advance. He thought his wife will somehow pull through. He had a very happy married life.

Q6. Which lines show that  ……………?  

Ans .. In part 8, the sentences starting with, “And now everything was upset. …………….. I was laughing and telling smutty stories, and the telegram was here all the time”. These lines show his remorse and grief.

Q7. What does his finding fault……………………….. about him?

Ans .. He was a bit naive to think that the doctors had overemphasized the danger to his wife. He was a simple, loving man.

Questions for discussion (Section 2) ..

Q1. How did Joe behave when he …………………………………………………………

Ans .. Initially, Joe didn’t want to receive the telegram from the porter. This is why the latter had to call out his name thrice, before Joe accepted it. Clearly, Joe was nervous and panicky. He knew his loving wife was on the verge of death, and he culd possibly not see her again. This thought made him very sad, and distraught. However, he didn’t have the nerve to confront it. He feared the telegram had the news f Bessie’s demise, and he wanted to avoid the situation at any cost. Quite childishly, he didn’t open it, and wishfully presumed that the telegram was from other sources. 

Q2. There is no need of going ………………………………………….

Ans.. Joe dreaded the scene that waited for him at home. He was not ready to accept the untimely death of his loving wife. So, rather foolishly, he wanted the train journey to last as long as possible. This shows the panic that had gripped his heart. He showed some artificial cheerfulness in his appearance to get some very transitory relief from the pain that hunted him. It was not a happy moment for him at all.

Q3. Why did Joe tear ………

Ans .. Joe became an escapist, albeit, temporarily. By shredding the wire to pieces, he wanted to obliterate the dreadful message for good, but it was a very stupid act.  Joe could never countenance the loss of his wife. It was a death blow to his dream of leading a happy married life. Bessie resided in his mind refusing to depart under any circumstances.

Q4. Why was Joe sorry that …..

Ans .. The conductor appeared to be a jovial person who  enabled Joe forget his predicament. The respite from the gnawing pain was temporary. The conductor’s light talk acted as a balm for Joe’s anxiety-ridden mind. Joe, therefore, wanted the conductor’s presence to continue longer.

Q5. How does Joe ………………………………………?

Ans .. Joe tries to keep himself busy talking to fellow passengers. It enables him to keep the dark thoughts about Bessie’s end  at bay.  Talking about Jessie gives him a feeling that she is alive and kicking. So, he starts a long monologue with the two young girls as they appear to be receptive to his account of his marriage with Bessie. Such revelation of private matters shows how nervous Joe was at that time, and how much he dreaded the death of his young wife.

Q6. Give an account of ……………………………

Q7. What was the fellow travlers’ reaction……………….. the story will end?

Ans .. Initially, the fellow passengers were curious to listen to Joe’s meeting and subsequent marriage with Jessie. But, as Joe rambled on with his narrative, the passengers got bored. They were sympathetic towards Joe. They didn’t know about his mental condition, but they guessed he was a bit agitated. The story might end with the death of Jessie.

Questions for discussion (Section 3)

Q1. What impressions did the fellow travelers ……………………….. continuous talk? Ans: The fellow travelers found Joe’s non-stop monologue about his wife and marriage rather unusual, a bit weird. They no longer took him to a jolly good man happy about returning home. They felt his relentless talk somewhat intriguing.

Q2. What idea does this section offer …………………………………also the time? Ans: All felt Joe was obsessed with his wife. Through his incessant talk, he gave an impression that he was agitated about something which he was trying to conceal by talking relentlessly. Joe didn’t realize that he was turning out to be a bore, a deranged person to his co-passengers.

Q3. Why did a feeling of ………………………………………….. Mrs. Thompkins? Ans: On seeing Mrs. Thompkins, Joe could assume that the news that he had dreaded so much would be known to him soon. An unknown panic gripped him. He wwas nervous and sullen

Q4. What do the final words ……….reveal? Ans: Joe didn’t like to lie to his mother-in-law about the second telegram. He truthfully acknowledged that he had purposely not read it to defer learning about the dreadful knowledge as much as he could. He appears to be a nervous, but a conscientious person.

Q5. What is the ………………story?  Ans: All through the story, Joe remains at the center. His love for his wife becomes the main plot, and is nervousness and timidity become apparent.

Q6. Why did  Joe repeatedly …………………………………………fellow travelers? Ans: He was obsessively in love with Blessie.  He also feared that a great tragedy had fallen over her. This made him more nervous.  He tried hard to control his anxiety by talking about her like a man possessed. He managed to not mention about her possible death to his co-passengers, but he succeeded only partly. All of them knew something was amiss.

Q7. In which line …………. ………………………………………….no more.  Ans: This became apparent when Mrs. Thompkins said, “You can’t give in…………………….. You got to be a man …..”

Q8. Can you guess what …………………………….improving health? Ans: Joe would have been very relieved, and very happy. He would have thanked God for His kindness, and prayed Him for Blessie’s early turn-around.

—————————–To be contd.——————————————

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