NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Reader
What are the qualities of a “gentleman”? Work with your partner and complete the following web-chart by listing the qualities of a gentleman.
Following are the qualities found in a gentleman :
- caring and loving
A gentleman, indeed, has consideration for others and their feelings. He never hurts anybody deliberately. He is honest in his dealings with others and behaves well in trying circumstances.
Based on your discussion above, what do you think the story is about?
The story is about human love, mutual understanding and sincerity. It teaches us that we should be courteous and considerate towards others. We should care for others and work not only for ourselves but also for the happiness of others. We should be honest and hard working.
Based on your reading of the story answer the following questions by ticking the correct options.
1. The driver did not approve of the narrator buying fruit from the two boys because
(a) the boys were untidy and poorly dressed
(b) the strawberries were not fresh
(c) they were asking for a heavy price
(d) the driver did not approve of small boys who worked
(a) the boys were untidy and poorly dressed
2. The narrator was most impressed by the boys’
(a) desire to earn money
(b) willingness to work
(c) ability to perform many tasks
(d) sense of fun
(c) ability to perform many tasks
3. Nicola was not pleased when Jacopo asked the narrator to drive them to Poleta as he
(a) did not want a stranger to become involved with their plans
(b) preferred going to Poleta by train so that he could enjoy the scenery
(c) did not want to ask anyone for favours
(d) did not want to take help from someone he did not know well
(a) did not want a stranger to become involved with their plans.
4. The narrator did not go inside Lucia’s room as
(a) he did not want to intrude into their privacy
(b) he thought that the boys would object
(c) Lucia would not welcome a stranger
(d) the boys would feel he was spying on them
(a) he did not want to intrude into their privacy
5. The boys were the first to join the resistance movement against the Germans because
(a) the Germans had hurt their sister
(b) the Germans ruled the city
(c) the Germans had ruined their family
(d) the Germans had destroyed their home
(c) the Germans had ruined their family
6. The author did not speak to the boys on their return journey because
(a) he thought the boys would prefer to keep their secret
(b) he thought the boys were ashamed of their sister’s condition
(c) he thought they wouldn’t tell him the truth
(d) he thought the boys might ask him for money for their sister
(a) he thought the boys would prefer to keep their secret.
What do you understand by the following statements?
(a) “We do many things, sir,” Nicola answered seriously. He glanced at us hopefully.
When the narrator let out his misconceived notion about Nicola and Jacopo that selling and picking of fruits was their only source of income, Nicola tried to correct him. He told him, that they did many things like taking the visitors to the places of interest in Verona like Juliet s Tomb. A hope of getting more business from the writer revived in his heart and his eyes gleamed hopefully. The narrator noticed this fact fully well.
(b) He coloured deeply under his sunburn, then grew pale.
The narrator asked Nicola that they worked very hard and earned enough money but neither they spent it on clothes nor on good food then what actually they did with their money. On hearing the words of the narrator, Nicola blushed red with anxiety and confusion and his brownish sun-burnt complexion made it quite apparent to the eyes of the narrator and then suddenly his face became pale as he feared that now their secret that they saved. money for the medical treatment of their sister who was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine, was at the verge of being leaked out.
(c) He smiled uncomfortably. “Just plans, sir,” he answered in a low voice.
The narrator asked Nicola whether they were saving money for migrating to America to have a better life. On hearing this, Nicola told him that they had som e other plans. When the narrator wanted to know specifically that what plans they had, Nicola tried to evade him simply by saying ‘just plans’ because he did not want to tell narrator that they save money for getting their sister cured off tuberculosis of the spine in the ho spital at Poleta.
(d) Yet in both these boyish faces there was a seriousness which was far beyond their years.
The narrator was deeply impressed by the childish and artl ess expression of the faces of Nicola and Jacopo. They appeared to him to be very innocetc and simple. But he also noticed a seriousness on their feces which could never be found on the faces of the children of their age. The narrator means that in their looks and age, they were innocent children but in their thinking and actions they appeared to be quite mature. The seriousness which maturity brings on the faces of responsible elderly persons was present on faces of these two small boys aged thirteen and twelve.
Answer the following questions briefly.
(а) Why didn’t Luigi, the driver, approve of the two boys?
Luigi, the driver, did not approve of the two boys because they had shabby appearance.
(b) Why were the narrator and his companion impressed by the two boys?
Their innocent and courteous behaviour impressed the narrator and his companion.
(c) Why was the author surprised to see Nicola and Jacopo working as shoeshine boys?
The author was surprised to see Nicola and Jacopo working as shoeshine boys because he thought that they earned their living by fruit-picking.
(d) How were the boys useful to the author?
The boys arranged American cigarette packs and tickets of opera for the writer. They could also tell the names of good restaurants.
(e) Why were the boys in the deserted square at night? What character traits do they exhibit?
The boys were present in the deserted square at night because they were waiting for the last bus from Padua to sell newspapers to the passengers who dismounted the bus. This incident throws light on their characters. The boys were very hard-working and always willing to find and do work for earning money.
(f) The narrator asks the boys, “Must you work so hard? You both look rather tired.” The boys reply, “We are not complaining, sir. ” What do you learn about the boys from their reply?
The reply of the boys shows their spirit of self-resignation and willingness to work hard. It shows that they were not working under compulsion but of their sweet will. It appears as if they had set an aim before them and the achievement of that goal was their sole concern.
(g) When the narrator asks the boys about their plans, they are evasive. Why don’t they disclose their problems?
The boys, specially Nicola, happens to be very evasive when the narrator asks them about their plans. It is simply because they do not want to share their secret plans with strangers. It is quite likely that their sense of self-respect prevents them from becoming an object of pity.
Discuss the following questions and write the answers in your notebook.
(a) Appearances are deceptive. Discuss with reference to the two boys.
This statement is true to a large extent in the case of the boys. The boys appeared to be quite dirty and clumsy in their shabby and ill-fitted clothes. But their poor appearances hid personalities which were very rich in human values and gentlemanly qualities. As the story proceeds further, their qualities are revealed to us one by one. Their shabby appearances also deceived Luigi, the driver of the narrator, at first. All the incidents and events which are described by the writer quite clearly remove the layers of deception. We come to know about their hard-working nature. Day and night they liked to work for earning money not because they were greedy and mercenaries but because they needed enough money for the medical treatment of their sister, Lucia who was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. Clean and tidy hospital, the small cubicle of Lucia with a vase of flowers, dish of fruits and a pile of books, reveal the loving care with which they looked after their sister. They spent only a meagre sum of money on black bread and figs which they ate only to keep themselves alive. The major portion of their earning was spent on the medical treatment of their sister. They may be shabby and dirty in appearance but their actions and intentions were not dirty. Rather they appeared to be shining gems of humanity.
They symbolise human love, spirit of sacrifice, complete dedication to ones cause, mutual trust and a great sense of honesty and sincerity, very rare to be found at a time when the war had dried up all fountains of human values and completely destroyed moralistic oudook.
(b) Do you think the boys looked after Lucia willingly ? Give reasons for your answer.
Undoubtedly the boys, Nicola and Jacopo, looked after Lucia willingly. We see them working very hard day and night. They were always willing to work. Whatever job came their way, they picked it up without hesitation. They sold strawberries, they shined shoes, they hawked newspapers, they acted as guides and they earned sufficient money. But we never see them spending that money on their personal pleasures. They spent only a meagre sum on black bread and figs. Even the writer made a guess that they must be saving money for migrating to America to have a better life. But no, later on, we come to know that they spent a major portion of their money on medical treatment of their sister, Lucia who was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. The entire picture of the hospital and the information given by the nurse reveal the truth that they looked after their sister willingly. They paid hospital dues regularly without being a defaulter. They visited their sister at Poleta every Sunday. They covered the distance of 30 kilometres from Verona to Poleta on hired bicycles. They did not do all this under any compulsion or obligation. They loved their sister and cared for her. This emotional bond of love and mutual trust furnished them with a spirit of sacrifice and dedication to their noble cause. Thus, they looked after Lucia willingly.
(c) How does the story ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’promise hope for society ?
The story Two Gentlemen of Verona has been written in the background of post-war time. Second world war was over. The Germans destroyed towns and cities along with a general massacre. The furies of war dried up all springs of human love, kindness and faith. But in . this story, we find that flame of human love and sacrifice is kept burning by two boys whose lives were darkened by the blackout of war. They lost their father, their house and their happiness. But it is evident that war tortured them not only physically but their interior, ’ their heart and spirit ^lso did not remain untouched by evils of war.
Furies of war make men selfish, cruel, inconsiderate and inhuman. But here we see the two boys working hard to earn money, not for themselves but for their sick sister. They sacrificed their personal comforts. They wore old clothes and ate black bread and figs just to keep them alive and fit for more hard work. Their sole concern was to earn as much money as they could. They willingly and readily picked up every job which came their way. They did it, not out of greed but to save their only sister, Lucia from the jaws of fatal tuberculosis. They spent a major portion of their money to pay off hospital dues and to keep their sister well fed and well clad.
Undoubtedly, the character of Nicola and Jacopo set an example of noble humanity before the materialistic world of today. The story promises hope for the modern society.
Look at the italic words in the following examples.
(a) We bought their biggest basket, then set off toward town.
(b) One night we came upon them in the windy and deserted square.
(c) He bit his lip, then in a rather put out tone he said, ‘Very well.’
(d) I shook my head and turned away.
Here are a few more. Match the phrases to their meanings.
|set up||to start on a journey|
|break down||to tolerate a situation or a person|
|set off||to lose control of your feelings and start crying|
|put up with||to enter|
|put off||to be faced with or opposed by|
|put on||to start/establish a company|
|come in||to refuse/reject|
|come across||to postpone|
|come up against||to try to get help/advice/sympathy from someone|
|turn down||to wear|
|turn in||to meet or find by chance|
|turn to||to inform on or deliver up|
Now use the phrases given above to complete the following sentences.
- The landlord was suspicious of the two men staying in his flat so he called the police and …………. them ………….
- Early in the morning we packed our bags and …………. for a hike over the mountain.
- Janvi …………. some photographs of her grandfather in the old trunk.
- My father …………. his own business 10 years ago.
- The Bank …………. Paul’s request for a loan.
- The Corporation’s decision to reduce the leave of the employees …………. a lot of opposition.
|set up||to start/establish a company|
|break down||to lose control of your feelings and start crying|
|set off||to start on a journey|
|put up with||to tolerate a situation or a person|
|put off||to postpone|
|put on||to wear|
|come in||to enter|
|come across||to meet or find by chance|
|come up against||to be faced with or opposed by|
|turn down||to refuse/reject|
|turn in||to inform on or deliver up|
|turn to||to try to get help/advice sympathy from someone|
1. turned, in
2. set off
3. came across
4. set up
5. turned down
6. came across
Two Gentlemen of Verona is written in the first person. A story written in the first person is a first-hand account of events told or narrated through the eyes of a single character, typically the main character. Stories written in the first person are easily identified by the use of the pronoun T rather than ‘he or she’.
The reader will see phrases such as “I said, I thought,” rather than “he said, she thought.” Everything is experienced through the eyes of a single character, and all thoughts and observations are limited to that one person. There can be no outside observer. If the narrator does not see or experience an event at first hand, it cannot be a part of the story. All scenes in the story are filtered through this person’s unique perception.
The third-person is a narrative mode in which both the reader and the author observe the situation either through the senses and thoughts of more than one character, or through an overarching godlike perspective that sees and knows everything that happens and everything the characters are thinking. In this mode of narration, the narrator can tell the reader things that the main character does not know, or things that none of the characters know.
Rewrite any part of the story you like in the third person.
The following afternoon they drove to the tiny village set high upon the hillside. He imagined that their destination would be some humble dwelling. But, directed by Jacopo, they drew up at a large red-roofed villa, surrounded by a high stone wall. He could scarcely believe his eyes and before he could recover breath, his two passengers had leaped from the car.
The narrator realises why Nicola and Jacopo work so hard. Yet he does not go r in to meet their sister nor does he speak to them about what he learns from the nurse. Working in groups, discuss the following aspects of the story and share your views with the class.
(a) The love and devotion, and the family values Nicola and Jacopo display.
Nicola and Jacopo embody brotherly love, devotion and family values. They are two small boys whose actions represent those human emotions which are rare to be found in the children of their age group. They worked hard day and night for earning money. They readily took up any job which could bring money for them in a fair way. They did not spend their hard-earned money on them. Rather they saved it for the medical treatment of their sister, Lucia who was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine.
(b) Their pride in themselves and their family.
Nicola and Jacopo fell on evil days due to war. In such conditions the boys of their age are very likely to become pickpockets, cheats, drug addicts and burglars but Nicola and Jacopo were never seen doing any unfair and fraudulent job. They worked hard for money and earned it with their labour and industry. Nor did they ever beg. It was simply because they were proud of their cultured family which lived with dignity and honour before war Their father was a famous singer of his times. The war deprived them of all comforts and pleasures but they still retained the happy memories of those golden days. They did not tell about the disease of their sister to the writer, though the writer was so kind because they did not want any one to show pity to them. They had a great sense of self-respect and pride.
(c) The trust they place in the narrator.
The narrator developed a soft corner in his heart for Nicola and Jacopo gradually as he met them every now and then, doing one job or the other. Their behaviour also impressed the writer. The boys also developed a fancy for him. But we find that Nicola did not trust him as much as Jacopo did. When the writer offered to do something for them, Nicola made a silent refusal by shaking his head. But Jacopo, the younger boy, at once requested him to give a lift to them in his car to Poleta, 30 kilometres from Verona, where they went every Sunday on hired bicycles. Nicola looked angrily at his brother and told the writer that they would not like to trouble him. He did not want that they should go to Poleta because his sister, Lucia, was recovering there from tuberculosis.
He did not want the writer to know about this because neither he wanted to have any financial help from any one nor to become an object of pity.
(d) The reason the narrator does not disclose to them that he knows their secret.
The writer is an intelligent man. He has come to know by a discussion about the plans earlier with Nicola that the boys did not want to share their secret plans with him. His visit to Poleta, where Lucia, their sister, was hospitalised, made their secret plans very clear for which they were saving their hard-earned money. He knows fully well that their feelings will be deeply hurt if he discloses to them that he knows their secret.
As the narrator, write an article on the lesson of love, faith and trust that you have learnt from the two young boys of Verona.
The story of Nicola and Jacopo teaches us a moralistic lesson of love, faith and trust. These qualities are imparted to human beings by God, the Almighty. We can call them Godly qualities without which our coexistence with others will become impossible. We should not be selfish and inconsiderate towards others. W<j should not hurt the feelings of others. We should have faith in others. Suppose, if I don’t care for my parents, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours, then who will care for me and the process will go on and one day this world will become a jungle where only wild animals live who just pounce upon others and tear them apart to satisfy their hunger. We should love others, care for others and must have mutual understanding and trust. We are the best creation of God. We are different from animals. Only the human qualities of love, faith and trust distinguish us from wild beasts.
After her brothers’ visit, Lucia writes a page in her diary about her past life and her present situation. As Lucia write the diary entry in about 150 words.
Monday, 10 p.m.
It is the happiest day for me because it reminds me of both, my creator and my caring brothers. God above and my brothers below are my only source of hope and happiness.
As usual my brothers visited me. They brought flowers, fruits and good novels for me. We reminisced our golden days when we lived with our parents in a beautiful house. Then the hateful Germans attacked our town and destroyed our house and killed our father who was a sweet voiced singer. When he performed in the opera house, the entire hall resounded with the joyful clapping of the people. Unluckily I developed tuberculosis of the spine.
My brothers worked hard and admitted me here. I’m happy as my doctors and nurse tell me that soon I will be able to stand and walk. When I become a singer, I will put my brothers in a good school. They will not work as hard as they do now for my sake. They will study and I will cook delicious food for them. I will try to give them a lot of happiness. They are everything for me. May God bless them.
Listen to an excerpt from the diary of a 13 year old girl Zlata Fillipovic who writes of the horrors of war in Sarajevo in her book Zlata’s Diary.
Based on your listening of the passage, complete the following statements.
- The first sign of approaching war was ………….
- The family went into the cellar when ………….
- The ‘awful cellar’ was the only place that could save their lives because ………….
- Zlata’s friend, Nina died when ………….
- Zlata and her father were worried about her mother’s safety because ………….
- that people were leaving Sarajeno and crowding the airport, train and bus stations. .
- the shooting started.
- their bedrooms faced the hills that was too dangerous a situation and the cellar was the safest place
- a shell fell in the park and a piece of sharpnel lodged in her brain.
- two shells exploded in the street and one in the market where her mother had gone and she had still not come home. They feared if she was alive.