Unit 5 Life and Love
The Looking Glass
Ways with words
A) Match the words with their meanings.
|a. exhausted i. vision
|b. apparent ii. wavy
|c. vista iii. predetermined
|d. undulating iv. prevent, hinder
|e. destined v suffocating, airless
|f. stuffy vi. tired
|g. restrain vii. clear
|a. exhausted vi. tired
|b. apparent vii. clear
|c. vista i. vision
|d. undulating ii. wavy
|e. destined iii. predetermined
|f. stuffy v. suffocating, airless
|g. restrain iv. prevent, hinder
B) Write the meaning and word class of the following words. Then use them in sentences of your own.
Implore (beg someone)- She implored him to change his habit.
Despair (loss of hope)- We are in despair about the book we’ve lost.
Beseech (to request earnestly)- It is time to beseech the former freiend for help.
Eloquent (fluent or persuasive)- They made an eloquent plea for a mobile phone.
Whirl (move )- His thoughts were in a whirl.
Egoism (excessive concern for oneself )- I could detect her strong egoism in a fancy dress party.
Agony (pain, suffering)- The wounded deer who was shot twice is in agony.
Delirious(disturbed state of mind)- She was delirious with the movie.
Delusive (misleading impression)- The delusive boy didn’t tell the police that the person with grey hair was the murderer..
Compensate( to reward someone in exchange for work done)- It is full day work, but we will compensate you well for it.
Mortgage (to borrow against a property, to obtain a loan)- They mortgaged their property in order to take a loan.
Brood ( to protect)- Under the ground was a fish, brooding eggs.
Prelude (to introduce something)- Her regular depressions were the prelude to a partial mental breakdown.
Comprehension Answer these questions.
a) Who was Nellie? What did she use to dream of ?
Ans: Nellie, the daughter of a landowner and general, was a young and pretty girl.
b) What was she doing with the looking glass ?
Ans: She was dreaming day and night of being married.
c) Why did she go to the doctor on one winter night ?
Ans: She went to the doctor on one winter night to call the doctor to treat her husband.
d) What was Stepan Lukitch doing when she reached his bedroom ?
Ans: Stepan Lukitch was lying on his bed, dressed, but without his coat, and with pouting lips was breathing into his open hand.
e) Why was the doctor not ready to go to see her husband?
Ans: For the last three days he had been away, seeing typhus patients, and he was exhausted and ill himself.
f) Why did Stepan Lukitch suggest Nellie to go to the Zemstvo doctor?
Ans: Stepan Lukitch suggested Nellie to go to the Zemstvo doctor because he wasn’t in the condition to visit any patients at that night
g) Nellie said, “Come, perform that heroic deed! Have pity on us!” What was that pity to be done ?
Ans: That pity was to see Nellie’s husband who was suffering from typhus.
h) When Nellie said, “I must have fallen asleep.” What does it mean?
Ans: It means that Nellie was daydreaming. She was dreaming her husband who was suffering from typhus and she was seeking a doctor to visit her husband.
i) What is the main theme of the story?
Ans: The main theme of the story is devotion, loneliness and love.
A) “The looking glass (mirror)” is used as a symbol in the story. What does it symbolise?
“The looking glass (mirror)” is used as a symbol in the story. It symbolizes the central character Nellie’s imagination. It symbolizes her inner deep desire to be married with a handsome man.
Nellie is the protagonist of the story by Anton Chekhov. Chekhov has used the symbol of the mirror to fulfill Nellie’s unfulfilled inner desire to be married soon. She was the daughter of a landowner and general. She was a young and pretty girl. She was dreaming day and night of being married. She wanted to escape her dull and boring life. She wanted to see a gentle smile of her husband. But in reality she was still unmarried. So, the whole story is her fantasy.
She is presented in the story gazing into her handheld mirror. She wanted her destined one. She spends her all day and night in front of mirrors dreaming of being married. The mirror also symbolizes her obsession with marriage life. The mirror gave her chance to run away from the boredom and lonely life without her life partner. She is pale, tense and motionless like her looking glass. The glass is static like her life. At the end of the story, she came to reality when she broke the mirror.
B) Chekhov employs the magic trick in the story, using a very elegant transition from reality to imagination to reality sequence. Discuss its relevance to life of young people.
Ans: Chekhov employs the magic trick in the story, using a very elegant transition from reality to imagination to reality sequence. Chekhov has used the image of grey background to shift from reality to imagination.
At the beginning of the story, she was looking at her mirror in her room. She started day dreaming in grey background of her mirror. She imagined being married and her husband was sick. At last, her mirror fell from her hand and the grey background disappeared. In this way, Chekhov has cleverly used the image of grey background to present Nellie’s fantasy. The transition from reality to imagination is relevant to life of young people because most of the young people live in imaginative world. They love to live in fantasy. Youth create world of imagination for themselves. In the story Nellie’s imaginative life partner name is not mentioned. It shows that she represents average young people who have same kind of fantasy for their destined one.
Every girl like Nellie imagines her life partner to be handsome and smart with a charming smile. So, Anton Chekhov uses transition from reality to imagination to capture the heart and sentiments of young people like Nellie. Most of the young people are victim of their so called ideal person’s social life. They are influenced by movies, books and reality shows. They try to copy it but due to their economic status they fail to follow it. As a result, they are obliged to do daydreaming. It is the only way to fulfill their unfulfilled desires.
A) Write a couple of paragraphs about an interesting dream that you have had.
Ans: In my dream, I was playing with my friend Hari. We were playing near a hill. We were playing a cricket game. When I started batting, the bat started to fly in the sky. We started to follow it. It reached to a cave. We entered into a cave to find out what was actually happening. The bat disappeared into the cave. We searched all the corners of the cave. We got nothing but suddenly we saw a statue of the lord Buddha. I worshipped the statue of lord Buddha by chanting mantras. As soon as I finished my mantra, we started to see all the mistakes that we committed in our life in the backdrop of the statue. We saw lord Buddha crying for violence that we committed in our life. We were surprised by it. We discussed about it. When we realized our mistakes that we committed, the Buddha stopped crying. Suddenly the statue of Buddha converted into a golden bat. We took it and returned back to our home. .
When I woke up, I was surprised by the dream. I tried to search the bat around my room but it was my dream only. But the dream gave me a lesson to follow the path of lord Buddha: peace, forgiveness and non-violence.