NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 6
The Hundred Dresses – II
Oral Comprehension Check (Page 74)
What did Mr. Petronski’s letter say?
Mr. Petronski’s letter was addressed to the school authorities informing them that Wanda would not come to school anymore as they were moving to a bigger city. It also mentioned that nobody would call her by funny names as there were plenty of other funny names in the new city.
Is Miss Mason angry with the class, or is she unhappy and upset?
Miss Mason was unhappy rather than angry because she was very upset to know that the students ill-treated Wanda for her unfamiliar name. She didn’t approve of the humiliation faced by the young girl due to her looks, name, and appearance. She wanted everyone to think about it and asked them not to look down upon anyone in the class.
How does Maddie feel after listening to the note from Wanda’s father?
Maddie felt sorry and ashamed for her behavior towards Wanda although she never made fun of her. She felt guilty as she never tried to stop Peggy from doing so and silently watched her as she repeatedly used to make fun of Wanda for claiming to have a hundred dresses in her closet.
What does Maddie want to do?
Maddie wanted to amend her behavior towards Wanda and apologize to her for everything. Hence, when she came to know that Wanda was moving to a big city, she decided to pay a visit to Wanda’s house at Boggins Heights. She also wished to convey that everyone appreciates her talent and that their behavior towards her should be taken lightly.
Oral Comprehension Check (Page 76)
What excuses does Peggy think up for her behavior? Why?
Peggy acted defensively and stated that she indirectly inspired Wanda to explore her drawing skills as she sketched a hundred dresses for the drawing competition making her the winner of the contest.
What are Maddie’s thoughts as they go to Boggins Heights?
Maddie was filled with a sense of guilt and shame as she felt apologetic for being a silent spectator while Peggy used to humiliate Wanda. She was distraught for Wanda and herself. She was repenting for not stopping Peggy from misbehaving with Wanda on numerous occasions.
Why does Wanda’s house remind Maddie of Wanda’s blue dress?
Wanda used to wear an old blue faded yet clean dress to school every day. When Maddie saw the house, it reminded her that Wanda’s place and its sparse little yard looked shabby but clean just like her blue dress.
What does Maddie think hard about? What important decision does she come to?
Maddie thought hard that she would not be a mute spectator anymore of Peggy’s ill-treatment of Wanda. She promised herself that she would not let any injustice happen to anyone even if it meant losing her close friend in the process.
Oral Comprehension Check (Page 79)
What did the girls write to Wanda?
Maddie and Peggy wrote a friendly letter to Wanda in which they wanted to apologize for their behavior towards her, instead they asked her whether she liked her new school, friends, and teachers. Meanwhile, they also informed her that she was declared the winner of the drawing contest for her sketches of a hundred dresses. They praised her drawing skills and also mentioned how it was appreciated by everyone in school. The girls wrote this letter to Wanda to indirectly extend their hand of friendship towards her and also express how much they missed her.
Did they get a reply? Who was more anxious for a reply, Peggy or Maddie? How do you know?
No, the girls never received a response to their letter from Wanda. Maddie was anxiously looking forward to a reply, more than Peggy because she was distraught for Wanda. She had assumed that Wanda was deeply hurt so she didn’t reply to their letter and blamed herself for everything. Maddie often had sleepless nights and frightening dreams about Wanda.
How did the girls know that Wanda liked them even though they had teased her?
Both Maddie and Peggy realized that Wanda liked them although they would often tease her. It was when Wanda sent a letter to her school teacher in which she mentioned gifting her two beautiful dresses’ sketches to the girls – a green one with red trimmings to Peggy and the blue one to Maddie. She had also drawn their respective faces in the sketches of the dresses.
Thinking about the Text (Page 79-80)
Why do you think Wanda’s family moved to a different city? Do you think life there was going to be different for their family?
Wanda’s family moved to a different city due to the racist and ill-behavior of the students in school towards Wanda and her brother, Jake. They were being teased by other students for their funny names and appearance. Jan Petronski, Wanda’s father thought that life in the new city would be different because people in bigger cities are not so narrow-minded and also they would not be teased because of their name or status.
Maddie thought her silence was as bad as Peggy’s teasing. Was she right?
Yes, Maddie was filled with remorse for being a silent spectator of Peggy’s teasing towards Wanda because she thought that turning a blind eye toward an unfair practice is even worse than committing a crime. So, she felt ashamed for indirectly encouraging Peggy to humiliate Wanda often.
Peggy says, “I never thought she had the sense to know we were making fun of her anyway. I thought she was too dumb. And gee, look how she can draw!” What led Peggy to believe that Wanda was dumb? Did she change her opinion later?
Wanda never complained about Peggy’s ill-treatment and pranks towards her. Her silent and unusual behavior led Peggy to believe that she was dumb. Wanda often claimed to have a hundred dresses and sixty pairs of shoes all lined up in her closet and this made Peggy wonder if she had the dresses, why would Wanda wear the same old faded blue dress to school every day? However, later Peggy changed her opinion and was quite impressed when she saw Wanda’s sketches. Furthermore, she was surprised when Wanda asked Miss Mason to gift her sketch of a green dress with red trimmings to Peggy from her collection.
What important decision did Maddie make? Why did she have to think hard to do so?
Maddie decided to go to Wanda’s house in Boggins Heights with Peggy to apologize and amend her behavior for all the ill-treatment done by them, but Wanda had left her house with her family already. Maddie was upset because she thought she acted like a coward as she never stopped Peggy from insulting Wanda. So, she promised herself that she would not let any injustice or bullying happen to anyone even if it meant losing her close friend while doing so.
Why do you think Wanda gave Maddie and Peggy the drawings of the dresses? Why are they surprised?
When Maddie and Peggy wrote a friendly letter to Wanda, she might have understood their feelings towards her and the dress game for which they used to mock her. So, she requested Miss Mason to give two of her sketches to them to show them that she did not have any hard feelings for them. Maddie and Peggy were taken by surprise when she gifted them the drawings with their faces on those sketches.
Do you think Wanda thought the girls were teasing her? Why or Why not?
Yes, Wanda was aware of the misbehavior of the girls who teased her every day at school. She knew that they used to make fun of her name and appearance, but she chose to remain silent. She used to feel humiliated for their misbehavior and fed up with everything, she exaggerated having a hundred dresses and sixty pairs of matching shoes in her closet. Later, when she won the contest she requested Miss Mason to give away two of her sketches to Peggy and Maddie as a gesture of her broad-mindedness towards the girls who often made fun of her.
Thinking about Language (Page 80-81)
Here are thirty adjectives describing human qualities. Discuss them with your partner and put them in the two-word webs (given below) according to whether you think they show positive or negative qualities. You can consult a dictionary if you are not sure of the meanings of some of the words. You may also add to the list the positive or negative ‘pair’ of a given word.
|kind, sarcastic, courteous, arrogant, insipid, timid, placid, cruel, haughty, proud, zealous, intrepid, sensitive, compassionate, introverted, stolid, cheerful, contented, thoughtless, vain, friendly, unforgiving, fashionable, generous, talented, lonely, determined, creative, miserable, complacent|
What adjectives can we use to describe Peggy, Wanda, and Maddie? You can choose adjectives from the list above. You can also add some of your own.
1. Peggy _______________________________________________________________
2. Wanda ______________________________________________________________
3. Maddie ______________________________________________________________
1. Peggy: thoughtless, sarcastic, unforgiving, arrogant, cruel, haughty, proud, and vain
2. Wanda: kind, courteous, introverted, talented, lonely, determined, generous, friendly, intrepid, sensitive, compassionate, and creative
3. Maddie: insipid, miserable, timid, sensitive, placid, and stolid
1. Find the sentences in the story with the following phrasal verbs.
|lined up thought up took off stood by|
2. Look up these phrasal verbs in a dictionary to find out if they can be used in some other way. (Look at the entries for line, think, take and stand in the dictionary.) Find out what other prepositions can go with these verbs. What does each of these phrasal verbs mean?
3. Use at least five such phrasal verbs in sentences of your own.
1. (i) Lined up: And she thought of the glowing picture of those hundred dresses made – all lined up in the classroom.
(ii) Thought up: Peggy, who had thought up this game, and Maddie, her inseparable friend, were always the last to leave.
(iii) Took off: Miss Mason took off her glasses, blew on them, and wiped them on her soft white handkerchief.
(iv) Stood by: She had stood by silently, and that was just as bad as what Peggy had done.
2. (i) Lined up: To align in an orderly manner
(ii) Thought up: To use one’s mind to create or invent something
(iii) Took off: To remove
(iv) Stood by: To remain aloof
3. Given below are a set of other phrasal verbs:
(i) Asked (someone) out: Harry asked Sally out for a movie date.
(ii) Blow up: The speeding car blew up when it rammed against a bus on the highway.
(iii) Break down: Sierra broke down when she heard that her husband had passed away in a car accident.
(iv) Call around: We called around many colleges for admission of our child.
(v) Calm down: Yesterday someone rammed my father’s car from behind, then I asked him to calm down before he starts driving again.
Colors are used to describe feelings, moods, and emotions. Match the following ‘ color expressions’ with a suggested paraphrase.
|(i) the Monday morning blues||– feel embarrassed/angry/ashamed|
|(ii) go red in the face||– feel very sick, as if about to vomit|
|(iii) look green||– sadness or depression after a weekend of fun|
|(iv) the red carpet||– the sign or permission to begin an action|
|(v) blue-blooded||– a sign of surrender or acceptance of defeat; a wish to stop fighting|
|(vi) a green belt||– in an unlawful act; while doing something wrong|
|(vii) a blackguard||– a photographic print of building plans; a detailed plan or scheme|
|(viii) a grey area||– the land around a town or city where construction is prohibited by law|
|(ix) a white flag||– an area of a subject or a situation where matters are not very clear|
|(x) a blueprint||– a dishonest person with no sense of right or wrong|
|(xi) red-handed||– a special welcome|
|(xii) the green light||– of noble birth or from a royal family|
|(i) the Monday morning blues||– sadness or depression after a weekend of fun|
|(ii) go red in the face||– feel embarrassed/angry/ashamed|
|(iii) look green||– feel very sick, as if about to vomit|
|(iv) the red carpet||– a special welcome|
|(v) blue-blooded||– of noble birth or from a royal family|
|(vi) a green belt||– the land around a town or city where construction is prohibited by law|
|(vii) a blackguard||– a dishonest person with no sense of right or wrong|
|(viii) a grey area||– an area of a subject or a situation where matters are not very clear|
|(ix) a white flag||– a sign of surrender or acceptance of defeat; a wish to stop fighting|
|(x) a blueprint||– a photographic print of building plans; a detailed plan or scheme|
|(xi) red-handed||– in an unlawful act; while doing something wrong|
|(xii) the green light||– the sign or permission to begin an action|
Speaking (Page 82)
The story of Wanda Petronski presents many characters engaged in many kinds of behavior (teasing, playing, sitting in class…). Form groups. Choose an episode or episodes from the story. Assign roles to each member of the group from that episode, and try to act it out like a play, using the words in the story.
Activity to be done by yourself.
Writing (Page 82)
Look again at the letter that Wanda’s father writes to Miss Mason, Wanda’s teacher. Mr. Petronski is not quite aware of how to write a formal letter in English. Can you rewrite it more appropriately? Discuss the following with your partner before you do so.
The format of a formal letter: How to begin the letter and how to end it; the language of the letter needs to be formal. (Avoid informal words like “holler” and fragments like “No more ask why funny name.”) Write complete sentences.
Given below is a sample formal letter that Wanda’s father could have written while addressing it to the school authorities:
My children, Wanda and Jake Petronski will not come to school going forward as we are shifting to a big city soon. They were exposed to derogatory remarks due to their long and unfamiliar name in school. I’m hoping no one would complain about our Polish descent in the new city or make fun of our last name as there are plenty of funny names in the city.
Are you interested in drawing and painting? Ritu Kumar, one of India’s best-known dress designers, has no formal training in designing. She started by sketching ideas for her dresses and getting them stitched by a tailor. Ritu’s friends liked her dresses so much that they asked her to design clothes for them, and even paid her for them!
Imagine you are going to make a career out of your hobby. What sort of things will you need to learn? Write a paragraph or two on this topic after consulting an expert or doing reference work on your chosen area.
Activity to be done by yourself.
(Note: Students can write this answer as per their personal preferences.)
Rewrite a part of the story as if Wanda is telling us her own story.
Activity to be done by yourself.
(Note: Students can choose a part of the story to write this answer as per their understanding.)
Thinking about the Poem (Page 84)
Notice the use of the word ‘turn’ in the first line, “I think I could turn and live with animals…”. What is the poet turning from?
The poet is turning away from human beings to live with animals because he thinks animals are calm, self-contained, and have a non-complaining nature. On the contrary, he feels humans are complicated and false in comparison to animals.
Mention three things that humans do and animals don’t.
According to the poet, here we outline the three things that humans do and animals don’t:
- Humans complain about small things and are always dissatisfied. On the other hand, animals are non-complaining creatures who are satisfied with whatever they have.
- Human beings sweat and work hard to earn their living and they whine about their condition always whereas, animals are placid creatures and do not sulk about their condition at any time.
- Humans are fond of materialistic things as this makes them happy. On the contrary, animals are non-demanding creatures and do not behave irrationally to possess worldly pleasures.
Do humans kneel to other humans who lived thousands of years ago? Discuss this in groups.
Yes, humans kneel to other humans who lived thousands of years ago due to cultural traditions or religious beliefs. They fold their hands in humility and worship their ancestors to show respect by kneeling in front of their portraits.
(Note: Students can discuss and share their own cultural beliefs with their classmates and also be aware of religious practices of other cultures at the same time.)
What are the ‘tokens’ that the poet says he may have dropped long ago, and which the animals have kept for him? Discuss this in class. (Hint: Whitman belongs to the Romantic tradition that includes Rousseau and Wordsworth, which holds that civilization has made humans false to their true nature. What could be the basic aspects of our nature as living beings that humans choose to ignore or deny?)
The tokens mentioned by Whitman in the poem indicate the symbols of the true nature of human beings. He intends to convey that as civilization flourished, humans lost their instincts and moved away from the tokens of virtue such as containment, honesty, and innocence. They became more self-centered and the desire to possess worldly pleasures took over their minds. They lost their humane touch in due course of time. On the contrary, animals have always carried forward their real instincts and continue to do so. The poet looks at those characteristics and wonders where he had negligently lost his true nature.