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chapter 4 with full description

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    Shady Plot" By:-EIsie Brown Chapter-4 1 10th ENGLISH Reference to context type questions Read the following passages taken from 'A Shady Plot' and answer the given questions: 1. 'Hallock', he had said to me, 'give us another on the supernatural this time. Something to give' em the horrors; that's what the publiewants, and your ghosts are live propostions.' (a) What is he? Ans. 'He' is Jenkins, the editor o magazine, (b) What does he want Hallock to do. Ans. He wants Halloc to write a gho t story for the magazine. (c) Why does he want Hallock to do it? Ans. He wants Hallock to rite the story because his ghosts are living characters. 2. Jenkins always seemed to have an uncanny knowledge as to when the landlord or the grocer were pestering me, and he dunned me for a ghost. (a) Who is he? Ans. Jenkins- the editor of the magazine. (b) Why is Jenkin's knowledge uncanny? Ans. Jenkin always knew as if through some mysterious powers when the narrator needed money. (c) Explain 'he dunned me for a ghost'.
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    2 Ans. The editor persistently asked the narrator to write a ghost story for the magazine. 3. She was long and angular, with enormous fishy eyes behind big bone-rimmed spectacles, and her hair in a tight wad at the back of her head.. (a) Who was she? What was her name? Ans. She was a ghost. When alive her name had been Helen of Troy. New York. (b) Why had she appeared to the narrator? Ans. She wanted the narrator to get his friends and acquaintances to stop using the Ouija board. (c) How had she helped the narrator in the past? Ans. She had put ideas for ghost stories m his head. 4. 'But my ghosts aren't a bit like you (a) Who says this and to whom? Ans. John Hallock, the narrator, says this to the ghost, Helen. (b) Why does he ay this? Ans. The ghost has claimed that she is the one who suggested the plots of the ghost stories he narrator writes. (c) What doe the listener reply? Ans. She said the readers wouldn't believe him if the ghosts were like her. 5. The very idea of that horrible scarecrow so much as touching me! And wouldn't my wife be shocked! (a) Who is the scarecrow? Ans. Helen, the ghost. (b) Why does the scarecrow touch the speaker?
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    3 Ans. The ghost had told the narrator that she had often leant over his shoulder while he was writing to give him ideas. (c) Why would the narrator's wife be shocked? Ans. His wife being sensitive and scared even of a mouse would be terrified of the ghost and have hysterics. 6. There was a time when we had nothing much too occupy us and used haunt a little on the side, purely for amusement, but not any more. (a) Who is the speaker? Ans. Helen, the ghost. (b) What does she not like to do anymore" Ans. The ghost does not wish to sit at a desk and answer questions on the Ouija board any more. (c) Why does she not have time for any longer? Ans. She does not have time to do an aunting any longer. 7. I remembered her craze for taking up new fads and a premonitory chill crept up the back of my neck. (a) Who is the speaker? Who is the 'her'? Ans. The narrator is the speaker. 'Her' is the speaker's wife. (b) What premonition does the speaker get? Ans. He feels that his wife way have got an Ouija board. (c) Why does he feel so? Ans. She likes to follow the latest fads and Ouija board was a craze.
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    4 8. 'Misto Hallock, de Missus shot' inks you's lost! She says done "phone you dis mawnin" to be home early, 'but fo' de lawd's sake not to stop to argify now, but get ready fo' de company an' come on down'. (a) Who is the speaker? Ans. The narrator's cook, Gladolia is the speaker. (b) Why had the listener's wife tried to call him? Ans. She had called him to tell him they had guests coming over in the evening and he should be home in time. (c) What advice does the speaker give? Ans. She tells him not to argue with his wi —but to change his lothes and come down. 9. 'Then it began to fly around so fast that I gave up any_attempt to follow it. My companion was bending forward and had started to spell out loud: "T-r-a-i-t- O-r." Traitor! Why, what does she mean?' (a) Who is being called a 'Traitor'? Ans. The narrator, John Halloc , is being alled a traitor. (b) Who is calling him a raitor? Ans. The ghost js calling him a raitor. (c) Why is he being calle a traitor? Ans. The ghost had wanted the narrator to get his friends and acquaintances to stop using the Ouija board but he was using the Ouija board himself. 10.' Misto Hallock', came from the hall outside, 'Misto Hallock, I's gwine t' quit. I don't like no hoodoos.' And the steps retreated. (a) Who is the speaker? Ans. The narrator's cook, Gladolia is the speaker.
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    5 (b) What is the speaker saying? Ans. She says she is going to leave the job. (c) What reason does the speaker give? Ans. She tells him that she does not wish to stay where people place charms and curses on others. TEXTUAL QUESTIONS 1. What genre of stories does Jenkins want the narrator to write? Why? Ans. Jenkins wants the narrator to write a ghost sto because readers want to read his ghost stories, and his ghosts are well-defined Characters like living beings. 2. Bring out the irony in the statement: I didn't specialize ghost stories, but more or less they second to specialize in me. Ans. The narrator did not write ghost stories out O choice. He wanted to write other genres. But it was his ghos stories that were popular and so he got into writing ghost stories. Ironically, it was the ghost, Helen, wh9 helped him write these stories. 3. Does the narrator like writing ghost stories? Or does he feel he is being exploited by the editor? Support your answer with evidence from the story. Ans. The narrator did not particularly like to write ghost stories. He feels the editor is exploiting him as he says, 'Well, I was in no position to contradict Jenkins, for, as yet, his magazine had been the only one to print my stuff'. 4. What does the narrator mean by 'And I had never found it healthy to contradict Jenkins'? Ans. The narrator said that he had realized that when Jenkins gave him work to do, it was better to agree to what he said. Otherwise, Jenkins may get angry and withdraw the offer or he might not give him any work in the future.
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    6 5. Though the narrator did not particularly like writing ghost stories, why did he do Ans. The narrator wrote good ghost stories that were popular with his readers. He knew that Jenkins would only get him to write ghost stories. Moreover, no other magazine was ready to publish his writing. He needed this extra income from writing to pay the rent or the grocer's bill. 6. What was the narrator's attitude towards his writing-ability? Was his attitude justified? Ans. The narrator had become overconfident and cocky about •s writing ability. He did not know that the plots were being put in his mind by he ghost. 7. Briefly describe the ghost. Ans. The ghost was long and angula with enormous fishy eyes behind big bone-rimmed spectacles, with her hair in a tight wad at the back o her head and a solid jaw. She wore a stiff white shirtwaist and a plaid skirt 8. Why had Helen, the ghost, been helpmg the narrator write ghost stories? Why was she going on strike? hat condition did she place on providing continued help? Ans. Helen had been a iter before she died. So she and other writers who were ghosts now had formed TWWr1ter's Inspiration Bureau'. They scouted around until they found a writer without i eas and With a mind soft enough to accept impressions. The case was brought to the attent10 of the main office, and one of the ghosts was assigned to it. Helen had been assigned to the narrator. She had come to tell him they were going on strike. She wanted the narrator to get the fanatics using Ouija boards to stop asking questions. The ghosts now have had to give up haunting almost entirely as they were really busy answering questions the Ouija board users were asking. 9. Why were the ghosts created by Helen in the narrator's mind different from her? Do you think her estimation was correct?
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    7 Ans. Helen felt that if she created ghosts like herself, the readers may not like them. She was correct because the narrator's ghost stories are very popular. 10. What impression do you form of Lavinia before you meet her? Ans. We learn that Lavinia, John's wife likes to go shopping. She also had an upsetting tendency to take one every new fad that came along and perform it so often that people become tired of it. We also learn that she was very sensitive. 11. Why does John want the ghost to disappear before his wife appears on the scene? What impression of his wife's character do you form from his words? Ans. John says that his wife is very sensitive. The sight of the ghost m her house may drive her to hysterics. Also she may not like the presence of a woman in the house, even if the woman was a ghost. 12. What new fad had Lavinia adopted? What was the irony m this? Ans. Lavinia had picked up an Ouija board from a bumper sale as they were the latest craze. The Ouija board Was her latest whim. This was ironic because the ghost had just told John to get his friends and acquaintances to stop using the Ouija board. 13. Why did Lavinia efuvto return the Ouija board? Ans. Lavinia said the Oui a board was bought at a bumper sale and so was non-returnable. She also said sh believed In the hereafter and the messages conveyed through the board. 14. Why does the narrator compare Laura Hinkle to a 'flirtatious crocodile? Ans. The narrator's wife had told him to partner Laura Hinkle as her partner, Mrs William Augustus Wainright had not come. When the narrator approached, Laura looked at him with a teasing smile that implied danger for him. 15. What message did the ghost convey to the assembled group? What was their reaction to the message?
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    8 Ans. The ghost called John a traitor and asked the Ouija board users to ask him why she was calling him that. The people using the Ouija boards all reported they had received a similar message and began talking about it. 16. The narrator calls the assembled group 'manipulators'. Are they manipulators or are they being manipulated? If so, by whom and why? Why does the narrator call them manipulators? Ans. The narrator calls the people at the Ouija boards manipulators as they were moving the boards around to get messages from the other world. But the Ouija boards were being manipulated by the ghost, Helen. She was the one who was sending a message to the narrator as despite her telling him to stop his friends from using Oulja_ypards, he was using one too. 17. Why is John's wife angry? What does she decide to do? How does he take her communication? Ans. The narrator's wife was ang because she felt»er husband had been trying to flirt with Laura Hinkle who Ka partnered im at the Ouija board. She decides to go to her grandmother's house-and would communica!t with him through a lawyer. The narrator is upset and is angry with th ghost, Helen. 18. Why had John no wanted his wife to encounter the ghost? Was his reasoning correct? Why/why noto Ans. John felt that hi wife was so sensitive that she couldn't bear to have a mouse say boo at her. Seeing a ghost in her own living-room would drive her to hysterics. His fears were unfounded as she smiled at the ghost, relieved she wasn't Helen of Troy. 19. What makes Helen, the ghost, and her other co-ghost organise the Writer's Inspiration Bureau? Ans. Helen, the ghost, had been helping the narrator write ghost stories as she herself was a writer when she was alive in her previous life. She and her co-ghosts were going on
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    9 strike because they were fed up with many calls from people for assistance, particularly from the users of Ouija board. She said the narrator have to persuade people not to use Ouija board if he needed her help any more. 20. How does the ghost undermine the narrator's faith in his ability to write ghost stories? Ans. The ghost undermines the narrator's faith in his ability to write ghost stories by telling him how she has been helping with all those ideas about his stories. Without her help he would not have written his stories. 21. Why does the narrator hesitate to be a partner to Laura inkle during the Ouija Board Party? Ans. The narrator hesitates to be a partner to Laura Hinkle because he is quite shy and does not want to be touched by Laura in anvway• Perhaps he is also hesistant in the presence of his wife. 22. Do you agree with the narrator calling the assembly of women "manipulators?" Give reasons. Ans. The narrator call the assembly of women "manipulators" as he does not believe that someone can call his name through their Ouija boards. The women, he believes, are only trying to create trouble for him. 23. Why does John wish he-were dead? Ans. John wishes he were dead on learning that his wife is going back to her grandmother and intending to divorce him. He is unable to bear the very idea of it. 24. When confronted by Lavinia about his flirtations over the Ouija Board, John insists that 'the affair was quite above-board, I assure you, my love'. Bring out the pun in John's Statements. Ans. A pun is a play on a word or words for two disparate meanings. In John's statement the pun is involved in the word 'over-board'. It means what happened between John and
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    10 Laura Hinkle-the touching of fingers-was over the Ouija board. It also means that there is nothing secretive about anything. He is honest and open in the matter. 25. John's apprehensions about his wife's reactions to her encounter with the ghost are unfounded. Justify. Ans. When John's wife finally encountered the ghost, she neither grew hysterical nor swoon, as was early apprehended by him. She proved to be quite brave and strong. ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS 1. Write a brief character sketch of John Hallock. Ans. Following points shows the character of John Hallocki) Cocky and overconfident out abillty to wrvCe ghost stories. Does not believe elen . writes tories. Creative . Protective o •s ife Gentle and kind with Gla o ia Launia isangry. .. ghosts different ... ..she is found of him.....warns him when 2. Write a brief character sketch of Lavinia Hallock. Ans. Following points shows the character of Lavinia Hallock. . loves novelty and thrills . picks up fads with enthusiasm Whimsical . Suspicious ... ...jealous . upset with John and Laura... attitude when she talks of Helen of Troy Manipulative . .. .does not let John have his way ..takes appearance of ghost in her stride Strong
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    11 3. What did Jenkins do to earn his living? Ans. Jenkins was a writer, but even then he had to serve as an accountant in an office to earn his living. He had not reached the point of being a whole time writer. 4. Who was Helen? Why did she come before the narrator? Ans. Helen was a female ghost. She appeared before the narrator when he was about to write a ghost story. He was without any idea about the plot of his story. When he was talking to himself, Helen appeared slowly in parts. 5. Why had the ghost appeared? Ans. The ghost of Helen had appeared t tell she and her other co- ghosts helping writers like him were on strike. Th hosts were fed up with too many calls of assistance from human beings. 6. Who was Lavinia? What made her decide to leave her husband? Ans. Lavinia was the narrator's wife. She thought that her husband had an affair with the lady called Helen. So she decldgg to leave her husband and even to divorce him. 7. Why did Lavinia change her mind to leave her husband? Ans. The writer came to have the idea of an excellent plot of a ghost story after his wife had decided to burn her Ouija board. The ghost of Helen was satisfied. She might have assisted the narrator with the idea of his new story now. 8. When did the writer come to have the idea of an excellent plot of a ghost story? Ans. The writer came to have the idea of an excellent plot of a ghost story after his wife had decided to burn her Ouija board. The ghost of Helen was satisfied. She might have assisted the narrator with the idea of his new story now.
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    12 9. Who is Gladolia? Why did she wish to leave the narrator's house? What made her give up the idea? Ans. Gladolia was an African maid in the narrator's house. She wished to leave the narrator's house because she was afraid of magic and hoodo. She gave up the idea when the narrator's wife agreed to burn her magical Ouija board.


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