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NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English chapter 14 The Bishop’s Candlesticks

Page No 128:

Question 4:

Copy and complete the following paragraph about the theme of the play in pairs:

The play deals with a _______________and __________________Bishop who is always

ready to lend a _________________hand to anyone in distress. A _________________

breaks into the Bishop’s house and is ___________________________and warmed. The benevolence of the Bishop somewhat _____________________the convict, but, when he

sees the silver candlesticks, he ____________________ them, and runs away. However, he is _______________________and brought back. He expects to go back to jail, but the Bishop informs the police they are a _______________________________. The convict is ___________________by this kindness of the Bishop and before he leaves he seeks the priest’s blessing.

Answer:

The play deals with a kind and charitable Bishop who is always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in distress. A convict breaks into the Bishop’s house and is fed and warmed. The benevolence of the Bishop somewhat confounds the convict, but, when he sees the silver candlesticks, he steals them, and runs away. However, he is arrested and brought back. He expects to go back to jail, but the Bishop informs the police they are a gift. The convict is moved by this kindness of the Bishop and before he leaves he seeks the priest’s blessing.

Question 5(a):

Working in pairs give antonyms of the following words.

kind- hearted

unscrupulous

forgiving

stern

benevolent

credulous

generous

pious

suspicious

sympathetic

understanding

wild

innocent

penitent

clever

brutal

cunning

caring

sentimental

trusting

protective

concerned

honourable

embittered

Answer:

(1) Kind Hearted − nasty, unkind

(2) Unscrupulous − ethical, moral, good

(3) Forgiving − censure, charge, punish

(4) Stern − cheerful, funny, lenient

(5) Benevolent − greedy, malevolent, mean, selfish

(6) Credulous − skeptical, suspecting, suspicious

(7) Generous − greedy, mean, miserly

(8) Pious – atheist, impious, irreligious

(9) Suspicious − innocent, trustworthy, trusty

(10) Sympathetic − callous, merciless, uncaring, unconcerned

(11) Understanding − misunderstanding, intolerant

(12) Wild − civilized, controlled, delicate, gentle

(13) Innocent − bad, blamable, corrupt

(14) Penitent − happy, unashamed

(15) Clever − awkward, foolish, idiotic, ignorant,

(16) Brutal − generous, humane, kind, nice

(17) Cunning − gullible, kind, naive

(18) Caring − disregarding, ignoring, neglecting

(19) Sentimental − hard-hearted, indifferent, pragmatic, unemotional

(20) Trusting- disagree, dispute, reject, renounce

(21) Protective − attacking, harmful, hurtful, injurious

(22) Concerned − happy, undisturbed, unperturbed

(23) Honourable − not respectful, unhonourable

(24) Embittered − pleasant, content, genial

Page No 129:

Question 5(b):

Select words from the above box to describe the characters in the play as revealed by the following lines from the play.

Lines from the play

Speaker

Quality revealed

1. “You told him she was feeling poorly, did you? And so my brother is to be kept out of bed, and go without his supper because you told him she was feeling poorly.”
2. __________ “take my comforter, it will keep you warm.”
3. “If people lie to me they are poorer, not I.”
4. “You are like a child. I can’t trust you out of my sight. No sooner my back is turned than you get that minx Marie to sell the silver salt-cellars.”
5. “My dear there is so much suffering in the world, and I can do so very little.”
6. “My mother gave them to me on − on her death bed just after you were born, and − and she asked me to keep them in remembrance of her, so I would like to keep them.”
7. “I am too old a bird to be caught with chaff.”
8. “You have your soul to lose, my son.”
9. “Give me food or I’ll stick my knife in you both and help myself.”
10. “__________they have made me what I am, they have made me a thief. God curse them all.”
11. “Why the devil are you kind to me? What do you want?”
12. “I − I − didn’t believe there was any good in the world…but somehow I − I − know you’re good, and − and it’s a queer thing to ask, but could you, would you bless me before I go?”

Answer:

Lines from the play

Speaker

Quality revealed

1. “You told him she was feeling poorly, did you? And so my brother is to be kept out of bed, and go without his supper because you told him she was feeling poorly.”

Persome

Protective

2. __________ “take my comforter, it will keep you warm.”

Bishop

Kind hearted

3. “If people lie to me they are poorer, not I.”

Bishop

Innocent

4. “You are like a child. I can’t trust you out of my sight. No sooner my back is turned than you get that minx Marie to sell the silver salt-cellars.”

Persome

Caring

5. “My dear there is so much suffering in the world, and I can do so very little.”

Bishop

Sympathetic

6. “My mother gave them to me on −on her death bed just after you were born, and − and she asked me to keep them in remembrance of her, so I would like to keep them.”

Bishop

Sentimental

7. “I am too old a bird to be caught with chaff.”

Convict

Cunning

8. “You have your soul to lose, my son.”

Bishop

Pious

9. “Give me food or I’ll stick my knife in you both and help myself.”

Convict

Unscrupulous

10. “__________they have made me what I am, they have made me a thief. God curse them all.”

Convict

Embittered

11. “Why the devil are you kind to me? What do you want?”

Convict

Suspicious

12. “I − I − didn’t believe there was any good in the world…but somehow I − I − know you’re good, and − and it’s a queer thing to ask, but could you, would you bless me before I go?”

Convict

Penitent

Page No 130:

Question 6(g):

Before leaving, the convict asks the Bishop to bless him. What brought about this change in him?

Answer:

Before leaving, the convict asks the Bishop to bless him. The Bishop’s kindness brought about this change in him. Understanding the circumstances in which the convict stole the candlesticks, the Bishop told the Police that the convict was his friend and the candlesticks were gifted to him. He even asked the convict to take away the candle sticks so that he could go to Paris and begin a settled life.

Question 6(f):

Do you think the punishment given to the convict was justified? Why/ why not? Why is the convict eager to reach Paris?

Answer:

The punishment given to the convict was not justified. It is too inhuman for someone who was caught stealing just to feed his sick wife.

The convict was eager to reach Paris to escape from the police. He thought that as Paris was a very big and densely populated city the Police would not be able to identify and arrest him in future.

Question 6(e):

Why was the convict sent to prison? What was the punishment given to him?

Answer:

The convict was sent to prison for stealing. He had stolen so that he could buy his wife some food. He was sentenced to ten years in a prison hulk.

Question 6(d):

The convict says, “I am too old a bird to be caught with chaff.” What does he mean by this statement?

Answer:

By this statement he means to say that he is well experienced so that he cannot be befooled. When on asking for food by the convict the Bishop tries to call his sister for keys of the cupboard, the convict thinks that the Bishop is making a plan to nab him.

Question 6(c):

Who was Jeanette? What was the cause of her death?

Answer:

Jeanette was the convict’s wife. She died of disease and hunger.

Question 6(b):

Why does Persome feel the people pretend to be sick?

Answer:

Persome feels that people pretend to be sick so that the Bishop calls on them. She feels that people take advantage of the simplicity and kindheartedness of the Bishop who extends his helping hand to anybody who is in distress.

Question 6(a):

Do you think the Bishop was right in selling the salt-cellars? Why/why not?

Answer:

A model answer has been provided for students’ reference.

It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer on their own.

No, the Bishop was not right in selling the salt-cellars. His own economic condition was not good and he should have asked for Persome’s opinion before he sold the cellars, which belonged to her too.

From another point of view the Bishop was right in selling the salt-cellars as he wanted to give the money he got from selling the cellars to Mere Gringoire who couldnot give rent to the landlord on time and was about to face eviction. The Bishop was very broadminded as he could empathise with the condition of Mere Gringoire and chosed to do away with the salt cellars. The Bishop felt that one could eat salt out of china as well.

Question 7a(a):

Monseigneur the Bishop is a ————ahem!’

Why does Persome not complete the sentence?

(i) She used to stammer while speaking.

(ii) She was about to praise the Bishop.

(iii) She did not wish to criticise the Bishop in front of Marie.

(iv) She had a habit of passing such remarks.

Answer:

(iii) She did not wish to criticise the Bishop in front of Marie.

Question 7a(b):

Monseigneur the Bishop is a ————ahem!’

Why is she angry with the Bishop?

(i) The Bishop has sold her salt-cellars.

(ii) The Bishop has gone to visit Mere Gringoire.

(iii) He showed extra concern for Marie.

(iv) She disliked the Bishop.

Answer:

(i) The Bishop has sold her salt-cellars.

Page No 131:

Question 7b(a):

‘She sent little Jean to Monseigneur to ask for help, and—’

Who sent little Jean to the Bishop?

(i) Mere Gringoire

(ii) Marie

(iii) Persome

(iv) Marie’s mother

Answer:

(i) Mere Gringoire

Question 7b(b):

Why did she send Jean to the Bishop?

(i) so that he could pray for her

(ii) as she knew that he was a generous person

(iii) as she was a greedy woman

(iv) as she was a poor woman

Answer:

(ii) as she knew that he was a generous person

Question 7c(a):

‘I offered to take her in here for a day or two, but she seemed to think it might distress you.”

The Bishop wanted to take Mere Grngoire in because _________.

(i) she was sick

(ii) she had no money

(iii) she was unable to pay the rent of her house

(iv) she was a close friend of Persome

Answer:

(iii) she was unable to pay the rent of her house

Question 7c(b):

‘I offered to take her in here for a day or two, but she seemed to think it might distress you.”

Persome would be distressed on Mere Gringoire’s being taken in because

________.

(i) she did not want to help anyone

(ii) she felt that Mere Gringoire was taking undue advantage of the Bishop

(iii) she was a self-centred person

(iv) she would be put to a great deal of inconvenience

Answer:

(ii) she felt that Mere Gringoire was taking undue advantage of the Bishop

Page No 133:

Question 9:

Identify the situations which be termed as the turning points in the convict’s life?

Answer:

A model answer has been provided for students’ reference.

It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer on their own.

The term turning point means any situation which brings a decisive change in the course of events in somebody’s life. The convict in the play The Bishop’s Candlesticks confronts several situations that may be termed as turning point. The situations are:

The convict was a normal human being living with his wife. Once his wife got seriously ill. The convict due to unemployment could not even buy food. This led him to steal and buy food for his dying wife. This was a turning point as the police nabbed him. From an ordinary human being he became a convict.

Another turning point in the convict’s life was when he managed to escape from the prison and broke into the house of the Bishop. In Bishop’s house he could experience the practice of noble Christian ideals like benevolence and mercy in the conduct of the Bishop. While at the Bishop’s house, he saw the silver candle sticks which he stole.

Another turning point in the convict’s life was when the police caught him with the candle sticks. They arrested him and brought him back to the house of Bishop. But the Bishop asked the policemen to release the convict saying that he was his guest and the silver candle sticks had been gifted to the convict by him. The Bishop told the convict to take the candle sticks and move to Paris where he could start a new life. This event really changed his life.

Question 10:

Conduct a debate in the class (in groups) on the following topic. Instruction for

conducting a debate (and the use of appropriate language) are given in the unit

“Children” of the Main Course Book.

‘Criminals are wicked and deserve punishment’

Answer:

Pointers have been provided for students’ reference.

It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer on their own.

Arguments in favour of the motion:

a) Criminals deserve punishment as they are wicked. If they are not punished they will continue committing crime which will destabilise the society. Appropriate punishment will act as deterrent for the criminals to take to the path of crime.

b) If criminals are not punished for their crimes it will be an injustice to the victims.

c) Criminals deserve punishment as they cannot be reformed without being punished.

d) Since the doer of good work is rewarded with appreciation then it follows that evil doer like criminals is awarded with punishment.

e) If criminals are not punished people will not differentiate between criminal and non-criminal activities.

Arguments Against the motion:

a) To assume that criminals are wicked and accordingly deserve punishment is wrong. Criminals are the products of the society they live in. They take to crime under unavoidable circumstances like extreme poverty. So, it is an injustice to punish criminals. The conditions for committing crimes are induced by the society that instigate people to commit crimes.

b) There are several instances to show that criminals can be reformed. They are as normal as other human beings and are sensitive to sympathy and benevolence.

c) We are no longer in a primitive society. So, giving punishment to the criminals is not in tune with the norms of a civilised society.

d) Criminals do not deserve punishment as criminals are able to realise their wrong themselves in course of time.

Question 11:

The Convict goes to Paris, sells the silver candlesticks and starts a business. The

business prospers and he starts a reformatory for ex-convicts. He writes a letter to the

Bishop telling him of this reformatory and seeks his blessings.

As the convict, Jean Valjean, write the letter to the Bishop.

Answer:

A model answer has been provided for students’ reference.

It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer on their own.

Respected Sir,

Hope you are well by the grace of God. How is your sister? I express my utmost gratitude to you for forgiving me for my act of stealing the silver candlesticks. It is because of your benevolence that I could reach Paris and start a new life. You are the pathfinder who have shown me a new way of life.

You will be elated to know that after reaching Paris I sold the silver candlesticks to a jewellery shop. I got enough money out of that and invested the money in starting a business. From a small scale venture the business has grown into a large scale business yielding huge profit. I owe my success to you.

Inspired by your ideals I have started a reformatory for ex convicts who have committed crime driven by circumstances. I seek your blessings for the success of the mission. The vision of the reformatory is to reform the ex convicts and give them a new lease of life so that they can lead life according to the teachings of the Bible. To realise this vision ex convicts are given lessons of the Bible and vocational training so that they can lead their life ethically.

I hope you will be pleased to know this and bless me for success in my reformatory work.

Convey my regards to your sister.

Yours truly

The Convict


 

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