The Dear Departed Extra Questions and Answers Class 10 English Literature

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The Dear Departed Extra Questions and Answers Class 10 English Literature

The Dear Departed Extra Questions and Answers Short Answer Type

Question 1.
What does Mrs. Slater want to take away from grandfather’s room? What were her plans after his death?
Mrs. Slater always nursed a desire to own the bureau that the grandfather had in his room. Therefore as soon as he ‘breathed his last”, she connived with her husband Henry to bring it down to place it in her room. She worried that her clever and observant sister would take it away using her cheap bargaining skills. So she decides that it should lay claims to it, before the division of grandpa’s property.

Question 2.
Comment on the character of Mrs. Jordan.
Mrs. Jordan too is portrayed to be a cunning, insensitive, impolite and materialistic woman, just like her sister. She is very hypocritical when she says Mrs. Slater had committed a “Fatal mistake”, when she herself had not bothered to check on grandfather for a very long period of time. She was very critical of the fact that Henry, ‘had stepped into the deceased man’s slipper in haste’.

Her sister says that she is very sharp, is capable of securing everything she likes and striking a cheap bargain. She had the habit of grabbing all good things in the world, therefore she has an eye on her father’s valuable gold watch. She stoops to the extent of disgracing her sister to get her father’s property, though everything turned out into being an exercise in futility.

Question 3.
Who is Victoria? What is her role in the play?
Victoria or Vicky is a sweet, precocious ten year old daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Slater. She is the only person in the family who has affection for her grandfather and is upset that he is no more. Victoria is both shocked and delighted when she notices that her grandfather was alive. She does not appreciate the haste and cunningness with which her mother plans to get hold of the clock and the bureau that belongs to grandpa. Her innocence and sense of fairness, is in stark contrast to the cold and calculative attitude of her relatives.

Question 4.
Why didn’t the Slaters call for the doctor?
Henry Slater did go to call their family doctor Dr. Pringle, who attended on grandpa whenever he had any problem. Unfortunately, he was out of the town. They did not call for another, as they thought it was not ethical to do so.

Question 5.
Who is Jimmy? Why is his reference made in the play?
Jimmy is presumably the son of Mr. & Mrs. Jordan. His reference is made twice in the play when Mrs. Jordan states that the grandpa had promised to give his gold watch to him, regarding which Mrs. Slater had not the slightest clue. Mrs Slater refers to Jimmy later in the play, when both the sisters are arguing about their rights towards Abel’s properties. As Abel is alive, she wants Elisabeth to reconfirm with him if he had promised to give his watch to Jimmy. He does not have a physical presence in the play.

Question 6.
Who is Ben? What is he most worried about?
Ben is the husband of Mrs. Jordan and a slightly humorous man by nature. He is more money minded than Henry. Throughout the play what keeps him worried is to find the receipt of the premium that the grandfather had paid at the insurance office. And when he does not get it, he calls the grandpa ‘drunken old beggar’. He seems to be a hen-pecked husband, who dances to the tune of his wife. He also tries to caution the grandfather when he decides that he’d not live with either of his children.

Question 7.
How does the father come to know that he was presumed to be dead?
Both the sisters try their best to hide the error they had committed by assuming that grandfather was dead, before taking a medical opinion. However, this could not be hidden for long as the two sisters resumed their fight. The blame game began with one accusing the other of robbing furniture from the room of their “dead” father. Their behavior was an automatic give away, and grandpa deduced the reason for Elizabeth’s unprecedented visit and the truth behind the black attire.

The Dear Departed Extra Questions and Answers Long Answer Type

Question 1.
What is the underlying theme of the play ‘The Dear Departed’?
The play ‘The Dear Departed’ conveys a social message. Comment.
The Dear Departed is a social drama that revolves around a very important theme of human relationship. The message that is very effectively projected is, the need to respect and honour the needs and wishes of the elderly people without greed and prejudice. The playwright is critical of the increasing materialistic values, in contrast to the rapidly deteriorating social, human and moral values.

The patriarch of the family, an old man of 72, Abel Merryweather, has two daughters, happily married and living with their spouses and children. He is addressed as grandpa by everyone. Every situation in the play criticizes the apathy of the younger generation towards an elder. The play opens with his daughter, Mrs. Slater, making a declaration that their grandfather has died. She is shown to be getting ready for a pretentious mourning, making every attempt to be one-up on her sister, in her preparations.

The writer does not lose hope, for he finds humanity still present in Abel’s grand daughter Victoria, who disapproves the cheap tactics of her parents, who begin stealing grandfather’s belongings. The play continues with the arrival of Mrs. and Mr Jordan, who is carved out of the same stone. She had come over to visit her sister with purely sinister plans. Along with being sensitive and empathetic to the needs of others, in this extremely materialistic world. Man must secure his own future to enjoy financial and emotional independence.

Question 2.
Imagine you are the grandpa. You are upset at the way things have happened in your family and your decision taken thereafter. Write a letter to your friend sharing with him your pain in this regard.
# 456, Lower Cornbank Street
England 304
June 26,
20XX Dear Peter
Hello! Its been over a year since I have written to you. Have you come back from your Asian tour? Hope you enjoyed the trip. Do convey my regards to everyone at home. Peter, I am in a state of absolute mental decay. You used to envy me for having two lovely children, while regretting the fact that you couldn’t have a child of your own. You are blessed my friend. I feel it is better to have no children, than having those like mine. I am so disheartened by their attitude.

You will be surprised to know that they have no concern about me, my wants or my growing age. If there is anything they worry about, it is what I bequeath to them after my death. Initially I thought I was being very harsh in my perceptions about their nature. But yesterday, I slept in, and they believed that I’d succumbed. Preparations for my burial, the epitaph, distribution of property, went on in all its seriousness. They were absolutely disgruntled when I woke up, alive and healthy. Amelia tried to get hold of some of my belongings before Elizabeth could arrive.
Their behaviour saddened me greatly. I announced my decision of leaving them and getting married to Mrs. John, and kept them out of my will too.

I do feel sad. But I had to teach them a lesson. I have however added a clause which no one knows of, that all the properties would be equally divided among my grandchildren after Mrs. John’s demise. Hope Victoria continues to be the lovely kid she is today.
I am settling down with Mrs. John for the rest of my life. Do pray for me.
Love and regards.

Question 3.
Imagine you are Mrs. Slater. After everything is over, and as grandpa has left you to settle down and marry elsewhere, you feel sorry and repentant. Write a diary entry expressing your realization of your ill treatment with him.
August 4, 20XX
Friday 10:15p.m.
Dear Diary,
I don’t feel good these days ever since father left us. I feel responsible for all that happened. Why did I stoop so low? Mom had brought us up with such great morals and values. Where did I lose them? I am looked down upon by everyone in the family. Henry hardly talks to me. My daughter Victoria too blames me for the entire dispute in the family.
I have proved to be an absolute failure as a human being by trying to secure inanimate objects, totally insensitive to the speculated state of my father’s death. Without bothering to ascertain his death, I began preparing for my life after his death. How deplorable. I empathise with dad now as I face the same neglect from my family. I deserve it but dad didn’t.

My guilt is weighing very heavily on my mind. I have to make amends for all my sins. I will go an meet him tomorrow and seek his pardon. I need to apologize to Elizabeth also. I hope Victoria and Henry will forgive me. What a horrible daughter, wife and mother I have been! Sorry mom for letting you down.
Sorry, Sorry!!

Question 4.
“The moral values are degraded in respect and care within the members of the family itself.” Explain this statement with reference to Mrs. Slater and Mrs. Jordan.
In the drama “Dear Departed” the playwright has tried to portray a very dismal reality of life. The gradual but steady decline unit called ‘family’ along with all its innate values. Growth of nuclear families has led to a breakdown in the wonderful experiences of living in joint families. Children are left alone, no one to care for them, to lead their own lives of “I me and myself”.

The story revolves around a father, his two daughters, their spouses and children. It begins with an announcement of Mr. Abel, the grand dad’s demise. This incident is followed up by the deceit and selfishness of the sister towards each other and their father. Mrs. Salter and Mrs. Jordan, who are shown to be at constant war with each other, embarrass their daughter Victoria, with their devious behaviour.

These elders along with their spouses systematically destroy the moral values such as love and respect towards elders, sorrow and concern for the dead, and propagate selfish traits like materialism, cheating, fraud, disrespect of elders and thieving. In this story it is the child of the next generation who seems to be possessing good moral values, and is seen to be extremely affected and pained to see the apathy of her elders.

Question 5.
“Old people deserve to be treated with great care and love.” How can you take care of elderly?
Blinded by greed and avarice the materialistic people show a total disregard for respect, regard, care and obligation that has to be extended towards one’s elders and parents. The old people most of whom have sacrificed their needs, time and money selflessly to take care of their young ones deserve to be treated with great care and love.

They struggled in their hey days, for their children, hoping that when they are in the dusk of their lives they will have their children to lean back on. Every one has to pass through the seven ages, of which the final and first stage is when we need support. In the first stage we are taken care of unconditionally, so is it not our duty to take care of those who nurtured us in the first stage when they reach their final stage.

Question 6.
Bring out the irony in the title of the play.
The irony in “Dear Departed”, makes its presence right from its title. We are introduced to the family of the daughter of the departed soul, who thinks that her father’s possessions are more dear to her than her father himself. So under the pretext of mourning her father’s death, she tries to keep for herself the things that were dear to him, only because she did not want to lose it to her sister.

The second daughter and the respected spouses of the two girls, were also worried about the dear belongings of the father. They did not have the courtesy to make sure if he had actually died, to begin fighting over his property. For the children the departed was ironically not as dear to them, as the things he left behind while leaving.

It eventually turns out that the father is alive, and is exposed to the true characters of his dear family. Ironically, what transpired was that neither of the children stands to gain, and the old man plans to bequeath his wealth to one who is really dear to him. All the efforts of the two children were in vain.

Question 7.
How does the spat between his daughters lead to grandfather discovering the truth?
Mr. Abel Merry weather had two daughters Elizabeth and Amelia, Who were married to Mr. Ben Jordan and Mr. Henry Slater. Both of them had a child each, Jimmy and Victoria respectively. The writer has made it very clear from the very first part of the play that both the sisters were not particularly the closest of siblings.

The scene begins with Amelia, preparing intensely to defeat her sister, even while getting things ready for her father’s funeral. The spat between the two begins even before the arrival of Elizabeth, as we see Amelia stocking away her father’s belongings. She did not want her sister to keep the bureau and clock that belonged to her father. She wanted to be appropriately dressed for mourning, assuming her sister would not have found the time to get the necessary black clothing. As they begin arguing, Victoria who was sent to check on his insurance receipt announces happily that grandpa was alive.

The gentleman walks down to listen to their spat once again, when they blame each other for having declared him dead, for stealing his property and the like. Eventually it reaches a crescendo when the grandfather decides to will his property to the person who is with him till he dies. The claim and blame for who should be the chosen one continues, and stops only when Abel declares who that was going to be.

The battle for money ended on a very bitter note when neither of the children got anything. It was their unwarranted battle to acquire property and belittle each other that led to grandpa knowing the truth about his children and taking the decision that he eventually did.

Question 8.
Compare and contrast Henry’s character with that of his wife. Support your answer with evidence from the play.
Both Henry and his wife represented a selfish, materialistic, money-minded couple, who depict the degradation of moral values in the society. The writer introduces to us how Mrs. Slater indulges in a very deplorable act of taking away her father’s bureau and clock, as he still lay on his bed, without any twitch of the conscience.

She goes to the extent of stealing her father’s slippers even before formally ascertaining if he had really passed. She is dominating, clever, shrewd and in constant competition with her sister. Her dominant nature is indicated throughout the play as she does not listen to anyone and insists on getting the things done her own way. She is so insensitive that she even accuses her father of being a swindler when it was discovered that his insurance premiums were not paid.

On the other hand Henry, though an accomplice of his wife, seemed to be better of the two. When his wife tells him to bring down the bureau, he is startled for a minute and refused to do her bidding, saying that her sister had an equal right over her father’s property. However, he succumbs to her dominance. He does not approve of using the old man’s slippers as ordered by Amelia.

He comes across as a polite person. He’s a better parent of the two and deals with Victoria with patience and care. At times when both the sisters quarrel, it is Henry who comes in between to stop them. He is less money-minded when compared to Ben and it seemed that he had good relations with grandpa. Henry had helped grandpa to open his boots while he was fast asleep the night before he “died”.

He was also worried about his obituary for the newspaper while everyone was after his insurance. All this shows that Henry is a better person in comparison to his wife. He only lacked decisiveness and confidence in himself and was therefore dominated and exploited by his wife.

The Dear Departed Extra Questions and Answers Reference-to-Context

Read the extracts and answer the following questions in your answer sheet in one or two sentences only.

Question 1.
“Elizabeth’s that sharp she’ll see I’m after it, and she’ll drive a hard bargain over it. Eh, what it is to have a low money grubbing spirit!”

(i) What is the relation of the speaker with Elizabeth?
(ii) What does ‘it’ in this extract stand for?
(iii) What bargaining is being discussed here?
(iv) Explain the meaning of the expression ‘a low money grubbing spirit’?
(i) Elizabeth is the speaker’s sister.
(ii) ‘It’ stands for the bureau.
(iii) The speaker is saying that Elizabeth will try and bargain hard to secure the bureau.
(iv) The expression means an unethical tendency to be mean and greedy about money.

Question 2.
“How you can gallivanting about in the street with your grandfather lying dead and cold upstairs. ”

(i) Who is the speaker?
(ii) Whom is the speaker speaking?
(iii) What is the mood of the speaker?
(iv) What is she telling her daughter?
(i) Mrs. Slater is speaking.
(ii) She is speaking to her daughter ‘Victoria’.
(iii) Mrs. Slater is angry with Victoria.
(iv) She is telling her not go about seeking pleasures, when her grandfather is lying dead.

Question 3.
“Be off now, and change your dress before your Aunt Elizabeth and your Uncle Ben come. It would never do for them to find you in colours. ”

(i) Who speaks these words?
(ii) Who is she speaking to?
(iii) Why does the speaker want Victoria to change her clothes?
(iv) Explain, “it would never do in colours”.
(i) Mrs. Slater is speaking these words.
(ii) She is speaking to her daughter Victoria.
(iii) The speaker wants Victoria to change her clothes because the family is in mourning.
(iv) These words mean that it would not be right if Elizabeth and Ben see her in colourful clothes.

Question 4.
“I’m not satisfied, but it’s the best we can do till our new black’s ready.”

(i) Who speaks these words?
(ii) To whom is she speaking?
(iii) What is the speaker not satisfied with?
(iv) What does ‘new black’ here stand for? What is it being readied for?
(i) The above words have been spoken by Mrs. Slater.
(ii) She is speaking to her husband.
(iii) Mrs. Slater is not satisfied with the clothes available to be worn at short notice.
(iv) ‘New black’ refers to the new black dresses for mourning. It is being readied for the ‘funeral’ of Abel Merryweather, the head of the family.

Question 5.
Ben: You should have gone for another. Eh. Eliza?
Mrs. Jordan: Oh,yes. It’s a fatal mistake.

(i) What does ‘another’ refer to?
(ii) What light does this dialogue reflect on Ben and Elizabeth?
(iii) Why does Ben say these words?
(iv) Why did Mrs. Jordan call it “a fatal mistake”?
(i) ‘Another’ refers to another doctor who could have attended to Mr. Abel at the time of his‘death’.
(ii) The dialogue reflects a hypocritical and exaggerated concern for their father, and a streak of opportunism.
(iii) He says so, because Mrs. Slater had said that their family doctor Pringle was not in town to check on their father.
(iv) Supporting her husband’s opinion of consulting another doctor, she says these words. It implies that if another doctor was called in perhaps death could have been avoided. It was therefore a fatal mistake.

Question 6.
“Well, I don’t call that delicate, stepping into a dead man’s shoes in such haste. ”

(i) Who makes this comment?
(ii) What prompts the speaker to say this?
(iii) What does Mrs. Jordan mean by ‘delicate’?
(iv) What was done in haste?
(i) The comment is made by Mrs. Jordan.
(ii) Elizabeth makes this statement when Abel observes that Henry was wearing his slippers.
(iii) She means that it was a very inappropriate act.
(iv) Elizabeth feels that Henry was too hasty in stepping into their father’s slippers.

Question 7.
“After all I’ve done for him, having to put with him in the house these three years. It’s nothing short of swindling.”

(i) Who speaks these words?
(ii) Who is “him” in the above lines?
(iii) In what context does she say these words?
(iv) What is nothing short of swindling?
(i) Mrs. Slater speaks these words.
(ii) “Him” refers to the grandfather.
(iii) They were discussing about Abel’s insurance, and Victoria tells them that he had not paid the premium on the previous day. This angered Mrs. Slater and she says the above lines.
(iv) Not paying the premium would affect the benefactors after the death of the insured person. Thus Mrs. Slater feels her father’s act was nothing short of swindling/ cheating, after all that she had done for him for three long years.

Question 8.
“Of course it’s me. Don’t do that, ‘Melia. What the devil do you mean by this tomfoolery?”

(i) Who speaks these words?
(ii) Whom are these words spoken to?
(iii) Why does he say “Of course its me”?
(iv) What tomfoolery did Amelia do?
(i) Grandfather speaks these words.
(ii) These words are spoken to Amelia.
(iii) This was in answer to Mrs. Slater’s question, “ Grandfather is that you?”.
(iv) Amelia pokes grandfather to check if he was a genuine human being.

Question 9.
“They sneaked into your room like a thief in the night and stole them after you were dead.”

(i) Who speaks these words?
(ii) Whom are these words spoken to?
(iii) Who are ‘they’?
(iv) What did ‘they’ steal?
(i) Mrs. Jordan is speaking these words.
(ii) These words are spoken to the grandfather.
(iii) ‘They’ refers to Amelia and Henry.
(iv) They stole grandfather’s clock and bureau.

Question 10.
“I can’t exactly call everything to mind, but I remember I was a bit dazed, like I couldn’t move an inch, hand or foot. ”

(i) Who is the speaker of the above line?
(ii) Why does he say these lines?
(iii) Why is the speaker dazed?
(iv) What difficulty did he experience?
(i) Grandfather is the speaker.
(ii) When Amelia asks grandfather if was asleep, he replies in the negative and says the above lines.
(iii) The speaker is dazed because he is said to have been drunk the previous night.
(iv) He experienced difficulty in moving his hands and legs.

Question 11.
“Well, he must have gone to the ‘Ring-o-Bells’ afterwards, for he came in as merry as a sandboy. ”

(i) Who is the speaker?
(ii) In what context are these lines spoken?
(iii) Where would he have gone?
(iv) Why was he “Merry as a sandboy”?
(i) Mrs. Slater is the speaker.
(ii) The sisters and their spouses were speaking about the sequence of events that preceded grandfather’s demise.
(iii) Mrs. Slater presumes that he must have gone to “Ring-o-bells”, a restaurant.
(iv) Perhaps every time he goes to “Ring-o-bells”, he returns as “merry as a sandboy”, very happy and carefree.