Tamilnadu State Board Class 10 English Solutions Supplementary Chapter 7 A Dilemma
The Tempest Textual Questions
A. Read the given lines carefully and identify the character / speaker:
I suppose you think me queer. I will explain.
Don’t come back. It won’t hasten things.
He thought it simply a cruel jest.
He did not desire to do so.
He would think it over and come back later.
Character or Speaker – Additional
‘Now I repent of my wickedness to you all’.
‘My jewels are in my safe. There is nothing else left’.
‘I stood appalled, the key in my hand’.
‘He said that, if my uncle had not lied, there was none that would not ruin the stones’.
‘I spent all my spare hours at one of the great libraries reading about dynamite’.
‘He, too, counselled me to cease thinking about it’.
‘I was delighted to assist them.’
‘I was in constant fear of burglars.’
‘You will have to pay for my funeral.’
B. Based on your understanding of the story, answer the following briefly.
What did the uncle do as soon as he bought a stone?
He carried it in his pocket for a month, looked at it now and then and then added to the collection in his safe.
What did the uncle bequeath to the narrator?
The Uncle bequeathed an iron safe that contained precious gems and a dynamite that would explode when opened.
What was the condition laid by the uncle to inherit his property?
The uncle asked Tom to open the box with relief and trust to increase his expectation and desire. If he doubted and opened the dynamite would explode.
Why do you think Tom happily looked forward to the expenditure for his uncle’s funeral?
Tom thought he would become a very rich man after his uncle died when he inherited the box of gems.
Write a few words about the mechanism used in the iron box.
The box contained an interesting mechanism. It will act with certainty as one unlocks it, and explode 9 Vi ounces of his improved, super sensitive dynamite. One must open without » doubting to desire a fortune. If they doubt, the person will be blown to atoms.
What was the counsel offered to the narrator?
The counsel offered was to quit thinking about the box and its contents.
Why and when was the narrator shocked?
The narrator was shocked when he opened the safe and found nothing but an iron box wondering whether it contained gems or it was a lie.
What was the doctor’s warning to Tom?
The doctor warned him that he would lose his mind thinking a lot about the rubies.
Why didn’t Tom dare to assign the task of unlocking the box to someone?
Tom felt a stranger had no right to be subjected to the trial that he dared not face. So he did not want a stranger to open the box.
C. Answer the questions given below in a paragraph of 150 words.
Describe briefly the contents of the letter written by Tom’s uncle.
Tom’s uncle wrote that the box contained a large number of fine pigeon blood rubies and a lot of diamonds, one blue diamond, hundred of pearls, a famous green pearl and a necklace of blue pearls. Thinking of Susan, he insisted Tom to continue to have expectations and remember his dear uncle. Instead of leaving the stones to a charity he gave it to Tom. The letter instructed Tom about the mechanism of unlocking it. It would explode 9U ounces of improved, super sensitive dynamite. If he opened it doubtfully it would turn him to atoms. With faith if he opened it carefully, he would nourish hopes and expectations. He asks Tom to be very careful.
Explain the efforts taken by Tom to open the iron box. Did he succeed? Why?
Tom went on thinking about it, finding people to advise, ransacked libraries, imagined wild plans like throwing it from a far off place to open it, after the explosion he could get the gems, but was sure he wouldn’t succeed. He thinks very hard in vain for weeks and months. His father dismisses it that it is a dirty joke by his deceptive uncle. His doctor advises him to stop thinking about the iron box with precious gems, as it would make him mad, he tries to put it in the bank, but withdraws because he is afraid of the burglary. He consults Professor Clinch about his dilemma who dismissed it as an altogether incredible tale. Thus Tom had to leave the box to the Society for the Preservation of Human Vivisection.
Paragraph Question & Answer Additional
What is the conflict of the story ‘A dilemma’?
The conflict of the story is entirely internal and results in a huge dilemma of anxiety and self-doubt, as the protagonist decides and thinks whether to attempt to open the box or not. In addition, he fears that someone else may try to open the box with the key and he blown to shreds. He confronts a doctor about his dilemma and eventually moves away to a new place, changes his name and hides the box. It is incredibly fascinating to see how a small box and curiosity can drive a human being to so much trouble of anxiety and reluctance. The protagonist is a pure representation of human curiosity and how it can drive us to anxiety and mental instability. .
D. Fill in the blanks with the right option and write down the summary of the story ‘A dilemma’.
The narrator was sent for, by his uncle when he was _________ .
(on his deathbed / on his travels/ in his workplace)
on his deathbed
The uncle had collected precious __________.
(jewels / stones /articles)
His uncle announced Tom as his heir and wanted* him to pay for his ________.
(rented house / marriage / funeral)
Leaving an iron box for Tom, his uncle instructed him not to the box.
(throw / carry / shake)
The letter read that the box contained _____________ .
(a sensitive dynamite / jewels / money)
a sensitive dynamite
He started thinking of all possible ways to open the box without being ______________ .
(wounded / killed / maimed)
He planned to explode the box at ______________ but dropped the plan ______________in fear of losing the
(home / a safe distance / a waste land)
a safe distance
His consultation with did ______ not yield him any fruitful solution.
(Uncle Philip / Professor Clinch / Susan)
He failed in his attempts to open the box. His efforts to read about explosives led to________(hopes / confusions / suspicions) and he had to change his ________ .
(name and occupation /lodgings / appearance)
confusions ,name and occupation
At last, he bequeathed the box to_______ .
(his offspring / his friends / the Society)
A Dilemma Additional Questions
I. Choose the correct answer.
(i) He was a bachelor, lived alone cooked ________ and collected precious stones.
(a) his favourite food
(c) his own meal
(d) many dishes
(c) his own meal
(ii) Then it was added to the collection in his safe at ___________ .
(a) trust company
(d) chit company
(a) trust company]
(iii) When I thanked him, he ___________ all over his lean face.
(iv) He died that day next week and was _____________ buried.
(v) You will have to pay for my ______________ .
(vi) , In my despair, I ___________ Professor Clinch about my dilemma.
(vii) I was afraid to be in the room with that _________________ box.
(viii) Many of the stones were well-known, and their enormous value _____________ me.
(ix) This I did to escape the ______________ of the reporters.
(x) I was prompthy desired to _______________ it.
II. Fill in the blanks:
1. I was just (i) ________when my Uncle Philip died. A week before that event (ii) __________ me; and here let me say that I had (iii) ______ on him. He hated my mother, but I do not (iv) ______. She told me long before (v) ______ that I need expect nothing from my father’s brother.
(a) his last illness
(c) know why
(d) he sent for
(e) never set eyes
(i) (b) thirty-seven
(ii) (d) he sent for
(iii) (e) never set eyes
(iv) (c) know why
(v) (a) his last illness
2. At the time he sent for me I was (i) _________ , and poor enough. Remembering my (ii) _______, his message (iii) _____ , his sole relative, (iv) _______ ; but I thought it (v) ________ .
(a) no new hopes
(b) best to go
(c) mother’s words
(d) a clerk
(e) gave me
(i) (d) a clerk
(ii) (c) mother’s words
(iii) (e) gave me
(iv) (a) no new hopes
(v) (b) best to go
3. The rubies are (i) ______________ . They are in my safe at the (ii) ___________ . Before you unlock the box, be (iii) _______________ to read a letter which lies (iv) ________ ; and be sure not (v) _______ the box.”
(a) trust company .
(b) on top of it
(c) to shake
(e) very careful
(i) (d) valuable
(ii) (a) trust company
(iii) (e) very careful
(iv) (b) on top of it
(v) (c) to shake
4. The old doctor, when I saw him again, (i) ___________ to give up all thought of (ii) ____________, and, as I felt (iii)______________ I was the slave of (iv) __________ , I tried to take the (v) __________thus given me.
(a) how completely
(b) one despotic idea
(c) good advice
(d) the matter
(e) begged me
(i) (e) begged me
(ii) (d) the matter
(iii) (a) how completely
(iv) (b) one despotic idea
(v) (c) good advice
III. Match the following.
1 – (d)
2 – (c)
3 – (a)
4 – (e)
5 – (b)
1 – (e)
2 – (d)
3 – (a)
4 – (b)
5 – (c)
1 – (d)
2 – (e)
3 – (a)
4 – (c)
5 – (b)
IV. Read the passage:
1. I was just thirty-seven when my Unde Philip died. A week before that event he sent for me; and here let me say that I had never set eyes on him. He hated my mother, but I do not know why. She told me long before his last illness that I need expect nothing from my fathers brother. He was an inventor, an able and ingenious mechanical engineer, and had much money by his improvement in turbine-wheels. He was a bachelor; lived alone, cooked his own meals, and collected precious stones, especially rubies and pearls. From the time he made his first money he had this mania. As he grew richer, the desire to possess rare and costly gems became stronger. When he bought a new stone, he carried it in his pocket for a month and now and then took it out and looked at it. Then it was added to the collection in his safe at the trust company.
(a) How old was the author?
He was thirty-seven years old.
(b) Who sent for the author?
Uncle Philip sent for the author.
(c) What was uncle Philip? ,
He was an inventor and a mechanical engineer.
(d) What did uncle Philip use to collect?
He used to collect precious stones.
(e) What was his desire?
His desire was to possess rare and costly gems.
2. He died that day next week, and was handsomely buried. The day after, his will was found, leaving me his heir. I opened his safe and found in it nothing but an iron box, evidently of his own making, for he was a skilled workman and very ingenious. The box was heavy and strong, about ten inches long, eight inches wide and ten inches high. I stood appalled, the key in my hand. Was it true? Was it a lie? I had spent all my savings on the funeral, and was poorer than ever. Remembering the old mans oddity, his malice, his cleverness in mechanic arts, and the patent explosive which had helped to make him rich, I began to feel how very likely it was that he had told the truth in this cruel letter. I carried the iron box away to my lodgings, set it down with care in a closet, laid the key on it, and locked the closet.
(a) How was uncle Philip buried?
He was buried handsomely.
(b) What did the author see in the safe?
He saw nothing valuable in the safe, but there was an iron box in it.
(c) Describe the iron box.
It was heavy and strong, about ten inches long, eight inches wide and ten inches high.
(d) On what did the author spend all his savings?
He spent all his savings on the funeral.
(e) Where did he carry the iron box?
He carried the iron box to his lodging and kept it in his closet.
3. At last I hung the key on my watch-guard; but then it occurred to me that it might be lost or stolen. Dreading this, I hid it, fearful that someone might use it to open the box. This state of doubt and fear lasted for weeks, until I became nervous and began to dread that some accident might happen to that box. A burglar might come and boldly carry it away and force it open and find it was a wicked fraud of my uncles. Even the rumble and vibration caused by the heavy vans in the street became at last a terror. Worst of all, my salary was reduced, and I saw that marriage was out of the question.
(a) Where did he hang the key?
He hung the key on his watch guard.
(b) Why did he hide the key afterwards?
He feared that the key would be lost or stolen. So he hid it.
(c) How long did this state of doubt and fear last?
This state of doubt and fear lasted for a week.
(d) What was a terror for the author?
Even the rumble and vibration caused by the heavy vans in the street became at last a terror for him.
(e) What is worst of all?
Worst of all, the author’s salary was reduced and his marriage was out of the question.
V. Mind Map:
(i) next week
(iii) was found
(v) heavy and strong
(i) his dilemma
(ii) ruin the stones
(v) desire to do
A Dilemma By Silas Weir Mitchell
Silas Weir Mitchell (1829 – 1914) was an American physician and author who excelled in novels of psychology. As an army surgeon during the American Civil War, he became well known for his “rest cure.” Many honorary degrees were conferred upon him by several universities at home and abroad. In 1887 he was president of the Association of American Physicians and in 1908-09 president of the American Neurological Association. The American Academy of Neurology award for young researchers, the S. Weir Mitchell Award, is named for him. Crotalus mitchellii, the speckled rattlesnake, was named after Mitchell.
A Dilemma Main Characters
Tom – The narrator Poor clerk Uncle Philips sole heir
Philip – Tom’s Uncle, Brother of Tom’s father, Bachelor, Inventor, Ingenious Mechanical Engineer, Precious stones collector
Dr. Schaff – Uncle’s Doctor
Professor Clinch – Not desired to open the box
Susan – broke off an engagement with Tom
A Dilemma Key Points
- The narrator’s name was Tom.
- Uncle Philip was the brother of Tom’s father. He was an inventor and a mechanical engineer.
- When he died, Tom was 37 years old.
- His mother advised Tom not to expect anything from his uncle.
- Uncle Philip was a bachelor and lived a lonely life. He had a mania for precious stones collection.
- His collection was added to his safe at the trust company.
- Tom was sent for by his uncle who told him a strange story.
- He announced Tom as his heir and wanted him to pay for his funeral.
- Leaving an iron box for Tom, his uncle instructed him not to shake the box.
- Tom found a letter which read that the box contained sensitive dynamite.
- He started thinking of all the possible ways to open the box without being killed.
- He also consulted Professor Clinch, but did not yield any solution.
- His efforts to read about explosives led to suspicions and he had to change his name and occupation.
- At last he gave the box to the Society for the Preservation of Human Vivisection.
A Dilemma Summary
Uncle Philip died when Tom, the narrator, was 37 years old. His mother advised Tom not to expect anything from him. Uncle Philip was Tom’s Father’s brother, an inventor and a mechanical engineer. He was a bachelor and lived a lonely life. He collected precious stones. He had a manic for precious stones and became richer and richer. His collection was added to his safe at the trust company. Tom was a clerk. He was sent for by his uncle one day. He went to his uncle, who told him a strange story. He told how money minded he was and confessed his wickedness and hoped to live in the memory of at least one member of the family. Generally thought to be poor living on an annuity, uncle Philip had never parted with his precious stones.
He says Tom will have it as he is his only heir. He would be happy to make at least one man happy before he died. He asks Tom to pay for his funeral and that the safe with the precious gems was only his possession. Before Tom left him, his uncle said the rubies were in the safe and that he should read the letter on top of it carefully. And not to shake the box. He asked Tom not to come back. Uncle Philip died a week later and was handsomely buried. The day after, Tom opened his safe and found nothing but an iron box made by his uncle. It was very heavy. Now he was surprised whether his uncle’s words were true or not.
He spent all he had for his Uncle’s funeral and was poorer than before. Things seemed odd and his uncle’s cunningness seemed true. He took the strange box to his lodgings and carefully kept in a closet. The letter gave details about the contents of gems as well as a dynamite. A warning that he should open it with belief his expectations would grow. If he opened it with doubt he would be blown to atoms. He tried ways and means to open the box, thought about it for months and weeks as it was dubbed with terrible danger and a very great fortune. It confused him a lot. He met too many people for advice.
A doctor Schaff asked him to keep it aside and stop thinking or he would become mad. He went to Libraries for strong advice and knowledge about dynamites. He became a slave of one very strange idea. Between the leaves of the Bible he found the numbered list of stones and their cost. The variety of rubies and their worth were described with the threat of death. Biographies written by the uncle spoke of the evil of stones and the good of stones. One, a black pearl, was mentioned as ‘She’.
He was a clerk who knew only how to keep a ledger. Following the strange words of his uncle was too much and absurd to him. It was like a riddle. He was rich, holding the rubies but too poor unable to use it. He asked his father who told him that it was just a cruel joke of his uncle. He also advised Tom to stop thinking about its fortune. Two years went by and Tom continued to possess the fortune without being rich. Susan breaks off the engagement with Tom considering him mad.
Advertisements about the box in Journals brought out absurd schemes. He is asked to quit his house by the owner. He moves to the suburbs, hides the box, changes his name and occupation. He was happy to assist the government officials to collect tax for his uncle’s estate being his heir. He showed them his uncle’s letter, offered the key of the box and time to move away. The official said he would come later. Now Tom makes a will leaving the precious gems to the Society for the Preservation of Human Vivisection.
A Dilemma Glossary
appalled (adj.) – horrified, shocked
avarice (n) – extreme greed for wealth
closet (n) – cupboard
contrive (v) – cook up, hatch a plan by deliberate use of skills
despotic (adj.) – tyrannical, autocratic
incredible (adj.) – impossible to believe
ingenious (adj.) – clever, original and inventive
jest (n) – a joke
malicious (adj.) – spiteful, intended to harm or upset someone
mania (n) – an extensive, persistent desire, an obsession
oddity (n) – the quality being strange or peculiar
queer (adj.) – strange, odd
vivisection (n) – a surgery conducted on a living organism purposes