Monday, November 2, 2020

NEB Grade XI Compulsory English Note | Language Development | Unit- 5 The Looking Glass (Part 2)

NEB Grade XI Compulsory English Note | Language Development | Unit- 5 The Looking Glass (Part 2)

Unit:5

Life and Love

The Looking Glass

Comprehension

Answer these questions.

a. Who was Nellie? What did she use to dream of?
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Answer:
Nellie was the daughter of a landowner and general, a young and pretty girl. She used to dream of being married.

b. What was she doing with the looking glass?
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Answer:
She was gazing into the looking glass with exhausted, half-closed eyes.

c. Why did she go to the doctor on one winter night?
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Answer:
She went to the doctor one night because her husband was ill.

d. What was Stepan Lukitch doing when she reached his bedroom?
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Answer:
Stepan Lukitch was lying on his bed when she reached his bedroom.

e. Why was the doctor not ready to go to see her husband?
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Answer:
The doctor was not ready to go to see her husband because for the last three days he had been away, seeing typhus patients, and was exhausted and ill himself.

f. Why did Stepan Lukitch suggest Nellie to go to the Zemstvo doctor?
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Answer:
Stepan Lukitch suggested Nellie to go to the Zemstvo doctor because he was in a fever and his head was in a whirl.

g. Nellie said, “Come, perform that heroic deed! Have pity on us!" What was that pity to be done?
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Answer:
The doctor had to treat Nellie’s husband.

h. When Nellie said, "I must have fallen asleep." What does it mean?
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Answer:
Nellie stopped dreaming and was ready for facing the realities of life. (Answer may vary.)

i. What is the main theme of the story?
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Answer:

The story possessesthe theme of devotion, loneliness, escape, fear, love, dedication, hope, defeat and independence.

or

Marriage is about love and happiness, but also has problems like a deadly sickness.


Critical thinking

a. “The looking glass (mirror)” is used as a symbol in the story. What does it symbolise?

The Looking Glass symbolizes Nellie’s imagination and her desire to be married. In the story the mirror remains to be instrumental because it serves as a window to her subconsciousness. The major part of the story revolves around the dream of Natalie and how it goes on to scare her because of her inability to find a solution to the problem.


The looking-glass offers Nellie an outlet to escape from the life that she is living. A life whereby she is a single and unattached woman who longs to find a man who will love her and whom she too can love. In fact, she is seeking happiness through marriage. Using her dream the story writer exhibits her internal conflict within herself and her challenges to relate her problems with others.


In the story, the looking glass or mirror remains to be important because it reveals the future. Chekhov uses this object to expose Nellie’s inner feelings, her fears and the manner she continues to feel helplessness. The use of looking glass makes the story successful as it brings together its goals and objectives to readers.

b. Chekhov employs the magic trick in the story, using a very elegant transition from reality to imagination to reality sequence. Discuss its relevance to life of young people.

In the story the writer has used the magic trick, using a very elegant transition from reality to imagination to reality sequence. It moves systematically giving the explanations from the beginning of the story to the dream of the main character described until the character wakes up.


This story is set on New Year’s Eve. The transition from reality to imagination occurs in the introductory part of the story. The story begins with a young woman named Nellie who always wants to get married, staring into the mirror. She drifts into her imagination and encounters a terrifying glimpse of the future which involves a desperate attempt to save her husband from typhus. The action becomes more specific, and the readers can safely assume they have been transitioned completely into the realm of the imagination. And this is a wonderful trick of Chekhov’s part.


At the end of the story, we find ourselves in the part of reality. One of the looking glasses falls from Nellie's hand and knocks on the floor. She wakes up from her imagination. This is how the transition shifts into reality.


Most of the young people dream of their life as in the fairy tales, full of happiness and perfection, and don’t recognize the difficult part. They compare themselves comfortable characters of the fanciful movies. The character in the story begins with naive hopes and high expectations. What she sees in the glass disabuses her of the illusion. Though at first she sees love and the caring husband of her dreams, she then sees the momentary nature of this happiness. Nellie represents one of the young people of privilege whose main concern has been the prospect of romance and marriage. She believes that romance is the gateway to her happiness in life. These painful realities of life and death are new to her.

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