Thursday 15 August 2013

CBSE Class 10 - English (C) - The Letter

The Letter


Q1(a): Ali's walking to the Post Office daily even in biting cold weather shows his ________.

 (i) courage
(ii) optimism
(iii) foolishness
(iv) strength of will

Answer: (iv) strength of will

Q1(b): The Post Office is referred to as Ali's "place of pilgrimage" as he__________.

(i) visited it daily

(ii) came there to pray for a letter from his daughter
(iii) went there with faith and hope
(iv) believed God would bless him if he went there

Answer: (iii) went there with faith and hope

Q1(c): The Post Master's rudeness to Ali reveals his ___________________.

(i) lack of empathy
(ii) preoccupation with his work
(iii) preconceived notions
(iv) sensitivity

Answer:  (i) lack of empathy

Q1(d): Ali did not come to the Post Office for several days as _____________________.

(i) he had given up hope
(ii) he was upset by the Post Master's rebuke
(iii) he was unwell and not able to walk to the Post Office
(iv) he was busy hunting

Answer: (iii) he was unwell and not able to walk to the Post Office

Q1(e): "Tortured by doubt and remorse, he sat down in the glow of the charcoal sigri to wait."
The Post Master was waiting for____________________________.

(i) a letter from Miriam
(ii) a letter from his own daughter
(iii) a letter from Ali
(iv) Ali to deliver Miriam's letter to him.

Answer: (ii) a letter from his own daughter

Q2: Who was Ali? Where did he go?

Answer: Ali was an old man who used to be a skillful hunter in his youthful days. He went to the post-office daily with a hope to get a letter from his only child Miriam, who had married a soldier and gone to Punjab. Ali led a miserable life waiting for a letter from her for the past five years.

Q3: "Ali displays quality of love and patience." Give reason from the story to support the statement.

Answer: Ali was a man who showed great determination, infinite patience and boundless hope. No matter what the weather was, he followed the daily routine of visiting the post-office everyday, religiously. Even the jesting remarks of the people at post-office could not shatter his faith or exhaust his patience. Even though he had not received any letter from his daughter for the past five years, he always hopes to get one. He loved his daughter a lot and it was for her sake only that he dragged along such a cheerless resistance. 

Q3: How do you know that Ali was a familiar figure at post-office?

Answer: Ali was a familiar figure at post-office. We can say this because for five long years,he had been a regular and in fact the first visitor of the post-office.Even bad weather could not deter him.He patiently sat on the same bench everyday waiting for his name to be called. The postmen made fun of him. Even though there would be no letter for him, they would call out his name, just to see his reaction. He was an object of mockery at the post-office.

Q4: Why did Ali give up hunting?

Answer: Ali who had been a great hunter for two-third of his life gave up his skill when his only daughter got married and left him. After his daughter went, he felt very lonely. It was then he realized the grief of separation from the loved ones. He no longer enjoyed the game of hunting because he could now understand the pain the parents of the hunted animals felt after getting separated from their young ones. He came a conclusion that the entire universe is build up to love and grief of separation is inescapable. This realisation made Ali give up hunting forever.

Q5: What impression do you form of the postmaster after reading the story 'The Letter'?

Answer: The postmaster was a man with a face as sad and inexpressive as a pumpkin.He was an indifferent kind of a man who had no concern for anybody's sentiments. Ali's everyday presence in the post office irritated him. One day, he even screamed at him when he inquired for his letter. He realized the agony of Ali, when he experienced the same that is, when he anxiously awaited the news of his ill daughter. He understood the essential human worth of a letter. His suffering father's heart felt the pangs of separation in Ali's heart for his daughter. He was no longer a haughty person but a loving father.

Q6: The postmaster says to Ali, "What a pest you are, brother!" Do you agree with the statement? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: No, I disagree with the statement.Even though the postmaster was the head of post-office and was in a hurry, he had not he had no right to use an insulting and offensive language for any reason. Ali had been a regular and in fact the first visitor of the post-office for five long years. He patiently sat on the same bench everyday waiting for his name to be called. He did not bother anyone. On that particular day, he had come to the post office after several days as he had fallen ill. He inquired for his letter from the postmaster, who was in a hurry to leave. The postmaster lost his temper and called him a pest. No arguments can justify the way the postmaster referred Ali.

Q7: "Ali came out very slowly, turning after every few steps to gaze at the post office. His eyes were filled with tears of helplessness, for his patience was exhausted, even though he still had faith." Why were Ali's eyes filled with tears of helplessness? What had exhausted his patience but not his faith?
Answer: As Ali was getting old, he was unable to go to the post-office daily. Eventhough he had not received any letter from his daughter for the past five years, he had always hoped to get one. One day, the postmaster lost his temper when Ali enquired for his letter. Ali broke down because he was helpless, he could not do anything as his growing age and ill health made him uncertain of his ability to reach the post office daily. But he never lost his hope. Nearing his death days, he gave five golden guineas to a clerk to put his daughter's letter on his grave.His faith was not shattered.

Q8: "Tortured by doubt and remorse, he sat down in the glow of the charcoal sigri to wait." Who is tortured by doubt and remorse? Why? What is he waiting for?
Answer: The newly-awakened father's heart of the postmaster is tortured by doubt and remorse. He was filled with remorse because he failed to understand Ali's agony and anxiety. When his daughter became unwell and he anxiously waited for some news of her but was unable to get one, he realised Ali's suffering. He repented for his attitude and thougth that he should be more sympathetic and helpful towards Ali.


  1. it is good for preparing for Fa's

  2. Replies
    1. umm..I guess its quite short. In fact it would hv been better if it was a lil' lengthy

  3. A captivating story which left me stunned for the nxt few moments

  4. Satisfactory answers

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. It was quite informative!!!

  7. aren't those questions already in our textbook?

  8. not different from the textbook question


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