NCERT Class 9 English Solutions: Chapter 5 The Snake And The Mirror Part 1

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Question 1:

Discuss in pairs and answer each question below in a short paragraph (30 – 40 words).

Q. “The sound was familiar one.” What sound did the doctor hear? What did he think it was? How

many times did he hear it? (Find the places in the text.) When and why did the sounds stop?

A. The doctor heard a familiar sound caused by the movement of something on the beam. He thought

It was the sound of rats. After hearing the sound for the, it stopped.

Image of Snake In Mirror

Image of Snake in Mirror

Image of Snake In Mirror

Q. What two “important” and “earth-shaking” decisions did the doctor take while he was looking into the mirror?

A. First important decision was to look more handsome by shaving daily and growing a thin moustache. The second earth-shaking decision was to keep his attractive smile again to look more handsome.

Q. “I looked into the mirror and smiled,” says the doctor. A little later he says, forgot my danger and smiled feebly at myself.” What is the doctor’s opinion about himself when: (i) he first smiles, and (ii) he smiles again? In what way do his thoughts change in between, and why?

A. On the first smile in front of the mirror, doctor was appreciating his attractive smile. Then he decided to keep that smile to look more handsome. His thought that he was a bachelor and a doctor.

Later, when smiling feebly at himself, he found that he no medicines in his room. At that moment, he thought himself as a poor, foolish, and stupid doctor. Lurking danger from the snake sitting on his shoulder, which fell in the interim, changed his thoughts. Earlier, he thought that the noise was created by rats.

Question 2:

This story about a frightening incident is narrated in a humorous way. What makes it humorous?

(Think of the contrasts it presents between dreams and reality. Some of them are listed below.)

Q. (i) The kind of person the doctor is (money, possessions)

(ii) The kind of person he wants to be (appearance, ambition)

A. The story depicts the contrast between dreams and reality in an amusing manner. His reality was:

  • He had just started his practice. His earnings were therefore meagre.

  • He lived in a small un electrified rented room.

  • He had only sixty rupees in his suitcase.

  • He had a only few shirts and dhotis and one solitary black coat.

  • His house was full of rats.

In contrast he had big dreams and ambitions.

  • Being a great admirer of beauty, he wanted to look handsome.

  • He was proud that he was unmarried and a doctor.

  • He though he was handsome.

  • He wanted to shave daily, grow a thin moustache and smile to look even more handsome.

Humor arises from the situation in which he made this decision.

Q. (i) The person he wants to marry

(ii) The person he actually marries

He wanted to marry a rich woman doctor with good medical practice who could not be able to catch him.

However, he ended up marrying a thin and slender person who could run like a sprinter. This contrast between the kind of wife he wanted and the kind of wife he ends up marrying adds to the humour of the story.

Sprinter running very fast

Image of a Sprinter (Runner)

Sprinter running very fast

Q. (i) His thoughts when he looks into the mirror

(ii) His thoughts when the snake is coiled around his arm

A. He appreciated his good looks when he was looking at the mirror. He appreciated of beauty and wasted to look handsome. He decided to shave daily, grow a thin moustache, and keep smiling.

Later when the snake was coiled around his arm, he turned into a stone. He felt the presence of God imaged ‘O God’ in bright letters. If the snake bit him, he did not have any medicines. In that instant he realized that, he was a poor, foolish, a stupid doctor. This was the most humorous sequence of events depicted in the story.

Question 3:

Here are some sentences from the text. Say which of them tell you, that the author :( a)

was afraid of the snake, (b) was proud of his appearance, (c) had a sense of humour, (d)

was no longer afraid of the snake.

Q. I was turned to stone.

A. Was afraid of the snake

Q. I was no mere image cut in granite.

A. Had a sense of humour

Q. The arm was beginning to be drained of strength.

A. Was afraid of the snake

Q. I tried in my imagination to write in bright letters outside my little heart the words,’ O God’.

A. Was afraid of the snake

Q. I didn’t tremble. I didn’t cry out.

A. Was no longer afraid of the snake

Q. I looked into the mirror and smiled. It was an attractive smile.

A. Was proud of his appearance

Q. I was suddenly a man of flesh and blood.

A. Was no longer afraid of the snake

Q. I was after all a bachelor, and a doctor too on top of it!

A. Was proud of his appearance

Q. The fellow had such a sense of cleanliness…! The rascal could have taken the vest used it after washing it with soap and water.

A. Had a sense of humour

Q. Was it trying to make an important decision about growing a moustache or using eye shadow and mascara or wearing a vermilion spot on its forehead?

A. Had a sense of humor

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