Class 10 – English – A Shady plot – Elsie Brown

A Shady Plot – Elsie Brown – NCERT Solutions For CBSE Class 10 English Literature Reader – Fiction

Question 2. The title of the story is ‘A Shady PW. The dictionary defines the words as
Shady adjective
(a) Full of shade; shaded.
(b) Casting shade; a shady grove.
(c) Quiet, dark, or concealed; hidden.
(d) Of dubious character or Of questionable honesty.
Plot noun
(a) (i) a small piece of ground, generally used for a specific purpose; a garden plot.
(ii) a measured area Of land
(b) a ground plan, as for a building, a diagram.
(c) storyline-the plan scheme, or main story of a literacy or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short, or.
(d) a secret plan to accomplish a hostile or illegal purpose; a scheme.
Based on the definitions above can you predict what the story will be about? Make a brief note Of your prediction in your notebook.
Answer: Based on the definitions of the words, we can guess that the story will be about some concealed or hidden matter, whether natural or supernatural. This may be covered up by a hidden plot made by some
people to achieve an evil and sinister end. It can also relate to a crme or for harassing someone.

Question 3. Based on your reading of the story above, the following questions by ticking the correct options.
1. The narrator earns his living by
(a) writing ghost stories
(b) working as a reader for a magazine
(c) working as a stenographer
(d) working as an accountant in a lumber company
Answer (d)

2. The writer was overconfident about his ability to write ghost stories because
(a) whenever magazines wanted a ghost story, they got in touch with
(b) he was always able to write a ghost story whenever he had to write one
(c) the readers appreciated his ghost stories
(d) he knew the ghost lady would help him write a good ghost story
Answer (a)
3. The sight of the ghost materializing in his room filled the narrator with
(a) fear
(b) excitement
(c) joy
(d) anticipation
Answer (d)
4. The ghost wanted John to
(a) stop his wife from using the Ouija board
(b) stop suing the Ouija board himself
(c) stop his guests from using the Ouija board
(d) stop people from using the Ouija board
Answer (d)

5. John wants the ghost to disappear before his wife the room and waves his arms at the ghost with something of the motion of a beginner when learning to swim. His movement shows his
(a) fear
(b) amusement
(c) desperation
(d) anxiety
Answer (c)
6. When the narrator says his wife is never so pretty as when she’s doing something she knows he disapproves of, his tone IS
(a) amused
(b) ironic
(c) angry
(d) irritated
Answer (b)
7. The ghost says “it’s all your fault. ‘it’ here refers to”
(a) the narrator’s wife’s anger
(b) the ghost’s anger
(c) the narrator’s wife leaving him
(d) the ghost materialising in sections
Answer (d)

8. Gladolia wishes to leave the narrator’s house as
(a) she does not like the Quija boards
(b) she is afraid of the ghost
(c) she is afraid of magic and hoodoo
(d) she likes Quija boards nd hoodoo
Answer (c)
4. Answer the following questions briefly.
(a) What genre of stories does Jenkins want the narrator to write? Why?
Answer Jenkins wants the narrator to write ghost stories. He wants him to write stories on supernatural elements because the public likes horror. He offers him to write because he thinks he is good at it
and his ghosts are very lively.
(b) Does the narrator like writing ghost stories? Support your answer with evidence form the stow.
Answer The narrator likes to write ghost stories but not every time. He himself says that he could not contradict Jenkins because his magazine had been the only one to print his stuff. Thus we can say that he has no choice but to write ghost stories.
(c) What makes Helen, the ghost, and her other co-ghosts organise. The writer’s inspiration Bureau’?
Answer In her other life Helen used to write and to become a reader in a magazine. She remembers those days as the most terrible ones, where they used to work in very tough conditions Now when she became a ghost she planned to do something for all those who have suffered on the same grounds. It was this-inspiration that let her and her co-ghosts Organise ‘The Writer’s Inspiration Bureau’.
(d) Why had Helen, the ghost, been helping the narrator write ghost stories? Why she going on strike? What
did she place for providing continued help?
Answer Helen the ghost the narrator to write ghost stories because he did not have ideas to write a story. She was going on strike because she and her Other co-ghosts had to work in very tough conditions. In the recent years they had even been called off from their beds. She said she would help him further if he would all his friends and acquaintances from using the Ouija board.
(e) How does the ghost undermine the narrator’s faith in his ability to write ghost stories?
The ghost undermines the narrator’s faith in his ability to write ghost stories by telling him that she would help him to write ghost stories only if he Stops his friends and acquaintances from using the Ouija board.
(f) Why does John want the ghost to disappear before his wife appears on the scene? What impression of his wife’s Character do you form from his words?
John does not want to lose his wife’s faith in him, and neither he wants his wife to get scared by seeing a ghost, because like all sensitive women, Lavinia was subject to hysterics. This is the reason why he wants the ghost to disappear before his wife appears on the scene. His wife is like any other possessive and jealous women who would never like to see her man with any other woman.
(g) Why does the narrator hesitate to be a partner to Laura Hinkle during the Ouija Board Party?
Answer The narrator hesitates to be a partner to Hinkle during the Ouija Board Party because neither did he wish to use the Ouija board because of the ghosts warning nor did he like the flirtatious behaviour of Laura Hinkle.
(h) What message does the ghost convey to the group that had assembled in the narrator’s house? What is their reaction to the message?
Answer The ghost called John as a ‘traitor’ when the group had assembled at the narrator’s house. Everyone was given the impression that the narrator was cheating on his wife because he had an affair with Helen.
(i) Do you agree with the narrator calling the assembly of women “manipulators”? Give reasons.
Answer Here the meaning the word ‘manipulators’ is people who control skilfully anyone or anything. The author wants to Say that the ladies were controlling the Ouija board indicator to spell out his name
and so called them manipulators. which is correct.
(j) Why is John’s wife angry? What” does she decide to do?
Answer John’s wife is angry because the Ouija board was conveying a message from Helen (a woman) to her husband, which filled her with suspicion about his unfaithfulness to her. She was also getting jealous of John’s closeness with Laura Hinkle. She decided to leave her husband.
(k) Why does John wish he were dead?
Answer After John received ‘the letter from his wife he wishes he were dead because he did not want to annoy his wife. He loved her and did want her to leave him.
(l) When confronted by Lavinia about his flirtations over Ouija Board, John insists that ‘the affair was quite above-board, I assure you my love’. Bring out the pun in John’s statement.
Answer A pun is “a use Of words for double meaning”. In John’s statement the pun is on the phrase ‘above boards’, which means in the open, i.e., without any dishonesty. This is true, as he is not flirting
with Helen, the ghost. The Other meaning of ‘above board’ here relates to the fact that in the party John and Laura Hinkle were moving the Ouija board indicator above (on top of) the board.
(m) John’s apprehensions about his wife’s reaction to her encounter with the ghost are unfounded. Justify.
Answer John was trying to hide the ghost from Lavinia because he thought she would get scared and misunderstand the situation. After seeing Lavinia’s reaction his apprehensions get diluted because she
did not swoon: rather she had a broad, satisfied smile over her face. so, his apprehensions turned out to be unfounded.

Question 5. Answer the following questions in detail.
(a) After her reconciliation with her husband, John Hallock, Lavinia writes a letter to her friend expressing how her relationship with him had almost been on the verge of breaking and what saved it. Write her letter.

1826, Carnival Road
Syd nev
15 October, 2012
My dear Pamela,
How are you? I hope you are fine. It seems you have been praying for my well-being because the crucial phase through which I have passed through recently is surely due to some blessing. Before you get anxious and start presuming things. let me tell you that everything is all right now. It is just that I wished to share the whole episode with you, that I thought to write to you.
One day I heard John talking to 50meone in the dark. When I asked him he denied it and said he was not doing anythinq questionable. I gifted him an Ouija board which he denied to use. He even refused to
attend the Ouija board party. He came later where I coupled him with Laura Hinkle. To my surprise I thought I found him flirting with Laura.
TO add on the trouble the Ouija board was taking his name as a ‘traitor’. I had enough reasons for getting angry and leave him.
Later my doubts got more grounds when our cook Gladolia threatened that she won’t stay with us as we dealt with hoodos or black magic. John was still trying to conceal the matter from me till I finally found him with a ghost whom he was trying to hide from me. To your and my surprise the ghost was of Helen of Troy, New York who had come to help John to write a ghost story. I faced the ghost with all my strength and regretted to doubt John. I asked John to pardon me and now we both are happy again after bidinq farewell to the ghost. I am at rest now because my life has been saved from turmoil.
Rest is fine
With love

(b) John Hallock reflects upon his experience with Helen’s ghost and in retrospect he finds it quite amusing. All the same he is relieved that he is no longer plagued by it. Ironically, the self same ghost inspires his creativity and he a diary entry reflecting upon the comical aspect of his experience Write his
diary entry.

15th October, 2012
9.00 pm
What an experience it was! Now when I am thinking and writing about, it I am feeling quite relaxed, but when I had faced the situation I was a little afraid and got nervous when I had to face Lavinia and answer
her queries. My meeting with the ghost was also very interesting as I came to know about certain things which I have never known.I was sitting on my desk to write a ghost story and was looking at the ceiling for inspiration. A ghost materialised in parts in front of me and let me know her name as Helen. She gave me some details about herself and it was funny to know that the ghosts had a ‘Writer’s inspiration Bureau’ and would visit the writers like me to inspire them. She then asked me to’ stop my friends and
acquaintances frTrn using the Ouija board which was disturbing them. My wife qifted me an Ouija board and called for an Ouija board, party. But the board was rather heard Of taking my name as a ‘traitor’. I felt
Very perplexed and did not have any answer. In the a thought that had cheated on my wife.
My wife stat-bed doubting me and gave me a notice to leave me. But was not ready to reveal the real facts to her. Finally when my wife saw her She informed that she was Helen Of Troy, New York„ I never treated
Helen as a ghost. She had rather become a company to me. Now my purpose has been solved as I now have an excellent plot to write a ghost story but I wish to see the ghost once again.
John Hallock.