NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Reader Unit 3

The Letter Class 10

Unit 3 The Letter Exercise Answers & Summary

Summary of "The Letter"

"The Letter" is a touching story of Ali who is all alone and waits for his only daughter's letter for five long years. He receives that letter only at his grave.
Ali was a brilliant hunter who derived pleasure from the terror of the dying birds. But his daughter hated his merciless hunting desire. After his daughter's marriage, he was left alone. His daughter, Miriam left home with her husband, a soldier in a regiment in Punjab. Having understood the meaning of love and separation, he could no longer enjoy the screams of dying birds. Therefore, he stopped hunting.

Since then, he had been regularly visiting post office in the early morning expecting a letter from his daughter Miriam. However, it did come and he returned home disappointed. The post office staffs often made fun of him. The clerk even called out his name; jokingly even there was no letter for him. Suddenly, for several days, Ali did not come to the post office. Everyone was curious to know the reason behind this.

At last, he did come. But now it was difficult for him even to breathe and there were clear signs of his nearing death. Finally, he met the post master and asked him for Miriam's letter. The post master scolded Ali because he was very busy. Consequently, Ali called a clerk and gave him five golden guineas and asked him to deliver his letter, if it would come, to his grave. Then he slowly left him and was not seen by any one after that.

One day, the post master's daughter fell ill and he was anxious to hear from her. He searched for the letter from his daughter from the pile of letters and picked up a letter of the name he expected. It was addressed to "Coachman Ali". Now he realized about his mistake. He called Lakshmi Das, a clerk and asked him to find out Ali. That day he did not receive his letter and decided that he would hand over Ali's letter by himself.

In the post office, the next morning he opened the door and saw Ali leaning on a stick with tears in his eyes. His eyes had a light so unearthly that the post master was scared. But, suddenly he disappeared. Lakshmi Das, the clerk was shocked to hear the postmaster call out the name of Coachman Ali who had now been dead for three months. The letter was found near the door. Lakshmi Das tells him about his last meeting with Ali to convince him.

That evening both of them went to place the letter on Ali's grave. The post master repented for his attitude and thought that he should have been more sympathetic and helpful towards Ali. He was no longer ill-tempered as he was in the beginning.
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Unit-3 : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 22

Q1 :  

Look at the picture of the old man given below:

Working with your partner note down the feelings of the old man.

  • ______________________________________________

  • ______________________________________________


Answer :

Lonely

Dejected

Sad

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Q2 :  

Can you think of reasons for these feelings? Discuss with your partner and note down possible reasons.

  • ______________________________________________

  • ______________________________________________


Answer :

Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own.

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Q3 :  

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 :

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Q4 :  

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 :

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Q5 :  

The Post Master's rudeness to Ali reveals his ___________________.

(i) lack of empathy

(ii) preoccupation with his work

(iii) preconceived notions

(iv) sensitivity


Answer :

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Q6 :  

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 :

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Q7 :  

"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 :

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Q8 :  

Who was Ali? Where did he go daily?


Answer :

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Q9 :  

"Ali displays qualities of love and patience". Give evidence from the story to support the statement.


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Q10 :  

How do you know Ali was a familiar figure at the post office?


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Q11 :  

Why did Ali give up hunting?


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Q12 :  

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


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Q13 :  

The postmaster says to Ali, "What a pest you are, brother!" Do you agree with the statement? Give reasons for your answer.


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Q14 :  

"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?


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Q15 :  

"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 :

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Q16 :  

Loneliness

Grief

  • An old man was walking through the town, now and again drawing his tattered clothes tighter to shield his body from the cold and biting wind.

  • His lonely way

  • The whole town was wrapped in deathly silence


Answer :

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Q17 :  

Complete the table by explaining the following phrases/ sentences in your own words:

Phrases

Meanings

happy memories light up a life that is nearing its close

the sounds helped him along his lonely way

the cold used sleep to extend its sway over all things even as a false friend lulls his chosen victim with caressing smiles

when the evening of his life was drawing in, he left his old ways and suddenly took a new

turn

the whole universe is built up through love and that the grief of separation is inescapable

the post-master, a man with a face as sad and as inexpressive as a pumpkin, would be seen sitting on his chair inside

And so the clerk, like a worshipper of Vishnu, repeated his customary thousand names

The haughty temper of the official had quite left him in his sorrow and anxiety, and had laid bare his human heart


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Writing taskspeaking task : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 32

Q1 :  

Tortured by doubt and remorse, the postmaster sits in the glow of a charcoal sigri that night, waiting for news of his daughter. As he sits, he writes his diary.

As the postmaster, write a diary entry in about 150 words outlining your feelings about the day's events.


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Q2 :  

The postmaster believes that he saw Ali. What do you think?

Discuss with your partner and present your views in front of the class.


Answer :

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Q3 :  

The postmaster was anxiously waiting for his ailing daughter's news. On not getting any news he visits his daughter's town. Now construct a dialogue between the postmaster and his daughter and enact it.


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<< Previous Chapter 2 : Mrs Packletide's Tiger Next Chapter 4 : A Shady Plot >>

Literature Reader - English : CBSE NCERT Exercise Solutions & Summary for Class 10th for The Letter will be available online in PDF book form soon. The solutions are absolutely Free. Soon you will be able to download the solutions.

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