NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Beehive Unit 9

The Snake and the Mirror Class 9

Unit 9 The Snake and the Mirror Exercise Answers & Summary

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Before you read : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 56

Q1 :  

Do you like to look at yourself in the mirror? What do you think about at such times? Have you ever seen a dog, a cat or a bird look into a mirror? What do you think it sees?


Answer :

Yes, I like looking at myself in the mirror. At such times, I often think about the ways to make myself look more presentable to others.

No, I have not seen a dog, a cat or a bird look into a mirror. However, I have seen birds looking at their reflection in water. I think they do not realise that what they see is their own reflection and not another being of their own species facing them.

(A model answer has been provided for students' reference. It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer based on their own experience and understanding.)

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Thinking about the text : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 60

Q1 :  

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

1. "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?

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

3. "I looked into the mirror and smiled," says the doctor. A little later he says, "I 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?


Answer :

1. The doctor heard a scuttling sound, which he thought to be of the rats.

He heard it thrice: as he entered his room; after combing; while looking at himself in the mirror.

The sounds stopped after the doctor heard a dull thud, because the snake had fallen to the ground.

2. While looking into the mirror, the doctor took two "important" and "earth shaking" decisions: that he would shave daily and grow a thin moustache; and that he would always wear an attractive smile on his face to look handsome

3. (i) When the doctor first smiles, he has an inflated opinion of himself, admiring his looks and profession.

(ii) In the second instance, the doctor smiles at his foolishness and helplessness.

His thoughts change after his encounter with the snake—from being a proud doctor he moves on to accept his stupidity.

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Q2 :  

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.)

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

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

2. (i) The person he wants to marry

(ii) The person he actually marries

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

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

Write short paragraphs on each of these to get your answer.


Answer :

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Thinking about language : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 61

Q1 :  

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.

1. I was turned to stone.

2. I was no mere image cut in granite.

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

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

5. I didn't tremble. I didn't cry out.

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

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

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

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

10. 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?


Answer :

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Q2 :  

Expressions used to show fear

Can you find the expressions in the story that tell you that the author was frightened? Read the story and complete the following sentences.

1. I was turned ___________________________________________________.

2. I sat there holding _______________________________________________.

3. In the light of the lamp I sat there like _______________________________.


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Q3 :  

In the sentences given below some words and expressions are italicised. They variously mean that one

Ӣ is very frightened.

Ӣ is too scared to move.

Ӣ is frightened by something that happens suddenly.

Ӣ makes another feel frightened.

Match the meanings with the words/expressions in italics, and write the appropriate meaning next to the sentence. The first one has been done for you.

1. I knew a man was following me, I was scared out of my wits. (very frightened)

2. I got a fright when I realised how close I was to the cliff edge.

3. He nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw the bull coming towards him.

4. You really gave me a fright when you crept up behind me like that.

5. Wait until I tell his story - it will make your hair stand on end.

6. Paralysed with fear, the boy faced his abductors.

7. The boy hid behind the door, not moving a muscle.


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Q4 :  

Reported questions

Study these sentences:

”¢ His friend asked, “Did you see the snake the next day, doctor?”

His friend asked the doctor whether/if he had seen the snake the next day.

”¢ The little girl wondered, “Will I be home before the TV show begins?”

The little girl wondered if/whether she would be home before the TV show began.

”¢ Someone asked, “Why has the thief left the vest behind?”

Someone asked why the thief had left the vest behind.

The words if/whether are used to report questions which begin with: do, will, can, have, are etc. These questions can be answered 'yes' or 'no'.

Questions beginning with why/when/where/how/which/what are reported using these same words.

The reporting verbs we use in questions with if/whether/why/when etc. are: ask, inquire and wonder.

Remember that in reported speech,

Ӣ the present tense changes to past tense


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Writingspeaking : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 63

Q1 :  

1. Try to rewrite the story without its humour, merely as a frightening incident. What details or parts of the story would you leave out?

 

 


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Q2 :  

Using some of the expressions given above in exercise III, talk about an incident when you were very scared. You may have a competition to decide whose story was the most frightening.


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Q3 :  

2. Read the description given alongside this sketch from a photograph in a newspaper (Times of India, 4 September 1999. Make up a story about what the monkey is thinking, or why it is looking into a mirror. Write a paragraph about it.


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Translation : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 64

Q1 :  

The text you read is a translation of a story by a well-known Malayalam writer, Vaikom Muhammad Basheer.

In translating a story from one language to another, a translator must keep the content intact. However, the language and the style differ in different translations of the same text.

Here are two translations of the opening paragraphs of a novel by the Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami. Read them and answer the questions given below.

A

B

When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini's The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta.

I wanted to ignore the phone, not only because the spaghetti was nearly done, but because Claudio Abbado was bringing


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Before you read
Question 1
Thinking about the text
Question 1
Question 2
Thinking about language
Question 1
Question 2
Question 3
Question 4
Writingspeaking
Question 1
Question 2
Question 3
Translation
Question 1