Thursday, July 16, 2020

Old Man At The Bridge | Questions, and Answers

Book Cover | English 9th | Tulip Series | jandkncert |

Old Man At The Bridge | Story 3 | Questions, and Answers |

English | Class 9th | Short Stories |Tulip Series | jandkncert | Free NCERT Solutions |

Story 3 – Old Man At The Bridge | Tulip Series | Questions, and Answers |
(Ernest Miller Hemingway)

Ernest Joseph Hemingway - Old Man at the BridgeErnest Miller Hemingway (1899-1961), an American novelist and short-story writer. Hemingway’s writings and his personal life exerted a profound influence on American writers of his time. Many of his works are regarded as classics of American literature, and some have been made into motion pictures. His important works include The Sun Also Rises (1926) A Farewell to Arms (1929), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), The Old Man and the Sea (1952). In 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. After graduating from high school in 1917, he became a reporter for the Kansas City Star, but he left his job within a few months to serve as a volunteer ambulance driver in Italy during World War I (1914-1918). He later shifted to the Italian infantry and was severely wounded. After the war, he served as a correspondent for the Toronto Star and then settled in Paris. In World War II (1939-1945) he again was a correspondent and later a reporter for the United States First Army; although he was not a soldier, he participated in several battles.

      [ Table of Contents ]

    Thinking about the Text

    Q1. Why were the old man’s clothes dusty? Why did he not cross the bridge?
    Ans. The old man was seventy-six years old and he had come twelve kilometers through a dusty road so his clothes were dusty. As he had traveled a long distance, he was tired and was not able to go farther therefore he could not cross the bridge.

    Q2. Why did the old man leave San Carlos? Why did the old man wants to go to Barcelona?
    Ans. The old man left San Carlos because of artillery that the captain told him. The old man wanted to go to Barcelona because the trucks were heading towards that place. He was very tired and could not go further so there was one alternative that was to go by trucks that were going to Barcelona.
    Q3. ‘Oh,’ I said, not quite understanding…... ‘What was it about the old man’s statement, ‘I was taking care of animals’, what was it that the narrator did not understand?
    Ans. The narrator was not able to understand what animals the old man was taking care of because he did not look like a shepherd nor a herder although he had dusty clothes and grey dusty face.
    Q4. Where did the narrator expect the approaching battle to take place?
    Ans. The narrator expected the approaching battle to take place somewhere near the bridge where the old man was sitting.
    Q5. ‘It’s better not to think about the others.’ What does the old man mean by ‘the others’? Why does he say so?
    Ans. By ‘the others’, the old man means to say to think of the goats because he knew the cats can look out of itself and the birds can fly as he has left the cage open but the goats cannot save themselves.
    Q6. Did the old man look upon his animals as his family? What made him worry about them? What did the old man fear would harm his animals?
    Ans. Yes, the old man looked upon his animals as his family. He was worried about them because he had no family other than these animals and he had to leave them so that to move himself to a safer place. He was feared that artillery fire would harm them and they would be killed because of his absence there.
    Q7. The old man was a victim of the war, but he had no wish to play a part in it. How do you come to know of this from the story?
    Ans. The old man was the victim of war because he had to leave his home and his family. He only talked about animals. He had nothing to do with the war because he had no politics. He did not bother who wins or loses. He only cared about his pet animals.
    Q8. Wars have an adverse, effect on our lives. How does the story brings out this truth?
    Ans. Since the arrival of human beings on the earth, wars have been a part of life. It has been adversely affecting the lives of living beings for centuries. Wars bring miseries, poverty, droughts, deaths, and destruction, and nothing else that is good for a happy life. From the story, we saw how the old man has to leave his animals which were a part of his family and his native village because of this dreadful war. He has to walk miles by foot although he was too old to go any farther, but, the war had left no alternative for him. We have read in the story how carts, trucks, and other vehicles along with people were hurrying in leaving their homes. So, this story has brought out the whole truth about the destruction of wars and its adverse effect on our lives.

    Language Work

    Make sentences using the following words and expressions.
    Artillery, Coup, Check-post, Out-post, Bridgehead, Come through, Stagger, Hurry, To take care of, Blankly
    Artillery: Due to artillery on the border many people have to leave their homes to move to a safer place.
    Coup: He was overthrown in an army coup.
    Check-post: A check-post was placed on the entrance of the country so that to check the people coming from other countries.
    Out-post: The whole valley has been established as a military outpost for decades.
    Bridgehead: The established a bridgehead on the entrance before the infiltration of rebels.
    Come through: The old man came through the captain about the artillery.
    Stagger: It staggers me to see how much the money they have spent on this project.
    Hurry: There is no need to hurry in this matter.
    To take care of: Don’t worry, the government will take care of your belongings.
    Blankly: He looked at me blankly and went on his way.

    Writing Work

    Q1. Imagine yourself with a gold coin in your belly. How would you talk to the doctor? Hemingway’s story involves dialogue most prominently. On the pattern of the story construct your dialogue with the doctor.
    Patient: (holding belly with hand): Doctor, I unknowingly swallowed a gold coin, which is in my belly now.
    Doctor: Don’t worry, everything will be ok. Go and get an x-ray of your belly.
    (Patient goes away for x-ray and comes after a while)
    Patient: Here is an x-ray copy with a report.
    Doctor: Good. (observing the x-ray sheet). Nothing to worry. The coin is slowly moving to the intestine.
    Patient: Is there any kind of danger of injury. Please, tell me, how it will be removed.
    Doctor: No, there is not any kind of danger. Take these two tablets at bedtime. Take care of the coin in the morning when you go to the toilet.
    Patient: Thank you very much, Doctor.


    Q1. Have you ever gone through a warlike situation? How did you feel? Make groups and exchange your feelings about it.
    Ans. Assignment for students. Do it yourself. The clue is; the current situation in JK.
    Q2. Peace had her victories no less renowned than war? Discuss the idea with your teacher and your group mates.
    Ans. Assignment for students. Do it yourself. The clue is; the current situation in JK.

    Suggested Reading

    The Old Man and the Sea by Hemmingway
    Men at War: The Best War Stories of All Time by Hemingway
    A Father-To-Be, Looking for Mr. Green, and The Gonzaga Manuscripts by Saul Bellow

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