A Respectable Woman summary and exercise | Class 12 English Notes | NEB


A Respectable Woman summary and exercise | Class 12 English Notes | NEB

Before reading

a.How do you feel if someone lives in your house as a guest for a long time?

Ans. I feel annoyed if someone lives in my house as a guest for a long period of time for unproductive work (without any specific reason) but if s/he stays for a good purpose, it is okay.

b.Have you ever changed your opinion about a person after meeting her/him?

Ans. Yes I have changed my opinion about a person after meeting. For instance : I had a bad impression about a person living in my house in the second floor named Rakesh. But his polite, helpful nature and right thought and behavior changed my opinion towards him.

Also, Browse the following:

 Understanding the text

Answer the following questions.

a. Why was Mrs. Baroda unhappy with the information about Gouvernail's visit to their farm?

Ans. Mrs. Baroda was looking for a period of rest and an undisturbed conversation with her husband. So she was unhappy with the information about the Gouvmail's visit to their farm.

b. How was Gouvernail different from Mrs. Baroda's expectation?

Ans. Mrs. Baroda expected him as a tall, slim, cynical man; with sunglasses and his hand in pockets but when she met him, he was slim but he wasn't very tall nor very cynical neither did he wore sunglasses nor kept his hands in pockets; rather quite and courteous which made her actually eager to like him.

c.    How does Mrs. Baroda compare Gouvernail with her husband?

Ans. Mrs. Baroda compares Gouvernail and her husband a joumalist and the owner of sugar plantation. She also finds Gouvernail slim, quiet and courteous in response and loveable and her husband as a very help and faithful to her well as his friend.

d.    Why and how did Mrs. Baroda try to change Gouvernail's solitary habits? 

Ans. Mr. Baroda tried to change Gouvernail's solitary habit because she sidn't expect a commotion (a state of confusion) over his presence and he was no more intecontexta. So she tried to change his solitary habits by assuring him to be more talkative and to be adaptable to the situation.

e.How does Gaston disagree with his wife on Gouvernail's character?

Ans. Gaston disagrees with his wife because she takes Gourernail's characters as less intresting and shy figure rather he proves him to be a out standing, sociable, interesting and talkative character.

f. Why is Gaston surprised with his wife's expression towards the end of the story?

Ans. Gaston is surprised with his wife's expression towards the end of the story because before the year ended she proposed, wholly from herself, to have Gouvernail visit them again which he had not ever expected from her side.

 Reference to the context

a. What is the cause of conflict in Mrs. Baroda's mind? What role does Mrs. Baroda 'being a respectable woman' play in the story?

Ans. The story "A Respectable woman" is based around the character of Mrs. Baroda and her inner conflict, as she finds herself attracted to her husband's friend "Gourernail". In the beginning of a story, Mrs. Baroda seems to be an traditional woman who acts in accordance with the society. When she knows the information about Gouvernail (husbands friend; a journalist now a dayjournalist ng there to stay with them for at least two weeks, she was unhappy because she was planning for a rest and undisturbed conversation with her husband. But when she met Gouvernail, she changes most of the opinion about him. She fell in love with him. She stars to dream many things romance with Gouvernail.

But in the story, Mrs. Baroda is the main character with a determining and challenging psychological characters and is drawn as a respectable woman. This can be proved through her actions and attitude that she shows by making appropriate decision. She controls her feelings towards Gouvernail and proves herself as a determined and respectable woman by expecting his visit to their plantation before the year ended.

b.Sketch the character of Gouvernail and contrast it with Gaston.

Ans. Mrs. Baroda is the main character of the story "The respectable woman". Hre, Gaston is her husband Mr. Baroda is featured as a frank and wordy woman with hospitality. He is a very polite, kind, helpful and lovable husband. He is an experienced sugar plantar. Thus, he is a close companion (partner) and loving husband of Mrs. Baroda.

In the story, Gouvernail is a close college friend of Mr. Gaston, who is a journalist by profession. He is a notable character in the story because he symbolizes temptation (desire usually wrong) for Mrs. Baroda. He is presented as "in no sense a social man"or "a man about town". He is also shown as 'a smoker" in the story.He was mostly found different as the image created by Mrs. Baroda in the mind.His marital status is not defined in the story. We can assume him to be a single as he is visiting Baroda alone. For Mrs. Baroda, he is lovable and inoffensive fellow. Yet she cannot sec the same qualities in him as her husband.

c. Why does Mrs. Baroda not disclose her feelings towards Gouvernail to her husband?

Ans. Although, Mrs. Baroda doesn't see all of the positive traits described by her husband and as the image she made in the mind. She falls in love with him. She wants to draw close to him and wisper against his cheek- she doesn't care what as she might have done if she had not been a respectable woman. As the story, she then undergoes a mental conflict within herself. She wants to tell Gaston of her strange folly (foolishness), but she knows there are some battles in life which a human being must fight alone. So, she realizes sensibly that she must handle these feelings by herself. She decides to leave Gouvernail and take train to the city before Gaston arose in the moving and does not return until Gouvernail departs from under her roof (her house). She reminds herself that she is a respectable woman. She later changes her mind, delighting and surprising her husbandreturns back home and also proposed Gouvernail to visit them again. She kissed her husband and tells him that she has overcome everything and will treat him nicely next time.

d. The last three sentences of the story bring a kind of twist. After reading these three sentences, how do you analyze Mrs. Baroda's attitude towards Gouvernail?

Ans. According to the story "A respectable woman", the last three sentences bring a twist. Here, Mrs. Baroda has changed her all mind setup and attitude towards Gouvernail and we come to know that she will behave (treat) him more nicely, after reading given sentences.These sentences say that her husband was right regarding Gouvernail's character and Mrs. Baroda seems to have bad opinion about him. Now at the last Mrs. Baroda says "I have overcome everything". Yet, it is not clear that whether she would be able to control her growing passion for Gouvernail or not. Also she says "This time I shall be very nice to him", it directs that her feeling towards him are gone and simply transformed into a new friendship. Whatever leaving this topic, Gaston was very happy to know that her life had finally overcome her dislike for Gouvernail which her really deserve it. Mrs. Baroda told him laughingly after pressing along and having a very tender kiss upon his lips that she had overcome everything and also promised to be very nice to him and treat well next time.

Reference beyond the text

a. The entry of an outsider into a family has been a recurring subject in both literature and films. Narrate a story real or imaginative where an outsider's arrival destroys the intimate relationship between the husband and the wife and causes break up in marital relationship without direct fault of anyone. Anton's Chekhov's story 'About Love' is a story on this subject.

Ans. As we have seen many cases of breakup in marital relationship (divorce) without direct fault of anyone due to the arrival of third person in life. We can find many more examples in real life, litrature and films.

Anton Chekov's story about love is an interesting and very popular story. Though there is wide age gap between Anna and her husband "Mr. Luganovich", they were living happily in a city. 'Mr. Luganovich' is a judge by profession of the age over forty and his wife is only twenty two. Anna is a young woman, beautiful, kind and intellegent. As the story begins, she has a six month's baby and later she has other baby. They are happy. But the arrival of Alyohin in luganovich's family destroys the fine relationship between the husband and the wife. Both Anna and Alyohin fall in love which becomes the cause of mental stress and nearotic problem for Anna in the let recent of the story. At last, Anna goes to the Crimea (a peninsula) for treatment and to feel relaxed and refreshed. The same thing happens in this story. "A respectable woman" too, here, Mrs. Baroda leaves the plantation for her Aunt Octavie's so that she can get relaxed and refreshed from mental stress.

b. Mrs. Baroda makes an expectation about Gouvernail even before meeting him. Suppose you are a mature girl/boy and your family members giving you pressure for getting married. Write in about 200 words describing what qualities you would like to get in your future husband/wife.

Ans. Marriage is a lifetime decision. Moreover, we live in the society where social norms and values matter more. We can relate marriage as the two wines of an electric circuit. If the connection is right, it glows and spreads light. If it becomes wrong, short circuit occurs and damages the whole house. Similarly, the sensible decision for marriage can glow the prestige of a family and the society. That's why one should make decision very seriously and sensibly. Otherwise,It  may be the folly in their whole life. It is not as some as judging a book by reading a paragraph only. So, one should not marry in pressure and haste. As a wife, I would like to get the following qualities in my future husband:

  1. He truly loves me.
  2. He has good manner to show his affection and care.
  3. He respects my family and friends.
  4. He enjoys my company.
  5. He is a good listener.
  6. He knows my likes and dislikes, date of events like birthday. anniversary and surprises me with gifts.
  7. He never impose restrictions on me or in the congal relationships.
  8. He is romantic and understanding.
  9. He has good sense of humor.
  10. He is good with kids.
  11. He shares small things and admits his short comings.
  12. He respects my thought and help/support in decision making.
  13. He is independent financially and cool emotionally.
  14. He balances his work and family.
  15. He manages the sure interestingly.


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