Kerala Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 2 Chapter 2 The Price of Flowers (Short Story)
♦ Textbook Activities
Read and Reflect (Textbook Page No. 51-62)
Why was the narrator’s attention drawn to the English girl?
The narrator’s attention was drawn to the English girl because she had was watching him during her meal. Moreover, her clothes revealed her poverty and her large eyes expressed sadness.
What is your impression of the girl?
She is a young girl of thirteen or fourteen. From her dress and appearance we know that she has poor circumstances. She looks sad. This reveals that there is something that worries her.
How do you know that the girl was interested in knowing the identity of the narrator?
The girl was interested in knowing the identity of the narrator. That was why she was watching him during her meal. Besides, she asked the cashier whether the narrator was as Indian.
What do you understand about the probable condition of the girl?
Her dress and appearance suggested that she was poor. The waitress told the narrator that she came to the restaurant only on Saturdays for her lunch. From these we can guess that she was working in some nearby shop on a little salary and she could eat lunch only on her salary days.
Why was the narrator curious about the girl? What did he do to meet her?
The narrator was curious about the girl because she was curious about him. From the waitress she came to know that the girl worked in one of the shops near St. Martin’s lane. He went and looked into all the shops in the street. But he could not trace her. At last he found her at the restaurant on a Saturday when she went there for lunch.
Why did the narrator go to the restaurant again?
The narrator went to the restaurant again in the hope of meeting the girl. The waitress had told him that the girl came to the restaurant for lunch on Saturdays.
What impression did the girl have about India?
The girls impression about India was that India was a dangerous country full of snakes, tigers and fevers.
Was Maggie satisfied with her job? If not why?
Maggie was not satisfied with her job. It was a mechanical job. She wanted to have a job to make use of her head. She would like to get the job of a secretary.
What do you understand by brain work?
By brain work is meant some work that needs thinking.
Why did Maggie ask the narrator whether he was a vegetarian?
Maggie asked the narrator whether he was a vegetarian to know if he was a yogi. She had heard that yogi’s would not eat meat and they have occult powers.
Why did Mr. Gupta go to Maggie’s house?
Mr.Gupta went to Maggie’s house because she wanted to introduce to him her widowed mother, who wished to meet an Indian to know the truth about the stories she had heard about India.
What do you understand about the living conditions of Maggie and her mother?
The living conditions of Maggie and her mother were very poor. They had a small house in Lambeth area. The furniture was cheap. The carpet was old and torn. Her mother baked cakes and sold them for a living.
Why is Saturday special to Maggie and her mother?
Saturday was Maggie’s pay day, on which she enjoys a lunch from a restaurant. Maggie’s mother baked cakes and sold them to the neighbours, for whom Saturday was a time of festivity.
How did Mr. Gupta describe India to Mrs. Clifford?
Mr. Gupta described India as a beautiful country. It was not a cold country like England. There are tigers and snakes. But they live in the jungles. If they come to places where people live, they are killed. There are fevers in some places but there is nothing to be afraid of.
Who is Francis? What do you know about him?
Francis who was called Frank was Maggie’s only brother and the son of Mrs. Clifford. He was in the Punjab, working as a soldier in the Northwest frontier. He loved his mother and sister very much. He sent them pictures of Simla and also a crystal ring which had been given to him by a yogi. They were told that the details of persons who lived far away could be obtained through gazing at the crystal ring.
What is your opinion about superstitions? Do you believe in them?
Superstitions are bad. But people every where beleive in superstitions. Every one including me is a victim of superstitions.
Describe the incident that touched the narrator deeply?
Maggie had a violin on which she could play a few songs. She had not studied it from a teacher as they could not afford to pay the fees. Her mother knew that Maggie had the talent for music. She told Mr. Gupta that her daughter would be sent for violin lessons. This incident touched the narrator’s heart deeply.
Why was Maggie unable to go to work?
Maggie was unable to go to work because her mother was seriously ill and there was nobody else in the house to look after her.
Why did Mr. Gupta take some money with him when he went to see Mrs. Clifford?
Mr. Gupta took some money when he went to see Mrs. Clifford because his hostess told him that they would be in difficulty as Maggie could not go to work for a week.
Why did Mr. Gupta and Maggie tiptoeinto the sitting room?
Mr. Gupta and Maggie tiptoed into the sitting room because Maggie wanted to talk to him in private. They did not want to disturb the sick woman.
What request did Maggie make to Mr. Gupta?
Maggie wanted Mr. Gupta to gaze into the crystal ring and tell her mother that Frank was alive and was safe. She told him that her mother’s condition became worse buy her worries about her son. She also believed that her mother would recover if she came to know that her son was safe.
Why was the crystal ring so special to Mrs. Clifford?
It was very special to Mrs. clifford because it was sent by her dear son Frank, to whom it had given by a yogi. Moreover, she strongly believed that it had magical powers.
What made Mrs. Clifford recover?
Mrs. Clifford’s condition became worse because of her worries about her son Frank, from whom he had not heard for a long time. She was anxious about him. As asked by Maggie, Mr. Gupta gazed at the crystal ring and told Mrs. Clifford that her son was alive and well. This made her recover from her illness.
Why was Mr. Gupta ashamed to face Mrs. Clifford?
Mr. Gupta was ashamed to face Mrs. Clifford because he had told her that her son Frank was alive and well. But her son had been killed in war.
What was the promise given to Maggie?
Mr. Gupta promised Maggie that he would visit Frank’s grave in India and offer flowers when he went to India.
Why did Maggie give a shilling to Mr.Gupta?
Maggie gave a shilling to Mr.Gupta to buy flowers and offer them at her brother Frank’s grave at Mort Monroe, near Dera Ghazi Khan.
Explain the reason why Mr. Gupta accepted the shilling?
Mr. Gupta wanted to give back the shilling saying that flowers were plenty in India and there was no need of buying them. But then he thought that it would deprive the girl of the joy of the sacrifice for her expired brother. So he accepted it. The price of the flowers was symbolic of the bond of human relationship. The one shelling was the fruit of her hard labour.
Read and Respond (Textbook Page No. 63)
‘It is neither the same everywhere the same all the year round in India’. Why?
India is a vast country with different climate zones. So it is neither the same everywhere nor the same all the year round
Why did the narrator decide to take the shilling given by Maggie?
At first he thought that he would not take the shilling, considering the sacrifice she would have undergone to earn that shilling. But on second thought he decided to take it because it would give her some joy in being able to offer some flowers at her brothers grave and it would give her some consolation.
What is the role of faith in the story?
Faith has an important role in the story. It is faith alone that is responsible for Mrs. Clifford’s recovery. She believes that gazing into a crystal ring. Indians can predict the state of a person who lives away. Others may think that it is superstition. But for her it was real faith.
Activity II: Discussion (Textbook Page No. 63)
Discuss the significance of the title ‘The Price of Flowers’
“The Price of Flowers’ is an apt title for the story. The poor English girl Maggie gives a shilling to Mr. Gupta to buy flowers and offer them at her brothers grave. She makes a great sacrifice by doing so. It is not the money that counts but it is the value of human relationship that is significant.
Activity III: Character Sketch (Textbook Page No. 63)
Pick out the words used by the author to describe the character of Maggie.
- Thirteen years old
- Poor clothes
- Large eyes
- Sad look
- Long hair
- Eating meager food
- Polite manners
- Attached to mother and brother
- Not lavish in spending
- Concern for human relationship
3. Attitude towards others
- No pretension
- Loves intellectual work
4. Your opinion about the girl
- Poor but honest and frank
- No pretentions
- Loves intellectual work.
A character sketch of Maggie
Alice Margaret Clifford, called Maggie, was an English girl of just thirteen. She wore poor clothes. Her long hair hung in a heavy stream down her back. She had large eyes with a sad expression. From her appearance it was clear that she was very poor. But she never showed signs of her inward unhappiness.
Maggie was hard working, she was doing some mechanical work in a shop on the streets near St. Martin’s street. She wanted to do some intellectual work. She led a disciplined life. She used to have lunch only on Saturdays (her pay day). She was very quiet and polite. She was greatly devoted to her mother and her only brother Frank who was working in the Indian Army. She attached great value to human relationships. She gave due respect to elderly people. Her behaviour towards Mr.Gupta is an example.
She was very caring. When her mother was ill she took leave for one whole week and looked after her. She was very affectionate and always behaved cordially. Though Maggie was poor, she was very honest and open in her behaviour with others. She was always humble and never made any pretension. She liked to do some intellectual work like that of a secretary. This shows her moderate ambition. But out of necessity she goes on with her routine, mechanical work. What makes Maggie most dignified is the bond of human relationship she maintains. Even in the midst of her poverty she keeps aside as shilling to buy flowers for offering at the grave of her dear brother.
Web Diagram (Textbook Page No. 64)
Match the following
Which category, does the story “The Price of Flowers” belong to? Discuss.
Write up (Textbook Page No. 65)
‘I want to work that will make me use my head, brain-work’. How can you relate this statement to your life? What kind of profession do you like? Why? Prepare a write up.
The Profession I like.
Each person has his or her preference. The profesion he/she chooses should be according to his/her taste. Unfortunately in developing countries like India the practice has been to do any job that comes one’s way. Very often it is parents who decide what their children must become. I want to be a scientist. Physics is the discipline I will choose at college. Then I will continue to do research in space technology. The first reason for my choice is my special intrest in the subject. Secondly I belive that I can make some valuable contribution to mankin. Finally it is a subject that helps me practise discipline. I will tell my parents that I do not want to become a doctor or engineer. It might bring me money. But my own happiness is much more than money.
Letter (Textbook Page No. 65)
When I go to that part of the country, I shall visit your brother’s grave and write to you.’ A few weeks after the narrator’s departure, Maggie receives a letter from him. What might be the content of the letter? Draft a letter, assuming that you are the narrator.
It took nine days to reach India. I had to submit my papers connected with my Civil Service training. I am quite well. I hope you and your mom are fine.
As I had promised you, I went to Fort Monroe and visited Frank’s grave. I offered some very fine rose flowers on his grave and prayed for the respose of his soul. I remebered you and your mom while I was standing at Frank’s grave. I met some of Frank’s colleagues. They spoke very fine words about Frank. I told them about you and your mother. What can we do? Let’s remember him in our prayers.
When I visit England the next timefl do not know when it will be) I shall certainly visit you. Please convey my regards to your mother. Let’s hope to meet at the earliest.
Role play (Textbook Page No. 65)
Maggie reads the letter. She cannot sleep for many days. Imagine that one day, Mr. Gupta receives a call from her. What would she say? Discuss with your friend, and prepare a likely conversation between them. Enact the scene by taking up different roles.
Maggie : Hello Mr. Gupta. I’m Maggie
Mr. Gupta : Hi Maggie ! Nice to hear from you!
Maggie : I got your letter in time. Thank you very much for taking the trouble of travelling to Fort Monroe and visiting and offering flowers at Frank’s grave. My mom also wants to thank you for being so kind.
Mr. Gupta : I was only doing my duty. It’s a pity that we lost such an affectionate young man.
Maggie : We are helpless in the hands of God. Our plans are shattered within seconds
Mr. Gupta : Life is like that. Man proposes; but God disposes. Let us console ourselves by looking around thinking about people who are more miserable than overselves.
Maggie : Mother has become better now. She has started to accept what has happened. I too have started to go to work
Mr. Gupta : I’ am happy to hear that, when I visit England next time, I shall come to your place. Good bye. Take care.
Maggie : Thank you once again, Bye!
Review (Textbook Page No. 65)
Attempt a critical review of the story
‘The Price of Flowers’ is an effective short story by Prabhat Kumar Mukhopad- hyay. Its theme is the affection and concern of an English girl of thirteen named Maggie and her widowed mother for Frank, Maggies only brother and Mrs. Clifford’s only son. There are also other themes like poverty’, war, and superstitions. The story has been written in very simple style. It reads like a piece written by an educated native speaker of English. There are a number of natural dialogues by the main characters, Maggie, Mrs. Clifford her mother and Mr. Gupta, who is the narrator. Frank(whose real name is Francis) is working as a soldier in India. His sister Maggie is working in a shop on the streets of St. Martin’s Lane. Both Maggie and her mother are worried because for a long time they have not heard anything from Frank.
Mr. Gupta and Maggie meet at a vegetarian restaurant and get acquainted. Maggie is extremely happy to know that Mr. Gupta is an Indian. Maggie and her mother believed that if an Indian gazes through a crystal ring, he will understand the whereabouts of a person who is away. Mr. Gupta knows that it is a superstition. But to console Mrs. Clifford, as requested by Maggie, he gazes into it and says that Frank is alive and is well. The lady’ recovers from her illness. Soon he comes to know that Frank was killed in war. Maggie approaches Mr.Gupta, gives him a shilling and requests him to buy flowers for the one shilling and place them at Frank’s grave when he goes to India. Mr. Gupta promises to do so. The story has been narrated in a touching way. The sacrifice the girl does for his brother symbolizes the bond of human relationships. The author has succeeded in effectively portraying the characters and the theme of compassion.
Reporting (Grammar )(Textbook Page No. 65)
Read the matter on pages 65 and 66 and then look at the exercise.
Rewrite the following sentences in reported speech
- Mr. Gupta asked her whether he should call her Miss Clifford or Alice.
- She laughed and said that she was not grown up yet..
- She told him that she was usually called Maggie.
- He asked Maggie if she was very anxious to grow up.
- She replied in the affirmative.
- He wanted to know the reason.
- She replied that when she grew up, she would be paid more for her work. She added that her mother was old.
- The narrator asked her if the work she did was to her liking.
- She answered in the negative. The work was very mechanical.
- She wanted work that would make her use her head, brain work. She wanated some work like the work of a seceretary.
The Price Of Flowers Exam Oriented (Theory Exam) Questions & Answers
Questions Based on Passages
‘I have heard that there are many people in India who have occult powers. They are called Yogies. But you are not a yogi’.
Who is the speaker of this passage?
The speaker of this passage is Maggie, the Brish girl who is the heroine of the story ‘The Price of Flowers’.
Who is a yogi?
A yogi is a Hindu Sanyasin who leads a holy life.
Why was Maggie interested in yogis?
She and her mother had heard about Hin-du yogis who could gaze into a magical ring and say things about people far away. Maggies brother Frank was in the Indian Army. He had sent Maggie a magical ring. She wanted to know about her brother by gazing into a magical ring.
‘I realised that superstition was not confined to India. I did not have the heart to tell the mother and daughter that the ring was nothing much, brass with a piece of ordinary glass stuck into it. They believed their Frank had sent them a new and miraculous thing from a distant land, a dream India. How could I shatter their faith’
Who is the speaker?
The speaker is Mr. Gupta, the narrator of ‘The Price of Flowers’
Who is Frank?
Frank is Maggie’s only brother, who is a soldier in India.
What is it that the narrator does not want to tell Maggie and her mother.
Mr. Gupta, the narrator, knew that the belief that a person’s details could be known by crystal gazing was a superstition. But he did not want to break their belief by telling them his opinion. According to him, it was only brass with a piece of ordinary glass stuck into it.
Why should I deprive her of the joy this sacrifice would give her? All that this shil-ling could have given her she was foregoing for the love of her brother. The joy of doing it was beyond all price. The grief in her heat would be eased a little. What good would it do to deprive her of it? I picked up the shilling.
Whose words are these?
These are the words of Mr. Gupta the narrator of the story ‘The Price of Flowers’.
What is the sacrifice mentioned in the passage?
The narrator refers to the one shilling that Maggie gave him to buy and offer flowers at her brother Frank,s tomb.
How does the author bring out the bond of human relationships through the story?
Maggie and her mother were very poor. The news of Frank’s death made them very sad. When Maggie came to know that Mr. Gupta was returning to India, she went to his place, and placed a hard earned shilling asking him to offer flowers for her brothers grave. He thought of not accepting it when he thought about their poor condition. But he thought that she would feel consolved by doing this sacrifice for her brother. So Mr. Gupta took the shilling and promised her that he would fulfill her wish. The sacrifice the girl made shows the deep bond of human relationship
The Price Of Flowers About The Author
Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay (1873-1932) was one of the best short story writers in Bengali. He is also a novelist. His short stories are based on real life situvations and his characters belong to the middle class families. He presents the hopes, joys and sorrows of his characters very effectively.
The Price Of Flowers Summary in English
‘The Price of Flowers’ is a touching story about the bond of human relationship. Maggie was an English girl of thirteen. The narrator, Mr Gupta, met her at a vegetarian hotel in London. They got acquainted. Maggie was happy to know that Mr. Gupta was an Indian. Her only brother Francis (Frank) was working as a soldier in India. Her mother, Mrs. Clifford was much worried because she had not heard from Frank for a long time. She had heard that India was a country of snakes, tigers and fevers. Mr. Gupta told Maggie and her mother not to worry about Frank.One day Mr. Gupta received a letter from Maggie informing that her mother was ill. Soon he went to visit Mrs.
Clifford. Maggie insisted that Mr. Gupta should gaze at the crystal ring Frank had sent Maggie as a gift. They believed that the crystal ring had some magical power. What made Mrs. Clifford ill was her anxiety over Frank. Mr. Gupta looked into the crystal ring and assured the lady that her son was alive. This made her recover from her illness. After a few days Maggie sent a postcard to Mr. Gupta informing him that her brother Frank had been killed in the war. He felt ashamed of himself. He wrote to them about his departure to India, In the morning of the day of departure Maggie came to Mr. Gupta to buy flowers to be offered at her brother’s grave. He promised that he would buy and offer flowers and added that he would write to them after that.
The Price Of Flowers Summary in Malayalam
The Price Of Flowers Glossary