A Shady Plot – NCERT Class 10 English Literature Reader

A Shady Plot NCERT Class 10 English Literature Reader

Q1: Why did Helen and other ghosts like her organize 'The Writer's Inspiration Bureau'?
Answer: Helen had herself been an author. She was familiar with the thrills and travels of being one. She felt empathetic towards author who suffered a lean period. She organized 'The Writer's Inspiration Bureau'. The main task of this organisation was to scout around until a writer without ideas was found. It was the job of the bureau to provide inspiration and ideas for such writers. 

Q2: How did Helen often help Hallock before she first met him?
Answer: Helen had always helped Hallock to write stories. Though this was not acknowledged by him. All the stories inspired by her had been liked by the readers. 

Q3: At one point Hallock calls Helen that horrible scarecrow. Why?

Answer: Helen appeared to be a horrible scarecrow to Hallock because of her ugly appearance. She was long and angular with enormous fishy eyes. She wore bone-rimmed spectacles. She had a long eagle-nose which made her look like a scarecrow. Hallock didnot like to even think that Helen had touched him when she told him that she had leaned on his shoulder.

Q4: Why did Hallock think his wife would be shocked to see Helen touching him?
Answer: Lavinia was a conservative wife who would never appreciate another women coming near her husband. In this case, the woman was as horrible as a scarecrow- an apparition which was quite 
obnoxious. Hallock dreaded any contact with his wife and the apparition. 

Q5: Helen calls the people using Ouija boards 'Fanatics'. Why?

Answer: According to Helen, all those people who used the Ouija boards were fanatics because they were indulged in this communication with and through the spirit world to obtain answers to questions rather frequently. This gave no relief to the spirits and they were kept occupied. They were to sit at the desk and answer questions even at odd hours and had no time for rest or sleep. 

Q6: How did Helen 'disappear' when Lavinia appeared on the scene during Helen's first encounter with Hallock?

Answer: Helen disappeared immediately because Hallock requested her to do so when he heard the footsteps of his wife. Helen was very sensible and understood that it would leave a wrong impression on his wife. She disappeared exactly the way she had appeared, bit-by-bit.

Q7: Why did Hallock looked "so funny" to Lavinia when she entered his room just after his first meeting with Helen had ended? 
Answer: Hallock was waving his arms in desperation when Lavinia entered the room. The dark room and the funny expression on his face just like that of an idiotic grin left Lavinia rather surprised.

Q8: Why did Lavinia buy an Ouija board? 

Answer: Lavinia was a compulsive shopper. She was more of a shopaholic. she bought the Ouija board because it was at a bargain price. She justified her act by connecting it to her husband's interest and said that the board would help him write stories and historical novels. He would not have to consult books and would straight away talk to the spirits to add colour to the stories. She found it to be thrilling.

Q9(CBSE Textbook): Based on your reading of the story above, answer the following questions by ticking the correct options.
1. The narrator earns his living by ………………………….
a) writing ghost stories
b) working as a reader for a magazine
c) working as a stenographer
d) working as an accountant in a lumber company

2. The writer was overconfident about his ability to write ghost stories because ……
a) whenever magazines wanted a ghost story, they got in touch with him
b) he was always able to write a ghost story whenever he had to write one
c) the readers appreciated his ghost stories
d) he knew the ghost lady would help him write a good ghost story

3. The sight of the ghost materialising in his room filled the narrator with ………
a) fear
b) excitement
c) joy
d) anticipation

4. The ghost wanted John to …………………………………………..
a) stop his wife from using the Ouija board
b) stop using the Ouija board himself
c) stop his guests from using the Ouija board
d) stop people from using the Ouija board

5. John wants the ghost to disappear before his wife enters the room and waves his arms
at the ghost with something of the motion of a beginner when learning to swim. His
movement shows his ………………………

a) fear
b) amusement
c) desperation
d) anxiety

6. When the narrator says his wife is never so pretty as when she's doing something she
knows he disapproves of, his tone is …………………….

a) amused
b) ironic
c) angry
d) irritated

7. The ghost says "It's all your fault.'It' here refers to ………………………

a) the narrator's wife's anger
b) the ghost's anger
c) the narrator's wife leaving him
d) the ghost materialising in sections.

8. Gladolia wishes to leave the narrator's house as ………………….
a) she does not like the Ouija boards
b) she is afraid of the ghost
c) she is afraid of magic and hoodoo
d) she likes Ouija boards and hoodoo

1. d) working as an accountant in a lumber company
2. b) he was always able to write a ghost story whenever he had to write one
3. a) fear
4. d) stop people from using the Ouija board
5. c) desperation
6. d) irritated
7. c) the narrator's wife leaving him
8. c) she is afraid of magic and hoodoo
Courtesy : CBSE