CBSE Class 10 English Communicative Literature Notes

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Revision Notes for Class 10 English English Communicative

Class 10 English students should refer to the following concepts and notes for English Communicative in Class 10. These exam notes for Class 10 English will be very useful for upcoming class tests and examinations and help you to score good marks

English Communicative Notes Class 10 English





                    -A J Cronin

Two Gentlemen of Verona is a touching story of Jacopo and Nicola, two brothers aged 12 and 13, who do odd jobs and live a hard life themselves to sustain and treat their elder sister Lucia, who is suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. A J Cronin uses the title of William Shakespeare's famous play, The Two Gentlemen of Verona in an ironic manner. Cronin's portrayal of these modern "gentlemen" of Verona re-defines the concept of what it means to be a gentleman, Cronin shows us that one may polish boots or sell newspapers, but it is the magnanimity of heart and the nobleness of purpose that actually determines whether one is a true "gentleman". The story recounts the hard life chosen by the two young boys so that they could pay for the treatment of their sister afflicted with tuberculosis. The boys exhibit sincerity and devotion to the cause and the maturity they display in their actions gives a new hope for humanity.

The writer and his friend are stopped at the outskirts of Verona by two small boys when they drive through lower hills of the Alps. The boys are brothers Nicola, the elder and Jacopo, the younger one. They were selling wild strawberries. Next time when they meet the boys, they are polishing shoes in the public square. Interacting with them, the writer comes to know that they do various tasks. One mid night, they see the boys resting on the stone of a footpath. Nicola sat tired with a bundle of unsold newspapers. His brother was sleeping by putting his head on Nicola‘s shoulder. The narrator asks the boys if they save the money for emigration to America, they deny and say that they have other plans. The writer offers them help for which Jacopo asks him to drop them at Poleta by their car. The writer accepts their request.

The next afternoon, they reach the village located on a hill. The two boys are dropped from the car. After sometime, the writer follows them and finds from the nurse about the two boys and their sister. She tells him that their father, a famous singer died in the war. A bomb had destroyed their home. They had a cultured life, but due to the war, they were left alone on road. Lucia was a good singer, but now she is suffering from tuberculosis and the boys are working hard day and night for the treatment of their sister. Their selfless action, nobility and devotion touch the writer‘s heart and show a greater hope for mankind. Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow by choosing the option you consider most appropriate:

1) One boy had on a worn jersey and cut-off khaki pants; the other a shortened army tunic gathered in loses folds about his skinny frame. Yet gazing at the two little figures, with their brown skin, tangled hair and earnest eyes, we felt ourselves strangely attracted

(1)One boy had on:

(a) a new jersey

(b) a worn jersey and a khaki pants

(c) a coat and a pant

(d) a sweater and a blue pant .

(2) The other boy had:

(a) a robust body

(b) a swollen head

(c) a stout frame

(d) a skinny frame

(3) The narrator and his companion gazed at:

(a) two shopkeepers

(b) two things

(c) two little figures

(d) two beggarly women

Ans: 1) b) a worn jersey and cut off khaki pant 2)d) a skinny frame3) c) two little figures

Answer the following questions in about 30-40 words.

1) What did the narrator’s companion discover about the boy?
Ans:The narrator‘s companion discovered that the boys were real brothers. The elder brother Nicola was 13 years old while the young Jacopo was 12 years old. Their rags and shabby appearance display their acute poverty.

2) How can you say that the boys were willing workers?
Ans: The boys did their independent job. They shined shoes in the scorching heat. They sold strawberries and conducted the tourism round of the town. They sold newspapers in the stormy nights. They changed their work at will. That‘s why they can be called willing workers.

3)Why didn’t the narrator go inside?
Ans:The boy‘s sister was admitted into the hospital. The boys did not like to share their secret with the narrator. The narrator had no desire to expose them. Moreover he could not bear to intruder upon their happy family meeting .Therefore he preferred to stay out.

4)Why did the boys hate the Germans? How did they react against them?
Ans: The Germans had bombed their city and had destroyed their home. Their father was also killed in the war. The boys and their sister were thrown in the streets. The boys were forced to live in a shelter. Then the Germans became the rulers. Therefore the boys hated the Germans. To show their hateful reaction they joined the resistance movement.


B) Answer the following in 30-40 words each:

1 Why did the driver not approve of their buying fruit from the boys?

2 When did the author‘s companion find out that the boys were brothers ?

3. What were the jobs the boys did to earn money?.

4. What attracted the visitors towards the boys ?

5 Where did the author meet the two boys for the first time? What were they doing?

6. Why was the author surprised to see Nicola and Jacopo working as shoe shines?

7. How were the boys useful to the author?

8. Why did the author say that what struck one most was their willingness to work?

9. Why were the boys out in the deserted square at night?

10. Were the boys quite happy to work? Which sentence tells you this?

11.What made the author think that they were earning much?

12.Why did Nicola say ―just plans‖ when the author asked them what their plans were?

13.Who asked the author to drive them to Poleta? Did the other brother approve of the request? Why?

14 Did the boys try to prevent the author from finding out the real purpose of their visit to Poleta? Did they succeed?

15. How did the war affect the boys‘ family?

16. How did the boys take care of their sister?

17. Do you think the two boys enjoyed what they were doing? Why do you think so?

18. How does the story of the Two Gentlemen of Verona give promise of greater hope for human society?

19. How can you say that the boys worked quite hard?

20. What did the narrator tell the narrator?

21. How was the life of the boys comfortable and cultured?

22. How did the boys react to the Lucia‘s suffering from the tuberculosis of the spine?

23. What happened when the boys rejoined the narrator?

C) Long answer type questions:

1. Write a paragraph on the early life of the two boys.

Fathera widower .... well-known singer ....killed in war ... bomb blast destroyed house…boys and sister left to the streets ... suffered ...horribly ... starvation

2. Write a note on the character of Nicola and Jacopo.

The following hints will help you:
motherless .... loss of father .... sufferings .....loss of their house ...made their own shelter willing to do any job ... their devotion to ...their sister .... dedication .... patriotic ... proud…did not want sympathy ...

2. Narrate the story of Two Gentlemen of Verona beginning with their experience during the war in about 200 words. You may use the following hints for your essay.

Nicola and Jacopo … sons of a well-known singer and widower ... only sister Lucia ...father killed ... house destroyed ... children left to the streets .... starved horribly .... a shelter....built by themselves ... boys did different jobs. The visitors make friends .... their willingness to work .... one midnight .... deserted square wanted to sell newspapers .... earning money ....request author to take them to the country ...Drive to the country ... the boys leave the author waiting ... he follows ... discovers the secret.

3. A J Cronin came to know the story of the two boys from the nurse in the story

'Two Gentlemen of Verona'. Imagine that the boys themselves narrated the story to A.J Cronin.

Write the story in the words of the boys. You may begin like this.
We were living happily in our..................................

5.Yet in both these boyish faces there was a seriousness which was far beyond theiryears. Does this sentence signal anything to you?

Now use the following hints:

Boys simple ... aged 13 and 12 ... sense of responsibility though too young .....doing anything .


Mrs. Packletide‘s Tiger by Saki (HH Munro) is a short story in which one character‘s disloyalty to another proves the crux of the plot. Set mostly in Colonial India, the author aims to highlight and ridicule the pretentious nature of the upper classes of Edwardian society. With sophisticated language, we are encouraged ingeniously to dislike Mrs. Packletide, who endeavours to shoot a tiger in order to upstage her rival Loona Bimberton. The satirical tone employed throughout the story enables us to applaud her gullibility at the hands of her paid companion, Miss Mebbin.

From the beginning the satirical tone employed increases our dislike of the petty Mrs. Packletide whose motive for shooting a tiger was that her rival Loona Bimberton had recently flown in an ―aeroplane by an Algerian aviator.‖ This feat in those times was considered not only a daring and brave feat (because aeroplanes had just been invented and were nothing like the comfortable, reliable modes of transport they are today) but Saki‘s tone also shows us his repulsion of these classes by implying that this feat of Loona Bimberton‘s was only a show of bravery. The word ―carried‖ suggests she had to be helped and coaxed along the way and in the end it was only her greed for the fame it would bring her that made her do it. The alliteration highlights Mrs. Packletide‘s outrage at being battered by a rival and we see her petty nature emerge from beneath her mask of society‘s fashion.

Our dislike of Mrs. Packletide‘s character increases as the story continues along with Saki‘s sarcasm. The word ―ostensibly‖ used by the author to describe how Mrs. Packletide is planning to show off the tiger skin rug to her friends seemingly in order to honour Loona Bimberton, is really an excuse to show off to her rival and upstage her. Similarly her offer of a thousand rupees for the chance to shoot a tiger ―without much risk or exertion‖ shows the extravagance of this ridiculous expedition on which she is intent and reminds us of her shallow nature. This detail allows the author‘s theme to grow, showing us the stupid side of Mrs. Packletide. She has no sense of the value of money or the actual excitement of hunting: the hunt, the chase, the kill.

Saki then introduces Mrs. Packletide‘s paid companion, Miss Mebbin as having a: ―morbid dread of performing an atom more service than she had paid for.‖ This statement of Miss Mebbin‘s nature immediately creates in our minds a stingy, strict, sneering, cold-hearted woman.It also suggests she is observant and cautious, not for others but for herself. The title ―Miss‖ combined with the detailed description of her thrifty nature creates an image of a mean old spinster. The idea that she is greedy is highlighted in the way he writes that she: ―adopted a protective elder-sister attitude to money.‖ Saki is suggesting that on the surface, she is unthreatening but in truth she cares for money so much she treats it as a person, a sibling even. This revelation prepares us for her betrayal of Mrs. Packletide. On the night of the shoot Mrs. Packletide reassures Miss Mebbin of the lack of danger showing that Mrs. Packletide knows how much of a farce this expedition really is. Miss Mebbin wasn‘t actually mortally afraid but rather was concerned in case she missed a bonus in her pay. The shooting‘s absurd nature is highlighted even more when Saki introduces the added detail of Mrs. Packletide playing ―Patience‖ with cards as she awaits the old decrepit tiger to go for the obvious bait. In the end Mrs. Packletide misses the stationary tiger – and kills the bait instead! However, the tiger dies of a heart attack because of the loud gun report. Mrs. Packletide ignores this fact and claims she shot the tiger, assuming Miss Mebbin will not say a word as she is merely a ―paid companion.‖ The villagers keep quiet so as not to jeopardise their reward.

Upon returning to England Mrs. Packletide has her revenge and gains admiration from everyone except, of course, Loona Bimberton. Once the fuss has died down we begin to see Mrs. Packletide enjoying happiness and we beg for repercussions. Saki answers our plea! Miss Mebbin returns to her old boss to blackmail her into paying for an idyllic cottage, which she does, promptly. We cheer enthusiastically!

In my view Saki achieved his goal superbly. By making Mrs. Packletide such a fake show-off with his sardonic tone and extravagant language, we grow hateful of her. Her petty, selfish nature annoys us and the extremes she will go to achieve her aims are deplorable. Although Miss Mebbin is a nasty piece of work herself, we still support her disloyalty towards Mrs. Packletide because it results in her comeuppance. The betrayal of Mrs. Packletide gives us the ending we want to this humorous story and leaves us in no doubt as to Saki‘s feelings towards the upper classes.


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