CBSE Class 8 English Literature Poem The Hitch Hiker By Roald Dahl

PROSE:The Hitch-Hiker By Roald Dahl

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was a British author and scriptwriter, and "the most popular writer of children's book since Enid Blyton", according to Philip Howard, the literary editor of The Times. The death of an elder sister and his father within a few months when he was three gave his writing "a black savagery". He was raised by his Norwegian mother, who took him on annual trips to Norway, where she told him the stories of trolls and witches present in the dark Scandinavian fables. Dahl was influenced by the stories, and returned to many of the themes in his children's books. His mother also nurtured a passion in the young Dahl for reading and literature.

 His first children's novel, James and the Giant Peach, was published in 1961, which was followed, along with others, by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), Fantastic Mr Fox (1970), Danny, the Champion of the World (1975), The BFG (1982) and Matilda in 1988.

SUMMARY

"The Hitchhiker," a short story by Roald Dahl, is about a man (the story's narrator) who picks up a hitchhiker while driving to London. The driver is pulled over for speeding by a police officer, who writes down the driver's and hitchhiker's information in a book. When the driver discovers that the hitchhiker stole the police officer's book, they pull off the road to burn it. 

The driver tells the hitchhiker that he is a writer, which makes it appear that he could, in fact, be Dahl himself. He appears proud of his BMW, and the hitchhiker encourages him to show how fast the car can go. This ultimately leads to his speeding ticket.

The hitchhiker, meanwhile, claims to be a "finger smith," which proves to be a delicate way of saying he is a pickpocket. He proves this when he shows the narrator that he has stolen his belt, and intends to steal money from the winners at the horse races they are headed to.

EXERCISES

I.  Answer with reference to context:

a) ‘Lovely!’ he cried. ‘Beautiful! Keep goin’!’

 I had the accelerator jammed right down against the floor and I held it there.

(i) Identify the lesson. Who was the speaker?

(ii) What was he asking the other person to do? 

b)‘I’m sorry’, I said. ‘It’s none of my business what you do. The trouble is.....

(i) Why was the speaker apologising?

(ii) What kind of a business was he referring to? 

c) ‘Carefully he copied the name and address from my license. Then he gave it back to me. He strolled around to the front of the car and read the number from the license plate and wrote that down as well.’

(i) Who was the person who copied down the name and address? Why?

 (ii) Explain the term ‘strolled 

II.  Answer the following questions briefly:

a) What did the hitchhiker say his job was?

b) Why won't the hitchhiker steal anything from the narrator?

c) What kind of car does the narrator drive? 

III.  Choose the correct answer from the options given below:

1. Why does the narrator pick up a hitchhiker?

a.  He hates traveling alone.               

b.. He loved dangerous situations.

c. He liked hitchhikers.          

d. He remembers when he was a hitchhiker and no one in a nice car would stop to pick him up. 

2. Where did the hitchhiker want to go?

a. The casino

b. The horse tracks

c. The horse stables

d. Chucky Cheese 

3. Why does the hitchhiker want the narrator to speed the car to as fast as it will go?

a. He wants to get him in trouble.

b. He has a pizza waiting for him at home.

c. He wants to see if the car dealer was telling the truth on how fast the car will actually go.

d. He likes speeding on the highway.

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