Discuss in pairs and answer each question below in a short paragraph (30 − 40 words).

1. “The sound was familiar one.” What sound did the doctor hear? What did he think it was? How many times did he hear it? (Find the places in the text.) When and why did the sounds stop?

2. What two “important” and “earth-shaking” decisions did the doctor take while he was looking into the mirror?

3. “I looked into the mirror and smiled,” says the doctor. A little later he says, “I forgot my danger and smiled feebly at myself.” What is the doctor’s opinion about himself when: (i) he first smiles, and (ii) he smiles again? In what way do his thoughts change in between, and why?

1. The doctor heard a scuttling sound, which he thought to be of the rats.

He heard it thrice: as he entered his room; after combing; while looking at himself in the mirror.

The sounds stopped after the doctor heard a dull thud, because the snake had fallen to the ground.

2. While looking into the mirror, the doctor took two “important” and “earth shaking” decisions: that he would shave daily and grow a thin moustache; and that he would always wear an attractive smile on his face to look handsome

3. (i) When the doctor first smiles, he has an inflated opinion of himself, admiring his looks and profession.

(ii) In the second instance, the doctor smiles at his foolishness and helplessness.

His thoughts change after his encounter with the snake—from being a proud doctor he moves on to accept his stupidity.

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