NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Chapter 9 The Snake And The Mirror are provided here with simple step-by-step explanations. These solutions for The Snake And The Mirror are extremely popular among Class 9 students for English The Snake And The Mirror Solutions come handy for quickly completing your homework and preparing for exams. All questions and answers from the NCERT Book of Class 9 English Chapter 9 are provided here for you for free. You will also love the ad-free experience on Meritnation’s NCERT Solutions. All NCERT Solutions for class Class 9 English are prepared by experts and are 100% accurate.

Page No 56:

Question 1:

Do you like to look at yourself in the mirror? What do you think about at such times? Have you ever seen a dog, a cat or a bird look into a mirror? What do you think it sees?

Answer:

Yes, I like looking at myself in the mirror. At such times, I often think about the ways to make myself look more presentable to others.

No, I have not seen a dog, a cat or a bird look into a mirror. However, I have seen birds looking at their reflection in water. I think they do not realise that what they see is their own reflection and not another being of their own species facing them.

(A model answer has been provided for students' reference. It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer based on their own experience and understanding.)



Page No 60:

Question 1:

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?

Answer:

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.

Page No 60:

Question 2:

This story about a frightening incident is narrated in a humorous way. What makes it humorous? (Think of the contrasts it presents between dreams and reality. Some of them are listed below.)

1. (i) The kind of person the doctor is (money, possessions)

(ii) The kind of person he wants to be (appearance, ambition)

2. (i) The person he wants to marry

(ii) The person he actually marries

3. (i) His thoughts when he looks into the mirror

(ii) His thoughts when the snake is coiled around his arm

Write short paragraphs on each of these to get your answer.

Answer:

What makes this frightening story humourous is the interspersion of humourous and witty comments in the narration. Besides, the presentation of contrasts between dreams and reality also contribute to the humour element in the story. Some such contrasts are discussed below.

1. There is a visible discrepancy between the lifestyle of the doctor and his high opinion of himself. Even with a meagre income and modest living condition, he considers himself an eligible bachelor. He is extremely proud of his looks and profession. The special attention that he lays on his looks—on his moustache, hair and smile—to look handsome brings in the element of humour in the story.

2. There is also a contradiction between the kind of wife the doctor aspires for and the lady he finally marries. The doctor wants to marry a rich woman doctor. He also wants his wife to be fat, who would not be able to catch hold of him if someday he does something silly and has to run away from her. But, contrary to his wishes, he ends up getting married to a slim lady who could run like a “sprinter”.

3. When the doctor looks into the mirror, he is full of admiration for himself and thinks of ways to make his self more appealing. He decides to shave daily and keep a thin moustache. He regards his smile quite attractive and resolves to smile always. But, when the snake is coiled around his arm, he smiles for a different reason. This time it is at his foolishness and stupidity, as he did not have any medicines for snakebite. Perhaps he realises the futility of his vanity.



Page No 61:

Question 1:

Here are some sentences from the text. Say which of them tell you, that the author: (a) was afraid of the snake, (b) was proud of his appearance, (c) had a sense of humour, (d) was no longer afraid of the snake.

1. I was turned to stone.

2. I was no mere image cut in granite.

3. The arm was beginning to be drained of strength.

4. I tried in my imagination to write in bright letters outside my little heart the words, ‘O God’.

5. I didn’t tremble. I didn’t cry out.

6. I looked into the mirror and smiled. It was an attractive smile.

7. I was suddenly a man of flesh and blood.

8. I was after all a bachelor, and a doctor too on top of it!

9. The fellow had such a sense of cleanliness...! The rascal could have taken it and used it after washing it with soap and water.

10. Was it trying to make an important decision about growing a moustache or using eye shadow and mascara or wearing a vermilion spot on its forehead?

Answer:

 

(a) was afraid of the snake

(b) was proud of his appearance

(c) had a sense of humour

(d) was no longer afraid of the snake

1.

I was turned to stone.

 

 

 

2.

 

 

 

I was no mere image cut in granite.

3.

The arm was beginning to be drained of strength.

 

 

 

4.

I tried in my imagination to write in bright letters outside my little heart the words, 'O God'.

 

I tried in my imagination to write in bright letters outside my little heart the words, 'O God'.

 

5.

I didn’t tremble. I didn’t cry out.

 

 

 

6.

 

I looked into the mirror and smiled. It was an attractive smile.

 

 

7.

 

 

 

I was suddenly a man of flesh and blood.

8.

 

I was after all a bachelor, and a doctor too on top of it!

 

 

9.

 

 

The fellow had such a sense of cleanliness...! The rascal could have taken it and used it after washing it with soap and water.

 

10.

 

 

Was it trying to make an important decision about growing a moustache or using eye shadow and mascara or wearing a vermilion spot on its forehead.

 

 

Page No 61:

Question 2:

Expressions used to show fear

Can you find the expressions in the story that tell you that the author was frightened? Read the story and complete the following sentences.

1. I was turned ___________________________________________________.

2. I sat there holding _______________________________________________.

3. In the light of the lamp I sat there like _______________________________.

Answer:

1. I was turned to stone.

2. I sat there holding my breath.

3. In the light of the lamp I sat there like a stone image in the flesh.

Page No 61:

Question 3:

In the sentences given below some words and expressions are italicised. They variously mean that one

• is very frightened.

• is too scared to move.

• is frightened by something that happens suddenly.

• makes another feel frightened.

Match the meanings with the words/expressions in italics, and write the appropriate meaning next to the sentence. The first one has been done for you.

1. I knew a man was following me, I was scared out of my wits. (very frightened)

2. I got a fright when I realised how close I was to the cliff edge.

3. He nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw the bull coming towards him.

4. You really gave me a fright when you crept up behind me like that.

5. Wait until I tell his story — it will make your hair stand on end.

6. Paralysed with fear, the boy faced his abductors.

7. The boy hid behind the door, not moving a muscle.

Answer:

1. I knew a man was following me, I was scared out of my wits. (very frightened)

2. I got a fright when I realised how close I was to the cliff edge. (frightened by something that happens suddenly)

3. He nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw the bull coming towards him. (very frightened)

4. You really gave me a fright when you crept up behind me like that. (frightened by something that happens suddenly)

5. Wait until I tell his story — it will make your hair stand on end. (makes another feel frightened)

6. Paralysed with fear, the boy faced his abductors. (too scared to move)

7. The boy hid behind the door, not moving a muscle. (too scared to move)



Page No 62:

Question 4:

Reported questions

Study these sentences:

• His friend asked, “Did you see the snake the next day, doctor?”

His friend asked the doctor whether/if he had seen the snake the next day.

• The little girl wondered, “Will I be home before the TV show begins?”

The little girl wondered if/whether she would be home before the TV show began.

• Someone asked, “Why has the thief left the vest behind?”

Someone asked why the thief had left the vest behind.

The words if/whether are used to report questions which begin with: do, will, can, have, are etc. These questions can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Questions beginning with why/when/where/how/which/what are reported using these same words.

The reporting verbs we use in questions with if/whether/why/when etc. are: ask, inquire and wonder.

Remember that in reported speech,

• the present tense changes to past tense

• here, today, tomorrow, yesterday etc. change to there, that day, the next day, the day before, etc.

• I/you change to me/him/he, etc., as necessary.

Example: • He said to me, “I don’t believe you.”

                  He said he did not believe me.

                • She said to him, ‘I don’t believe you.’

                  She told him that she did not believe him.

Report these questions using if/whether or why/when/where/how/which/what.

Remember the italicised verbs change into the past tense.

1. Meena asked her friend, “Do you think your teacher will come today?”

2. David asked his colleague, “Where will you go this summer?”

3. He asked the little boy, “Why are you studying English?”

4. She asked me, “When are we going to leave?”

5. Pran asked me, “Have you finished reading the newspaper?”

6. Seema asked her, “How long have you lived here?”

7. Sheila asked the children “Are you ready to do the work?”

Answer:

1. Meena asked her friend if she thought her teacher would come that day.

2. David asked his colleague where he would go that summer.

3. He asked the little boy why he was studying English.

4. She asked me when we were going to leave.

5. Pran asked me if I had finished reading the newspaper.

6. Seema asked her how long she had lived there.

7. Sheila asked the children if they were ready to do the work.



Page No 63:

Question 1:

1. Try to rewrite the story without its humour, merely as a frightening incident. What details or parts of the story would you leave out?

 

 

Answer:

1. One hot summer night, a doctor returned home late at night. He heard a familiar scuttling sound of rats from above while opening the door. He heard the sound thrice. The doctor was sitting at a table—on which stood a lamp and a mirror—when he heard a dull thud as if a rubber tube had fallen to the ground. At the same time that the doctor turned his back to find out the source of the thud, he found a snake wriggling at the back of his chair. As the snake slowly slid along the arm of the doctor, he found himself paralysed with fear. The doctor sat there without a muscle moving, silently praying to God. The doctor felt helpless and foolish at that time as he did not have any medicine for snakebite. By chance, the snake turned his head to the mirror and it slowly slithered away towards it. Taking the opportunity, the doctor ran till he reached his friend's house, where he took bath and changed into fresh clothes. Next morning, he returned to his house to shift his belongings only to find that his belongings had been stolen by a thief.

To turn the story into just a frightening incident without humour, I would leave out the following elements from the story: the author's description about his beauty and his admiration of the same; his ambition to marry a fat and rich female doctor; the part about the snake admiring its beauty by looking into the mirror; the doctor's remark about the thief leaving back only his dirty vest.

 

Page No 63:

Question 2:

2. Read the description given alongside this sketch from a photograph in a newspaper (Times of India, 4 September 1999. Make up a story about what the monkey is thinking, or why it is looking into a mirror. Write a paragraph about it.

Answer:

2. One day, a monkey was preening itself in a broken piece of mirror that he had picked up from the nearby garbage bin. He looked at himself for a long time and wondered why the female monkey he had recently approached rejected him. He had earlier judged himself too handsome to be declined. But the sudden turn of events left him bewildered. Hence, that day looked at himself in the mirror for a considerable amount of time. Finally, he concluded that the female was a fool and that he actually was one of the best-looking monkeys in their troop. He spend some time contemplating which other female monkey was worth his attention. Having made him up his mind, he decided that he would ask his mother to pick out the excess lice from his body before approaching his new-found love.

(A model answer has been provided for students' reference. It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer using their own imagination and creativity.)

Page No 63:

Question 1:

Using some of the expressions given above in exercise III, talk about an incident when you were very scared. You may have a competition to decide whose story was the most frightening.

Answer:

Once we went on a school excursion to Jim Corbett. Me and my friend Chhavi were asleep in our room at the resort when we heard some noises–rustling of leaves, scratching sound on our door and rattling of pebbles. Both of us got up in a jerk. I sat on my bed paralysed with fear. There was silence for the next few minutes before we heard that scratching sound again. This time I nearly jumped out of my skin.  Chhavi got up from the bed to look out of the glass window but I sat there without moving a muscle. When she removed the blinders I could see darkness all around. Suddenly we noticed a hooded figure move in the darkness. Seeing this, my hair stood on end. Both of us started crying and shouting for help when we heard some voices calling our names. Somebody turned on the lights outside our room and we saw our friends standing outdoors. They apparently were playing a prank. Till this day I remember the way I was horrified and scared out of my wits.

(A model answer has been provided for students' reference. It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer based on their own experience.)



Page No 64:

Question 1:

The text you read is a translation of a story by a well-known Malayalam writer, Vaikom Muhammad Basheer.

In translating a story from one language to another, a translator must keep the content intact. However, the language and the style differ in different translations of the same text.

Here are two translations of the opening paragraphs of a novel by the Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami. Read them and answer the questions given below.

A

B

When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta.

I wanted to ignore the phone, not only because the spaghetti was nearly done, but because Claudio Abbado was bringing the London Symphony to its musical climax.

I’m in the kitchen cooking spaghetti when the woman calls. Another moment until the spaghetti is done; there I am, whistling the prelude to Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra along with the FM radio. Perfect spaghetti-cooking music!

I hear the telephone ring but tell myself, Ignore it. Let the spaghetti finish cooking. It’s almost done, and besides, Claudio Abbado and the London Symphony Orchestra are coming to a crescendo.

Compare the two translations on the basis of the following points.

• the tense of narration (past and present tense)

• short, incomplete sentences

• sentence length

Which of these translations do you like? Give reasons for your choice.

Answer:

On comparing the tense of narration used in the two translations, we find that while translation A uses the present tense, translation B uses the past tense to narrate the events. Besides, compared to those in translation B, the sentences in translation A are lengthier, using a number of conjunctions and modifiers. Translation B uses sentences that are short and conversational and, at times, incomplete.

I think translation A is better than translation B because even though the sentences in this translation are long, yet they are complete.



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