Short Questions and Answers
1. What difficulty do the crew of the space probe face on Earth?
Answer: The space probe lands in a public library. The crew is shocked because the place looked very strange as they had no idea of books. They think the library to be some kind of storage barn. They are puzzled (confused) as they are not familiar with books.
2. How does Think-Tank think tank explain the books to his probe crew?
Answer: Think-Tank told his crew that the books were sandwiches. He even ordered his crew to eat them. Then, he called them communication devices and later he said that they were meant for watching. Think-Tank also asked the probe crew to listen to them.
3. Why do the space probe crew take vitamins?
Answer: Think-Tank wanted the probe to find out what was in the books. So, the probe crew take vitamins to increase their intelligence. They are able to read books after taking those vitamins. The book was ‘Mother Goose’ and the lines were about Mistress Mary and her garden of cockle shells and silver bells.
4. What is Think-Tank’s interpretation of words like ‘shells’, ‘silver bells’ and ‘garden’ from the nursery rhyme? What is its impact?
Answer: Think-Tank interprets the given words to mean that the earthlings grew shells and silver in their gardens. This caused him to withhold their planned invasion of Earth as he felt that Earth was more advanced than Mars. As they had taught animals culture and music.
5. Think-Tank thinks that Earthlings are after him. What is the reason?
Answer: Think-Tank crew read about Humpty-Dumpty’s fall in the rhyme and showed the picture to Think-Tank. Think-Tank’s head resembled that of Humpty-Dumpty. This makes Think-Tank feel that earthlings were planning to invade Mars and capture him.
6. Describe Think-Tank in your own words.
Answer: Think-Tank is the ruler of the planet Mars. His head is huge and egg-shaped. He wears a robe decorated with stars in circles. He is very proud of his Intelligence and might. But he is terrified when he is sent a picture of Humpty-Dumpty on Earth.
7. How did one old book of nursery rhymes save the Earth from a Martian invasion? or How did a book change Think-Tank‘s opinion about the Earthlings?
Answer: This book is totally misunderstood by the Martians. The Martians thought that earthlings were planning to invade Mars. So, they cancelled their invasion of Earth and went back. Think-Tank totally misunderstands the book. Phrases like ‘shell’, ‘silver’, ‘garden’ gave him a false idea that earthlings grew silver and weapons. He starts thinking that earthlings are very advanced technologically.
Long Questions and Answers
1. Noodle hails Think-Tank as the most powerful and intelligent creature in the whole universe. Do you agree? Write your opinion of Think-Tank citing instances from the given text.
Answer: Noodle is a trainee under Think-Tank. He bows before him and hails his ruler as the most powerful and intelligent creature in the universe. However, Think-Tank is not really intelligent. He misinterprets the nursery rhymes completely. ‘Silver’, ‘shells’ and ‘garden’ for him mean that the earthlings are growing metals in farms.
He thinks books to be sandwiches and wants the crew to eat them. When he is read out the nursery rhyme which says ‘Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall’ he is terrified and plans his escape from Mars. Thus Think-Tank is nothing more than a show off and a pompous fool. So, later on Noodle succeeds Think-Tank and becomes the ruler of Mars and becomes friends with Earth.
2. Compare and contrast the characters of Noodle and Think-Tank.
Answer: Noodle and Think-Tank have contrasting characters. Think-Tank likes to be called the ‘Great and the Mighty’. He orders and commands. He is the ruler of Mars but has no intelligence. He thinks books to be sandwiches. He is a wrong about everything. He demands that the crew obey him. He likes to pass on other’s ideas as his own. He is a coward who simply boasts about his power. Noodle, his apprentice, is very clever and wise. He corrects the mistakes of the ruler (Think-Tank) very gently. He never takes credit for his ideas. But he offers them to the ruler very gently. Think-Tank makes them as his own.
When Noodle succeeds Think-Tank and becomes the head of Mars, he becomes friend with earthlings. While Think-Tank was afraid of earthlings, Noodle allows earthlings to set up a library there. So they are poles apart to each other.
3. The play, ‘The Book That Saved the Earth’ conveys the message that misunderstanding of cultural differences between various races can cause confusion and conflict. Based on your reading of the play, write how such confusion and conflicts can be checked so that peace and harmony is maintained.
Answer: The confusion in the mind of Think-Tank occurred due to the literal interpretation of the nursery rhymes in the book ‘Mother Goose’. To ensure that conflicts are checked so that peace and harmony are maintained cultural differences should be sorted out by initially sending mature and wise people from one culture to the other to establish contact before deciding to wage war.
Think-Tank had sent an initial probe, but the crew members of the probe were not sufficiently intelligent or mature to understand Earth’s culture. That is why they literally interpreted the nursery rhymes and caused misunderstanding the mind of Think-Tank.
He even called the books, sandwiches and ordered probe to eat them. And when Noodle wisely said that it might be the medium of communication, he asked them to listen them. This shows that Martians were not aware of earthlings culture, which made them puzzled and frightened. Only by spreading awareness and peace, one can think of checking these kinds of conflicts between various races. They have to respect others and their culture as well to behave like friends.