The Hundred Dresses – II By El Bsor Ester
While the class was circling the room, the monitor from the principal’s office brought Miss Mason a note. Miss Mason read it several times and studied it thoughtfully for a while. Then she clapped her hands.
“Attention, class. Everyone back to their seat.”
When the shuffling of feet had stopped and the room was still and quiet, Miss Mason said, “I have a letter from Wanda;s father that I want to read to you.”
Miss Mason stood there a moment and the teacher adjusted her glasses slowly and deliberately. Her manner indicated that what was coming – this letter from Wanda’s father – was a matter of great importance. Everybody listened closely as Miss Mason read the brief note.
My Wanda will not come to your school any more. Jake also. Now we move away to big city. No more holler ‘Pollack’. No more ask why funny name. Plenty of funny names in the big city.
A deep silence met the reading of this letter. Miss Mason took off her glasses, blew on them and wiped them on her soft white handkerchief. Then she put them on again and looked at the class. When she spoke her voice was very low.
“I am sure that none of the boys and girls in Room Thirteen would purposely and deliberately hurt anyone’s feelings because his or her name happened to be a long, unfamiliar one. I prefer to think that what was said was said in thoughtfulness. I know that all of you feel the way I do, that this is very unfortunate thing to have happened – unfortunate and sad, both. And I want you all to think about it.”
The first period was a study period. Maddie tried to prepare her lessons, but she could not put her mind on her work. She had a very sick feeling in the bottom of her stomach. True, she had not enjoyed listening to Peggy ask Wanda how many dresses she had in her closet, but she had said nothing. She stood by silently, and that was just as bad as what Peggy had done. Worse. She was a coward. At lest Peggy hadn’t considered they were being mean but she, Maddie, had thought they were doing wrong. She could put herself in Wanda’s shoes.
Goodness! Wasn’t there anything she could do? If only she could tell Wanda she hadn’t meant to hurt her feelings. She turned around and stole a glance at Peggy, but Peggy did not look up. She seemed to be studying hard. Well, whether Peggy felt badly or not, she, Maddie, had to do something. She had to find Wanda Petronski. Maybe she had not yet moved away. Maybe Peggy would climb the Heights with her, and they would tell Wanda she had won the contest, that they thought she was smart and the hundred dresses were beautiful.
When school was dismissed in the afternoon, Peggy said, with pretended casualness, “Hey, let’s go and see if that kid has left town or not.”
So Peggy had had the same idea! Maddie glowed. Peg was really all right.
The two girls hurried out of the building, up the street toward Boggins Heights, the part of town that wore such a forbidding air on this kind of a November afternoon, drizzly, damp and dismal.
“Well, at least,” said Peggy gruffly, “I never did call her a foreigner or make fun of her name. I never thought she had the sense to know we were making fun of her anyway. I thought she was too dumb. And gee, look how she can draw!”
Maddie could say nothing. All she hoped was that they would find Wanda. She wanted to tell her that they were sorry they had picked on her, and how wonderful the whole school thought she was, and please, not to move away and everybody would be nice. She and Peggy would fight anybody who was not nice.
The two girls hurried on. They hoped to get to the top of the hill before dark.
“I think that’s where the Petronskis live,” said Maddie, pointing to a little white house. Wisps of old grass stuck up here and there along the pathway like thin kittens. The house and its sparse little yard looked shabby but clean. It reminded Maddie of Wanda’s one dress, her faded blue cotton dress, shabby but clean.
There was not a sign of life about the house. Peggy knocked firmly on the door, but there was no answer. She and Maddie went around to the back yard and knocked there. Still there was no answer.
There was not doubt about it. The Petronskis were gone. How could they ever make amends?
They turned slowly and made their way back down the hill.
“Well, anyway,” said Peggy, “she’s gone now, so what can we do? Besides, when I was asking her about all her dresses, she probably was getting good ideas for her drawings. She might not even have won the contest, otherwise.”
Maddie turned this idea carefully over in her head, for if there were anything in it she would not have to feel so badly. But the night she could not get to sleep. She thought about Wanda and her faded blue dress and the little house she had lived in. And she thought of the glowing picture those hundred dresses made – all lined up in the classroom. At last Maddie sat up in bed and pressed her forehead tight in her hands and really thought. This was the hardest thinking she had ever done. After a long, long time, she reached an important conclusion.
She was never going to stand by and say nothing again.
If she ever heard anybody picking on someone because they were funny looking or because they had strange names, she’d speak up. Even if it meant losing Peggy’s friendship. She had no way of making things right with Wanda, but from now on she would never make anybody else that unhappy again.
On Saturday Maddie spent the afternoon with Peggy. They were writing a letter to Wanda Petronski. It was just a friendly letter telling about the contest and telling Wanda she had won. They told her how pretty her drawings were. And they asked her if she liked where she was living and if she liked her new teacher. They had meant to say they were sorry, bit it ended up with their just writing a friendly letter, the kind they would have written to any good friend, and they signed it with lost of X’s for love. They mailed the letter to Boggins Heights, writing ‘Please Forward’ on the envelope.
Days passed and there was no answer, but the letter did not come back, so maybe Wanda had received it. Perhaps she was so hurt and angry she was not going to answer. You could not blame her.
Weeks went by and still Wanda did not answer. Peggy had begun to forget the whole business, and Maddie put herself to sleep at night making speeches about Wanda, defending her from great crows of girls who were trying to tease her with, “How many dresses have you got?” And before Wanda could press her lips together in tight line, the way she did before answering, Maddie would cry out, “Stop!” Then everybody would feel ashamed the way she used to feel.
Now it was Christmas time and there was snow on the ground. Christmas bells and a small tree decorated the classroom. On the last day of school before the holidays, the teacher showed the class a letter she had received that morning.
“You remember Wanda Petronski, the gifted little artist who won the drawing contest? Well, she has written me, and I am glad to know where she lives, because now I can send her medal. I want to read her letter to you.”
The class sat up with a sudden interest and listened intently.
Dear Miss Mason,
How are you and Room Thirteen? Please tell the girls they can keep those hundred dresses, because in my new house I have a hundred new ones, all lined up in my closet. I’d like that Peggy to have the drawing of the green dress with the red trimming, and her friend Maddie to have the blue one. For Christmas, I miss that school and my new teacher does not equalise with you. Merry Christmas to you and everybody.
On the way home from school Maddie and Peggy held their drawings very carefully. All the houses had wreaths and holly in the windows. Outside the grocery store, hundreds of Christmas trees were stacked, and in the window, candy peppermint sticks and cornucopias of shiny transparent paper were strung. The air smelled like Christmas and light shining everywhere reflected different colours on the snow.
“Boy!” said Peggy, “this shows she really likes us. It show she got our letter and this is her way of saying that everything’s all right. And that’s that.”
“I hope so,” said Maddie sadly. She felt sad because she knew she would never see the little tight-lipped Polish girl again and couldn’t ever really make things right between them.
She went home and she pinned her drawing over a torn place in the pink-flowered wallpaper in the bedroom. The shabby room came alive from the brilliancy of the colours. Maddie sat down on her bed and looked at the drawing. She had stood by and said nothing, but Wanda had been nice to her, anyway.
Tears blurred her eyes and she gazed for a long time at the picture. Then hastily she rubber her eyes and studied it intently. The colours in the dress were so vivid that she had scarcely noticed the face and head of the drawing. But it looked like her, Maddie! It really looked like her own mouth. Why it really looked like her own self! Wanda had really drawn this for her. Excitedly, she ran over to Peggy’s.
“Peg!” she said, “let me see your picture.”
“What’s the matter?” asked Peggy, as they clattered up to her room where Wanda’s drawing was lying face down on the bed. Maddie carefully raised it.
“Look! She drew you. That’s you!” she exclaimed. And the head and face of this picture did look like Peggy.
“What did I say!” said Peggy, “She must have really liked us, anyway.”
“Yes, she must have,” agreed Maddie, and she blinked away the tears that came every time she thought of Wanda standing alone in that sunny spot in the school yard, looking stolidly over the group of laughing girls after she had walked off, after she had said, “Sure, a hundred of them, all lined up.”
The Hundred Dresses – II Summary
Letter to Miss Mason from Wanda’s Father
When everybody was praising Wanda’s art and drawings of a hundred dresses drawn by her, a notice from the principal came. Everybody was asked to assemble. Miss Mason announced that she had a letter from Wanda’s father and she would read it loudly before the class.
Miss Mason reads the Letter
Miss Mason read the letter in Which Mr Petronski, Wanda’s father, told about Wanda’s absence and informed that she was leaving the school because she was fed up of all the bullying that was going on. He informed that his family was going to settle in a big city, where people are not going to laugh or tease them for their name which everyone considered funny.
Miss Mason’s Reaction to the Letter
When Miss Mason finished the letter, she understood the manner and asked everyone not to hurt anyone’s feelings due to his or her name. She asked them to think about this matter. As Mr Petronski hadn’t blamed anyone, the students of the class felt ashamed.
Peggy and Maddie’s Reaction
When Miss Mason left the class, everybody was silent feeling ashamed of their behaviour towards Wanda. Though Wanda’s father hadn’t blamed them but Peggy and Maddie were guilty of their behaviour. Maddie was very upset though she never teased Wanda directly. She remained a silent spectator and never stopped Peggy. Peggy who teased Wanda everytime also felt ashamed and both of them decided to go to her home to seek forgiveness.
Repentance of Peggy and Maddie
After the school was over, both Peggy and Maddie went to Wanda’s house at Boggins Heights. Peggy still believed that she hadn’t done any harm but Wanda had taken it otherwise.
Wanda’s house had a worn down look but was neat and lean just like her faded blue dress. But the family had already left.
Maddie was very upset and felt that she would never be able to express her gratitude to Wanda.
A Friendly Letter to Wanda from Peggy and Maddie
Peggy tried to defend herself although she felt sorry for her behaviour. She said if she hadn’t teased Wanda about her hundred dresses, she would not have got such an idea to draw the dresses and won the contest.
But Maddie decided that she would never be silent and oppose others against teasing anyone even if she had to lose her friend. They wrote a letter, telling Wanda about the result of drawing competition. They meant to ask forgiveness for their rude and mean behaviour by doing so.
Maddie and Peggy waited long for Wanda’s reply to their friendly letter. After a few months, they got the reply addressed to Miss Mason. She asked Miss Mason to give the drawing of the green dress to Peggy and the blue one to Maddie. She told her that she had joined a new school but missed her old school and her teacher.
Maddie ran through thoughts about the events and pinned the dress on her wall. She could see her face in that dress. She ran over to Peggy’s home and they both looked at the green dress with red trimming so that they could see Peggy’s face in it. Maddie started to cry remembering all the insulting statements she passed for Wanda. Peggy consoled her.
In the second part of the story, Wanda leaves the school without any prior information. She does not even attend the school when she was being announced a winner of the drawing contest. Her father writes a letter to Miss Mason about the reason. The students feel ashamed for their behaviour especially Peggy and Maddie. They both realise their mistake and write a letter to Wanda in a friendly manner. Wanda replies and requests Miss Mason to give her two drawings to Peggy and Maddie.
About the Characters
Wanda Petronski : A poor Polish girl with a funny name, wears same blue dress always, boasts of having a hundred dresses.
Peggy : Always teases Wanda, creates a game to ask Wanda about dresses, different fro mothers, never made Wanda cry by teasing, the most popular and pretty girl in the school.
Maddie : Always teases Wanda, does not want others to tease her, a very close friend of Peggy, a poor.
Miss Mason : Their class teacher, who helps the students and supports them.
Mr Petronski : Wanda’s father who wrote the letter to Miss Mason about Wanda’s absence in the school.
- Miss Mason made the classroom fully attentive before reading out the letter by Wanda’s father informing about her absence.
- The Petronski family decided to settle in a big city to avoid the humiliation of Wanda at the school.
- Everybody got shocked and felt sorry after listening to the letter of Mr Petronski.
- Maddie was very upset and couldn’t concentrate on her studies.
- Maddie felt herself coward as she never stopped Peggy from making fun of wanda.
- Maddie and Peggy went to find Wanda at her house at Boggins Heights. They could not meet her as she had already left the place with her family.
- Perry tried to defend her behaviour but Maddie was not happy for all of that.
- Peggy and Maddie wrote a letter to Wanda telling her she had won the contest. But Wanda did not reply for a long time.
- Wanda wrote a letter to Miss Mason to giver her drawing to the girls as she had new ones at her home.
- Wanda missed her old school and her teacher. She wanted to gift special drawings of a green dress and a blue one to Peggy and Maddie respectively.
- Maddie found her own face in the drawing she got form Miss Mason sketched by Wanda.
- She rushed to Peggy’s house to tell that. Both Peggy and Maddie found Peggy’s face in the green dress gifted to Peggy .
- Maddie cried for her behaviour and promised herself not to be a silent spectator anymore even if she was to lose her close friend.
- Peggy consoled her by saying that Wanda liked them.
- Maddie agreed and blinked away the tears that came every time she thought of Wanda Petronski.
circling : taking a round
clapped her hands : beat her hands
shuffling : beating the floor by the feet
tense and expectant : serious and hopeful
adjusted : set right
deliberately : knowingly
indicated : showed
listened closely : heard with attention
holler : crying
pollack : meaningless word suggesting anger
unfamiliar : not known
thoughtlessness : carelessness
closet : almirah
coward : lacking courage, timid
mean : very low in mentality
stole a glance : looked secretly
casualness : being careless
glowed : (here) got hopeful
forbidding : (here) very bad
drizzly : with rain coming
damp and dismal : wet and sad
gruffy : roughly
gee : (an exclamatory word)
wisps : pieces
kittens : young ones of cats
sparse : little
shabby : dirty
firmly : with force
make amends : repair
probably : possibly
glowing : brilliant, beautiful
conclusion : result
picking on someone : treating someone unkindly
mailed : sent by post
defending : protecting
tease : trouble
decorated : beautified
gifted : with a gift
intently : with an attention
trimming : decorating, making small and neat
equalise : to become equal
wreaths : garlands
holly : a plant
grocery : where things of household use are sold
stacked : kept, arranged neatly in a pile
candy : sweet
peppermint : sweet mint
cornucopias : decorate containers having flowers and fruits etc.
shiny : bright
transparent : quite clear
strung : hung
reflected : shown back
pinned: put with a pin
brilliancy : brightness
blurred : made eyesight unclear
gazed : looked intently
intently : keenly
vivid ; clear
clattered up : walked with
blinked away : winked
stolidly : not showing any feeling; firmly
Questions and Answers
Oral Comprehension Check (page 74)
Question 1 : What did Mr Petronski’s letter say?
Answer : Mr Petronski’s letter was to inform the principal and Miss Mason that Wanda would not come to school as she was fed up of being bullied in the school.They were going to shift to a bigger place where nobody would make fun of their last name.
Question 2 : Is Miss Mason angry with the class or is he unhappy and upset?
Answer : Miss Mason seems to be unhappy and upset rather than angry because she had never expected such a behaviour from the students. She wants everyone to think about it and asks them not to look down anyone in the class.
Question 3 : How does Maddie feel after listening to the note from Wanda’s father?
Answer : Maddie feels sorry and ashamed for the behaviour although she herself did not make fun of Wanda. She never tried to stop Peggy and do so and remained a silent spectator. She feels as a coward.
Question 4 : What does Maddie want to do?
Answer : Maddie wants to amend her behaviour towards Wanda. She wants to meet her to apologise. She decides to find Wanda at her house at Boggins Heights. She also wants to convey that all was meant in good humour and people really love her.
Oral Comprehension Check (Page 76)
Question 1 : What excuses does Peggy think of giving in justification of her behaviour? Why?
Answer : Peggy tries to defend herself by saying that her behaviour towards Wanda inspired her to explore her drawing skill as she sketched a hundred dresses and made her win the drawing contest.
Question 2 : What are Maddie ‘s thoughts as they go to Boggins Heights?
Answer : Maddie was feeling ashamed and apologetic for being a silent spectator while Peggy humiliated Wanda. She was feeling upset and distraught for Wand and herself. She was also repenting for not stopping Peggy for behaving badly with Wanda.
Question 3 : Why does Wanda’s house remind Maddie of Wanda’s blue dress?
Answer : Wanda’s house was sparse, old and faded but neat and clean like her blue dress that she wore everyday to school. Thus, Maddie was reminded of the same old blue dress.
Question 4 : What does Maddie think hard about? What important decision does she come to?
Answer : Maddie thinks about not to be mute spectator anymore that she had been in case of Wanda. She promises herself about not letting any injustice happen to anyone even if she would have to lose a friend in this.
Oral Comprehension Check (page 79)
Question 1 : What did the girls write in the letter?
Answer : Maddie in Peggy wrote a friendly letter to Wanda. They wanted to apologise for their behaviour but they ended up asking her whether she liked her new school and teacher. They informed her about her sketches winning the drawing competition. They praised her drawing skill and also told how much other students liked her art. The letter was just a usual letter one may write a good friend.
Question 2 : Did Maddie and Peggy get a reply? Who was more anxious for a reply? How do you know?
Answer : No, they didn’t get a reply from Wanda. Maddie was more anxious for a reply than Peggy because she was very upset and feeling sad for Wanda. She had assumed that Wanda was deeply hurt so she was not replying, and blamed herself for everything. Maddie used to have sleepless nights and saw frightful dreams about Wanda.
Question 3 : How did the girls know that Wanda liked them even though they had teased her?
Answer : Both Maddie and Peggy realised that Wanda liked them although they had teased her because she had gifted them her two beautiful dresses – a green one with red trimmings to Peggy and the blue on to Maddie. She had even drawn their faces in the painting of the dresses they got.
Thinking about the Text (Page 79, 80)
Question 1 : Why do you think Wanda’s family moved to a different city? Do you think life there was going to be different for their family?
Answer : Wanda’s family moved to a different city due to the racist and insulting behaviour of students towards Wanda and her brother. They were teased by other students for their funny name and blue dress. Life there in a different city was going to be different because people there did not have such a narrow mind and would not tease them because of their name or status.
Question 2 : Maddie thought her silence was as bad as Peggy’s teasing. Was she right?
Answer : Yes, Maddie thought that her silence was as bad as Peggy’s teasing because it is often said that turning a blind eye to a crime is worse than committing a crime. So, by being silent, she indirectly encouraged Peggy to do son.
Question 3 : Peggy says, “I never thought she had sense to know we were making fun of her anyway. I thought she was too dumb. And gee, look how she can draw!” What led Peggy to believe that Wanda was dumb? Did she change her opinion later?
Answer : Wanda never replied to Peggy’s misbehaviour and pranks that she faced everyday. So, her neutral face and unusual behaviour led Peggy to think that Wanda was dumb. Wanda even described the hundred dresses though she wore the same old faded blue dress everyday. But later Peggy changed her opinion after having a look on Wanda’s sketches and her gesture of gifting her a beautiful drawing from her collection.
Question 4 : What important decision did Maddie make? Why did she have to think hard to do so?
Answer : Maddie decided to go to Wanda’s house with Peggy to apologise and amend for all that had happened her. Wanda had left her house with her family. She felt bad because she thought of herself as a coward who did not stop Peggy to insult Wanda. So, she decided to raise voice against injustice and bullying. She was firm on not beng a mute spectator anymore.
Question 5 : Why did you think Wanda give Maddie and Peggy the drawings of the dresses? Why are they surprised?
Answer : When Maddie and Peggy wrote a letter to Wanda, she might have understood their feelings behind their letter and during the dresses fame, she had observed both of them. So she requested Miss Mason to give two of her drawings to them and taught them a lesson of life. Maddie and Peggy were surprised as Wanda gifted them the drawings with their faces.
Question 6 : Do you think Wanda really thought the girls were teasing her? Why or why not?
Answer : Wanda was aware of the misbehaviour of the girls who teased her everyday but she remained calm. To keep them mum, she fabricated a story of having a hundred dresses and and sixty pairs of matching shoes in her closet. She taught them a lesson of life by the drawings of the hundred beautiful dresses she claimed to have.
Thinking about Language (Page 80, 81)
Question 2 : What adjectives can we used to describe Peggy. Wanda and Maddie? You can choose adjectives from given in the chapter. You can also add some of your own.
- Peggy ……………..
- Wanda ………………….
- Maddie …………….
Answer : 1. Peggy : Sarcastic, thoughtless, zealous, unforgiving,arrogant, cruel, haughty, proud, vain.
2. Wanda : Kind, courteous, introverted, talented, lonely, determined, complacent, contented, generous, friendly, interpid, sensitive, compassionate, creative.
3. Maddie : Insipid, timid, placid, stolid
Question 3 : Find the sentences in the story with the following phrasal verbs.
lined up, thought up, took off, stood by
Answer : 1. Lined up ” She thought of the glowing picture of those hundred dresses all lined up in the classroom.
2. Thought up : Peggy who had thought up this game and Maddie her inseparable friend, were always the last to leave.
3. Took off : Miss Mason took off her glasses, blew on them and wiped them on her soft white handkerchief.
4. Stood by : She had stood by silently and that was just as bad as what Peggy had done.
Question 4 : Colours are used to describe feelings, moods and emotions. Match the following ‘colour expressions’ with a suggested paraphrase.
- The Monday morning blues : feel embarrassed / angry /ashamed
- To go red in the face : feel very sick, as if about to vomit
- Look green : sadness or depression after a weekend of fun
- The red carpet : the sign or permission to being an action
- Blue-blooded : a sign of surrender or acceptance of defeat; a wish to stop fighting
- A green belt : in an unlawful act; while doing something wrong
- A blackguard : a photographic print of building plans; a detailed plan or scheme
- A grey area : land around a town or city where construction is prohibited by law
- A white flag : an area of a subject or a situation where matters are not very clear
- A blue print : a dishonest person with no sense of right or wrong.
- Red-handed : a special welcome
- The green light : a noble birth or from a royal family
- The Monday morning blues : sadness or depression after a weekend of fun
- To go red in the face : feel embarrassed / angry /ashamed
- Look green : feel very sick, as if about to vomit
- The red carpet : a special welcome
- Blue-blooded : a noble birth or from a royal family
- A green belt : land around a town or city where construction is prohibited by law
- A blackguard : a dishonest person with no sense of right or wrong.
- A grey area : an area of a subject or a situation where matters are not very clear
- A white flag : a sign of surrender or acceptance of defeat; a wish to stop fighting
- A blue print : a photographic print of building plans; a detailed plan or scheme
- Red-handed : in an unlawful act; while doing something wrong
- The green light : the sign or permission to being an action
Extract Based Questions
Read the following extracts carefully and choose the correct option.
Question 1 : While the class was circling the room, the monitor from the principal’s office brought Miss Mason a note. Miss Mason read it several times and studies it thoughtfully for a while. Then she clapped her hands. “Attention, class. Everyone back to their seat.” When the shuffling of feet has stopped and the room was still and quiet, Miss Mason said, “I have a letter from Wanda’s father that I want to read to you.” Miss Mason stood there a moment and the silence in the room grew tense and expectant. The teacher adjusted her glasses slowly and deliberately.
i) What was in the note that Miss Mason got from the principal’s office?
a) Monetary prize for Wanda
b) A letter from Wanda’s father
c) Wanda’s confession of lying
d) Expression of sorry from Peggy
ii) What did Miss Mason do before reading the note?
a) Warned the class to be silent
b) Had a glass of water
c) Kept the book on the table
d) Adjusted her glasses slowly and deliberately
iii) Who wrote the note to Miss Mason?
a) Wanda’s father
b) Wanda herself
d) The principal
iv) What does the word ‘deliberately’ used in the extract mean?
Answer : i) b) A letter from Wanda’s father
ii) d) Adjusted her glasses slowly and deliberately
iii) a) Wanda’s father
iv) c) Knowingly
Question 2 : A deep silence met the reading of this letter. Miss Mason took off her glasses, blew on them and wiped them on her soft white handkerchief. Then she put them on again and looked at the class. When she spoke, her vice was very low. “I am sure that none of the boys and girls in Room Thirteen would purposely and deliberately hurt anyone’s feelings because this or her name happened to be a long, unfamiliar one. I prefer to think that what was said as said in thoughtlessness. I know that all of you feel the way I do, that this is a very unfortunate thing to have happened – unfortunate and sad, both. And I want you all to think about it.”
i) How did Miss Mason feel when she finished reading the letter of Wanda’s father?
a) Low in voice and at heart
ii) What did Miss Mason say to the class?
a) that you deserve punishment
b) that you should introspect and think twice before uttering something from your mouth
c) That you should be awarded
d) That I do not want to see your face
iii) What was the reaction of Miss Mason after reading the letter?
a) Happy and relieved
b) Stressed and angry
c) Unhappy and disappointed
d) Confident and victorious
iv) Find out the word in the extract which means ‘inappropriate’.
Answer : i) a) Low in voice and at heart
ii) b) that you should introspect and think twice before uttering something from your mouth
iii) c) Unhappy and disappointed
iv) d) Unfortunate
Short Questions and Answers
Question 1 : Why did Wanda’s father Mr Petronski write a letter to the principal and MIss Mason?
Answer : Mr Petronski, Wanda’s father , wrote a letter to the principal and Miss Mason to tell them the truth behind Wanda’s absence from the school. He wrote that he was upset to know that his daughter was bullied in the school by some of her classmates because of her strange name and poverty.
Question 2 : What do you think about Wanda’s action of not coming to school anymore?
Answer : Peggy and Maddie with other girls in the school teased Wanda because of her name and the hundred dresses which she boasted to have at home. But, she never replied angrily or fought with them. Instead of that she preferred to keep herself silent and calm. Due to insult she faced, she decided not to come to school anymore.
Question 3 : How did Peggy and Maddie try to amend for their behaviour towards Wanda?
Answer : Peggy and Maddie decided to change their behaviour after Wanda’s incident. Peggy had tried to justify her behaviour towards Wanda that it was not her dress for which she teased her but she indirectly encouraged her for those beautiful drawings. And, that made her the winner of the drawing competition. While Maddie decided not to be a silent spectator and promised herself that she would try to protect if anyone would be mocked down.
Question 4 : How did Peggy and Maddie know that Wanda had received their letter?
Answer : Peggy and Maddie got to know that Wanda had finally received their letter in which they had apologised for their behaviour to her because Wanda had sent a letter to Miss Mason after a few months. In the letter, she requested her to gift her drawings to both of them which she had drawn in the drawing contest.
Question 5 : Why was there no reply to the letter written to Wanda by the girls?
Answer : Peggy and Maddie wrote a friendly letter to Wanda as their apology for their behaviour after a visit to her home in Boggins Heights. But they did not receive any reply from her. It was either because of her anger towards them or because they wrote the address of her old house in Boggins Heights as they had no idea about her new address of school. So, both of them got bad feelings for their behaviour towards her.
Question 6 : Why did Maddie have sleepless nights?
Answer : Maddie had sleepless nights because she was very upset about what all had happened and could not amend her behaviour towards Wanda. Though she had not teased her remained a mute spectator and never opposed Peggy and other girls to do the same. She felt ashamed that she would never be able to express her gratitude to Wanda.
Question 7 : What impression do you form of Wanda Petronski on the basis of reading the lesson “The Hundred Dresses”?
What kind of girl was Wanda Petronski?
Answer : Wanda Petronski is very kind and simple-hearted; she never behaves badly with anyone. She is very talented and has a good hand at drawing. She also wins the drawing contest and thus shows her creative side.
She is forgiving and generous as she forgives Peggy and Maddie by gifting them two of her drawings.
So, it can be said that she is a mature , sensible and loving girl who cares about everyone.
Long Questions and Answers
Question 1 : You are ‘Wanda’. You are deeply hurt by the behaviour of your classmates. Express your feelings in the form of a diary entry.
Tuesday, 30th March , 20xx
I am very much aggrieved and disturbed by the insulting words of my classmates: Peggy and Maddie, as both of them leave no stone unturned to look me down. And being a Polish girl having a long name, I feel helpless to revert them in the same coin. Peggy is vain; she teases me by asking about my dress. She asks me how many dresses, shoes, hats etc do I have. When I reply that I have a hundred dresses and sixty pair of shoes; they ask whether all of them are different colours and designs. Maddie always remains calm and thus supports Peggy in doing so; she lacks courage to state what is right and what is wrong.
I never react and try to smile at their irritating questions because I know, there will be no difference between me and them if I too turn the table to their side in the same way. Now that my father has come to know what I am going through, he has decided to shift to another city in order to avoid confrontation (conflict) and racism as such humiliating circumstances can neither be tolerated nor can be accepted.
Question 2 : How can you say that Maddie is an emotional girl? Compare and contrast Maddie and Peggy.
Answer : By a close reading of the lesson, it can be said that Mddie is an emotional girl. Being a close friend of Peggy, she remains by her side when Peggy teases Wanda but she feels bad for her. She decides to write a note to Peggy to stop teasing Wanda but tears it as she doesn’t want to be the next target of fun. In the end, she decided to stand against anyone who teases others, even if she has to lose her friend, which shows her emotional attribute.
As compared to Maddie, Peggy is an arrogant girl. She teases Wanda by asking her about dresses, but she is not cruel as she helps children from bullies and cried when she sees an animal being hurt. But she tries to make fun of Wanda every time and defends herself.
So, both the girls have different personalities and attributes which can be directed by their actions.
Question 3 : ‘The Hundred Dresses-II’ gives out a moral lesson of what a man should be like as Wanda displays herself in the given situation. Wanda by her behaviour towards Peggy and Maddie shows her exalted character as is seen in her letter. How far would you agree with her and justify such a behaviour in all persons as essential ? Write a paragraph on such an aspect.
Answer : Wand Petronski’s letter highlights her greatness which gives us a view of her nature as a simple, loving, caring and friendly human being. She gifts her drawings to Peggy and Maddie though they tease her a lot. It shows how great she is as it requires a lot of courage and patience to do so. An ordinary person cannot do that and would definitely hate them but Wanda shows polite and peaceful traits (quality) of her character.
In our society, it is very difficult to find such a character but such traits are a must to be a good human being. Here, in our society, people tease others with racist remarks, which is not a sign of good culture.
by answering in a polite and friendly manner, Wanda displays to be a humble person.
We all should try to have or acquire such traits in our character so that everyone could praise us and we can live peacefully.