Short Questions (2 Marks)
Question 1 : Why was Kezia fond of her grandmother?
Answer : Kezia was fond of her grandmother because her father and mother had no time for her; grandma loved Kezia and was always very warm towards her. She was the only companion Kezia could confide in.
Question 2 : Describe Kezia’s father as she sees him.
Or, What kind of a person Kezia’s father was?
Answer : Kezia saw her father as a hard-working but short-tempered man and a strict disciplinarian. Actually, he was a quiet man who did not spend much time with his children and did not play with them unlike Mr Macdonald. But he cared for his family and took care of Kezia when she needed it most.
Question 3 : Why was Kezia afraid of her father?
Or, Why did Kezia stutter only with her father?
Answer : Kezia was afraid of her father because he never looked at her lovingly nor ever played with her. She thought he was a cruel man. She stuttered only with her father because with him she was trying very hard to say the words properly and could not do so because of her fear of him.
Question 4 : Why did Kezia’s grandmother send her to the drawing-room on Sunday afternoons? How did she find her parents there?
Or, What did Kezia find whenever on Sunday afternoons her grandmother sent her down to have a talk with her parents?
Answer : On Sunday afternoons, Kezia’s grandmother sent her down to the drawing-room to have a ‘nice talk with father and mother’ meaning that Kezia would get to know them better. But, she always found mother reading and father stretched out on the sofa, sleeping. So, she never got the time to have conversation with her parents.
Question 5 : Why was Kezia severely punished and beaten by her father?
Or, What made Kezia’s father punish her?
Answer : Kezia’s father punished and beat her because she had unknowingly torn up his important paper lying on mother’s bedroom table (a speech written for the Port Authority) to stuff in the pin-cushion she was making a birthday gift to present to her father. Father lost his temper and punished her with a ruler to teach her a lesson.
Question 6 : What orders were passed to Kezia in the evening when father returned home from office?
Answer : The orders passed to Kezia, in the evening when father returned home from office, were to go down, take off father’s shoes and put them outside and also to put her father’s tea cup on the tea table. These orders were received by her very passively.
Question 7 : Why did Kezia stammer in front of her father?
Answer : Kezia stammered in front of her father because she was frightened of him and felt difficulty in speaking in front of him. Whenever fear overcomes the mind, speech becomes stuttered.
Question 8 : How did the father comfort the little girl, Kezia when she got scared in her sleep?
Answer : Her father comforted the little girl, Kezia, when she got scared in her sleep, by coming to her room and taking her with him to his own bed, lying down beside her and holding her close to him. She held his shirt and snuggled closer to her father.
Long Questions (8 Marks)
Question 1 : Kezia’s feelings for her father changed from fear to understanding. Explain with reference to the chapter.
Or, When does Kezia begin to sympathize with her father? How does her opinion about her father change completely?
Or, What were the circumstances that forced Kezia to change her opinion about her father?
Answer : Circumstances make you what you are and it leads you to the expected or unexpected events. This is very evident in the case of Kezia because there was such a circumstance that her father was a statue of fear and death to her. Kezia was very scared of her father initially, as he often scolded her. Once Kezia’s mother became ill and grandmother went to hospital with her. Kezia was left alone with Alice, the cook.
Earlier, when Kezia had a nightmare, Grannie took her into her bed. Now Kezia again had a nightmare and scremed, calling out for grandma. Father heard her and came to her room, picked up the little girl in his arms and took her to his own bed.
He lay down beside her. Kezia crept close to her father, snuggled her head under his arm and held his shirt tightly. She realised father was not that bad, had a big heart and she could hear it beating.
This made her understand that her father was a normal human being too who needs support, affection and love for he always gets tired with his work. So, we can definitely say that the circumstances led Kezia’s change of attitude towards her father and that change was a nice one.
Question 2 : How is Kezia’s father different from Mr Macdonald?
Or, Kezia decides that there are ‘different kinds of fathers’. What kind of father was Mr Macdonald and how was he different from Kezia’s father?
Or, Compare Kezia’s father with Mr Macdonald. Do you think sharing with kids is necessary?
Answer: Mr Macdonald was their next door neighbour. Kezia saw that Macdonald family playing ‘tag’ in the evening. The father had the baby, Mao, on his shoulders, with his two little daughters hanging on to his coat pockets. They ran round and round, shaking with laughter. It was all fun with the father Macdonald. Kezia would look at him eagerly and wish her father to be the same. She longed her father to be as playful as Macdonald but it was not so. On the other hand, Kezia’s father was very disciplined and strict. He never played with her and did not interact with her except for beating her for her little mistakes. These things made her afraid of her father. She would feel retarted when she did not receive affinity for him. Continuous scolding and sometimes beating would add to her fear.
Yes, sharing is very important in good relationship. Parents should spare some time with their kids. They should have friendly and caring relationship with them.
Question 3 : How did Kezia feel in the presence of her father?
Answer : Initially Kezia felt scared in the presence of her father. He appeared like a giant to her. Every morning he gave her a good bye kiss but she felt uncomfortable till her father had left for office. When her father would leave the house for office, she would feel a sigh of relief. She always deterred from going closer to her father. Even on Sundays when her grandma forced her to go to the drawing room to have a talk to her father, she would step out with most feeble steps.
She always stammered when answering her father. One day, he scolded her and beat her for unknowingly tearing up some of his important papers. Another night when her mother and grandmother were in hospital, Kezia cried out in the night when she had a nightmare. Her father came and carrier her to his room tenderly and with affection. This changed her perception of him.
Question 4 : How did Kezia’s effort to please her father resulted in displeasing him very much? Elaborate.
Or, Why was Kezia punished by her father? Do you think Kezia deserved this? What should father had done instead?
Answer : Kezia was scared of her father and stuttered while talking to him which annoyed him. When she waited and stared at him to have a ‘nice talk’ he did not like it and told her that she looked like a little brown owl. But the incident that displeased her father the most when she tried to please him by making a pin-cushion as a gift for him on his birthday (on her grandmother’s suggestion). She unknowingly tore up his important papers to stuff the pin-cushion with. This displeased him so much that he got angry at her and punished her by beating her palms with a ruler.
No, Kezia did not deserve this punishment. She did not have any bad intention. Her father should not have been so harsh. He should make the little girl realise her mistake tactfully. Had she done it deliberately then, it would have been another stance. But, she did not commit it intentionally, so she should have been made to understand that anything that did not belong to her, must not be touched upon. This would have done a lot of good in place of that beating.