Gujarat Board GSEB Class 11 English Textbook Solutions Snapshots Chapter 5 Mother’s Day Textbook Exercise Important Questions and Answers, Notes Pdf.
Gujarat Board Textbook Solutions Class 11 English Snapshots Chapter 5 Mother’s Day
GSEB Class 11 English Mother’s Day Text Book Questions and Answers
Reading with Insight
This play, written in the 1950s, is a humorous and satirical depiction of the status of the mother in the family.
(1) What are the issues it raises?
(2) Do you think it caricatures these issues or do you think that the problems it raises are genuine? How does the play resolve the issues? Do you agree with the resolution? ”
1. The play raises many serious issues. The first and foremost is proper appreciation of a housewife’s role and responsibilities. Those who work eight hours a day and forty hours a week treat the housewife as an unpaid domestic servant, who must carry out their orders. They neither request her nor thank her for her services. The second issue is the reciprocity of love and gratitude towards the mother or wife.
The husband, son and daughter leave the lady of the house alone every night and go out to enjoy themselves in their several ways. They do not take any notice of her and have become thoughtless and selfish. The mother’s excessive love, care and promptness to serve them also spoil them.
2. The problems the play raises are serious. The treatment is of course, comic. The playwright adopts an unusual method to resolve the issues. He takes the help of magic of the East. Incantation of a magical spell helps in the interchange of the personalities. Now Mrs Pearson, with the strong and sinister personality of Mrs Fitzgerald, gives rough treatment to the daughter, son and husband respectively.
Her stern looks and commanding tone suggests to them that she can be really tough. The spoilt member are brought round by the heavy dose of exposure of reality to them. They agree to stay and help in preparing the supper while the housewife lias a talk with her husband. The resolution of the issues seems far-fetched and unnatural but extreme means have to be adopted In disaster management.
If you were to write these Issues today, what are some of the Incidents, examples and problems that you would think of as relevant?
Various responses are possible One such response is given below: The incidents of unfair treatment to the fair sex at home, at work, In public transport and elsewhere will prove handy. The examples of exploitation of female workers with lower wages, harassment by seniors. Indecent remarks. eve-teasing and molestation can highlight the problems of social inequality that women face In practice. Even In the twenty-fIrst century, women face the same problems hi spite of the talk of women empowerment.
The poor housewives have to bear the physical torment and mental anguish at the hands of bullish husbands who boast of their masculinity by Inflicting physical violence, barbs and taunts on the defenceless women. Examples of rapes and sexual harassment which hug the limelight In daily newspapers can also be included to highlight the problems of Insecurity of women in modem society.
Is drama a good medium for conveying a social message? Discuss.
Yes, drama Is certainly a good medium for conveying a social message. Direct moralising is often resented and usually ignored. Drama is a presentation of a slice of life through characters placed In various situations. The attention of the spectator’s centres round their actions and reactions.
Most of them feel fully involved with the protagonists. The working out of the theme generally leaves a message – sometimes obvious and explicit but in most of the cases, indirect and implicit. The social message of these plays seems to come out of the interactions of the characters and their traits of character.
The victory of evil over good is usually portrayed indirectly. These days we find many plays centred around themes creating social awareness such as evils of drinking and smoking; dangers of pollution, child labour, the decreasing female ratio and need to empower women.
Read the play out in parts. Enact the play on a suitable occasion.
Students will enact the play themselves.
Discuss in groups plays or films with a strong message of social reform that you have watched.
For group discussion at class level. There can be varied responses. One such response is given below: The latest film I have watched recently is ‘SWADESH’. It has a strong message of social reform. It tells the story of an Indian scientist at NASA (America) who visits his ancestral home in India. The poor condition of the villagers and lack of basic facilities fills him with deep agony.
He resigns his job in America and returns to his native country (Swadesh) to begin his work of rural uplift. He gives the villagers a message that self-help is the best help and we cannot depend for everything on the Government. This remote village is plunged in darkness after sunset as there is no electricity. With the help of a few villagers, the scientist is able to produce hydroelectricity and light the village homes. The water can be used for irrigation purposes also. Thus the economic and social condition of the villagers undergoes a sea change.
GSEB Class 11 English Mother’s Day Additional Important Questions and Answers
Answer the following questions in four to five sentences each:
What do you think is the theme of the play? How has it been worked out?
The theme of the play is the status of women in their own households. The housewife serves the members of her family with complete devotion, sincerity and love. However, she is never given the regard, attention or thanks due to her. Her leniency and eagerness to please everyone reduces her to the rank of an unpaid domestic servant in her own house. Instead of being politely requested for a favour, she is ordered to do it.
She gets no thanks in return. The theme is worked out by portrayal of the Pearson family. Mrs Pearson is the harassed mother. Her daughter Doris, son Cyril and husband George take her services for granted and have become thoughtless and selfish. The interchange of personalities and the harsh treatment meted out to them by the personality of Mrs Fitzgerald (in the body of Mrs Pearson) reforms them and they obey the mother willingly.
What impression do you form of Mrs Annie Pearson?
Mrs Pearson is the main character in the play ‘Mother’s Day. She is a pleasant but worried-looking woman in her forties. She speaks in a light, flurried sort of tone, with a touch of suburban cockney. She loves her husband and children very much. and runs after them all the time. Her excessive love and care have spoilt them and they have become thoughtless and selfish.
She feels neglected and lonely but lacks courage to discuss things with them. Perhaps she hates any unpleasantness as well. She is not willing to act as a tough mom as she is nervous and fluttering by nature.
She is so tender-hearted that she is shocked to see the rough treatment meted out to her children. She decides to change back fo her original personality to deal with her family herself. She is indeed a loving and affectionate mother and a devoted wife.
“The shock treatment makes the thoughtless and selfish persons realise the real position of the lady of the house.” How far do you agree with the statement? Give reasons for your answer.
I fully agree with the aforesaid statement. Drastic situations need drastic remedies. The thoughtless, selfish and spoilt members of the Pearson family do not understand the language of love and affection. Mrs Pearson with Mrs Fitzgerald’s bold and dominating personality and her toughness makes them realise their own state. Doris is the first to learn her lesson in civility and politeness.
The criticism of her boyfriend seems quite unexpected to her-perhaps more than the non-compliance of her orders of ironing the yellow silk dress. Doris has tearful eyes. Cyril is also told to help himself.
The mother’s declaration that she too will henceforth work forty hours a week, have the weekends off and go somewhere to enjoy herself come as a shock treatment. The balloon of her husband’s ego is punctured by disclosing to him how people at the club make fun of him. In the end, all the three members come round and show their willingness to obey the mother’s command.
Write a note on the role of Mrs Fitzgerald in the play.
Mrs Fitzgerald plays a very important role in the play. She is introduced as a fortune teller and the next-door neighbour of the Pearsons. It is through the initial conversation between her and Mrs Pearson that we come to know the problems that Mrs Pearson faces. Mrs Fitzgerald analyses the situation quite objectively and becomes the playwright’s mouthpiece. She also suggests life ways and methods of tackling the situation. Since Mrs Pearson does not have the guts to stand for her right, Mrs Fitzgerald suggests a novel approach – exchange of personalities.
Now as Mrs Pearson, with the personality Mrs Fitzgerald, she puts the plan of reformation in action. She smokes, drinks and plays cards. All this is unusual for the family. She further shocks them by being tough with them in word and action. She asks them to look after themselves. She clearly tells them that she has already worked for more than eight hours that day. She tells them plainly how they behave at home and workplace.
She is equally blunt with Mr George Pearson, who goes away every evening to club, leaving his wife alone at home. She reveals to him how the people at club make a fun of him. In short, she makes them realise their responsibility towards the mother. In the end, she performs the exchange of personalities once again. Thus she is the mainspring of initial action, climax and denouement.
The play ‘Mother’s Day is a humorous and satirical depiction of the status of the woman in a family. Bring out briefly the elements of humour and satire.
The play ‘Mother’s Day’ treats a serious theme in a light-hearted manner. The humour in the play springs from an unusual situation where the personalities of two ladies change bodies. Their subsequent behaviour, which is in total contrast to their previous one, is a very powerful source of laughter.
The ignorance of the characters about the personality they are facing also creates humour. Suggestive dialogues also provide a lot of fun. For example, consider the following:
- “Mrs Pearson if you had to live my life it wouldn’t be so bad. You’d have more fun as me than you’ve had as you.”
- “It’s that silly old bag from next door – Mrs Fitzgerald.”
- “Ticking her off now, are you, Annie ?”
- “They call you Pompy-Ompy Pearson because they think you’re so slow and pompous.”
The actions, gestures and reactions of the characters also provide humour. The housewife being given orders treated like dirt and forced to stay home every night while other members go out to amuse themselves is sharply contrasted with the position at the end of the play where she is the mistress of the house. Then play also satirises the eight-hour work culture and threats to go on strike. Even the housewife adopts this weapon.
Comment on the ending of the play ‘Mother’s Day.
The play has a happy ending with a complete reversal of the initial situation. Mrs Pearson is now cheerful while the family looks anxiously at her. When she smiles, they feel much relieved and smile back at her. None of them is going out. For the first time, perhaps she tells the members of the family what they should do. Instead of behaving timidly, she looks sharply at the family and asks if they have any objections.
George is the first to yield. He agrees to do whatever she says. Still smiling, she suggests that they should have a nice family game of rummy and then the children could get the supper ready while she has a talk with their father. George supports her and looks enquiringly at the children.
Cyril hastily approves the proposal while Doris agrees hesitatingly. A sharp command: “What Speak up!” does the trick and Doris agrees. Mrs Pearson bids goodbye to Mrs Fitzgerald and smilingly asks her to come again soon. The ending seems quite natural. It also leaves a message for the mothers. They should assert themselves.
Write a note on the title of the play ‘Mother’s Day.
The title of the play is quite appropriate. It sums up the theme of the play. It suggests that the action of the play revolves round a mother. The playwright confronts us at the outset with the problems the mother faces from her grown-up children and their father. The novel technique employed to tackle the spoilt children and the grown-up man is quite amusing and thought-provoking.
The bold and dominating mother acts tough with the children and makes them realise the need of proper attention towards their mother. They are made to learn lessons in courtesy and polite behaviour not only towards the mother but also towards the visiting neighbour. The mother certainly has her day as the children learn to treat her properly. The supper being prepared by the children, their stay at home and the family game of rummy is a rare gift that the mother receives on this important day.
Mother’s Day Summary in English
Mother’s Day Summary:
This humorous and satirical depiction of a mother’s status in a family was written way back in 1950 and till date stands quite true in cases of housewives. Unless and until she fights back for her rights her contribution is not recognized in the family. The characters in this play are Mrs Annie Pearson (the mother); husband Mr George Pearson, son Cyril, daughter Doris and the neighbour Mrs Fitzgerald.
Mrs Fitzgerald knows tarot card reading which she had learnt while she was living in the east with her husband. She finds out that Mrs Pearson does not get the due respect she should get from her family and advices her to take strong steps to be the mistress of her own house. Though Mrs Pearson doubted herself if she will be able to follow her advice. She didn’t want any unpleasantness in her house. Moreover, she didn’t know when or how to put her point. Mrs Fitzgerald advised her to start that very day but Mrs Pearson was reluctant as she won’t be able to keep her promise.
Mrs Fitzgerald had an excellent idea. As she had learnt many magic in the east, she can change place with Mrs Pearson i.e., Mrs Pearson will have Mrs Fitzgerald’s mind and vice versa. They both held hands and sat on the table quietly. Mrs Fitzgerald enchanted some magic words and their minds got exchanged. After Mrs Fitzgerald with Mrs Pearson’s mind leaves for her house Doris arrives and sees her mother smoking.
She is shocked. She has an argument with her as now all of a sudden her mother is not ready to iron her dresses for the evening or prepare tea or even supper. Dorris was horrified at her mother’s attitude and runs away crying. After some time Cyril appears from work and he too is flatly denied when he asks for tea. Cyril was alarmed and asks if she was feeling well or not? Then Mrs Pearson takes out a bottle of stout and drinks. Both the siblings are astonished and start wondering if she has had a fall or hit her head.
Now Mr Pearson arrives and all three start complaining about tea not being ready as they had worked so hard for eight hours. To this Mrs Pearson says that from that very moment she would also work for only eight hours a day and weekends off. Mr Pearson gets angry and get ready for club when Mrs Pearson tell him that people at the club call him Pompy Ompy Pearson and laughs at him.
He becomes very sad. Now Mrs Fitzgerald with Mrs Pearson’s mind enters the house and seeing everyone sad asks to leave Mrs Pearson and her alone for a few minutes and maybe everything will be all right. On being alone Mrs Fitzgerald enchants some magic words and again their bodies get back their mind but now Mrs Pearson’s family give her more respect and considers her likes and dislikes also.