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THE ADDRESS

 

 

 

CLASS-XI(ENGLISH)

THE ADDRESS

 

  1. Who is the narrator?

Ans:     The narrator is a young lady. She is the daughter of Mrs. S. Her mother Mrs. S is no more in this world. The narrator is a sufferer of the war that shook Holland for years. She loses not only all the precious articles and belongings but also their true owner-her mother.

 

  1. Describe Mrs. S, the mother of the narrator. Was she a victim of the war?

Ans:     Mrs. S was the mother of the narrator. The war in Holland proved to be a disaster for her. She was forced to part with all her precious and nice belongings. Mrs. Dorling exploited her fear. She assured her that all things would be in her safe hands. But neither Mrs. S nor her daughter ever received them again. The poor lady couldn’t survive the war.

 

  1. Who is Mrs. Dorling? Do you justify her behavior?

Ans:     Mrs. Dorling is some acquaintance of Mrs. S, the mother of the narrator. She exploits Mrs. S’s fears of the war. She herself insists that Mrs. S should hand over all her ‘nice things’ to her. They will remain safe even if they have to leave the place during the war. No, her behavior can’t be justified. Neither does she entertain nor help the narrator. She even refuses to recognize her. She makes no effort to return those articles to the girl which once belonged to her mother.

 

  1. Describe the first meeting of the narrator with Mrs. Dorling at 46, Marconi Street.

Ans:     Mrs. S, mother of the narrator, gave her the address of Mrs. Dorling before dying. The narrator went to her to collect all valuables of her dead mother. The narrator rang the bell. Mrs. Dorling herself appeared there. She kept staring at the narrator. She even refused to recognize her. She was wearing the green knitted cardigan of Mrs. S. It proved that the narrator was at the right place. Mrs. Dorling didn’t even ask the narrator to come inside. She was not happy to find her there.  Nor did she mention about the ‘nice things’ which she had taken away from her mother.

 

  1. How did the narrator feel that she had rung the wrong bell? How was she assured that she was at the right place?

Ans:     The narrator rang the bell and a woman appeared. She was looking at her searchingly. She refused to recognize the narrator. The narrator felt that she had rung the wrong bell. But soon her doubts were dispelled. The woman was wearing her mother’s green knitted cardigan. Surely, she was Mrs. Dorling. The narrator was at the right address.

 

  1. Why did the narrator jump up to go without waiting for Mrs. Dorling?

Ans:     The narrator had been at Mrs. Dorling’s house with her daughter for quite sometime. She was getting late. She was to catch her train. She had no time to stay there waiting for Mrs. Dorling. She walked down the passage finding her own way.

 

  1. Why did the narrator resolve to forget the address : No. 46, Marconi Street?

Ans:     The narrator came to Mrs. Dorling’s house to recollect the belongings of her mother. No doubt, they aroused nostalgic feelings of former times. But she didn’t long to possess them now. Their true owner was no more in the world. It was better to forget them and the uncharitable Mrs. Dorling. She also wanted to forget the address which symbolized a tragic past.

 

  1. Justify the title of the short story “The Address”.

Ans:     Margo Minco has very aptly and logically titled this short story “The Address”. The narrator and her mother were victims of the war. The upheaval forced them to be wanderers. They had no permanent address worth the name. All the ‘nice things’ were at No. 46, Marconi Street. They aroused nostalgic feelings of former times. But their true owner was no more in the world. The narrator resolved to forget them and also the address where they lay.

 

  1. Describe the two visits of the narrator to Mrs. Dorling’s house, No. 46, Marconi Street.

Ans:     After the war, the narrator came back alone to her own. Her mother, Mrs. S, was dead. Before dying, she had told her about Mrs. Dorling and her address. Mrs. S had also told her how she had left all her belongings in the ‘safe’ hands of Mrs. Dorling. The narrator decided to go to Mrs. Dorling’s house. She rang the bell and a woman appeared. The woman refused to recognize her. The narrator told her that she was Mrs. S’s daughter. The woman stood starting at her. The narrator realized that perhaps she had rung the wrong bell. But soon her doubt was dispelled. The woman was wearing her mother’s green knitted cardigan. No mistake was made. She was at the right address. And the woman was Mrs. Dorling. Mrs. Dorling regretted that she could do nothing for her. She asked the narrator to come at some other time.

During the next visit Mrs. Dorling was not at home. Her fifteen- year old daughter was alone in the house. Now the narrator was in the midst of all those ‘nice things’ that once belonged to her mother. All the silver cutlery, antique plates, and large vases were there. She was pained to note that they were ‘tastelessly’ arranged and shabbily used. No doubt, those articles aroused nostalgic feelings in her. But their true owner was no more in the world. The narrator resolved to forget them. She also resolved to forget No. 46, Marconi Street. It was the address where all those ‘nice things’ were lying uncared and neglected.

 

  1. Justify the title of the story. Why did the narrator resolve to forget the address? Why of all the things she had to forget ‘that would be the easiest’?

Ans:     Marga Minco titles the story “The Address”. The title seems to be quite appropriate and meaningful. The narrator is a victim of the war. She shuttles from one place to the other. The war  uproots her and her family. They have to run for life. She comes back home as the only survivor after the war. Naturally, she goes in search of all those ‘nice things’ that once belonged to her mother. She knows ‘the address’ and the woman who lives there. The address is No. 46, Marconi Street. The woman is Mrs. Dorling. She refuses even to recognize the narrator. Nor does she want to hand over those valuable things to her. Hence, the narrator decides to forget that address for even. Hence, the title is quite logical and bears a definite meaning.

During her second visit to No. 46, Marconi Street, the narrator found all those valuables there. She could see the silver knives, spoons and forks. The antique plates were used so often. The tea-pot, the table-cloth and the big vases were still there. They aroused nostalgic memories of her former times. Her mother was not in the world anymore. The narrator was pained that all those ‘nice things of her m other were being used shabbily. She wanted to forget them. Above all, she resolved to forget the inauspicious ‘address’. It was quite easy to forget it.

 

  1. Draw a character sketch of Mrs. Dorling. Do you justify her behavior towards Mrs. S and her daughter?

Ans:     Mrs. Dorling is an important character of Marga Minco’s short story “The Address’. She is introduced to us as the mother of a fifteen-year daughter. Like her daughter, Mrs. Dorling has a ‘broad back’. When the narrator rings the bell, Mrs. Dorling  appears wearing the green knitted cardigan of the narrator’s mother. This shows how mercilessly she is using all ‘nice things’ of Mrs. S.

Mrs. Dorling’s behavior towards Mrs. S’s daughter is quite cold, unfriendly and inhuman. When the narrator introduces herself as the daughter of Mrs. S, Mrs. Dorling shows no sign of affection. Her remarks are very shocking and uncharitable. She utters : “Have you come back?” She is not at all pleased to receive the daughter of Mrs. S. She doesn’t feel “convenient”. She very coldly asks her to come “another time”.

Mrs. Dorling lacks human qualities of head and heart. She is selfish, rude and ill mannered. She also lacks good sense and decency. She only knows how to exploit people and situations to her own advantage. She exploits Mrs. S’s fear for war. She walks away with all her ‘nice things’ to 46, Marconi Street. She makes no effort to return them when the narrator visits her.        

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