Detailed explanation of “The hundred Dresses-I”, including definitions of difficult words. In addition, the explanation is followed by a lesson summary. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Chapter and do well in their exams.
The Hundred Dresses-I is a story based on the true experiences of the author about a girl who is teased by her classmates because she is different. Wanda Petronski, a girl who comes from the poor part of the town, is the only student in her class with a ‘funny’ Polish name. The story is told from the perspective of one of Wanda’s classmates, Maddie, who is the best friend of the main player in the daily taunting and teasing.
Wanda Petronski was a poor Polish girl. She lived on Boggins Heights. Her family had immigrated to America. She belonged to a poor family. She joined an American school. She was different from other girls in many ways – her name was uncommon, she was a quiet girl and had no friends. She wore the same pale blue dress every day. It was clean but not properly ironed. Wanda used to sit in the corner on the last but one seat of the classroom where noisy and rough boys, who got low marks, sat. She came on foot from Boggins Heights area and brought a lot of dirt with her shoes , which was embarrassing for her.
She was an introvert and did not speak much in the class. No one had ever heard her laugh. No body really thought much about Wanda. Peggy and Maddie were close friends. Peggy was pretty, had curly hair and wore beautiful dresses. She belongs to a rich family. She was the most liked girl of Wanda’s class. They waited outside the school in order to make fun of her. She often made fun of Wanda by asking her questions about her dresses she had in her closet in a mocking, polite voice. Then Peggy would ask her whether the dresses were of silk or velvet. Wanda replied that she had hundred dresses.
Maddie herself was a poor girl. She used to wear the clothes given to her by others. So she was sympathetic to Wanda. Maddie wanted Peggy to stop teasing Wanda but she could never muster (gather) courage to tell her that. She did not like Peggy when she made fun of Wanda. Perhaps it reminded her of her own poverty.
Wanda, though a quiet girl, spoke a lot about her hundred dresses. She told the girls that her dresses were made of velvet or silk. All had different colours and designs. She specially mentioned her dresses-one pale blue with coloured trimmings and the other bright, green with red sash.
Wanda did not come to school for two days. Wanda’s absence from school was not noticed for two days but on the third day Peggy and Maddie who missed the fun of laughing at her, waited for her at the corner of Oliver street where they used to met her on their way to school. But Wanda did not turn up and they got late for school. Maddie thought about the drawing and colour contest in the school. The girls were to design dresses and the boys were to design motorboats.
Next day, it was drizzling. They never wanted to be late for the school because they were anxious to know the result of the competition. Peggy and Maddie did not wait for Wanda. It was to be announced that day. As they entered their classroom, they stopped and gasped. Hundred drawings of bright and beautiful and differently designed dresses were displayed all over the room. Everyone, who entered the room, murmured with admiration. Miss Mason announced the result. Among the boys, Jack Boggles had won and among the girls Wanda Petronski. She asked the students to give her a special applause (though she was not present to enjoy it). She had submitted hundred sketches and every sketch was worth winning the best price. Maddie asked Peggy to look at the blue dress about which Wanda had told them earlier. They appreciated the drawing made by Wanda.
|possessions||things owned||mocking||making fun of|
|enduring||lasting long||absent mindedly||without thinking much|
|immigrants||those coming from other countries to
settle in a country
|nerve||the boldness to do something|
|ethnicity||relating to human race||shuddered||shivered|
|notable||famous, known||target||person chosen for attack|
|suburbs||areas outside a city, outskirts||disguise||conceal|
|discriminated||differentiated||trimmings||ornamentation on cloth|
|census||official count or survey of a Population||accord||wish|
|scuffling of feet||rubbing of shoes on the ground to create noise||red sash||red scarf|
|twisted||moved||pretended admiration||false praise|
|crooked sort of smile||awkward, foolish smile||railroad tracks||railway line|
|caked with dry mud||covered with||gasped||breathed heavily, deeply|
|track||walk or run||ledge||outer part|
|faded||lost colour||windowsill||window edge|
|hang right||fit properly||dazzling||bright and shining|
|hopscotch||a game played usually by girls||lavish||rich and elaborate|
|courteous||civil, gentle||murmured||say something in a low voice|
|nudge||a gentle push||assembled||gathered together|
|incredulously||showing disbelief||exhibition||on show|
|stolidly||not showing any feeling||sketches||drawings|
|shrieks||a scream of laughter||exquisite||very beautiful, marvellous|
|peals of laughter||great laughter||burst into applause||clapped hands loudly|
|exaggerated politeness||false politeness||stamp||Put feet on the floor with force to
|hitching||catching||hand-me-down clothes||old clothes given to others|
|bullies||those who frighten weaker
people with their power