Detailed explanation of “The Little Girl”, 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 story describes the relationship between a strict father and his sensitive daughter (Kezia). The father is shown as a very busy person in the story. He wants his daughter to be a good girl and does not tolerate any kind of mischief. He beats her when she does something wrong. Kezia is very afraid of her father and avoids him.
She gets a sense of relief when he is not around. However, in the end of the story Kezia’s perception about her father changes. This happens when her mother gets hospitalised and she is left alone at home. At this time, her father takes care of Kezia with love and sympathy. She finds that her father loves her and hence she develops affection for him.
The little girl, Kezia was afraid of her father. She always avoided meeting him. Before going to the office, his father went to Kezia’s room and gave her a casual kiss. Kezia felt a sense of relief when her father went out to work. In the evening, when Kezia’s father came home, her mother would call Kezia to take off father’s shoes. While Kezia took off her father’s shoes, he asked her if she had been a good girl that day. Kezia used to stammer in front of her father whereas with others she used to talk normally. Kezia thought that her father was like a giant. He had big hands and neck. His mouth appeared very big to her when he yawned.
On Sunday afternoons, Kezia’s grandmother sent her to the drawing room to have a talk with her parents. When Kezia went there she always found her mother reading and her father sleeping on the sofa. Her father had a handkerchief on his face, he put his feet on the cushion and snored while he slept. Kezia kept waiting for her father to wake up. After waking up, Kezia s father asked her not to stare at him as she looked like a little brown owl while staring.
One day Kezia grandmother told her that her father’s birthday was coming next week. She suggested Kezia to make a pin-cushion of yellow silk as a gift for her father. So, Kezia made a pin-cushion by its stitching three sides. She needed something to till in the pin-cushion. She went into her mother’s bedroom and found some papers on the table. She tore these papers and stuffed them into the pin-cushion. The paper contained an important speech that her father would deliver for the Port Authority next day.
That night there was a hue and cry in the house. Kezia’s father was very angry when he could not find his papers of speech. Everyone in the house was questioned about the papers. When Kezia was asked about the papers, she told that she had torn up the papers and stuffed them into the pin-cushion. So, Kezia’s father punished her by hitting her palms with a ruler. He wanted to teach Kezia not to touch anything that did not belong to her. Kezia cried a lot. After a few hours, her grandmother wrapped Kezia in a shawl. Kezia was very disturbed about the incident of getting punished by her father. She cried and asked her grandmother, “What did God make fathers for?
The Macdonalds had five children and they lived in the house next to Kezia. Mr. Macdonald always played with his children when he was free. They laughed and enjoyed each others company. Seeing all this, Kezia realised that there were different kinds of fathers. One day Kezia’s mother fell ill and had to be hospitalised. Her grandmother went to the hospital with her mother.
Kezia was alone in the house with the cook, Alice and her father was sleeping in his room. Kezia was not comfortable sleeping alone at night as she used to have nightmares. While sleeping, Kezia had a frightful nightmare. In the nightmare, she saw a butcher with a knife and a rope, smiling and coming nearer to her. She was unable to move and was crying and calling her grandmother.
Kezia screamed and woke up by her father. Her father took Kezia in his arms to his bedroom. He lay down beside her to give her comfort and asked Kezia to rub her feet against his legs to get warmth. He slept after sometime. Kezia found her father’ legs harder than her or grandmother. Then, Kezia realised that her father had to work very hard all day and would get too tired to play with her like Mr. Macdonald. She felt sorry for tearing his papers. She told her father that he had a very big heart.
(1) What did Kezia think about her father?
(2) How did Kezia’s father behave in the evening after the work?
(3) What did Kezia’s mother ask Kezia to do for her father after he came home from work?
(4) What didi Kezia’s grandmother ask her to do for her father’s birthday?
(5) What happened on Sunday afternoon? How did Kezia behave?
(6) Why was there a hue and cry in the house ?
(7) What did Kezia’s father do to Kezia after the speech papers had been lost?
(8) How did Kezia react to beating by her father?
(9) What did Kezia see in the nightmare?
(10) Did Kezia change her opinion about her father? How?
(11) What change came in Kezia’s heart when she lay by the side of her father?
(12) Why did Kezia think that father was a figure to be feared and avoided?
(13) How did Mr Macdonald treat his children? How was it different from the way Kezia’s father treated her?
(14) Kezia says that there are “different kinds of fathers “Do you agree ? Give reasons for your answer?
(15) Why did Kezia’s father beat her one day? How did Kezia react to it?
(16) Why did Kezia stammered only with her father?
(17) why did Kezia’s grandmother send her to the drawing room? How did she find her parents there?
(18) How did Kezia father comfort her , when she got scared in her sleep?
(19) Why was Kezia fond of her grandmother?
(20) Do you think Kezia deserve punishment ? What should her father had done instead?
|casual||without any feeling|
|slip down||move noiselessly|
|stutter||having difficulty in talking|
|on the brink of||about to commit|
|stretched out||lying down with hands and legs spread out.|
|suicide||taking one’s own life|
|snoring||making a snorting sound while sleeping.|
|kept indoors||not allowed to go outside the house.|
|pin-cushion||a small pad for holding pins|
|laboriously||with much time and effort|
|wandered||walked around aimlessly|
|tore||broke in to the pieces|
|hue and cry||angry protest|
|port Authority||the office of the port|
to look at someone for a long time
|double cotton||thick cotton|
|scraps||small pieces of something|
|fetch||to go and bring|
|damned thing||refers to the pin-cushion here|
|sad little pattern||light and shade pattern making a person feel sad|
|aside||on one side|
|hold out||bring out|
|once and for all||now and for the last time|
|flew into||appeared on|
|nightmare||a frightening dream|
|sighed||took a deep breath|
|butcher||a person who kills animals for their flesh|
|tucked up||covered up properly in bed|
moved into a comfortable position
|nice hardness||positive strictness|