A Shady Plot : Class 10 summary ,question,answer solutions.

A Shady Plot : Class 10 summary ,question,answer solutions.

Based on your reading of the story above, answer the following questions by ticking
the correct options.

1. The narrator earns his living by .......
(a) writing ghost stories
(b) working as a reader for a magazine
(c) working as a stenographer
(d) working as an accountant in a lumber company
ANS: (d) working as an accountant in a lumber company.

2. The writer was overconfident about his ability to write stories because.......

(a) whenever magazines wanted a ghost story, they got in touch with him
(b) he was always able to write a ghost story whenever he had to write one
(c) the readers appreciated his ghost stories
(d) he knew the ghost lady would help him write a good ghost story
ANS: (b) he was always able to write a ghost story whenever he had to write one

3. The sight of the ghost materialising in his room filled the narrator with.......
(a) fear (b) excitement (c) joy (d) anticipation
ANS: (d) anticipation

4. The ghost wanted John to .......
(a) stop his wife from using the Ouija board
(b) stop using the Ouija board himself
(c) stop his guests from using the Ouija board
(d) stop people from using the Ouija board
ANS: (d) stop people from using the Ouija board

5. John wants the ghost to disappear before his wife enters the room and waves his
arms at the ghost with something of the motion of a beginner when learning to
swim. His movement shows his .......
(a) fear (b) amusement (c) desperation (d) anxiety
ANS: (c) desperation

6. When the narrator says his wife is never so pretty as when she's doing something
she knows he disapproves of, it his tone is.......
(a) amused (b) ironic (c) angry (d) irritated
ANS: (b) ironic

7. The ghost says "It's all your fault.” ‘It’ here refers to......
(a) the narrator's wife's anger
(b) the ghost's anger
(c) the narrator's wife leaving him
(d) the ghost materialising in sections.
ANS: (d) the ghost materialising in sections


8. Gladolia wishes to leave the narrator’s house as.......
(a) she does not like the Ouija boards
(b) she is afraid of the ghost
(c) she is afraid of magic and hoodoo
(d) she likes Ouija boards and hoodoo.
ANS: (c) she is afraid of magic and hoodoo.


Q . Answer the following questions briefly.

(a) What genre of stories does Jenkins want the narrator to write? Why?
ANS: Jenkins wanted the narrator to write a ghost story for his magazine. He wanted the
narrator to give the readers a story based on the supernatural. He wanted him to
give the readers real 'horror' stories and not the type of live ghosts which he had
presented in his earlier stories. He should write what the public wanted.

(b) Does the narrator like writing ghost stories? Support your answer with evidence
from the story.
ANS: The narrator honestly confesses that he doesn't ‘specialize in ghost stories'. But they
seemed to ‘specialise’ in him. He writes ghost stories at the request of Jenkins.
Jenkins wants him to write 'horror' stories based on the 'supernatural'. That's what
the public wants. Whenever, Jenkins wanted a ghost story, the narrator couldn't
refuse. He did not really like writing ghost stories. Circumstances made him do so.

(c) What makes Helen, the ghost, and her other co-ghosts organize The Writer's
Inspiration Bureau?
ANS: Helen, the ghost and her other co-ghosts organized The Writer's Inspiration Bureau
as in the other life she used to write and couldn't have judged things rationally.
After attaining the present form, she decided to do something with the help of those
who suffered similarly like her. They organized The Writer's Inspiration Bureau to
help those writers who were without ideas and with minds soft enough to accept
impression.

(d) Why had Helen, the ghost been helping the narrator write ghost stories? Why was
she going on strike? What condition did she place for providing continued help?
ANS: Helen, the ghost had been helping the narrator write ghost stories. She was assigned
this job by the main office of The Writer's Inspiration Bureau to help him. She was
going on strike because of Ouija board fanatics. They kept them busy with their
questions. She laid a condition that he was to exert his influence to make his friends
and acquaintances stop using the Ouija board. Only then she would start helping
him.

(e) How does the ghost undermine the narrator's faith in his ability to write ghost
stories?
ANS: Helen, the ghost undermines the narrator's faith in his ability to write ghost stories.
She threatens to go on strike. It means that he will not get any help from The Writer's
Inspiration Bureau to get another plot for writing a ghost story. The narrator asks,
"Is-is that where they've been coming from?” Helen replies “Of course. Where
else?" She makes it clear that the narrator can’t write without their help.

(f) Why does John want the ghost to disappear before his wife appears on the scene?
What impression of his wife's character do you form from his words?
ANS: John wants Helen, the ghost to disappear before his wife appears on the scene.
Seeing Helen with the author, his wife could create trouble for him. His wife Lavinia
was subject to hysterics. She would start laughing and crying loudly on seeing the
ghost with her husband. These words suggest that Lavinia was a woman who
would burst into hysterics if things didn’t happen according to her liking.

(g) Why does the narrator hesitate to be a partner to Laura Hinkle during the Ouija
board Party?
ANS: John was requested by his wife Lavinia to help Laura Hinkle work on an Ouija
Board. Laura was without a partner. She couldn't work on the Ouija by herself. John
was reluctant to be a partner to Laura Hinkle as she was a ‘flirtatious crocodile'. She
grinned in his face like a flirtatious crocodile. She leaned forward and held his
hands coyly. John didn't feel comfortable with a flirtatious lady like Laura Hinkle.

(h) What message does the ghost convey to the group that had assembled in the
narrator's house? What is their reaction to the message?
ANS: Miss Laura Hinkle asked, "Ouija, dear, won't you tell us something?” In an instant,
the Ouija-board spelled: "T-r-a-i-t-o-r". Miss Laura asked what that meant and it
pointed out towards John. Then Laura asked who was talking on the board. The
answer came "H-e-l-e-n. Helen!" Soon all the ladies in the room told Lavinia that
some Helen had been calling for her husband on all the five Ouija boards. John felt
his ears grow crimson and purple. He was suspected of flirting with a woman on the
Ouija board.

(i) Do you agree with the narrator calling the assembly of women "manipulators?"
Give reasons.
ANS: The narrator rightly calls the assembly of women “manipulators”. The word
'manipulators' here means two things. The women were ‘manipulators’ in the sense
that they-were operating or manipulating Ouija Boards. The other meaning is
equally appropriate. Ladies like Miss Laura Hinkle are skillful at influencing
people or situations in order to get what they want. They are flirtatious and
manipulative.

(j) Why is John's wife angry? What does she decide to do?
ANS: All the five Ouija boards start calling John by name. The ladies were in a
mischievous mood. They want to know from Lavinia about Helen who has been
calling John on Ouija-boards. John feels his ears grow crimson. Lavinia thought
John was flirting with Helen. His wife looks angrily at him as though he were some
peculiar insect. She decides to go back to her grandmother. She threatens that her
lawyer would communicate with him later.

(k) Why does John wish he were dead?
ANS: The ladies at the Book club created a very awkward situation for John. The squeak of
Ouija boards and the loud conversation of the ladies made his ears grow crimson.
His wife suspected that he was flirting with Helen on the Ouija board. She looked at
him as if he were some peculiar insect. Next morning Lavinia left a message that she
was going back to her grandmother. She also threatened that her lawyer would
communicate with him later. He felt that he had lost his wife, his home and
happiness. He wished he were dead.

(l) When confronted by Lavinia about his flirtations over the Ouija board, John insists
that 'the affair was quite above-board, I assure you, my love'. Bring out the pun in
John's statement.
Ans: Elsie Brown makes a beautiful use of 'pun' in John’s statement. Through the clever
or humorous use of the word 'above-board' that has more than one meaning, the
author explains John's stand. When confronted by Lavinia about his flirtations over
the Ouija board, John insists that the affair was quite 'above-board'. It means that he
didn't hide or conceal anything from his wife. The second meaning relates to the
actual use of the Ouija board.

(m) John's apprehensions about his wife's reaction to her encounter with the ghost are
unfounded. Justify.
Ans: John's apprehensions about his wife's reaction to her encounter with the ghost are
mostly unfounded. Repeatedly he asks Helen, the ghost to disappear before his
wife comes. He believes that anything would be better than having Lavinia see a
ghost. That sensitive woman wouldn't be able to bear to have a mouse say boo to
her. The sight of a ghost in her own living-room would be unbearable for her. But
Lavinia looks at the 'Owl-eyed phantom' and finds that she is not the beautiful
'Helen of Troy'. She doesn't swoon but a satisfied smile spreads over her face. She
starts a conversation with Helen.

Now complete the following story by using the appropriate phrases in the blanks given
below:

I was alone in a place that bore a deserted look like that of a (a)__________. I increased the
pace of my footsteps as I walked through the dark forest. I felt someone walking behind
me. I turned immediately and spotted the contour of a figure in the form of a (b)_________
It smiled at me wickedly. I started shaking with fear and perspiring profusely when I felt its
skeletal hand upon my neck. I woke up with a start, relieved that it was only a nightmare.
This was not the first time I had had one. It had all started when I had watched the
horrendous horror film with an eerie ghost character that had a scary ghost of a smile on its
face. It had been almost a month. The strange thing was that I saw a similar face at the
station the next morning. That was uncanny.
I was to attend a dinner at my friend's at Northanger Abbey that night. I had decided to
narrate my experience to the group that would assemble there although knew there was (c)
_________ that they would be convinced.
After everyone had finished pouring their drinks to themselves, I cleared my throat and
started narrating my spooky experience. However, every one of the group started accusing
me of being (d)___________ and held me responsible for spoiling the spirit of revelry. I
gave up the ghost and sat quietly waiting for the party to be over. Back at home, the fears
returned. I knew I had to talk about my experience to somebody to feel better. I have now
decided to (e)________ and-publish my experience under a pseudonym. Only then can I
(f)_____________.

Ans. (a) ghost town
(b) ghost image
(c) a ghost of a chance
{d) the ghost at the feast
(e) ghost-write

(f) lay the ghost.

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