NCERT Solutions for Class 10th: Ch 13 The Dear Departed Literature Reader English
Arrange them in the sequence in which they occur in the play.
3. Mrs Slater discovers that grandfather is 'dead'.
2. Mrs. Slater instructs Victoria to put her white frock on with a black sash.
6. Henry wears the new slippers of grandfather's
4. The Slaters fetch the bureau and the clock from upstairs.
11. The Jordans arrive and learn the details of grandfather's 'demise'from the Slaters.
5. The family sits down to have tea.
10. They discuss the obituary announcement in the papers and the insurance premium payment.
1. Victoria is asked to fetch the bunch of keys to the bureau to look for the insurance receipt.
9. Grandfather comes down and is surprised to find the Jordans.
7. Grandfather comes to know how his daughters were in a hurry to divide his things between them.
8. Grandfather announces his intention to change his will and to marry Mrs. Shorrocks.
5. Answer the following questions briefly.
Mrs. Slater was not very happy with the mourning dresses that she and her family were wearing. In fact, she had ordered new dresses for everybody. However, she thought that her sister wouldn’t have thought of mourning dresses and so she would outshine them there.
Mrs. Slater was a very superficial person. She was not concerned about the death in her family but was more bothered about her appearance and how to be better than her sister.
Mrs. Slater always liked grandfather’s bureau. After his death, she decided to shift it to sitting room before her sister arrived lest she laid a claim on it.
Henry was shocked at the suggestion because he felt that the sisters should amicably divide grandfather’s things. He also felt that it was too heavy and moreover, he was worried about the arrival of the Jordans while they were shifting it.
Mrs. Slater sends for Dr Pringle as soon as she realises that grandfather is dead. However, Dr Pringle could not come as he was out. It was this that Mrs. Jordan describes as a “fatal mistake”. According to Mrs. Jordan grandfather could have been revived had Mrs. Slater sent for another doctor. It is this blunder on Mrs. Slater’s part that Mrs. Jordan describes as fatal.
Ben appreciated grandfather when he came to know that he had gone out to pay his insurance premium. However, when he got to know that he had not paid the premium instead gone to a public house, he calls him a drunken old beggar.
Ben changed his opinion about grandfather when he realised that he hadn’t paid premium because now after his death they could not claim the insurance money.
Grandfather decided that in his new will, he would leave all his money and things to the person he would be living with when he died. This led to another spat between the daughters. Since both of them were very keen to get his money and things, they wanted that he should stay with them.
The three things that grandfather planned to do on Monday next was first to go to a lawyer and change his will, then pay his insurance premium and finally go to St. Phillip’s church and get married.
The title of the play 'Dear Departed' is ironical. In the beginning of the play, we come to know that grandfather Mr. Abel has departed from this world. He is not dear to his own daughters though they pretend that he is dear to both of them. They are eager to divide his belongings between them. Even Mrs. Slater with whom he has been living fetches his clock and bureau from his room where he is lying 'dead'. Even they can't wait for the last rites of his burial. Even their husbands Ben and Henry do not love grandfather. So, no one is grieved at his departure. In this way, we can say that the title of this play 'Dear Departed' is an ironical statement of dying love and absence of filial obligations.
Abel Merry weather recognises his bureau and wants to know the reason for its shifting. Mrs Slater had already told her sister that the bureau belonged to them. This lie is enough to set tongues wagging and tempers escalating. Mrs Jordan accuses her sister of stealing her father’s things, thinking him to be dead. That is when Abel discovers that they had gathered there for the official mourning of his death.
Henry is timid and honest by nature. Soft at heart, he tends to get bullied by his dominating wife. Initially he protests against stealing the grandfather’s slippers and bureau but when Mrs Slater forces him, he gets carried away. He is a worried looking man who believed what his wife says and ends up supporting her. Mrs Slater by contrast is vain, pretentious and greedy. She makes the plans and he executes them with his wife’s help of course.
a) Mrs. Jordan made this comment.
b) When grandfather sees Henry wearing it, Mrs. Slater quickly gives them back to him. This prompts Mrs. Jordan to make this comment.
c) Stepping into dead man’s shoe is to take the position of the dead man although one might not be capable of it. Mrs. Jordan on seeing her brother-in law wearing grandfather’s shoes feels that he was in too much of a hurry to step into the grandfather’s shoes. He didn’t even wait for his funeral.
3. "Now, Amelia, you mustn't give way. We've all got to die some time or other. It might have been worse."
a) Ben is the speaker of these lines.
b) When he sees Mrs. Slater shedding tears for grandfather, he makes this formal statement to console and sympathise with her.
c) He means to say that death of grandfather at the age of 72 is quite normal. His death might have been worse than this death.
d) The speaker Ben is not serious at all. He is ironical and formal.
Today is the worst day of my life, when Grandpa was supposed to have passed away. I am deeply shocked at the behaviour of my mother and father, who are pinching the belongings of my Grandpa. Imagine none even went to look up Grandpa. I know Grandpa was not happy living with us, I tried my best but mummy never listens. Even papa supports her. I am so ashamed to see their hypocrisy. I don’t know how they will expect respect from me, when they have behaved so abominably. I pity Grandpa for this treatment. Oh! how I wish I was grown up enough to look after him.
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