‘The sound was a familiar one.’ What sound did the doctor hear ? What did he think it was ? How many times did he hear it ? When and why did the sounds stop ?
It was the sound of a snake. The doctor thought it was the sound of rats. He heard it three
The sounds stopped when the snake fell on the back of the chair.
What two ‘important’ and ‘earth-shaking’ decisions did the doctor take while he was looking into the mirror ?
He decided that he would shave daily and grow a thin moustache to look more handsome. He also decided that he would always keep an attractive smile on his face.
‘I looked into the mirror and smiled,’ says the doctor. A little later he says, ‘I forgot my danger and smiled feebly at myself.’ What is the doctor’s opinion about himself when (i) he first smiles, and (ii) he smiles again ? In what way do his thoughts change in between, and why ?
- He thinks himself to be handsome. He thinks he has an attractive smile.
- The doctor has in his room no medicine for snakebite. He calls himself a foolish and stupid doctor.
All his thoughts about his beauty vanish now. He finds himself very close to death. Now he can think of nothing but God.
This story about a frightening incident is narrated in a humorous way. What makes it humorous
(Think of the contrasts it presents between dreams and reality.)
- The kind of person the doctor is (money, possessions).
The kind of person he wants to be (appearance, ambition).
- The person he wants to marry.
The person he actually marries.
- His thoughts when he looks into the mirror.
His thoughts when the snake is coiled around his arm.
Write a short paragraph on each of these to get your answer.
- The doctor tells a frightening incident. But he tells it in a humorous manner. He is a
He lives in a small rented room. He has hardly anything of much value. But he feels proud of being a doctor. He thinks himself to be very handsome. He hopes to earn a lot of money. But we see that reality is quite the opposite of his dreams.
- The doctor wanted to marry a woman doctor. He wanted her to be a fat woman. He felt that a fat wife wouldn’t be able to run after him and catch him if he ever made a silly mistake. But in reality, he got a very thin wife. And she could run very fast.
- The doctor thought himself to be very handsome. He thought he had an attractive smile. But all such thoughts vanish at once when the snake is coiled around his arm. Now he calls himself a foolish, stupid doctor. All this creates a lot of humour.
Describe the doctor’s house.
The doctor lived in a small rented room. It was an outer room of a house. It was not electrified. It had two windows. The room had a gabled roof. It was supported on a beam over the walls. Above this beam, rats kept moving all the time.
The doctor heard a noise. Who was making the noise and why did it stop suddenly ?
It was the noise of rats. They were moving on the beam that supported the gable. The noise stopped suddenly when the narrator opened the door. The rats got frightened and stopped moving.
What two important decisions did the doctor take while he was looking into the mirror ?
The doctor decided to shave daily and grow a thin moustache. He hoped that he would thus look more handsome. He also decided to marry a woman doctor who had plenty of money and a good medical practice.
What happened to the doctor while he was sitting in his chair ?
The doctor heard a dull noise. It was the noise of something falling from above. He turned to see what it was. A fat snake was wriggling over the back of his chair. It landed on the doctor’s shoulder. Then it coiled itself round the doctor’s left arm above the elbow.
Did the doctor find the incident of the snake humorous or frightening or both ? Give reasons.
It was a frightening incident. The snake landed on the doctor’s shoulder. It coiled itself round his left arm. The doctor was turned to stone. The snake’s head was hardly three or four inches from his face. Its hood was spread out. Nothing could be more frightening. But luckily the snake saw its reflection in the mirror. It crept onto the table to have a closer look. At once the doctor ran away. He spent the night at a friend’s house. All his things were stolen in the night. It was all very terrible. But the doctor was a good storyteller. He described his frightening experience in a humorous manner.
The snake has been compared to three objects. What are these ? How are the objects similar to the snake ?
First of all, the snake has been compared to a rubber tube. It is an apt comparison. A snake looks like a rubber tube. And like a rubber tube, it makes a dull noise when it falls. Secondly, the snake has been compared to a leaden rod. This comparison shows how tightly a snake can grip when it coils itself around an object. Thirdly, the snake has been compared to a rod of molten fire. It shows what burning pain a snake can give when it coils around some living object. All these comparisons are very apt.
What different decisions did the doctor make while he was looking at himself in the mirror ?
The doctor looked at his reflection in the mirror. He thought he looked handsome. In order to look more handsome, he decided to shave daily. He decided to grow a thin moustache also. He thought he had an attractive smile. So he decided to wear a smile on his face always. Another decision related to his marriage. He decided he would marry a woman doctor who had plenty of money and a good medical practice. He also wanted his wife to be a fat woman. If he made a silly mistake, he could run away from his fat wife and save himself.
What kind of woman did the doctor want to marry, and why ?
The doctor had just set up his medical practice. His earning was very small. He had to live in a dirty rented room. So he wanted to marry a woman doctor who had plenty of money. He also wanted that she should have a good medical practice. Thus he could tide over his financial problems. He could have a good house also. But he wanted his wife to be a fat woman. The doctor thought that if sometimes make a silly mistake, then he could save himself by running away from his fat wife. The doctor perhaps wants to suggest that it is always safe to have a fat wife.
Describe the doctor’s plight when he saw the snake.
The doctor’s plight was pitiable when he saw the snake. He was sitting in his small rented room. He heard a dull noise. It was a noise of something falling from above. He turned to see what it was. A fat snake was wriggling over the back of his chair. It landed on his shoulder. Then it coiled itself round the doctor’s left arm. The doctor was turned to stone. The snake’s head was hardly three or four inches from his face. Its hood was spread out. Nothing could be more frightening. But luckily the snake saw its reflection in the mirror. It crept onto the table to have a closer look. At once the doctor ran away. He spent the night at a friend’s house.
A fearful situation makes us lose our senses. Express your views with reference to ‘The Snake and the Mirror’ on the doctor’s reaction in 80-100 words.
It is very true that a fearful situation makes us lose our senses. We become so benumbed with fear that we can’t even move a little. This is what happens with the doctor in the story. One night, a fat snake falls from the gabled roof of his room. It lands on the back of his chair; and then coils round his left arm. The doctor is turned to stone. The snake’s head is hardly three inches from the doctor’s face. Luckily the snake sees its reflection in the mirror. It creeps onto the table to have a closer look. At once the doctor runs out of his room and spends the night at a friend’s house.