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“The Hundred Dresses” is a story about a girl named Wanda. She claimed to have one hundred dressed but always wore the same dress to school because of which her classmates made fun of her. Later when there was a drawing contest in her school, she submitted a hundred drawings in which there were hundred beautiful dresses that she used to talk about.
THE HUNDRED DRESSES–I
How is Wanda seen as different by the other girls ? How do they treat her ?
The other girls think Wanda has a name that is not easy to say. She always remains quiet. She has no friends. The other girls try to make fun of her and tease her.
How does Wanda feel about the dresses game ? Why does she say that she has a hundred dresses ?
Wanda feels it is cruel of the girls to ask her such questions. She says that she has one hundred dresses to wear. And whatever she says is all true because she has really one hundred dresses though they are in the form of paintings.
Why does Maddie stand by and not do anything ? How is she different from Peggy ? (Was Peggy’s friendship important to Maddie ? Why ?
Peggy is the most popular girl in the class. Maddie does not have the courage to offend her. Moreover, she values her friendship with Peggy. She thinks that ‘Peggy could not possibly do anything that was really wrong’.
What does Miss Mason think of Wanda’s drawings ? What do the children think of them ? How do you know ?
Miss Mason calls Wanda’s drawings exquisite. She thinks that the whole class could be proud of Wanda’s drawings. The children feel very happy. They put their fingers in their mouths and start whistling.
THE HUNDRED DRESSES– II
Why do you think Wanda’s family moved to a different city ? Do you think life there was going to be different for their family ?
Wanda’s family could no longer tolerate the mockery that their daughter was subjected to by the other girls at school. The other girls would laugh at her unusual name and her faded blue dress. So the family decided to move to a different city. We don’t know if it was different there but we do hope it would have been.
Maddie thought her silence was as bad as Peggy’s teasing. Was she right ?
Yes, Maddie was absolutely right. Peggy’s teasing of Wanda was bad, but Maddie’s remaining silent over it was equally bad. Remaining silent over injustice is as bad as doing injustice.
Peggy says, “I never thought she had the sense to know we were making fun of her anyway. I thought she was too dumb. And gee, look how she can draw !” What led Peggy to believe that Wanda was dumb ? Did she change her opinion later ?
Peggy used to tease Wanda but Wanda would never react. She always remained stolid. Thus Peggy came to think that Wanda was too dumb. But later she had to change her opinion when Wanda won the drawing contest.
What important decision did Maddie make ? Why did she have to think hard to do so ?
Maddie decided that she would no longer remain silent when someone was being teased. She would at once speak up, even if it meant losing Peggy’s friendship. She had to think hard because she had always valued Peggy’s friendship and did not want to lose it.
Why do you think Wanda gave Maddie and Peggy the drawings of the dresses ? Why are they surprised ?
Wanda had a heart of gold. In spite of their teasing, Wanda did not dislike Maddie and Peggy. She wanted to tell them she had no ill-feelings against them. That was why she left her two drawings for them. It surprised the two girls because they could never think that Wanda could have liked them.
Do you think Wanda really thought the girls were teasing her ? Why or why not ?
Wanda did think that the girls were teasing her. She never spoke out because she disliked to be unpleasant. However, she reported everything to her parents. That is why they decided to go to another town.