On Umbrella Morals By A.G. Gardiner

The essay ‘On Umbrella Morals’ is a satire written by A.G. Gardiner. In this essay, the author after losing his umbrella pulls his thoughts and emotions towards serious things like morals and conscience. He feels unhappy that many people forget to return books taken from others or a library. such people even do not hesitate from picking other people’s umbrellas and hats. The author really feels annoyed at such behaviour of certain people. He says that such people keep befooling themselves that they are honest people.
They become so immoral that they don’t feel any shame in picking things to others. The author has entitled this essay ‘On Umbrella Morals’ because losing his umbrella leads him to think about morals and conscience.

Short Answer Type Questions

Q.1 What does the author say about ‘Umbrella Morals’?
Ans. The essay ‘On Umbrella Morales’ written by the British author A.G. Gardiner is a satire in which the author comments on certain people’s odd habit of picking things belonging to others. The author calls such people having umbrella conscience. He says that such a man is not a robber or a pickpocket but he is thoroughly an honest man who allows his honesty the benefit of the doubt. Such a man does no crime but picks others umbrella or forgets to return a book. Then he befools his conscience saying that it has been done by mistake. In this way, he plays the game of hide-and-seek with his own conscience. The author calls such as man without a bolt who seems unspotted from the world.

Q.2 ‘It is not enough to be find out by others; we refuse to find out by ourselves.’ Discuss.
Ans. The author A.G. Gardiner taunts on certain people’s habit of picking other’s things. He says that such people even though pick things belonging to others yet, they consider themselves thoroughly honest. They consider their act of picking other’s things just a mistake.
They befool themselves in the name of a mistake. Such people don’t look at the thing until they are for away from the place. Then gives an expression of surprise as if the act has been done unintentionally. The author says that it is not enough to be found out by others. But we refuse to be found out by ourselves. He meant to say that we are not honest even to ourselves, let alone others we keep playing the game of hide-and-seek with our own conscience.

Q.3 Describe how and why did the author return the Umbrella?

Ans. The author says that it may be possible that sometimes things are exchanged by mistake only. He remembers an incident in which he was involved in the exchange of an umbrella of a politician. Once he was invited to dine with some politicians. As it was the summertime he did not have the need to carry his umbrella for next few days then one day he discovered a splendid umbrella with a gold band and a gold tassel in the umbrella stand of his house. He was terrified to see that umbrella because it did not belong to him. Luckily, the name of a politician was engraved upon it. The author quickly wrote a letter to that politician and apologized for his mistake. He dispatched the umbrella along with the letter. Even the politician was very nice about it. And took all the blame on himself.
In this way, the author was saved from the shame of exchanging other’s umbrella.

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Short Answer Type Questions

Q. Write the critical summary of the essay, ” On Umbrella Morals”.
Ans. See the summary of the essay above.
Q. Justify the title of the essay, “On Umbrella Morals”.
Ans. See the summary of the essay above.
Q. What has the author to say about morals concerning books.
Ans. As for as books are concerned, the author says that people do not follow any morals in taking books from others or a library. He is very annoyed that many people forget to return books of others. It is common all over the world and even some reputable people don’t think about morals concerning books. He gives the example of a famous divine and literary critic whose library was sold after his death. The library had a great collection of rare books, all borrowed from others or libraries. Finally, the author says that it is hard to part with a book that one has come to love.

Q. Why does the author say that picking other’s hat is unpardonable?
Ans. The author considers picking other people’s hats as unpardonable because a hat is associated with someone’s prestige or reputation. He says that picking of a very personal thing like hat goes outside that dim borderland of conscience where honesty and dishonesty dissemble. It is difficult to accept that someone can put a strange hat on without being aware of the fact. It can’t be done even by mistake. Yet, It is done so often.

Q. What does the author mean by ‘play hide and seek’?
Ans. The author says that people, who pick things belonging to others, play hide & seek with their conscience. Such people keep befooling themselves than their act of picking other’s thing is a matter of mistake only. They give this excuse that it was not done deliberately. They are not ready to accept the truth even at their hearts. In this way, they deceive their conscience & play hide – and – seek with it.

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