The Little Girl Study Guide

Summary

This story describes Kezia’s connection with her father and how it affects her. Let us read on to find out what Kezia’s father expects of her and how she reacts to it.

The phrase “to be feared and avoided” implies that she was terrified of her father. He was frequently giving her directions or orders, but he never bothered to find out what she expected from him. She desired his affection and company. He just desired that she be obedient, disciplined, orderly, and faultless. He expected her to accept everything as it was and not to question anything. As a result, she was unable to develop self-confidence and did not feel free to speak. She would stutter if she tried to speak. Her father never inquired as to what was wrong in her life. He never gave her a chance to think about him.

Kezia creates a lovely pincushion for her father’s birthday on the advice of her grandmother. She reasoned that he would appreciate her sentiments. She crammed it with papers that were very essential to her father out of ignorance. When he found out about this, he was enraged. She begged, saying it was for his birthday. Rather than being gentle with her, he disciplined her by striking her palms with a ruler. She shouted, but her father believed that this was the only way to teach her not to touch anything that was not hers. Kezia’s heart was broken. Her grandmother’s question, ‘What did God make fathers for?’ reveals the depth of her feelings. Her grandmother expected her to forget the incident, but she did not. She had been emotionally hurt. Emotional wounds do not heal like physical wounds.

Kezia never had the opportunity to enjoy her parents’ companionship. She had no open relationship with them. In this section, we will learn what she thought when she discovered Mcdonalds’ playing and having fun together. She could see their excitement and gladness on their faces. She wondered if it could happen to her family as well. Her father had never been friendly to her, had never encouraged her to be herself with him. She understood that not all fathers are the same. Her father was of a different breed. She, on the other hand, desired to spend time with her parents.

Another incident occurred that let Kezia realise something new about her father. When her mother was hospitalised, Kezia was left alone at night, and her grandmother accompanied her (mother). She was having a nightmare. She shouted for her grandmother. Her father came over to console her. She had the chance to be close to him. He cared for her, reassured her, gave her a sense of security by holding her under his arms, and made her realise that her father truly had a great heart. He could not spend time with her because he was too busy during the day. “You have got a big heart, father dear,” she says.

Theme of The Story

This story emphasises the necessity of inter-personal interactions between parents and their children, siblings, and seniors in a family for a smooth and prosperous existence as well as a pleasant family atmosphere.

The first and most important aspect for stronger relationships is reciprocal engagement and regular communication among family members since only through communication can we better understand each other’s objectives, expectations, wishes, strengths, and flaws.

Parents must spend time with their children. They must provide kids with the freedom and opportunities to express themselves. Parents should treat their children with respect and pay attention to them to build their self-esteem and confidence. Children dislike it when their parents/elders impose their point of view and decisions on them. This attitude limits their free-thinking, creativity, and ability to make independent decisions; in other words, the spontaneous development of personality is inhibited. Another key component influencing relationship is that each member-child or parents should feel obligated to fulfil their commitments to one another. Otherwise, nothing will function, and there will be no mutual understanding or a comfortable atmosphere in the household.

Working with the Text

Question 1. How did the little girl feel when her father went to work each day?

Ans. The little girl felt a glad sense of relief when her father went to work each day.

Question 2. “She never stuttered with other people but only with father.” This shows that the little girl was:

a) Foolish     b) Nervous 
c) Funny        d) Unnatural

Ans. Nervous

Question 3. Why did the little girl start, making the pin-cushion?

Ans. As suggested by her grandmother,the little girl started making pin-cushion to gift it to her father on his birthday, next week.

Question 4. What did the little girl stuff the pincushion with?

Ans. The little girl stuffed the pin-cushion with tiny pieces of paper torn out from sheets of fine paper.

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Question 5. “What did God make fathers for?” Who said these words?

Ans. The little girl named Kezia said these words while clinging to her grandmother.

Question 6. What was Kezia’s nightmare?

Ans. Kezia’s nightmare was about a butcher with a knife and a rope coming closer and closer to her with a dreadful smile that made her cry in her sleep.

Question 7. Did the nightmare repeat itself?

Ans. Yes, the nightmare repeated itself whenever she slept.

Question 8. What did the little girl’s father do when she had the nightmare?

Ans. When the little girl had the nightmare, her father took her up and carried her into his room, where he lay next her.

Question 9. Kezia’s father (Choose the right option):

a) Loved his daughter                
b) Was indifferent to her

Ans. Loved his daughter


Questions and Answers of ‘The Little Girl’

II. Answer the following questions in one or two sentences.


1. Why was Kezia afraid of her father?
Ans. Kezia feared her father since he was a severe man who often gave orders to everyone else in the family. He never played with her. He had enormous hands and a hefty face, especially his mouth when he yawned, and she was scared of the way he peered at her through his spectacles.

2. Who were the people in Kezia’s family?
Ans. Kezia’s family consisted of her mother, father, grandmother and herself.

3.  What was Kezia’s father’s routine 
(i) before going to his office? 
(ii) after coming back from his office?
(iii) on Sundays?
Ans. (i) Before going to his office, Kezia’s father usually went into her room to give her a casual kiss.
(ii) After coming back from his office, he ordered for tea to be brought into the drawing-room. He also asked his mother to bring him the newspaper and his slippers, and Kezia to pull off his boots. 
(iii) On Sunday, Kezia’s father would stretch out on the sofa. He would cover his face with his handkerchief, put his feet on one of the cushions and sleep soundly.

4. In what ways did Kezia’s grandmother encourage her to get to know her father better?
Ans. Kezia’s grandmother urged her to develop a stronger relationship with her father by sending her to the drawing-room on Sundays to speak with her parents. She also suggested that Kezia construct a pin cushion out of a lovely piece of yellow silk as a birthday present for her father.

III. Discuss these questions in class with your teacher and then write down your answers in two or three paragraphs each.

1. Kezia’s efforts to please her father resulted in displeasing him very much. How did this happen?
Ans. Kezia’s attempts to please her father failed. Every Sunday, her grandmother took her to the drawing-room to talk with her father. But her presence angered him. He nicknamed her a ‘little brown owl’. Her grandmother informed her that her father’s birthday was coming up and suggested she make him a pin cushion. After carefully stitching three sides of the cushion with double cotton, Kezia was stumped as to what to stuff it with. Then she explored her mother’s room for scraps while her grandmother was out in the garden. Finally, she found paper on the bedside table. She gathered them, tore them up, and stuffed them in the pillow. Sadly, her efforts to appease her father not only failed but also had unexpected consequences. The sheets she tore were her father’s Port Authority address. Her father chastised her for touching objects she did not own and smacked her palm with a ruler.

Or

Kezia’s efforts to impress her father backfired. Each Sunday, her grandmother escorted her down to the drawing-room for a pleasant conversation with her father and mother. However, her presence irritated her father. He used to refer to her as the ‘little brown owl.’ One day, her grandmother informed her that her father’s birthday was coming up and suggested she make him a pincushion as a lovely gift. After meticulously stitching three sides of the cushion with double cotton, Kezia was at a loss for what to stuff it with. Because her grandmother was occupied in the garden, she sought scraps in her mother’s bedroom. She eventually noticed pages of paper on the bedside table. She grabbed these, tore them up, and stuffed the ripped bits into the cushion. Regrettably, her efforts to appease her father were not only fruitless but also had an unintended result. This was because the sheets she had torn contained her father’s Port Authority speech. Her father reprimanded her for touching things that were not hers and disciplined her by slamming a ruler into her palm.

2. Kezia decides that there are “different kinds of fathers”. What kind of father was Mr Macdonald, and how was he different from Kezia’s father?
Ans. Kezia compared her father to her next-door neighbour, Mr Macdonald. He was a caring, loving, and forgiving father. He was constantly happy and playing with his kids. He was gentle with his children. He was the polar opposite of Kezia’s father. He never punished his children, unlike Kezia’s father. He used to play with them anytime he had free time. Kezia’s father was tough and strict in his discipline.

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Her father chastised her for touching things that were not hers and disciplined her by striking her palm with a ruler.

3. How does Kezia begin to see her father as a human being who needs her sympathy?
Ans. Kezia is left at home with Alice, the cook, while her mother and grandmother are in the hospital. She suffers a nightmare at night after the cook has put her to bed. She shouts out for her grandmother but instead discovers her father standing beside her bed. He cradles her in his arms and forces her to sleep with him. She creeps up to him, snuggles her head under his arm, and grips his shirt tightly. Her father instructs her to brush her feet against his legs to keep warm. Her father falls asleep before she does. This teaches her that he needs to work hard every day, which exhausts him and prevents him from acting like Mr Macdonald. She displays her newfound affection for her father by telling him that he has a “big heart.”



EXTRA QUESTIONS


Extract Based Questions (3 marks, each).
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: 

Q.1. To the little girl, he was a figure to be feared and avoided. Every morning before going to work he came into her room and gave her a casual kiss, to which she responded with ‘Good Bye Father’. And oh, there Was a glad sense of relief when she heard the noise of the carriage growing fainter and fainter down the long road! ,

(i) What was the daily routine of the father?
(ii) ’When did the daughter feel relief? 
(iii) Trace a word from the passage which means “answered”.
Ans. (i) The daily routine of Kezia’s father was to visit her daughter’s room, meet her and give her a kiss before leaving for work. 
(ii) The daughter felt relief when the carriage went away from the house. 
(iii) Responded

Q. 2. But the same old nightmare came the butcher with a knife and a rope who came nearer and nearer, with that dreadful smile, while she could not move, only stand still, crying out “Grandma!”. She woke shivering to see her father beside her bed, a candle in his hand. “What is the matter ?” he said.

(i) Why did she get the nightmare?
(ii) Where was the butcher?
(iii) Find a word from the passage that means “shake in fear and cold”.
Ans. (i) She got a nightmare as she was alone with her father at home and her mother and granny were in the hospital.
(ii) The butcher was in her dream. 
(iii) Shivering.

Short Answer Type Questions

Q.1.What orders were passed to Kezia in the evening when her father returned home from the office?
Ans. When Kezia’s father returned home from work, she was expected to come downstairs, remove his shoes, and place them outside. She was also supposed to place her father’s teacup on the file tea table.

Q.2. Why did Kezia avoid her father?
Ans. Kezia avoided her father because, according to her, he was emotionless. He never spoke to Kezia lovingly and calmly. He chastised and admonished Kezia for making mistakes. Kezia stammered in front of her father since he was a big and giant-like figure far apart from the warmth of a father.

Q. 3. Why did Kezia stammer in front of her father?
Ans. Kezia’s father was often scolding her and never spoke to her lovingly. So, because she was terrified of her father and found it difficult to talk in front of him, Kezia stammered in front of him.

Q.4. Why was Kezia afraid of her father? 
Ans. Kezia was a sensitive little girl. Her father was abrasive and shouted loudly all the time. He was continuously chastising her. He used to smack her around. He never played with her, even when she admitted her mistakes. She was terrified of her father as a result of this.

Long Answer Type Questions

Q. 1. How did Kezia’s negative attitude towards her father change?
Ans. When her mother was hospitalised, her grandmother visited her. Kezia used to sleep alone herself at night. She was so terrified that she began shrieking in the middle of the night. She experienced nightmares and trembled a lot because she was terrified. Her father then entered her room and cradled her in his arms to console her. She felt safe with her father nearby. Then she discovered her father was too preoccupied with work to play. She even recognised that her father loved her but lacked the ability to communicate it. As a result, her attitude toward her father shifted from negative to favourable.

Q.2. How did Kezia’s efforts to please her father result in displeasing him very much? Elaborate
Ans. Kezia was terrified of her father and stammered when she spoke to him. This irritated him greatly. He did not like it when she waited and stared at him to have a great lengthy conversation. She inadvertently damaged some of his key papers while stuffing a cushion to give to him on his birthday. This enraged him, and he severely beat her. As a result, Kezia’s efforts to satisfy her father culminated in her displeasing him greatly.

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Essay Type Questions


1. How has the author dealt with the relationship between children and their parents in society through her story ‘The Little Girl?  
Ans: Kezia’s father was a man on the go. He was so preoccupied with producing money for the family that he had no time for them. He was strict with Kezia as well, as he was with everyone else. He never had those sweet feelings for his young daughter, and he never petted her for a long time. Kezia was terrified by his presence at home, and she was relieved when he left. Kezia could speak without stuttering, but in the presence of her father, she stuttered and had all of those speech problems. She stuttered as she tried to talk normally in front of her intimidating father. Despite everything, Kezia’s father had a kind heart.

The story revolves around the relationship between parents and their children. The truth of this subject stems from the fact that we live in a world where parents still fight to maintain positive relationships with their children. The first factor for a healthier connection is reciprocal engagement and regular communication among family members since only through communication can we better understand each other’s objectives, expectations, wants, and strengths. Parents must spend time with their children. They must provide kids with the freedom and opportunities to express themselves. Parents should treat their children with respect and pay attention to them to build their self-esteem and confidence. Another key component influencing relationship is that each member-child or parents should feel obligated to fulfil their commitments to one another. Otherwise, nothing will function, and there will be no mutual understanding or a comfortable atmosphere in the household. Fathers are too exhausted, work too hard, and sometimes do not have time for their children, according to the theory. Parents should not be unconcerned about their children. They must always express their love for their children.

Language Work

Fill in the blanks in each of the following sentences with suitable word/s taken from those in the brackets:

1. Lawyer to Mr. Lateef, “I __________ you to pay your taxes by March 31.” (advice/advise)

Ans. Lawyer to Mr. Lateef, “I advise you to pay your taxes by March 31.”

2. I _______ that we should go shopping. (plan/suggest)

Ans. I suggest that we should go shopping.

3. Sita is not ready. She hasn’t _________ her hair yet. (done/made)

Ans. Sita is not ready. She hasn’t made her hair yet.

4. It is bad manners to _________ at a person. (stare/gaze)

Ans. It is bad manners to stare at a person.

5. On a cool summer evening we often __________ at the stars. (gaze/stare)

Ans. On a cool summer evening we often gaze at the stars.

6. The management has decided to __________ all the demands of the striking workers ______ the one for a pay revision. (accept/except)

Ans. The management has decided to accept all the demands of the striking workers except for the one for a pay revision.

7. The man who sells _________ was hurt in an accident when his car hit a ________ lorry. (stationary/stationery)

Ans. The man who sells stationery was hurt in an accident when his car hit a stationary lorry.

8. The world needs a lot more people working for _________. We want the country to be in one ________ always. (peace/piece)

Ans. The world needs a lot more people working for peace. We want the country to be in one piece always.

9. The _________ of this institution is a man of ________. (principle/principal)

Ans. The principal of this institution is a man of principle.

10. It is ________ difficult to find a _________ room in this hostel. (quiet/quite)

Ans. It is quite difficult to find a quiet room in this hostel.

Grammar Work

A. Fill in the blanks in the following sentences with suitable phrasal verbs from those given below. Make necessary changes in the tense of the verb.

Look for       look through                       look after     blow out       pull off                     give up           

Look at         push open                hurry up       fill with

1. I am filled with admiration for his bravery.

2. Hurry up! It’s getting late.

3. She pushed open the door of the drawing-room.

4. “look at the blackboard” The teacher said to the student.

5. He has given up smoking.

6. The little girl was ordered to pull off the boots of her father.

7. blow out the candle, please.

8. we should look after plants around us.

9. She looked through a window.

10. I am looking for my lost pen.

B. Give the adjective forms of the following adverbs:

Adverbs                    Adjectives

Laboriously              laborious

Soundly                     sound

Properly                    proper

Sharply                     sharp

Finally                       final

Suddenly                 sudden

Quickly                   quick

Slowly                     slow

Especially               especial 

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