Summary of ‘Mother’s Day’, Chapter-5 with Important Questions/Answers, Class XI Literature (Snapshots)

Summary of Mother’s Day

(By: J.B. Priestly)

This chapter is based on a practical experience of a mother, Mrs. Pearson, who is both ignored and snubbed by her own kids on daily basis. She is treated as if she were a slave in her own home. Therefore, she has to feel a lot of ignorance and embarrassment every day not only from her son Cyril and daughter Doris but also from her husband George Pearson who has completely turned a blind eye from his middle-aged wife.

Her life takes a turn when she meets Mrs. Fitzgerald, a fortune teller, and discusses about her family members and their atrocious behavior. Mrs. Pearson narrates her each and everything from the scratch about her kids and their behavior. Mrs. Fitzgerald, who is a very strong and sinister personality, advises her to exchange their personalities so as to teach a good lesson to her kids as well as her husband. At first, Mrs. Pearson hesitates a bit to do so as she loves her family a lot and can’t see them being insulted by Mrs. Fitzgerald, but when the latter encourages her and makes her realize the pains she bears due to her family members, she soon agrees to swap her personality with the personality of Mrs. Fitzgerald.

Now, Mrs. Fitzgerald casts a spell and with that, she swaps her personality with Mrs. Pearson in a matter of seconds. Now, the scene changes, Mrs. Pearson appears to be smoking and drinking who was earlier sitting idle and peacefully whereas Mrs. Fitzgerald appears to be very calm and composed who was earlier smoking, drinking and playing cards. Mrs. Fitzgerald advises Mrs. Pearson not to tell anything about what has happened with them and to watch the game intently.

When Doris (her daughter) enters home, she orders her mother to iron her yellow dress stating that she has to go on a date with her boyfriend Charlie Spence. She even objects to her mother’s smoking when she sees her doing so. On asking, Mrs. Pearson replies very severely and advises her to do her works herself. Besides, Mrs. Pearson makes fun of her boyfriend Charlie Spence calling him half-witted and buck teeth.  Doris feels dejected and humiliated and starts crying when insulted and rebuked by her mother.

When Cyril (her son) enters, he asks his mother briskly if his tea is ready. Mrs. Pearson refuses and advises him to prepare himself if he wants to have. Seeing the reaction of his mother & crying of his sister, he raises his voice but nipped in the bud. Mrs. Pearson also advises him to mind his language when he calls Mrs. Fitzgerald an old fat bag. He is absolutely shocked to see the reaction of his mother when she asks for some stout if any left at home.

When Doris and Cyril talk about their being tired after working for a long time, she makes it very clear to both of them that they all will work equally from that day onwards i.e. 8 hours a day. She also talks about her being free and stress free at weekends. She adds that she will not work at weekends and enjoy with her friends on Saturdays and Sundays.

Then enters Mr. George Pearson, who does not want to have his tea that day as he a party at a snooker club, he also expresses his astonishment on seeing his wife smoking and drinking. When he objects, Mrs. Pearson makes him realize that if he can drink she too can. She even tells him that how people make fun of him at the club which disturbs him out and out. Mr. George Pearson regrets his mistake of leaving his wife alone at home and spending the time with the people who are dual and who make fun of him at his back.

Seeing her family members’ insult, Mrs. Pearson asks Mrs. Fitzgerald to stop all that drama at once but Mrs. Fitzgerald does not let her speak till she teaches all of them a good lesson of respecting and honouring their mother. Soon, they both swap their personality again. Now the daughter, the son and the husband get to learn a lesson and start supporting their mother and wife. Moreover, they start respecting the emotions and sentiments of their mother. They decide that they will not go out to parties or to meet anyone but to spend quality time with their mother who has sacrifice her  everything for the sake of her kids.


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