Mother’s Day | J.B. Priestley | Summary | Chapter-5 | Class XI | Snapshots |

Mother’s Day by J.B.Priestley

Summary of Mother’s Day

Mother’s day 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. You may also read The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse, The Address, Ranga’s Marriage, Albert Einstein at School , Mother’s Day, The Ghat of the Only World, Birth, The Tale of the Melon City

Important Questions of Mother’s Day

Q1. Why was Mrs. Annie Pearson so worried?

Ans. Mrs. Pearson was severely isolated and frequently humiliated by her own children namely Doris and Cyril. On the other hand, her husband George turned a blind eye from her and loved to spend time with his friends not with his wife. she loved all of them a lot and couldn’t imagine her life without them. The behaviour of both her children and her husband made her sad, depressed and worried.

Q2. What was the proposal given by Mrs. Fitzgerald to Mrs. Pearson? How did she react to it?

Ans. When Mrs. Fitzgerald got to know about Mrs. Pearson children’s behaviour, she got furious and angry. She decided to teach all of them a good lesson by swapping her personality with Mrs. Pearson through a magic trick. Having heard this proposal, Mrs. Pearson, initially, refused to do so as she didn’t want her family to be troubled.

Q3. What happened when Mrs. Pearson swapped her personality with Mrs. Fitzgerald?

Ans. After a lot of persuasion, Mrs. Pearson agreed to the proposal given by her neighbour. Having changed the personality, Mrs. Pearson started smoking and drinking whereas Mrs. Fitz sat calmly on the other side. They had the same bodies but different personalities altogether then.

Q4. Why was Doris angry with her mother? How did Mrs. Pearson react to it?

Ans. Doris had a date her boyfriend namely Charley Spence. For that, she had planned to wear a yellow dressed which was not ironed by her mother so far. Therefore, She starts shouting at her mother but taken aback when responded in the same tone by her mother.

Q5. What makes Cyril astonished? How does he make fun of Mrs. Fitzgerald?

Ans. Cyril was astonished to see her mother smoking and ceaselessly asking for stout. He had never seen her mother behaving so strangely. Being desperate and unable to do anything, he calls Mrs. Fitzgerald ‘A Silly Old Bag’ when she enters but rebuked severely for that by his mother.

Q6. What piece of advise does Mrs. Fitzgerald give to her neighbour for managing her family?

Ans. Mrs. Fitzgerald was furious at the behaviour of Mrs. Pearson’s children. She advises Mrs. Pearson to stop running after them, taking their orders and behaving like a slave. She should show them their places and refuse to cater them anymore.

Q7. How does Mrs. Pearson give a shock to George?

Ans. When George starts putting up questions on Mrs. Pearson’s smoking and drinking, she makes him aware of his reality that how he is ridiculed at the club by its members. Besides, when he insults Mrs. Fitgzerald, she even threatens him to slap his big face and asks him to keep quiet.

Q8. What new rules are set up by Mrs. Pearson for her family?

Ans. Having taught all of them a good lesson, Mrs. Pearson decides that everyone will work 40-hours a week be it inside or outside the house. Moreover, she declares that she would have holidays at weekends that she would enjoy partying with her friends. She decides her own set of rules for her family.

Q9. How does the drama end at Mrs. Pearson’s house?

Ans. The drama which was staged by Mrs. Fitzgerald is also wound up by herself. She changes her personality with Mrs. Pearson again to end all that mess. On the other hand, all the members of Mrs. Pearson get ready to help in the kitchen for household work and spend time with her rather than going outside for parties.

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