Extracts of The Portrait of a Lady | MCQs of The Portrait of a Lady
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My grandmother, like everybody’s grandmother, was an old woman. She had been old and wrinkled for the twenty years that I had known her. People said that she had once been young and pretty and had even had a husband, but that was hard to believe. My grandfather’s portrait hung above the mantelpiece in the drawing room. He wore a big turban and loose-fitting clothes. His long, white beard covered the best part of his chest and he looked at least a hundred years old.
She had always been short and fat and slightly bent. Her face was a criss-cross of wrinkles running from everywhere to everywhere. No, we were certain she had always been as we had known her. Old, so terribly old that she could not have grown older, and had stayed at the same age for twenty years. She could never have been pretty; but she was always beautiful.
a) Who is ‘She’ in the above lines? 1) Narrator’s Mother 2) Narrator’s Grandmother 3) Narrator’s Mother-in-law 4) None of these
b) What was the physical state of her? 1) Middle-aged 2) Young 3) Old 4) None of these
c) Which of the following is the synonym of ‘Fat’? 1) Corpulent 2) Skinny 3) Lean 4) None of these
d)Name the Chapter. 1) Discovering Tut
2) Ghat of The Only World
3) The Adventure
4) None of These
She hobbled about the house in spotless white with one hand resting on her waist to balance her stoop and the other telling the beads of her rosary. Her silver locks were scattered untidily over her pale, puckered face, and her lips constantly moved in inaudible prayer. Yes, she was beautiful. She was like the winter landscape in the mountains, an expanse of pure white serenity breathing peace and contentment.
a) What does the narrator mean by ‘Silver locks’? 1) Lock and Key 2) Grey Hair 3) Attire of Silver colour 4) None of these
b) Which figure of speech has been used in ‘Pale puckered face’? 1) Simile 2) Metaphor 3) Alliteration 4) Zeugma
c) Find out the antonym of ‘Audible’ from the following 1) Unhearable 2) Unsounded 3) Imperceptible 4) All of these
d) What does the word ‘Hobble’ mean? 1) Walk quickly
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a. Grey Hair
c. All of These
She used to wake me up in the morning and get me ready for school. She said her morning prayer in a monotonous sing-song while she bathed and dressed me in the hope that I would listen and get to know it by heart; I listened because I loved her voice but never bothered to learn it. Then she would fetch my wooden slate which she had already washed and plastered with yellow chalk.
a) Who looked after the narrator? 1) His Grandmother 2) His Mother 3) His Father 4) Both 2 and 3
b) Where did they both live? 1) In a village 2) In city 3) In a metropolitan city 4) None of these
c) Find out the antonym of ‘Monotonous’ from the following 1) Dull 2) Boring 3) Obsolete 4) Exciting
d) What did his grandmother have in her hands all the time? 1) Rosary
2) Wooden Slate
3) Food for Narrator
4) All of these
a. His Grandmother
b. In a Village
The priest taught us the alphabet and the morning prayer. While the children sat in rows on either side of the verandah singing the alphabet or the prayer in a chorus, my grandmother sat inside reading the scriptures. When we had both finished, we would walk back together. This time the village dogs would meet us at the temple door. They followed us to our home growling and fighting with each other for the chapattis we threw to them.
a) What did the grand mother do in the temple? 1) Read scriptures 2) Play with the kids 3) Feed the dogs 4) All of these
b) Who made chapattis for dogs? 1) Narrator 2) His Grandmother 3) Both of them 4) None of them
c) What does the word ‘Chorus’ mean? 1) Sing in a group 2) Sing alone 3) Sing in a group of two 4) Sing in a group of three
d) Which literary device has been used in the line ‘ They followed us to our home growling’ ? 1) Onomatopoeia
2) Transferred epithet
a. Read scriptures
b. His Grandmother
c. Sing in a group
I would tell her English words and little things of western science and learning, the law of gravity, Archimedes’ Principle, the world being round, etc. This made her unhappy. She could not help me with my lessons. She did not believe in the things they taught at the English school and was distressed that there was no teaching about God and the scriptures. One day I announced that we were being given music lessons. She was very disturbed. To her music had lewd associations. It was the monopoly of harlots and beggars and not meant for gentlefolk.
a) What did the grand mother despise? 1) Him reading scriptures 2) Him reading science 3) Him learning music lessons 4) Both 2 and 3
b) What view did the grandmother have about music? 1) It was the monopoly of harlots 2) It was meant for beggars 3) It was not meant for gentlefolk 4) All of these
c) What does the word ‘Lewd’ mean? 1) Obscene 2) Raunchy 3) Salacious 4) All of these
d) What did she want her grandson to read in the school ? 1) Science
a. Both 2 and 3
b. All of these
c. All of these
While she sat in the verandah breaking the bread into little bits, hundreds of little birds collected round her creating a veritable bedlam of chirrupings. Some came and perched on her legs, others on her shoulders. Some even sat on her head. She smiled but never shooed them away. It used to be the happiest half hour of the day for her.
a) Which of the following adjective describes the grandmother? 1) Altruist 2) Philanthropist 3) Philozoic 4) All of these
b) Where did the little birds sit? 1) On her legs 2) On her shoulders 3) On her head 4) All of these
c) What does the phrase ‘Shoo Away’ mean? 1) Drive away 2) Accept 3) Make someone sit 4) None of these
d) What made narrator’s grandmother happy? 1) Feeding the dogs
2) Feeding the birds
3) Feeding the animals
4) All of these
b. All of these
c. Drive away
d. All of these
In the evening a change came over her. She did not pray. She collected the women of the neighbourhood, got an old drum and started to sing. For several hours she thumped the sagging skins of the dilapidated drum and sang of the home-coming of warriors. We had to persuade her to stop to avoid overstraining. That was the first time since I had known her that she did not pray.
a) How did she celebrate his grandson homecoming? 1) sang songs 2) beat the drums 3) enjoyed collecting the women of neighbourhood 4) All of these
b) What change came over narrator’s grandmother? 1) She did not pray 2) She celebrated 3) She danced a lot 4) None of these
c) What does the word ‘Dilapidated’ mean? 1) Broken 2) Bedraggled 3) Damaged 4) All of these
d) Why did the narrator and his family have to persuade her? 1) For overstraining
2) For not overstraining
3) For worrying a lot
4) None of these
a. All of these
b. She did not pray
c. All of these
d. For not overstraining
We protested. But she ignored our protests. She lay peacefully in bed praying and telling her beads. Even before we could suspect, her lips stopped moving and the rosary fell from her lifeless fingers. A peaceful pallor spread on her face and we knew that she was dead.
a) Who are ‘We’ in the above lines? 1) Narrator and his family 2) Narrator and his grandmother 3) Narrator and his wife 4) None of these
b) How did she die? 1) She fell off the ladder 2) She overstrained herself in old age 3) She got a heart attack 4) None of these
c) What does the word ‘Pallor’ mean? 1) Pale 2) Yellowish 3) Reddish 4) Both 1 and 2
d) Which literary device has been used in ‘Peaceful Pallor’? 1) Personification
a. Narrator and his family
b. She overstrained herself in old age
c. Both 1 and 2
We felt sorry for the birds and my mother fetched some bread for them. She broke it into little crumbs, the way my grandmother used to, and threw it to them. The sparrows took no notice of the bread. When we carried my grandmother’s corpse off, they flew away quietly. Next morning the sweeper swept the bread crumbs into the dustbin.
a) Why did the birds take no notice of the bread crumbs? 1) For they had eaten a lot 2) For they did not like bread crumbs 3) For they had realised that woman who fed them was no more 4) None of these
b) Name the Chapter. 1) Tale of the Melon City
2) The Browning Version
3) The Ailing Planet
4) None of these
c) What does the word ‘fetch’ mean? 1) Bring 2) Carry 3) Spread 4) All of these
d) Which literary device has been used in ‘Sweeper swept away’? 1) Personification
a. For they had realised that woman who fed them was no more