The Hundred Dresses: II – 10th Class NCERT CBSE English ‘First Flight’ Chapter 06
Question: What did Mr Petronski’s letter say?
Answer: Mr Pertronski’s letter said that Wanda would not come to school anymore. They were moving away to a big city. He also said that there, nobody would ask them why they had funny names because there were plenty of funny names in the city.
Question: Is Miss Mason angry with the class, or is she unhappy and upset?
Answer: Miss Mason was unhappy and upset. She said that she was sure that none of the boys and girls of Room Thirteen would purposely and deliberately hurt anyone’s feelings. She preferred to think that what was said was said in thoughtlessness. She thought of it as a very unfortunate thing to have happened and wanted everybody in the class to think about it.
Question: How does Maddie feel after listening to the note from Wanda’s father?
Answer: After listening to the note from Wanda’s father, Maddie had a very sick feeling in the bottom of her stomach. She could not concentrate when she tried to prepare her lessons. She had not enjoyed listening to Peggy ask Wanda how many dresses she had in her closet. However, she had always stood by silently and that was as bad as what Peggy had done. She had thought that they were being mean. She could put herself in Wanda’s shoes. Later, she even called herself a coward.
Question: What does Maddie want to do?
Answer: Maddie wanted to tell Wanda that she had not meant to hurt her feelings. She felt that she had to do something, whether Peggy felt badly or not. She had to find Wanda. She had the feeling that Wanda might not have moved away as yet. She thought that Peggy would climb the Boggins Heights with her, and together, they would tell Wanda that she had won the contest; that they thought she was smart; and that the hundred dresses were beautiful.
Question: What excuses does Peggy think up for her behaviour? Why?
Answer: Peggy had told Maddie with pretended casualness that both of them should go and see if Wanda had left the town or not. The excuse that Peggy thought up for her behavior was that she never called Wanda a foreigner or made fun of her name. She also said that she never thought Wanda had even the sense to know that they were making fun of her. She thought Wanda was too dumb. However, she appreciated the fact that Wanda could draw so well. She was making such excuses because she was feeling bad about what had happened, thinking that it probably was her teasing because of which Wanda left the school.
Question: What are Maddie’s thoughts as they go to Boggins Heights?
Answer: Maddie hoped that they would find Wanda. She wanted to tell her that they were sorry that they had picked on her; and that how wonderful the whole school thought she was. She also thought of requesting her not to leave the school. She even thought that she and Peggy would fight anybody who was not nice to her.
Question: Why does Wanda’s house remind Maddie of Wanda’s blue dress?
Answer: Wanda’s house looked shabby but clean. It reminded Maddie of Wanda’s blue dress because it was also very shabby and faded, but clean.
Question: What does Maddie think hard about? What important decision does she come to?
Answer: Maddie was not happy as she could not find Wanda at her home. She could not sleep that night. She thought about Wanda, her faded blue dress, and the little house she lived in. She also thought about the hundred glowing pictures, which were all lined up in the classroom. At last, Maddie thought really hard and after a long time, she reached an important decision. She decided that she would never stand by and say nothing again. If she ever heard anybody picking on someone because they were funny looking or because they had strange names, then she would speak up. She did not even mind losing Peggy’s friendship over it. She knew she could not make things right with Wanda. However, she had decided that in the future, she would never make anybody else unhappy again.
Question: Why do you think Wanda’s family moved to a different city? Do you think life there was going to be different for their family?
Answer: It is likely that like Wanda, other members of her family also faced ridicule and mockery because of their long and different names. Wanda’s family moved to a big city as in the city everybody had funny names, so they would not face as much trouble in this regard. However, life could still be difficult for them as they could be teased about various other things.
Question: Maddie thought her silence was as bad as Peggy’s teasing. Was she right?
Answer: Yes, Maddie was right when she thought that her silence was as bad as Peggy’s teasing. She was right because even though she felt bad about it and never teased Wanda herself, she did not say anything to stop it. A person who sees something wrong happening in front of him / her is as much an offender as the person committing the offence. Maddie was too afraid to say anything because she did not want to lose Peggy’s friendship. Also, she was poor herself, so she feared that everybody would make fun of her too.
Question: Peggy says, “I never thought she had the sense to know we were making fun of her anyway. I thought she was too dumb. And gee, look how she can draw!” What led Peggy to believe that Wanda was dumb? Did she change her opinion later?
Answer: Peggy believed that Wanda was dumb as she could not understand why Wanda said she had a hundred dresses, even when everybody knew that she was poor. She knew everybody was laughing at her. Even then, she kept giving the same answer. She even described the dresses she said she had. That is why Peggy thought Wanda was dumb. She changed her opinion later when she saw the hundred dresses Wanda had talked about. She saw the drawings and was highly impressed by their beauty. She realized that Wanda was a very good artist.
Question: What did the girls write to Wanda?
Answer: The girls wrote a friendly letter to Wanda telling her that she had won the contest. They also wrote how pretty her drawings were. They asked her if she liked the place where she was living and if she liked her new teacher. They wanted to say that they were sorry. However, they ended up with just writing a friendly letter. They signed it with lots of X’s for love.
Question: Did they get a reply? Who was more anxious for a reply, Peggy or Maddie? How do you know?
Answer: No, they did not get a reply. Maddie was more anxious for a reply as she thought a lot about it. She would put herself to sleep making speeches about Wanda and defending her from great crowds of girls who were trying to tease her. Before Wanda could press her lips together in a tight line, which she did before answering, Maddie would cry out and ask everybody to stop and then, everybody would feel ashamed the way she felt. Peggy, on the other hand, had begun to forget about the whole affair. This shows that Maddie was more anxious for a reply than Peggy.
Question: How did the girls know that Wanda liked them even though they had teased her?
Answer: The girls came to know that Wanda liked them even though they had teased her as she had asked Miss Mason to give the green dress with red trimming to Peggy and the blue one to Maddie. Later when Maddie looked at the drawing very carefully, she realized that the dress had a face and a head, which looked like her own self. The head and face in the drawing given to Peggy looked just like Peggy. That is why the girls knew that Wanda liked them even though they had teased her.
Question: What important decision did Maddie make? Why did she have to think hard to do so?
Answer: The important decision that Maddie made was that she would never stand by and say nothing again. If she ever heard anybody picking on someone because they were funny-looking or because they had strange names, she would speak up. She did not even mind losing Peggy’s friendship over it. She knew she could not make things right with Wanda. However, she had decided that in the future, she would never make anybody else unhappy again.
She was unhappy that she could not find Wanda at her home. She could not sleep that night. She thought about Wanda, her faded blue dress, and the little house she lived in. She also thought about the hundred glowing pictures, which were all lined up in the classroom. She was feeling guilty of not having said anything when everybody else was teasing Wanda. It was her guilt that made her think very hard and arrive at the important decision.
Question: Why do you think Wanda gave Maddie and Peggy the drawings of the dresses? Why are they surprised?
Answer: Maddie and Peggy had written a letter to Wanda. Though it was a friendly letter, Wanda must have understood the emotions behind the writing of that letter. Therefore, Wanda’s request that two of her drawings be given to Maddie and Peggy could be her way of telling them that she had forgiven and forgotten.
When Maddie and Peggy did not receive a reply to their letter for a long time, they felt that perhaps Wanda was still hurt and angry. Therefore, they were surprised when they came to know that Wanda had asked Miss Mason to give them two of her drawings.
Question: Do you think Wanda really thought the girls were teasing her? Why or why not?
Answer: Wanda would have been aware that the other children were teasing her. She would have known that the children intended to make fun of her poverty, and would have laughed at her whatever she might have said. This could have been the reason for her exaggerating everything whenever she answered their questions.
Question: What adjectives can we use to describe Peggy, Wanda and Maddie? You can choose adjectives from the list above. You can also add some of your own.
- Peggy ____________________________
- Wanda ___________________________
- Maddie ___________________________
- Peggy: sarcastic, cheerful, contented
- Wanda: kind, timid, introverted, generous, talented, lonely, creative
- Maddie: kind, timid, sensitive, miserable
Question: Find the sentences in the story with the following phrasal verbs.
lined up thought up took off stood by
- lined up: And she thought of the glowing picture those hundred dresses made − all lined up in the classroom.
- thought up: Peggy, who had thought up this game, and Maddie, her inseparable friend, were always the last to leave.
- took off: Miss Mason took off her glasses, blew on them and wiped them on her soft white handkerchief.
- stood by: She had stood by silently, and that was just as bad as what Peggy had done.
Question: Colours are used to describe feelings, moods and emotions. Match the following ‘colour expressions’ with a suggested paraphrase.
- the Monday morning blues – feel embarrassed / angry / ashamed
- go red in the face – feel very sick, as if about to vomit
- look green – sadness or depression after a weekend of fun
- the red carpet – the sign or permission to begin an action
- blue-blooded – a sign of surrender or acceptance of defeat; a wish to stop fighting
- a green belt – in an unlawful act; while doing something wrong
- a blackguard – a photographic print of building plans; a detailed plan or scheme
- a grey area – land around a town or city where construction is prohibited by law
- a white flag – an area of a subject or a situation where matters are not very clear
- a blueprint – a dishonest person with no sense of right or wrong
- red-handed – a special welcome
- the green light – of noble birth or from a royal family
- the Monday morning blues – sadness or depression after a weekend of fun
- go red in the face – feel embarrassed / angry / ashamed
- look green – feel very sick, as if about to vomit
- the red carpet – a special welcome
- blue-blooded – of noble birth or from a royal family
- a green belt – land around a town or city where construction is prohibited by law
- a blackguard – a dishonest person with no sense of right or wrong
- a grey area – an area of a subject or a situation where matters are not very clear
- a white flag – a sign of surrender or acceptance of defeat; a wish to stop fighting
- a blueprint – a photographic print of building plans; a detailed plan or scheme
- red-handed – in an unlawful act; while doing something wrong
- the green light – the sign or permission to begin an action