Question: What are some of the signs of approaching winter referred to in the text?
The Cop and the Anthem – Answer: The signs of the approaching winter are the movement of birds to warm south, the woolens needed by people and the dead leaves covering the ground.
Question: Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ against each of the following:
- Soapy did not want to go to prison. __________
- Soapy had been to prison several times. __________
- It was not possible for Soapy to survive in the city through the winter. __________
- Soapy hated to answer questions of a personal nature. __________
The Cop and the Anthem – Question: What was Soapy’s first plan? Why did it not work?
Answer: He would go to eat at restaurant and would then tell them he had no money. They would immediately call a cop who would arrest him. But as soon as he put his foot inside the restaurant, the waiters blocked his entry. Thus his first plan did not work.
Question: “But the cop’s mind would not consider Soapy”. What did the cop not consider, and why?
Answer: The policeman did not believe that Soapy had broken the window glass. The reason was that no such criminal would stop and talk to a policeman.
The Cop and the Anthem – Question: “We have orders to let them shout.” What is the policeman referring to?
Answer: The policeman means to say that he had got orders not to arrest the unruly and shouting college students.
Question: Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ against each of the following.
- Soapy stole a man’s umbrella. _________
- The owner of the umbrella offered to give it to Soapy. _________
- The man had stolen the umbrella that was now Soapy’s. _________
- Soapy threw away the umbrella. _________
The Cop and the Anthem – Answer:
Question: “There was a sudden and wonderful change in his soul”. What brought about the change on Soapy?
Answer: The sight of the home where Soapy had spent his childhood suddenly changed his outlook. The old memories of his mother and the sweet music revived his love for a decent life. He decided to work and become somebody in life.
Discuss the following topics in groups.
Question: Suppose no cop came at the end. What would Soapy’s life be like through the winter?
Answer: In case Soapy was not arrested and sent to prison he would have started a new life. He might have taken up some job and lived like a normal gentleman. But through the winter he might have faced the icy winds.
Question: Retell an episode in the story which is a good example of irony in a situation.
Answer: Soapy was keen to be sent to prison for the three cold months. He made several attempts to get arrested. But none of his plans worked. Finally, when he decided to live a decent life honestly, he was arrested. Such an episode is ironical.
Question: Why did Soapy move restlessly on his seat?
Answer: Soapy was a homeless and jobless man. Cold winter was approaching fast. He was lying on his seat in Madison Square. He had to find some way to face the cold. Therefore, he moved restlessly on his seat.
Question: What were Soapy’s hopes for the winter?
Answer: Soapy did not have high hopes for the winter. He had no thought of sailing away on a ship. He was not thinking of southern skies or of the Bay of Naples. He hoped to spend three months in the prison on Blackwell’s Island.
Question: Why did Soapy not like to go to his known persons?
Answer: Soapy didn’t want to go to his known persons because he thought that they would ask personal questions from him. And he was not ready to answer all their questions about his life.
Question: Why did Soapy like to go to the prison?
Answer: Soapy was a man of ego. He thought that a gentleman’s own life was still his own life in prison. He considered the prison a better place than the houses of his known people. Therefore, he liked to go to the prison where he would get both food and shelter during the cold weather.
Question: Why did Soapy hope to get food at a large and brightly lighted restaurant?
Answer: Soapy looked all right above his legs. His face was clean. His coat was good enough.The part of his body that would be seen above the table would look all right. So he hoped to get food at a large and brightly lighted restaurant.
Question: Which ways did Soapy try to reach the prison in vain?
Answer: Soapy put his foot inside a large and brightly lighted restaurant door. The waiters turned him outside. Then Soapy threw a stone at the glass window of a shop in Sixth Avenue. A cop came there but he ran after another person leaving Soapy at the place where he was standing. Then Soapy reached another restaurant. It was meant for the poor people. After eating to his full he declared that he had no money. Two waiters threw him outside. A cop was standing nearby. He simply laughed and walked away. Then he shouted and danced like a drunken person outside a posh theatre. The cops spared him thinking that he was a college boy. Last of all he saw a man buying a newspaper at a shop. His umbrella stood beside the door. Luckily it was a stolen umbrella. Soapy took it. The man could neither claim it nor send Soapy to prison.
Question: Give the character sketch of Soapy.
Answer: Soapy was a homeless and jobless man. He needed a place to stay comfortably for three months during the approaching winter. He could get food and shelter at the houses of his known persons but he did not like to answer their odd questions and lose his freedom. He was a man of ego and considered himself a gentleman. He preferred to go to prison where he would follow the rules but live his own life. He made many attempts to get arrested. His luck failed at the restaurants. He was thrown outside but was not handed over to the police. He broke the glass of a window and stole an umbrella. He was arrested only after he had determined to lead an honorable life.