Extra Questions, Notes, Assignment and study material for Class 10th as Per CBSE Syllabus Chapter- 1 Fiction -1 English Communicative Literature Reader
Two Gentlemen of Verona
By– A.J. Cronin
About the Author
A.J. Cronin – A Short Biography
Born in 1896, A.J. Cronin was a medical practitioner in Wales and London. He wrote his first novel ‘Hatter’s Castle’ while he was recovering from his illness. He became popular with the instant success of this novel. He gave up later the medical profession and adopted writing as a career. He wrote many novels and short stories. The Citadel, The Key of the Kingdom and The Spanish Gardener are his notable novels.
Introduction of the lesson- Two Gentlemen of Verona
The title of his story ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ is taken from an early play of William Shakespeare. The story tells about the hardships faced by two sincere and selfless young boys for the treatment of their sister suffering from tuberculosis. It conveys the idea that there is a hope for humanity so long as people are willing to make sacrifices for the well-being of others.
Main Characters of the Story- Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Narrator: The narrator in the story is a quite sensitive, sympathetic and helpful person. Despite his driver’s warning, he buys strawberries from the boys to help them. He takes pity on the shabbily dressed and nearly starved boys. He wonders why they do not spend money on clothes and food. He helps the boys in every possible way. He is quite obliging. He carries the boys in his car to the hospital where their sister is under treatment. He is quite wise in allowing the boys to keep their secret.
Give a brief character sketch of Nicola.
He was a brave and spirited boy. Despite enduring immense suffering in the absence of his motherless or father and even his house being destroyed, his spirit was not broken. He was the stronger of the two brothers and was extremely resourceful. He even made his own shelter. He was hard-working and willing to do any job. He was devoted to his sister and was willing to do any kind of hard work to pay for her stay in the hospital. He did not spend money on himself. He was patriotic by nature and had joined the Resistance movement against Germans though was very young. He was proud and did not want sympathy from any one for his plight. He was childish and innocent as well.
Give a brief character sketch of Nicola and Jacopo.
Both of the Boys : The two boys in the story, Nicola and Jacopo, are the two ‘gentlemen’ of Verona. Nicola, aged 13, is the elder brother of Jacopo aged 12. Both of them are extremely sincere, devoted and self-sacrificing. They are ready to do anything to save their sister Lucia who is afflicted with tuberculosis. They live hard life and do all sorts of jobs. They shine shoes, sell fruit, hawk newspapers, conduct tourists and run errands. Yet they seem to be contented. They are also highly self-respecting. They do not want to publicize their family problem. They keep their family secret well. They are real heroes. During the war they come to hate the Germans. They join the resistance movement for their country’s freedom.
Nicola and Jacopo had endured immense suffering during this time. They were motherless and had lost their father in the war. A bomb blast had destroyed the house of the two boys but their spirit was not broken. They were a resourceful duo and had made their own shelter. They were hard-working and were willing to do any job to pay for their sister’s stay in the hospital. They were devoted to their sister and did not spend money on themselves. They were dignified and conscientious and also patriotic as they had joined the Resistance movement against Germans, though they were mere children. They were proud and did not want sympathy from any one for their plight.
Theme / Plot/ Central Idea/ Analysis of the Lesson -Two Gentlemen of Verona
This story is about two little boys who overcome all the hardships to help their ailing sister. The two boys; live in a village in Italy. Their widower father had been killed during early years of the war. Their village suffered due to German occupation. Their house was turned into rubble because of incessant bombings during the war. The boys were finally left with their only beloved sister. The sister was suffering from tuberculosis. It is important to remember that tuberculosis was an incurable disease during those days. The boys migrate to a nearby city and begin doing petty jobs. They work as shoeshine boys, as local guide and did many things while trying to earn money. They are working hard so that they can save enough money for treatment of their sister. But the boys; particularly the elder one; have lot of self respect and they do not want help from anyone; just out of pity. The narrator of the story is a traveller who happens to visit the city. He is impressed by all the hard work done by the boys. At the end of his stay in the city; the narrator wants to help the boys in whatever way it could be possible. Thus, the boys are driven by him to their village. The narrator discovers the whole story about the boys from the nurse who is taking care of the ailing sister. The narrator is deeply touched by the story. But as a mark of respect to the boys’ unflinching courage; he does not show that he knows their plight.
Significance of the Title – Two Gentlemen of Verona (Value Based)
Describe and justify the title: ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’.
Why Two Gentlemen of Verona is an apt title for the story?
Answer- The story has been aptly and logically titled `Two Gentlemen of Verona’. The title of the story is that of one of the early plays of Shakespeare. In the story the two gentlemen are Nicola and Jacopo. A ‘gentleman’ is a person who is gentle and considerate and respects the feelings of others while treating them with respect. He adheres to high standards of proper behaviour and responsibility and is mindful of his duty. Both of the boys are thorough ‘gentlemen’. They do all kinds of jobs to earn a living and make others extremely comfortable. They can be relied upon to give any kind of service. Their selfless sacrifice and devotion to their cause raise them to human heights and dignity.
Page wise Important Word-Meanings/ difficult words from the lesson- Two Gentlemen of Verona
ENRICH YOUR VOCABULARY
PAGE 3 Foothills—low bills at the base of a higher mountain,ऊँचे पहाड़ के आधार पर छोटी पहाड़ियाँ Outskirts—the outlying parts of a city, शहर के बाहरी छोर के इलाके |
PAGE 4 Wild strawberries—a type of fruit grown in jungle,जंगल में मिलने वाला एक प्रकार का फल | Cautious—careful and alert, सावधान व चुस्त | Shrugged—shook to one side,(कंधे) एक तरफ बिचकाये Convey—to express, व्यक्त करने के लिये | Disapproval—not approving, स्वीकृति न देना | Shabby—dirty,गंदी I Appearance—outlooks, दिखावा I Worn—old and damaged,पुरानी और घिसी हुई I Shortened—made short,छोटी की हुई I Tunic—a loose outer garment covering the body down to the knees,घुटनों तक लम्बी पहनने वाली ढीली पोशाक , चोगा I Folds—marks or lines made by folding, तह करने पर पड़ी लाइनें I Skinny—not fleshy but thin, पतली और जो मांसल न हो I Frame—structure (of body),ढांचा (शरीर का) I Tangled—twisted together untidely,उलझे हुए Gazing—looking intently, घूर कर देखते हुए I Earnest—eager, इच्छुक I Barely—hardly,मुश्किल से l Set off—began the journey,चल दिये I Brisk—quick, fast earning, तेज़ (कमाई करना)I Slacked—slowed down,मंदा पड़ा , कम हुआ I Greeted—welcomed, अभिवादन किया l For a living—earning something for living,आजीविका कमाना I Glanced—looked quickly,तेजी से देखा I Juliet’s tomb—the tomb of Romeo’s beloved Juliet,रोमियो की प्रेमिका ज्युलियट का मकबरा I Remarkable—noticeable,उल्लेखनीय I Demeanour—appearance and behaviour, दिखावा और व्यवहार I Artless—(here) innocent,निर्दोष l Lively—full of life, सजीव , जिंदादिल l Steady—regular, नियमित I Engaging—that draws attention, ध्यान खींचने वाली I Frequently—often, many times, अक्सर , कई बार I Extremely—very much,अत्यधिक I Pack—packet, पैकेट I Opera—a dance-drama, ओपेरा , नृत्य – नाटिका l Relied upon—trusted, विश्वसनीय I Struck—(here) impress,प्रभावित करना I Willingness—ready to do a thing, करने की इच्छा I Hawked-to offer for sale by outcry,बोली लगा के बेचना I Ran errands—running to do things, भाग – भाग कर काम करना I
PAGE 5 Deserted—a lonely (place).एकांत , सुनसान (जगह) I Pavement—footpathh , फूटपाथ (पगडंडी ) Beneath– नीचे I Upright—straight upwards, सीधा तना हुआ I Quite a bit—enough,काफी I Figs-a fruit, अंजीर I Coloured–changed his Colour, रंग बदल गया I Pale—(turned) yellow, lifeless, पीला , बेजान I Emigrate—to leave the count , to an their country.विदेश जाना I Country—countryside, देहात I Pause–a stop while speaking.बोलते समय रुकना I Glaring—looking angrily, गुस्से से देखना / घूरना I Vexation—in pain,पीड़ा में I Put out tone—speaking as if annoyed, Tiny—small,छोटा I Destination–the last place of journey, मंजिल I Humble – ordinary, poor, साधारण , गरीब Recover—get back, वापिस आना Leaped —jumped, कूद गये
PAGE 6 Grilled—bounded by grills,सलाखों से घिरा हुआ I Determinedly—decidedly,निश्चित रूप से I Blinked—winked,पलक झपकी I Lit up—lighted up,प्रकाशमय हो गया I Vestibule—lobby,लाँबी I I Cubicle—a small part of a room, बड़े कमरे का छोटा हिस्सा I Paused–stopped,रूक गयी I Bade—asked to do, कही (करने के लिए ) Partition—divider,विभक्त करने वाला I Propped up—resting against something, सहारे टिकी हुई I Chatter—(here) gossips, light talks,गप्पे , हल्की – फुल्की बातें Tender—soft, delicate,नरम , नाजुक I Resemblance–similar in looks,एक जैसा दिखाई देना I Vase—flower pot,फूलदान I Dish—a plate used to serve food,रकाबी जिसका प्रयोग भोजन परोसने के लिए किया जाता हैं I Murmured—spoke complainingly, बुडबुडायी I Intrude—disturbance,दखल l Eager—ready (to tell),इच्छुक (बताने के लिये) I Widower—whose wife is dead,विधुर ,जिसकी पत्नी की मृत्यु हो गई हो I Horribly–terribly,भयानक रूप से I Starvation—dying of hunger, भुखमरी I Exposure—open to,खुले होना I
PAGE 7 Barely—hardly, मुश्किल से I Sort of—kind of, प्रकार का I Shelter—a living place for shelter, शरण-स्थान l Rubble—debris,मलवा I Resistance—fighting back, प्रतिरोध l Tuberculosis (TB) —a disease of the lungs, तपेदिक , टी.बी. I Spine—spinal chord,रीढ़ की हड्डी I Persuaded—brought around, convinced,मनाना I Scarce—not enough,अपर्याप्त l Dear—costly,महंगा Rejoined—joined again, दोबारा मिले I Devotion—total surrender for a cause, समर्पण (उद्देश्य के लिए) I Spirit—(here) will power, इच्छा – शक्ति I Nobility—noble virtue,नेक , गुण l
Some Other important word meanings from Two Gentlemen of Verona
Verona : a city in Italy, Romeo and Juliet are believed to have lived there. * worn : old and damaged * tunic : a loose outer garment that does not have sleeves. * Juliet’s tomb : the place where Juliet, the woman Romeo loved, was buried. Romeo and Juliet is a play written by Shakespeare. * demeanour : appearance and behaviour * artless : innocent * pavement : footpath * put out : annoyed * vestibule : lobby * cautious : careful * shabby : ill-dressed * disapproval : criticise * brisk : good, quick * slackened : reduced * engaging : attractive * hawked : sold * errands : odd jobs * emigrate : take up citizenship of another country * vexation : annoyance * humble : modest *scarcely : hardly * intrude : enter without permission
Go to – Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger Extra Questions and Notes
Lesson at a Glance / Point wise Summary of the lesson / Brief note on the Lesson – Two Gentlemen of Verona
- The author and his companion had been driving near the city of Verona when they were stopped by two small boys, shabbily dressed, selling strawberries.
- The boys were two brothers, Nicola and Jacopo aged 13 and 12 respectively.
- Their widower father was a well-known singer and was killed in the war against Germany.
- The war made them homeless and they had no one in the world except their sister Lucia.
- After the war they were reunited but found their sister suffering from tuberculosis of the spine.
- The narrator met the boys at the outskirts of Verona and he bought a box of wild berries from them.
- The narrator found them undertaking different jobs to earn a living.
- The boys polished shoes, sold newspapers, and did many other jobs to earn money.
- They also took the tourists to the places of their interest—to Juliet’s tomb in and around Verona.
- They were very helpful to the narrator and his driver Luigi as they could buy a packet of American cigarettes or arrange seats for the opera.
- The narrator was leaving Verona on Monday. He asked if he could do anything for them before going.
- The younger brother Jacopo asked the narrator if he could drive them to their village which was 30 miles from Verona.
- The narrator’s driver Luigi had the Sunday off but the narrator drove them himself to Poleta.
- They leaped out from the car before a large red-roofed villa and promised to come back within
- an hour.
- The narrator rang the bell of a grilled entrance and a young lady in the dress of a nurse came out.
- She was a nurse who bade him to look through the glass partition without saying anything.
- The narrator saw both the brothers sitting at the bedside of a girl of twenty.
- The girl resembled her two brothers.
- The narrator requested the nurse to tell him everything what she knew about them.
- The nurse told him everything and also how the brothers persuaded them to take their sister
- Lucia into the hospital.
- She had made good progress in the last twelve months and they hoped that Lucia would be
- able to walk and sing again.
- The nurse told him that Lucia’s brothers made weekly payments for the hospital bills.
- The narrator waited outside until the boys rejoined him, then he drove them back to the city.
- They sat beside the narrator but no one uttered a word.
- The narrator wanted them feel that they had kept their secret safely.
- Their selfless love, sacrifice and devotion touched the narrator’s heart.
- Even the war had not broken their spirit.
- Their selfless action gave a new hope for humanity.
Go to the Letter by Dhumketu Name NCERT Solution
Short and Simple Summary of the lesson in English / Summary in simple Words/ Critical appreciation of the lesson – Two Gentlemen of Verona
‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ is a heart-warming story of human relationships and family bondings. Main characters of the story are two young brothers named Nicola and Jacopo respectively 13 and 12 years old. The story explains how the two brothers devoted themselves to a hard and difficult life to earn money for the treatment of their sister. She was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. The author met the boys on the outskirt of Verona and got impressed by their sincerity and devotion. The boys were dressed shabbily in old clothes and they were selling strawberries.
Two Small Boys Nicola and Jacopo
Two young boys stopped the narrator on the outskirts of Verona. They were selling wild strawberries. The elder brother Nicola was thirteen while the younger brother Jacopo was nearly twelve. The narrator was strangely attracted towards them. He bought their biggest basket inspite of Luigi’s (his driver) unwillingness and moved towards city.
Next meeting of the Writer with the Boys-
The next morning, the narrator found the two brother shining shoes outside their hotel. The boys told him that besides picking fruit and shining shoes, the two boys also worked as tour guides. They proved extremely useful to the narrator and his driver Luigi. They could buy a pack of American cigarettes or seats for the opera. They could be relied upon to satisfy their needs.
Waiting for the Last Bus to Sell Newspapers
One night, the narrator saw both the brothers resting on the stone pavement. It was nearly midnight. Nicola told the writer that they were waiting for the last bus from Padua. They could sell all their papers when the bus came in there. The narrator thought that they must earn quite a lot. They worked so hard and ate so little. They spent nothing on their clothes. The narrator thought that perhaps they were saving up to immigrate to America. But they did not want to discuss anything with the writer on this topic.
Narrator Drives Nicola and Jacopo to Poleta
The author was to leave Verona on Monday. He asked the brothers if he could do anything for them before leaving. Jacopo told that every Sunday they made a visit to the country to Poleta, 30 kilometers from there. Usually they hired bicycles to go there. He asked the narrator if he could take them there in his car. Luigi had the Sunday off but the narrator answered that he would drive them out himself. The following afternoon they drove to a tiny village. The two brothers came out of the car and went towards a red-roofed villa. They promised to be back within an hour.
Lucia Suffering from Tuberculosis of the Spine
After a few minutes the narrator followed the boys inside. The narrator found a grilled slide entrance. He determinedly rang the bell. A pleasant-looking young woman appeared in the white uniform of a trained nurse. She led him into the hospital. She stopped at the door of a little cubicle. She asked him to look through the glass partition. The two brothers were seated at the bedside of a girl of about twenty. She resembled her brothers. She was listening to their chatter. The nurse asked the narrator to go in. Lucia would be pleased to see him. The narrator did not want to intrude upon that happy family party. He begged the nurse to tell him all she knew about those boys.
Family Destroyed by the War
Nicola and Jacopo were quite alone in the world, except their sister Lucia. Their father was a widower. He was a well-known singer and was killed in the early part of the war. A bomb had destroyed their home and they were thrown into the streets. They suffered horribly. They faced starvation and were exposed to the cold winter. They hated the Germans who brought all these troubles for them. When the war was over, they came to their beloved sister. They found her suffering from tuberculosis of the spine.
Sacrifice, Sincerity and Devotion to the Cause
The boys did all that they could do for their ill sister. They brought her to the hospital and persuaded them to take her into the hospital. She had made a lot of progress in the last twelve months. It was hoped that one day she would walk and sing again. Lucia’s brothers used to pay weekly bills. The narrator was shocked to know the story of the two boys and their sister. He hurriedly came out and waited until the boys rejoined him. He drove them back to the city. They sat beside him and spoke nothing. Even he didn’t say a word to them. He knew they would prefer to feel that they had ‘safely kept their secret’. Their devotion, selfless action and sincerity touched his heart deeply. Their devotion to the cause brought a new nobility to human life. They gave a new hope for humanity.
Go to A Shady Plot NCERT textbook solution
Summary in Hindi/ Two Gentlemen of Verona- Story in Hindi
Nicola और Jacopo नाम के दो छोटे लड़के
दो युवा लड़कों ने कथाकार को Verona नाम के शहर की बाहरी सीमा पर रोका | वे जंगली स्ट्राबेरियाँ बेच रहे थे | बड़ा भाई Nicola तेरह वर्ष का था जबकि छोटा भाई Jacopo लगभग बारह का | कथाकार विचित्र रूप से उनकी ओर आकर्षित हो गया था | Luigi (उसका ड्राइवर) की अनिच्छा के बाबजूदकथाकार ने उनकी सबसे बड़ी टोकरी को खरीद लिया
पैसा कमाने के लिये किसी भी प्रकार का कार्य करने के इच्छुक
अगले दिन कथाकार ने दोनों भाईयों को सार्वजनिक चौक में जूते चमकाने वाले बक्सों के ऊपर झुका हुआ देखा | वे खूब कमाई कर रहे थे | वे रोटी कमाने के लिये फल ही नहीं तोड़कर लाते थे , बल्कि और बहुत –सी चीजें भी करते थे | अक्सर वे सैलानियों को नगर में घुमाते – जूलियट के मकबरे और दूसरे रुचिजनक स्थानों पर | वे कथाकार और उसके ड्राइवर Luigi के लिए बहुत ज्यादा लाभदायक रहे | वे उनके लिये अमेरिकन सिगरेट का एक पैकेट या आँपेरा की टिकटें खरीद सकते थे | उनके जरूरतों को पूरा करने के लिये उन (लड़कों) पर भरोसा किया जा सकता था | वे जूते चमकाते , फल और अखबार बेचते , सैलानियों को ले जाते और दूसरों के लिये हर प्रकार के काम करते थे |
अखबार बेचने के लिये आखिरी बस का इंतजार करते हुए
एक रात कथाकार ने दोनों भाईयों को पत्थर के बने फुटपाथ पर आराम करते देखा | jacopo का सिर अपने भाई के कन्धों पर टिका हुआ था | वह गहरी नींद में था | लगभग अर्ध – रात्रि का समय था Nicola ने उन्हें बताया कि वे padua से आने वाली आखिरी बस का इंतजार कर रहे थे | वे जब वहां अन्दर आ जायेगी तो अपने सभी अखबार बेच सकते थे | कथाकार ने सोचा कि वे अवश्य ही भारी रकम कमाते थे | वे बहुत मेहनत करते परन्तु खाते बहुत कम थे | वे अपने कपड़ों पर कुछ भी खर्च नहीं करते थे | कथाकार ने सोचा कि शायद वे अमेरिका प्रस्थान करने के लिये बचत कर रहे थे | लेकिन उनकी योजनायें दूसरी थी |
कथाकर Nicola और Jacopo को कार में Poleta ले जाता है
कथाकार को सोमवार को Verona से जाना था | उसने भाईयों से पूछा कि क्या वह जाने से पहले वह उनके लिये कुछ कर सकता है | Jacopo ने कहा कि हर रविवार को वे देहात में 30 किलोमीटर दूर स्थित poleta जाते थे | अक्सर वे साइकिलें किराये पर ले लेते थे | उसने कथाकार सर पूछा कि क्या उन्हें वहां कार में ले जा सकता था | Luigi की रविवार की छुट्टी थी लेकिन कथाकार ने कहा की वह स्वयं कार चलाकर उन्हें वहाँ ले जायेगा | अगली दोपहर बाद वे एक छोटे से गाँव की ओर गये | दोनों भाई कार से बाहर आये और एक लाल – छत वाले मकान की ओर चले गये | उन्होंने एक घंटे में वहाँ वापस आ जाने का वचन दिया |
लूसिया रीढ़ की हड्डी के TB (क्षयरोग) से पीड़ित
कथाकार को एक खिसकाने वाला लोहे की सलाखों का प्रवेश द्वार मिला | उसने निश्चितपूर्वक घंटी बजाई | एक प्रशिक्षित नर्स की सफ़ेद पोशाक में एक सुहावने चेहरे वाली युवा महिला दिखायी दी | वह उसे अस्पताल के अन्दर ले गई | उस छोटे से कमरे की कोठरी के द्वार पर रूक गयी | उसने कथाकार को विभिक्त करने वाली शीशे की दीवार में से देखने को कहा | दोनों भाई एक बीस वर्ष की लड़की के बिस्तर के किनारे बैठे हुए थे | उस लड़की की शक्ल अपने भाईयों से मिलती थी | वह उनकी गप्पों को सुन रही थी | नर्स ने कथाकार से भीतर आ जाने के लिए कहा | Lucia उसे देखकर प्रसन्न होगी | कथाकार उस प्रसन्नचित परिवार के मिलाप में दखल नहीं देना चाहता था | उसने नर्स से आग्रह किया जो भी वह उन लड़कों के बारे में जानती थी , वह सब उसे बता दें |
युद्ध द्वारा परिवार की तबाही
सिर्फ अपनी बहन Lucia को छोड़ nicola और jacopo इस संसार में बिल्कुल अकेले थे | उनका पिता एक विधुर था | वह एक जाना – माना गायक था और युद्ध के आरम्भ काल में ही मारा गया था एक बम ने उनके घर को तबाह कर दिया था और गलियों में धकेल दिया गया था | उन्होंने बहुत कुछ सहा | उनका सामना भूख से हुआ और उन्हें ठण्डी सर्द ऋतु की मार सहने के लिए खुले में छोड़ दिया गया था | वे जर्मनों से नफरत करते थे क्योंकि वे ही उनकी इन सभी परेशानियों को लाये थे | जब युद्ध समाप्त हो गया तो वे अपनी प्यारी बहन के पास आ गये | उन्होंने उसे रीढ़ की हद्दी के क्षय रोग से पीड़ित पाया |
उद्देश्य के प्रति त्याग , सच्चाई और समर्पण
लड़कों ने जो भी वे अपनी बीमार बहन के लिये कर सकते थे , सभी कुछ किया | वह उसे अस्पताल लाये और उन्हें उसे अस्पताल में भर्ती करने के लिये राजी कर लिया | पिछले 12 महीने में उसमें काफी सुधार आ गया था | यह आशा की जा सकती थी कि एक दिन वह चाल सकेगी और गाना गा सकेगी | Lucia के भाई हर सप्ताह पैसे चुका देते थे | वर्णनकर्ता उन दो लड़कों और उनके बहन की कहानी सुनकर आहत हुआ | वह तेजी से बाहर आया और लड़कों के लौटने तक प्रतीक्षा करने लगा | वह उन्हें कार से शहर लाया | वे उसके साथ बैठे थे पर उन्होंने कुछ भी नहीं कहा | उसने भी उनसे एक शब्द नहीं कहा | वह जानता था कि उन्हें यह अनुभव कर अधिक अच्छा लगेगा कि उन्होंने अपने रहस्य को ‘सुरिक्षत रूप से गुप्त रखा था ’ उनके समर्पण , निष्काम कर्म और सच्चाई ने गहरे रूप से उसके दिल को छू लिया | अपने उद्देश्य के प्रति उनकी समर्पण भावना ने मानव – जीवन को एक नयी अच्छाई प्रदान की थी | उन्होंने मानवता को एक आशा प्रदान की थी |
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Following is the complete question bank for Two Gentlemen of Verona-
Two Gentlemen of Verona Extra Questions and Answers
Very Short Answer Type Questions and Answers
1.- The narrator was surprised to see the two brothers doing shoe shining because
Ans- He had seen them selling fruits earlier.
2- The ‘war’ referred to in the lesson was between
Ans.- Germany and Italy.
3- When the Germans ruled their country, the boys-
Ans.- Joined the ‘Resistance Movement’.
4- Once Nicola grew pale in the lesson because
Ans.- there was some problem which he didn’t want to share.
5-The narrator turned away because from the girl’s room because
Ans.- he did not want to disturb the family union
6-The narrator was desperate to know about the background of the boys as
Ans.-The scene inside the glass room had created curiosity in him.
7-Everything was so difficult and food was so scarce because
Ans.- The war had created shortages.
8- The fee was being charged from the boys for Ans.- treating their sister’s illness.
Ans.- He had seen how the boys toiled day and night to earn the money.
9-The narrator was waiting for the boys outside the
10-They sat beside the narrator not speaking, probably, because
Ans.-They were thinking about their sister’s illness.
11-‘War had not broken their spirit’ means that
Ans. – They were determined to face all the difficulties war had brought upon them.
12- The boys lost their comfortable life because
Ans.- of the war.
13- After the bombing of their house, they
Ans.- built a sort of shelter with their own hands.
14- The boys joined the ‘resistance movement’ so that they could
Ans.- help in overthrowing the Germans.
15- Who is talking with Nicola?
Ans.- The narrator.
16- Why did the boys work so hard at such a young age?
Ans.-They worked so hard to pay the hospital bills of their sister who was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine.
17- “We are not complaining, sir.” What does this show about the nature of the boys?
Ans.- They were thorough gentlemen, highly patient, hard working, and dedicated to the cause of their sister. They accepted their fate stoically.
18- Why was Nicola glaring at his younger brother?
Ans.- He didn’t like the way Jacopo had asked the narrator, without any hesitation, to send them by his car to Poleta.
19 – “It won’t be any trouble.” Did the narrator really mean it?
Ans. – The writer really wanted to do something for the boys to express his appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Yes, he did mean it.
20- What did the driver warn them about and why
Ans.-He warned them not to buy the wild strawberries from the boys as much better fruit would be available in Verona.
21- “Besides, these boys…..”. What other reason did he give?
Ans.- He shrugged indicating that it was not good to buy them from the boys who were so shabbily dressed up.
22- Why did they go to Poleta every Sunday?
Ans.- They went to Poleta every Sunday to meet their ailing sister and pay for her treatment.
23- From the above lines, what difference do you find in the nature of two brothers?
Ans.- Nicola is more serious and mature as compared to his age, whereas Jacopo is still childish and doesn’t mind availing the opportunity of taking help from the narrator.
24- Why did the nurse pause at the little cubicle?
Ans.- She did not want to disturb the affectionate meeting between the two brothers and their sister.
25- ‘was listening to their chatter, her eyes soft and tender’ means that
Ans.- she was listening to their continuous and excited talk with love for them in her
26- Who are referred to as ‘our friends’ by the writer?
Ans.- The two brothers Nicola and Jacopo are referred here as our friends.
27- Why does the speaker call them friends?
Ans.- The speaker had already met these boys before and bought fruits from them. They are no more strangers to him.
28- Why did the speaker not go in?
Ans.- ’She’ in the above extract refers to the nurse who is attending Lucia.
29- What did the speaker want to know from ‘her’? What does it reveal about his nature?
Ans.- He wanted to know almost everything about the two boys. This reveals that the narrator does not miss out to notice and observe human life and society no matter how subtle and trifle they might appear to others.
30- Why has ‘she’ been in the hospital and for how long?
Ans.- She has been in the hospital because she is suffering from tuberculosis of the spine for a year.
31- Why is it important for her to sing again?
Ans.- It is important for her to sing again as she had already received formal singing-training. She should do it to keep the family legacy and for the future of her two brothers.
32- “When the resistance movement began secretly to form they were among the first to join. When the war was over, and we had peace at last, they came back to their beloved sister.”
Who is the speaker and who is he/she speaking to?
Ans.-The speaker is the nurse who is looking after Lucia.
33- Which war is the speaker referring to?
Ans.- The speaker is referring to the war between Germany and Italy.
34- Who are ‘they’? Why did they join the resistance movement?
Ans. – ‘They’ are Nicola and Jacopo, the two brothers. They were among the first to join the resistance movement to show their strong dislike and disapproval of the Germans.
Read the extracts and answer the questions that follow/ Extract Based Question Answers/ Reference to Context Questions
Two Gentlemen of Verona Extra Questions and Answers
- They were selling wild strawberries. “Don’t buy,” warned Luigi, our cautious driver. “You will get fruit much better in Verona. Besides, these boys “He shrugged his shoulders to convey his disapproval of their shabby appearance.
(a) Who were selling wild strawberries?
Answer- Two brothers Nicola and Jacopo were selling wild strawberries.
(b) Why does the narrator call Luigi a cautious driver?
Answer-Luigi was quite cautious about what to buy and whom to buy fruit from.
(c) What is the antonym of the word `approval’ in the passage?
(d) Who is ‘he’ referred to here? What was the occasion?
Answer-‘He’ is the narrator’s driver Luigi. The occasion was the boys’ stopping the narrator’s car in an effort to sell wild strawberries.
(e) Whose shabby appearance did he disapprove of?
Answer-He disapproves of the shabby appearance of the two boys who had stopped the narrator’s car.
(f) What do you mean by the word ‘shabby’?
Answer-‘Shabby’ means dirty.
- “I thought you picked fruit for a living”, I said. “We do many things, sir,” Nicola answered seriously. He glanced at us hopefully. “Often we show visitors through the town … to Juliet’s tomb … and other places of interest.”
(a) What were the boys doing when the author saw them?
Answer- They were polishing shoes.
(b) Name the other boy.
Answer- Jacopo was the other boy.
(c) What were the other things that the boys did? Mention any two.
Answer- They guided the visitors, showing the places of interest.
(d) Who are ‘We’ mentioned in the first line?
Answer-‘We’ mentioned in the first line stands for the two young brothers Nicola and Jacopo.
(e) Why did Nicola glance at them hopefully?
Answer-Nicola glanced at them hopefully to be engaged for a job or service by them. He was ready to do all odd jobs for them.
(f) What is the synonym of `looked quickly’ in the passage?
3.They were childish enough, and in many ways quite artless. Jacopo was lively as a squirrel. Nicola’s smile was steady and engaging. Yet in both these boyish faces there was a seriousness which was far beyond their years.
(a) Why does the narrator call them ‘childish’ and ‘artless’?
Answer-The narrator calls Nicola and Jacopo ‘childish’ and ‘artless’ because they were free from cunningness and had ‘innocence’ of childhood in them.
(b) Contrast two different styles of Nicola and Jacopo.
Answer-The younger brother Jacopo was full of life and energy and he was active like a squirrel. The elder brother Nicola was composed and constant.
(c) What is the antonym of the word ‘artful’ in the passage?
4.What struck one most was their willingness to work. During these summer days, under the hot sun, they shined shoes, sold fruit, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists round the town, and ran errands. (a) Why were the two boys worthy of appreciation?
Answer-They were very hardworking.
(b) What work did they do?
Answer-They would sell fruit, shine shoes, hawk newspapers, conduct tourists and even run errands.
(c) What does the word ‘errands’ in the above lines mean?
Answer-Short journey, especially on another’s behalf, to take a message, collect goods etc.
(d) What was the thing that struck most?
Answer-The young boys were ready to undertake any work and run errands. Their willingness to do so many things struck the narrator most.
(e) Give three works that they often did to earn a living.
Answer-They often shined shoes, sold fruit and hawked newspapers to earn a living.
(f) Find the opposite of the word ‘bought’ in the passage.
5.“Why are you out so late, Nicola?”
“Waiting for the last bus from Padua. We shall sell all our paper when it comes in.”
“Must you work so hard? You both look rather tired.”
“We are not complaining, sir.”
(a) Where were the two boys out so late and why?
Answer- The boys were at a windy and deserted square
(b) What did the narrator guess about them and how?
Answer-The narrator guessed that they were quite tired because of working very hard.
(c) Find the opposite of the word ‘first’ in the passage.
6.He coloured deeply under his sunburn, then grew pale. He looked to the ground. “You must be saving up to emirate to America,” I suggested. He looked at me sideways, spoke with an effort.
(a) Who is ‘He’ in the second line and why did he smile uncomfortably?
Answer-‘He’ is Nicola, the elder of the two brothers. He smiled uncomfortably because he didn’t want to reveal the secrets of their family. They were saving money for the treatment of their sister Lucia.
(b) Why does he look to the ground?
Answer-Nicola looked to the ground in shame because his secret of working at night was now open to the writer.
(c) Explain the expression ‘coloured deeply under his sunburn’.
Answer-It means to feel ashamed.
(d) Why did the author think that the boys would emigrate to America?
Answer-The boys worked very hard. They were earning and saving money. This made him think that they were saving money to emigrate to America.
(e) What is the word for ‘going to live in a foreign country’ in the passage?
(f) Why did Nicola colour?
Answer-The narrator had commented on their frugal lifestyle despite the money they earned. The boy was embarrassed by this.
(g) What did the narrator presume about the boys?
Answer- The narrator presumed the boys were saving money to emigrate to the United States.
(h) How was he proved wrong?
Answer-The narrator eventually came to know the brothers were paying for their sister Lucia’s treatment in an expensive nursing home. Hence he was proved wrong.
7.There was a pause. Nicola was glaring at his younger brother in vexation. “We could not think of troubling you, sir.”
(a) Why was Nicola glaring at his younger brother in vexation?
Answer- Nicola was glaring at his younger brother in vexation because he was asking for a favour from a stranger which was against their self-respect.
(b) What favour did his younger brother ask from the narrator? .
Answer-The younger brother Jacopo asked the narrator if he could drive them to Poleta. 30 kilometers from Verona in the car on Sunday.
(c) Find the synonym of the word ‘a short stop’ in the passage.
(d) What do the above lines tell about Nicola?
Answer-These lines tell that Nicola is a very sensitive and cultured boy.
(e) What do you mean by the word ‘vexation’?
- She led me through a cool, tiled vestibule into the hospital … for hospital the villa had become. At the door of a little cubicle the nurse paused, put her finger to her lips, and with a smile bade me look through the glass partition.
(a) Describe the hospital.
Answer-A large red-roofed villa was converted into a hospital.
(b) Why did the nurse put her finger to her lips?
Answer-The nurse put her finger to her lips to point out that the narrator should not make a noise there.
(c) What is the synonym of ‘separation’ in the passage?
- “Won’t you go in?” the nurse murmured. “Lucia will be pleased to see you.” I shook my head and turned away. I felt I could not bear to intrude upon this happy family party. But at the foot of the staircase I drew up and begged her to tell me all she knew about these boys.
(a) Who is Lucia? Does the narrator go to meet Lucia?
Answer- Lucia is the sister of the two boys, Nicola and Jacopo, whom the author meets. No, the writer does not go inside to meet Lucia.
(b) What makes the writer decide to do so?
Answer- He did not want to intervene in the happy family discussion.
(c) What do you mean by the word ‘murmur’?
Answer- Something said quietly.
(d) What did the nurse ask the narrator to do?
Answer-The nurse asked the narrator to come inside the cubicle and meet the boys and their sister Lucia there.
(e) Why did the narrator turn away and didn’t go inside?
Answer-The narrator turned away as he didn’t want to intrude upon the party and privacy of the happy family.
(f) What is the word for ‘making a forced entry’ in the passage?
- ‘When the resistance movement began secretly to form they were among the first to join. When the war was over and we had peace at last, they came back to their beloved sister.’
(a) Who are the ‘boys’?
Answer- The ‘boys’ are Nicola and Jacopo.
(b) Why did the boys grow to hate the Germans?
Answer- The boys hated the Germans as not only they had lost their father early in the war but a German bomb had destroyed their beautiful home.
(c) What did they do to get rid of the Germans?
Answer- The boys joined the resistance movement to fight the Germans.
Read the extracts and answer the questions that follow.
(d) Who are ‘they’ refer to here?
Answer- ‘They’ refer to the two boys Nicola and Jacopo.
(e) Why did they join the resistance movement?
Answer-They joined the movement because they had suffered during the war. They hated the Germans.
(f) What had happened to their sister?
Answer-Their sister was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine.
(g) Identify ‘they’.
Answer-‘They’ refers to the brothers — Nicola and Jacopo.
(h) Who is the beloved sister?
Answer-Lucia is the boys’ sister who had not been keeping well.
(i) In what condition did they find their sister?
Answer-The brother found that their sister had contracted tuberculosis of the spine.
- One boy had on a worn jersey and cut-off khaki pants; the other a shortened army tunic gathered in loose folds about his skinny frame. Yet, gazing at the two little figures, with their brown skins, tangled hair and dark earnest eyes, we felt ourselves strangely attracted. My companion spoke to the boys, discovered that they were brothers.
(a) What quality of the boys attracted the narrator?
Answer- The narrator was attracted by the honesty in the boys’ eyes.
(b) How did the narrator help the boys?
Answer- The narrator helped the boys by buying the strawberries they were selling.
(c) How do we know that the boys were poor?
Answer- We know that the boys were poor as they were wearing torn and oversized clothes.
(d) How were the boys dressed?
Answer- One boy had on a worn jersey and cut-off khaki pants; the other a shortened army tunic gathered in loose folds about his skinny frame.
(e) How did the narrator feel after gazing at the boys?
Answer- They felt ourselves strangely attracted
(c) Who was the companion of the narrator?
Answer- Luigi, the driver was the companion of the writer.
- Next morning, coming out of our hotel, we saw our friends bent over shoeshine boxes beside the fountain in the public square, doing a brisk business. We watched for a few moments; then as trade slackened we went over. They greeted us with friendly faces. “I thought you picked fruit for a living,” I said.
(a) Whom does the narrator refer to as ‘our friends?
Answer- The narrator refers to Nicola and Jacopo as ‘our friends’.
(b) What were the ‘friends’ doing?
Answer- The boys were shining shoes in the town square.
(c.) What does the phrase ‘trade slackened’ mean?
Answer- The phrase means that the boys’ business of shining shoes had slowed down. They were not very busy.
(d) What did they find the boys doing next morning?
Answer- They found the boys polishing shoes
(e) How did the boys greet them?
Answer- The boys greeted with friendly faces.
(f) What did the narrator think the boys did for a living?
Answer- He thought that the boys sold fruits for their living.
(g)Who does ‘we’ in this extract stand for? Who are the `friends’ here?
Answer- ‘We’ in this extract stands for the author and his friend. ‘Friends’ are the two little boys, Nicola and Jacopo.
(h) What were these ‘friends’ doing a day before?
Answer- They were selling strawberries.
(i) What do you mean by ‘brisk business’?
Answer- Business done in an energetic way.
- “Well,” I said, “we’re leaving on Monday. Is there anything I can do for you before we go?” Nicola shook his head, but suddenly Jacopo said, “Sir,” he burst out. “every Sunday we make a visit to the country, to Poleta, 30 kilometers from here. Usually we hire bicycles. But tomorrow, since you are so kind, you might send us in your car.”
(a) Who is the speaker?
Answer- The speaker is the narrator.
(b) What did the listener ask the author to do?
Answer-The listener asked the speaker to take them to Poleta, in his car.
(c) Why did the speaker ask the boy if he could do anything?
Answer-He was impressed by the help rendered to him by them and also appreciated their willingness to work. Ile wanted to help them.
(i) What was the question to which Nicola shakes his head?
Answer-When the writer asked Nicola if he could do something for them as he was leaving the next day, Nicola shook his head.
(ii) Why did the boys make a visit to Poleta every Sunday?
Answer-The boys made a visit to Poleta to see their ailing sister.
(iii) What do you mean by the phrase ‘burst out’? .
- ‘Usually we hire bicycles but tomorrow since you are so kind you might send us in your car’.
(a) Who is the speaker here?
Answer-Jacopo is the speaker here.
(b) Where did he want to go?
Answer-He wanted to go to Poleta.
(c) Why did he visit the place frequently?
Answer-He visited the place frequently to see his sister Lucia.
- ‘We shall not be long, sir, perhaps only an hour. May be you’d like to go to the cafe in the village for a drink.’
(a) Where did the boys take the author?
Answer-The boys took the author to a hospital in Poleta.
(b) Why did the boys go there?
Answer-The boys went there to visit their sister.
(c) Why did they suggest that the author go to the village cafe?
Answer-They suggested that the author went to the village cafe as they did not want him to know their problems.
- ‘You must he saving to emigrate to America’, I suggested. He looked at Inc sideways, and spoke with an effort.
(a) Who is the ‘he’ referred to here?
Answer-Nicola is the ‘he’ referred to in the given lines.
(b) Why did the author make such a suggestion?
Answer-The author made the suggestion when he saw the boys working hard.
(c) What answer did ‘he’ give with an effort?
Answer-‘He’ replied that they had other plans.
- ‘Nicola, the way you and Jacopo work, you must earn quite a bit. You spend nothing on clothes. You eat little enough….’
(a) Who said the above lines?
Answer-These lines are spoken by the narrator.
(b) Why did the speaker get the feeling that the boys were not spending any money?
Answer-The boys were always seen wearing torn clothes and they seemed to hardly eat anything except black bread and fig.
(c) What do the above lines reflect about the two boys?
Answer-The boys were of sacrificing nature and they cared very deeply for their sister. Her well-being was their sole concern.
- I had already told Luigi he might take the day off. However I answered, “I’ll drive you out myself.”
(a). Whom did the author show his willingness to drive out ?
Answer-The author was willing to drive the boys out to their destination himself.
(b). Where were the boys to go ?
Answer-The boys were to make a visit to the village Poleta, 30. Kilometers from Verona.
(c). What does ‘off’ mean here ?
Answer-away from duty/work.
(d) Who was Luigi?
Answer-He was the driver of the narrator.
(e) Why did the speaker offer to drive himself?
Answer-Luigi had been granted a holiday and the narrator did not wish to recall him and as a last gesture of good will he offered to drive himself.
(f) Where did the boys wish to go?
Answer-The boys wished to go to Poleta, 30 km away, to look up their sister.
- ‘Of course, everything is so difficult now, food so scarce and dear we could not keep going unless we charged a fee.’
(a) Who is the speaker and who is the listener?
Answer-The speaker is the nurse, and the listener is the narrator.
(b) Why was food so expensive?
Answer-Due to war waged by Germany, starvation had resulted.
(c) For what purpose does the speaker need to charge a fee?
Answer-Lucia had contracted TB, so money was needed for her medical expenses.
- “They couldn’t do it better,” I agreed.
(a) Who is ‘I’ and who are ‘they’?
Answer-‘I’ is the narrator, and ‘they’ refer to Nicola and Jacopo.
(b) What great thing had the above mentioned people done?
Answer-The speaker is sincere and full of admiration for the boys.
(c) Do you think the speaker is earnest in his saying?
Answer-The determination of the brothers to do so many jobs to provide for their sister.
- The two boys were seated at the bedside of a girl of about twenty who propped up on pillows, wearing pretty lace jacket, was listening to their chatter, her eves soft and tender.
(a) Who is the girl in this extract?
Answer-The girl is Lucia, Nicola and Jacopo’s elder sister, who is suffering from tuberculosis.
(b) Where are the boys? What was the purpose of the boy’s visit?
Answer-The boys are in the hospital. The boys came there every Sunday to meet their ailing sister and to pay for the bills of her treatment.
(c) What do you mean by ‘propped up’?
Answer-To take support.
(d) Who was the girl?
Answer-The girl was Lucia, their sister.
(e) Where was she at the moment?
Answer-She was in a hospital in Poleta.
(f) What had happened to her?
Answer-She was undergoing treatment for tuberculosis.
- ‘As we made the rounds, my interest was again provoked by their remarkable demeanour.’
(a) What does the phrase ‘making the rounds’ mean?
Answer-The phrase means to go around from one place to another. The narrator means he was sightseeing around the town of Verona.
(b) What did the narrator notice about their ‘demeanour’?
Answer-The narrator noticed that the boys were very serious.
(c) Why was it ‘remarkable’?
Answer- It was remarkable because the boys were rather young. The seriousness did not go well with their age.
- ‘The following afternoon we drove to the tiny village set high upon the hillside.’
(a) Who all went on the trip to the tiny village?
Answer- The narrator and the two brothers, Nicola and Jacopo went on the trip.
(b) What was the village they had driven to?
Answer- The narrator and the boys had driven to the village called Poleta.
(C) Why was the narrator surprised when Jacopo directed him w as to where he should stop;
Answer- The narrator was surprised as he had thought they would stop at some humble dwelling, but Jacopo guided him to a large villa.
- One night, we came upon them in the windy and deserted square, resting on the stone pavement beneath the lights.
(a) Who is the speaker of these lines?
Answer-The speaker is the author, A.J. Cronin.
(b) Who are ‘them’ and why are they resting on the pavement at night? (ii) In the extract, Answer-‘them’ are the two brothers, Nicola and Jacopo. They were resting on the pavement to sell newspapers to the travellers of the last bus from Padua.
(c) What does the phrase ‘came upon them’ here mean?
Answer-It means that the writer met them by chance.
- “I don’t know what they do, I do not ask. Work is scarce in Verona. But whatever it is, I know they do it well.”
(a) Who is the speaker and who is he/she speaking to?
Answer-The nurse at the hospital where the sister of the two boys is admitted is the speaker of these lines. She is speaking to the narrator.
(b) What work was done by the boys to pay for their sister’s treatment?
Answer-The boys did all kinds of little jobs to pay for their sister’s treatment. They sold fruits, newspapers, polished shoes and did whatever could suit their age.
(c) What do you mean by the word ‘scarce’?
Answer-in short supply.
- “She was eager to do so. They were, she explained, quite alone in the world, except for this sister, Lucia. Their father, a widower, a well-known singer, had been killed in the early part of the war.”
(a). Who is ‘she’ referred to here ?
Answer-‘She’ is the nurse in the hospital visited by the boys.
(b).. Who were alone in the world, and why ?
Answer-The two brothers, Nicola and Jacopo, were alone in the world, except for their sister Lucia.
(c). What does the word ‘eager’ mean ?
Short Answer Type Questions-
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS SOLVED
Two Gentlemen of Verona Extra Questions and Answers
- Where did the narrator find the two young boys for the first time and what were they doing there?
Answer- The narrator and his driver Luigi were driving through the foothills of the Alps. Two young boys stopped them on outskirts of Verona, a city in Italy. They were selling wild strawberries. They stopped them considering them their prospective customers.
- Why did the ‘cautious’ driver show his disapproval of the two small boys selling wild strawberries?
How did Luigi show his disapproval on seeing the two boys and why?
Answer- The two young boys were selling wild strawberries. The cautious driver Luigi conveyed his disapproval of buying strawberries from them on two grounds. The boys looked shabby in their appearance. Moreover, they could get much better fruit in Verona, which was not far away from there.
- Describe the physical appearance of Nicola and Jacopo as they are described by the narrator.
Answer- Nicola, the elder brother was 13 and was more composed and steady than his younger brother. Jacopo was 12 and was as lively as a squirrel. One boy was wearing a worn jersey and cut-off khaki pants. The other was wearing a shortened army tunic gathered in loose folds over his skinny their frame. The two brothers had brown skins, tangled hair and dark earnest eyes.
- Why were the narrator and Luigi surprised to see the boys in the public square?
Answer- The two small boys met the narrator and Luigi selling wild strawberries on the outskirts of Verona. They thought that they sold fruit only for a living. Next morning, they were surprised to see the same boys bending over shoeshine boxes in the public square and doing a brisk business. They surprised at the various works undertaken by the young boys to earn a living.
5 “We do many things, sir,” Nicola answered. Describe the various jobs undertaken by the boys to earn a living.
Answer- The narrator thought that the small boys sold fruit only to earn a living. However, the Nicola told him that they did many things. They sold fruit and hawked newspapers. They took the tourists out to their places of interest. They shined shoes and ran errands to make a living.
- Describe the ‘remarkable demeanour’ of the boys
Answer- The two small boys had a ‘remarkable demeanour’. It provoked the interest of the narrator in them. They were childish enough and even artless. Jacopo was lively as a squirrel. Nicola’s smile was steady and engaging. However, their boyish faces betrayed a seriousness which was far beyond their years.
- Draw the contrast between ‘childish’ and ‘artless’ faces and the ‘seriousness’ beyond their years visible on them.
Answer- Both the boys were of a tender age. Outwardly their faces looked ‘boyish’ and ‘artless’. They were far from being clever or cunning. However, their responsibilities had made them mature much before their age. Hence, there was a seriousness far beyond their years and it was clearly visible on their faces.
- How did Nicola and Jacopo prove extremely useful to the narrator and Luigi?
Answer- Nicola and Jacopo proved extremely useful to the narrator and Luigi. They could do many things for them. In the following weeks they used their services quite frequently. If they wanted a pack of American cigarettes, or seats for the opera or the name of a good restaurant, the boys to undertake any work were always ready quite willingly. They could be relied upon to satisfy their needs.
- Why were Nicola and Jacopo resting on a stone pavement beneath the lights on a windy night?
Answer- Nicola and Jacopo could do any job to earn a living. They even hawked newspapers. One day so many newspapers were left unsold. They waited for the arrival of the last bus from Padua on a cold and windy night. They could sell all their unsold newspapers to the passengers.
- Why did Nicola smile ‘uncomfortably’ when the narrator asked them about their future ‘plans’? Why was Nicola evasive?
Answer-The narrator thought that the two young boys were saving money to emigrate to America. Nicola replied that for the time being they had ‘other plans’ than going to the States. The narrator wanted to know about their future plans. Nicola was evasive on this question. He didn’t want a stranger to know their immediate family plans. They saved money to pay for the treatment of their ailing sister. Hence, he was evasive and only uttered “Just Plans, sir” and smiled uncomfortably.
- Luigi might have the Sunday off. Even then why did the narrator agree to drive them to Poleta?
Answer- The narrator told the boys that they were leaving Verona on Monday. He asked if he could do anything for them before going. Nicola remained silent but Jacopo burst out. He asked if he could drive them to Poleta, 30 kilometers from Verona on Sunday. The narrator knew that Luigi might have the Sunday off. He was highly impressed by the sincerity and devotion of the boys. He agreed to drive them himself to Poleta on Monday.
- Did Nicola like Jacopo’s asking the narrator to drive them to Poleta on the coming Sunday? If not, why did he glare his brother in vexation?
Answer-Both the boys were self-respecting and hardly looked for favours persons. However, Jacopo, the younger brother showed a little weakness. He got ready to take a little favour from the narrator. The narrator asked if he could do anything for them before leaving Verona on Monday. The younger brother was tempted to ask if he could drive them to Poleta on Sunday. The self respecting and proud Nicola didn’t relish it. He didn’t want to take favour or put others in trouble for them. He looked glaringly at Jacopo in vexation.
- Where did the two passengers leap from the narrator’s car and disappear? Why didn’t they take the narrator with them?
Answer-The narrator was asked to stop the car before a large red-roofed villa at a tiny village. The two passengers, Nicola and Jacopo leaped from the cat They promised to come back only in an hour. They disappeared beyond the corner of the wall. They didn’t take the narrator with them. They didn’t want to share their story of earning and family’s secrecy with a stranger. They preferred to keep their secrets to themselves.
- Why could the narrator scarcely believe his eyes and was out of his breath when the boys stopped at large red-roofed villa at Poleta?
Answer- They reached a tiny village. The car stopped at a large-roofed villa, surrounded by a high stone wall. The narrator couldn’t believe his eyes and before he could recover his breath, Nicola and Jacopo disappeared. The narrator had hoped to stop before a small house or hut. The poor boys could afford only such a modest dwelling. He came to know only later on that the grand villa was not their home. It was only a hospital where their sister Lucia was admitted as a patient.
Q15. What did the narrator see when he looked through the glass partition? .
Answer-The nurse bade the narrator to look through the glass partition. He saw the two boys seated at the bedside of a girl. The girl propped on the pillows listening to their chatter. She resembled her brothers.
- Why did the nurse put her fingers to her lips? Why did she ask the narrator to go in after some time?
Answer-The nurse took the narrator to the door of a little cubicle. Reaching there she paused and put her fingers to her lips. She asked the narrator to look only through the glass partition. The ailing girl Lucia was talking to her brothers sitting at the bedside. The nurse didn’t want to alarm them. She assessed the situation and allowed the narrator to go in after some time.
- Why didn’t the narrator go in to see the boys and their sister in the cubicle inspite of the nurse’s insistence on it?
Answer- The nurse asked the narrator to go inside as Lucia would be pleased to see him. But the narrator dropped the idea of going inside. He shook his head and turned away. He didn’t want to intrude upon that happy family party and privacy.
- Describe how the war destroyed Nicola and Jacopo’s family and made them homeless.
Answer- The war brought disaster and ruin for Nicola and Jacopo. Their father, a widower a well-known singer had been killed in the early part of the war. A bomb destroyed their home. They were homeless and orphans. They had tough times and remained without food and shelter for long. Nicola and Jacopo had no one to call their own except their sister Lucia.
- Why did the boys grow to hate the Germans?
Answer- The Germans were responsible for their ruin. They brought troubles for their family. Their father, a well-known singer, died in the early part of the War. Their mother had died much earlier. The bombing destroyed their house. The Germans occupied the city for three years. The boys hated the G. “mans. They were among the first to Join the resistance movement against the Germans.
- How did they meet their sister and in what condition did they find her?
Answer-Nicola and Jacopo had no one of their own in the world except their sister Lucia. The war had separated them. When the war was over, they came back to their beloved sister. However, they were shocked to find that Lucia was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine.
- Describe Lucia’s illness and her progress in the hospital.
Answer- Lucia, the beloved sister of Nicola and Jacopo suffered from a terrible disease. She was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. Her brothers moved her to the hospital and she lay there as a patient. She had made a good progress within those twelve months. It was hoped that she would walk and sing again one day.
- What did Nicola and Jacopo do for her ailing sister? How could they manage to pay off the hospital bills?
Answer-Nicola and Jacopo did everything to make her ailing sister comfortable and happy. Lucia was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. They got her admitted in a hospital. They visited her on Sunday every week. They worked very hard and did all kinds of jobs to earn money. But they didn’t give up and arranged to pay the bills regularly. They hoped that she would be able to walk and sing again one day.
- Nicola said to the narrator, “Waiting for the last bus from Padua. We shall sell all our papers, when it comes in.” Why were the boys waiting for the last bus?
Answer- Both the brothers — Nicola and Jacopo were desperate to make as much money as possible to provide medical care for their sister Lucia, who was undergoing treatment for T.B. They worked late at night and were waiting for the last bus to sell the unsold newspapers.
- Why did the two boys survive only on black bread and figs, despite making a decent earning?
Answer- The boys did not wish to spend any money on them. They just ate the minimum required for survival. Lucia’s treatment was expensive so they willingly gave away all the money they earned for her recuperation. Their own misery or poverty did not mean anything to the boys.
- Why does the narrator make an offer for help to the two buys? What does it entail?
Answer-The narrator is very impressed by the hard work and zest exhibited by the two brothers. His visit was coming to an end, so the narrator offered help as the last sign of goodwill. Jacopo requested the narrator to take them to Poleta, which was 30 km away. Since the narrator had already given the day off to his driver, he volunteered to drive the boys himself.
- For what reason does Jacopo request for a lift to Poleta?
Answer- Lucia is Jacopo’s and Nicola’s sister who was undergoing medical treatment for tuberculosis of the spine at Poleta. The boys were working very hard to provide for their sister and went frequently to look ha up. Jacopo wanted to save the expenses of the trip, so he requested the narrator for a lift to Poleta.
- Why did the narrator enter the large red roofed Villa?
Answer-Both the boys looked poor and bedraggled. When they halted before a beautiful villa, the narrator was surprised. Out of curiosity, he couldn’t restrain himself, and entered the red-roofed villa to know the reason for the , trip made by the two boys.
- What scene does the narrator see through the glass partition?
Answer-The narrator saw that the two brothers were seated on a hospital bed, with a girl of about 20 years . She appeared to be their sister. There was so much love and affection visible and the scene looked like a happy family reunion.
- What did the narrator discover regarding the family background of the two boys? How did the war affect their family?
Answer-The nurse, who was looking after Lucia, told the narrator the entire story of the two boys. All the three children belonged to a prosperous family and Lucia was training to be a singer. The war waged by Germany killed their father, their house was destroyed by a bomb and the boys were separated from their sister. Due to neglect, Lucia contracted T.B.
- The nurse said regarding the two boys, “I don’t know what they do, I don’t ask. Work is scarce in Verona.” What does this remark reflect upon the speaker?
Answer-The nurse was very surprised how the boys managed to bring in sufficient money for the treatment of their sister, when work was scarce in the city. The nurse had no idea how hard the boys worked and how they tried to pitch in for all kinds of work that was available. The comment reveals that even the nurse respected the privacy of the boys and wanted to retain their dignity by not prodding them.
- Why didn’t the two boys disclose their problems to the author?
Answer-The boys were working hard to provide all possible help to their sister, Lucia, who was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. They did not disclose their problems to the author as they wished to retain their pride and dignity. They did not want their private suffering to be made public.
- What traits of the boys attracted the narrator to them? How were the children helpful to the narrator?
Answer- The narrator was attracted towards the boys due to the zest and willingness, demonstrated by them for undertaking all kind of work. The boys were also very eager to provide all kinds of comfort to the author. They were always at beck and call of the author.
- What were the hardships faced by Nicola and Jacopo?
Answer-The children’s father had died in the war, waged by Germany. A bomb had destroyed their house, their sister had contracted tuberculosis due to cold and starvation. The two boys worked day in and day out, took every possible job, starved themselves to provide for their sister’s treatment and built, from the rubble of their house, a shelter for themselves.
34 . What provoked the author’s interest in the two boys of Verona?
Answer-The author found the zest and willingness of the boys for undertaking all kind of work-selling strawberries, polishing shoes, taking tourists round the city — remarkable. The author found the boys to be very innocent and friendly.
- Why did Luigi not want the narrator to buy strawberries from the boys?
Answer- Luigi did not want the narrator to buy strawberries from the boys as he disapproved their shabby appearance. He also felt that the narrator would get better strawberries in Verona.
- Why were the narrator and his companion impressed by the two boys?
Answer-The narrator and his companion were attracted by the sincerity and honesty they saw in the friendly open faces of boys. They were very impressed by the earnests in. and genuineness they saw in their dark eyes
- Why was the narrator surprised to see Nicola and Jacopo working as shoeshine boys?
Answer- The narrator had encountered the two boys Nicola and Jacopo the previous day as fruit-pickers and fruit-sellers. Therefore, he was surprised to see them working as shoeshine boys in the town square the next day.
- . How were the boys useful to the narrator?
Answer- Nicola and Jacopo performed a number of tasks for the narrator including procuring a pack of American cigarettes, seats for the opera and the name of a good restaurant where they could eat. They also took him around the city to show him the sights.
- What impression did the narrator form of the boys at first?
Answer-The narrator saw that the boys worked very hard. They worked at many jobs till late at night. They lived frugally and spent very little money on themselves. He thought that the boys were saving money to emigrate to the United States to lead a better life.
- Why did the narrator say that what struck one most was their willingness to work?
Answer-The narrator says this as though the boys were fairly young, they were extremely hard-working. Even when they were tired, they worked without complaint. They did many jobs and worked willingly and cheerfully.
- Why was the square deserted?
Answer-The square was deserted because it was very late at night. People had returned home.
- What made the narrator think that they were earning much?
Answer-The narrator saw the boys doing multiple jobs. They shined shoes, sold fruit, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists round the town, and also ran errands. Therefore, the narrator thought they were earning a good amount of money.
- The narrator asks the boys, ‘Must you work so hard? You both look rather tired.’ The boys reply, ‘We are not complaining, sir.’ What do you learn about the boys from their reply?
Answer-The boys worked hard and without any complaints despite their physical fatigue. This shows their sense of commitment and devotion. Their dignity and self-respect did not allow them to take help from anyone even though they had to pay for their sister’s treatment.
- The narrator feels that the boys worked very hard but spent very little. What impression has he formed of their character?
Answer-The narrator saw the boys worked very hard at many jobs. He also noticed that despite. their earnings, they spent nothing on clothes and ate very frugal meals. He assumes that the boys were hoarding money to emigrate to the United States.
- When the narrator asks the boys about their plans, they are evasive. Why do they not disclose their problems? What do you learn about the boys from their attitude?
Answer-The boys were dignified and self-reliant. They did not want anyone to pity them. They wanted to discharge their responsibilities themselves, therefore they were evasive when the narrator presumed they were hoarding up their money to emigrate to the United States. They did not want him to know about their invalid sister.
- Where did the boys go every Sunday? Why did they do so?
Answer- Every Sunday the boys went to the hospital in Poleta to meet their sister Lucia who was admitted there. Lucia was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine.
- Do you think the boys looked after Lucia willingly? Why/Why not?
Answer-Undoubtedly the boys looked after Lucia willingly. They worked at various jobs and performed errands for people cheerfully, spending little on themselves. They neither looked to others for help nor for sympathy. They could have easily taken help from the narrator and other people, but they preferred to look after their sister themselves.
- How does the story of the ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ give promise of greater hope for human society?
Answer-The two boys—one thirteen and the other twelve—shouldered responsibility for their ailing sister without complaints, exemplified great hope for human society. They worked hard and tirelessly, not looking for help or pity. They did not shirk from their duty towards their family or country. They were the embodiment of selflessness, nobility and gentlemanliness. The two boys prove that hope, faith, positive thinking and hard work can help overcome all troubles in life.
- Who is Lucia?
Answer- Lucia was the elder sister of Nicola and Jacopo. She was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine and was in a hospital for treatment.
- What were Nicola’s feelings when the narrator commented on his frugal lifestyle?
Answer- When the narrator commented on the fact that the boys worked hard and probably earned a good deal of money yet lived very frugally, Nicola was embarrassed and he did not say anything, just looked down.
- Why did the narrator follow the boys to the villa? Why did he not meet Lucia?
Answer-The narrator was curious about why the boys had gone to the villa. He wanted to find out more about them, so he followed them to the villa. He did not go in to meet Lucia as he did not wish to embarrass the boys.
- What were the narrator’s feelings about the two boys at first? What change did they undergo and why?
Answer-At first the narrator was impressed by the hard work the boys put in. He became fond of them as they were friendly and ran errands for him. But when he saw them with Lucia and realised that they were working hard to shoulder the responsibility of an ailing elder sister, he was filled with admiration and respect for them.
- Who asked the narrator to drive them to Poleta? Did the other brother approve of the request?
Answer-The younger of the two brothers, Jacopo, requested the narrator to drive them to Poleta. His elder brother, Nicola did not approve of the request as he did not wish to ask for or accept favours from anyone. He did not wish to be beholden to the narrator.
- Did the boys try to prevent the narrator from finding out the real purpose of their visit to Poleta? Did they succeed?
Answer-The boys tried to prevent the narrator from finding out the real purpose of their visit. They jumped out of the car as soon as it stopped and rushed off after telling the narrator that they would meet him in an hour’s time. They did not succeed because the narrator, fired by curiosity, went inside later and found out the truth.
- How did the war affect the boys’ family?
Answer-The boy’s father was killed in the early part of the war. Shortly afterwards, a bomb destroyed their home and the three children were thrown out into the streets. They suffered horribly from near starvation and exposure to the cold winter. During the German occupation, the boys joined the resistance movement. The hardships and suffering led to the sister developing tuberculosis of the spine.
- ‘just plans, sir….’ Why does Nicola say it in a low voice? Does he want to hide anything?
Answer- Nicola is embarrassed by the narrator’s observation on their frugal spending and shabby clothing despite he and his brother earning what must be a considerable amount. Nicola also wants to hide the real reason behind their saving money from the narrator.
- In what way is Jacopo different from his elder brother?
Answer-He was a brave and spirited boy and the terrible hardships that he had to endure had not broken his spirit. He was the younger of the two brothers. He was childish and innocent and was naughty as a squirrel.
- ‘Yet in both these boyish faces there was a seriousness which was far beyond their years.’ Does this sentence signal anything to you?
Answer-The boys were aged thirteen and twelve and had imbibed a sense of responsibility even at their young age. They were ready to do any job and were extremely hard-working. Their selfless action and devotion to their sister’s treatment is remarkable. Their hard-earned money was spent shouldering responsibility far beyond their years.
- Describe the physical appearance and the writer’s observation of the two boys as they showed them the town as guides.
Answer-The two boys, Nicola and Jacopo, had brown skins, tangled hair and dark earnest eyes. The narrator was already impressed their remarkable demeanour and artless ways. The narrator felt that Jacopo was lively as a squirrel while Nicola was steady and engaging. Their faces had seriousness as responsibility had dawned upon them in their childhood.
- What different jobs did the ‘two gentlemen of Verona’ do?
“We do many things, Sir,” Nicola answered seriously. Illustrate this statement.
Answer-By this statement Nicola meant that apart from selling strawberries j they earned their living by doing various little jobs like newspaper selling, shining shoes, showing tourists the town as guides and this added to their confidence. Therefore, Nicola looked at the author hopefully.
- What did the nurse tell the writer about the boys?
Answer-The nurse explained that the boys were quite alone in the world except their sister Lucia. Their father, a widower and a well-known singer, was killed in war. Added to that, a bomb blast destroyed their house. The boys and their sister were left to the streets, suffered horribly from starvation. They had always known a comfortable and a cultured life before these tragic happenings in their lives. The boys grew to hate the German and soon joined groups to protest against them. As soon as the war was over, the boys ran back to find their ailing sister and admitted her to that hospital where her treatment was going on at that time.
- What led the boys to dislike the Germans?
Ans. The boys were led to dislike the Germans because their beloved father was killed in the war with the Germans. Had the bomb in the war not destroyed their home and life, they would have been living with all comforts and leading a cultured life. They were thrown out Into the streets suffering horribly from starvation. Exposure to the cold winter led their sister to suffer from tuberculosis. All this filled them with hatred for the Germans.
- The narrator preferred to keep the secret which the boys did not want to reveal. What was the secret and why did the boys want to keep it?
Answer-The secret was that the narrator had come to know all about the boys’ life. Through nurse he also came to know that that the boys had been saving money to pay for the treatment of their ailing sister. But the boys had not shared this painful tale with the narrator. They did not want to share their sorrow with the narrator because of their pride in themselves. They didn’t want anyone’s sympathy. Therefore, they wanted to keep their secret to themselves.
- What did the author and his companion find one night ?
Answer-The author and his companion found the two boys resting on the stone pavement in a deserted square. A bundle of unsold newspapers lay at Nicola’s feet. In fact, the boys were waiting for the last bus from Padua so that they could sell their newspapers.
- “Tell me, what do you do with your money ?” Why did the author ask Nicola this question ?
Answer-The author realized that the boys must be earning quite a bit by doing many odd jobs and still they were not spending money on clothes and food. So he wanted to know what they did with their money.
- What had happened to the parents and the house of Nicola and Jacopo?
Answer-Nicola and Jacopo had lost their mother earlier only. Their father, who was an established singer, was killed in the war when Italy was attacked by Germany. Their house was blown off by a bomb, so both these brothers, as well as their sister Lucia, were rendered homeless.
67 Although Nicola and Jacopo are young boys, the narrator refers to them as ‘gentlemen’. Why does he do so?
Answer-In order to pay for the medical expenses of their ailing sister, Nicola and Jacopo worked hard; sold fruit and newspaper, polished shoes, etc. They had tremendous patience, self-respect, love and devotion. Family values along with their pride and determination make the narrator call them gentlemen.
68- ‘They were among the first to join the resistance movement’ means
Ans.- They did not wish to let go the opportunity to get even with the Germans and throw them out of their country. Also, it reflects their hatred for the Germans, for having brought upon them so many problems. They considered them as personal enemies.
69- Why was Nicola’s tone ‘put out’ even when the narrator was eager to help them?
Answer-Nicola did not want the narrator to know about his sister’s illness and other problems they were facing. He wanted to keep it all a secret as he was quite conscious of his self respect. Now, there was a chance of that secret spilling out, hence his tone was put out.
70 What opinion did the narrator make of the two brothers when they went on a round to visit places?
Answer-As they went on a round, the narrator’s interest in them redeveloped by their striking conduct. He found them childish enough, and in many ways quite simple. Jacopo was bubbly as a squirrel. Nicola’s smile was stable and appealing. Yet in both the boyish faces there was a seriousness which was far beyond their years.
71- In which way could Nicola and Jacopo be relied upon to satisfy the needs of the narrator and his friend?
Answer-The two brothers proved to be extremely useful to the narrator and his friend. Whenever they wanted a pack of American cigarettes, or seats for the opera or the name of a good restaurant, they would just contact Nicola and Jacopo, who satisfied their needs very well.
72- Why did Nicola grow pale when the narrator asked them about their expenses?
Answer-The narrator had asked the boys what they did with their money as they did not seem to spend much on their clothes or food. Nicola grew pale because there was pain in his heart for his sister’s suffering, which he did not want to reveal to the narrator. He thought that he might have to reveal a well kept family secret about his sister’s suffering to the narrator-the mere thought of it hurt his self-respect and he grew pale.
73- Before leaving Verona, what did the narrator ask the two brothers and why?
Ans.- The narrator really admired the nature and behaviour of the two brothers. Doing something for them would give him happiness. So, he asked them if there was something he could do for them before leaving on Monday.
74- What caused a shock for the narrator when he drove the two boys to a tiny village?
Ans.- The narrator had thought that their destination would be some humble dwelling. But when, directed by Jacopo, he drew up at a large red-roofed villa, surrounded by a high stone wall, he could scarcely believe his eyes at what he saw.
75- What did the narrator see through the glass partition?
Ans.- The narrator saw that Nicola and Jacopo were sitting at the bedside of a girl of about twenty who was propped up on pillows, wearing a pretty lace jacket, and was listening to their chatter. Her eyes were soft and tender. She had a strong resemblance to her brothers.
76- Where did the nurse take the author in the hospital and what did she do?
Ans.- The nurse led the author through a cool, tiled hall into the villa which was more of a hospital. At the door of a little cubicle the nurse paused, put her finger to her lips, and with a smile gestured him to look through the glass partition.
77- Standing outside the cubicle, what did the nurse ask the author? What did the author do?
Answer-The nurse asked the author if he would not like to go inside to meet Lucia as it would make her happy. He shook his head and turned away as he could not bear to intrude upon that happy family union.
78- Did the family of the boys have a comfortable life before? What made them impoverish?
Answer-Yes, the family was living a very cultured and comfortable life. Their father had been a well-known singer and sister Lucia had also been training as a singer. They had been living a peaceful life until the war between Germany and Italy which took away their father and all happiness, leaving Lucia suffering from the deadly tuberculosis of the spine.
- How did the friendship develop between the narrator and the two boys ?
Answer-For the first time, the narrator had met the boys at the outskirt of Verona and bought some fruits from them. He was impressed with them for some strange reasons. Thereafter, they frequently met at various corners of the city and developed a sort of instant friendship.
80- What did the boys usually do on Sundays?
Answer-Every Sunday, the duo usually hired bicycles to visit their village Poleta which is 30 kilometres from Verona city. They used to reunite with their beloved sister Lucia for an hour or two, pay her treatment charges and return to the city again.
81- Why did the narrator not tell the boys that he had come to know everything about them from the nurse?
Answer-The narrator observed that the boys preferred to keep their sister’s illness and their family’s misfortune secret. He simply did not want to interrupt the earnestness displayed by the two boys and hurt their pride by intruding upon their privacy.
82- Why do you think Nicola and Jacopo would prefer to keep their family misfortune secret from the narrator?
Answer-The two brothers were epithet of courage and confidence. They clearly did not like to live on charity and benevolence. They worked tirelessly with all sincerity to earn for the treatment of their ailing sister and sent across a message nothing is impossible if there is a will to do. They did not prefer people to take them as\ helpless boys and be sympathetic towards them.
- Appearances are deceptive. Discuss with reference to the two boys.
Answer-The two boys looked dirty and were wearing worn out clothes. Anyone could have mistaken them for beggars. However, the author’s interaction with them revealed that they were confident, optimistic and mature in thought and action. Therefore, one can say that appearances are deceptive.
- What is the irony of the two gentlemen of Verona?
Answer- In the story, ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’, the two young boys depicted great maturity, wisdom and faith in the invincibility of human spirit. Their die-hard attitude changed the people around them. The boys were vibrant and brought about positivity all around them. They did not bother wearing torn clothes because their only focus was their sister’s treatment. However, the irony was in the fact that the author thought just the opposite about them. He thought that they were timid, immature and innocent. It was only later that he realised that they were highly mature and responsible.
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Two Gentlemen of Verona Extra Questions and Answers
Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each
How did two gentlemen of Verona sacrifice for Lucia?
- Give pen-portraits of two brothers, Nicola and Jacopo highlighting their main traits and virtues in your own words. How does their selfless sacrifice and devotion to their cause give a new hope to humanity?
Ans. Nicola and Jacopo were two young boys. They were epitomes of selfless love and dedication. They were real fighters who could overcome all hurdles and obstacles that came in their way. Nicola, the elder brother was 13. Jacopo, was nearly 12. They had brown skins, tangled hair and dark earnest eyes. Even Luigi conveyed his disapproval of their shabby appearance. The poor boys were the victims of the German war. The Germans brought disaster and destruction to their family. Their mother had died much earlier. The father, who was a well-known singer, died in the early part of the war. They were left as shelter less orphans as their house was destroyed by La bomb. They hated the Germans. They had no one to call their own except their sister Lucia. They met their beloved sister after the war. And they found that she was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. Nicola and Jacopo were real fighters, heroes. Even the worst kinds of difficulties and the war could not break their spirit. They continued their struggle against heavy odds. They were self-respecting and never complained or asked for favours from anybody. They were ready to do any kind of work to earn a living. They sold fruit, hawked newspaper, conducted tourists round the town, and ran errands. They saved every penny which they could earn. They spent little on their food and clothes. But they never forgot to make their payment of the hospital bills every week. They got their sister admitted to a hospital and visited her on Sundays. They hoped that one day she would be able to walk and sing again. Their selfless action, sacrifice and devotion to the cause give a new hope for humanity.
- The boys were willing to undertake any job not only for making a living but also for a noble cause. They had to save their beloved sister. This made their struggle and sacrifice quite ennobling and unique. How did their struggle and sacrifice to save their beloved sister make them real heroes?
Ans. Nicola and Jacopo were fighting against heavy odds. Their family was completely destroyed in the war. They had lost their shelter and parentage. Now they were orphans. They had none in this world who they could call their own except their beloved sister Lucia. And even she was suffering from the tuberculosis of the spine. Their struggle for existence is long but heroic. They were forced to shoulder much bigger responsibilities at a very tender age. They were innocent and artless. They sold fruit, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists round the town, shined shoes and ran errands. They proved extremely useful to anyone. They could be relied upon to satisfy the needs of their patrons. They remained awoke till midnight on a chilly wintry night waiting for the last bus from Padua. They did all this not only to buy food and clothes but for a noble cause. Actually, they spent little money on them. They were struggling and saving every penny for a noble cause. They had to pay the hospital bills every week. They had to save their beloved sister Lucia. She was in the hospital for the last few months. Life was very hard in Verona. They had no regular job or any source of income. However, they didn’t give in. Their devotion and selfless sacrifice bore the desired results. Lucia had shown a lot of progress. It was hoped that she would be able to walk and sing again one day. Their selfless struggle and sacrifice to save their beloved sister made them real heroes. They did so without complaining or without asking for any favour from anyone.
- The narrator was highly impressed by the selfless struggle of Nicola and Jacopo for their existence. But what touched him most was their sense of self-respect and their devotion to their sister. He makes a diary entry in about 80-100 words. Reproduce that entry here in your own language.
Ans. 20th March, 1947, Verona
Life throws many surprises. When I first encountered Nicola and Jacopo on the outskirts of Verona, I took them just two ordinary boys and nothing more. They were selling wild strawberries. My driver Luigi did not approve of their shabby appearance but I bought the biggest basket. Soon I found them shining shoes in the public square. They did so many things to earn a living. They shined shoes, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists round the town and ran errands. Very soon they proved very useful to us. if we needed a pack of American cigarettes, seats for the opera or the name of a good restaurant, we could rely on them to satisfy our needs. 1 came to know of their selfless sacrifice and devotion rather late. They were self-respecting boys who never troubled others or asked for any favours from anyone. I could know only from the nurse how the war made them homeless .orphans. Their only sister Lucia was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. They saved every penny for the treatment of their sister. They didn’t want to make their personal pains and grief public to anyone. They were proud to keep their family secrets only to themselves. Their selfless love and devotion to the cause give a new hope to all of us and to humanity.
- Both the boys Nicola and Jacopo were so much self-respecting and careful that they could not make their family troubles public. They couldn’t even think of asking for favours or revealing their family secrets to any outsider. Give three examples to show how they struggled and suffered in silence without murmuring or complaining.
Ans. Both Nicola and Jacopo lived against heavy odds. They were the victims of the war which ruined their family. They were left as homeless orphans. They had no one who they could call their own except their sister Lucia. Even their beloved sister suffered from tuberculosis of the spine. Both of them had boyish faces and looked innocent and artless. But they had to shoulder huge responsibilities at a very tender age. They had to earn not only for a living but also for the treatment of their sister. But they struggled without complaining. Actually they suffered in silence without murmuring or complaining. They could never imagine of asking any favour from anyone. The narrator asked what he could do for them before leaving Verona. The younger brother betrayed a little weakness. He asked if the narrator could drive them to Poleta on Sunday. This was quite unbearable for Nicola. He glared at his younger brother in vexation. He replied, “We could not think of troubling you, sir.” He bit his lip in vexation. Both the brothers were too proud and self-respecting to make their personal grief or troubles public. The narrator knew it well. He didn’t want to intrude upon the privacy of the family by meeting Lucia. He knew that ‘they would prefer to feel that they had safely kept their secret.’ They sat beside the narrator without speaking anything.
- You are Lucia the ailing sister of the two boys. Write a letter to your friend about your past life sad your present situation, as you are on the way to recovery, with the help of your younger brothers.
12, Luxemburg Street,
St. Pauls’ Square,
Dear Mary Jane,
How are you? I hope this letter finds you in the best of health and high spirits. I am treading the road to convery quite slowly and it has been possible only because of my two angels. They have suffered so much and still yet they do not utter a single word of complaint. When the war started, our lives fell apart. Father was killed early on and our home was destroyed by bomb. We were out in the streets, literally scavenging for food. I lost so tasty opportunities to sing because of various reasons. I still shiver when I remember how cold it was. We built a helter amidst rubble and tried to survive. My brothers joined the resistance movement and when the war ended we bought our troubles had ended too. Alas! that was not to be. I was diagnosed with tuberculosis and it distressed us My brothers are working hard to keep me alive. I hope, for their sake, to recover soon and resume my career so is to help them financially. They deserve a carefree childhood. Do write back and give my regards to your parents.
- ‘The two boys’ devotion had touched me deeply. War had not broken their spirit. Their selfless action brought a new nobility to human life, gave promise of a greater hope for human society.” Comment upon this statement made by the narrator of the lesson, ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ bringing out the reasons.
Ans. : The narrator was deeply impressed by the two gentlemen of Verona. Innocent yet mature, they were shouldering a responsibility that many would have complained about. Yet they remained reserved and silent, revealing their story to none. They were deeply devoted and diligent when it come to work and kept a look outs for new avenues and opportunities to earn more. They did not resort to shortcuts or wrong methods. They worked hard day and night to earn enough to help their ailing sister. Nicola and Jacopo were loving brothers and their selflessness touched the narrator. They could have taken advantage of people by appealing to their sympathy but they didn’t do it. The boys had a lot of self respect. Moreover, their positive thinking helped them a lot at crucial times. They were the embodiment of selflessness, nobility, gentlemanliness, giving promise of a greater hope for human society. In these days of variety of disasters and distractions faced by humans, the two boys stand apart to show him hope, faith, positive thinking and hard work will take them a long way.
- You are the nurse at the hospital. You are happy that you could share everything about the boys with the narrator. Write a diary entry about meeting the narrator and what you shared with him.
12th April, 20….
Nicola and Jacopo came today to meet their sister. As always, there was a smile on their faces and they talked and laughed to make her happy. But as they entered I saw a man following them. He wanted to know what the boys were doing there. I explained the story to him and he was speechless when he realised the extent of their suffering. I told him that they arc quite alone in the world. Their father was a widower and also a famous singer, who was killed early in the war. I explained how a bomb destroyed not only their home but also their family. They had to live on the streets and face hunger and harsh weather conditions. Later their sister was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the spine. They persuaded the hospital authorities to admit her and promised that they would pay the fee every week. They have been working hard and paying the bills regularly. The gentleman was touched by the story of these dedicated fellows whose love and devotion are beyond compare. I have never seen an example of such selfless love. I am happy that I could share everything about the boys. People need to know about such stories in this age where money and greed are overtaking all the good values and morals.
- Imagine you are Lucia. Write a dairy about the concerns of your brothers that are about you.
12th April, 20… ,
Nicola and Jacopo came to visit today Their bright. earnest laces and their twinkling eyes lighten up my day. I wish I could be with them every day. They are working very hard to pay the hospital bills. They told me they do easy jobs that are of no trouble at all. I know it’s not true their clothes are attractive and they don’t look too well fed. I ,should be looking after them, working to support my brothers but alas, I’m confined to this bed. They are sacrificing their innocence, their childhood for me. They are shouldering such a big burden. My heart goes out to them. They have suffered so much and yet God tests them even more. I wish I would get well soon and ease their burden. I pray to God to make me capable of repaying all their care and concern then we would be a family again. I want them to live a carefree life, full of enjoyment and laughter. I want them to have a bright future. They are God’s angels in disguise. I feel really blessed to have such sweet brothers. May God bless them always!
- Imagine you are the narrator in ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’. You were touched by the love and devotion of the boys towards their sister. Write a letter to a friend about the two boys and the attraction you felt for them.
5, Villa Carona,
How are you? I hope you are enjoying the nice weather at home. I wish to share a really interesting experience.
You might have read Shakespeare’s play ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’. I want to inform you that I actually met them. In this materialistic world, where money is everything and greed rules, I met two little boys who could teach many a lesson in humanity and selflessness. I met Nicola and Jacopo in the streets of Verona. They did all sorts of odd jobs—cleaning shoes, hawking newspapers, etc. and their diligence impressed me. One Sunday I accompanied them to their village Poleta and realised what a tough life they had been living. These boys belonged to an affluent family and their father was a singer. He was killed early on in the war and their home was bombed. They were exposed to the harsh weather, and starvation. Relentlessly, they made a shelter from the rubble and managed to survive. Later they joined the resistance movement against the Germans. When the war got over, they came to know that their sister Lucia was suffering from tuberculosis of spine. The treatment was costly and that is the reason they work day and night to pay for it.
At this young age, they have gone through a lot. Yet they are positive, cheerful and happy. They are devoted to their sister and their only wish is to see her get well. I hope you enjoyed my letter. Do reply with comments.
- Write a paragraph on the early life of the two boys during the war.
The father of the two boys was a widower and he was a well-known singer. He was killed in war and a bomb blast had destroyed the house of the two boys. As a result the boys and their sister were left on the streets. They suffered starvation and exposure to cold winter and barely managed to keep themselves alive. They built a shelter with their own hands amidst the rubble. The boys had joined the resistance movement. At this time, their sister had developed tuberculosis of the spine.
- The journey to Poleta changed the narrator’s previous impression about the boys. He was deeply moved by their story. He could not sleep that night. He wrote about them in his diary. Write the diary of the narrator.
I met the two boys and found them to be hard working. I saw them doing a number of jobs. They had frugal habits which reflected in their appearance as well food habits.
I presumed that they were saving to emigrate. One day I accompanied them to Poleta and followed them to a villa. I learnt of their hard life. I came to know about the loss of their father and how even their home was destroyed. I came to know the extreme hard work that they were doing to pay for their sister’s hospitalisation and I was mighty impressed by their sense of responsibility. I admired the pride that the two boys had, as they refused to be looked upon with pity by others.
- Imagine that you are the narrator. You have reached back to your town. Still the memory of the ‘two gentlemen of Verona’ is fresh in your mind, as you really miss those little heroes. Write a letter to one of your friends telling him/her about the gratifying experience you had at Verona in their company.
Ans. # 50, Cedar Avenue
24 June 19XX
It has been months since I wrote to you. How is everything at your place? This world is amazing. Every minute we meet, interact with various kinds of people. Recently on my trip to Verona I happened to meet such two boys aged 12 and 13 selling strawberries. On interaction, we concluded that they were children from some respectable family suffering from some misfortune in their lives. There was some gentleness in them that pulled me towards them.
The next day we found them shining shoes at the public square. The boys told that they did various jobs to earn living. I was greatly impressed by the boys’ positive attitude towards life. I had to stay in the town for a few days. Observing them at close quarters I realized that the boys really worked hard day and night.
Though they earned quite good still they ate very less. I often spotted them eating black bread and figs. They almost spent nothing on clothes. Why did they save money was a mystery to me. Though I tried to ask them yet they were evasive about the issue. It was only when the boys had asked for a lift to the hospital that I came that they had been saving every single penny to pay for the treatment of their beloved sister who was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. I was touched by the sacrifice made by these two boys and their hope and devotion with which they worked for the welfare of their sister to keep up their family ties.
We should learn lessons of saving humanity in hostile conditions from these little heroes who resisted the horrors of war to save their sister. This has left a permanent imprint in my mind.
Even today whenever I am reminded of those two boys my heart salutes these ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’.
Keep in touch
- Imagine you are Nicola. You are touched by the empathy and the kindness of the author towards you and your brother. Thinking that such good people are rare to find in otherwise hostile world, record your sweet encounter with the author in the form of a diary entry putting down your experiences ever since you met him.
23rd July, 19XX
Every day begins with a new promise for life, a hope for a better tomorrow. It is with this attitude we rise that one day our dear sister will be fit and healthy and that we all three will live together happily in our new house.
Every day we meet countless customers. Some are forgotten just as we forget what we ate two days before and some leave such a permanent imprint on the mind that one is overwhelmed to remember them throughout life. Quite same was my experience when I met ‘sir’. I can still remember the day when we first met him. He bought the biggest basket of strawberries from us and we were so happy.
He kept on observing us doing various jobs and we too extended all sorts of help to him in the town. Today when sir told that he was leaving, I felt bad. Jacopo grew so attached to him that he asked for drive to the hospital. Though we have not revealed the misfortune of our life but I sense that sir has come to know about it.
For the first time in my life I felt the hand of some guardian over me after our father died. The feeling that one has a protection of some elder hand is great.
Our father left, he too is leaving us today. Why do good people stay for such a short time.
My heart is so heavy today. I wish I had expressed my love and regard for him before he left today. I pray that we may meet again.
- “War is another name for destruction. It brings with it endless number of maladies in the name of poverty, crimes, innocent killings, social unrest, food crisis and so on.” With reference to the story `TWo Gentlemen of Verona’, write an article telling how war has affected the lives of the characters in the story.
Ans. War and its Destruction
(An Article by ——)
War is another name for destruction. It brings with it endless number of maladies in the name of poverty, unemployment, crimes, social unrest, lack of basic amenities of life like food, shelter and clothing and a lot many other problems associated with it. History bears testimony to the fact that the wheel of progress is turned back in those nations which are tinder the cruel clutches of war. For example, nations like Iran, Iraq, Myanmar and many others like that where all resources of the nation have been exploited to prepare soldiers for war and ammunition. If these resources had been utilised for constructive and welfare purposes, these nations would have been one of the developing nations of the world.
No one in the world likes war. It destroys homes and families, the basic unit of society. Mothers lose their sons, wives their husbands and children become orphans. The same is the case with Nicola and Jacopo. They lose their widower father in the war. Had not the bomb in the war destroyed their home and life. they would have been living with all comforts and leading a cultured life. They were thrown out into the streets suffering horribly from starvation and exposure to the cold winter that led their sister to suffer from tuberculosis. With nothing to eat and pay for the treatment of their sister, these boys were compelled to do petty jobs at the tender age when they had to go to school. Wars lead to no solution. There are other ways of resolving conflicts; Nations can hold talks, discussions to reach at certain decisions to save the humanity. Only then can we dream of peace and harmony all around the world.
- Imagine you are Jacopo. When the author leaves, he gives his address to you in case he would be of some help to you in future, though you and your brother never approached him for help being self-righteous. Ten years have passed. You both are well established as young men now Remembering back your struggle, write a letter to the author recounting your journey from orphan child labourers to the present established state.
Ans. # 36, Rocking Villa
19 June, 19XX
You will be surprised to find my letter as I am glad to write to you after a gap of ten long years. My elder brother Nicola is 23 now and I am 22. When I look back I remember the struggle that we underwent to earn a single penny. I fondly remember how we used to sell fruit newspapers, and shine shoes, show tourist places and would probably try our hand at all jobs under the sun befitting our age.
When you stayed at Verona, you were eager to know about our plans regarding saving money. They were very humble ones. We didn’t tell you that we have a sister too. She was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine and had been admitted to a hospital. We saved all the money to pay for her treatment. I told Nicola to tell you about her but he didn’t reveal this because he didn’t want any sympathy from any one in any form.
Then you left Verona. Time flew on its wings. Our hard work reaped success. With God’s grace our sister recovered from her illness. She is now an established singer. We two also have continued with the family legacy and joined her learning music. We have a beautiful house. Though we miss our father, we have managed to live a comfortable life.
If you find time, visit Verona again. We will be glad to see you.
With all regards
16- Imagine that you are the narrator. After you return from Verona, you ponder upon the life of Nicola and Jacopo. Write a page in your diary reflecting your thoughts.
Ans.- 24th August, Thursday
I cannot but wonder over the life of Nicola and Jacopo. It is amazing to see such little boys having so much of determination to fight with the difficulties of life. With no parents and no one to help them, the work they are doing is beyond one’s imagination. Nicola, who is just thirteen years old and Jacopo, twelve, did every kind of work from shining shoes, selling fruit, newspapers, conducting tourists around the town, and running errands even during these summer days, under the hot sun. One windy midnight, it was amazing to see them sitting on the stone pavement at the deserted Square waiting for the bus to come so that they could sell the left over newspapers. It is really worth appreciating that they are doing so much of hard work so that they can earn enough to pay the hospital bills where their sister is getting treated for tuberculosis. I have immense respect for their spirit of not giving up easily. I pray that their sister gets well soon. They have no one else except her in their life.
17- “Yes,” I agreed. “They couldn’t do it better.” Why did the author say this to the nurse (150 words)
Ans.– The nurse told the narrator that every week, Lucia’s brothers made the payment for their sister’s treatment. She added with simplicity that neither did she know what they did to earn that money, nor did she ask them. She said that she knew that work was scarce in Verona but whatever may be the case, the boys paid the money regularly. She said that although she didn’t know what they did, but whatever they did was done very well. At this, the narrator said, “Yes”. “They couldn’t do it better.” The narrator knew well how much hard work the boys were doing to earn that money. He had seen them selling different items, polishing shoes, taking tourists on a round; in fact, anything they could do to earn as much as possible to pay the hospital bills and see their sister healthy again. These words spoken by the narrator contain the deepest regard he has for their courage and devotion.
18- Imagine that you are the narrator. Write a page in your diary reflecting your thoughts on how you felt after what you saw in the hospital, in about 150 words.
Today, I took Nicola and Jacopo to Poleta in my car. When we reached the destination, the boys leapt out of the car and just disappeared inside a big villa. Out of curiosity, I also went inside. I was shocked to see the two boys sitting near an ailing girl. I just peeped from outside the room and did not interfere when they were sharing their close moments with each other. A nurse told me about their tragic life. Now, I have understood why the two boys had been working so hard and why they were ready to do any kind of work. I have an immense appreciation for them. Even though they faced terrible miseries, they have not opted for begging. They have pride in themselves and their family. Even while going back in the car, I didn’t discuss anything about what I came to know of their family as I felt that the boys would feel more contented and comfortable if they knew that their secret was intact. My respect for them has grown even more now.
19-‘Where there is a will, there is a way’. How did the two boys of Verona prove it ?
Ans. Nicola and Jacopo faced a lot of hardships at a very young age. Their childhood was marred by war, poverty, disease and ill fortune. Yet they toiled and suffered to work too a better future Their home was bombed out in the war and they also lost their father early on in the war. The odds were against them but they did not give up. They were exposed to harsh weather and starvation. They had always known a comfortable and cultured life and now they were out on the streets. They built a shelter from amidst the rubble and managed to survive. After the war was over, they discovered that their sister Lucia was suffering from tuberculosis of spine. They too their sister to the hospital and persuaded them to take her in. They worked hard to ensure that they made the fee payment every week. They did odd jobs to earn money. They sold fruits, shined shoes, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists around the town. They did not complain or cry. War did not break their spirit. Their only endeavour was to see their sister get well and they worked hard to ensure that she got proper medical care. They proved, without a doubt, that where there is a will, there is a way.
- Why did the narrator not say a word to Nicola and Jacopo during their return journey to Verona? Why did the boys sit beside him without speaking?
Answer- The narrator drove Nicola and Jacopo back to the city. They sat beside him without saying anything. On his part, he didn’t say even a word. He knew it well that they would prefer to feel that they had safely kept their secret. He didn’t want to share their family secrets and embarrass them. On their part, the boys were also unwilling to make public their personal misfortune and grief. Q24. Why was the narrator touched deeply? Why does he think that their ‘selfless action’ give promise of ‘a greater hope for human society?’ Ans. The brothers’ sacrifice and devotion to their cause deeply touched the narrator. The way they were taking care of their ailing sister deserves our sympathy. Difficulties and even the war could not break their spirit. Their selfless action, sacrifice, sincerity and devotion to the cause give a new hope for humanity.
Value Based Questions and Answers of- Two Gentlemen of Verona
Value Based Questions and Answers
- Value Based Questions
- Which qualities of the boys impressed the author in the story, ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’?
Answer- The boys displayed a rare spirit of sacrifice which impressed the author. Their willingness to work hard and their love and affection for Lucia touched the author’s heart. He felt that they were the true gentleman of Verona.
- What traits of the boys attracted the narrator towards them? How were the children helpful to the narrator?
Answer-The narrator found the two boys diligent and hardworking. They bought a pack of cigarettes for the narrator and his friend, reserved seats for the Opera and also suggested the name of a good restaurant.
- Justify the title ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’.
Answer-The two boys proved to be true gentlemen. They were kind and caring towards their sister and very polite towards others. They proved that only hard work pays. They never wanted to exploit others’ pity or kindness to achieve their end. Thus the title is justified.
- ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’. How did the two boys of Verona prove it?
Answer-Nicola and Jacopo faced a lot of hardships at a very young age. Their childhood was marred by war, poverty, disease and ill fortune. Yet they toiled and suffered to work too a better future. Their home was bombed out in the war and they also lost their father early on in the war. The odds were against them but they did not give up. They were exposed to harsh weather and starvation. They had always known a comfortable and cultured life and now they were out on the streets. They built a shelter from amidst the rubble and managed to survive. After the war was over, they discovered that their sister Lucia was suffering from tuberculosis of spine. They took their sister to the hospital and persuaded them to take her in. They worked hard to ensure that they made the fee payment every week. They did odd jobs to earn money. They sold fruits, shined shoes, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists around the town. They did not complain or cry. War did not break their spirit. Their only endeavour was to see their sister get well and they worked hard to ensure that she got proper medical care. They proved, without a doubt, that where there is a will, there is a way.
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona deals with the importance of family relationships. Comment.
Answer-The values revealed by the two boys are their selflessness, devotion to duty, willingness to work hard and cheerfulness despite adverse circumstances. It gives us promise of a greater hope for society. The war had destroyed everything Nicola and Jacopo had. Moreover, their sister Lucia was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine and had to be hospitalized. However, It did not fill them with despair. They resolved to build a new life for themselves and their sister after the war. They got Lucia admitted to a hospital and worked very hard to pay for her treatment. The boys’ sacrifice, their devotion and the maturity they displayed at such a young age promises a new hope for the society.
- How does the story Two Gentlemen of Verona by A.J. Cronin promise hope for society?
Answer-The Two Gentlemen of Verona deals with the importance of dedication towards relationships and one’s duty towards society and the country. The boys’ father was killed in the war and their home was destroyed. Nicola and Jacopo worked at numerous jobs and ran errands to earn money to pay for their sister’s treatment suffering from tuberculosis of the spine and was admitted to the hospital. The value that is revealed in this story is destruction caused by the war could not break the spirit of the two boys. Rather it filled them with a new energy to rebuild from what was left after the war. In this world where values have been eroded, these boys and their work promise a new hope for society. Their selflessness, devotion to duty, willingness to work hard and cheerfulness despite adverse circumstances give us promise of a greater hope for society.
- Read the following lines:
‘What struck one most was their willingness to work. During these summer days, under the hot sun, they shined shoes, sold fruit, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists round the town, and ran errands’.
Taking a clue from the above-quoted lines, write an article on ‘Earning livelihood with dignity of labour,
Answer- Earning Livelihood with Dignity of Labour
By. A J. Cronin
From the story ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ we come to know of the two young boys, Nicola and Jacopo, doing many odd jobs to earn their livelihood and serve their sister afflicted with tuberculosis. Nicola and Jacopo consider no work mean or low and perform it with sincerity. Such persons illustrate the idea of the dignity of labour. Those who do their work with devotion are the ideal citizens since they do not become a burden on society. Not only do they take up any work available for the sake of their ailing sister, they also do it spiritedly. They are not parasites on the society. One who believes that work should be done selflessly and lovingly has no complaints against any adverse circumstances. He is ready to render any job of service to others lovingly and willingly and earns – the esteem of the people. Rightly it is said that the fruits of labour are far sweeter than those of fortune. One can turn fortune to one’s favour with hard work, sincerity and selflessness.
- How did the ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’, Nicola and Jacopo give promise of a greater hope for human society. Justify the title. What message does the story give to the readers?
Answer- A. J. Cronin titles the story ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’, a title of one of the early plays of Shakespeare. The story is aptly and rationally titled. Really, the two small boys, Nicola and Jacopo, have all the virtues and gentlemanly grace and grandeur. Their selfless action, their sacrifice and total devotion to their cause make them noble characters. They and their family were totally ruined by the war. The war left them as homeless orphans. They had no one in the world to call their own except their sister. And she was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. Both Nicola and Jacopo showed rare courage and determination to fight against heavy obstacles that came in their way. They undertook all kinds of work not only to earn a living but also to save money for the treatment of Lucia. They spent little on their food and clothes. They saved every penny so that they could pay the bills of the hospital every week. Their selfless sacrifice, sincerity and devotion to their cause earn our respect, sympathy and love for them. They were too self-respecting and proud to show their personal troubles or grief to any outsider. Nor did they ever ask for any favour from anyone. They didn’t want anyone to intrude upon their family’s secrecy. Nor could they imagine to trouble others for their own advantage. They were the finest specimen of humanity and their example gives promise of a greater hope for human society.
- Practice Exercises
- Name the two boys. Tell their age and appearance.
- The driver was not interested in buying strawberries from the boys. What were his arguments ?
- The boys tried to earn their livelihood with dignity of labour. What kind of labour did they undertake for this ?
- How did the boys help the narrator ?
- The boys had no complaints whatsoever. How do you know ? Quote from the text.
- What is there in the boys that appeals to all ?
- What hardships did the boys’ suffer during the war ?
- How would the boys often go to Poleta ?
- The boys had deep concern for their sister Lucia ? What did they do for her ?
- What ailment was Lucia afflicted with ? How was she being looked after by her brothers ?
- Why does the narrator describe the boys as ‘two’ ?
- Why didn’t Luigi the driver approve of the two boys?
- Why was the author surprised to see Nicola and Jacopo working as shoe-shine boys?
- When the narrator asked the boys about their plans, they were evasive. Why didn’t they disclose their problems?
- Do you think the boys looked after Lucia willingly?
- How does the story ‘Two gentlemen of Verona’ promise hope for the society?
Hint Based Questions of Two Gentlemen of Verona-
Q.1. Write a paragraph on the early life of the two boys.
Hints : Father a widower….well-known singer….killed in war….bomb blast destroyed house…boys and sister left to the streets….suffered….horribly starvation
Q.2. Write a note on the character of Nicola and Jacopo. The following hints will help you.
Hints : motherless….loss of father….sufferings loss of their house…made their own shelter willing to do any job….their devotion to….their sister….dedication patriotic proud…did not want sympathy
Q.3. Narrate the story of ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’ beginning with their experience during the war in about 200 words. You may use the following hints for your essay.
Hints : Nicola and Jacopo…..sons of a well-known singer and widower only sister Lucia father killed house destroyed……children left to the streets starved horribly a shelter….built by themselves…. boys did different jobs. The visitors make friends….. their willingness to work one midnight deserted square