1. Where was it most likely that the two girls would find work after school?
Ans. Both the girls belong to a poor family and as per their economic background, both of them would find a job in a biscuit factory after school.
2. What were the options that Sophie was dreaming of? Why does Jansie discourage her from having such dreams?
Ans. Sophie was dreaming of opening her own boutique. She believed that she was as efficient and original as Mary Quant. So she would easily get the job of a manager in a shop or would become an actress. In this way, she would earn money and then would open her own boutique. Jansie was a practical girl. She knew that all these are Sophie’s dreams which are not possible so she discouraged her from having such dreams.
3. Why did Sophie wriggle when Geoff told her father that she had met Danny Casey?
Ans. When Geoff told the father that Sophie had met Danny Casey, she wriggled because she knew that her father would not believe it. He would take it as a story that she had made up.
4. Does Geoff believe what Sophie says about her meeting with Danny Casey?
Ans. Initially, Geoff is doubtful but when Sophie starts adding the details, he starts believing in her story. But when she tells him about the proposed date with Danny Casey, Geoff becomes sceptical.
5. Does her father believe Sophie’s story?
Ans. Sophie’s father does not believe her story. He knows that she is a dreamer and lives in a world of imagination. She is used to making up stories to impress him.
6. How does Sophie include her brother Geoff in the fantasy of her future?
Ans. Geoff is a person who speaks very little. Sophie knows that he has his own world which is far away from her. She believes that he visits many places where she has never been to. She hopes that in future, he would introduce her to the beautiful and glamorous world which is the most appropriate place for her.
7. Which country did Danny Casey play for?
Ans. Danny Casey was an Irish sports star and used to play for the Irish team.
8. Did Sophie really meet Danny Casey?
Ans. No, Sophie did not really meet Danny Casey, but she liked the idea of fantasising that she had met Danny Casey.
Understanding the text
9. Sophie and Jansie were classmates and friends. What were the differences between them that show up in the story? [Delhi 2012]
How different is Jansie from Sophie? [All India 2015]
Ans. Sophie and Jansie were classmates and friends but they both were very different from each other. Sophie was filled with fantasies and desires. She lived in her world of dreams which was far away from reality. She wanted to open a boutique or become either an actress or a manager. Though she came from to a humble background, she wanted to be part of a rich, sophisticated circle. Moreover, she liked the football star Danny Casey so much that she started hero-worshipping him. Her wild fantasies f her to imagine not only talking to Danny Casey but to even going for a date with him. She is so much engrossed in her world of fantasy that she starts hallucinating about Danny Casey.
On the contrary, Jansie is more realistic and practical. She is well aware of her family background. She knew that both she and Sophie would have to work in a biscuit factory after passing out the school. She kept on reminding Sophie of her reality but all in vain. Unlike Sophie who was all the time lost in her own world, Jansie was nosey to know everything. Sophie never shared her secrets with her because she knew that Jansie would blab around her secrets.
10. How would you describe the character and temperament of Sophie’s father? [Delhi 2012]
Ans. Sophie’s father is symbolic of a typical poor class family man. He works hard to fulfil the needs of his family. He is rough in manners and is described as a ‘heavy breathing man in his best’. He never believes any of Sophie’s stories and knows that she is not to be believed due to her characteristic fantasies. When Geoff tells him about Sophie’s meeting with Denny Casey, he gives an expression of disdain and calls it another of her wild stories. He is a practical man who does not like her daughter getting too much involved in her fantasies. As a father, he knows his daughter’s temperament very well. That’s the reason that he doesn’t believe in Sophie’s story of having met Denny Casey. Rather he becomes aggressive and warns Sophie that one day she would get into a load of trouble.
11. Why did Sophie like her brother Geoff more than any other person? From her perspective, what did he symbolise?
Ans. Sophie liked her brother Geoff more than any other person. Geoff was three years out of school and was working as an apprentice mechanic. She used to confide in him all her secrets. Geoff was silent most of the time and Sophie was curious to know the areas of his life about which she knew nothing. In fact, she wanted to be admitted more deeply into her brother’s affections and hoped that someday he would take her along with him. She wanted to be part of the other world which Geoff belonged to. She wanted to visit that world riding with her brother on his motorcycle. He would be in new, shining black leathers and she would wear a yellow dress and then the entire world would applaud and rise to greet both of them. Thus, for Sophie, her brother Geoff was very close to her heart.
12. What socio-economic background did Sophie belong to? What are the indicators of her family’s financial status?
Ans. Sophie belonged to a poor family. Her parents managed the household with difficulty. Her father was a typical poor class family man, rough in his manners and indiscipline. The marks of the sweat on his face indicated that he had to work hard throughout the day to earn his livelihood. Sophie’s mother was an average housewife who was burdened with the family’s responsibilities. She was busy with the household chores. She had a delicate-seeming bow and a crooked back and the incongruity of the bow clearly showed that she was not a sophisticated lady.
Even the younger brother Derek’s comment on Sophie that “she thinks money grows on trees” emphasized the importance of money in the family. The family was living in a small house with minimum requirements, including very old furniture. MI those things indicate that Sophie came from a family with a humble background.
Talking about the text
13. Sophies’s dreams and disappointments are all in her mind. Explain. [Delhi 2012]
Ans. No doubt Sophie’s dreams and disappointments are all in her mind. As a young girl, she is engrossed in the world of fantasy. She dreams very high of her. She talks about buying a shop and having her L on boutique. In order to earn money, she would work as an actress or a manager. She imagines to meet Danny Casey, the Irish football star and even fantasises going for a date with him. She goes to the arcade and waits for him. But he doesn’t come and she feels sad and disappointed. In fact, it is all in her mind. She herself has created a story in her mind and finally starts hallucinating everything. But finally, when she realises that it is all her fantasy she feels disappointed. Both things take place in her mind. Thus, her dreams and disappointments are all in Sophie’s mind.