53. Reading Skills Comprehension: WORK

By | October 4, 2022


  Read the passage given below:

1. Whether work should be placed among the causes of happiness or among the causes of unhappiness may perhaps be regarded as a doubtful question. There is certainly much work which is exceedingly irksome, and an excess of work is always very painful. However, work is not, to most people, more painful than idleness. There are, in work, all grades; from more relief of tedium up to the most profound delights, according to the nature of the work and the abilities of the worker.

2. Most of the work that most people have to do is not interesting in itself, but even that work has certain great advantages. To begin with, it fills a good many hours of the day without the need of deciding what one shall do. Most people, when they are left free to fill their own time according to their own choice, are at a loss to think of anything sufficiently pleasant to be worth doing. And whatever they decide on, they are troubled by the feeling that something else would have been more pleasant here.

3. To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization and at present, very few people have reached this level. Moreover, the exercise of choice is tiresome in itself except, to people with unusual initiative. It is positively agreeable to be told what to do at each hour of the day, provided the orders are not too unpleasant. Most of the idle rich suffer unspeakable boredom. At times they may find relief by hunting big game in Africa or by flying around the world, but the number of such sensations is limited, especially after youth is past. Accordingly, the more intelligent rich men work nearly as hard as if they were poor.

4. Work, therefore is desirable, first and foremost as a preventive of boredom, although uninteresting work is as boring as having nothing to do. With this advantage of work, another associated advantage is that it makes holidays much more delicious when they come. Provided that a man does not have to work so hard as to impair his vigour, he is likely to find far more zest than an idle man would possibly find.

5. The second advantage of most paid work and some of the unpaid work is that it gives chances of success and opportunities for ambition. In most work, success is measured by income and while our capitalistic society continues, this is inevitable. However dull work too, becomes bearable, if it is a means of building up a reputation. Continuity of purpose is one of the most essential ingredients of happiness and that comes chiefly through work.

 Choose the correct alternatives from the options given below:

(a) Most people find

 (i) working less painful than idleness

(ii) idleness irksome

 (iii) work a cause of happiness

 (iv) work a cause of unhappiness

 (b) The advantage of having some work to do is

(i)it is interesting                                (ii) it is pleasant

 (iii) it is something to do                    (iv) it is worth doing

Answer the following questions briefly in your own words :                                               

(c) What are the two things that can change work from something tedious to something delightful? 1

(d) Why are people with the initiative at an advantage over others?                                                                  

 (e) Why do the idle rich suffer from boredom?

(f) What does the writer mean by saying ‘holidays become more delicious’? 1

 (g) What according to the writer is the relationship between work and reputation? 1

 (h) How is success defined in a capitalistic society? 1

Find words from the passage which mean the same as each of the following:

(i) energy (para 4)

(j) harm (para 4)


 (a) (i)              (b) (iii)

 (c) Two things that can change work from something tedious to something delightful are the nature of the work and the abilities of the worker.

 (d) People with initiative are at an advantage over others because they are able to fill hours of leisure intelligently. Most people must either be told what to do with their time or else suffer from intense boredom. Without the gift of the initiative, even when given a choice, people do not know what to do with their time.

 (e) Most people are content with being told what to do with their day because they can earn their livelihood through it and it gives them something to do. The rich do not have to engage in work all day to earn a living. Hence, unless they can fill hours of leisure intelligently, they suffer from intense boredom. Luxuries such as flying around the world also have their own limitations, such as age.

(f) An advantage of work is that it prevents boredom. For a person who works hard on a daily basis, holidays are more enjoyable because he/she gets to relax and become refreshed. It is a chance to break away from their daily routine. For an idle person, holidays do not provide any such change for them to enjoy.

(g) According to the writer, dull work becomes bearable when it helps to build up one’s reputation.

(h) In capitalistic societies, one’s success is measured by one’s income. The greater one’s income, the more successful he/she is considered to be.


(j) Impair.

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