By- Marga Minco
Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each Value based questions-
1. Discuss the aptness and significance of the title of the story The Address.
Ans. The Address is a tale of war. The narrator is a young girl, probably studying at the university. She comes home during the holidays. Her mother, in her absence, meets her old acquaintance Mrs Dorling. She allows her to take away all her silver and antiques for safe-keeping in her own house. She asks her daughter to remember Mrs Darling’s address. Marconi Street, Number 46. The narrator remembers the address. At the end of the war. she goes to that address but Mrs Dorling refuses to recognise her. The narrator goes to
the same address a second time. She recognises her mother’s belongings set tastelessly in a strange place. She loses interest in them and returns home. She resolves to forget that address forever.
2. Who was Mrs Dorling? What did the narrator learn about her from her mother?
Ans. Mrs Dorling was an old acquaintance of Mrs S’s, the narrator’s mother. She called on her old friend unexpectedly while the narrator was away at college. She won the confidence of her friend. She had her eyes on her friend’s belongings. She must have pointed out that during wartime she might lose all her silver and antiques. She offered to take the risk herself. In bags and suitcases, she carried away all those things to her own house. The narrator learnt about Mrs Dorling and her address during one of her visits home. She remembered the address given by her mother. At the end of the war, she felt like seeing. touching and remembering her things. So she visited Mrs Dorling’s house but got a very cold welcome. The dishonest Mrs Dorling kept all precious things to herself.
3. Describe the narrator’s first visit to Marconi Street, No. 46.
Ans. The narrator returned home after the liberation. Even though she had lost all interest in her old stuff yet she wanted to see, touch and remember her things. She took a train to Marconi Street and tapped on the door of House No. 46. Mrs Dorling opened the door. She was surprised to see the visitor come alive from the war. She was wearing Mrs S’s green knitted cardigan. She was feeling guilty. She refused to talk to the narrator even for a moment. Her own daughter was there inside. But the door was closed on the narrator and she walked back to the station with a heavy heart.
4. What were the narrator’s experience and reaction when she went to Mrs Dorling’s house a second time?
Ans. The narrator had an unpleasant experience during her first visit to Marconi Street. Mrs Dorling gave her a cold shoulder. But the narrator’s urge to see her things and touch them did not cool down. She decided to try a second time. This time Mrs Dorling’s daughter opened the door. The mother had gone out. Her daughter led the narrator to a room inside. The narrator found herself in the midst of familiar things which were scattered in a tasteless way all around. The sight oppressed her. She noticed the candle holder and the woollen tablecloth. She noticed her mother’s beautiful tea set and the silver cutlery being used by that family in that small, musty room. Mrs Dorling did not even know how to use those precious things. All those things oppressed her now. She decided to leave the house at the earliest. Her things evoked the memories of her earlier life, and she was now living in a small rented room. So she made up her mind to forget her things and also Mrs Dorling’s address.
5. Give a brief character-sketch of Mrs S’s daughter.
Ans. The narrator was a young Jewish girl living in Holland with her mother. When the World war II started, the Nazi army started evacuating all the Jews from Europe. The narrator and her mother became very insecure. During this period an old acquaintance of Mrs S befriended her and offered to keep all her valuable belongings in her safe custody. Mrs S was a noble and trusting lady. She allowed Mrs Dorling to take away her precious antiques and cutlery etc. The narrator had some doubts about Mrs Dorling but her mother silenced her.
The narrator survived the war and came back to her old city. Now her mother was dead, her house belonged to someone else and she had no worldly possessions. Still, she is happy to be alive and trying to make a life for herself. One day she feels an urge to go to Mrs Dorling’s house and see all her mother’s precious belongings. But when she sees that all her mother’s beautiful things were kept by Mrs Dorling in a tasteless manner and she was even using them, the narrator loses all interest in those things. With a feeling of detachment, she goes back to her own rented room and decides to start life afresh. She is a brave and self-respecting girl. She does not want to live in her past glory. She wants to live in the present.
6. Write a brief note on Mrs Dorling.
Ans. Mrs Dorling was at one time Mrs S’s friend. But the two were not in contact. Both had a daughter each. Mrs Dorling herself was a mean, greedy and dishonest woman. She won the confidence of Mrs S’s and carted away all the table silver and precious old things to her own house. She had taken for granted that the narrator and her family would not come back alive from the war. The sight of the narrator at her doorstep gave her a shocking surprise. She did not allow the narrator to walk into her house. She sent her away dejected. When she saw the narrator at her doorstep, she became scared that the narrator would see all her mother’s precious things and would ask to take back everything. Mrs Dorling is greedy and means person. In fact, when she had offered to take away all the antique and precious things of Mrs S, to keep in her safe custody, her intention was not honourable at all. She had all the intention of grabbing all those things. She was quite sure that Mrs S and her family would not come alive after the war.