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The Book That Saved the Earth
By– Claire Boiko
Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each
1.’Pride has a fall’. Justify this statement giving relevant points from how Think-Tank reacted to the readings from Mother Goose.
Ans. Martians invaded the earth and reached in a library. Think-Tank was their boss. He was very proud of his wisdom, as he was having a big balloon like head. He thought that he was the wisest person on Mars. Nobody could disobey him, or even dare to speak against him. He claimed that he had a quick mind. He had no respect for anyone and regarded other views as trifling. He was also fickle-minded.
He misinterpreted the rhymes in a complete verbal manner. The rhyme mistress Mar made him ponder over the discovery of the earth. From the poem diddle-diddle he was more alarmed and from the poem Humpty-Dumpty, he was so frightened that he decided to leave his kingdom and run away to Alpha Centauri. Thus his great wisdom was defeated and had a great fall.
2. Attempt a character-sketch of Noodle highlighting the values projected by him.
Ans. Noodle is one of the crew members of the invasion team that came to invade earth. He is known as Apprentice Noodle. He is the co-coordinator between Think-Tank and the invasion team. He echoes Think-Tank in every manner. He is a very clever creature. He knows that Think-Tank being commander-in-chief has to be obeyed. So he keeps on praising Think-Tank and also passing sarcastic remarks. It is only Noodles who think practically and differently about the books which were considered as sandwiches to eat. But Think-Tank took over the idea as his own. But Noodle is not sad at all. He is a blind and true follower of Think-Tank.
3. Historians speak highly about books. How can books help you in preventing a catastrophe?
Ans. The Historian is placed in the twenty-fifth century. He is trying to clear of the twentieth century. He calls it as the Era of the Book and speaks highly about the books, According to him books control all life. Books teach children. Books teach people how to and when to and where to and why to. They illustrate, educate, punctuate and even decorate the life of the people.
According to Historian, only the books saved the earth from Martian invasion, for the Martians had misunderstood the meaning of the poems and got frightened of them. So they left the earth in a hurry and even evacuated the Mars and headed over to Alpha Centauri. Even in our day to days life, we get all our solutions from books whether—it is health related or anything else. So we can say that books help us in preventing a catastrophe.
4. How did one old book of nursery rhymes save the earth from a Martian invasion?
How do the three nursery rhymes frighten Think-Tank?
In what ways does Think-Tank misinterpret innocent nursery rhymes as a threat to the Martians?
Ans. The old, dusty book of nursery rhymes was ‘Mother Goose’. Think-Tank wanted to invade Earth. He had sent Probe One to get more information about the Earthlings. The crew enters a library. There, after taking vitamins, they take out ‘Mother Goose’ and decipher the rhymes.
The rhymes are misinterpreted as threats by Think-Tank. After listening to the first rhyme, ‘Mistress Mary,’ he concluded that Earthlings had discovered how to combine agriculture and mining. The second rhyme, ‘Hey Diddle, Diddle’, seemed to suggest to him that the Earthlings might be launching an interplanetary attack on millions of cows. The third rhyme, ‘Humpty Dumpty’ wherein Humpty had a great fall and its picture that resembled him threatened him and his planet Mars. He got so scared that he dropped the idea of invading Earth, and escaped to Alpha Centauri. Thus a book of nursery rhymes saved Earth from Martian invasion.
5. Justify the title of the play ‘The Book that Saved the Earth’.
Ans. A good title should reflect the theme, idea or the traits of a character. It should revolve around any of the above. The story or the play should be woven around any one of them.
In the play — ‘The Book that Saved The Earth’, a book of nursery rhymes of ‘Mother Goose’ is responsible for stopping the Martian invasion on Earth. Think-Tank, the ruler of Mars plans to invade Earth before lunch and sends Probe One to get more information about the Earthlings. They enter a library but can’t figure out what items books are. They take vitamins, increase their intelligence then read the rhymes from ‘Mother Goose’. Think-Tank misinterprets the rhymes, takes them as threats to him and Mars. Scared, he calls back Probe One, drops the idea of invading and escapes with his subjects to Alpha Centauri, a hundred million miles away from Mars.
Thus, the book ‘Mother Goose’ was responsible for stopping the Martian invasion of Earth. The title The Book That Saved the Earth’, reflects the theme of the play, so it is an apt (appropriate) title.
Q6. What is the message or the lesson that `The Book That saved the Earth’ gives to the readers? Elucidate it.
Half-Baked knowledge is always dangerous. Rushing to conclusions without going deep into the details of things always leads to uninvited chaos and disasters. Explain the above-mentioned statements in the light of Think-Tank’s interpretations of the rhymes of the book ‘Mother Goose’.
Ans. There is nothing more dangerous than half-baked knowledge. Truth is not skin-deep. And so is knowledge. We have to take a comprehensive view of things. We have to go deep into the details before coming out with sweeping generalisations. Sweeping statements are never good statements. Sometimes misinterpretation of things leads to unavoidable disasters. Think-Tank symbolises how a half-baked the mind could have led to an invasion on another planet.
Think-Tank excelled in misinterpreting and misrepresenting things. When they saw books they could not identify what they were. He jumped to one conclusion after the other. He interpreted them as sandwiches. He misinterpreted the words “had a great fall’ to his own downfall. He screamed and at once ordered to evacuate the entire Mars immediately. He felt that Mars was being invaded soon. He decided to escape without delay in a space shuttle. He told that they could go a hundred million miles away from Mars.
Q7. What does Historian say about the importance of books in the twentieth century? Why does he point out that particular dusty old rhymes saved the world from a Martian invasion?
Ans. Historian terms the twentieth century as the Era of the Book. It was the period when all kinds of books were published. There were books almost on all subjects. And each subject had many books. One could find books from anteaters to Zulus. Books taught people how to, and when to, and where to, and why to. They illustrated, punctuated, and even decorated. But the strangest thing a book ever did was to save the Earth. The invasion never really happened. A single book-`Mother Goose’ saved the Earth. Just one dusty old book of nursery rhymes changed the very course of the world. It happened in 2040. The invasion on the Earth was saved because the Martian Commander-in-Chief misinterpreted the rhyme “Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.” He misinterpreted that the Earthlings wanted to capture Mars Central Control and him. He ordered the invasion fleet to evacuate the entire planet of Mars. He prepared to escape at once in a space capsule.
Q8. Draw a pen-portrait of Great and Mighty Think-Tank. Was he really the most powerful and intelligent person in the universe?
Ans. Great and Mighty Think-Tank has been presented as the most powerful and the most intelligent creature in the whole universe. At least, Noodle and other associates think so. Powerful, of course, he was. After all, he was the Commander-in-Chief and the ruler of Mars and her two moons. He was feared, pampered, flattered and obeyed. No one could afford to disagree with him. Disobeying him was totally out of question. Only Noodle, through his diplomatic and humble pleadings, could request him to give some suggestions.
It is rather difficult to digest that Think Tank was the most intelligent creature in the whole universe. He was vain and haughty. His shallowness was quite apparent. He didn’t have the capacity to go deep into things. Nor did he digest his criticism. His views about books were totally ridiculous. To him, books were really sandwiches, the staple diet of the Earthlings.
Great and Mighty Think-Tank excelled in misinterpreting things, particularly the rhymes of ‘Mother Goose’. His half-baked knowledge made him interpret the nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty had a fall” as the plan of the Earthlings to capture Mars Central Control and him. He immediately ordered to send the invasion fleet to evacuate the entire planet of Mars. He prepared himself to escape in a space-shuttle at once.
Q9.What ridiculous guesses did Great and Mighty Think-Tank make about the books found on the earth? How did Noodle manage to suggest something without offending him?
Ans. Think-Tank makes ridiculous and fantastic guesses about books that are found on the planet Earth. Using his unusual fertile brain, he makes a wild guess that books are actually sandwiches, the staple diet of the Earthlings. To confirm his opinion, he asks the captain Omega to eat a book. When Oop doesn’t find it delicious, Noodle using his negotiating skills declares that the Earthlings don’t eat them. But they use them as some sort of communication device. Think-Tank shows his agreement and asks Omega to listen to them. Omega takes two books from the case, holds them .to his ears, listening intently. When nothing heard, H Noodle again handles the situation. He declares that the earthlings don’t listen to the sandwiches; they watched them. Think-Tank agrees and declares that the sandwiches are not for ear-communication but for eye-communication. Noodle suggests giving vitamins to the space people to increase their intelligence to unfold the code language of the books (sandwiches). Thus, Noodle very cleverly keeps the Commander-in-Chief in good humour. He has to be obeyed. But he knows how to handle his all-powerful, but arrogant chief.
Q6. Give a character sketch of Noodle highlighting his diplomatic handling of Think-Tank and even suggesting things without offending his mighty chief.
Ans. Noodle has to walk on a tight rope. He has to maintain a very delicate balance. And he succeeds up to some extent in his mission. The think-tank is the Commander-in-Chief and the ruler of Mars. Naturally, nobody can argue with him. It is difficult to disagree with him. And it is impossible to disobey him. Noodle knows the real worth of Think_ Tank but still, he tries to keep him in good humour. Think-Tank is called the most intelligent and powerful person in the whole universe. But Needle is a clever manipulator of things. He uses his convincing skills and humility to disarm an arrogant but all-powerful Commander-in-Chief.
Regarding the books, he very subtly but humbly goes on making new suggestions. Think-Tank is made to accept them. The needle is gifted with a rare understanding of men and situations. Historian tells that the wise and wonderful Needle replaces Great and Mighty Think Tank in the end. It is the victory of sanity and good sense over arrogance and insanity.
Q.7. What does the historian tell the audience about the twentieth century and Mars?
Ans. This imaginary story is set in the twenty-fifth century. The place is the Museum of Ancient History, Department of the Twentieth Century. A historian sitting at a table. There is a movie projector on the table. She is giving a talk to the audience about the twentieth century. She tells the audience that the twentieth century was often called the Era of the Book. In those days there were books about everything. They taught the people everything. But the strangest thing was that a book saved the Earth. She narrates a real story from the twenty-first century. She tells how the Martians (people from the planet Mars) invaded the Earth in 2040 and a book of nursery rhymes saved the Earth from their attack.
Q.8. who is Think-Tank? Why has he sent a manned spacecraft to Earth?
Ans. Think-Tank is the Commander-in-Chief of the Mars Space Control Room. He has a huge, egg-shaped head. He wears a long robe decorated with stars and circles. His deputy, Noodle stands beside him at a switchboard. Think-Tank has already sent a manned spacecraft to the Earth. Their purpose is to collect information about the earth’s defence system and send it back to the other spacecraft from Mars who are ready to attack the earth before lunch. The incident described in the story is about the Martian invasion of 2040. In fact, the invasion never took place. A single book stopped it. It was a book of nursery rhymes. Then the historian shows the audience the happenings that actually took place. These have been recorded in a film. She turns on the projector. It shows the Mars Space Control room. We see Think-Tank who is the commander-in-chief.
Q9. What happens when the Martians land in a library on the earth? What guess does Think-Tank make about books?
Ans. The Martians land in a library. They have seen the books and the library for the first time. Think-Tank talks to Captain Omega who tells him that they have arrived on Earth without incident. As they have never seen a library before, they are not sure where they are. However, Lt. Iola tells Think-Tank that there are about two thousand peculiar items (books). She thinks that the place must be some storage barn. Sergeant Oop calls them ‘hats’. Omega asks for Think-Tank’s advice. Through his remote camera, Think-Tank looks at the ‘books’. He says that what they have in their hands are ‘sandwiches’. They are the main food of Earth diet. Think-Tank orders Omega to eat it (book) to confirm. Omega asks Lt. Iota to eat it. Iota orders Sergeant Oop to cat it. Oop bites a corner of the book. He pretends to chew and swallow and tells Think-Tank that it is delicious.
Q.10. Why does Think-Tank decide not to invade the earth?
Ans. Omega looks at the books and tells Think-Tank that they have pictures of Earthlings. They have some sort of code, lines and dots with pictures. He asks him to study the pictures and decipher the code in them. The book that Omega is looking at is a nursery rhyme book and reads it. Think-Tank wonders how the Earthlings have combined agriculture and mining. They also grow explosives. He feels that the people of the earth are very intelligent and brave. Noodle says that the invasion spacecraft are ready to attack the earth. But Think-Tank asks Noodle to tell the invasion fleet to hold. New information has come to him. Think-Tank asks Iota to transcribe the information. He thinks that the Earthlings have reached a higher level of civilisation. They have taught their domesticated animal’s music and space techniques. So he decides not to invade the earth.
Q.11. Why does Think-Tank decide to run away from Mars? What does the historian say after she has narrated the incident?
Ans. Oop reads the nursery rhyme ‘Humpty Dumpty … again’. He shows the picture of Humpty Dumpty also. The picture resembles Think-Tank. He is scared. He says that the Earthlings have seen him. They are planning to capture Mars Central Control and him. He decides to run away from Mars. He orders Noodle to prepare a space capsule for him. He must escape without delay. Noodle asks Think-Tank where they shall go. Think-Tank replies they will go to the planet Alpha-Centauri, a hundred million miles away. After narrating the incident to his audience, the historian says that one old book of nursery rhymes saved the earth from a Martian invasion. Then in the twenty-fifth century, they resumed contact with Mars. They became friends. They taught the Martians the difference between books and sandwiches. They established a model library on Mars.