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THE LAST LEAF
By – 0. Henry
EXTRACTS FOR COMPREHENSION
Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow in one or Iwo
She talked about clothes and fashions, but Johnsy did not respond. Johnsy continued to lie still on her bed. She brought her drawing-board into Johnsy’s room and started painting.
(a) Why did Sue talk about clothes and fashion?
Ans: Sue talked about clothes and fashion because she was trying to cheer up Johnsy who was depressed due to her illness.
(b) Why did Johnsy continue to lie still on her bed?
Ans: Johnsy was suffering from pneumonia and was weak and depressed. So she continued to lie still in her bed.
(c) Why did Sue bring her drawing-board into Johnsy’s room?
Ans: Sue brought her drawing-board into Johnsy’s room to give her company and help her not to feel lonely.
(d) Which value of Sue’s character is revealed through these lines?
Ans: These lines reveal Sue’s value as a true friend. She makes special efforts to divert her friend’s mind away from negative thoughts.
He was a sixty-year-old painter. His lifelong dream was to paint a masterpiece but that had remained a dream. Sue poured out her worries to Behrman.
(a) Who is being talked about here? The person being talked about here is Mr Behrman,
Ans: Sue and Johnsy’s neighbour, who lived on the ground floor of the same building where the two girls lived.
(b) What was his lifelong dream? Why had it remained unfulfilled so far?
Ans: His lifelong dream was to paint a masterpiece. It had remained unfulfilled so far because he had not found any opportunity or inspiration to paint the masterpiece.
(c) Why did Sue pour out her worries to Behrman?
Ans: Sue poured out her worries to Behrman because she was alarmed at her friend, Johnsy’s deteriorating condition and wanted guidance and support from the elderly well-wisher.
(d) Why do you think Behrman listened to Sue?
Ans: Mr Behrman, the old painter, listened to Sue because he was a compassionate person and a good neighbour.
Sue hugged Johnsy. Then she gave her lots of hot soup and a mirror. Johnsy combed her hair and smiled brightly.
(a)When did Sue hug Johnsy? Why?
Ans: Sue hugged Johnsy because she was happy to get a positive response from her for the first time after her illness. This raised hope about Johnsy’s recovery.
Why did Sue give her soup?
Ans: Sue gave her soup to replenish her energy since a depressed Johnsy had not been eating properly since her illness.
(b)Why did Sue give her a mirror too?
Ans: Sue gave Johnsy a mirror too so that Johnsy could comb her hair and make her appearance brighter and better.
(c)What made Johnsy smile brightly?
Ans: The kindled hope of her recovery and survival made Johnsy smile brightly.
Then they found a ladder and a lantern still lighted lying near his bed. There were also some brushes and green and yellow paints on the floor near the ladder.
(a)Who is ‘his’ in these lines?
Ans: ‘His’ in these lines is Behrman, the sixty-year-old painter and neighbour of the young artists, Sue and Johnsy.
(b)Why was the lantern still lighted?
Ans: The lantern was still lighted because Behrman had been painting the leaf outside throughout the stormy night. He was completely wet and did not have the stamina to switch it off.
(c) Why were the paints green and yellow?
Ans: The paints were green and yellow because Behrman had painted a pale yet live leaf using these colours.
(d)Why had a ladder been used?
Ans: The ladder had been used to paint the masterpiece leaf at the same high spot of the ivy creeper where the actual last leaf fluttered in the strong icy winds.