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THE LAST LEAF
By – 0. Henry
SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS.
(to be answered in about 30 – 40 words each)
Q1.Who were Sue and Johnsy? Where did they live?
Ans: Sue and Johnsy were young artist friends who were struggling to establish themselves in the world of art. Both lived in a small flat which was on the third floor of an old house. They shared this place.
Q2. Why did Sue become worried when Johnsy fell ill?
Ans: Sue became worried because Johnsy would lie in her bed without moving, just gazing out of the window. Johnsy had pneumonia and it seemed curable but her condition indicated otherwise.
Q3. Why was Johnsy’s condition worrisome according to the doctor?
Ans: According to the doctor, Johnsy’s condition was worrisome because she did not show any signs of improvement despite good treatment. He thought that perhaps she had lost her will to live and no medicine could help her in this negative state of mind.
Q4. How did Johnsy associate herself with the falling leaves?
Ans: It was autumn and the ivy creeper leaves were falling gradually. This depressed an already ill Johnsy and strangely enough she associated her falling health with the leaves. She believed that she would die when the last leaf fell. Q5. How could Johnsy’s life be saved? Johnsy’s life could be saved by reviving her interest in things around her. She was in a state of depression and had to be convinced that she could recover fully if she had the will to live.
Q5. How did Sue try to revive Johnsy’s interest in things around her?
Ans: Sue talked about clothes and fashions to draw Johnsy’s interest in things around her. She also moved her drawing-board to Johnsy’s room and whistled as she painted, to keep Johnsy’s mind off her illness.
Q6.How did Sue help Johnsy during her illness?
Ans: Sue helped Johnsy by looking after all her needs. She would give her hot soup from time to time and sit by her side and talk to her. She called the doctor and even sought help from their neighbour Behrman.
Q7. Why was Johnsy counting backwards while looking out of the window?
Ans: Johnsy kept looking out of the window and counted backwards to note the number of leaves left on the ivy-creeper. She believed that she would die when the last leaf fell whereas the leaves were falling in a normal process of nature during the autumn season.
Q8.What did Sue see when she heard Johnsy counting backwards?
Ans: When Sue heard Johnsy counting backwards, she looked out of the window and saw an old ivy creeper climbing half way up the brick wall opposite their window. The creeper was shedding leaves due to the strong autumn wind.
Q9. How did Sue try to convince Johnsy that her belief about dying with the last leaf was nonsense?
Ans: Sue immediately rubbished Johnsy’s belief as nonsense. She tried to convince her by telling that old ivy leaves had nothing to do with her illness. The doctor too was confident that she would get better.
Q10. Why did Sue seek the promise from Johnsy not to look out of the window while she completed her painting?
Ans: Sue sought this promise because she did not want Johnsy to go deeper into the depression on seeing the ivy leaves fall. Moreover, she could not even pull the curtains to stop Johnsy from looking out as she needed the incoming light to complete her painting and get money for the two of them by selling it.
Q11.Who was Behrman? Why did Sue share her worry with him?
Ans: Behrman was a sixty-year-old painter who lived on the ground floor of the same building as Sue and Johnsy. Sue shared her worry with him because Behrman was an elderly person and his vast experience of life could be of great help.
Q12. Behrman has a dream. What is it? Does it come true? (Textual)
What was Behrman’s dream? How did it come true?
Ans: Behrman dreamt of painting a masterpiece some day. His dream did come true when he painted a leaf that was a near replica of a real leaf. This masterpiece saved a young life and fulfilled Behrman’s ambition too. Unfortunately, it cost him his life.
Q13. ‘I’m tired of waiting.’ Why did Johnsy say so to Sue?
Ans: Johnsy wanted Sue to finish her painting quickly so that she could see the last leaf fall. She believed that she would die with it but this was taking too long. She became tired of waiting for the last leaf to fall.
Q14. What did Sue and Behrman see from the window of the room next to Johnsy’s?
Ans: Sue and Behrman saw that only one leaf was left on the ivy creeper that was fluttering in the icy-cold wind accompanied by heavy rain. Under such conditions, it was bound to fall anytime soon.
Q15.Why was Sue nervous and reluctant while drawing the curtains on the morning after the storm?
Ans: Sue was nervous because she was certain that the last leaf had fallen at night. This could make Johnsy quit all hope of survival as she had associated her death with the falling leaves of the ivy creeper.
Q16. What made Sue exclaim on looking out of the window on the morning after the storm?
What did Sue point out to Johnsy when she looked out of the window in the morning after the storm?
Ans: Sue exclaimed in amazement and delight because the last leaf was still there on the ivy creeper. She pointed out to Johnsy that the leaf looked quite green and healthy. It had not fallen in spite of the fierce winds and rain. This meant that Johnsy too could recover.
Q17. How did Sue try to encourage Johnsy?
Ans: Sue tried to encourage Johnsy by telling her that she won’t die and that she had to live for the sake of her friends. She further pleaded with Johnsy to spare a thought for her as she could not live without Johnsy.
Q18.What did Johnsy admit to Sue when the last leaf did not fall?
When did Johnsy realise her mistake?
Ans: When Johnsy saw the last leaf intact, she admitted that Sue had looked after her so lovingly and she, in turn, had been a bad, wicked, gloomy, and non-cooperative girl. She had now realised that it was a sin to want to die.
Q19. When and why was the doctor’s report encouraging about Johnsy’s condition?
Ans: The doctor gave an encouraging report about Johnsy’s condition after examining her in the afternoon a day after the storm. He believed that the report was encouraging because now Johnsy had regained her will to live.
Q20. What news about Behrman did the doctor convey to Sue when he came to examine Johnsy?
Ans: When the doctor came to examine Johnsy, he told Sue that Behrman too was suffering from pneumonia. He said that he was confident of Johnsy’s recovery but feared that there was no hope for Behrman.
Q21. What led to Behrman’s unfortunate death?
Why did Behrman spend a night out in the storm and rain?
Ans: Behrman died because he had spent the entire stormy night painting a replica of the last leaf on the ivy creeper and had caught pneumonia as a result. He did this to save Johnsy’s life. He did not want her to see the creeper without its last leaf and lose the will to live
Q22. Which items were found near Behrman when he died? What did this signify?
Ans: A ladder and a lighted lantern were found near Behrman’s bed when he died. There were also some brushes and green and yellow AT paints on the floor near the ladder. This signified that the last green and fresh leaf had been painted by Behrman all through the stormy night.
Q23. What is Behrman’s masterpiece? What makes Sue say so? (Textual)
Ans: Behrman’s masterpiece was the leaf that he painted on the wall opposite Johnsy’s window. He had braved icy winds and rains at night while painting the leaf. Sue called it a masterpiece as it was gmen and healthy like a real leaf. Besides, it had saved Johnsy’:; life by reviving her will to live. Thus, Behrman’s painting was a masterpiece in the sense that it had saved a precious life and was able to fox an artist.
Q24.What saved Johnsy’s life? The last half painted by Behrman on the wall opposite Johnsy’s
Ans: window saved her life. The leaf was a true replica of the last leaf hanging on the ivy creeper. Johnsy mistook it to be a real leaf and felt that she had been wicked and it was a sin to want to die.
Q25.’It looks quite green and healthy’. What were the cause of the leaf’s colour and freshness?
Ans: The last leaf on the ivy creeper looked quite green and healthy because it was not a real leaf, but a painted one. Behrman had painted it overnight to help save Johnsy’s life.
Q.26. Why did Johnsy keep looking out of the window?
Ans. There was a creeper on the wall facing Johnsy’s window. She had a fancy that she would die when the last leaf of the creeper fell. The leaves were falling because it was an autumn season. So Johnsy kept looking out of the window.
Q27. How did Sue try to keep Johnsy cheerful?
Ans. The doctor had said that Johnsy’s chances of recovery were only one out of ten. Sue became sad and cried bitterly. But she wanted to cheer up Johnsy. So she entered her room, whistling a cheerful tune.
Q.28. How did Behrman react to Johnsy’s fancy?
Ans. Johnsy had a fancy that she would die when the last leaf fell. Brennan did not like this fancy of Johnsy. He called her fancy mere nonsense. He said that she should not have such absurd ideas.
Q.29. What did Johnsy believe about the falling leaves? Did Sue believe the same?
Ans. Johnsy got a fancy that she would die with the fall of the last leaf. But, Sue considered it a foolish idea. She said that there’could be no relationship between the last leaf and somebody’s life.
30. How did old Behrman die?
Ans. Behrman knew about Johnsy’s fancy about the falling leaves. He went out in the cold and snow and painted a leaf on the wall. l le caught pneumonia and died.
31 How did Johnsy realise her mistake?
Ans. Johnsy was suffering from pneumonia. There was a creeper on the wall facing her window. Johnsy had a fancy that she would die when the last leaf fell. One night, there was only one leaf left. She thought that she would also die with the falling of the leaf. But that night, Behanan painted a leaf in its place. So it did not fall. It made her realise that it was a sin to wish to die.
Q.32. What kind of a friend was Sue to Johnsy?
Ans. Sue and Johnsy were close friends. Both were painters. Apart from that their tastes and views were similar. They lived in the same small flat. When Johnsy suffered from pneumonia, Sue looked after her with love and care. It was largely because of her care that Johnsy’s life was saved.
Q.33. Describe in your own words the colony where the artists lived.
Ans. The artists’ colony grew in the old village named Greenwich. It was to the west of Washington Square., Its streets were winding. These streets had strange angles and curves.
Q34. What is Johnsy’s illness? What can cure her, the medicine or the willingness to live?
Ans. Johnsy, a young artist, was ill. She was suffering from pneumonia. But later on, she suffered from a misconception that she would the as soon as the last leaf on the creeper would fall down. The medicine had no effect on her. Her willingness to live could only cure her.
Q35. Do you think the feeling of depression Johnsy has is common among teenagers? (NCERT)
Ans. Life has two aspects i.e. positive and negative. It depends upon us how we take it. Nowadays, it is very common that teenagers are getting depressed because of cut-throat competition. On the other hand, a majority of teenagers who take life positively and face difficulties boldly never lose hope and proceed further.
Q36. What is Behrman’s masterpiece? What makes Sue say so? (NCERT)
Ans. Behrman was a 60-year old artist who had a dream to paint a masterpiece. His painting of an ivy leaf was his masterpiece which saved the life of Johnsy. It was such a painting and it was not easy to make out whether the leaf was real or a painted leaf. When Behrman died because of creating this life-saving painting in the cold weather, Sue called it a masterpiece.
Q37. Who were Sue and Johnsy and how were they living?
Ans. Sue and Johnsy were two young artists. Their economic condition was not good. They were strugglers. They lived in the artist’s colony. They shared a small flat.
Q38. How did Behrman react to Johnsy’s fancy?
Ans. When Behrman came to know about Johnsy’s belief regarding the fall of leaves, he saw the creeper and realised that the last leaf was sure to fall. He said nothing. He decided to do something to save her life.
Q39. What saved Johnsy’s life?
Ans. Johnsy had lost charm in life due to pneumonia. She thought that when the last leaf fell, she would die. Behrman finally painted the masterpiece. The leaf painted by him saved Johnsy’s life. As the last (painted) leaf did not fall, Johnsy got back her will to live.
Q40. Behrman has a dream. What is it? Does it come true?
Ans. Behrman was a sixty years old painter. He lived on the ground floor of the building. His only dream in life was to paint a masterpiece. His dream was fulfilled when he painted the last leaf of the ivy creeper.
Q41. What made the doctor come to the flat of Sue and Johnsy?
Ans. Johnsy was severely ill. She was attacked by pneumonia. Her weak body was helpless to bear the severity of the attack. She lay miserable in her bed. But her condition was deteriorating day by day. As her condition had alarmed Sue, he requested the doctor to come and examine her friend Johnsy.
Q42. How did Sue respond to the doctor’s advice?
Ans. The doctor declared that there were fewer chances for her friend’s survival. It was a grim warning for her. She thought that she must do something so that her friend Johnsy could get back her will to live and may recover soon. She was a pragmatic and tenacious person. Besides, she was determined to take her friend out of despair. Therefore, she began to think about the ways positively.
Q43. Why did Behrman die?
Ans. Behrman was an old artist of sixty years. He worked whole night in the stormy and rainy weather to paint the leaf on the wall. He was completely drenched. His clothes and shoes were wet and he was completely shivering. He fell to pneumonia and died. But before his death, he was successful in fulfilling his dream of making a masterpiece.
Q44. Why did Johnsy link her death with the last leaf?
Ans. Johnsy was emotionally disturbed. She developed a belief that she would die with the fall of the last leaf on the creeper. She started counting the leaves. In fact, she had an attack of depression too.
Q45. How did Sue pour out her worries to Behrman? What was his reaction?
Ans. Behrman was a sixty-year-old painter living on the ground floor. Sue poured out her worries about Johnsy to the old painter. She told that Johnsy was convinced that she would die when the last leaf fell. Behrman called Johnsy ‘stupid and foolish’ as her mind was obsessed with superstition. He didn’t say a word and went back to his room. He didn’t even tell Sue how he was going to help Johnsy and in what way.
Q46. What revived Johnsy’s will to live?
Ans. Johnsy had developed a superstition that she would die with the fall of the last leaf. Actually, a severe attack of pneumonia had left her mind morbid. When she saw the last leaf surviving after the windy wet night, her will to live revived. It made her realise that it was really a sin to want to die.
Q47. What quality of friendship do you find in Sue as a friend?
Ans. Sue was a loving and earing friend of Johnsy. She was the best friend of her as Sue always provided her mental support. When her friend was obsessed with the thought dying with the fall of the last leaf on the ivy creeper, she tried to look at the positive side of things. She always convinced her friend to think positively and never think about death. Obviously, she represents true friendships and sacrifice in the story.
Q48. How was Johnsy life saved?
Ans. Behrman was an Old artist. His last desire was to paint a masterpiece in his life. The masterpiece painted by him saved Johnsy’s life. The leaf painted by him survived through the storm of night. But he was attacked by pneumonia and fell seriously ill. Johnsy got the willpower to live because the last leaf did not fall off the ivy creeper. Thus, Behrman’s masterpiece saved Johnsy’s life.