Chapter 1 – The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse Questions and Answers: NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English (Snapshots)

Class 11 The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse solutions for Chapter 1 - English (Snapshots) Questions and Answers.

Question 1.
You will probably agree that this story does not have breathless adventure and exciting action. Then what in your opinion makes it interesting?

This story does not have breathless adventure and exciting action, yet it is immensely interesting for its refreshing innocence. It is a beautiful reminder of what life was like before materialism gained sway. The story poignantly brings out the point of intersection between the fading influence of old country values and the evolving realisation of the younger characters that might at a point of time lead them away from the values of the community. Bom into a family famed for its honesty, Mourad and Aram hide the white horse and ride it for a long period.

At the same time, the two children—Aram and Mourad—despite the fact that they take away the white horse and put the owner, John Byro, through a lot of inconvenience—do not emerge as delinquents. They are simple innocent youngsters, who are led by temptation of possessing a horse but intend to return it to the owner. The moral fibre of the community brings them back to the path of righteousness. One waits in anticipation to know how the events will take a turn and how the two youngsters will react.

Question 2.
Did the boys return the horse because they were conscience-stricken or because they were afraid?

The boys returned the horse because they were conscience-stricken and not because they were afraid. Various pointers in the story lead to this conclusion. Firstly, the tribe had been famous for their honesty for eleven centuries and they took pride in their values. Secondly, when John Byro said that his white horse was stolen last month and was still untraceable, Aram went straight to Mourad’s house and asked him to promise not to take it back until he leamt to ride.

Mourad was outraged. He said that a member of the Garoghlanian family would not steal. “The horse must go back to its true owner.” Thirdly, when on the way to Fetvajian’s deserted vineyard they met John Byro who studied the horse and said that he would swear that it was his horse if he didn’t know their parents, and he would rather believe his heart than his eyes they had no reason to fear. It was their sense of right and wrong that made them return it.

Question 3.
“One day back there in the good old days when I was nine and the world was full of every imaginable kind of magnificence, and life was still a delightful and mysterious dream…” The story begins in a mood of nostalgia.
Can you narrate some incident from your childhood that might make an interesting story?

I grew up at a time when pranks were innocent. Children would often tie a piece of string to someone’s door handle and run around the street after knocking at the door—when the householder came to answer the door they had difficulty opening it. One such memory that is etched in my mind is when I was barely eight-years-old.

We ran into trouble when we challenged each other to eat as many sweets as we could. It was inspired by one of the ‘dare’ shows on television. We were told of the repercussions of various stunts performed, so eating sweets was not only safe but satisfied our gluttonous instincts as well.
But as Mom was very strict and gave us a portion a day, we tried to get the sweets ourselves. With our minds set on this purpose and in absolute silence, we started to Climb towards the wardrobe, which in those times, seemed as high as a 500 metre tall sky-scraper. We managed to get on a tall chair and from there on to the window’s sill, which was near the cupboard. Then, we aimed for the top of the cupboard where the sweets were kept, towards which we jumped and managed to hold on to with our hands while hanging in the air.
After that, we reached out for the sweets, with the other holding on to the cupboard. Once we grabbed a piece of chocolate or a candy, we were supposed to jump on the floor and enjoy our ‘prize’ without anyone knowing about it.

Despite our ‘perfect plan’, something went wrong. I was the first one to reach the top of the cupboard and I jumped. But when my sister, Geeta’s turn came, she wasn’t as lucky as me: she got stuck on the handle of the cupboard and remained hanging by her trousers. She looked very funny hanging head over heels. She started to panic, and we made desperate attempts to free her. At that moment of ‘crisis’, entered Mom, who was shocked to see the sight and we didn’t know where to look.

Question 4.
The story revolves around characters who belong to a tribe in Armenia. Mourad and Aram are members of the Garoghlanian family. Now locate Armenia and Assyria on the atlas and prepare a write-up on the Garoghlanian tribes. You may write about people, their names, traits, geographical and economic features as suggested in the story.

Armenia is a country located in Eurasia, which is surrounded by nations like Turkey and Iran in the west, Georgia in the North and Azerbaijan in the east. Assyria refers to the cultural region inhabited historically by the Assyrian people which includes parts of Turkey, Iran and Syria. The Assyrians also form minority communities in nations like Armenia. Both Armenia and Assyria are considered amongst the oldest kingdoms in the world with histories dating back to before 6th century BC.
William Saroyan’s book My Name is Aram published in 1940 set in Fresno, California, is based on his own personal experiences of growing up in an Armenian family.In the story Saroyan describes how every branch of the Garoghlanian tribe was living in poverty and no one, including the old men in the family, knew how they managed to make ends meet.
He mentions that the defining feature of their tribe was their honesty, their pride and strong belief in what was right and wrong, and for over eleven centuries they were recognised for these characteristics.

Whether it was in the past when they were wealthy or more recently when they live in poverty, their honour was more important to them than anything else. Their honesty was so widely recognised that even when the Assyrian farmer John Byro finds his stolen horse with Mourad and the narrator, he calls it a twin of his horse and lets them go rather than doubt and confront them. Byro out of respect for their family also walks 10 miles to confide in their uncle Khosrove, despite the lack of concern shown by Khosrove who expresses more anger at the Garoghlanian family having lost their homeland.
More Questions Solved

Question 1:
“I couldn’t believe what I saw,” says the narrator. What was so unbelievable? Why?

The narrator saw his cousin Mourad sitting on a beautiful white horse. It was unbelievable, for they belonged to poor families and buying such a beautiful horse was beyond their means.

Question 2:
What two character-traits of Mourad are hinted at by the narrator in the initial part of the story?

Mourad was considered crazy by everybody who knew him except the narrator. He was quite crazy about horses. Secondly, he enjoyed being alive more than anybody else.

Question 3:
“This was the part that wouldn’t permit me to believe what I saw.” What ‘part’ does the narrator hint at?

The narrator refers to their poverty. They had no money. They lived in extreme poverty and it was difficult to understand how they got food to satisfy their hunger. He frankly admits that every branch of the Garoghlanian family was living in the most amazing and comical poverty in the world.

Question 4:
What traits of the Garoghlanian family are highlighted in this story?

The Garoghlanian family though now poor, were famous for their honesty even when they were wealthy. They were proud of their family first, honest next and after that they believed in right and wrong. None of them would take advantage of anybody in the world. They would not steal. No member of the Garoghlanian family could be a thief.

Question 5:
How did the narrator react on seeing the horse and Mourad?

The horse was magnificent to look at, gave out a lovely smell and its breathing was quite exciting. Yet he couldn’t believe that the horse had anything to do with Mourad, because he couldn’t have bought it.

Question 6:
What conflicting thoughts passed through the narrator’s mind on seeing Mourad on a beautiful white horse early one morning?

The narrator was surprised. He knew that his cousin Mourad couldn’t have bought the horse. Since he couldn’t have bought it, he must have stolen it. However, family pride came in the way. He refused to believe that he had stolen it.

Question 7:
What feelings did the sight of cousin Mourad and the horse arouse in the narrator?

The narrator stared first at his cousin and then at the horse. There was a pious stillness and humour in each of them. He was delighted as well as frightened.

Question 8:
“It was true, then. He had stolen the horse. There was no question about it. He had come to invite me to ride or not, as I chose.” How did the narrator convince himself to enjoy a horseride with cousin Mourad?

It seemed to him that stealing a horse for a ride was not the same thing as stealing something else, such as money. Since he and Mourad were quite crazy about horses, it wasn’t stealing. He convinced himself with the thought that it would become stealing only when they offered to sell it.

Question 9:
Give examples to show why cousin Mourad was considered one of the craziest members of the narrator’s family?

Cousin Mourad had a crazy streak. He was quite crazy about horses. He kept the stolen white horse for about six weeks, rode it, loved it, fed it well and hid it in a deserted yard. When he sang in the open countryside, it seemed as if he were roaring.

Question 10:
Why does the narrator mention uncle Khosrove? Which characteristic features of the man are highlighted?

Cousin Mourad seemed to inherit the crazy streak of uncle Khosrove. He was a big man with a powerful head of black hair and very large moustache. He was quite furious in temper, very irritable and impatient. He would stop anyone from taking by roaring his pet phrase, “It is no harm; pay no attention to it”.

Question 11:
Give an example to illustrate how uncle Khosrove’s impatience sometimes worked to his own disadvantage?

Once uncle Khosrove was getting his moustache trimmed in a barber’s shop. Suddenly their house was on fire. His own son Arak ran eight blocks to the barber’s shop to inform him. Khosrove got impatient and roared at his son. When the barber reminded him that his house was on fire, Khosrove roared at him and stopped him from talking.

Question 12:
“The distribution of the various kinds of spirit of our tribe had been from the beginning capricious and vagrant.” Elucidate.

The Garoghlanian family had a crazy streak. Mourad was considered the natural descendant of uncle Khosrove as far as the crazy streak was concerned. Mourad’s father, Zorab was practical and nothing else. But Mourad was his son only in flesh; in spirit, he was similar to uncle Khosrove.

Question 13:
Give a brief account of Mourad’s joy ride.

Mourad kicked his heels into the horse and shouted, “Vazire run!” The horse stood on its hind legs, snorted, and ran forward at full speed. Mourad raced the horse across a field of dry grass to an irrigation ditch. He crossed the ditch on the horse. When he returned five minutes later he was dripping wet.

Question 14:
How did Aram, the narrator, fare in his solo ride?

Aram leaped to the back of the horse, but it did not move. Then he kicked into the muscles of the horse. It reared and snorted. Then it began to run. Aram did not know how to ride. The horse ran down the road to a vineyard. It leaped over seven vines, threw the rider and ran away.

Question 15:
“We’ll either take him back or hide him until tomorrow morning”. Which course of action did the speaker take and why?

Mourad took the latter option. He hid the horse in the bam of a deserted vineyard which at one time had been the pride of farmer named Fetvajian. There were some oats and dry alfalfa in the bam. So Mourad did not seem worried about the horse.

Question 16:
“I have an understanding with a horse.”
“Horses understand me.”
“I have a way with a horse. ”
How do you think, had Mourad developed an understanding with the horse and what was the result?

Mourad had been quite tender and affectionate towards the horse. He would put his arms around it, press his nose into the horse’s nose and pat it. It was not easy to tame someone else’s horse and get it to behave nicely. At first, it wanted to run wild. Gradually, Mourad was able to control the horse and do what he wanted. Even John Byro, the rightful owner, admitted that the horse had become better-tempered and stronger than ever.

Question 17:
Contrast the two visitors to narrator’s house who visited them one afternoon.

Uncle Khosrove was irritable, impatient and furious in temper. He stopped anyone from talking by roaring: “It’s no harm; pay no attention to it”. Farmer John Byro was a lonely Assyrian. He was sad at the loss of his horse and the uselessness of his surrey without a horse.

Question 18:
How did uncle Khosrove react to John Byro’s complaint about the steal of his horse?

John Byro was sad that his white horse had been stolen last month and it was missing even then. Instead of showing any sympathy, uncle Khosrove became very irritated and shouted: “It’s no harm. What is the loss of a horse?… What is this crying over a horse?”

Question 19:
What arguments did farmer John Byro advance to prove the usefulness of a horse to a country dweller?

First, his surrey was no good without a horse. Second, he had to walk ten miles to get there and his left leg pained him. Thirdly, that horse had cost him sixty dollars. A city dweller like Khosrove may not realise the importance of a horse.

Question 20:
Why did farmer John Byro stalk out of the house, slamming the screen door?

Farmer John Byro visited the narrator’s house. He was homesick, sad and lonely. His horse had been stolen for over a month. Instead of showing any sympathy or concern for his loss, uncle Khosrove repeated his catchword: “It’s no harm. Pay no attention to it”. When John Byro talked about the cost of horse, uncle Khosrove commented: “I spit on money.” This was too much for John Byro to bear and so he left the house in disgust.

Question 21:
How did Mourad help the wounded Robin to fly? What does this incident indicate?

Answer: The narrator noticed Mourad trying to cure the hint wing of a young robin which could not fly. He was talking to the bird. After sometime, he threw the bird into the air. The bird tried hard and almost fell twice. However, at last it flew away, high and straight. This incident shows that in spite of having a crazy streak, Mourad was kind at heart and gentle towards God’s creatures.

Question 22:
What request did the narrator make to his cousin Mourad about the horse? How did he react to it? What does this reveal?

The narrator requested his cousin Mourad not to return the horse to farmer John Byro till he learnt to ride. Mourad observed that it might take him a year. The narrator suggested to keep the horse for a year. Mourad shouted that he was inciting him to steal. He declared that the horse must go back to its true owner. This shows his honesty and sense of family pride.

Question 23:
What did farmer John Byro observe after studying the horse the two boys had with them?

The farmer studied the horse eagerly and asked its name. Mourad said that they called it “My Heart’. John Byro appreciated it as a lovely name for a lovely horse. He was ready to swear that it was the horse that was stolen hum him many weeks ago.

Question 24:
“A suspicious man would believe his eyes instead of his heart.” In what context was this observation made and by whom?

This observation was made by farmer John Byro after looking into the mouth of the horse. It matched his horse tooth for tooth. He would have claimed it as his own horse if he had not known their parents or the fame of their family for honesty. The resemblance was so striking that he called it the twin of his horse.

Question 25:
What do you think, induced the boys to return the horse to its owner?

The boys were impressed by John Byro’s attitude towards their parents and family. He knew their parents very well and so believed whatever the boys said. Secondly, the fame of their family for honesty was well-known to him. The boys returned the horse to him for the sake of family pride and dignity.
Long Answer Type Questions

Question 1:
Narrate the story ‘The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse’ in your own words.

One summer morning narrator’s cousin Mourad came to his house at four in the morning and woke him up by tapping on the window of his room. The narrator was surprised to see Mourad sitting on a beautiful white horse. Mourad asked him to be quick if he wanted to ride. The narrator, Aram, longed to ride and jumped down to the yard from the window and leaped up onto the horse behind his cousin Mourad.
Since these Armenian families were quite poor, Aram concluded that Mourad must have stolen the horse. They rode and Mourad sang. Then Mourad had a joy ride alone. It seamed he had a way with a horse, for when Aram tried to ride alone, the horse threw him off and ran away. Since it was broad daylight, Mourad hid the horse in the ham of a deserted vineyard. That afternoon, farmer John Byro visited the narrator’s house and related his plight. His white horse had been missing for over a month.
Uncle Khosrove silenced him with his roaring commands. Aram reported everything to Mourad and requested him to keep the horse till he learnt to ride. Mourad did not agree. A chance meeting with farmer John Byro after a fortnight firmed up his decision. John Byro had believed the boys since he knew their fathers and was fully aware of the fame of their family for honesty. Mourad returned the horse to its owner then next morning.

Question 2:
Relate some of the humorous incidents in the story. Which incident do you find the most amusing and why?

The incidents related to uncle Khosrove are quite amusing. The repetition of his pet catchword: “It is no harm; pay no attention to it” causes humour whenever it is used in an incongruous context. For example, his own son Arak ran eight blocks to the barber shop where Khosrove was having his moustache trimmed to tell him that their house was on fire. This was a serious matter. Instead of leaving the place, he roared: “It is no harm; pay no attention to it.”
When the barber explained that his son was saying that his house was on fire, Khosrove silenced him by roaring: “It is no harm”. At the end of the story, uncle Khosrove again became irritated and shouted at farmer John Byro to be quiet. He said, “Your horse has been returned. Pay no attention to it.” The incongruity is obvious. The most amusing incident is the conversation between farmer John Byro and uncle Khosrove when the farmer sighed sadly and bewailed the stealth of his horse.
Uncle Khosrove remarked, “It is no harm. What is the loss of a horse? What is this crying over a horse?” John Byro tried to explain that his surrey was useless without a horse. Pat came Khosrove’s catchward “Pay no attention to it.” This phrase is repeated when the farmer complained that his left leg hurt him. When John Byro said that the horse had cost him sixty dollars, Khosrove remarked, “I spit on money.” The incident ends as John Byro walked out angrily slamming the screen door.

Question 3:
What impression do you form of cousin Mourad?

Mourad is a young boy of thirteen. He belongs to the Garoghlanian family of Armenia. Their whole tribe was poverty stricken. In spite of abject poverty, their family was famous for honesty. Mourad was quite adventurous and had a crazy streak in him. He enjoyed being alive more than anybody else. Mourad loved horse riding. He had a way with a horse. He had tamed the horse by his affectionate behaviour and now the horse was no longer wild.
It obeyed Mourad faithfully. His love for the horse is evident in the last scene. While parting, he put his arms around the horse, pressed his nose into the horse’s nose and patted it. He also had a way with dogs. The dogs of John Byro followed them around without making a sound. He was kind. He treated a young robin which had hurt its wing. He was worldly-wise and knew how to talk to farmers. Though he loved horse-riding he was averse of keeping the horse for a long time. He is proud of his family which is well known for their honesty and trust. In short, he is a lovable chap.

Question 4:
Comment on the role of Aram, the narrator, in the story.

Aram plays an important role in the story. Besides being the narrator, he is also a commentator. He not only narrates the various adventures, incidents and actions, but also provides useful information regarding the main characters and their behaviour. In fact, he is the fulcrum on which the whole story rests. He gives a graphic description of the Garoghlanian tribe, its members, their traits and economic features.
Mom-ad’s father Zorab is described as a practical person, whereas Mourad and uncle Khosrove represent the crazy streak in the tribe. Abject poverty of the family does not diminish his pride in his family which is famous for honesty. He says, “No member of the Garoghlanian family could be a thief.” He makes a fine distinction between stealing a horse for a ride and stealing a horse to sell it off. He gives a fine description of the horse ride and country side with its vineyards, orchards, irrigation ditches and country roads.

Question 5:
Compare and contrast uncle Khosrove and cousin Mourad.

Uncle Khosrove and cousin Mourad have one very important point in common— their craziness. Mourad was considered the natural descendant of uncle Khosrove in this respect. The second similarity is their dominating nature. Both use pet words and phrases and roar aloud to quieten the hearer. While uncle Khosrove says, “It is no harm; pay no attention to it,” Mourad boasts, “I have a way with horses/dogs/farmers.”
Khosrove shouts at his son Arak, the barber and farmer John Byro. The narrator is a patient listener to Mourad’s assertions. The difference lies in their age groups and physical build up. Uncle Khosrove, a middle aged person is an enormous man with a powerful head of black hair and very large moustache. Mourad is an athletic young chap of thirteen. Khosrove is irritable, impatient and furious in temper. Mourad is reasonable in conversation.