Q1.Where was it most likely that the two girls would find work after school?
Ans: Sophie and Jansie would soon pass out of their school. Only a few months were left. Jansie knew very well that both of the them were earmarked for biscuit factory. Sophie had wild dreams about her career. Jansie was a realist. She knew that they did not pay well for shop work and Sophie’s father would not allow her to work there.
Q2. What were the options that Sophie was dreaming of? Why does Jansie discourage her from having such dreams?
Ans: Sophie wanted to open a boutique. It would be the most amazing shop that city had ever seen. Alternatively, she would become an actress and have the boutique as a side business. She also thought of being a fashion designer. Jansie had her feet firmly planted to the ground. She wanted Sophie to be sensible and drop all her utopian plans because all of them required much money and exprience.
THINK AS YOU READ
Q1.Why did Sophie wriggle when Geoff told her father that she had met Danny Casey?
Ans: Sophie knew her father well. He would be angry if he knew of her meeting with the young Irish footballer, Danny Casey. She didn’t tell him. When Geoff told his father about it, he became angry. He turned Ms head to look at her with disdain. Sophie wriggled where she was sitting at the table.
Q2.Does Geoff believe what Sophie says about her meeting with Danny Casey?
Ans: No, Geoff doesn’t believe what Sophie says about her meeting with Danny Casey. First, he looks round in disbelief and says, “It can’t be true”. Again he says, “I don’t believe it.” Sophie then narrates how Danny Casey came and stood beside her. Geoff asks her, “What does he look like?” So, he doesn’t seem to be convinced that Sophie met Danny Casey.
Q3. Does her father believe her story?
Ans: No, Sophie’s father does not believe her story. When Geoff tells him that Sophie met Danny Casey, his father looked at SopMe with disdain. He ignores her totally. He thinks that it is yet another ‘wild story’. He begins to talk about Tom Finny, another great football player.
Q4. How does Sophie include her brother Geoff in her fantasy of her future?
Ans: Geoff was always the first to share her secrets. So, she told him about meeting Danny Casey. She also told him about her plan to meet him next week. She suspected areas of his life about wMch she knew nothing. She longed to know them. She wished that someday he might take her with him. She saw herself riding there behind Geoff.
Q5. Which country did Danny Casey play for?
Ans: Danny Casey played for Ireland.
THINK AS YOU READ
Q1. Why didn’t Sophie want Jansie to know about her story with Danny?
Ans: Jansie was very interested in things that did not concern her. She wanted to know other people’s affairs. She would spread the news in the whole neighbourhood. So, Sophie didn’t want Jansie to know about her story with Danny. It may also be mutual rivalry and one-up manship on her part. Sophie was startled to learn that Geoff had told Jansie about her story with Danny.
Q2. Did Sophie really meet Danny Casey? [Delhi 2014]
Ans: No, Sophie did not really meet Danny Casey. She was very fascinated by the young Irish footballer. She imagined his coming. She sat in the park, waiting for Casey and knowing that he would not come. She felt sad. Sadness was a hard burden to carry. She was always lost in a dreamy world where she imagined Casey meeting her.
Q3. Which was the only occasion when she got to see Danny Casey in person?
Ans: The only occasion when Sophie got to see Danny Casey in person was when the family went to watch United on Saturday. Sophie, her father and little Derek went down near the goal. Geoff went with his mates higher up. United won two-nil. Her idol Casey drove in the second goal. She saw the Irish genius going round two big defenders on the edge of penalty area. He beat the hesitant goal keeper from a dozen yards. Sophie glowed with pride. She was very happy.
UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT
Q1. Sophie and Jansie were classmates and friends. What were the differences between them that show up in the story?
Ans: Sophie and Jansie are poles apart in tastes and temperament. Sophie has fantastic dreams and floats in a fairy land. She is an incurable escapist who won’t come out of her dreams. Jansie is down to earth—a realist. Sophie wants to do something sophisticated. Jansie knows that these things require a lot of money which their families do not possess. Jansie also knows that they were earmaked for the biscuit factory. She even advises Sophie to be sensible and practical. Sophie considers Jansie ‘nosey’ and does not want to confide in her.
Q2. How would you describe the character and temperament of Sophie’s father?
Ans: Sophie’s father has a plumpy face looking grimy and sweaty. He doesn’t seem to be a soft or sophisticated man. Sophie fears his agressive manliness. He is a realist and does not believe in his daughter’s wild stories. He loves watching football. He hopes young Casey will be as good as Tom Finney. He wishes that the young footballer keeps away from all distractions. He shouts instructions to Casey at the playground. When the Irish genius beats the hesitant goal keeper, Sophie’s father screams with joy and pride. He goes to a pub to celebrate the victory.
Q3. Why did Sophie like her brother Geoff more than any other person? From her perspective, what did he symbolise?
Ans: Geoff is the only person who listens to Sophie’s fantasies and long cherished dreams. Her father is too bossy and aggressive. He hates Sophie’s fantastic stories. Even little Derek – makes fun of her growing rich. Her classmate Jansie is ‘nosey’ and can’t be trusted with a secret. Only Geoff can be trusted to keep all the secrets of Sophie to himself.
From her perspective, Geoff symbolises an elder brother who has grown up and visited places unknown to her. She wished that someday her brother might take her to those places. He is sympathetic and cautions her by telling her that Casey might have strings of girls. He warns her that he would never show up again. He speaks softly so as not to break the heart of the young dreamer.
Q4. What socio-economic background did Sophie belong to? What are the indicators of her family’s financial status?
Ans: Sophie belongs to a lower middle class family. She is an escapist and has wild dreams. She dreams of things she can’t have in real life. Jansie tells her that boutique needs a lot of money. Sophie knows that the family doesn’t have money. She says, “If ever I came into money, I’ll buy a boutique.” Even little Derek understands her unrealistic nature.
Geoffs occupation reflects their socio-economic background. He is an apprentice mechanic. He travels to his work each day to the far side of the city. His jacket is shapeless. Her father lacks sophistication. He is a heavy breathing man. He sits in his vest at the table. He grunts and tosses one of little Derek’s shoes from his chair on to the sofa. There is stove in the same room where dirty washing is piled in a comer. Sophie’s father goes to pub on his bicycle. All these indicators confirm their lower middle-class family background.
TALKING ABOUT THE TEXT
Q1.Sophie’s dreams and disappointments are all in her mind.
Ans: Sophie is a young school-girl belonging to a lower middle-class family. She wants to rise from the situation in which she finds herself. She is an incurable dreamer and escapist. She dreams of opening a boutique. Her classmate Jansie, who had her feet firmly planted on the ground, tells Sophie that opening a boutique requires a lot of money and experience and she has neither of them. Sophie, who floats in a dreamy world of her own, dreams of becoming an actress or a fashion designer. She has dreams of a hero also. She develops fascination for Danny Casey, the wonder-boy of football. She sees him in action only once when he scores the second goal for United. She imagines him coming to her and tells her brother about the meeting. She goes on waiting for him on the next date but he does not turn up. She becomes sad and carries the burden of sadness all the times. Thus, her dreams and disappointments are the creations of her mind.
Q2.It is natural for teenagers to have unrealistic dreams. What would you say are the benefits and disadvantages of such fantasising?
Ans: Teenagers have boundless enthusiasm and ambitions. They have sweet dreams and go on fantasising. It is natural for them to do so. Every youth is a dreamer. Every great scientist or writer has a dream. Without some thing to aspire for one can’t strive to achieve that goal. Dreams lead to the golden gate of success. Some teenagers float in the world of fantasy. They have unreal dreams. It is just like a child asking for the moon. Their feet are in the mud and they dream of the stars in the sky. Such fantasising results in disappointment and disillusionment. A dreamer who fails to realise his dream is labelled a failure. Those who realise their dreams become heroes and achievers in their spheres. I think it is better to have dreams even if we fail to realise them. Who would have dreams if the teenagers don’t—will these grey-headed, grey-bearded persons have dreams? Let the teenagers indulge in their natural activity and dream of a golden future. They will strive to translate them into reality.
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Q1. What does Sophie dream of doing after she passes out of school? Why do you call it a ‘dream’ and not a ‘plan’?
Ans: Sophie dreams to have a boutique of her own. It will be the most amazing shop the city has ever seen. She says that she will buy a boutique if ever she comes into money. She does not mind becoming an actress to run a boutique as a side business. Since she has no money or experience, it is called a ‘dream’ and not a ‘plan’.
Q2. What are the other dreams of Sophie in addition to having a boutique?
Ans:The greatest dream of Sophie is to have a boutique. She wants to be a bit sophisticated and rise above her lower-middle class status. Her other dream is of being an actress as “there’s real money in that”. Moreover, actresses don’t work full time. She can look after her first love i.e. boutique as a side business. She has another option. She can be a fashion designer, and do something sophisticated.
Q3. Why does -Jansie say : “Soaf, you really should be sensible” ?
Ans: Jansie knows Sophie’s family background and financial position. She knows that both of them are earmarked for that biscuit factory. Sophie dreams of big and beautiful things like having a boutique or becoming an actress or a fashion designer. All these things need a lot of money and experience. Sophie has neither of them. So Jansie being down-to-earth advises her to be sensible and stop having wild dreams.
Q4. Compare and contrast Sophie and Jansie?
Jansie is Sophie’s classmate and friend but doesn’t entertain any ‘wild dreams’like her. Why?
Ans: Sophie and Jansie are classmates and friends, but the similarity ends here. They are poles ’ apart in thinking and temperament. Sophie is an incurable dreamer and escapist. She dreams of big and beautiful things, which are beyond her reach.
On the other hand, Jansie is realistic and practical. She knows that they are poor and will have to work in the biscuit factory after leaving school. She is well aware that big things require big money and experience, which they don’t have. It is better to live in reality and think accordingly.
Q5. What job is Geoff engaged in? How does he differ from his sister, Sophie?
Ans: Geoff is a grown up boy. He left school three years ago. Now he is an apprentice mechanic. He has to travel to his work each day to the far side of the city. He speaks little but listens to his sister’s ‘wild stories’. But he is not a day dreamer like her. He knows the financial limitations of his family. He cautions Sophie against entertaining dreams for a celebrity like Danny Casey.
Q6. Why was Sophie jealous of Geoff’s silence?
Ans: Geoff was almost grown up now. He spoke little. Words had to be extracted out of him like stones out of the ground. Sophie was jealous of his silence. She knew that when he was not speaking, he was away somewhere. He was out in the surrounding country—in those places she had never been. She wanted to share her brother’s affection.
Q7. What does Sophie tell Geoff about her meeting with Danny Gasey? How does Geoff react to it?
Ans: Sophie tells Geoff that she met Danny Casey. Geoff is surprised. He looks round abruptly and asks ‘where?’ Sophie replies that she met him in the arcade. Geoff can’t believe her. He says, “It’s never true.” He asks her, “What does he look like?” She replies that he has green eyes and is not very tall. Geoff is still not convinced.
Q8. How does Sophie’s father react when Geoff tells him about her meeting with Danny Casey?
Ans: Geoff informs his father that Sophie had a meeting with Danny Casey. He turns his head on his thick neck to look at her in disbelief. His expression is one of disdain. He ignores the news and goes on to talk about Tom Finney. He hopes that Danny will he like Tom Finney one day. When Sophie says that Casey is going to buy a shop, he reacts sharply. “This is another of your wild stories.”
Q9. “He don’t believe you—though he’d like to.” Who says so, about whom and in what context?
Ans: Geoff says so to Sophie about their father. He reacted sharply to her account of meeting Danny Casey. Geoff said that she had met him in the arcade and then told him how it had been. Their father said aggressively that she was going to talk herself into a load of trouble. Sophie asked Geoff to confirm that it was true. It was then that Geoff uttered these remarks. *-
Q10. Why do you think, does Goeff tell Sophie the following?
(i)“Casey must have strings of girls.”
(ii)“As if he’d ever show up.”
Ans: Geoff knows that Sophie is still very young and immature. She is crazy after Danny Casey, the Irish wonder-boy. He tries to convince Sophie that a celebrity like Casey must have a large number of girls running after him. She says that he doesn’t have any. He will give her autograph next week if she cares to meet him next week. Geoff is not convinced. He doubts if he would ever show up.
Q11.Who was Danny Casey? How did the members of Sophie’s family react towards him?
Ans: Danny Casey was a young Irish football player. He played for the United. The Irish prodigy could easily dodge the defenders and score goals. Sophie’s father was a football fan. He admired old heroes like Tom Finney and young wonder boy Casey. Geoff had a large poster of United first team squad on his bed room wall. There were three coloured photographs of Casey in the row below it. Every Saturday they went to watch United play.
Q12. Why was the visit of Sophie’s father and his family to watch United ‘their weekly pilgrimage’ ?
Ans: Sophie’s father was a keen footfall fan. He took great interest in the career of Danny Casey, the Irish prodigy. Geoff, too was interested in football. Sophie considered Danny Casey her personal hero. She always dreamt of him. Casey was playing for United. The family visited the stadium regularly to watch him. So the family’s visit was like a religious or holy weekly ritual—a pilgrimage.
Q13. Where did Sophie meet Casey and what transpired between them?
Ans: Sophie met Danny Casey in the arcade. It was she who spoke first and asked if he was Casey. He looked surprised. He was certainly Danny Casey as he had the Irish accent. She had already heard him on television. She asked him for an autograph for little Derek. But neither of them had any paper or pen. Before going he promised to give his autograph if she cared to meet him next week.
Q14. What promise does Sophie want Geoff to make and why ?
Why does Sophie say: “Promise you’ll tell no one” and “Promise, Geoff-Dad’d murder me.”
Ans: Sophie wants to confide in Geoff what happened dining her meeting with Danny Casey. Before telling him the details, she wants him to promise that he would tell no one about her meeting and the next ‘date’. She is afraid of her father’s anger. She fears he would murder her. Geoff assures her that she is quite safe. Their father does not believe such wild stories.
Q15. Did Geoff keep his promise? How do you know?
Why did Sophie say “Damn that Geoff, this was a Geoff thing not a Jansie thing.”
Ans: Sophie had told Geoff about her meeting with Danny Casey and asked him to promise that he would tell no one. It was a secret between the two—something special just between them. Geoff did not keep his promise. He told Jansie’s brother Frank about it. Sophie cursed Geoff, as it was his doing, not Jansie’s.
Q16. Why did Sophie not want Jansie to know anything about her meeting with Danny Casey?
Ans: Sophie knew that Jansie was ‘nosey’. She was very inquisitive by nature. She took special interest in knowing new things about others. Sophie did not trust Jansie as she could not keep a secret. She could spread the rumour in the whole neighbourhood.
Q17. How did Jansie react at Sophie’s story of her meeting with Danny Casey ? [Delhi 2014]
Ans: Jansie was a classmate and friend of Sophie. She lived in the same neighbourhood. She knew Sophie quite well. She was also aware of Sophie’s habit of dreaming. On learning of her meeting with Danny Casey, her first reaction was of disbelief. “You never did”, exclaimed Jansie. But when Sophie told her about her request for autograph, Jansie softened a little and said, “Jesus, I wish Fd have been there.”
Q18. What did Sophie want to keep a secret from her father and why? How did Jansie react to this disclosure?
Ans: Sophie told Jansie that she wanted to keep her meeting with Casey a secret. There would be a row if her father knew it. Jansie thought that he would be pleased. Sophie told Jansie what a misery her father was. Moreover, she did not want crowd of people asking him about Danny Casey and her. She feared that he would murder her. Her mother felt upset whenever there was a row. Jansie assured Sophie that she could trust her to keep the secret.
Q19. Why did Sophie choose to walk by the canal? What did she do there?
Ans: Sophie walked by the canal along a sheltered path. It was far away from the noise and crowd of the city. It was a place where she had often played when she was a child. There was a wooden bench beneath a solitary elm tree. Lovers sometimes came there. That was the most suitable place where she could dream of her hero Danny Casey.
Q20. How did Sophie react as she kept sitting for hours, waiting for Danny Casey and imagining his coming?
Ans: At first Sophie was optimistic. She imagined him coming out of the shadows. When time had elapsed, pangs of doubt stirred inside her. She became sad and despondent. Danny would not come there at all. She feared that people would laugh at the story of her meeting with Casey.
Q21. Sophie is a typical adolescen.t hero-worshipper who carries her fantasising too far. Comment.
Ans: Sophie is a dreamer and an escapist. She is also a hero-worshipper. Danny Casey, the wonderful Irish football player was her hero. She indulged in wishful thinking and dreams of meeting him. Her imagined meeting gave her immense pleasure. But the pangs of not meeting him made her sad and despondent.
Q22. “Sophie’s dreams and disappointments are all in her mind.” Do you agree? Give reasons in support of your answer.
Ans: I fully agree with the observation. Sophie’s dreams and disappointments are all in her mind, she is a hero-worshipper. The Irish prodigy is her hero. She imagines her meeting with him. Her day-dreaming makes her sad and despondent. The idea that Casey will not come at all is quite painful to her. Thus, her dreams and disappointments are products of her mind only. They have nothing to do with reality. ‘
Q23. Why did Sophie long for her brother’s affection? [All India 2014]
Ans: Geoff was not veiy talkative. He was an introvert. Sophie thought that Geoff had access to the world where she had not got even a chance to visit. She wanted to be the part of her brother’s world. That is why she longed for his affection.