NCERT English Beehive Class 9 Chapter 5 - The Snake and the Mirror

Chapter 5 - The Snake and the Mirror

Writer of the Story - Vaikom Muhammad Basheer
Question and Answers
Question 1: “The sound was a familiar one”. What sound did the doctor hear?  What did he think it was? How many times did he hear it? When and why did the sounds stop?
Answer:
The narrator who was a doctor, had recently set up his practice and lived in a rented room with a regular traffic of rats moving to and from the beam.
The sound that he heard on the beam was the squeaking of rats. The sound ceased for the third time, when he heard a dull thud as if a rubber tube had fallen to the ground.

Question 2: What two “important” and “earth-shaking” decisions did the doctor take while he was looking into the mirror?
Answer:
The most eligible bachelor cum doctor who was self-engrossed in his own admiration decided to improve his looks and appear more handsome. Firstly, he would grow a thin moustache. Another “earth-shaking” decision he took was to keep up the smile on his face as it made him look more attractive.

Question 3: “I looked into the mirror and smiled” says the doctor. A little later he says “I forgot my danger and smiled feebly at myself.” What is the doctor’s opinion about himself when i) he first smiles and ii) he smiles again? In what way do his thoughts change in between, and why?
Answer:
The doctor initially smiled, appreciating his attractive smile and admiring himself. He decided to keep up his smile to enhance his appearance as he felt that he was the ‘most eligible bachelor’ and that too a doctor.
His ideas about himself took a complete u-turn with an impending danger. In an instant, he realised how insignificant, stupid, and foolish, he was. The very prospect of the unavailability of medicine in the worst circumstances made him smile.

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