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Mother's Day | English Core | Class XI

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Lesson Architecture


  • Theme

  • Lesson At-A-Glance

  • NCERT Solution

  • Extra Questions

Theme:

  • The lesson is a humorous piece portraying the status of a mother in a family.

  • The housewife mothers are always taken for granted by the members of her family.

  • This lesson is education as the playwright brings about reformation in the family of Mrs. Pearson with the help of personality exchange with a lady called Mrs. Fitzgerald.

  • This play provides a glimpse into the miserable lives of mothers who are house-wives who work non-stop from morning to night for keeping their family members happy.

  • The story teaches us to be thoughtful and respectful to our mothers.


Lesson At-A-Glance

  • Mrs. Pearson is a committed wife and mother who caters to each and every demand of her husband George and children Doris and Cyril.

  • All the three family members of her family take Mrs. Pearson for granted and do not help her out in any of the domestic chores.

  • Mrs. Pearson conveys her family matters to her neighbour Mrs. Fitzgerald who opined that her tender and compliant nature is responsible for her present state of affairs at home.

  • Both Mrs. Fitzgerald and Mrs Pearson agree to exchange their personalities with each other. They both hold hands and their personalities get transferred.

  • Doris is shocked to discover her mother smoking on returning home. As usual she commands her mother to prepare tea. But Mrs. Pearson remains indifferent towards her demand, which surprises Doris.

  • Dorris shows her disappointment when she discovers that her yellow dress is not ironed by her mother.

  • Mrs. Pearson teaches her lesson that being a grown up girl, she should do her work on her own.

  • Mrs. Pearson's son Cyril comes home and discovers that Doris is crying and mother playing cards.

  • Like his sister he also demands tea and snacks but is shocked to receive the same treatment from his mother.

  • The children discuss their mother's strange behavior when they see her filling a glass of wine for herself.

  • Mrs. Pearson informs her children that she would not work for more than eight hours henceforth and will also go for a vacation during weekend.

  • She also declares that she would do some work on Saturday and Sunday only if she is acknowledged for her work.

  • Her husband George Pearson enters the room and is annoyed that instead of preparing tea his wife is sipping wine and is a relaxed state of mind.

  • When Mr. George informs his wife that he would have supper at the club, Mrs. Pearson gets annoyed at his attitude and rebukes him by telling him that people at the club make fun of him behind his back.

  • When all the members of Mrs. Pearson are feeling uncomfortable, Mrs. Fitzgerald enters.

  • All members of Mrs. Pearson's family look at each other in confusion when Mrs. Fitzgerald (actually Mrs.pearson) requests to have their personalities exchanged.

  • Mrs. Pearson (actually Mrs. Fitzgerald) agrees on a condition that Mrs. Pearson would not go soft on her family again. They get into their original bodies and Mrs. Fitzgerald leaves.

  • The mother, the children and husband smile at each other with relief and it is decided that they all will have the dinner together and play a game of rummy.

  • The story ends at a happy note when all four members of Mrs. Pearson's family are seen in a family reunion mode by playing the game of rummy.

NCERT Solution:


1.This play , written in the 1950s, is a humorous and satirical depiction of the status of the mother in the family.


(i) What are the issues it raises?


Ans: The major issue that the play raises in this story is the status of a mother in a family. She is not acknowledged for her work and all her hard work meets a watery grave. Her likes and dislikes , comforts and commitment for the family goes unnoticed and unrecognized.


The play highlights the need for every member of a family to be self-reliant in so far as their domestic chores are concerned. They should not be dependent on their mothers for the accomplishment of their tasks. They should be non-complaining in nature and develop the sense of discipline and gratitude for each and every member of the family.


(ii) Do you think it caricatures these issues or do you think that the problems it raises are genuine? How does the play resolve the issues? Do you agree with the resolution?


Ans: The problems that the play raises are genuine and oft-repeated practice in every household of that time. Mothers are always taken for granted for all the hard work they do to keep their family members happy and comfortable. In return mothers are neither recognized nor given any relief from their relentless work schedule.


The play resolves the issue with the help of personality exchange between Mrs. Pearson and Mrs. Fitzgerald. Although the personality exchange appears to be exaggerated, but this poetic license is required to set the errant family members back on the track.


Yes, I am happy with the resolution of the conflict towards the end. The family members understand Mrs. Pearson and they all come together and live happily thereafter.


2. If you were to write about these issues today what are some of the incidents, examples and problems that you would think of as relevant?


Ans: The issue raised by the playwright in the story is also relevant in India, especially in rural India. Urban India has undergone tremendous change with mothers being bread earners and financially independent in most of the families.

In rural India the situation is very sad as the mothers have to bear the brunt of all kinds of household chores. They are uneducated in rural India and are always dependent on their husbands and in-laws for their sustenance. Therefore, they become victim of all kinds of exploitation and prejudice.


The other issues that I would consider relevant if I am likely to write a play would include the following:

  • Social Networking sites and its evil effects on teenagers.

  • Violence on Women.

  • Educated Unemployment

  • Climate Change owing to Global warming.

  • How has technology revolutionized our lives?

  • Today's gadget-fed children.

3. Is drama a good medium for conveying a social message?


Ans: Drama is indeed a good medium for conveying a social message due to the following reasons:

In a drama every character with their roles transport the spectators into a world of their own making .

As in a drama every character is in a live interaction with one another, so we are in a better position to understand the message conveyed by the playwright.


Drama can be played in educational institutions, street, auditorium and can cater to a larger audience in so far as entertainment is concerned and therefore, the social message is conveyed through the medium of entertainment.


Extra Questions

1.What kind of problem was being faced by Mrs. Pearson in her family?

Ans: Mrs. Pearson bore the brunt of indiscriminate behaviour by her husband and children. She was working relentless for everyone from ironing their clothes to making food all by herself. Moreover, she was uncomplaining by nature. Her family members never showed any respect and concern for her hard work.


2. What did Mrs. Fitzgerald suggest to Mrs Pearson ?

Ans: Mrs. Fitzgerald suggested to Mrs. Pearson that they should exchange their personalities so that Mrs. Pearson could be strong and assertive in behaviour like Mrs. Fitzgerald. Mrs. Fitzgerald claimed that she had learnt the art in the East. With the help of Mrs. Fitzgerald's strong and dominant personalities after the personality exchange, Mrs. Pearson could set the errant members of her family right.


3. How did Mrs. Pearson in the personality of Mrs. Fitzgerald reform the members of her family?


Ans: Mrs. Pearson could bring about a tremendous change in the attitude of the members of her family towards her. George, Doris and Cyril were all ungrateful. They did not acknowledge or appreciate the labour and concern of Mrs. Pearson. They took her for granted. She did the following things to set the errant members of her family right.


Her attitude towards Doris

  • Mrs Pearson told Doris to make tea for herself. She was not going to help her in her work.

  • she further told her that she might eat out if the she could not make the food at home.

  • She further told her to iron her yellow dress herself.

  • Mrs. Pearson was also very critical of Doris' boyfriend , Charlie Spence.

Her Attitude towards Cyril

  • Mrs. Pearson did not serve him tea and asked him not to be dependent.

  • When Cyril asked whether his mother had put his tings out, she ignored him completely.

  • Cyril reminded her of her promise to mend his clothes, but Mrs. Pearson refused saying that she would also refuse to do things she didn't like doing.

  • She further told her children that she wouldn’t work on weekends.


Her Attitude towards George

  • George was surprised to see his wife drinking stout.

  • She told him that she did not prepare any tea for him. He then became angry to see her attitude.

  • She further told him that people at his club laugh at him because he is fat.

At last Mrs Fitzgerald advised her not to go soft on the family again and give them a tough look be assertive on them so as to keep them on track.


Q4. What was Mrs. Fitzgerald's final advice to Mrs. Pearson after they change back?


Ans: She advised Mrs. Pearson to be firm and not to offer any explanation or apology. If she failed to comply with her advice, all her efforts to mend her family would go waste. She should be assertive and she was advised not to go soft on the family again.
























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