1st PUC English Textbook Answers Reflections Chapter 12 Two Gentlemen of Verona

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Karnataka 1st PUC English Textbook Answers Reflections Chapter 12 Two Gentlemen of Verona

Two Gentlemen of Verona Questions and Answers, Notes, Summary

Two Gentlemen of Verona Comprehension I

Question 1.
Where does the narrator first meet the two boys?
OR
Where did the narrator first meet Nicola and Jacopo?
Answer:
On the outskirts of Verona.

Question 2.
Why doesn’t the driver approve of the narrator buying fruit from the two boys? Does he succeed?
OR
Why did Luigi, the driver, try to stop the author from buying fruit from the two boys?
Answer:
The driver says that the fruit would be of better quality in Verona. Moreover, he doesn’t approve of the shabby appearance of the boys. But, he doesn’t succeed at dissuading the narrator from buying fruit from the boys, because the narrator is attracted by the earnest look in the eyes of the boys and buys the fruit from them.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 3.
List the different things that the boys did to earn their living.
Answer:
In addition to selling strawberry, the boys sold newspaper, shined shoes, ran errands such as procuring American cigarettes and opera tickets for the foreigners and acted as their tour guides in not only taking them around the beautiful place but also giving them useful information as to which restaurants served good pasta.

Question 4.
In spite of working hard and earning money, the two boys still looked poor because
(a) they were saving money to go to America.
(b) they had other plans.
(c) they wanted to save the money for medical expenses.
Answer:
(c) they wanted to save the money for medical expenses.

Question 5.
What qualities in the two boys attracted the narrator?
Answer:
What attracted the narrator to the two boys was their unremitting willingness to work. They worked hard, yet never complained; they were mature for their age; had a quiet dignity despite their poverty; were cheerful in spite of facing hardship.

Question 6.
Nicola was not pleased when Jacopo asked the narrator to drive them to Poleta as he
(a) did not want a stranger to become involved with their plans.
(b) preferred going to Poleta by train so that he: could enjoy the scenery.
(c) did not want to ask anyone for favours.
(d) did not want to take help from someone he did not know well.
Answer:
(a) Did not want to ask anyone for favours.

Question 7.
Why did the two boys go to Poleta and why did they want the narrator not to follow them?
Answer:
The boys went to Poleta to meet their sister who was being treated in a hospital and make the payment for her treatment. They did not want the narrator to follow them because they wanted to have their own secrets.

Question 8.
The narrator did not follow the boys because
(a) he was not invited to join them.
(b) he was not interested in knowing what the boys were up to.
(c) he wanted to respect their privacy.
Answer:
(c) He wanted to respect their privacy.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 9.
What had made the two boys and their sister homeless?
OR
How did the war affect the family of the two boys?
Answer:
It was the war that made the boys and their sister homeless. They lost their father in the initial stages of the war and later they lost their home when there was a bomb blast.

Question 10.
What does the narrator learn from Lucia’s nurse?
Answer:
The narrator came to know from the nurse that they were orphans except for having their sister – Lucia. He also learnt the truth that the boys had lived a cultured life before being orphaned as their father, a widower, was a well-known singer at La Scala.

Question 11.
The author did not speak to the boys on their return journey because he thought
(a) the boys would prefer to keep their secret.
(b) the boys were ashamed of their sister’s condition.
(c) they wouldn’t tell him the truth.
(d) the boys might ask him for money for their sister’s treatment.
Answer:
(a) The boys would prefer to keep their secret.

Two Gentlemen of Verona Comprehension II

Question 1.
In what different ways were the boys useful to the narrator?
Answer:
The boys were useful in many ways. They took the narrator and his companion around Verona.
They got for them American cigarettes, opera tickets, and acted as their tourist guides. They not only took them around a beautiful place but also gave them useful information as to which restaurants served good pasta.

Question 2.
What do you understand about the boys’ character from their action and behaviour?
Answer:
The boys come out as admirable brothers who work selflessly and tirelessly for the treatment of their dear sister. They work day in and day out, but live on black bread and figs. They are shabby in their dress, but keep their sister in an expensive hospital so that she gets the best of care. But, more importantly, they take recourse to honourable work and never try any dishonest ways of earning their living. It is this earnestness in their eyes that attracts the narrator to the boys. They neither beg nor t steal. But they make use of every avenue of work that is possible in the war-hit economy of Verona. However, they are secretive about the reason behind their hard work.

KSEEB Solutions

Though Nicola is only twelve and Jacopo eleven, the hardship in life has made the boys very mature for their age. Though the difference is of one year only, we see that Nicola is more mature than Jacopo and acts as the ‘big brother’. When the boys work till midnight, trying to sell the last bundle of newspaper to the travellers of the last bus, we see Jacopo leaning against the shoulder of his brother and sleeping, whereas Nicola is very alert. Nicola has a stronger sense of self-reliance and pride. (He is not happy to take unnecessary favours from the narrator and is unhappy that Jacopo has requested the narrator to take them to Poleta in his car.

The role played by the two brothers at the time of the war is also significant. Their patriotism, as well as their hatred for the Germans, is evident in the brave work they carry out as messengers for the resistance movement. Though there is the danger of being shot if caught, they fearlessly carry information about the movement of the German troops to the members of the resistance movement. Though fate has in reserve a cruel blow for them, we don’t see the boys complaining about the absence of a comfortable lifestyle, which they were used to, when their father, who was a renowned singer, was alive. Their cheerfulness is heart-warming. They are a fine example to today’s youth, who in spite of being blessed with comfort and wealth, are never satisfied with their lot. The resilience of these small children is a model to the youngsters who contemplate suicide even when the problem is a whiff of a thing.

Thus, we see the boys accepting the things that they could not change, fighting against the things which they could change and hoping for the best. They certainly deserve the epithet ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’.

Question 3.
The boys are evasive in disclosing their plan to the narrator in the story because
(a) they thought he could never understand their plight.
(b) they did not want to share their problem with a stranger.
(c) they did not want to gain anybody’s sympathy.
Answer:
(c) They did not want to gain anybody’s sympathy.

Two Gentlemen of Verona Comprehension III

Question 1.
Do you think the ending comes to you as a surprise? Why?
Answer:
The ending cannot be said to be a total surprise. The narrator gives enough hints throughout the narratior) that there is something secretive about the boys. Along with the narrator, the readers also wonder as to why the two young boys work so hard and save money in such a mature way. However, the readers do get an idea that whatever the secret might be, it would further improve the image of the boys.

So, the ending is not a surprise; but a revelation. The ending is not a sudden twist or anti-climax. It is a befitting ending to a tale of nobility.

Question 2.
Had you been in the place of the narrator, would you have behaved differently?
Answer:
No. The question of behaving differently arises when a person does not behave in a suitable manner. Some of us may feel that the narrator showed only lip-sympathy because he did not help the boys financially. But, we should remember that the boys have a lot of self-respect. So, it would be a humiliating experience for them to take the help of the narrator.

Moreover, the boys are of the opinion that they have not revealed their secret to the narrator. So, showing to them that he knows about their sister’s plight, would again embarrass the boys. That is why the narrator behaves in a very sensible manner by maintaining silence and allowing them to relive their happy moments with their sister.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 3.
‘Appearances are deceptive.’ How does the story bring out this idea?
Answer:
The shabby appearance of the boys along with the hard work they put in, hides the fact that they were used to better times in their past. Their maturity makes one forget the fact that they are little boys of twelve and eleven. When boys of their age would be playing and having fun, these two shine shoes, sell the newspaper and do all kinds of odd jobs. If we think that all this is to earn their living, we are again wrong, because it is for the sake of their sister. The young age and the frail body are a facade to their inner strength.

This deceptive appearance must have helped them in their role as secret messengers against the German troops. Thus we see that the boys prove again and again that appearances are deceptive. However, amidst this facade, the earnestness of the boys shines through their eyes and there is no deception in that.

Question 4.
‘War may destroy one’s home but not one’s heart.’ Discuss the statement with reference to the story of the two boys.
OR
What was the impact of the war on the family of the two boys?
OR
What had made Nicola and Jacopo homeless?
OR
How had the war affected the boys in ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’?
Answer:
Nicola and Jacopo were leading a happy, comfortable life in the company of their sister and father until the war-devastated their life. Their father, who was a widower, was a well-known singer at La Scala and was taking good care of his children. But he lost his life during the early part of the war. A little later, a bomb destroyed their home and the children were literally thrown onto the streets.

For months they barely managed to keep themselves alive in a sort of shelter they built with t their own hands amidst the rubble. During this time they had to suffer a great deal of hardship, one of which was starvation and exposure to the cold Veronese winter. The German Elite Guards established its headquarters in Verona and ruled the city with ruthless severity. Next, when a secret resistance movement took concrete shape, the boys joined the group and worked as secret agents’ for them. They carried messages to the forces of liberation, carrying information on the movements of the German troops. During one such secret mission, they had to move in the darkness through the mountain passes with letters in their shoes and the chances of their getting caught and shot by the German soldiers were many.

Once peace returned to the city, they came back home only to find that their sister had contracted tuberculosis of the spine. Again they had to work relentlessly day and night to earn enough money not merely to keep themselves alive but also to make regular payments to the hospital ungrudgingly. This they accomplished by shining shoes, selling fruit, hawking newspapers, conducting tourists round the town and exploiting every avenue to earn money.

Question 5.
Do you think the story is a telling comment on the true character of a gentleman? Elaborate.
Answer:
Who is a gentleman? A gentleman, as defined in the dictionary, is a courteous and honourable man or a man of good social position. When we take the first meaning, we have no problems in declaring that the two boys are courteous and honourable men. It is their courteousness, cheerfulness, earnestness and quiet dignity that appeal to the speaker. It is significant that the boys do not raise their voice in the complaint even once. Their honourable behaviour is evident in the fact that though they have to work very hard, sacrificing sleep, food and pleasure, they never contemplate dishonourable ways of earning money. They are honourable in their love for their sister. Their single goal in life is to f get her cured and to see her again as a singer. They are honourable in the brave work they carry out as messengers for the Resistance Movement at the time of war. They are truly the two gentlemen of Verona.

KSEEB Solutions

However, if we take the question of social standing, the boys, sadly, do not fit the slot because they are poor. But, we cannot forget the fact that they had a cultured upbringing when their father was alive. Also, we can rest assured that with the kind of hard work they put in, they would surely achieve a lot in life. Perhaps, after their sister’s complete recovery, they would even go the States and f rise to an enviable position in society.

While dealing with the question of gentlemanly behaviour, we should not lose sight of one important point. If the two boys are the two gentlemen of Verona, the narrator himself is the third gentleman because he feels for the boys and tries to do something for them. Unlike the driver, who is critical of the shabby appearance of the boys, the narrator is sympathetic towards the boys and buys strawberries from them. He does not go by false values and recognises the true worth of the boys. He is courteous, honourable and is of good social standing too. So, in a way, we can say that if the boys are the two gentlemen of Verona, the narrator is the third gentleman who comes to Verona.

Two Gentlemen of Verona Additional Questions and Answers

I. Answer the following questions in a word, a phrase or a sentence each:

Question 1.
What favour did Jacopo ask of the author?
Answer:
Jacopo requested the author to take them to Poleta in his car on a Sunday.

Question 2.
How did the war affect the two boys and their sister?
Answer:
The war made them orphans.

Question 3.
Mention one of the ways the boys helped the resistance movement.
Answer:
The boys acted as secret agents and carried messages in their shoe, and gathered information about the movements of the German troops.

Question 4.
What was Lucia suffering from?
Answer:
Lucia was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 5.
Why was the author silent during the return journey?
Answer:
He knew that the boys would be happier to think that their secret was kept.

Question 6.
Why did the boys join the resistance movement against the Germans?
Answer:
The German Elite Guard ruled the city with ruthless severity and the boys grew to hate those unwanted masters* who had ruined their family. Hence, they joined the resistance movement.

Question 7.
The narrator did not go inside Lucia’s room as
(a) he did not want to intrude into their privacy
(b) he thought that the boys would object
(c) Lucia would not welcome a stranger
(d) the boys would feel he was spying on them.
Answer:
(a) he did not want to intrude into their privacy.

Question 8.
Why did the boys visit Poleta frequently?
OR
Why did the boys make a visit to the country every Sunday?
OR
Why were the two boys visiting Poleta every Sunday?
Answer:
It was in Poleta that their sister Lucia who was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine was being treated.

Question 9.
Who among the brothers was as lively as a squirrel?
Answer:
Jacopo.

Question 10.
For how many years did the German Elite Guards rule over Verona?
OR
How long did the German Elite Guards rule the city of Verona?’
Answer:
Three years.

Question 11.
Where are Romeo and Juliet reputed to have lived?
Answer:
In Verona.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 12.
What was the sister of the boys suffering from?
OR
Name the disease Lucia was suffering from.
Answer:
Tuberculosis of the spine.

Question 13.
How old was Lucia?
Answer:
About twenty.

Question 14.
Where did Nicola and Jacopo go every Sunday?
Answer:
To Poleta.

Question 15.
What were the two boys doing (or selling) when the author met them the first time?
Answer:
Selling wild strawberries.

Question 16.
How old were Nicola and Jacopo?
Answer:
Thirteen and twelve.

Question 17.
Where did Nicola offer to take the visitors?
OR
Whose tomb did Nicola offer to take the narrator to?
Answer:
To Juliet’s tomb and other places of interest.

Question 18.
Name the village where Lucia was being treated.
Answer:
Poleta.

Question 19.
How would the boys usually go to Poleta to visit their sister?
Answer:
By hiring bicycles.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 20.
Who tries to stop the author from buying fruits from the boys?
Answer:
Luigi, the driver of the car in which the narrator was travelling, stopped the author from buying fruits from the boys.

Question 21.
What did the driver tell about the fruits?
Answer:
The driver told the author that the fruits which the boys were selling on the outskirts of Verona were not as good as the fruits sold in Verona.

Question 22.
What did the narrator buy from the boys?
Answer:
The narrator bought from the boys the biggest basket of fruits they had with them.

Question 23.
Who was younger between Nicola and Jacopo?
Answer:
Jacopo was younger of the two between Nicola and Jacopo.

Question 24.
Who was elder between Nicola and Jacopo?
Answer:
Nicola was elder of the two between Nicola and Jacopo.

Question 25.
What were the boys doing in the public square?
Answer:
The boys were working as shoeshine boys, in the public square beside the fountain.

Question 26.
What was one of the jobs done by the two boys to earn money?
Answer:
‘Selling fruit’ was one of the jobs done by the two boys to earn money.

Question 27.
How old was Jacopo?
Answer:
Jacopo was about twelve years old.

Question 28.
How old was Nicola?
Answer:
Nicola was thirteen years old.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 29.
The narrator observed that the two boys spent ______
(a) very little money on their food and clothing
(b) more money on their food and clothing
(c) little time to earn money.
Answer:
(a) very little money on their food and clothing.

Question 30.
The narrator was very much impressed by the boy’s personalities because of _______
(a) they were great actors
(b) despite their age, they behaved like true gentlemen
(c) they were not successful.
Answer:
(b) despite their age, they behaved like true gentlemen.

Question 31.
Where did Nicola and Jacopo’s father work as a singer?
Answer:
Nicola and Jacopo’s father worked as a singer at ‘La Scala’.

Question 32.
How far was Poleta from Verona?
Answer:
Poleta was 30 kilometres away from Verona.

Question 33.
Why were Nicola and Jacopo saving money, ignoring their comfort?
Answer:
Ignoring their comfort, Nicola and Jacopo were saving money to make weekly payments to the hospital where their sister was recuperating from a serious illness.

Question 34.
What did Nicola and Jacopo join during the rule of the German Elite Guards in Verona?
Answer:
Nicola and Jacopo joined the resistance movement which had begun to form secretly, during the rule of the German Elite Guards in Verona.

II. Answer the following questions in 80 – 100 words each:

Question 1.
How did Nicola and Jacopo make money?
OR
How did Nicola and Jacopo earn their living and save money?
OR
What types of errands did the boys perform?
OR
What were the different ways in which the two boys earned money?
Answer:
Nicola and Jacopo seem to be jacks of all trades. In addition to selling strawberry, the boys sold newspaper, shined shoes, ran errands such as procuring American cigarettes and opera tickets for the foreigners and acted as their tourist guides in not only taking them around the beautiful place but also giving them useful information as to which restaurants served good pasta. It looks as if they were prepared to take up any and every avenue of making money. But, what is remarkable is that none of these tasks has even an element of dishonesty or underhand dealing and the boys are honourable in all that they do.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 2.
Why didn’t Luigi, the driver, approve of the two boys?
OR
How did Luigi show his disapproval on seeing the two boys and why?
Answer:
Luigi, the driver, tries to dissuade the narrator from buying strawberries from the two boys saying that the fruit would be of better quality in Verona. He doesn’t approve of the shabby appearance of the boys and is critical of them. It’s clear that he has absolutely no concern for the little boys who are performing the honourable task of selling strawberries instead of begging or stealing. However, the narrator is a sensitive man and hence Luigi doesn’t succeed at dissuading the narrator from buying fruit from the boys. The narrator, in fact, is attracted by the earnest look in the eyes of the boys and respects them for their honest work.

Question 3.
Describe the appropriateness of the title ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’.
OR
What made the author call the boys ‘two gentlemen of Verona’?
OR
What makes Nicola and Jacopo two gentlemen of Verona?
Answer:
A gentleman, as defined in the dictionary, is a courteous and honourable man ora man of good social position. When we take this meaning, we have no problems in declaring that the two boys are courteous and honourable men. It is their courteousness, cheerfulness, earnestness and quiet dignity that appeal to the speaker. It is significant that the boys do not raise their voice in the complaint even once. Their honourable behaviour is evident in the fact that though they have to work very hard, sacrificing sleep, food and pleasure, they never contemplate dishonourable ways of earning money. They are honourable in their love for their sister. Their single goal in life is to get her cured and to see her again as a singer. They are honourable in the brave work they carry out as messengers for the Resistance Movement at the time of war. They are truly the two gentlemen of Verona. Thus the title is justified.

Question 4.
What qualities of Nicola and Jacopo impressed the narrator?
OR
What aspects of Nicola and Jacopo’s character impressed the narrator?
Answer:
Right from the beginning, we see that the narrator is impressed by the quiet dignity and earnestness of the boys. The narrator instinctively knows that these boys, though shabby in their appearance, have grace. The boys come out as admirable brothers who work selflessly and tirelessly for the treatment of their dear sister. They work day in and day out, but live on black bread and figs. They are shabby in their dress, but keep their sister in an expensive hospital so that she gets the best of care. Though Nicola is only twelve and Jacopo eleven, the hardship in life has made the boys very mature for their age.

When the boys work till midnight, trying to sell the last bundle of newspaper to the travellers of the last bus, we see Jacopo leaning against the shoulder of his brother and sleeping, whereas Nicola is very alert. Nicola has a stronger sense of self-reliance and pride. He is not happy to take unnecessary favours from the narrator and is unhappy that Jacopo has requested the narrator to take them to Poleta in his car. It is this dignity, honesty, self-reliance, selflessness and unremitting willingness to work at such a young age, in such difficult circumstances that appeal to the narrator.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 5.
How did Nicola and Jacopo help the resistance movement against the German Elite Guards?
OR
Describe the role played by Nicola and Jacopo during the war.
Answer:
War is a harrowing experience to not only the soldiers who fight in the battleground but also other civilians who are adversely affected by war in different ways. In the case of the boys, we see that they suffer all kinds of loss. They lose their father, though he is not a soldier; they lose their home and are thrown into the streets; their sister becomes the victim of tuberculosis of the spine. But even these compounded problems do not break the heart of the brave boys.

They put up their resistance to war and fate in their own way. By working for the Resistance Movement, they oppose the atrocities committed by their enemies in the war. They perform the dangerous task of carrying messages to the force’s of liberation in their shoes, and they ferret out information on the German troops. Their knowledge of the hills, young age and small stature help them in their work. Thus we see that at the time of the war and after the war, the boys act with conviction.

Question 6.
How does the story ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ give promise of greater hope for society?
OR
Nicola and Jacopo bring nobility to human life. Explain.
OR
Why does the author feel that the two boys brought new nobility to mankind?
Answer:
It is the depiction of characters like Nicola and Jacopo that makes literature a body of optimistic thoughts. The two brothers, who never lose their focus, who never take recourse to easy or wrong ways of earning money, who never expect anything in return for their hard work, who never lose their optimism and cheerfulness, who epitomise selfless love, are fine examples of nobility, and are a promise of greater hope for humanity. They should be emulated by youngsters who are not satisfied with what they have, want to make quick money, have a lust for luxury, take to addiction, and commit suicide at the drop of a hat. The brothers who bond with each other to look after their ailing sister bring nobility to human life in a society wherein family ties are growing weaker and weaker. A.J. Cronin seems to tell us that even when life is not a bed of roses, it is up to us to ensure that the thorns are removed carefully, avoiding unnecessary hurt and pain.

Question 7.
What facts did the nurse reveal about Nicola and Jacopo to the narrator?
OR
What does the narrator come to know from the nurse about the boys?
OR
What did the narrator learn about Lucia from the nurse, in ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’?
Answer:
The boys are a mystery to the narrator. He finds them working very hard at a tender age without spending money on themselves. His attempts to get an answer from the boys fail. However, when he accompanies the boys to Poleta, he comes to know the truth from a trained nurse whom he meets in the villa which the boys enter. From the nurse, he comes to know that the boys had lost their father, a widower and a well-known singer, in the early part of the war, and soon after that a bomb had destroyed their home. They had lived in a shelter that they had built with their own hands from the rubble and were exposed to many difficulties including cold weather.

They had hated the German Elite Guard that ruled over Verona for three years and had worked as secret agents against the Germans, in support of the resistance movement. Their small size, young age and knowledge of the surroundings helped them in their dangerous work of carrying letters in their shoes, about the movements of the German troops. When the war was over, they returned to their sister, an. an aspiring singer, only to find out that she was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. But they didn’t give up. They kept her in an expensive hospital and for twelve months went back to the hospital every week to make the payment. She had shown good progress and the nurse adds that she might, one day, be fully cured, and start singing again. The narrator is deeply touched by the nobility of the boys and marvels at their invincible spirit. Thus we see that the two little boys are the two gentlemen of Verona.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 8.
Describe the boys sacrifice to save their sister, Lucia.
Answer:
Nicola, Jacopo and their sister Lucia had lost their mother and were living a comfortable life under the care of their father, who was a well-known singer at La Scala. With the onset of war, tragedy struck their family. Their father was killed in the early part of the war and a bomb destroyed their home throwing the three children onto the streets.
The three children managed to survive, staying in a makeshift shelter amidst the rubble. All the three suffered from near-starvation and cold. The boys moved incognito and earned their living doing odd jobs.

However, after peace returned to Verona, the boys came back to their beloved sister and found that she was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine contracted during the miseries of the war.

The two boys admitted their sister in a hospital promising to pay the charges for her treatment.
The boys realized that to save their sister they needed a lot of money. They worked relentlessly day and night doing several jobs. They shined shoes, sold fruits, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists round the town, ran errands and made use of every opportunity available for earning money. This way, they earned quite a lot of money but never spent it on their clothes, and food. Thus they saved all the money they could and made a regular payment to the hospital which was nursing their sister back to health. By their selfless service, they had managed to pay for her treatment for a year.

Question 9.
How did the two boys help the narrator during his stay at Verona?
Answer:
Despite their skinny frame, brown skin and tangled hair, the boys had earnest eyes which strangely attracted the narrator and his companion. The narrator and his companion stayed in Verona for a week. During this period, the boys took them to all the places of visit in Verona, and also ran errands for them. They got them American cigarettes; seats for them for the opera and a good restaurant that could provide good ravioli, whenever they wanted. Thus, they proved themselves to be extremely useful to the narrator.

Question 10.
What did the narrator learn about Lucia from the nurse in ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’?
Answer:
On Sunday afternoon, the narrator brought the two boys in his car to a large red-roofed villa in a tiny village set upon the hillside. After the boys had disappeared beyond the corner of a stone wall, the narrator followed them closely and reached a grilled side-entrance. When he rang the bell, the door was opened by a trained nurse. When she learnt that the narrator had brought the two boys there, she let him in and took him to a ward upstairs, and showed him the two boys seated at the bedside of a girl, aged about twenty.

Later, when the narrator begged her to tell him all she knew about the two boys, she told him that the girl was Lucia, and the boys had no one else in the world except for that sister. The boys had lost their father in the war. Shortly afterwards, a bomb had destroyed their home and thrown the three children into the sheets. For months, they had barely kept themselves alive in a sort of shelter they had built with their own hands amidst the rubble.

KSEEB Solutions

During this time they suffered horribly from near-starvation and exposure to the cold Veronese winter. Consequently, their sister contracted tuberculosis of the spine. The two boys admitted their sister in that hospital and worked hard, earned enough money and paid for her treatment regularly.

III. Answer the following questions in 200 words each:

Question 1.
Why is the story of Nicola and Jacopo called ‘a silent epic of youthful devotion’?
OR
The narrator says, ‘Yet this silent epic of youthful devotion had touched me deeply’. Examine.
Answer:
Right from the beginning, we see that the narrator is impressed by the quiet dignity and earnestness of the boys. The narrator instinctively knows that these boys, though shabby in their appearance, have grace. The boys come out as admirable brothers who work selflessly and tirelessly for the treatment of their dear sister. They work day in and day out, but live on black bread and figs. They are shabby in their dress, but keep their sister in an expensive hospital so that she gets the best of care.

Though Nicola is only twelve and Jacopo eleven, the hardship in life has made the boys very mature for their age. When the boys work till midnight, trying to sell the last bundle of newspaper to the travellers of the last bus, we see Jacopo leaning against the shoulder of his brother and sleeping, whereas Nicola is very alert. Nicola has a stronger sense of self-reliance and pride. He is not happy to take unnecessary favours from the narrator and is unhappy that Jacopo has requested the narrator to take them to Poleta in his car. At Poleta, the narrator comes to know from the nurse about their family, how they had become homeless, and how they had taken care of their sister who was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine.

The narrator is deeply touched by the nobility of the boys and marvels at their invincible spirit. It is this dignity, honesty, self-reliance, selflessness and unremitting willingness to work at such a young age, in such difficult circumstances that make the narrator observe that ‘this silent epic of youthful devotion’ touched him deeply.

Question 2.
Why was the narrator silent during the return journey? Explain.
Answer:
The narrator and his friend stayed in Verona for more than a week visiting several places of tourist attraction. During this period, the two tourists completely depended on the two young men – Nicola and Jacopo for satisfying their needs like getting American cigarettes, buying tickets for the opera or guiding them to a good restaurant for their chosen dish.

On such occasions, the narrator admired their unremitting willingness to work, sincerity in their language and their diligence. The narrator perceived a degree of seriousness and an air of purpose far beyond their years, which he respected. Moreover, the narrator’s curiosity was killed by the boys’ unwillingness to spend more on their food and clothing.

Soon after listening to the nurse, the narrator got a clear picture of the epic struggle the two boys had been engaged in, to survive the ravages of war and later their selfless hard work to save their sister from the clutches of death. By the time the boys returned after meeting their sister, the narrator had well judged the two boys and their nature. He’understood that they did not want to share their grief or problems related to their personal life with anyone. He respected their dignity and preferred to stay silent to honour their esteem.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 3.
“The story of Nicola and Jacopo in ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ redefines the qualities of a gentleman”. Substantiate.
Answer:
This short story by A.J. Cronin presents before us the story of two Veronese adolescents N icola, aged about thirteen, and Jacopo, aged about twelve.

The title ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ has been used by the author only to redefine the meaning of the word ‘gentlemen’ and to express his admiration for two Veronese young men who are waging a relentless and epic battle to save their elder sister Lucia, aged about twenty years. She is their only relative left in their world.

Lucia is suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. She has no one else to take care of her except her two younger brothers Nicola and Jacopo. She would have undoubtedly succumbed to her fatal disease if her two young brothers had not admitted her in a hospital and given her timely medical attention and care. Since the treatment she got in the hospital was quite expensive, and they had to make payments every week, the two young men had to work day and night to earn enough money to meet the expenses.

The brothers shined shoes, sold fruits, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists round the town, ran errands, and worked hard day and night relentlessly to earn enough money for making weekly payments to the hospital. Though the two boys, this way earned quite a lot of money, they lived a selfless and Spartan life so as to save enough for their sister’s treatment. They did not spend anything for themselves either on their food or on clothes. Thus, they saved a great deal, made regular payments to the hospital without complaining and helped their sister recuperate from her illness.

The word ‘gentlemen’, during Shakespeare’s time, meant ‘a man of wealth and social position, especially one who does not work for a living’. But in the context of this lesson ‘gentleman’ means a man who is polite and shows consideration for the feelings of other people. It is true that “True gentlemen are made of character, not by their appearance”. It is in this sense that the author calls Nicola and Jacopo ‘gentlemen’ of Verona. Hence, we can say that the story of Nicola and Jacopo in ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’, redefines the qualities of a gentleman.

Question 4.
‘True gentlemen are made of character, not by their appearance’. Explain with reference to ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’.
Answer:
This short story by A.J. Cronin presents before us the story of two Veronese adolescents Nicola, aged about thirteen, and Jacopo, aged about twelve.

The title ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ has been used by the author only to redefine the meaning of the word ‘gentlemen’ and to express his admiration for two Veronese young men who are waging a relentless and epic battle to save their elder sister Lucia, aged about twenty years. She is their only relative left in their world.

Lucia is suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. She has no one else to take care of her except her two younger brothers Nicola and Jacopo. She would have undoubtedly succumbed to her fatal disease if her two young brothers had not admitted her in a hospital and given her timely medical attention and care. Since the treatment she got in the hospital was quite expensive, and they had to make payments every week, the two young men had to work day and night to earn enough money to meet the expenses.

The brothers shined shoes, sold fruits, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists round the town, ran errands, and worked hard day and night relentlessly to earn enough money for making weekly payments to the hospital. Though the two boys, this way earned quite a lot of money, they lived a selfless and Spartan life so as to save enough for their sister’s treatment. They did not spend anything for themselves either on their food or on clothes. Thus, they saved a great deal, made regular payments to the hospital without complaining and helped their sister recuperate from her illness.

The word ‘gentlemen’, during Shakespeare’s time, meant ‘a man of wealth and social position, especially one who does not work for a living’. But in the context of this lesson ‘gentleman’ means a man who is polite and shows consideration for the feelings of other people. It is true that “True gentlemen are made of character, not by their appearance”. It is in this sense that the author calls Nicola and Jacopo ‘gentlemen’ of Verona. Hence, we can say that the story of Nicola and Jacopo in ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’, redefines the qualities of a gentleman.

Two Gentlemen of Verona Vocabulary

Collocations:
A collocation is two or more words that often go together. These combinations just sound “right” to native English speakers, who use them all the time. On the other hand, other combinations may be inappropriate and just sound “wrong”.

KSEEB Solutions

Question 1.
Underline the collocations in the following sentences:

  1. Nicola and Jacopo were not well dressed.
  2. We entered a richly decorated room.
  3. Are you fully aware of the implications of your action?
  4. The doctor ordered him to take regular exercise.
  5. The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage.
  6. The nurse whom the narrator met was soft-spoken.
  7. Let’s give Mr Douglass a round of applause.
  8. The ceasefire agreement came into effect at 11 am.
  9. I’d like to buy two bars of soap, please.
  10. The prisoner was hanged for committing murder.
  11. I always try to do my homework in the morning, after making my bed.
  12. The scientist has been asked to give a presentation about his work.
  13. The boys had to return home because they had run out of money.
  14. At first, the nurse’s eyes filled with horror, and then she burst into tears.
  15. The old woman placed her keys gently on the table and sat down.
  16. Anil whispered softly in Basu’s ear.
  17. I vaguely remember that it was growing dark when we left.

Answer:

  1. well dressed
  2. richly decorated
  3. fully aware
  4. regular exercise
  5. maiden voyage
  6. soft-spoken
  7. a round of applause
  8. came into effect
  9. two bars of soap
  10. committing murder
  11. making my bed
  12. give a presentation
  13. run out of money
  14. burst into tears
  15. placed gently
  16. whispered softly
  17. vaguely remember

Two Gentlemen of Verona by A.J. Cronin A Note on the Author:

Archibald Joseph Cronin (1896-1981), was a Scottish novelist and physician whose works combining realism with social criticism won a large Anglo-American readership. He practiced as a doctor for some years before launching a successful career as a novelist. His first novel ‘Hatter’s Castle’ made him famous. ‘The Citadel’, ‘The Keys of the Kingdom’ and ‘The Spanish Gardener’ are some of his well-known novels. His autobiography ‘Adventures in Two Worlds’, which is a series of incidents and anecdotes from his life, also earned him great fame.

Two Gentlemen of Verona Summary in English

‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ by A.J. Cronin is about the selfless life of two brothers – thirteen-year-old Nicola and twelve-year-old Jacopo. The speaker, who is with his companion, comes across them selling strawberries on the outskirts of Verona. Luigi, the driver, cautions them not to buy the fruit from the shabby boys as better fruit would be available in Verona. However, the narrator and his companion feel strangely attracted towards the boys, who, despite their brown skin and tangled hair, have earnest eyes.

KSEEB Solutions

Next morning, the narrator and his companion find the boys at the public square shining shoes. The narrator comes to know that the boys undertake many tasks, including showing the visitors through the town, to Juliet’s tomb and other places of interest. The narrator too takes this service from the boys and is again attracted by their dignified demeanour. He feels that they have seriousness which far exceeds their age. In the week that follows, the boys prove to be of great use to the narrator. They get for him American cigarettes, seats for the opera and information about restaurants that served good pasta.

Two Gentlemen of Verona Summary in Kannada 1

The narrator realises that they work very hard, accepting any and every task, including selling newspaper, conducting tourists around the town, and doing other odd jobs for them. The narrator finds them remaining awake till midnight so as to sell the last bundle of the newspaper when the last bus from Padua came there. When the narrator tries to find out w.hy they work so hard, Nicola remains aloof. But, the next day the narrator asks him again as to why they work so hard, eating only black bread and figs. He wants to know whether they are saving money to emigrate to America. Nicola only says that they have other plans, but does not reveal what those plans are.

When the narrator wants to know whether he can do anything for the boys before he left the place, Jacopo asks for a drive to Poleta, the countryside which was 30 kilometres from Verona, adding that every Sunday they went by hired bicycles. The narrator offers to drive them down himself as he had already given his driver off. Nicola, however, is annoyed that his brother has taken the help of the narrator. On reaching Poleta, the boys go to a large red-roofed villa, telling the narrator that they wouldn’t take more than an hour to return. After the lapse of a few minutes, the narrator goes to the villa only to realise that it’s a hospital.

A trained nurse there takes him to a cubicle and through a glass partition, the narrator sees the boys in conversation with a twenty-year-old girl, their sister by the name Lucia. The narrator doesn’t want to intrude upon the privacy of the boys with their sister and hence goes away without speaking to them. From the nurse, he comes to know that the boys had lost their father, a widower and a well-known singer, in the early part of the war and soon after that a bomb had destroyed their home. They had lived in a shelter that they had built with their own hands from the rubble and were exposed to many difficulties including cold weather. They had hated the German Elite Guard that ruled over Verona for three years and had worked as secret agents against the Germans, in support of the resistance movement. Their small size, young age and knowledge of the surroundings helped them in their dangerous work of carrying letters in their shoes, about the movements of the German troops.

When the war was over, they returned to their sister, an aspiring singer, only to find out that she was suffering from the tuberculosis of the spine. But, they didn’t give up. They kept her in an expensive hospital and for twelve months went back to the hospital every week to make the payment. She had shown good progress and the nurse adds that she might, one day, be fully cured, and start singing again. The narrator is deeply touched by the nobility of the boys and marvels at their invincible spirit. Thus we see that the two little boys are the two gentlemen of Verona.

Two Gentlemen of Verona Summary in Kannada

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Glossary:

  • Verona (n): a city in Italy; Romeo and Juliet are believed to have lived here
  • The Alps (n): a mountain range in Europe
  • strawberry (n): a kind of fruit
  • worn (adj): old and damaged
  • tunic (n): a loose outer garment that does not have sleeves
  • slacken (v): gradually become less
  • demeanour (n): appearance and behaviour
  • artless (adj): innocent; one who does not think of deceiving others
  • opera (n): a musical drama
  • ravioli (n): an Italian dish called pasta filled with meat or cheese
  • vestibule (n): the small enclosed area on the front of a house
  • cubicle (n): a very small enclosed area
  • put out (adj): offended, annoyed, upset
  • hawk (v): to try to sell things by going from place to place asking people to buy them

Additional Glossary:

  • foot hills: low hills at the foot of a mountain
  • emigrate: to leave one’s country and settle elsewhere
  • treble: of high pitch
  • wicker: twigs, used for making baskets or furniture
  • made the rounds: visited places
  • unremitting: unceasing
  • exploited every avenue: made the most of every way (to earn money)
  • baffle: puzzle
  • piped up: spoke in a high pitched voice of a child
  • vexation: annoyance
  • nimbly: quickly
  • elapsed: passed
  • traverse: cross
  • vista: a long view
  • elite: persons of the highest class
  • inertness: motionlessness
  • ferret out: search out
  • to ferret out: (ferret is a small animal that drives rabbits out of their burrows) here, the boys collected information on the enemy movements like ferrets
  • untimely maturity: the sense of responsibility beyond one’s age
  • propped up: supported
  • tunic: a loose armless outer garment
  • drew up short: stopped suddenly
  • artless: simple and honest; not cunning.
  • slackened: slowed down
  • coloured: blushed

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