Karnataka Class 10 English Solutions Chapter 3 The Gift of the Magi

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The Gift of the Magi Questions and Answers, Notes, Summary

Comprehension Questions

I. Answer briefly the following questions.

Question 1.
How did Della save her one dollar and eighty-seven cents?
Answer:
Della had saved the money by bargaining hard about prices with the grocer, the vegetable man, and the butcher.

Question 2.
The writer gives details of Jim’s flat. Pick out the details.
Answer:
It was a furnished flat at $8 per week. There was nothing to describe. In the vestibule below was a letterbox into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Attached to the button was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.”

Question 3.
The card bearing the full name of Jim now had only one letter ‘D’ on it. State whether the statement is true or false.
Answer:
True

Question 4.
What were the most precious possessions of Jim and Della?
Answer:
The most precious possession of Jim was the gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s before him. Della’s possession was her long rippling, shining hair that fell down like a cascade of brown waters.

Question 5.
How has the writer compared Della’s hair to Queen of Sheba’s jewels?
Answer:
The writer says that had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts.

Question 6.
How has the writer compared Jim’s watch to King Solomon’s treasures?
Answer:
The writer says that had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard with envy.

Question 7.
Why did Della decide to sell her hair?
Answer:
Della wanted to buy a gift for Jim and she had only $1.87 which was not sufficient to buy any gift. Hence she decided to sell her hair and buy a good gift with the money she would get.

Question 8.
How much money did she get for her hair?
Answer:
She got $20 for her hair.

Question 9.
What did Della buy for Jim?
Answer:
Della bought a platinum fob chain to be used for Jim’s watch in place of the old leather strap that he used.

Question 10.
How was the gift worthy of the watch?
Answer:
The platinum fob chain was simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation.

Question 11.
The writer says that the platinum chain was like Jim. How?
Answer:
Della feels that the platinum chain was like Jim. Quietness and value – the description applied to both.

Question 12.
What did Della try to fix before Jim get home?
Answer:
Della tried to fix her chopped hair with curls before Jim got home.

Question 13.
What was Jim’s reaction when he saw Della without her lovely hair?
Answer:
Jim was dumb-struck upon seeing Della. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read.

Question 14.
What was Jim’s gift for Della? Give a brief description of the gift.
Answer:
Jim’s gift for Della was a set of combs, side, and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. They were beautiful, expensive combs, made of pure tortoise shell, with jeweled rims – just the shade to wear in the beautiful brown hair of Della.

Question 15.
Were the gifts useful to each other?
Answer:
No, the gifts were not useful to either of them.

Question 16.
How did Della react when she saw Jim’s gift to her?
Answer:
There was an ecstatic scream of joy when Della saw Jim’s gift to her. Then immediately, there was a quick change to hysterical tears and wails. She recalled how much she had yearned for them. She hugged them to her bosom, and at length, looked up with dim eyes and a smile and assured Jim that her hair would grow very fast.

Question 17.
Jim and Della both gave up something dear to them. What does it tell us about them?
Answer:
We have been already told that Jim and Della are a loving couple. Even in their exigent condition, they desire to gift something to each other. Both keep their attempts to buy a gift a secret from each other. In order to gather the money needed to buy a gift, they sell the most precious things they possess. Though their gifts prove to be useless, they gain in love and satisfaction with each other.

Question 18.
O. Henry’s stories often blend humor and pathos. The description of the card bearing Jim’s name is an example of this. Can you identify one more example from the story?
Answer:
The mention of a pier-glass between the windows of the room is one more example of O. Henry’s humour blended with pathos. A very thin and very agile person might, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered this art.

The other example is of Della’s gift. When Jim looks at Della’s gift, he just puts his hands under the back of his head and smiles. He tells Della to put away their Christmas presents for some time, as they were too nice to use just at that time.

Question 19.
Who were the Magi?
Answer:
The Magi were the wise men who brought gifts to the newborn Jesus. According to the Bible, the magi were three kings (Casper, Melchior, and Balthazar) who traveled to Bethlehem from somewhere in the East (probably Persia).

Question 20.
What is the writer’s last word to the wise of these days?
Answer:
The writer ways that these two, Della and Jim, were the wisest of all those who give gifts. Of all who gave and received gifts, they were the wisest. They were the Magi.

II. Close Study

Read the following extracts carefully. Discuss in pairs and then write the answers to the questions given below them.

Question 1.
She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love.
a) What does ‘generosity’ refer to?
Answer:
The ‘generosity’ referred to was the readiness of Della to sacrifice the one precious thing she had-her shining brown hair.

b) What repairing work was carried out?
Answer:
Her hair was being curled in order to make it look pleasant.

c) Why was the girl repairing the ravages?
Answer:
Della knew that Jim would be shocked and disappointed to see her beautiful hair chopped off. Hence she tried to ‘repair the savages’.

Question 2.
A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer.
a)What is the question alluded to here?
Answer:
The question referred to here is ‘Eight dollars a week or million a year – what is the difference?’

b)What is the ‘right’ answer?
Answer:
The cost of the flat doesn’t matter as long as the people who live there love each other very much.

c) What is the implied meaning of the statement?
Answer:
In spite of their strained financial condition, Della and Jim were truly rich because they had a lot of love for each other and were ready to sacrifice their most prized possessions for each other.

III. Paragraph Writing:

Discuss in groups of 4 each the answers to the following questions. Individually note down the important points for each question and then develop the points into one paragraph answers.

Question 1.
Why are the gifts of Della and Jim compared to those of the Magi?
Answers:

  1. The Magi brought gifts on their own, out of love for their lord.
  2. They brought wonderful gifts, which could possibly be exchanged in case of duplication.
  3. Della and Jim too brought gifts for each other, sacrificing their own precious possessions in the process.
  4. Their gifts are greater than those of the Magi because they cannot be exchanged.

Paragraph: The gifts of Della and Jim are compared to those of the Magi. The Magi were the three wise men who brought gifts to the newborn Jesus. Casper, Melchior, and Balthazar traveled from Persia to Bethlehem at great risk to themselves to give their gifts to the newborn. This showed their love and reverence for the newborn.

Likewise, Jim and Della took risks when they sold the most precious possessions they had in order to show their love for each other. In fact, the writer describes them as the wisest of all those who give and receive gifts as they gave up the only priced possessions they had. They are fit to be described as the Magi.

Question 2.
Write on the appropriateness of the title.
Answers:

  1. The gift of the Magi was an offering to the Lord.
  2. It was given out of love and affection.
  3. The writer points out that the couple is greater than the Magi because their gifts cannot be exchanged unlike those of the Magi.

Paragraph: The writer gives the title to suggest that the story is one of love and affection. The writer points out that the gifts of even ordinary people like Della and Jim can be greater than those of the Magi who were kings and had a lot of wealth. Finally, when they are not able to collect enough money for the gifts, both of them sell the most precious things they had with them – Jim sells his gold watch which belonged to his father and grandfather before him. Della sells her long, beautiful, rippling hair.

The most important point is that, unlike the gifts of the Magi which could be exchanged in case of duplication, the gifts of Della and Jim cannot be exchanged at all. It would be a long time before they used their gifts.

Question 3. Imagine that you were Della and write on the conflict you went through before you sacrificed your hair.
Answers:

  1. I desperately wanted to give a gift to Jim for Christmas.
  2.  I had very little money, Jim doesn’t earn much, and I try very hard to save whatever little I can by bargaining with all the sellers I have to deal with.
  3. I always knew that my long, beautiful hair was something even Jim was proud of.
  4. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized I could earn a little money by selling my hair. Anyway, the hair would grow back.
  5. When I finally got ready to step out of the house to sell my hair, I had second thoughts. I did not want to lose something so beautiful. But I had to do it. There was no other way to get money. And I had to present a gift to Jim for Christmas.

IV. Vocabulary Exercises:

A. Fill in the blanks with the phrases given in the box below.

(beggar description, at last, made for;,’’ turn inside out, on the sly, on account of, give way, look for, be on the lookout for, to attend to)
  1. Della’s despair _________ to ecstatic joy.
  2. The takeoff was delayed __________ the bad weather.
  3. We are _________ new opportunities.
  4. Her conduct is so strange that it ____________.
  5. I have some urgent work ____________.
  6. ___________ we reached home.
  7. The burglar had _________ the house __________.
  8. Della and Jim were _________ each other.
  9. The two of them must have been ‘meeting _________.
  10. We __________ an improvement in our son’s performance this year.

Answers:

  1. gave way
  2. on account of
  3. on the lookout for
  4. beggars description
  5. to attend to
  6. At last
  7. turned, inside out
  8. made for
  9. on the sly
  10. are looking for.

B. Fill in the blanks with the antonyms of the words underlined.

  1. The iron rails __________ in summer and contract in winter.
  2. Writing a novel is a laborious process: it is not ___________ .
  3. We should remain calm in ___________ as we do in times of prosperity.
  4. He is very proud of his team’s achievements but is very __________ about his own glorious achievements.
  5. The former option would be much more sensible than the ____________ one.
  6. In Bengaluru, the value of properties has appreciated but the quality of life has ___________.
  7. Investing in shares requires prudence: investing all your money in shares is ___________.

Answers:

  1. expand
  2. simple
  3. adversity
  4. modest
  5. latter
  6. depreciated
  7. foolishness

V. Language Activities:

A. Dialogue writing: Pair work

Question 1. Write an imaginary conversation between Della and Jim after they presented gifts to each other. You may begin your conversation like this;
Answer:

  • Della: Why are you looking so dull?
  • Jim: No, dear. I’m not.
  • Della: I told you, my hair will grow fast…
  • Jim: You know that I find you beautiful
    whether your hair is long or short.
  • Della: Then why did you become silent on seeing me?
  • Jim: Open that present. You will understand why.
  • Della: Oh, what wonderful combs!
    How much I had wanted them!
  • Jim: But Della dear, will you be able to wear. them? Your hair has been cut.
  • Della: So it is. But that doesn’t matter. It’s hair after all. It’ll grow back soon. I will be able to wear these wonderful combs someday. Jim, never mind these. Look at what I have got for you!
  • Jim: A platinum fob chin! Oh, Dell!
  • Della: Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You’ll have to look at the tiine a hundred times a day now.
  • Jim: Well, let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep them awhile. They’re too nice to use just at present. „
  • Della: Why do you say so, Jim? Give me your watch. I want to see how this chain looks on it.
  • Jim: I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. See? Neither of us can use our gifts. Now, you put the chops on. Let’s eat and sleep.

B. Reporting:
Read the following dialogue between Della and Jim carefully and rewrite it in the reported speech.

“Jim darling,” cried Della, don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold it. It’ll grow out again. You won’t mind, will you? I just had to do it.”
“You have cut off your hair?” asked Jim laboriously.
“Cut it off and sold it,” said Della. Don’t you like me as well, anyhow? I’m me without my hair, ain’t I?
“You say your hair is gone?” he said, with an air almost of idiocy.
“You needn’t look for it,” said Della. “It’s sold, I tell you sold and gone, too. It’s Christmas Eve, a boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?”
Answer:
When Jim stood to look at her, Della affectionately asked Jim not to look at her that way. She informed him that she had had her hair cut off and sold it. She assured him that it would grow out again. She asked him not to mind her cutting the hair because she had to do it.

In spite of all her explanations, Jim again asked her, with difficulty, whether she had cut off her hair. Della repeated that she had cut her hair off and sold it. She asked whether he didn’t like her in spite of it. She asserted that she was the same Della even without her hair. Jim, with an air almost of idiocy, asked again whether her hair was gone. Della said with emphasis that her hair was truly sold and gone. She asked him not to look for it. She pleaded him to be good to her because it was Christmas Eve. She pointed out that her hair was gone for his sake. Then she enquired whether she should put the chops on.

C. Reporting: Oral (pair work)

Question 2.
Imagine you went for an interview where they asked you the following questions. Tell your partner what questions were asked using indirect speech.

  1. What is your name?
  2. How old are you?
  3. Where do you live?
  4. Have you passed the 10th standard?
  5. Do you know cycling?
  6. Why do you want to work?
  7. Why don’t you continue your studies?
  8. What games do you play?
  9. How much salary do you expect?
  10. Are you ready to work for a few extra hours if you are asked to?

Answers:

  • Ramesh: Hi Radha! How did the interview go in the morning?
  • Radha: Hi Ramesh! The interview was good.
  • Ramesh: What questions did they ask?
  • Radha: They asked me many questions, but all of them were simple.
  • Ramesh: Can you tell’ me those questions? –
  • Radha: Sure. First, they asked me my name. Next, they asked me about my age and where I lived. They asked whether I had passed 10th standard and whether I knew cycling. They wanted to know why I desired to work and not continue my studies. They also asked what games I played and how much salary I expected. Finally, they asked whether I was ready to work for a few extra hours if they wanted me to.

D. In the following set of sentences, the sequencing of events has been jumbled up. Rearrange them and complete the given flowchart.

  1. She listens to other people and changes her mind if it is necessary.
  2. My father, on the other hand, is very stubborn.
  3. My mother is open-minded; she doesn’t stick to one idea.
  4. I think they have only one personality trait in common.
  5. They are both very giving to my sister and me.
  6. If he has an opinion, he refuses to change it.

Answers:

  1. My mother is open-minded; she doesn’t stick to one idea.
  2. She listens to other people and changes her mind if it is necessary.
  3. My father, on the other hand, is very stubborn.
  4. If he has an opinion, he refuses to change it.
  5. I think they have only one personality trait in common.
  6. They are both very giving to my sister and me.

E. Read the first paragraph of the story carefully. It has seven sentences. The first three sentences are very short (the first sentence has five words, the second, three the third eight words). They are followed by quite a long sentence (34 words) and the next three sentences are again very short.
Such a mixture is a matter of style. It adds variety to the narration.

Question 1.
Can you pick up one more such example from the story?
Answer:
It was like him. Quietness and value – the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. OR Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him.

Question 2.
Can you try writing a paragraph on one of the following using a similar style?
a) Love
b) Friendship
c) Sacrifice
Answer:
(a) Love. Love, the most desired experience in the world! Also, the most incomprehensible thing in the world! I want to be loved, but do I understand it when I am shown, love? Not at all. I am searching for love everywhere except where it has always been. Perhaps I am only in love with love, and cannot be in love with any person.

F. Letter writing
Imagine that you are a Social Service volunteer and have been camping in a village for ten days. Write a letter about your experience with the Editor of a daily.
Answer:

12th April 2015

Umesh N.
No. 18, Hanumanthnagar
5th Cross, Chamarajapet
Bangalore.

The Editor,
Indian Express
M.G. Road,
Bangalore.

Dear Sir/Madam,
I want to share with readers of your newspaper an interesting experience I had in a small village Ramapura, recently at the ten days Social Service Camp.

I had been to as a volunteer, for the benefit of your readers. The camping site had been chosen to keep in mind the needs of the local people. Recently, a communal riot had disturbed the peace of the residents. As a result, there appeared to be a lot of misunderstanding between the Hindus and the Muslims who had lived for ages as one community. It was heartbreaking to see them harm each other and destroy each other’s houses and property.

Under this critical situation, it was edifying to see the social workers building their houses, taking care of the elderly and the very young and some women who had been left scared and homeless. I was in¬charge of documenting the problems of the people for redressal. Through my work, I learned to appreciate my own blessings and to value communal harmony.

Having spent time at the camp, I have made up my mind never to be a part of a communal riot, but the value and promote peace and harmony.

Thank you,
Yours faithfully,
N. Umesh.

VI. Speaking

B. Look carefully at the following series of pictures. They tell us a story. In pairs, narrate the story to each other.

KSEEB SSLC Class 10 English Solutions Chapter 3 The Gift of the Magi 1

a. The moral of the story.
Answer:
Co-operation works better than the competition during problematic times.

b. A title or a caption for the story.
Answer:
“Together We Win.”

VII. Grammer Revisited

A. Subject-verb agreement (Refer to appendix II before doing this exercise)
Fill in the blanks with suitable forms of verbs

  1. The number of visitors (was/were) really large in the last week’s School Day celebrations.
  2. The rapidity of these movements (is/are) beyond expectation.
  3. Time and tide (wait/waits) for none.
  4. Honor or reputation (are/is) dearer than life.
  5. The ship with all the passenger (were/was) sunk by the enemy.
  6. Intelligence as well as industry (are/is) essential for success in today’s competitive world.-
  7. Neither the hens nor the cock (is/are) in the yard.
  8. Either James or I (is/am) going to get the prize.
  9. Twenty thousand rupees (is/are) the price of a good mobile.
  10. The staff (is/are) in a meeting.
  11. Mathematics (is/are) my favorite subject.
  12. More than one person(say/says) so.
  13. Many a flower (wither/Withers) unseen.
  14. The most readable part (are/is) the last three chapters.
  15. Ship after ship (are/is) leaving for America.
  16. The secretary and treasurer (have/has) called, me to the office.
  17. He is one of those who (trusts/I trust) everyone.
  18. Each of the boys (sing/sings)well
  19. Every one of the chocolates (was/were) stale.
  20. All of the pies
  21. Some of the pie (is/are) missing.
  22. None of the garbage (was/were)picked up.
  23. Either of us (is/are) capable of solving the problem
  24. None but fools (has/have) ever believed it.
  25. One of the students (is/are) absent.
  26. Not only the soldiers but also the officer (were/was) drunk.
  27. The politician along with the newsman, (is/are) expected shortly.
  28. The pair of scissors J (belong/belongs) to my uncle.
  29. A lot of work (has/have) to be done.
  30. I wish I (knew/know) her address.

Answers:

  1. was
  2. was
  3. waits
  4. is
  5. was
  6. is
  7. is
  8. am
  9. is
  10. are
  11. is
  12. says
  13. withers
  14. are
  15. is
  16. has
  17. trust
  18. sings
  19. was
  20. are
  21. is
  22. was
  23. is
  24. have
  25. is
  26. was
  27. is
  28. belongs
  29. has
  30. knew

B. Inversion:
Some phrase openings require the inversion of subject and verb Eg. At no time have I seen him so upset Make sentences using the following phrase opening. All of them require inversion.

Question 1.
Not only _____ but _____
Answer:
Not only does she sing but also dance well.

Question 2.
Not even once ______
Answer:
Not even once has the teacher come late to class.

Question 3.
On no account ______
Answer:
On no account should you go out of the house.

Question 4.
Only by running at full speed ______
Answer:
Only by running at full speed will you be able to catch the moving bus.

Question 5.
On no occasion ______
Answer:
On no occasion have I seen my uncle. dressed in untidy clothes.

Question 6.
So badly _______
Answer:
So badly did I need water that I did not hesitate to ask the stranger.

Question 7.
Seldom ________
Answer:
Seldom does a lie succeed in solving the problem;

Question 8.
In no circumstances ______
Answer:
In no circumstances should you take money belonging to the organization?

Question 9.
Nowhere _______
Answer:
Nowhere could we find a suitable replacement for the car tire.

Question 10.
To such a pitch ______
Answer:
To such a pitch did the children’s voices rise that the principal was forced to come out and silence them.

Question 11.
Only on that account _______
Answer:
Only on that account did I go leaving you behind.

Question 12.
Only by paying double the money _______
Answer:
Only by paying double use money could I manage to get petrol on the day of the bundh.

C. Add suitable tags to the following statements.

Question 1.
You like me just as well,?
Answer:
don’t you?

Question 2.
Let’s be happy on this Christmas Eve?
Answer:
shall we?

Question 3.
Do you like this gift,?
Answer:
don’t you?

Question 4.
None can ever count my love for you,?
Answer:
can they?

Question 5.
It’s dandy,?
Answer:
isn’t it?

Question 6.
Give it to me quick,?
Answer:
will you?

Question 7.
Come in,?
Answer:
won’t you?

Question 8.
Their gifts, were no doubts wise ones,?
Answer:
weren’t they?

Question 9.
Did they love each other very much?
Answer:
didn’t they?

Question 10.
I look like a Coney island chorus girl?
Answer:
don’t I?

VIII. Language For Fun

A. What is a palindrome?
It’s a word, sentence or paragraph that reads the same backward as well as forwards.
Ex. POP, LEVEL, DEED, REFER.
Our first parents in the Garden of Eden must have introduced themselves in palindromic fashion.
“Madam, I’m Adam” “Eve”. How fast can you recall at least ten palindromic words? i
Answer:
sees, ere, tot, wow, bob, peep, civic, pop, deed, noon.

B. The following boxes conceal meaningful phrases. Use your imagination and decipher them.
Answer:
The Answer for the Box is: “Half an hour.”

KSEEB SSLC Class 10 English Solutions Chapter 3 The Gift of the Magi 2

 The Gift of the Magi Summary in English

The Gift of the Magi is a story about a poor but devoted couple Jim and Della who sacrificed their best treasures to purchase Christmas gifts for each other.

She had intended to give a surprise present to’ her husband on the eve of Christmas.

She had saved one dollar and eighty- seven cents after hard bargaining with the grocer, vegetable man, and the butcher.

She had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present.

She wanted to buy something nice for him but she couldn’t.

Now there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Young in which both took a mighty pride.

One way Jim’s gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s.

The other was Della’s long, beautiful hair, the hair below her knee. She sold her hair for twenty dollars.

She bought a platinum fob chain, simple and chaste in design for 21 dollars.

She hurried home With 87 Cents. With that chain on his watch, Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company.

Jim came home, “Merry Christmas! Jim. Let’s be happy. You don’t know what a nice gift I have got for you ……”.T have my hair cut and sold it because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present” said Della.

Jim presented her beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell with Jewelled rims.

She hugged them to her bosom. Della presented him with a golden chain for his watch.

The Gift of the Magi Summary in Kannada

The Gift of the Magi Summary in Kannada 1
The Gift of the Magi Summary in Kannada 2
The Gift of the Magi Summary in Kannada 3

KSEEB SSLC Class 10 English Solutions

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