Questions for Poison by Roald Dahl
1. Timber states, “The bite is quite deadly except sometimes when you catch it at once”. Toward the end of the story, Harry calls Ganderbai a “dirty little sewer rat” and “You dirty black--.” What is the relationship between Timber’s statement and Harry’s statement?
2. How do we know that Harry is very “refined,” according to Timber (What does Timber spot on Harry’s pajamas?)
3. What is the denotative definition of “refined”? What is the connotative definition?
4. Timber also says, “they kill a number of people each year in Bengal mostly in the villages.” What is the underlying or hidden meaning of this statement (read between the lines)?
5. Timber tells Harry, “You must know it won’t bite unless it’s frightened.” What is Harry’s overwhelming emotion throughout the story?
6. How does this overwhelming emotion relate to Harry’s reaction toward treatment of Ganderbai at the close of the story?
7. Timber notices that Harry never looks at Ganderbai. Why do you think he never looks at Ganderbai based on the questions you’ve answered to this point?
8. After Harry has stood up and there is no krait, Timber mentions that Ganderbai has a bit of a sarcastic tone “that he would never have employed in ordinary circumstances.” Why would Ganderbai not speak this way to Harry under normal circumstances?
9. If you were to think of animals in the following description of Harry and Ganderbai, of what would you think: 1. “Ganderbai remained absolutely still, watching Harry. Harry took a pace forward on the bed and there was a shining look in his eyes.”
10. In light of these images what is the implication of Ganderbai’s statement that “a snake is cold-blooded”?
11. Who in this story is “cold-blooded”? About what?
12. What plan does Dr. Ganderbai finally put into action to save Harry from the krait? What is the outcome of the plan?
13. Noticing Harry's...
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