SECTION D: LITERATURE
Syllabus for TERM I (SA I) FICTION TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA -A J Cronin Two Gentlemen of Verona is a touching story of Jacopo and Nicola, two brothers aged 12 and 13, who do odd jobs and live a hard life themselves to sustain and treat their elder sister Lucia, who is suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. A J Cronin uses the title of William Shakespeare's famous play, The Two Gentlemen of Verona in an ironic manner. Cronin's portrayal of these modern "gentlemen" of Verona re-defines the concept of what it means to be a gentleman, Cronin shows us that one may polish boots or sell newspapers, but it is the magnanimity of heart and the nobleness of purpose that actually determines whether one is a true "gentleman". The story recounts the hard life chosen by the two young boys so that they could pay for the treatment of their sister afflicted with tuberculosis. The boys exhibit sincerity and devotion to the cause and the maturity they display in their actions gives a new hope for humanity. The writer and his friend are stopped at the outskirts of Verona by two small boys when they drive through lower hills of the Alps. The boys are brothers Nicola, the elder and Jacopo, the younger one. They were selling wild strawberries. Next time when they meet the boys, they are polishing shoes in the public square. Interacting with them, the writer comes to know that they do various tasks. One mid night, they see the boys resting on the stone of a footpath. Nicola sat tired with a bundle of unsold newspapers. His brother was sleeping by putting his head on Nicola‘s shoulder. The narrator asks the boys if they save the money for emigration to America, they deny and say that they have other plans. The writer offers them help for which Jacopo asks him to drop them at Poleta by their car. The writer accepts their request. The next afternoon, they reach the village located on a hill. The two boys are dropped from the car. After sometime, the writer follows them and finds from the nurse about the two boys and their sister. She tells him that their father, a famous singer died in the war. A bomb had destroyed their home. They had a cultured life, but due to the war, they were left alone on road. Lucia was a good singer, but now she is suffering from tuberculosis and the boys are working hard day and night for the treatment of their sister. Their selfless action, nobility and devotion touch the writer‘s heart and show a greater hope for mankind. Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow by choosing the option you consider most appropriate:
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1) One boy had on a worn jersey and cut-off khaki pants; the other a shortened army tunic gathered in loses folds about his skinny frame. Yet gazing at the two little figures, with their brown skin, tangled hair and earnest eyes, we felt ourselves strangely attracted (1)One boy had on: (a) a new jersey (b) a worn jersey and a khaki pants (c) a coat and a pant (d) a sweater and a blue pant . (2) The other boy had: (a) a robust body (b) a swollen head (c) a stout frame (d) a skinny frame (3) The narrator and his companion gazed at: (a) two shopkeepers (b) two things (c) two little figures (d) two beggarly women Ans: 1) b) a worn jersey and cut off khaki pant 2)d) a skinny frame3) c) two little figures Answer the following questions in about 30-40 words. 1) What did the narrator‟s companion discover about the boy? Ans:The narrator‘s companion discovered that the boys were real brothers. The elder brother Nicola was 13 years old while the young Jacopo was 12 years old. Their rags and shabby appearance display their acute poverty. 2) How can you say that the boys were willing workers? Ans: The boys did their independent job. They shined shoes in the scorching heat. They sold strawberries and conducted the tourism round of the town. They sold newspapers in the stormy nights. They changed their work at will. That‘s why they can be called willing...
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