Two Gentlemen of Verona by A.J. Cronin : Solutions | Notes

Q1 .. What are the qualities of a “gentleman”? Work with your partner and complete the following web-chart by listing the qualities of a gentleman.


Ans: A gentleman should be honest, sincere, courteous, noble, humble, grateful, cheerful, amicable, sociable, polished, disciplined and punctual.
Q2 .. Based on your discussion above, what do you think the story is about?

Ans: The story is about the display of gentlemanly behaviour of two gentlemen hailing/coming from Verona, an Italian town.
Q3 .. What do you understand by the following statements?


(a) “We do many things, sir,” Nicola answered seriously. He glanced at us hopefully.

Ans: The two boys Nicola and Jacopo do many sorts of things to make a living. Sometimes they are seen selling wild-strawberries, sometimes shining shoes, sometimes guiding tourists through the town to Verona and sometimes selling newspapers. They were eagerly looking at the author and his driver Luigi for a positive response.
(b) He coloured deeply under his sunburn, then grew pale.

Ans: When the author asked Nicola what they did with the earnings, he was embarrassed. He did not want to disclose it as he was unwilling to draw sympathy from anyone. He and his brother Jacopo earned the needed money by hard work and honest ways in order to sustain the expenses of their ailing sister Lucia. They had much self-respect and determination. So Nicola grew pale while trying to maintain secrecy.
(c) He smiled uncomfortably. “Just plans, Sir,” he answered in a low voice.

Ans: Nicola was uncomfortable talking to the author because the author had repeatedly tried to extract his plans. He even asked him whether they were planning to go to America. But, Nicola and Jacopo, whose first preference was to make their sister recover from spinal tuberculosis, did not want anybody’s sympathy. So they tried to evade answering the question by simply saying “just plans”.
(d) Yet in both these boyish faces there was a seriousness which was far beyond their years.

Ans: Nicola and Jacopo had to face much hardship since their childhood. They were rendered motherless by cruel fate and their father had been killed in a shelling at their house. Being homeless they joined the army to fight the Germans. When the war was over they returned to find their sister suffering from spinal tuberculosis. In order to afford her medical expenses they had to do a variety of works at a tender age. They lost much of their child-like behaviour and began behaving like adults in terms of taking responsibilities and earning money.
6. (a) Why didn’t Luigi, the driver, approve of the two boys?

Ans: Luigi, the driver, thought them to be impostors trying to fleece wayfarers and travelers. Their appearance and attires looked uncouth and shabby.
6. (b) Why were the narrator and his companion impressed by the two boys?

Ans: The narrator and his companion were impressed with the simplicity, behaviour and seriousness of the two boys.
6.(c) Why was the author surprised to see Nicola and Jacopo working as shoeshine boys?

Ans: The author was surprised to find Nicola and Jacopo working as shoeshine boys as he had seen seen them selling wild strawberries the other day.
6.(d) How were the boys useful to the author?

Ans: The boys were used by the author to buy American cigarettes, or book seats for the opera, or suggest the name of a good restaurant.
6. (e) Why were the boys in the deserted square at night? What character traits do they exhibit?

Ans: The boys were waiting at the deserted square at night to catch the last bus to Poleta so that they could sell off the remaining unsold newspapers.

They exhibit the character traits of forbearance, determination and sense of responsibility.
6. (f) The narrator asks the boys, “Must you work so hard? You both look rather tired.”

The boys reply, “We are not complaining, Sir.” What do you learn about the boys from their reply?

Ans: The reply from the boys show them to be unfaultering at times of hardship. Rather than complaining about their plight, they were struggling hard with a positive attitude to overcome difficulties and change their condition. That’s the spirit we need to learn at our times of adversity.
(g) When the narrator asks the boys about their plans, they are evasive. Why don’t they disclose their problems?

Ans: Though the boys were poor, they were free. They earned whatever they could by honest means. They wanted to solve the problems on their own. Rather than garnering sympathy and financial support from others by telling their sob-story, they preferred maintaining their self-respect. They were born of a noble family. So they had nobility in their attitude. Besides they were able to provide for the necessary medical expenses for their sister every week even though working hard. So they didn’t disclose their problems with the author.
7. Discuss the following questions and write the answers in your notebook.


(a) Appearances are deceptive. Discuss with reference to the two boys.

Ans: The two boys, Nicola and Jacopo, were dressed in shabby, worn-out clothes. One of them was wearing a worn out Jersey and cut-off khaki pants, and the other was wearing a shortened army tunic. They had brown skin, tangled hair and dark eyes. The first impression, if one sees them, would be negative. The author and his driver had the same impression too. It’s only when they got to know these two boys later that they could see the warmth in their hearts, the sense of responsibility, the undaunted spirit, the honesty and the simplicity in them. Good appearance doesn’t make a gentleman. One needs to possess the ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

>> The rest of the post is available at englishforschools.co.nf (click here)

Advertisements