CBSE Class 10 English Literature Reader Solutions Two Gentlemen of Verona
Two Gentlemen of Verona —By A.J. Cronin
‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ is a beautiful and touching story of two small boys who worked really hard in the city of Verona. One day, the narrator met these boys in Verona. They were selling wild strawberries. When asked about their age and name, they told him that Nicola, the elder was 13 whereas Jacopo, the younger, was 12. Next day, the narrator found them doing ‘brisk business’ in shoe-shining. When the narrator asked them the reason for changing their business, they told him that they did many things. For the next few days, the narrator found them shining shoes, selling fruits, hawking newspaper, conducting tourists round the town and so on. The narrator became eager to know why these small children worked so hard. He even realised that despite their hard work, they never spent money on themselves.
Their clothes were dirty and they usually ate black bread and figs. He teased them by asking if they had plans to emigrate to America. To this they replied in negative saying that they had other plans. Then Jacopo requested the narrator to help them reach Poleta, 30 km. from Verona. The narrator agreed and took them there the next afternoon. In Poleta, they drew up at a large villa and rushed inside. He later came to know that it was a hospital where their sister, Lucia, was under treatment for tuberculosis of the spine. He asked the nurse about Lucia. She told the narrator that a bomb had destroyed their family and these boys grew to hate the Germans. After the war was over, there was peace all around. But not in the lives of these children as it was at this moment that they discovered Lucia suffering from the deadly disease. But after the treatment, she was recovering. He was further informed that her brothers made the payments every week for the smooth going of treatment. The narrator was touched by the devotion of the two boys. He could see the ray of hope for human society. Then all the three came back to Verona.
Extract Based Questions (3 marks each)
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
He smiled uncomfortably. ‘Just plans sir’. He answered in a low voice. (Board 2014, Set 8L1922Q)
(a) Who is ’he’ in the above lines ?
(b) Why did ‘he’ smile uncomfortably ?
(c) What are the ‘plans’ being talked about ?
(a) ‘He’ is Nicola in above lines. 1
(b) He smiled uncomfortably because he didn’t want to share his plans with the narrator. 1
(c) The ‘plans’ being talked about are those of emigrating to America. 1
The following afternoon we drove to the tiny village set high upon the hill side. (Board Term-12013, Set 5007)
(a) Who went on a trip to the tiny village ?
(b) Which village had they driven to ?
(c) Why was the narrator surprised when Jacopo directed him as to where he should stop ?
(a) The narrator and the two brothers, Nicola and Jacopo went on the trip. 1
(b) They had gone to Poleta. 1
(c) He thought they would stop at some humble dwelling, but Jacopo guided him to a large villa. 1
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“We should greatly like to go to the states. But here, at present, we have other plans.” (Board Term-12013, Set 8SRR)
(a) Who is the speaker of the above lines and whom is he talking to ?
(b) Why doesn’t the speaker elaborate the other plans that he has ?
(c) What characteristic traits of the speaker are revealed from the above lines ?
(a) Nicola is speaking to the narrator. 1
(b) Because he wanted to keep his secret about the treatment of his tuberculosis afflicted sister. 1
(c) Soft spoken, polite, wishing to fight his battle independently, self-respect, responsible, doesn’t share his problems 1 (reserved).
They greeted us with friendly faces.
“I thought you picked fruit for a living”, I said. (Board Term-12012, Set 41)
(a) Who are ‘they’ ? ‘
(b) How did ‘they’ greet the narrator ?
(c) What did the narrator think ‘they’ did for a living ?
(a) Jacopo and Nicola. 1
(b) They greeted him with a smile. 1
(c) The narrator thought that they picked fruit for a living. 1
There was a pause. Nicola was glaring at his younger brother in vexation. “We could not think of troubling you, sir.” (Board Term-12011, Set 43)
(a) Why was Nicola glaring at his younger brother ?
(b) What favour did his younger brother ask from the narrator ?
(c) What trait of Nicola’s character is revealed in these lines ?
(a) Nicola was glaring at his younger brother in vexation because he was asking for a favour from a stranger which was against their self-respect. 1
(b) The younger brother Jacopo had asked the narrator if he could drive them to Poleta, 30 kilometre from Verona in a car on Sunday. 1
(c) His self-respect is revealed through his behaviour. 1
“The two boys were seated at the bedside of a girl of about 20, who propped up on pillows wearing a pretty lace jacket, was listening to their chatter, her eyes soft and tender.” (Board Term-12011, Set 50)
(a) Who are the two boys referred to here ?
(b) Where are the boys at present ?
(c) Who is the girl ? Why was she propped up on the pillows ?
(a) Nicola and Jacopo. 1
(b) In a hospital at Poleta, visiting th eir ailing sister, Lucia. 1
(c) The girl was their sister, Lucia. She was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine and was undergoing treatment. 1
‘You must be saving to emigrate to America’, I suggested. He looked at me sideways, and spoke with an effort. (Board Term-I 2011, Set 27)
(a) Who is ‘he’ referred to here ?
(b) Why did the author make such a suggestion ?
(c) What answer did he give with an effort ?
(a) Nicola is referred to as ‘he’ here. 1
(b) He did so on seeing the boys working hard. 1
(c) He answered that they had other plans. 1
‘When the resistance movement began secretly to form they were among the first to join. When the war was over and we had peace at last, they came back to their beloved sister.’ (Board Term-I 2011, Set 19)
(a) Who are the ‘they’ referred to here ?
(b) Why did they join the resistance movement ?
(c) What had happened to their sister ?
(a) ‘They’ are referred to the two boys—Nicola and Jacopo. 1
(b) They joined the resistance movement because they had suffered during the war and so hated the Germans. 1
(c) Their sister was suffering from tuberculosis. 1
I had already told Luigi he might have the Sunday off. However, I answered, “I’ll drive you out myself.” (Board Term-I 2011, Set 44)
(a) Who was Luigi ?
(b) Which was their destination ?
(c) Who was the narrator speaking to ?
(a) Luigi was the narrator’s driver. 1
(b) Their destination was a hospital where they used to go to meet their sister. 1
(c) The narrator was speaking to Jacopo and Nicola. 1
Short Answer Type Questions (2 marks each)
Why didn’t the narrator go inside Lucia’s room in the hospital ? What character trait is revealed here ? (Board Term-I 2012, Set 28)
The narrator didn’t go inside Lucia’s room in the hospital as he didn’t want to interfere in the personal life of the two little boys. The’ narrator showed respect to the personal life of the boys.
Although Nicola and Jacopo are young boys, the author refers to them as Gentlemen. Why did he do so ? (Board Term-I 2012, Set 38)
The boys had lost their home and their father had been killed in the war as well. The war had led them to the streets. Their sister was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. They worked very hard to pay for her treatment. It did not break their spirit. They remained dedicated and selfless. They would rather work hard and earn money than have anybody feel sorry for them and help them.
Draw the contrast between ‘childish’ and ‘artless’ faces and the seriousness beyond their years visible on them. (Board Term-I 2012, Set 43)
They were both of a tender age. Outwardly, their faces looked ‘boyish’ and ‘artless’. They were far from clever or cunning. However, their responsibilities had made them mature before their age, so there was a seriousness beyond their years and it was visible on their faces.
Why did the boys join the resistance movement against the Germans ? (Board Term-I 2012, Set 52)
The boys joined the resistance movement against the Germans because their house had been bombed and their parents had been killed in the war. They had been orphaned and their sister was in the hospital. They were full of vengeance against the Germans.
Why did Nicola and Jacopo develop hatred for the Germans ? (Board Term-I 2012, Set 54)
Their house had been bombed and their father was killed by the Germans. They were orphaned after the war and had no home. So, they hated the Germans. ‘
How did the boys impress the narrator and his companion ? (Board Term-I 2012, Set 63)
The boys were very young but eager to do any odd jobs, for a little money. They were resourceful and dogged in their determination to do useful work. This impressed the narrator and his companion. The boys’ intention was to do a good job and earn money, not to impress anyone.
Who is Lucia ? What is she suffering from ? (Board Term-I 2012, Set 32)
Lucia was the elder sister of Nicola and Jacopo. She was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine and was in a hospital for treatment.
What were the narrator’s feelings for the boys at first ? What change did they undergo and why ? (Board Term-I 2012, Set 34)
At first, the narrator was impressed by the hard work the boys put in. He became fond of them when he saw them looking after their sister who was ill. He was full of admiration.
Why didn’t the two boys disclose their problems to the author ? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 11)
The two boys Nicola and Jacopo were too dignified to disturb a stranger with their personal matters. They did not want anyone to intrude into their privacy. So, they kept their problems a secret.
Why were the narrator and his companion impressed by the two boys ? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 13)
Which qualities of the boys impressed the author in the story ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ ?
The narrator and his companion were impressed by the two boys as they were very hard working. They loved their sister deeply and above all, they had the spirit of sacrifice.
What are the odd jobs Jacopo and Nicola did for a living ? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 16)
Jacopo and Nicola were very hard working boys. They shined shoes, sold fruits, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists round the town and ran errands for the narrator.
Why were Jacopo and Nicola working hard ? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 14)
Jacopo and Nicola were working hard as their sister was suffering from tuberculosis and was under treatment. They were collecting money for her treatment.
Why were the two boys living in the streets of Verona ? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 19)
Jacopo and Nicola’s father had been killed in the early part of the war. Their home was destroyed by a bomb and they were on the streets. They had no place to live.
What did the nurse tell the author about the boys ? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 29)
The nurse told him that the two boys had no one except their sick sister in this world. They worked very hard to earn money for the treatment of their sister.
Why were the boys waiting for the last bus from Padua? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 25)
The two boys were very hard working. They were waiting for the last bus so as to sell their papers.
Justify the title ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’. (Board Term-I 2011, Set 23)
The two boys behaved in a gentlemanly way in the story. They were kind and caring towards their sister and very polite towards others. They never wanted to exploit other’s pity or kindness to achieve their end. War did not spoil their gentle nature. Hence, the title ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ is justified.
How were the boys useful to the author in ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’? (Board Term-I 2011, Set 40)
The two boys helped the narrator by arranging seats for the Opera, providing a pack of American Cigarattes, taking them around Juliet’s Tomb. Whenever they wanted the name of a good restaurant they used to help them. Thus, they helped them in many ways.
How did the loss of parents in the war affect the two boys ?
The loss of parents in the war forced them to work hard not only for themselves but also to take on the responsibility of getting their sister treated, for which they worked hard and did all kinds of odd jobs. This lent them a seriousness beyond their ages.
What did the narrator see when he looked through the glass partition ?
He saw the two boys seated at the bedside of a girl. She resembled the boys and was listening to their chatter.
Long Answer Type Questions (4 marks each)
Imagine yourself to be the narrator of the story, ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’. Write a letter to one of your friends to contribute some money to aid the treatment of Lucia. (Board Term-I 2012, Set EC2,036)
45 New Avenue Street
9 April 2014
Last week, I met two boys who can be called the Gentlemen of Verona. They are very hard-working boys. I have taken a liking to them and that’s why I want to help those two boys, Jacopo and Nicola. They are putting in extra labour for their sister ‘Lucia’ who is not well, and is suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. For her treatment a lot of money is required. I’ve decided to help them by paying their hospital bills for as long as I can afford. Suddenly, I recalled you and thought to ask you also about contributing some money to aid Lucia’s treatment. I know you’re a philanthropist and would not hesitate to help them.
Waiting for an early reply from your end.
A. J. Cronin
‘The two boys’ devotion had touched me deeply. War had not broken their spirit. Their selfless action brought a new nobility to human life, gave promise of a greater hope for human society. (Board Term-12011, Set 16)
The narrator was deeply touched by the devotion of Jacopo and Nicola towards their work. They did not resort to any short cut method. They had self-respect and were highly secretive in not revealing their personal problems to the strangers. Their love and care for their sister also touched the narrator. He realized that these two boys were the embodiment of selflessness, nobility, gentlemanliness who gave promise of a greater hope for the human society. In these days of variety of disasters and distractions faced by the humans, the two boys stood apart to show him hope, faith, positive thinking. He knew their hard work would take them a long way.
You are the nurse at the hospital. You are happy that you could share everything about the boys with the narrator. Write a diary entry about meeting the narrator and what you shared with him. (Board Term-12011, Set 14)
Saturday, 10 January, 2014
I am very impressed by the two boys who visit their ailing sister, Lucia, every week. One week, they did not come alone. They were accompanied by a gentleman who wanted to know about the boys. I told him that they were all alone in the world. Their father was a widower and a singer but had been killed in a war. The bomb destroyed their home. Their sister suffered from tuberculosis of the spine. These boys loved their sister and had deep affection for her. They admitted her to this hospital. But they have to work very hard as the bills are quite high. The good thing about these boys is that they are paying the bills every week. May God give them happiness.
‘Where there is a will, there is a way’. How did the two boys prove it ? (Board Term-12011, Set 29)
The two boys, Nicola and Jacopo, were very hard working. Fate had never smiled on them. Their home had been destroyed and they lost their father in a bomb-blast. Their sister was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. But this did not deter their spirit. They admitted her to a nearby hospital and ensured that they paid the bill every week. For this they earned money by hawking newspapers, selling fruits, shining shoes, running errands and what not. Even war did not break their spirit. In a way, they fought against all odds and never lost the battle. They were trying their best to come out victorious from this battle.
Appearances are deceptive. Discuss with reference to the two boys.
Appearances are deceptive. Nicola and Jacopo both were two little boys aged 13 and 12. They were shabbily dressed. The very first time when the author met them, they were selling wild strawberries but after that they were seen shining shoes, arranging seats for opera, showing visitors through the town and so on. Nobody could expect such hard work from two little boys of their age. They always wore shabby clothes and ate black bread and figs. Looking at the amount of earning, they could have taken a much better meal and clothes. No doubt, they earned quite a lot but had to make payments for the hospital bills of their sister so they never spent anything on themselves.
Value Based Questions (3 marks each)
Both the boys at Verona were full of grit, determination and hope. At a young age they exhibited qualities that are difficult to come even in adults. This story teaches us not to lose hope and courage even in adverse situations. Elaborate. (Board Term-12013, Set 101)
Jacopo and Nicola, though too young to face adverse situations, did not lose hope and courage. They were not ready to accept defeat at the hands of circumstances. Their family and home had been destroyed by a bomb-blast and their sister suffered from the tuberculosis of the spine. They had no money for her treatment. But they did not lose hope. They got her admitted in a hospital at Poleta and worked day and night to pay the bills of the hospital. They sold fruits, hawked newspaper, conducted tourists round the town, polished the shoes and what not. They worked real hard to earn money and saved it for the treatment of their sister. They never spent money on themselves. The adverse situations did not break their spirits and they remained dedicated and selfless. Thus, the story teaches us not to lose hope and courage. Rather we should face life as it comes. Running away from the problem is not the solution but finding ways to come out of the problems shows the real manly spirit.
Both Nicola and Jacopo have grown up and are successful and respectable citizens. They were asked to inaugurate a ‘HOME’ for the abandoned children. Imagine yourself to be Nicola, address the gathering expressing your views on ‘Child Care’. (Board Term-12012, Set EC2,050)
A very good morning to all present here. Today, we are very happy to be here among you and a part of the inauguration ceremony of ‘HOME’. We both are of the opinion that childhood is the most precious time of a person’s life but it sometimes gets blotted by the curse of child-labour. The reasons for child labour like poverty,lack of education, lack of parental care, wasteful war, etc., mar the innocence of the children. Even we had a bad childhood. We had got destroyed in the German war. Our father was killed in the war and we turned orphans at the tender age of 13 years and 12 years. We can’t forget the day when we came to know that our sister Lucia was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine. We had no money for her medical expenses. We decided to work day and night for it but there was scarcity of jobs in Verona. Yet we did not lose courage. We did all sorts of odd jobs to make both ends meet and finally the day arrived when our sister got well. We were very happy. I personally feel that the government should come forward to help the needy children and provide them education so that they can lead a happy and prosperous life. Educated children will definitely blossom into responsible adults. I hope ‘HOME’ will also work to help the abandoned children so that they don’t lose their childhood.
Imagine you are Lucia. You have been told by the nurse in the hospital that you have completely recovered from your illness and you can go home tomorrow. You are very happy and thankful to your brothers. Write a diary entry in about 150 words, expressing your gratitude to your brothers and mentioning your future plans. Also mention the value and feeling of love towards your brothers.
I am very happy and excited today as the nurse who was looking after me in the hospital, informed me that I have completely recovered from my illness and now I can go home. I have been in the hospital for many months and was waiting for this day to arrive. But all the credit goes to my younger brothers, Jacopo and Nicola, who faced many hardships to pay my medical bills. I really admire their sense of duty and love for me even though they are much younger in age. I have realized the value of having caring siblings. The way they looked after me was amazing. I had never expected to be taken care of so tenderly after my parents’ death. I really thank God that my brothers love me so much. I’ve decided that once I’m out in the world, I’ll work as a singer and with the earnings will give my brothers a good life. They have suffered a lot. But now I can see a ray of hope. May God bless my brothers.