NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Chapter 5 - The Snake and The Mirror

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Chapter 5 - The Snake and The Mirror Exercise 60

Solution 1

1. The doctor heard a familiar sound caused by the movement of something on the beam. He thought that the sound was being made by the movement of rats. He heard the sound thrice. The first time was when he opened the door and entered the room, the second time was when he sat at the mirror and started combing his hair and the third was when he was looking at himself in the mirror and deciding what he would do to look more handsome.   After the third time, the sounds stopped. Suddenly, he heard a dull thud as if a rubber tube had fallen to the ground. When he turned, he saw a snake that wriggled over the back of the chair and landed on his shoulder.
2. The first important decision that he took while looking into the mirror was that he would shave daily and grow a thin moustache to look more handsome as he was both a bachelor, and a doctor. The second earth-shaking decision he took was that he would always keep his attractive smile on his face to look more handsome.
3. When the doctor first smiled in front of the mirror, he was appreciating his attractive smile. He decided to keep that smile on his face to look more handsome. His opinion about himself at that point of time was that he was a bachelor and a doctor too and so was proud both of his good looks and his profession. Later, when he smiled feebly at himself, he had forgotten his danger. He knew that the snake would strike him and that he had no medicines in his room. At that moment, his opinion about himself was that he was but a poor, foolish, and stupid doctor. His thoughts had changed because of the lurking danger. Earlier,he had thought that the noise was created by rats. Since they were no danger to him and did not bother him he kept concentrating on his good looks and was wondering what he should do to continue to stay handsome? He was proud both of his good looks and his profession.  However, later he had a snake sitting on his shoulder and that is when he realized the gravity of the situation. He then realised that he was but a poor, foolish, stupid and helpless doctor and neither his good looks nor his profession could save him from death lurking four inches away.

Solution 2

1. The story presents a contrast between dreams and reality. This contrast has been depicted in a humorous manner. The doctor had just started his practice. His earnings were therefore meagre. He lived in a small rented room, which was not electrified. He had only sixty rupees in his suitcase. Apart from a few shirts and dhotis, he had one solitary black coat. His house was full of rats. However, his dreams and ambitions were in contrast to this. He was a great admirer of beauty and he believed in making his presence felt and looking handsome. He laid great emphasis on the fact that he was unmarried and a doctor. He was too pleased with his appearance. He decided to shave daily and grow a thin moustache to look more handsome. The manner in which he decided that this decision is an 'important' one is quite funny. Later, he also made an 'earth-shaking decision' to always keep smiling in order to look more handsome. Inspite of his meagre possessions he is still proud of his looks and his profession. This contrast between the kind of person he was and the kind of person he wanted to be makes the story humorous.
2. He had thought about the kind of person he would want to marry. He wanted to marry a woman doctor who had plenty of money and a good medical practice because he did not have any of those. He wanted a fat wife so that whenever he would make a mistake his wife would not be able to catch him. However, the woman he married was a thin and slender person who could run like a sprinter. This contrast between the kind of wife he wanted and the kind of wife he ends up marrying adds to the humour of the story.
3. When he looked into the mirror, he was full of appreciation of his good looks. He was a great admirer of beauty and believed in making himself look handsome. He took a close look at his face and decided that he would shave daily and grow a thin moustache to look even more handsome. Then, he looked into the mirror and smiled.  He  decided  to  keep  smiling  as  he  considered  his  smile  very  attractive. However, later when the snake was coiled around his arm, he turned into a stone. At this moment, he felt the presence of God near him. In his imagination, he tried to write 'O God' in bright letters. He felt pain in his left arm where the snake was coiled. He realized that if the snake struck him, then he did not even have any medicines in his room for the same. That was when he realized that he was a poor, foolish, and stupid doctor and neither his good looks nor his profession could save him from death. In this way, his thoughts changed from calling himself an unmarried doctor who looked very handsome to calling himself a poor, foolish, and stupid doctor. This sequence of events also provided humour to the story.

Chapter 5 - The Snake and The Mirror Exercise 61

Solution 1
1. Was afraid of the snake
2. Had a sense of humour
3. Was afraid of the snake
4. Was afraid of the snake
5. Was afraid of the snake
6. Was proud of his appearance
7. Was no longer afraid of the snake
8. Was proud of his appearance
9. Had a sense of humour
10. Had a sense of humour
Solution 2
1. I was turned to stone.
2. I sat there holding my breath.
3. In the light of the lamp I sat there like a stone image in the flesh.
Solution 3
1. I knew a man was following me, I was scared out of my wits. (Very frightened)
2. I got a fright when I realised how close I was to the cliff edge. (Frightened by something that happens suddenly)
3. He nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw the bull coming towards him. (Very frightened)
4. You really gave me a fright when you crept up behind me like that. (Frightened by something that happens suddenly)
5. Wait until I tell his story - it will make your hair stand on end. (Makes another feel frightened)
6. Paralysed with fear, the boy faced his abductors. (Too scared to move)
7. The boy hid behind the door, not moving a muscle. (Too scared to move)

Chapter 5 - The Snake and The Mirror Exercise 62

Solution 4
1. Meena asked her friend if she thought her teacher would come that day.
2. David asked his colleague where he would go that summer.
3. He asked the little boy why he was studying English.
4. She asked me when we were going to leave.
5. Pran asked me if I had finished reading the newspaper.
6. Seema asked her how long she had lived there.
7. Sheila asked the children if they were ready to do the work.