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The Dear Departed - Important Questions




1.         How does Mrs. Slater plan to outshine the Jordans? What does it reveal about her character?
2.        Why does Mrs. Slater decide to shift the bureau from grandfather's room before the arrival of the Jordans? How does Henry react to the suggestion?
3.         What is the reason for the Jordans taking a long time to get to the house of the Slaters? What does it show about the two sisters' attitude towards each other?
4.         What does Mrs. Jordan describe as 'a fatal mistake'? What is the irony in the comment she makes on Mrs. Slater's defense? What argument does she offer to support her view? How do others react to it?
5.         Ben appreciates grandfather saying 'it’s a good thing he did'. Later he calls him a 'drunken old beggar'. Why does he change his opinion about grandfather?
6.         How does the spat between his daughters lead to grandfather discovering the truth?
7.         What change does grandfather make in his new will? What effect does it have on his daughters?
Or
What are the three things that grandfather plans to do on Monday next?
Or
What were the three things decided by the grandfather that he wanted to do after coming to know the truth about his daughters?
8.          Bring out the irony in the title of the play ‘The Dear Departed’.
9.         Compare and contrast Henry's character with that of his wife. Support your answer with evidence from they play.
10.       What does the grandfather thank Mrs. Slater for? Why?
11.       Why does Mrs. Slater rebuke her daughter, Victoria?
12.       Which qualities of her sister Elizabeth Jordan are hinted at by Mrs. Slater? Are these unique to her?
13.       How does the bureau episode add to the merits of the play as a comedy?
14.       Why do the Slaters and Jordans fail to agree on the form and exact words of the Obituary Notice for the newspapers?
15.       What does the shifting of the bureau downstairs reveal about the difference between the attitude of the elders and that of Vicky?
16.        What, do you think, is the initial error committed by the Slaters? How does it recoil on them?
17.       How do the Slaters and Jordans react to the grandfather’s decision to get married? What trait of their character is revealed?
18.       How does Mrs. Slater ready herself and Victoria for the arrival of her sister, Elizabeth and Ben, her husband?
19.       What do the Slaters and Jordans discuss immediately after arrival for the mourning at the Slaters? What does it show of their character?
20.       What of their father do Mrs. Slater and Mrs. Jordan talk about after taking tea?
21.      How do all react when they see father alive and not dead as they had thought? What does father say about himself?
22.       How do both the sisters quarrel after father asks Mrs. Slater why had his bureau been shifted?
23.       What does father promise to do after Mrs. Slater asks him not to be hard on her?
24.       How do Mrs. Slater and Mrs. Jordan behave about keeping father with them?
25.       How does Abel frustrate the designs of both of the sisters?
26.       Write the character sketch of Mrs. Slater highlighting her greed, her overpowering nature, straight talk, her impoliteness and lack of the sense of feelings.
27.       In the play, the two daughters do not seem to be concerned at their father’s death. Do you think it is proper? Why?
28.       How are the two sisters exposed in the play, ‘The Dear Departed’?
29.       Justify the title of the play, ‘The Dear Departed’.
30.       Discuss the comic elements in the play.
31.       What are ironical elements that make the play a comedy?
32.       How is the play a kind of bitter commentary on the hollowness of familial love and relations?
33.       Compare and contrast the character of Mrs. Slater and Mrs. Jordan.
34.       “Grandfather is not entirely right in moving away from his daughters.” Discuss. Give reason in support of your answer.


Answer the following with reference to the context.

"Are we pinching it before Aunt Elizabeth comes?"

1.         What does 'it' refer to here?
2.         How does Vicky conclude that her parents are 'pinching it'?
3.         Mention the two reasons that Mrs. Slater gives for her action.
4.         What does it reveal about the difference between the attitude of the elders and that of Vicky?

"I don't call that delicate, stepping into a dead man's shoes in such haste."

1.     Who makes this comment?
2.     What prompts the speaker to say this?
3.     Bring out the significance of this statement.

"Now, Amelia, you mustn't give way. We've all got to die some time or other. It might have been worse."

1.     Who is the speaker of these lines?
2.     What prompts the speaker to say these words?
3.     What does he mean when he says 'It might have been worse'?
4.     What does it reveal about the speaker's character?

I‘ll tell you what I‘ve got to do. On Monday next I‘ve got to do three things.

1.     Who is the speaker?
2.     What has he decided to do?
3.     Why did he take such a decision?

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