The Letter - Important Questions

1.         Who was Ali? Where did he go daily?
2.         How do you know Ali was a familiar figure at the post office?
3.         Why was Ali considered to be a madman by the post office officials?
4.       The postmaster says to Ali, "What a pest you are, brother!" Do you agree with the statement? Give reasons for your answer.
5.         What was the attitude of the postmaster towards Ali?
6.         What do we understand about Ali’s character from his regular visits to the post office in spite of all the humiliation that he faced?
7.         "Ali displays qualities of love and patience". Give evidence from the story to support the statement.
8.         Why did Ali give up hunting?
What was the reason behind Ali’s transformation?
9.         “Ali got up and saluting the post office as though it housed some precious relic, went off – a pitiable figure a century behind his time”. In this extract what do you understand by the phrases “precious relic” and “a century behind his time”?
10.       "Ali came out very slowly, turning after every few steps to gaze at the post office. His eyes were filled with tears of helplessness, for his patience was exhausted, even though he still had faith." Why were Ali's eyes filled with tears of helplessness? What had exhausted his patience but not his faith?
11.       What promise did Ali extract from the clerk and how did he ensure that the promise is fulfilled?
12.       "Tortured by doubt and remorse, he sat down in the glow of the charcoal sigri to wait." Who is tortured by doubt and remorse? Why? What is he waiting for?
How did doubt and remorse trouble the otherwise cold and merciless postmaster?
13.       “The haughty temper of the official had quite left him”. What change came about in the official and how?
14.       “He dropped it as though it had given him an electric shock”. What is being referred to? Why was it such a shock?
15.       How Ali’s faith is finally vindicated?
16.       What was the postmaster’s state of mind after he had given Ali’s letter to Lakshmi Das for delivering it to him?
17.       Why was the postmaster keen to deliver the letter to Ali himself?
18.       What made the postmaster realize the sufferings of Ali?
19.       What significant lesson did the postmaster‘s experience teach him?
20.       What impression do you form of the postmaster after reading the story 'The Letter'?
Make a character analysis of the Post Master.
21.       Justify the title – ‘The Letter’
22.       Do you think Miriam had deliberately left her father? Why? Why not?
23.       Do you think Ali had a peaceful death? Why? Why not?
24.       Ali is a true representative of modern parents who are abandoned by their children. Explain.
25.      “The newly awakened father‘s heart in him was reproaching him for having failed to understand Ali‘s anxiety”. As the postmaster write a diary entry outlining your feelings about your former behaviour with Ali.
26.       Imagine you are Ali .You are completely exhausted by your futile visits to the Post Office. Write a letter to your friend Ashraf telling him about the disappointment and humiliation that you undergo every day at the Post Office and your decision to not go there anymore.
27.       Imagine that Ali writes a letter to his daughter Miriam after he hands over the five guineas to the clerk at the post office. Write his letter.
28.       Imagine you are Laksmi Das. You have finally fulfilled the promise that you made to Ali. Write a letter to your friend expressing how satisfied and relieved you are?
29.       Imagine Ali writes his diary daily. He feels disgusted with life in going to the post office and waiting daily for Miriam‘s letter which never comes. This feeling of utter despair has been triggered by the Postmaster‘s insult. Ali writes his diary page that evening. Write that page.
30.       After 5 years, Miriam writes a letter to her father, expressing her personal problems for which she could not write. Write the letter on behalf of Miriam.
31.       Lakshmi Das writes a letter to Miriam, mentioning the sudden death of her father Ali. Write the letter, giving details of Ali‘s sufferings and hardships.

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