The Portrait of a Lady Class 11 English Notes
Please refer to The Portrait of a Lady Class 11 English Notes and summary provided below. The following summary and solved questions have been designed as per the latest syllabus and books issued by CBSE, NCERT, and KVS. By going through and learning the below notes for Class 11 English you will be able to understand the entire chapter and easily solve questions in your exams. Also, refer to the Class 11 English Chapter Summary for all chapters in your textbooks.
Class 11 English The Portrait of a Lady Summary and Questions
The following The Portrait of a Lady Class 11 English Notes and questions answers will help you to easily learn the entire chapter. You will be able to solve all questions in upcoming Class 11 English exams and score better marks
The Portrait of a Lady’ is written in first person and is in the biographical mode. In this story, the writer gives a detailed account of his Grandmother with whom he had a long association. Khushwant Singh recalls his Grandmother as short, fat and slightly bent. Her silver hair was scattered untidily on her wrinkled face. She hobbled around the house in white clothes with one hand resting on her waist and the other telling the beads of her rosary. Khushwant Singh remembers her as not very pretty but always beautiful. He compares her serene face to that of a winter landscape, During their long stay in the village, Grandmother woke him up in the morning, plastered his wooden slate, prepared his breakfast, and escorted him to school. While he studied alphabets, she read the scriptures in the temple attached to the school. On their way back home she fed stale chapattis to stray dogs. The turning point in their relationship came when they went to live in the city. Now, the author went to a city school in a motor bus and studied English, law of gravity, Archimedes’ principle and many more things which she could not understand at all.
Grandmother could no longer accompany him to school nor help him in his studies. She was upset that there was no teaching of God and scriptures at city school. Instead he was given music lesson which, according to her, was not meant for gentlefolk. But she said nothing.
When Khushwant Singh went to a university, he was given a separate room. The common link of their friendship was snapped. Grandmother rarely talked to anyone now. She spent most of her time sitting beside her spinning wheel, reciting prayers, and feeding the sparrows in the afternoon. When the author left for abroad, Grandmother did not get disturbed. Rather, she saw him off at the railway station. Seeing her old age, the narrator thought that it was his last meeting with her. But, contrary to his thinking, when he returned after a span of five years, Grandmother was there to receive him. She celebrated the occasion by singing songs of the home coming of warriors on an old dilapidated drum, along with the ladies of the neighbourhood.
Next morning she got ill. Although the doctor said it was a mild fever and would go away soon, she could foresee that her end was near. She did not want to waste time talking to anyone. She lay peacefully in bed praying and telling the beads till her lips stopped moving and the rosary fell from her lifeless fingers. To mourn her death thousands of sparrows flew in and sat scattered around her body. There was no chirruping and when Khushwant Singh’s mother threw breadcrumbs to the sparrows, they took no notice of the bread. They flew away quietly when the dead body of Grandmother was carried away for last rites.
- When the author Khuswant Singh, was a little child, his parents left him in the village with his grandmother and went to live in the city.
- The author’s grandmother was an old lady, she was very religious. The author shared a very close bond with his grandmother. They became very good friends.
- The grandmother woke him up, dressed him and accompanied him to school. The school was attached to te temple. While the author was at school, the grandmother used to read the scriptures in the temple.
- When the author’s parents were well settled, he and his grandmother also wento to the city. It proved a turning point in their friendship.
- In the city, Khuswant Singh attended an English school and travelled in a motor bus. He learnt Englishwords and topic of western science.
- The grandmother could no longer accompany him to his school nor help him in his studies. However they shared the same room.
- When the author went to the university, he was given a separate room. Thus the last link of their friendship was broken.
- After that he went to abroad and came back after 5 years and was received by his grandmother at the station. She was at the station and did not look day older.
- In the evening, the grandmother did not pray and instead collected the women of the neighbourhood and celebrated the grandson’s homecoming.
- The grandmother fell ill the next day and she knew that her end was near.
- She stopped talking and closed her eyes. She was lost in her prayersand counting the beads of her rosary. Suddenly, the rosary fell down and her lips stopped moving. She was dead.
- Thousands of sparrows assembled in the room and sat quietly to mourn her death. They did not even eat the crumbs given by the author’s mother.
- After the grandmother’s body was taken for cremation. The sparrows flew away silently.
Short Questions and Answers
Question. What was the turning point between the relationship of Writer and Grandmother?
Answer: – While living in the village. The grandmother used to accompany the author to his school. She used to bring him from there as well. She could also help him in his studies because writer was taught about prayers and scriptures about which Grandmother knew but when they moved to city, there came a turning point in their relationship. Now, writer went to a city school in a motor bus since the school was far away. He was taught the modern subjects in that new school such as Science and Arithmetic’s. Therefore, she could neither accompany him to school nor help him in his studies. When writer got admission in a college and started going there, he was given a separate room for his studies which also affected their relationship. But grandmother accepted everything.
Question. What were the hobbies of Grandmother?
Answer: – In the village the old lady used to feed the dogs. In the city she took to feeding the sparrows because there were no dogs in the streets. Birds loved her very much. Moreover, she also used to spin the wheel.
Question. Draw the character sketch of Grandmother.
Answer: –Grandmother was an old lady. She had wrinkled face and silvery hair. She had been pretty. She was a bit-bent. She kept one hand on waist to make the balance and second hand on rosary. She was very religious lady. Her lips always moved in prayers. She always used to tell the beads of rosary. She woke up writer in the morning and even got him ready for school. She went to school with grandson. She even read religious books in temple.
Long Questions and Answers
Question. The grandmother herself was not formally educated but was serious about the author’s education. How does the text support this?
Answer: – Although the grandmother had no proper schooling and was not formally educated but she was serious about the author’s education. The author’s parents had shifted to the city. He lived in the village with his grandmother. She would wake him up in the morning and get him ready for school. She would accompany him to the school and back. When the author’s parents were well- settled in the city they called them also. The author was sent to an English school.
Now his grandmother could not come to school with him. She continued to wake him up and get him ready for school. When he came back she would ask him what the teacher had taught him. She could not help him with his lesson. She was distressed that there was no teaching about God and the scriptures. She was disturbed when she was told that they were being given music lessons at school, but she said nothing. Later, she did not get sentimental when the author decided to go abroad for further studies. Actually, she did not want to stand in the way of the author’s education.
Question. Describe the narrator’s grandmother as a very religious and kind-hearted woman.
Answer: – The writer’s grandmother was a very religious and kind-hearted woman. She is a God-fearing woman and feels delight in reading scriptures. In the temple she has the habit of reading the scripture till her grandson remains in the school. In the house she was always busy in telling the beads of her rosary. Her lips always moved in silent prayer.
When she used to bathe her grandson, she would say her prayers in a singsong manner so that the author would learn them by heart. She kept on praying and telling the beads of her rosary till her last breath.
She always treated her grandson with love and affection. She used to feed the village dogs with stale chapattis. When she moved to the city, she took delight in feeding the sparrows. They would perch on her legs, shoulders and head but she never shooed them away. Her joy knew no bounds, when her grandson returned from abroad. She was a woman of noble nature, kind and tender heart.
Question. Gradually the author and the grandmother saw less of each other and their friendship was broken. Was the distancing in the relationship deliberate or due to the demand of the situation?
Answer: – Gradually, the author and his grandmother saw less of each other and their friendship was broken. This distancing was due to the demand of situation, not deliberate. When they came to the city, the author was sent to an English school. His grandmother no longer came to school with him as he used to go in a motor bus. Nor could she help him with his lessons because she did not know the things they taught at the English school. In fact, she was not happy with the things taught at school. For instance, she was shocked to learn that they were given music lessons at school.
According to her music was the monopoly of harlots and beggars and not meant for gentle folk. Consequently, there was a communication gap between them. They rarely spoke to each other, though they shared the same room. Then the author went to a university. He was given a separate room of his own. When the author went for higher studies for a period of five years, the distance increased all the more. Thus, the common link of relationship between them was snapped.
Question. How did the grandmother receive the author when he returned from abroad?
Answer: – When the author went abroad for higher studies, the grandmother went to the railway station to see him off. The author thought that it would be his last meeting with her. But he was wrong in his supposition. When he returned after five years, she came to the railway station to receive him. She celebrated his home-coming in a grand way.
In the evening she collected the women of the neighbourhood, got an old drum and started singing. She went on doing this for several hours and overstrained her. The next morning she was taken ill and she knew that her end was near. But she went on praying and telling her beads. Then her lips stopped moving and the rosary fell from her lifeless fingers. A peaceful pallor spread on her face and she was dead.
Question. Write a character sketch of the author’s grandmother
Answer: – The author’s grandmother was an affectionate and caring lady. She had boundless love for her grandson. When they lived in the village, she would wake him up in the morning and get him ready for school. She accompanied him to school. While the author sang alphabet with other children, she sat inside the temple reading scriptures. They would walk back home after the school.
The grandmother was kind and benevolent. In the village she used to feed dogs. When she came to the city, there were no dogs in the streets. So she took to feeding the sparrows. In the afternoon, she would sit in the verandah, breaking the bread into small bits. Hundreds of sparrows would collect round her. Some even sat on her head. She smiled but never shoo’d them away.
The grandmother was a religious lady. Her lips were always moving in silent prayer. Her one hand was always telling the beads of her rosary. When she was in the village, she went to the temple to read scriptures. When her end was near, she lay in bed praying and telling her beads till death stole upon her.
The grandmother was a strong woman. When the friendship between her and the author was snapped and they saw less of each other, she bore all this ungrudgingly. Even when the author decided to go abroad for further studies, she did not show any feeling.