The Hundred Dresses-I Summary: It is a is a sensitive account of how a poor girl is judged by her classmates. Wanda Petronski is a young Polish girl who goes to school with other American children in an American town. The other children see Wanda as different in many ways. They asked her a repetitive question, “How many dresses you have?”. The story ‘The Hundred Dresses -I” raises questions about how we generally judge people and makes us ponder as how should, in fact, we judge people. Is it wealth, money and possessions or is it more enduring values?
Summary of the chapter ‘The Hundred Dresses -I’ Class 10 book First Flight
Wanda Petronski’s Class and her seat
The chapter starts with the words, “Today, Monday, Wanda Petronski was not in her seat.”…Now the story in Summary goes like this...
Nobody including Peggy and Madeline, who started all the fun, noticed her absence. Usually Wanda sat in the seat next to the last seat in the last row in the Room Thirteen. Rough boys usually sat there. In that corner most mud and dirt was found. Scuffling of feet and roars of laughter occurred during funny moments.
Wanda was a quiet and lonely girl
Wanda was quite a lonely girl and nobody knew why she chose to sit in the last row. Perhaps she came from a place Boggins Heights. It was the place where poor immigrants lived. Her feet were usually covered with dry mud. Nobody really thought much about Wanda when she was in the class. Today she was not in her seat but no one noticed her absence.
Peggy was the most popular girl in school. She was pretty, she had many pretty clothes and her hair was curly. Maddie was a closest friend.
Wanda Petronski was funny name for other children
The classmates of Wanda Petronski thought of her only when she was outside after school hours. Only outside the school, they waited for Wanda to have fun with her. Wanda was absent on Tuesday also. On Wednesday, Peggy and Maddie noticed the absence of Wanda. The reason Peggy and Maddie noticed Wanda’s absence was because Wanda had made them late to school. They had waited and waited for Wanda, to have some fun with her, and suggest hadn’t come. They often waited for Wanda Petronski – to have fun with her.
Wanda Petronski was funny name for other children
Most of the children considered the name patrons Wanda as unusual and funny. The did not have names like that. They had names easy to say like Thomas Smith or Allen. Wanda didn’t have friends. There was a boy named, Willie Brown’s, people thought that he was funny. But he was not funny like Wanda Petronski.
More about Wanda
Wanda did not have any friends. She came to school alone and went home alone. She always wore a faded blue dress that did not hang right. It was clean, but it looked as though it had never been writing properly. She did not have any friends but a lot of girls talked to her. sometimes they surrounded her in the school yard as she stood watching the little girls play hopscotch on the worn hard ground.
Peggy making fun of Wanda
Peggy would always try to make fun of Wanda in a most courteous manner. She would ask, ‘How many dresses to TCU head hanging up in your closet?” Wanda, would answer, “A hundred.” and would also say, ‘All lined up in my closet.” Then Peggy would ask in a teasing but polite manner, “All silk, I bet”. Wanda would reply that they were all silk and all colours. Then before Wanda had gone very far, all the girls would burst into shrieks and peals of laughter. The only dress Wanda wore was blue one. “What a story” they would say meaning that she was telling a lie. They would again ask Wanda teasingly ‘How many shoes…? Wanda would reply sixty pairs. All lined up in my closet.”
More about Peggy
Peggy was not cruel. She protected to small children from bullies. And she cried for hours if you sign animal mistreated. Had anybody asked her if she treated Wanda cruelly then she would have been surprised she would question why did wonder told like that she had hundred dresses stop her name suggests that she was not only person to stop should also claim that, anyway, they never made her cry.
About Maddie and how she was different from Peggy
Maddie was not like Peggy. She, in fact, was bothered to see Peggy asking questions from Wanda to tease her. She was poor herself. She usually wore somebody’d hand-me-down clothes. She felt relieved in the thought that at least she did not live up on Boggins Heights or had a funny name.
Maddie wished Peggy would stop teasing Wanda
She felt embarrassed at the questions but she kept quiet. She was also poor and thought if Peggy and others started inn on her next, the dresses game. She was not poor as Wanda, perhaps, but she was poor. She had the sense enough not to claim having hundred dresses but, still, she was afraid if she becomes the next target of dresses game. She wished Peggy would stop teasing Wanda.
Maddie decided to write a note to Peggy as she felt she lacked courage to speak right out to Peggy to stop teasing Wanda
Maddie was glad as she had not had to make fun of Wanda as was absent. She was not able to concentrate on arithmetic problems. She wished she had nerve to tell Peggy not to tease Wanda. So, she decides to write a note. after finishing her arithmetic, she did start to write a note but she paused and shuddered.
Maddie pictures herself new target of fun by other girls
While Maddie was writing the note to Peggy she paused as she pictured herself in the school yard, a new target for Peggy and the girls. Peggy might ask her where she got the dress that she had on, and Maddie would have to say it was one of Peggy’s old ones that Maddie’s mother had tried to disguise with new trimmings so no one in the Room Thirteen would recognise it.
Maddie tears the note and relieves her of being the next target
maddie thought that Peggy should decide of her own accord to stop having with Wanda. She thought that she was Peggy’s closest friend and she would not do her any wrong.
Maddie’s thoughts about Wanda
Wanda was just a girl living up on Boggins Heights and she stood alone in the school yard. She rarely said anything and talked only when asked about the hundred dresses. Maddie remembered her telling once about one of her dresses pale blue with coloured trimmings and one that was brilliant green with red sash.
Drawing and colouring competition
Maddie began to wonder as who would win the contest. for girls, this contest consisted of designing dresses. Everybody thought Peggy would win as she drew better than anyone else in the room. The next day, they went to school with excitement and saw that there were drawings all over the room. There must be a hundred of them and all line up.
Miss mason announced the winners
Miss Masson told then that one girl drew one hundred dresses- all different and in beautiful colours. She declared Wanda winner of the girl’s medal. Wanda was not there to receive the prize as she had been absent from school for some days. Miss Mason asked the other children to file around and watch Wanda’s exquisite drawings and children were happy to get such freedom. They clapped hands in joy and whistled with fingers in their mouth though they were not interested in dresses.
Peggy and Wanda admired Wanda’s drawings.
“look Peg”, whispered Maddie. “There’s that blue one she told us about. Isn’t it beautiful?” Peggy agreed and said, “And here’s that green one….and I thought I could draw.”
At this note the ‘The Hundred Dresses-I ends. the story proceeds to the next part ‘The Hundred Dresses -II.