Educating Mother is the ninth chapter of the textbook ‘Wind chime’ for class 7. The writer is Suganthy Krishnamachari. The story is filled with examples showing the fancy and inquisitiveness of children who keep on interrupting the story teller with questions and even doubts. Here are given meanings of difficult words, summary and solutions to book exercises.
Educating Mother Class 7, Difficult Word-Meanings
get on – to continue doing something, to perform and progress successfully
insist– to say or demand firmly or repeatedly
ignore – avoid or disregard
strayed – moved away from a familiar place (भटक जाना )
ante-diluvian days – very old fashioned, antiquated
staple – basic or main important part of something
thriller – a suspenseful exciting adventure story or play or movie based on mystery, crime, espionage etc
macabre – frightening, fearful, horrible
indulgent – lenient and kind and very permissive allowing others to do or have what they want
approve of – to consider right and agree to support
heiress – a female heir having right of inheritance (उत्तराधिकारी )
bits – pieces and parts of something
awe – wonder, a feeling of respect mixed with slight fear
encroach – to intrude or cross limit (अतिक्रमण )
frighten off – frighten away, to make so afraid or nervous that they rum away or keep distance (डरा के भागा देना )
presently – happened after a short time
air of hostility – feeling of unfriendliness
of course – obviously, naturally, agreeing with others (बिल्कुल , निःसंदेह, क्यों नहीं)
charming – pleasant and attractive
simpering – foolish, silly and affected smile to please others, lacking courage
daft – silly
indignantly – with anger, in wrath
protagonist – the main character, hero, champion
genetically modified – an organism or plant whose DNA has been altered (change in genes) for improvement. (example- genetically modified seeds that are more resistant to diseases or pests)
propel – to move forward
Summary: Educating Mother Class 7 English
Storytelling was once the domain of grandparents with twin objects of improving children’s vocabulary and imparting moral standards. However, today’s children are more intelligent and are of a technological bent of mind and they can no longer be silenced with old fantasies. That’s what this story is about. The story starts with the narrator being coaxed by her mother into telling a story to entertain the children of the household. The children included the narrator’s twelve-year-old daughter Ambu, her four-year-old son Ramu, her six-year-old niece Janaki and her three-year-old nephew Venku. The narrator starts with the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. The children are critical about the plot and the characters, and led by Ambu, they ask uncomfortable questions for which the narrator does not have answers. Ambu and Janaki analyse the story and come up with better alternatives, and the younger ones start getting interested in their version, and the narrator is forced to change the story. Then she starts narrating the story of ‘Red Riding Hood’. But the situation is no different, because the kids again scrutinise the story and find loopholes in the plot and suggest alternatives. The narrator is forced to switch to the story of Cinderella, which was again met with criticism. The narrator again switches to the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. At the first instance of questioning, she switches to the folktale of Patala Bhairavi. By now exhausted with their unending questions, the narrator gives up and flees with the very first question they raise.
Solutions; Educating other Class 7
1. (a) Ambu was a twelve-year-old daughter of the narrator.
(b) She was referring to Goldilocks.
(c) It tells us that she had an independent, creative and curious and curious mind.
2. (a) Janki is the speaker here.
(b) ‘She’ refers to Goldilocks.
(c) Because there were no cell phones in those days.
3. (a) The words of Ambu are being referred here.
(b) Ambus’s version of story excited them more than that of the mother.
(c) It means that the children were listening to her with keen interest. She was narrating the story in such a way that she held the interest of the children with her storytelling.
1. The Grandmother asked her daughter to tell a story to the children.
- Four children were listening to the story. They were Venku, Ambu, Ramu and Janaki.
- Ambu thought that the story of Goldilocks was more of a murder mystery. She thought that Goldilocks was an heiress and that the house in the forest belonged to the person who stood to inherit the property if she died. Seeing her go into the forest, he must have put a bowl of poisoned porridge in the cottage. She must have drunk the porridge and died. She thought that the bears were the invention of the storyteller.
- Ambu didn’t like the story of Cinderella because she thought that Cinderella was a simpering idiot who waited for a Prince Charming all her life.
- According to Ambu, she could have escaped her stepmother by getting herself a good education and job. She should have decided to go to school rather than choosing to do housework as asked by her stepmother. She could have gone to night school.
- Stories that reflect or show the woman protagonist as helpless, with no choice, silly and stupid are considered to be stories with ‘gender bias’. Ambu said that the stories her mother told had daft girls.
- The author gave up on trying to tell the children stories because the children were quick to reason the rationale behind those stories, question the norms and come up with their own version of the stories.
- The mother felt that ‘an air of hostility was gathering’ because firstly she was not able to entertain the children with her stories and then when she narrated the story of Cinderella, her younger one questioned her that grandmas don’t look like wolves. Her mother watching her carefully over this statement and she felt that she was losing the interest of her audience.
- I think that the mother was telling story to these children for the first time. We reach this conclusion by observing the behaviour of the children. She was not accustomed to such questioning and reactionary behaviour of children otherwise she would have known how to entertain the children.
- The mother knew many stories so we cannot say that that she was a failed storyteller altogether. We can say that the children failed her as a good storyteller as they raised critical questions and the mother failed to answer them properly. So, we can conclude that she was a good storyteller but this time she failed to entertain the children.
- Here ‘Politically Correct’ means that if anyone is sticking to telling the truth or facts even then he may not be accepted well. It is sometimes needed to manipulate the stories or facts or words to suit or convince the audience. For example- the mother wanted to start a story in which a boy was the protagonist but he was a daft.