The Next Voice You Hear: Summary
The theme of the story is honesty, peace and harmony, with very strong anti-war undertones. Please make sure not to get confused this for a particular God as espoused by any particular belief. The story deals with a serious topic humorously, as the Creator of the world i.e. God attempts to save the world, through radio broadcast to reach all people on Earth.
One evening, people hear a voice over the radio. It identifies itself as the voice of God. Though people don’t believe it at first, the next time God addresses the world, miracles begin to take place on the earth. The voice announces that it had to perform miracles so that people will actually believe that it is God who is talking to them and so that they will start appreciating the small miracles that take place on a regular basis in their lives. God’s intent in doing all this is to pass on his message of peace and love to humans, so that we do not destroy the world altogether, and go on to lead their lives as better human beings. He wanted to show humans how to love one another and save the planet and themselves from destruction.
The Next Voice You Hear: Word-meanings
galaxy – A galaxy is a huge system or collection of gas, dust, and billions of stars and their solar systems; shades – darker and shadowy part or area; specks – very small spots. appear like dots; flashed the results – showed the latest results instantly; contemporary – existing or of the same time; patent – the exclusive right granted by a government to an inventor to manufacture, use or sell an invention; majestic – splendid, grand, beautifully impressive and great; cellar – a room especially underground for storage of food, wine; fade out – to slowly stop being seen or heard, diminish or disappear; benevolent – kind and generous; gaping – with the mouth wide open as in wonder or awe; agonising – worrying; demanded – asked; astonishment – surprise, amazement; serene – calm and peaceful; devoted – dedicated, used for the purpose of; unanimous – showing complete agreement; enthusiastically – with great eagerness, excitement and interest; utterance – vocal expression, spoken words; indignation – anger and strong displeasure; sombre – dull, not interesting or exciting, weak in colour; funeral – miserable; chuckle – laugh quietly and inwardly, to laugh in a suppressing manner; considerate – thoughtful and caring; modest – humble, free from pomp and affectation, decent, not much; understatement – making things less important and impressive than they really are; apart – away and separated; stroll – to walk in a relaxed and leisurely manner; deliberately – intentionally and not by accident; awe – feeling of wonder, admiration and fear, any strong feeling of respect, surprise or wonderment; theological – religious; diehard – traditionalist, who opposes changes to traditional systems and beliefs; forenoon – the time between dawn and noon; melted away – disappeared; virtually – almost, nearly; trudging – to walk with slow, tired steps; yellow dust – sand in the deserts of China, Mongolia, this dust takes form of clouds when the surface winds blow it and this cloud moves to other parts; Ozark – mountains in the US states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the extreme southeaster corner of Kansas; imminent – likely to happen soon or any moment; craven – cowardly, timid; scramble – rush or struggle to reach or get something, to climb quickly; blimp – a small airship; transmit – to send, spread or convey from one place to other; sizeable – fairly large; accustomed – usual and customary; potential – capacity; equipment – the things needed to for a particular purpose or activity like the electronic and computer equipment; seize-gun – a weapon used to propel (to push forward) missile to a distance; placard – a paperboard sign or notice posted or carried for public display, poster; barely – hardly, merely; protest – to oppose or disagree publicly; embarrassing – making you feel shy, uncomfortable and uneasy; swirl – circular motion of water; clutter – a mess of things, too many things in disorderly manner; popping – appear abruptly; drenching – wet; none the worse for – not harmed or damaged by; pant – to speak while gasping for breath; dripping – extremely wet and water falling by drops; trumpeted – spoke with a loud cry; beastly – nasty and very unpleasant; conscientious – knowledge or sense of right and wrong; tender – soft and gentle; cartel – a group of separate business firms to control pricing and production; admirable – appreciable and praise worthy; obsolete – outdated, no longer in much use; malefactor – a wrongdoer, criminal, crook.
The Next Voice You Hear: Text Book Solutions
1. God chose to speak over radio because a pronouncement out of the empty sky might have caused panic. But people were used to hearing voices on radio.
2. He stood gaping when he heard the voice. He said so because before the broadcast people were different and only after God spoke, they realised that they could not be sure of many things.
3. The Australian radio stations felt God had chosen their country for a reason. They made arrangements for small airships to transmit eyewitness accounts of the one- minute submerge.
4. They grew incoherent with tension.
|Tuesday||God visiting the humans|
|– scientists tried to identify the position from where God spoke, but they couldn’t.|
– few believed that it was actually God.
|Wednesday||‘It is I.’||– reached everyone everywhere.|
– brevity convinced people.
- a. Doylestown experienced some magical moments. There was ‘God’ speaking over the radio.
b. Other parts of the world had heard the same broadcast by God over the radio.
c. Everyone was left wondering.
- a. It was the radio.
b. This device was employed for the ignorant and the superstitious.
c. Radio transmitter.
- a. The BBC man was describing the sinking of Australia.
b. He is chatting along coolly because he felt that a minute under water would not do anyone any harm.
c. The BBC man spoke as if he was a commentator for a cricket match, all the while keeping track of time and the happenings on and around the continent Australia.
1. As human beings have stopped recognising natural miracles, such as a drop of water, pebbles, etc., God had to perform miracles which go against natural law, such as— a lion lying down with sheep, a lady being suspended in mid-air. He says he had to ignore the natural laws in order to convince difficult human beings. But for some diehards, he would perform yet another miracle and sink the whole of Australia for a minute.
2. On Friday, the voice said that his visiting Earth doesn’t necessarily have to mean that the world should come to an end, and it exhorted people to listen to their souls and do what it asked them to do.
3. On Friday, the voice said that his visiting Earth doesn’t necessarily have to mean that the world should come to an end, and it exhorted people to listen to their souls and do what it asked them to do.
4. Saturday was a busy day. Consciences were long buried. Dictators of half a country resigned. Many people experienced change of heart. The garage owners realised they could not fool their customers.
5. Yes. The way the world is going with wars, ecological imbalance, man usurping Nature, unless something drastic was done, nothing would have helped humanity.
This is the way God made them realise the purpose of creation—peaceful living. He does achieve his purpose.
6. He calls the planet a school because everyone is learning here and people should be open to embrace difference of thought, diversity and do good actions.
7. I think that the fear of God would impact the lives of the wrong doers and criminals once they realise that they would be punished if they improve their activities that harm others.
8. The main idea of the story is that the Earth and life on it must go as per the plan of creation by God. Peace and tranquillity with honest behaviour by human beings should prevail. If the system is at stake then the creator would intervene to bring the system to normal course of action as is shown in the story.
9. God wanted to warn them that they were destroying the planet due to their ways. The best way to get across people all over the world at the same time was to broadcast over radio.
10. Atheists do not believe in God and they were very embarrassed to see themselves as angels, therefore, they ran away in taxis.
11. No doubt that the story clearly shows in the end as how the consciences of people rose to bring honesty back. The fear of war was reduced to pieces as the war potential of the US and Russia was destroyed. Even the dictators resigned.
12. God said that people would still have problems, but they needed to listen to their hearts and live and learn. It was useful because people realised that God was watching over them, and it gave them a direction about how to live life.