‘The World in a Wall’ is written by Gerald Durrel (1925-1995) He was a naturalist, author, conservationist and television presenter. He founded the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Durrell Wildlife (earlier Jersey Zoological Park) on the Channel Island of Jersey in 1958. He wrote a number of books based on his life as an animal collector and enthusiast. His first book ‘The Overloaded Ark’ was published in 1953. His best-selling includes ‘The Bafut Beagles’, ‘A Zoo in My Luggage’, ‘Catch Me a Colo busy’ and ‘The Stationary Ark’.
Summary-The World in a Wall
‘The World in a Wall’ is about a scorpion and the reactions of family members towards it. A boy spots a scorpion on a wall near his home. Since he was tempted to take it but knew that his mother would not allow it, he placed the scorpion and the babies in the matchbox. In the home, he carefully placed the matchbox on the table and sat down for lunch. Larry, having finished already, picked up the matchbox and opened it. This led to a chaos on the dining table as the female scorpion tried to escape with her babies. Since Lugaretzia was the only stranger in the house, Roger, their dog, thought that she was responsible and bit her on the ankle. After a lot of panic in the family, the author was made to round up the scorpions and leave them out of the house on the wall. The family retired to the drawing room, and the author and Roger spent the afternoon on the hillside. They release the scorpion in the wild.
Word Meanings-The World in a Wall
first glance – looked for the first time
cling – to stick to, to hold on tightly
enraptured – filled with great pleasure and joy
manoeuvre – move skill fully
unfortunate – unpleasant and unlucky
surreptitiously – secretly
oblivious– unaware or forgetful
trifle – a little, of low value or low importance
scuttled – move quickly
thumbed – moved with thumbs
scream – to give a loud high cry
bewildered – confused
chaos – a state of complete confusion and lack of order,
pandemonium – chaos
advance – move ahead
drench – to make wet
promptly – without delay
mystified – confused, not understanding
hysterically – behaving wildly with uncontrolled emotions
bellowed – shouted loudly
imploring – asking
look out – be careful
impassioned – emotional and forceful
quashed – stopped
prudent – sensible and understanding things and situations
Solutions: Word Meanings-The World in a Wall
1.The scorpion appeared to be having a pale fawn fur coat.
2. The babies of the scorpion were clinging to the mother’s back and it looked like as pale fawn fur coat.
3. Gerry wanted to see the babies grow. His mother would not allow it, so, he had to smuggle the scorpion into the house.
4. He kept the scorpion in a matchbox which he placed on the mantelpiece in the drawing room.
5. He did not want the others to see that he was giving the food that was meant for him away to Roger.
6. Larry uttered a roar of fright that made Lugaretzia drop a plate and brought Roger out from beneath the table, barking wildly. Larry flicked his hand and the scorpion and the babies scattered like confetti as she thumped on the cloth. It all created a chaos and pandemonium. Margo hurled a glass of water at the scorpion. The water drenched mother who could not stand getting wet.
7. The scorpion was agitated because it had been shut up in the matchbox for so long. The sudden release made her extremely excited. All the commotion that followed agitated her.
8. Gerry Here, the ‘impending doom’ refers to the commotion that starts after Larry opens the match box.
9. Lugaretzia was the only stranger in the room. Roger thought that she was responsible for all the commotion. He thought that the family was attacked and out of duty he bit her in the ankle.
10. The scorpion family had really tried hard to keep them away and safe from the family members. So, Gerry thought they needed a siesta. It reveals that Gerry really was caring toward the scorpion and wanted to see them at peace and this is the reason he released them on the wall.
- a. Lugaretzia was the family’s helper.
b. Larry uttered a roar of fright.
c. Roger bit her ankle.
- a. Gerry is the speaker here.
b. The ‘whole lot’ is the scorpion family.
c. The plea was that the lives of the scorpions be spared.
- a. He is Roger here.
b. She was considered responsible for all the commotion as she was the only stranger in the room.
c. He bit her ankle.
1.Gerry picked the scorpions up in a teaspoon and returned them to their mother’s back. Then he carried them outside on a saucer and released them on the garden wall.
2. There was utter confusion in the house. Leslie and Larry were screaming. Lugaretzia dropped a plate in fright. The scorpion babies scattered like confetti while Leslie leapt to his feet, overturning his chair, and flicked out desperately with his napkin, sending the scorpion rolling across the cloth towards Margo, who promptly let out a scream. Margot threw some water at the scorpions. The water drenched mother and left her breathless.
3. Roger attacked Lugaretzia as she was the only stranger in the room and he thought that she was responsible for the commotion.
4. Gerry remained most calm through the incident. He was the only one who tried to restore some peace and did not shout and scream in fright when the scorpions crawled all over the place. He even managed to save them in the end and released them on the garden wall.
5. As the family at the dining table, they all began to talk. While the conversation was going on, Gerry got lost listening to it and he forgot all about the scorpion he had brought home.
6. Larry opened the matchbox in which the scorpion was trapped. The minute she came out, she scuttled on to the back of Larry’s hand and stayed there with her sting curved up at the ready. Larry, felt the movement of her claws. He glanced down to see what it was and when he realised what it was, he roared with fright. His reaction was quite natural as he did not expect to see scorpions coming out of the matchbox and landing on his hand.
7. Mother could not bear the cold water. When Margot flung water at the scorpions it splashed onto the mother. Thus, she was drenched and she sat gasping for breath.
8. Gerry released them onto the wall in the garden.
9. The scorpions were all released on to the wall in the garden. Gerry could see their entire world on that wall. Besides the scorpions, there were other creatures that Gerry could observe as they made their home in the nooks and crannies of the wall.
10. The family was afraid and wanted to keep the scorpion family away from them or their home. They did not believe in hurting, killing or being violent towards animals.
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