CBSE Class 10 English Communicative- Interact in English Chapter 4 A Shady Plot Important Question Answers

Looking for A Shady Plot question answers for Class 10 English Communicative- Interact in English Chapter 4? Look no further! Our comprehensive compilation of important questions will help you brush up on your subject knowledge. Practising Class 10 English Communicative question answers can significantly improve your performance in the exam. Our solutions provide a clear idea of how to write the answers effectively. Improve your chances of scoring high marks by exploring Chapter 4: A Shady Plot now. The questions listed below are based on the latest CBSE exam pattern, wherein we have given solutions to the chapter’s extract based questions, multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and long answer questions.

Also, practising with different kinds of questions can help students learn new ways to solve problems that they may not have seen before. This can ultimately lead to a deeper understanding of the subject matter and better performance on exams.

 

Book Questions

 

1. Given below is a list of words related to ghosts and ghost stories with their jumbled up meanings against them. Match the words/expressions with their correct meanings:

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class 10 communicative chapter 4.1.1

Ans-

class 10 communicative chapter 4.2.1.1

2. The title of the story is A Shady Plot. The dictionary defines the words as:
shady adjective
a. Full of shade; shaded.
b. Casting shade: a shady grove.
c. Quiet, dark, or concealed; hidden.
d. Of dubious character or of questionable honesty.
plot noun
a. i) a small piece of ground, generally used for a specific purpose: a garden plot.
ii) a measured area of land
b. a ground plan, as for a building; a diagram.
c. storyline- the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play,
novel, or short story
d. a secret plan to accomplish a hostile or illegal purpose; a scheme.
Based on the definitions above, can you predict what the story is about? Make a brief note of your prediction in your notebook.
Ans. The story probably will be surrounding something that is concealed and hidden, possibly about a place that is dubious, like a thick forest. It might be about a vague or unclear exploration.

3. Based on your reading of the story above, answer the following questions by selecting the correct options.

1. What made the writer overconfident about his ability to write ghost stories?
a) He was contacted whenever magazines wanted a ghost story
b) He was always able to write a ghost story whenever he had to write one
c) He had an Ouija board
d) He knew the ghost lady would help him write a good ghost story
Ans- b) He was always able to write a ghost story whenever he had to write one

2. The sight of the ghost materialising in his room filled the narrator with _____________
a) fear
b) excitement
c) joy
d) anticipation
Ans- a) fear

3. John wants the ghost to disappear before his wife enters the room and waves his arms at the ghost with something of the motion of a beginner when learning to swim. What does it reveal about John?

His_________________.
a) fear
b) amusement
c) desperation
d) anxiety
Ans- a) fear

4. When the narrator says his wife is never so pretty as when she’s doing something she knows he disapproves of, his tone is _________________.
a) amused
b) ironic
c) angry
d) irritated
Ans- b) ironic

5. The ghost says “It’s all your fault.’It’ here refers to the ___________________.
a) narrator’s wife’s anger
b) ghost’s anger
c) narrator’s wife leaving him
d) ghost materialising in sections.
Ans- d) ghost materialising in sections.

4. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
1. We scout around until we find a writer without ideas and with a mind soft enough to accept the impression. The case is brought to the attention of the main office, and one of us is assigned to it. When that case is finished we bring in a report.

(i) What does ‘we’ refer to in the above lines?
Ans- We refers to the ghost community.

(ii) Select the most appropriate option based on (1) and (2).
(1) ‘The case is brought to the attention of the main office, and one of us assigned to
it.’
(2) Helen says that she helped John many times when he was thinking hard.
A. (1) is the reason for (2)
B. (1) is the result of (2)
C. (1) is independent of (2)
D. (2) is the reason for (1)
Ans- D. (2) is the reason for (1)

(iii) Choose the most appropriate option which shows the speaker’s character with reference to the extract.
A. Creative
B. Gullible
C. Jealous
D. Sceptical
Ans- B. Gullible

(iv) ‘We scout around…’What purpose does the scouting serve?
Ans- “Writer’s Inspiration Bureau” served the purpose of helping those writers who do not have any idea for stories

(v) Select the option that displays the appropriate features that can be associated with task completion, as mentioned in the extract.
(1) organisation
(2) autocracy
(3) delegation of duty
(4) competitiveness
(5) need for recognition
A. Only (4)
B. (2), (3) and (5)
C. (1) and (3)
Ans- C. (1) and (3)

5. Answer the following questions briefly.
a) Which genre of stories does Jenkins want the narrator to write? Why?
Ans- Hallock was the person Jenkins always turned to when he wanted a ghost story to be printed in his magazine. Jenkins described John’s ghosts as live propositions. Jenkins asked Hallock to write another supernatural thriller that will terrify people this time around since that is what readers desired as well.

b) Does the narrator like writing ghost stories? Support your answer with evidence from the story.
Ans- The narrator lacked the self confidence as he himself talked of how he didn’t specialise in ghost stories; instead, he said that the ghost stories specialised in him. Even though his first story was a ghost story, he struggled for months to find inspiration for it. This all shows that the narrator was, though natural, an accidental ghost fiction writer.

c) What makes Helen, the ghost and her other co-ghosts organize The Writer’s Inspiration Bureau?
Ans- The Writer’s Inspiration Bureau was founded by Helen and her fellow co-ghosts because they believed there were many authors seeking inspiration to write ghost stories who lacked ideas and had weak minds. Such a writer would be assigned a ghost by the bureau in order for them to produce quality ghost stories.

d) Why had Helen, the ghost, been helping the narrator write ghost stories? Why was she going on strike? What condition did she place for providing continued help?
Ans- The narrator’s idea for his ghost stories came from Helen. She and her fellow ghosts had become weary of responding to the inquiries of ardent Ouija board users, so they had decided to go on strike. They believed they were too distressed to respond to silly inquiries. She asked the narrator to persuade his acquaintances and friends to put away their Ouija boards. It was on this condition she promised to help the narrator to write stories.

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e) How does the ghost undermine the narrator’s faith in his ability to write ghost stories?
Ans- Helen tells the narrator that she had helped him write his ghost stories. She recalls the several occasions when she had leaned on the narrator’s shoulder and offered him suggestions when he was struggling to come up with ideas for a ghost story. Helen tries to explain to the narrator that he would not have been able to produce quality ghost stories if she had not served as his inspiration.

f) Why does John want the ghost to disappear before his wife appears on the scene? What impression of his wife’s character do you form from his words?
Ans- Lavina is a sensitive person who occasionally goes into hysteria. She would completely lose it if she caught John chatting with a ghost. Lavinia is so obsessed with new trends in clothing and makeup that John worries about how she might respond in such a situation.

g) Why does the narrator hesitate to be a partner to Laura Hinkle during the Ouija Board Party?
Ans- The narrator was tasked with convincing the others to quit using the Ouija board by Helen, the ghost. Helen only agreed to assist the narrator in writing ghost stories on this condition. He worries about how Helen will react to him if she discovers that he is now using a Ouija board to talk with spirits. Because of this, the narrator hesitated to join Laura Hinkle as a partner at the Ouija Board gathering.

h) What message does the ghost convey to the group assembled in the narrator’s house? What is their reaction to the message?
Ans- Helen called John a traitor as he bluffs her. He had assured Helen that he would persuade his friends to quit talking to ghosts, but in reality, he was engaging in the same behaviour. She goes to each person’s Ouija board individually and declares that Mr. Hallock is a traitor because she is irritated and distraught. Following this admission, everyone accuses John of cheating on his wife. John eventually cleared this up with his wife.

i) Do you agree with the narrator calling the assembly of women “manipulators?” Give reasons.
Ans- The narrator thought that everyone in the room was suspiciously staring at him. He referred to the group of ladies as “manipulators” for this reason. The women weren’t trying to control anything. They were just reporting what was happening at their Ouija Board.

j) Why does John wish himself to be dead? Also, explain Helen’s role in resolving that phase in his life.
Ans- John wished he was dead because a brief encounter with a ghost named Helen had led to complications that caused him to lose his wife, whom he adored, and that would ruin his happiness and home.
When Lavinia barged into the room, Helen did not disappear and boldly announced to Lavinia that she indeed was Helen. This gave Lavinia a chance to get to know the reality. Lavinia breathed a sigh of relief realising that Helen was not an actual woman. She felt very miserable to accuse her husband of infidelity.

k) When confronted by Lavinia about his flirtations over the Ouija Board, John insists that ‘the affair was quite above-board, I assure you, my love’. Bring out the pun in John’s statement.
Ans- John tells his wife that his interactions with Helen the ghost have been completely above board. The pun is that above-board means honest and open but here it means that it happened above the ouija board. He attempts to reassure her that whatever transpired between him and Helen happened over the Ouija board and that he had nothing to conceal from his wife.

l) John’s apprehensions about his wife’s reaction to her encounter with the ghost are unfounded. Justify.
Ans- John worried that his wife might lose it if she encountered Helen the ghost; nevertheless, when the meeting occurred, she spoke to Helen with assurance and was not at all frightened of the ghost of Helen. In fact, Lavinia sighed with a sense of relief knowing that Helen was just a ghost and not a real woman.

6. Answer the following questions in detail:
a) After her reconciliation with her husband, John Hallock, Lavinia writes a letter to her friend expressing how her relationship with him has almost been on the verge of breaking and what has saved it. Write her a letter.

Ans-
Evergreen Street
23 May, 2023
Dear Anne,
Dear Anne,
I am extremely sorry for not responding earlier. My life had taken a strong turn and I was left grappling with some apprehensions. Believe me, you were uppermost in my mind but I wanted to sort out my domestic problems and then write to you with a clear
frame of mind.
Last month I underwent a very bad phase of my life. You know how proud I am of John and his creative abilities. I have always appreciated his skill in churning out excellent stories along with being a considerate husband. He has always supported me in my endeavours, but sometimes even honesty is also put to test. Once during the Book Club game with my friends, the Ouija board hinted that John was having an affair with someone called Helen. I was dumb founded and I threatened to quit.
You know, I am impatient. I can never tolerate infidelity. I had packed my suitcase and was on the verge of deserting John, when I discovered to my surprise, it was an apparition, a ghost, named Helen who was haunting him. Who would believe that ghosts are found in today’s world?
Nevertheless I’m happy that I discovered the truth eventually. Now all is well and there is no reason to worry. However, I blame myself for all this ruckus. I never gave him a chance to explain, nor did I show faith in him. I should have remained unflinching in my trust. So the famous quote proved true in my case ‘‘Jealousy, thy name is woman’’. I have learnt my lesson now. Please write to me about yourself also.

Your friend,
Lavinia

b) John Hallock reflects upon his experience with Helen’s ghost and in retrospect he finds it quite amusing. All the same he is relieved that he is no longer plagued by it. Ironically, the same ghost inspires his creativity and he writes a diary entry reflecting upon the comical aspect of his experience. Write his diary entry.

Ans-
Dear Diary,

While I was trying to compose a ghost story in my study, a ghost unexpectedly emerged. I couldn’t believe it at first, but I eventually started speaking with it. She announced that she and other ghosts would be going on a strike. Think about a strike by ghosts! She said that she had assisted me in writing all of my previous ghost stories. She then appeared in the Ouija board session that my wife had organised for her friends. In front of my whole family, she publicly referred to me as a traitor. Nearly all of my wife’s friends thought I was cheating on my wife. Lavinia threatened to leave and divorce me. I found myself in this situation where my wife was about to leave me and a ghost threatened to go on strike. Phew!!

Fortunately, Lavinia had the chance to meet Helen and have a word with her, which allowed her misperception to be clarified. These interactions with Helen gave me an idea for my next story, which is a wonderful thing. This will be my finest ghost story so far.

7. The narrator and his wife reveal something about their character through their words and actions. We also learn about them from what other people say. Can you pick out the words that describe them from the box given below? Also, pick outlines and instances from the story to illustrate your choice.

class 10 communicative chapter 4.3

class 10 communicative chapter 4.4.3

Ans –

class 10 communicative chapter 4.5.3

8. Gladolia, the narrator’s cook, is an African. The language she speaks is different from that of the others. This is known as Dialect. A dialect consists of words or phrases that reflect the regional variety of a language. An author often uses a dialect to make the dialogue more authentic. Initially, a dialogue may seem a little difficult to understand. However, as you continue reading, the language becomes more comprehensible. Working in groups, write what Gladolia’s words mean as shown.

class 10 communicative chapter 4.5.4

Ans-

class 10 communicative chapter 4.5.5

9. Read and understand the following ghost phrases and expressions:
a) To give up the ghost– to die or to stop trying
b) Aghost of a chance– a poor chance, not likely to happen
c) The ghost at the feast– something or someone that spoils your enjoyment by reminding you of something unpleasant
d) Ghost town– a town which most people have left, abandoned and deserted
e) Ghost-write- to write for someone else
f) Lay the ghost of something/somebody (to rest)– to finally stop being worried or upset by something or someone that has worried or upset you for a long time
g) Ghost image — secondary image, especially, one appearing on a television screen as a white shadow, caused by poor or double reception or by a defect in the receiver
h) the ghost of a smile – faint trace of a smile
i) As white as a ghost- very pale or white in the face

Now complete the following story by using the appropriate phrases in the blanks given below:
I was alone in a place that bore a deserted look like that of a ________________. I increased the pace of my footsteps as I walked through the dark forest. I felt someone walking behind me. I turned immediately and spotted the contour of a figure in the form of a ___________________ .It smiled at me wickedly .I started shaking with fear and perspiring profusely when I felt its skeletal hand upon my neck. I woke up with a start, relieved that it was only a nightmare.
This was not the first time I had had one. It had all started when I had watched the horrendous horror film with a eerie ghost character that had a scary ghost of a smile on its face.It had been almost a month. The strange thing was that I saw a similar face at the station the next morning. That was uncanny.
I was to attend a dinner at my friend’s at Northanger Abbey that night. I had decided to narrate my experience to the group that would assemble there. Although I knew, there was _________________________ that they would be convinced.
After everyone had finished pouring their drinks to themselves, I cleared my throat and started narrating my spooky experience. However, every one of the group started accusing me of being _______________________ and held me responsible for spoiling the spirit of revelry. I gave up the ghost and sat quietly waiting for the party to be over. Back at home, the fears returned .I knew I had to talk about my experience to somebody to feel better. I have now decided to ______________ and publish my experience under a pseudonym. Only then can I ____________________.

Ans-
I was alone in a place that bore a deserted look like that of a ghost town. I increased the pace of my footsteps as I walked through the dark forest. I felt someone walking behind me. I turned immediately and spotted the contour of a figure in the form of a spirit. It smiled at me wickedly. I started shaking with fear and perspiring profusely when I felt its skeletal hand upon my neck. I woke up with a start, relieved that it was only a nightmare.
This was not the first time I had one. It had all started when I watched the horrendous horror film with an eerie ghost character that had a scary ghost of a smile on its face. It had been almost a month. The strange thing was that I saw a similar face at the station the next morning. That was uncanny.
I was to attend a dinner at my friend’s at Northanger Abbey that night. I had decided to narrate my experience to the group that would assemble there although I knew there was a ghost of a chance that they would be convinced.
After everyone had finished pouring their drinks to themselves, I cleared my throat and started narrating my spooky experience. However, every one of the groups started accusing me of being terrifying and held me responsible for spoiling the spirit of revelry. I gave up the ghost and sat quietly waiting for the party to be over. Back at home, the fears returned. I knew I had to talk about my experience for somebody to feel better. I have now decided to write and publish my experience under a
pseudonym. Only then can I breathe in peace.

10. Do you think a story has an atmosphere? Complete the following blanks to make up your ghost story by choosing the correct options.

She opened the _________________ (secret door/ spaceship’s hatch/ door of the cottage/ cemetery gate/ door of the castle/ cockpit) _________________ (brashly/ loudly/ silently/ stupidly/ fearfully/ joyously).
Standing in front of her was a ________________ (terrifying/ handsome/ smelly/ anonymous/ tiny/ huge/ bossy) ___________ (policeman/ spy/ apparition/ witch/ prince/ wizard) with a _________________ (wand/ rose/ rod/ knife/ scythe/ coded message) in his/ her (its) _________________ (ghoulish/ bony/ beautiful/ fair/ manly/ gloved/ magical) hand.

Ans-

A Ghost Story

She opened the cemetery-gate (secret door/ spaceship’s hatch/ door of the cottage/cemetery gate/ door of the castle/ cockpit) silently (brashly/ loudly/ silently/stupidly/fearfully/ joyously). Standing in front of her was a terrifying (terrifying/ handsome/smelly/ anonymous/ tiny/ huge/ bossy) apparition (policeman/ spy) apparition/ which/ prince/ wizard) with a knife (wand/ rose/ rod/ knife/ scythe/ coded message) in his/ her (its) his ghoulish (ghoulish/ bony/ beautiful/ fair/ manly/ gloved/
magical) hand

Now that you have shared a ghost story/anecdote as well as completed a guided story in the class, create your own ghost story on the basis of the starters given below:
a) Stephen knew he would never sleep. The noises, those horrid sounds, would keep him awake…
b) Tap, tap, tap. Was it the branches of the nearby tree, or fingernails against the window?
c) People often say, ‘There’s no such thing as ghosts….

Ans-
M G road was unusually lonely and deserted. It generally is crowded at the time. It was only half past six in the evening. Maybe the unusual downpour had forced people to leave their offices early. Darkness had descended earlier than usual. Stephen had to stop and wait for the storm to halt. He had to break his journey that night. The weather did not seem to favour him. He spotted a motel and pulled in. He turned the car into their driveway. His room was on the top floor. Stephen knew he would never sleep; new places always unsettled him. As he tossed and turned in the bed, he heard strange noises. The noises died down after sometime, they returned again. Those horrid sounds were keeping him awake. He decided to investigate. Suddenly, he heard tap, tap on the window pane. Was it the branches of the nearby tree, or fingernails against the window? Stephen could not see anything. Maybe it was just a figment of his imagination. He tried going back to sleep; however, the incessant tapping on the window pane kept him awake. Maybe it was a ghost.

The storm seemed to abate a little. Stephen decided to go to his balcony. He saw that there was a woman in a pristine white saree walking on the roads. The woman looked like she was in need of some help. Stephen decided to go down to help the woman.

As Stephen went down the road, he couldn’t find the same woman. As he turned around to go back to his house, he saw an apparition. Stephen screamed in horror….the woman had no face….there were just balls of fire in her eye sockets.Stephen ran towards his motel.

And they say, ‘There is no such thing as ghosts’.

A Shady Plot Extra Questions

Extract Based Questions

Extract-based questions are of the multiple-choice variety, and students must select the correct option for each question by carefully reading the passage.

A. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:

So I sat down to write a ghost story.
Jenkins was responsible.
“Hallock,” he had said to me, “give us another on the supernatural this time. Something to give them the horrors; that’s what the public wants, and your ghosts are live propositions.”
Well, I was in no position to contradict Jenkins, for, as yet, his magazine had been the only one to print my stuff. So I had said, “Precisely!” in the deepest voice I was capable of, and had gone out.
I had no idea, but at that time it did not worry me at all. You see, I had often been like that before and in the end things had always come my way–I didn’t in the least know how or why. It had all been rather mysterious. You understand I didn’t specialize in ghost stories, but more or less they seemed to specialize in me.

Q1. Who is “I” in the first line?
Ans- ‘I’, here is the narrator, John Hallock.

Q2. Who was Jenkins?
Ans- Jenkins used to publish John’s stories in his magazine.

Q3. Which story genre did the public want?
A. The public wanted to read horror and supernatural stories.

Q4. Find a word from the given extract which means “in exact terms; without vagueness”
Ans- Precisely

 

B. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:

I admit I jumped. Then I looked around.
It was twilight by this time and I had forgotten to turn on the lamp. The other end of the room was full of shadows and furniture. I sat staring at it and presently noticed something just taking shape. It was exactly like watching one of these moving picture cartoons being put together. First an arm came out, then a bit of sleeve of a stiff white shirtwaist , then a leg and a plaid skirt, until at last there she was complete,–whoever she was.
She was long and angular, with enormous fishy eyes behind big bone-rimmed spectacles, and her hair in a tight wad at the back of her head (yes, I seemed able to see right through her head) and a jaw–well, it looked so solid that for the moment I began to doubt my very own senses and believe she was real after all.

Q1. What was exactly like watching moving picture cartoons?
Ans- The figure of the ghost taking full shape was exactly like watching one of these moving picture cartoons being put together.

Q2. How does the narrator react to it?
Ans- The narrator was shocked and surprised seeing the apparition.

Q3. What was the narrator staring at?
Ans- The narrator was staring at the apparition taking shape gradually.

Q4. Find a word from the given extract which means “ the time just before night when the daylight has almost gone but when it is not completely dark.”
Ans- Twilight

C. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:

So I went home and sat down before my desk and sucked at the end of my pencil and waited, but nothing happened. Pretty soon my mind began to wander off on other things, decidedly unghostly and material things, such as my wife’s shopping and how on earth I was going to cure her of her alarming tendency to take every new fad that came along and work it to death. But I realized that would never get me any place, so I went back to staring at the ceiling.
“This writing business is delightful, isn’t it?” I said sarcastically at last, out loud, too. You see, I had reached the stage of imbecility when I was talking to myself “Yes,” said a voice at the other end of the room, “I should say it is!”

Q1. What was the author waiting for to happen?
Ans- The author was waiting for an idea to strike to write the plot of the ghost story.

Q2. Where did the author’s mind begin to wander?
Ans- The author’s mind began to wander on the material things like his wife’s shopping and how he was going to cure her alarming tendency to take every new fad that came along.

Q3. Who said “Yes” in the last line in the given extract?
Ans- Helen, the ghost said “yes” from the end of the room.

Q4. Find a word from the given extract which means the same as ‘the quality or state of being very stupid or foolish’.
Ans– Imbecility

 

D. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:

We’ve been called out of our beds a little too often in recent years, and now we’re through.”
“But my dear madam, I assure you I have had nothing to do with that. I hope I’m properly
grateful and all that, you see.”
“Oh, it isn’t you,” she explained patronizingly. “It’s those Ouija board fanatics. There was a time when we had nothing much to occupy us and used to haunt a little on the side, purely for amusement, but not any more. We’ve had to give up haunting almost entirely. We sit at a desk and answer questions now. And such questions!” She shook her head hopelessly, and taking off her glasses wiped them, and put them back on her nose again.

Q1. Who has been called constantly?
Ans- The ghost Helen and people from her species have been called constantly.

Q2. What is the person’s complaint?
Ans- The ghost is fed up with being troubled at all odd hours for silly concerns.

Q3. Who is troubling the ghosts?
Ans- The Ouija Board fanatics are troubling the ghosts.

Q4. Find a word from the given extract which means the same as ‘in a way that shows that you think you are better or more intelligent than somebody else’
Ans- Patronizingly

E. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:

Change of air will do you good. I’ll join you presently!” If only she would go till Helen could depart! I’d have the devil of a time explaining afterwards, of course, but anything would be better than to have Lavinia see a ghost. Why, that sensitive little woman couldn’t bear to have a mouse say boo at her–and what would she say to a ghost in her own living-room?
Lavinia cast a cold eye upon me. “You are acting very queerly,” she sniffed. “You are concealing something from me.”

Q1. Why was John trying to deceive the speaker?
Ans- John did not wish to frighten his wife by letting her see the ghost.

Q2. Whom was John trying to conceal?
Ans. John was trying to hide Helen, the ghost.

Q3. What was John afraid of?
Ans- John thought that his wife would faint at the sight of the ghost.

Q4. Find a word from the given extract which means the same as ‘in a strange or perplexing way’
Ans- Queerly

 

F. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:

She thrust me back with sudden muscle. “I will see who’s behind you! Where is that
Helen?”
“Me? I’m Helen,” came from the ghost.
Lavinia looked at that apparition, that owl-eyed phantom, in plaid skirt and stiff shirtwaist, with hair skewed back and no powder on her nose. I threw a protecting husbandly arm about her to catch her when she should faint. But she didn’t swoon. A broad, satisfied smile spread over her face.
“I thought you were Helen of Troy,” she murmured.
“I used to be Helen of Troy, New York,” said the ghost. “And now I’ll be moving along, if you’ll excuse me. See you later.”
With that she telescoped briskly, till we saw only a hand waving farewell.

Q1. How did Lavinia react on seeing the ghost?
Ans- Lavinia did not swoon or become hysterical. She gave a broad satisfied smile and she felt relieved as her fears proved to be false.

Q2. Why did Lavinia feel relieved?
Ans- Lavinia felt relieved because Helen was not a real lady but only a ghost.

Q3. Describe the apparition.
Ans- The apparition was an owl-eyed phantom, in plaid skirt and stiff shirtwaist, with hair skewed back and no powder on her nose.

class 10 english score full marks

Q4. Find a word from the given extract which means the same as ‘in an active, quick, or energetic way.’
Ans- Briskly

 

Short Answer Questions

In this post we are also providing important short answer questions from Chapter 4 A Shady Plot for CBSE Class 10 exam in the coming session

Q1. Why could John Hallock not give his whole time to writing?
Ans. John was a bookkeeper for a timber firm, therefore he was unable to devote all of his time to writing. He had to work this job since his wife Lavinia liked to shop and there were grocery expenses to pay.

Q2. Why is the narrator hesitant to be a partner to Laura Hinkle during the Ouija board party?
Ans. Laura Hinkle was a flirt and had a crocodile-like grin, so the narrator was worried to be her partner at the party. She gave John a lot of freedom, and poor John was compelled, much against his will, to become her partner.

Q3. Why does John want the ghost to disappear before his wife appears on the scene?
Ans. John was aware of Lavinia’s high level of sensitivity. Because of her anxiety, she was unable to stand the sight of a mouse. He knew that she would loose it on seeing a ghost. Moreover, she also had a strong sense of suspicion and would be in doubt on seeing a woman with John.

Q4. How did the narrator react to the appearance of the ghost?
Ans. The narrator struggled to accept that everything was true. He was completely powerless as he sat there. He was unsure of how to respond to the ghost’s presence in his room. He was perplexed.

Q5. Why was Helen the ghost going on a strike? What condition did she lay for providing help?
Ans. The Ouija board players frequently upset Helen and the other spirits. They received a lot of calls and the silliest inquiries. They had all made the decision to strike as a result. If only the narrator could influence his friends and acquaintances to give up the use of Ouija boards, Helen would help him again, to write.

Q6. Why is John’s wife angry? What does she decide to do?
Ans. Lavinia, John’s wife, became angry because she believed he was flirting with Helen over the Ouija board. She decides to leave John the next morning and visit her grandma. She also states in a letter that her lawyer will speak with him later.

Q7. Why did Lavinia decide to leave her husband and what made her change her mind later?
Ans. Lavinia was upset because she believed her husband was flirting with another lady named Helen. She sighs with relief and changes her mind after learning that Helen was merely a ghost and not a real person.

Q8. “John’s apprehensions about his wife’s reaction to her encounter with the ghost are unfounded.” Justify
Ans. Lavinia was anxious as well as highly sensitive. The sight of a mouse was intolerable to her. But she speaks pretty fearlessly when she runs into Helen’s ghost. She exhaled in relief as she realised that Helen was only a ghost and not a real lady.

Q9. When confronted by Lavinia about his flirtations over the Ouija board, John insists that ‘the affair was quite above-board, I assure you, my love’. Bring out the pun in John’s statement.
Ans. This is an extremely clever pun that Elsie Brown, the author, used in her narrative. Above board translates as true and sincere. Here, John, if he was flirting it was only on the Ouija board. Nothing about it was a secret.

Q10. Hallock’s ghosts were live-propositions? How could he pen down ghost-special stories?
Ans. For his readers, Hallock’s fictional ghosts in his ghost stories were genuine. His ghost stories captured the public’s curiosity and they were in high demand. Actually, a real ghost was providing him with ideas and inspiration for his writing.

Q11. How does the author in ‘A Shady Plot’ earn his living?
Ans. Hallock enjoyed great popularity as a ghost story author. He has the ability to write a new narrative whenever his publisher requests one. Being a writer, though, was insufficient. He was married to a stubborn and capricious woman who loved to spend money on the latest trends. Hallock was forced to work as a bookkeeper at a timber firm in order to satisfy her demands.

Q12. What kind of woman is Lavinia?
Ans. Lavinia is married to John. She is a bossy individual. She is a compulsive spendthrift who frequently spends a lot of money on the newest trends. Ouija boards are her most recent trend. She purchases one and invites friends over for a Ouija party. Hallock characterises his wife as a very delicate young woman. Lavinia is highly impressionable, unpredictable, and gullible. She tends to suspect her spouse of having an extramarital connection since she is so possessive of him.

Q13. How did Lavinia react when she saw Helen, the ghost?
Ans. When Lavinia showed up there, the narrator was talking with Helen the ghost. She enquired as to his conversation partner. Hallock was concerned that his wife would get frightened if she saw the ghost and did not want her to see Helen. She pushed him aside, though, and turned to look at Helen. Lavinia did not faint or become frantic; rather, she felt a wave of relief. Her physical characteristics demonstrated that her biggest concerns were proven to be false.

Q14. Why did Gladolia decide to leave the Hallocks? What made her change her decision?
Ans. Gladiola was the narrator’s cook. She made the decision to quit her position at the Hallocks because she was tired and terrified of hoodoo and Ouija boards. She was terrified of the ghosts and spirits who lived there. Lavinia and Hallock vowed never to use the Ouija board again and declared they would destroy it themselves. Gladolia changed her mind as a result of the guarantee that had been offered to her.

Q15. Why is Lavinia angry with her husband John? What decision does she take?
Ans. John’s wife was angry because the Ouija board seemed to be conveying messages from Helen, ‘a woman’, and also referred to her husband as a ‘traitor’. As a result, she became doubtful of her husband’s loyalty to her. During the Ouija Board Party, she was also growing envious of John’s closeness to Laura Hinkle. At some point, she decided to leave John and travel to her grandmother’s place, asking for a divorce and telling him to speak to her lawyer.

Q16. What genre of stories does Jenkins want the narrator to write? Why?
Ans. Publisher Jenkins encourages the narrator to create ghost stories since they are amusing and well-liked by readers. By doing this, he made sure his magazine sold well and made a lot of money.

Q17. Does the narrator like writing ghost stories? Support your answer with evidence from the story.
Ans. No, the narrator did not enjoy creating ghost stories. His first piece of literature was a ghost tale, and ever since, he’s wanted to write something else, but his publisher has pushed him to create ghost stories since the audience enjoys them. All of his success was a result of the ghost stories he produced.

Q18. What makes Helen, the ghost, and her other co-ghosts organise the Writer’s Inspiration Bureau?
Ans. The ghost, Helen, had previously been a writer who then switched to reading for a magazine. She suffered so greatly at that time that she sought out other ghosts who had also suffered greatly. They founded the “Writer’s Inspiration Bureau” and began searching for authors who lacked inspiration and ideas and who had soft brains that were readily influenced. To save them the difficulties they had experienced, they began to assist them in writing stories.

Q19. Why had Helen, the ghost, been helping the narrator write ghost stories? Why was she going on strike? What condition did she place for providing continued help?
Ans. The ghost, Helen, had been working with the narrator to help him compose ghost stories ever since the Bureau had assigned her to him. She was now going on strike, though, since the new craze of using Ouija boards had tired her out and irritated the ghosts. People were engaging the spirits and then forcing them to respond to the silliest of queries. Only when the narrator persuaded his friends and acquaintances to quit using Ouija boards and leave the spirits alone did she agree to keep assisting him.

Q20. How does the ghost undermine the narrator’s faith in his ability to write ghost stories?
Ans. The narrator had always believed that he was the only one with the talent for crafting captivating ghost stories. He was being ‘cocky’ and overconfident about it. The readers loved his stories and thought they were quite well written. However, Helen’s ghost told him that she was the one who used to implant all of the ideas into his impressionable and vulnerable mind.

Q21. Why does John want the ghost to disappear before his wife appears on the scene? What impression of his wife’s characters do you form from his words?
Ans. John does not want the ghost to be present in front of his wife. He gave in to hysteria despite knowing that she was sensitive. He thought that his wife would begin crying and screaming. This demonstrates how dubious, distrustful, and jealous she was.

Q22. Why does the narrator hesitate to be a partner to Laura Hinkle during the Ouija Board Party?
Ans. Lavinia asked John, the narrator, to play with Laura Hinkle as she didn’t have a partner for the game. John was hesitant since Laura was a flirty crocodile. She even moved closer and seemed to be coyly taking John’s hands in her own, which made John quite uncomfortable.

Q23. What message does the ghost convey to the group that had assembled in the narrator’s house? What is their reaction to the message?
Ans. The words t-r-a-i-t-o-r and H-e-l-e-n were spelt out on the board where the narrator and Laura Hinkle were seated. The message also surfaced on two additional message boards. This was misinterpreted as John was making advances towards Helen. Through the Ouija board, there interaction became an open secret.

Q24. Do you agree with the narrator calling the assembly of women “manipulators”?
Ans. John thought that all the ladies present were cunning manipulators who used the Ouija boards to make the scenario appear as they wanted in order to acquire what they wanted. He thought of them to be manipulative and flirtatious. What the women were saying had
been indicated on the Ouija board, they were just finding the connection so the narrator is not justified in calling them ‘manipulators’ for they were not doing it deliberately.

Q25. Why is John’s wife angry? What does she decide to do?
Answer: Lavinia, John’s wife, was incredibly sensitive and was unable to handle everything. The fact that her husband was having an extramarital affair with Helen infuriated and humiliated her. She makes the decision to leave him and return to her grandma. She also informs him that she will speak with him later through her lawyer.

Long Answer Questions

Q1. Describe the Ouija board party and how did it affect the domestic life of John and Lavinia Hallock?
Ans. The Ouija board party was planned by Lavinia and a number of her other friends who were also members of the Book Club. The event was scheduled to take place at Lavinia’s house with the invited guests, the majority of whom were elderly women. They were split up into pairs and instructed to sit across from one another with the board in the centre. John was brought in to be Laura Hinkle’s companion after her original partner failed to arrive.

Laura Hinkle is a coquette of the highest kind, so John hesitated before taking the seat in front of her. Helen was looking to contact John and her name surfaced on several message boards. When the gossiping began, John grew agitated and left the room. When Lavinia learned that her husband was having an affair with Helen, she naturally became quite upset. The next morning, she made the choice to leave and visit her grandma. She also told John that her lawyer will speak with him later.

Q2. Describe the first interaction between the narrator and the ghost. How did she materialize and how does the narrator react to this?
Ans. John Hallock sat down at his desk to brainstorm a good idea for his upcoming novel. His thoughts were wandering to mundane home concerns as he muttered sarcastically, “The writing business was delightful,” and as he looked to the corner of the dark study, he saw something beginning to take shape. The arm came first, followed by a portion of a rigid white shirt, a leg, a skirt, and eventually the entire figure. A long, angular figure with large, bone-rimmed spectacles and a tied-back hairstyle. She was completely transparent to the narrator. I was surprised to see this person, who I had never seen before, gazing at me with what looked to be utter displeasure.
After getting to his feet, John questioned the woman’s name and the reason behind her expression of doubt. He was astonished by her response, which stated that she had been requested by him and that she had served as the idea for all of his writings. She explains that if it hadn’t been important to inform him that the spirits were about to go on strike, she wouldn’t have made this apparition.
She warned him that if he did not act to stop the harassment of the spirits by Ouija board users, no assistance would be offered to struggling authors like him. John heard Lavinia’s voice and urged her to go. While moisturising his parched lips, John stared at the departing figure in complete bewilderment.

Q3. “ The ghost of Helen is not a ghost but is like a human being”. Explain.
Ans. A “Ghost” is seen as a spirit of a deceased person who is said to present itself to the living, generally taking the form of an ethereal vision. The phrase “208 ghost” often inspires terror in everyone, and they are typically described as being frightful, spine-chilling, and horrifying in appearance.

However, the author presents the ghost in “A Shady Plot” in a very compassionate way, kind and considerate on multiple occasions. When the narrator mentions the prospect of the pieces becoming jumbled up, as it appeared and vanished, the allusion to the fragmented appearance and the original exchange between the narrator and the ghost prompted more laughter than dread.

It appeared to be as natural as a man and a woman having a typical chat. In addition, Helen’s assertion that she was a writer, the establishment of the writers’ bureau, and their intention to strike were all indications that the ghost had human traits. Her generosity towards struggling authors, her threat to withhold assistance, and her request that they stop harassing their “species” were all excellent examples of human nature.

The character that stood out the most to me was Helen’s unhappiness at not being able to continue their ghostly tasks of terrifying and teasing humans. This was undoubtedly a “ghostly” quality, but it was more similar to the complaints that a dissatisfied person is known to indulge in.

Q4. Lack of trust shakes the very foundation of human relationships. How does Lavinia’s suspicious nature threaten to wreck their marriage?
Ans. John’s wife was upset because Helen had labelled her husband a traitor in a message that
was being sent to him via the Ouija board. This made her suspicious, and she started to feel envious of John’s friendship with Laura Hinkle, the person he was partnered with on the Ouija board. John claimed that he and Laura Hinkle were only shifting the Ouija board indication when challenged by Lavinia about their flirtations over the board. When she questioned him, he denied everything and said that he was not doing anything questionable.
Lavinia’s scepticism was further reinforced when their chef Gladolia made a threat to quit if they continued to work with hoodoos or black magic. Lavinia also made the decision to break off her relationship with John. The following morning when she went to say goodbye, John was talking to someone and making an effort to keep it from her. He was hiding from her and she eventually discovered him talking to a ghost.
Surprised by the ghost, she realised it was Helen of Troy, who had come to assist John in crafting a ghost story. She used all of her power to meet the ghost and later regretted doubting John. They were once again joyful when she begged John for forgiveness. They wished the ghost farewell. Their relationship almost fell apart due to her lack of trust, but they managed to save things from falling apart.

Q5. “Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing with originality and not plagiarised content”. Explain.
Ans. Every living thing has been given a characteristic that distinguishes them from other creatures and gives them a unique position in God’s design for the world. Maybe it was “His” intention to create a “rational being” in man. Man may explore and be innovative because of this. Only through the unwavering work of people who used their creative talents with a sincere, true, and honest goal has development been made possible. From the Stone Age to the Technological Age, humans have advanced. Imitation and plagiarism of any kind are not encouraged by creativity. It would be unethical to do so.

Therefore, it is crucial for everyone of us to recognise our strengths and apply them in innovative ways to genuinely advance the cause of humanity. Contrarily, stealing from another person’s artistic endeavours is an act of betrayal towards oneself and the rest of the world. Original work is a manifestation of one’s honesty towards one’s conscience. The former receives praise and acknowledgment, but the use of plagiarised material is met with scorn and disgrace.

Q6. Discuss the significance of the title of the lesson, ‘‘A Shady Plot.’’
Ans. The title ‘A Shady Plot’ is most appropriate because most of the situations and characters remain unclear and foggy.
The writer first struggles with uncertainty about the story’s plot. He makes a lot of effort, and it seems like he is looking for a ghost story by following the shadows. There are several possible explanations for the ghost’s apparition. Is it present or not present? Helen is eerie and unsettling, and there is scepticism around her presence. No one else will accept Helen’s existence; it is improbable and outside the scope of possibility.
In addition, John’s integrity is questioned, his connection with Helen is kept a secret, and he is the only one who knows about it.Helen’s arrival disrupts John’s life. His wife and cook are threatening to leave, and the possibility of divorce hangs over their marriage. For a long period, the storyline of a new narrative remained “unclear.” John can only envision a fantastic plot in its completeness at the very end. Additionally, it is often thought that apparitions and ghosts hide out in shadowy and gloomy regions. The fact that Helen emerges from darkness and then disappears back into it emphasises how appropriate the title is.

 

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