Give a Character Sketch Narrator, Grandmother and Grandfather from Class 11 English Chapter 1 The Portrait of a Lady



Character Sketch of Narrator (Khushwant Singh)

Khushwant Singh, the narrator of the story ‘The Portrait of a Lady’ was a sensitive and observant person. Having been entirely brought up under his grandmother’s care, he displays a genteel sensitivity towards her. He cherished the memories of his association with his grandmother. He has beautifully described the details about many episodes from his past life that were related to his grandmother. His description of his grandmother’s old age, her movements, her religious beliefs, her association with sparrows reflect his ability to describe the common things with sensitive delicacy. He was a great author, grandson, and human being.

The Portrait of a Lady OverviewThe Portrait of a Lady is the story of the author. He describes his relationship with his grandmother over the years. He pens down her daily activities and how she evolved as a character as time passed by. He explains her appearance which helps create an image in the reader’s mind.


Related:   The Portrait of a Lady Summary, Explanation

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Some Questions on Character Sketch of Narrator

  1. Write about the character of the narrator, Khushwant Singh, in The Portrait of a Lady?
  2. How can we relate the characters of Khushwant Singh from ‘The portrait of a lady’ and Jonathan and Suzanne from ‘We are not Afraid to Die, if we are together’ in terms of family bonding and relationship with family elders? Take instances from the stories to support your answer.
  3. What was the narrator unable to believe about his grandparents?


Character Sketch of writer’s Grandmother

The grandmother was an old woman with a wrinkled face who was once young and pretty. She was short, fat, and slightly bent. The narrator portrays her as a “winter landscape in the mountains” since she constantly wore a white dress with her silver hair hiding her face. She is deeply religious and spends much of her time reciting prayers and counting the beads of her rosary. She is kind-hearted and has a routine of feeding the village dogs.  In the city, she fed the sparrows with bits of bread. She was very attached to her grandson and would spend hours talking to him about his studies. However, she is traditional and does not approve of the new syllabus that her grandson is studying, which she feels does not teach him about God and the religious scriptures. Her relationship with her grandson changes as he grows up and moves away from her. Despite this, she continues to care for him and welcomes him when he returns home. She is a simple, loving, and devout woman who lives her life according to her faith and traditions.


Some Questions on Character Sketch of a Grandmother

  1. How does the grandmother’s appearance reflect her personality?
  2. Reflect on grandma’s character in terms of her relationship towards Khushwant Singh.


Character Sketch of the Grandfather

The author’s grandfather’s portrait hung above the mantelpiece in the drawing room. In the picture, he wore a big turban and loose fitting clothes and also, had a long white beard which covered his best part of the chest. He had passed away a long time back. Khushwant Singh had never seen his grandfather. The author’s grandfather seemed to have the look of a man who neither had a wife nor children, only lots and lots of grandchildren because he looked that old. 

Some Questions on Character Sketch of a Grandfather

  1. How does the author describe his grandfather from the latter’s portrait?
  2. Describe the grandfather as seen in the portrait?


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