By Vaishnavi Tyagi
CBSE Class 11 English Snapshot book Chapter 2 The Address Summary, Video Explanation, and Question Answers
The Address Class 11 – CBSE Class 11 English Snapshots Book Lesson 2 The Address Summary and Detailed explanation of the Lesson along with the meanings of difficult words. Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the Lesson. All the exercises and Questions and Answers given at the back of the lessons have been covered. Also, Take Free Online MCQs Test for Class 11
The Address Class 11 English Chapter 2
By Marga Minco
- The Address Introduction
- The Address Video Explanation
- The Address Summary
- The Address Lesson Explanation
- The Address Question Answers
The Address Introduction
The story is about the human predicament that follows the pre-War and Post-War periods. Mrs. S who was a Jews was a rich lady. Whereas, Mrs. Dorling was a non-Jews. The girl, daughter of Mrs. S, had lost her house and her mother during the war and now she had decided to come back to take her possessions from Mrs. Dorling, an acquaintance whose address was given by her mother years ago. When she reached the house, the woman treated her with a cold reception and didn’t let her into the house. She decided to go back anyway and then she met her daughter who let her in and told her to wait inside. When she saw all the possessions in front of her, she couldn’t connect with them and decided to leave the house.
The Address Class 11 Video Explanation
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The Address Summary
The Address Summary – After ringing the doorbell of Mrs. Dorling who lived at Number 46, Marconi Street, the protagonist was given a cold reception and Mrs Dorling took much time to recognize her. Mrs Dorling had thought everyone in the protanogist’s family was dead and asked if anyone else had come along with her. Mrs Dorling refused to let the protagonist inside her home and told her to come back sometime later. The protagonist recognized her mother’s green cardigan which Mrs Dorling was wearing. She decided to go back to the train station and thought about her mother and how she told her about Mrs. Dorling who was an acquaintance of hers. During the war, Mrs Dorling would visit their house and take their possessions with her as she didn’t want them to get lost if they ever left the place. Mrs. Dorling had a broad back.
The protagonist decided to go to Mrs Dorling’s home to get back their belongings. When she rang the bell, Mrs. Dorling’s daughter answered the door. She let her in and asked her to wait in the living room. When they were crossing the passage, the protagonist noticed their Hanukkah candle stand that they had never used because it had been unmanageable. When she reached the living room, she was horrified as she saw all her mother’s things that were arranged in a tasteless manner. The furniture was ugly and the room had a muggy smell and it made her disinterested and she wanted to leave the place. Mrs. Dorling’s daughter offered her a cup of tea and the protagonist noticed the old table cloth that had a burn mark on it. When the girl was showing her the silver fork and spoons that actually belonged to the protagonist, she jumped up and walked out of the house. She decided not to visit the place again as it brought back memories of the past and hence, she decided to forget the address.
The Address Lesson Explanation
‘DO you still know me?’ I asked.
The woman looked at me searchingly. She had opened the door a chink. I came closer and stood on the step.
‘No, I don’t know you.’
‘I’m Mrs S’s daughter.’
She held her hand on the door as though she wanted to prevent it from opening any further. Her face gave absolutely no sign of recognition. She kept staring at me in silence.
Perhaps I was mistaken, I thought, perhaps it isn’t her. I had seen her only once, fleetingly, and that was years ago. It was most probable that I had rung the wrong bell. The woman let go of the door and stepped to the side. She was wearing my mother’s green knitted cardigan. The wooden buttons were rather pale from washing. She saw that I was looking at the cardigan and half hid again behind the door. But I knew now that I was right.
Chink – narrow opening
Fleetingly – for a short time
The protagonist asked the woman standing at the door if she still knew her. The lady had opened the door a little, the protagonist came closer to the door and stood there. The woman responded negatively and the protagonist still gave her introduction. She said she was Mrs. S’s daughter. The woman had held the door tightly as she didn’t want her to enter the house. She kept staring at the protagonist though she couldn’t recognize her.
The protagonist thought maybe she had come to the wrong house. She had seen the woman only for a short time years ago. The woman who answered the door stepped aside and let go of the door. The protagonist recognized her mother’s green knitted cardigan that the women was wearing. The wooden buttons had become pale because of the washing. The woman noticed the protagonist looking at the cardigan. She hid behind the door. Now, the protagonist knew she had come to the right house.
‘Well, you knew my mother?’ I asked.
‘Have you come back?’ said the woman. ‘I thought that no one had come back.’
A door opened and closed in the passage behind her. A musty smell emerged.
‘I regret I cannot do anything for you.’
‘I’ve come here specially on the train. I wanted to talk to you for a moment.’
‘It is not convenient for me now,’ said the woman. ‘I can’t see you. Another time.’
She nodded and cautiously closed the door as though no one inside the house should be disturbed.
I stood where I was on the step. The curtain in front of the bay window moved. Someone stared at me and would then have asked what I wanted. ‘Oh, nothing,’ the woman would have said. ‘It was nothing.’
Musty – stale
The protagonist asked the woman about her mother. The woman asked her if she had come back, she replied only to her and no one else came with her. The woman opened the door and a passage was behind her. A stale smell occurred all over. The woman told her that she could not do anything for her. The protagonist told her that she had come from far place on the train just to talk to her. The woman told her it is not convenient to talk right now and asked her to come back later. The woman closed the door as she didn’t want anyone to get disturbed in the house. The protagonist was still standing on the step. She saw a curtain moving on the window bay. Someone was staring at her from inside the house. She thought it was nothing as the woman would have told her.
I looked at the name-plate again. Dorling it said, in black letters on white enamel. And on the jamb, a bit higher, the number. Number 46.
As I walked slowly back to the station I thought about my mother, who had given me the address years ago. It had been in the first half of the War. I was home for a few days and it struck me immediately that something or other about the rooms had changed. I missed various things. My mother was surprised I should have noticed so quickly. Then she told me about Mrs Dorling. I had never heard of her but apparently she was an old acquaintance of my mother, whom she hadn’t seen for years. She had suddenly turned up and renewed their contact. Since then she had come regularly.
Enamel – an opaque or semi-transparent substance that is a type of glass
Jamb – side post of a window, fireplace or doorway
Acquaintance – stranger or social contact
The protagonist looked at the number plate again, it said Number 46. Dorling was written on the plate on white enamel. As she was going back to the station, she was thinking about her mother who gave her the address. It was the first half of the war. She was home for a few days and suddenly, it struck her that the room was different now. Various things were missing. Her mother was surprised that she noticed the changes a little later. It was that time when she told her about this woman, Mrs. Dorling. She was an old contact of hers whom she hadn’t seen for years. Suddenly, she came to visit her and since then they had been in regular contact.
‘Every time she leaves here she takes something home with her,’ said my mother. ‘She took all the table silver in one go. And then the antique plates that hung there. She had trouble lugging those large vases, and I’m worried she got a crick in her back from the crockery.’ My mother shook her head pityingly. ‘I would never have dared ask her. She suggested it to me herself. She even insisted. She wanted to save all my nice things. If we have to leave here we shall lose everything, she says.’
‘Have you agreed with her that she should keep everything?’ I asked.
‘As if that’s necessary,’ my mother cried. ‘It would simply be an insult to talk like that. And think about the risk she’s running, each time she goes out of our door with a full suitcase or bag.’
Lugging – carry a heavy object with great effort
Pityingly – feeling sorrow
Crick – cramp or spasm in muscles
Her mother told her that whenever thatwoman came to visit her, she took something from the house with her. Table silvers, antique plates and she had trouble over carrying the large vase. She told her that the cramp in her back came from the crockery. Her mother shook her head in sorrow. The woman kept telling the protagonist’s mother that she wanted to save her precious things. If they had to leave the place someday, they would lose everything.
She asked her mother if she really wanted her to take all the things with her. Her mother replied that even if she didn’t, it would be an insult to ask her not to. She was going out with a risk herself, a suitcase full of items.
My mother seemed to notice that I was not entirely convinced. She looked at me reprovingly and after that we spoke no more about it.
Meanwhile I had arrived at the station without having paid much attention to things on the way. I was walking in familiar places again for the first time since the War, but I did not want to go further than was necessary. I didn’t want to upset myself with the sight of streets and houses full of memories from a precious time.
In the train back I saw Mrs Dorling in front of me again as I had the first time I met her. It was the morning after the day my mother had told me about her. I had got up late and, coming downstairs, I saw my mother about to see someone out. A woman with a broad back.
‘There is my daughter,’ said my mother. She beckoned to me.
The woman nodded and picked up the suitcase under the coat-rack. She wore a brown coat and a shapeless hat.
‘Does she live far away?’ I asked, seeing the difficulty she had going out of the house with the heavy case.
‘In Marconi Street,’ said my mother. ‘Number 46. Remember that.’
Reprovingly – critically
Beckoned – signaled
Her mother noticed that she wasn’t convinced and looked at her critically. After that day, they never talked about the incident again. She reached the station without noticing any details on the way. She passed the familiar things after the war for the first time. She didn’t want to upset herself with the familiar sights of houses and streets that reminded her of all the precious times.
Back in the time, she saw Mrs. Dorling in person a day after her mother told her daughter about her. She woke up late that morning and as she was going downstairs, she saw her ‘the lady with broad back’. Her mother was seeing her out. Her mother introduced the protagonist to the lady. She signaled to her and the women responded with a nod. She picked the suitcase under the coat rack. She was wearing a brown coat and a shapeless hat. The protagonist asked her mother if she lived far away. The mother told her the address, ’Marconi Street, Number 46’. She remembered it.
I had remembered it. But I had waited a long time to go there. Initially after the Liberation I was absolutely not interested in all that stored stuff, and naturally I was also rather afraid of it. Afraid of being confronted with things that had belonged to a connection that no longer existed; which were hidden away in cupboards and boxes and waiting in vain until they were put back in their place again; which had endured all those years because they were ‘things.’
But gradually everything became more normal again. Bread was getting to be a lighter colour, there was a bed you could sleep in unthreatened, a room with a view you were more used to glancing at each day. And one day I noticed I was curious about all the possessions that must still be at that address. I wanted to see them, touch, remember.
After my first visit in vain to Mrs Dorling’s house I decided to try a second time. Now a girl of about fifteen opened the door to me. I asked her if her mother was at home.
‘No’ she said, ‘my mother’s doing an errand.’
‘No matter,’ I said, ‘I’ll wait for her.’
Liberation – Liberty or Freeing
Endured – suffered
Vain – hopeless
She remembered the address but she took too long to visit the place. After the freedom, she was on one hand, not interested and on the other, was afraid. She was afraid of getting confronted with the past memories and connections that no longer existed. Connections were hidden in cupboards and boxes. It seemed that those memories were waiting in vain to put them back to their places as they had suffered all these years because they were only things.
Things were getting normal in the Protagonist’s life, but one day, she got curious about all the things that were still at that address. She wanted to see them and touch them. After the first hopeless visit, she decided to try one more time.
When she reached Mrs Morling’s home, a girl of fifteen years opened the door. Protagonist asked her about her mother. She told her that she was outside doing some errands to which the protagonist decided that she would wait for her.
I followed the girl along the passage. An old-fashioned iron Hanukkah1 candle holder hung next to a mirror. We never used it because it was much more cumbersome than a single candlestick.
‘Won’t you sit down?’ asked the girl. She held open the door of the living room and I went inside past her. I stopped, horrified. I was in a room I knew and did not know. I found myself in the midst of things I did want to see again but which oppressed me in the strange atmosphere. Or because of the tasteless way everything was arranged, because of the ugly furniture or the muggy smell that hung there, I don’t know; but I scarcely dared to look around me. The girl moved a chair. I sat down and stared at the woolen tablecloth. I rubbed it. My fingers grew warm from rubbing. I followed the lines of the pattern. Somewhere on the edge there should be a burn mark that had never been repaired.
‘My mother’ll be back soon,’ said the girl. ‘I’ve already made tea for her. Will you have a cup?’
Hanukkah – The Feast of Lights, a Hebrew festival in December
Cumbersome – unmanageable
Midst – middle
Muggy – humid
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The protagonist followed the girl along the passage. There was a Hanukkah candle holder hung next to a mirror. She remembered that she never used it as it was unmanageable. The girl asked her to sit down as she opened the door to the living room. She stopped and she was disturbed. She was standing in a room which she knew and she didn’t. She was standing in the middle of things that she didn’t want to see and they burdened her. Maybe because of the way things were arranged, or the humid smell in the room, or the ugly furniture, she was scared to look at everything. She sat down on a chair which the girl pulled out for her. She looked at the woolen table cloth. She rubbed it and her fingers felt warm. As she followed the lines of the pattern, she remembered a burn mark that was never repaired. The girl told her that her mother would be back soon and asked if she would like to have a cup of tea. She answered thank you.
I looked up. The girl put cups ready on the tea table. She had a broad back. Just like her mother. She poured tea from a white pot. All it had was a gold border on the lid, I remembered. She opened a box and took some spoons out.
‘That’s a nice box.’ I heard my own voice. It was a strange voice. As though each sound was different in this room.
‘Oh, you know about them?’ She had turned around and brought me my tea. She laughed. ‘My mother says it is antique. We’ve got lots more.’ She pointed around the room. ‘See for yourself.’
I had no need to follow her hand. I knew which things she meant. I just looked at the still life over the tea table. As a child I had always fancied the apple on the pewter plate.
‘We use it for everything,’ she said. ‘Once we even ate off the plates hanging there on the wall. I wanted to so much. But it wasn’t anything special.’
I had found the burn mark on the tablecloth. The girl looked questioningly at me.
Pewter plate – plate made of a gray alloy of tin
The protagonist looked up, she saw the girl put two cups of tea in front of her. She had a broad back just like her mother. She poured tea from the teapot and it had a gold border on the lid. She opened a box and took some spoons out of it. The protagonist complimented the girl about the box. She felt weird hearing her own voice. It was sounding different to her. As the girl turned to give her a cup, she asked if she knew about the box. Then she added that it is antique, according to her mother. She pointed around the room and said that there are more. She told her to see, although the protagonist didn’t need to follow her direction. She knew what she was talking about. She glanced over the tea table, she remembered how she used to fancy the apple on the pewter plate. The girl shared that they use the plate for everything. Once they ate off the plates that were hanging on the wall. The girl wanted to eat off that plate too. But it wasn’t anything special. The protagonist found the burn mark on the table cloth, the girl looked at her in a question.
‘Yes,’ I said, ‘you get so used to touching all these lovely things in the house, you hardly look at them any more. You only notice when something is missing, because it has to be repaired or because you have lent it, for example.’
Again I heard the unnatural sound of my voice and I went on: ‘I remember my mother once asked me if I would help her polish the silver. It was a very long time ago and I was probably bored that day or perhaps I had to stay at home because I was ill, as she had never asked me before. I asked her which silver she meant and she replied, surprised, that it was the spoons, forks and knives, of course. And that was the strange thing, I didn’t know the cutlery we ate off every day was silver.’
The girl laughed again.
‘I bet you don’t know it is either.’ I looked intently at her. ‘What we eat with?’ she asked.
‘Well, do you know?’
She hesitated. She walked to the sideboard and wanted to open a drawer. ‘I’ll look. It’s in here.’
The protagonist said yes and told her that when you are so used to touching things into your house, you hardly notice anything. You only notice when something is missing or it needs to be repaired or because you have lent it. She again found her voice to be unnatural. She continued, she told the girl that once her mother asked her if she would help her polish the silver. It was a long time ago and she was bored that day. She had to stay that day maybe as she was ill. She asked her mother what silver she is talking about? Her mother said it was the spoons, knives, and forks. But she didn’t know that it was silver. The girl laughed and said that she bet, she didn’t know it was either with what they ate with. The protagonist asked if she knew. The girl hesitated and walked to the sideboard and opened a drawer. She said she would see if it was there.
I jumped up. ‘I was forgetting the time. I must catch my train.’
She had her hand on the drawer. ‘Don’t you want to wait for my mother?’
‘No, I must go.’ I walked to the door. The girl pulled the drawer open. ‘I can find my own way.’
As I walked down the passage I heard the jingling of spoons and forks.
At the corner of the road I looked up at the name-plate. Marconi Street, it said. I had been at Number 46. The address was correct. But now I didn’t want to remember it any more. I wouldn’t go back there because the objects that are linked in your memory with the familiar life of former times instantly lose their value when, severed from them, you see them again in strange surroundings. And what should I have done with them in a small rented room where the shreds of black-out paper still hung along the windows and no more than a handful of cutlery fitted in the narrow table drawer?
I resolved to forget the address. Of all the things I had to forget, that would be the easiest.
Jingling – ringing
The protagonist jumped and said she forgot the time as she had to catch the train. The girl asked her if she did not want to wait for her mother? The protagonist still replied with a no and said she must leave. The girl pulled the drawer open. The protagonist said she could find her way out and walked down the passage as she heard the ringing spoon of spoons and forks.
When she reached the corner of the road, she looked at the name-plate again. It said Marconi Street and she was standing at 46. The address was correct but she doesn’t want to remember it anymore. She didn’t want to go back as the things in there reminded her of memories linked with the familiar life of old times. But they lose the value when you are separated from them and you see them again in a strange environment. She thought of what she would have done with a small rented room where black-out paper hung over the window and no cutlery fitted in the narrow drawer. She finally resolved on forgetting the address as it would be easiest.
The Address Question Answers
1. ‘Have you come back?’ said the woman. ‘I thought that no one had come back.’ Does this statement give some clue about the story? If yes, what is it?
Ans: The quoted statement gives us a clue about the story. It means that the two families were acquaintances who knew each other and stayed nearby. During the war, many families left the land to take refuge in another place while some of the families stayed back at the same place. Mrs. Dorling thought that the family of Mrs. S died during the war and that is why she gave such a cold reaction to the girl who came to visit her.
2. The story is divided into pre-War and post-War times. What hardships do you think the girl underwent during these times?
Ans: The story is based on the pre-War and post-War period. The family of the girl was rich before the war and they had valuable possessions in their house. When the war started, Mrs. Dorling established contact with them and started visiting them again. She started taking the possessions with her whenever she would visit as she believed if they would leave the place, such things should not be wasted. The girl suffered a lot, her mother died and she had to live in a rented place. She found it really difficult to go back to the place where her childhood was spent and she wanted her belongings back. When she went to meet Mrs. Dorling, she noticed how the things were arranged in a tasteless manner. She could no longer connect to them and she lost her interest in them and partly she was afraid. The girl finally decided to leave the house and forget the address.
3. Why did the narrator of the story want to forget the address?
Ans: Mrs. Dorling kept the valuable items in her house until the war was over as she didn’t want them to lose during the war in case they decided to leave the place. Her mother gave her the address of Mrs. Dorling ’46, Marconi Street’. She remembered the address and decided to visit her anyway. She was afraid to visit the place again as it brought back many past memories. When she saw all the possessions, they were arranged in a tasteless manner and she lost interest in them. She could not connect with the things and thought that she would not stay at the house any longer, she would destroy the good memories she had with those items. She finally decided to forget the address and not to go back to that place.
4. ‘The Address’ is a story of human predicament that follows war. Comment.
Ans: The war always brings a lot of suffering to human beings. It brings them both destruction and death. ‘The Address’ is based on the same theme. During the war, all the belongings were taken by Mrs. Dorling who promised to keep them safe. The mother of the protagonist died and all the possessions were left with the acquaintance. Years later the girl decided to visit the house whose address was given by her mother years ago. The woman showed no sympathy to her and took the time to even recognize her. She thought everyone in her family had died. The girl wanted to take back her belongings. She didn’t allow the girl to enter the house. She seemed like a woman who didn’t have any human emotions. So, the war leaves the world desolated and it cannot be healed.
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