Home >> Learn English >> Class 8>>

The Great Stone Face-I, Class 8 CBSE English Lesson Summary, Explanation

By Ruchika Gupta

 

The Great Stone Face-I, CBSE Class 8 English Honeydew Book Lesson 9 Explanation, Summary, Difficult words

 

The Great Stone Face-I Class 8 English Honeydew Book Lesson 9 - 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 Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered.

Class 8 English (Honeydew Book) Chapter 9 - The Great Stone Face-I

the great stone face I

 

The Great Stone Face-I - Introduction

The Great Stone Face-I revolves around the old prophecy that persists in a valley which has the Great Stone Face beaming over it. The old prophecy says that one day a man will come bearing likeness of the Great Stone Face and he will be the noblest and greatest of his time. One day, a mother tells her son, Ernest about the prophecy and since then, he eagerly awaits the arrival of the man. The story focuses on how the inhabitants of the village misjudge two men to be the one spoken about in the prophecy and how even after waiting for so long, Ernest is still hopeful that the man will come.

 

Class 08th English Lessons Class 08th English MCQ Take Free MCQ Test English
Class 08th Science Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Science
Class 08th Hindi Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Hindi
CBSE CLASS 08th Social Science Lessons Take Free MCQ Test History

 

The Great Stone Face-I - Summary

The Great Stone face was the artwork of nature, formed on the perpendicular side of a mountain by some huge rocks. The rocks were piled up in a way that when looked at from a particular distance, they resembled a human face. So one fine day, a mother and son sat outside their cottage gazing at the Great Stone Face and the mother told her son named Ernest, about an old prophecy which said that on some future date, a man will be born in the valley who will bear the likeness of the Great Stone Face and he will be the greatest and noblest of the time. Ernest expressed his desire to live to see the man and his mother, loving and caring as she was, did not want to disappoint him, so she said “Perhaps you may”. Since that day, Ernest never forgot about the prophecy and thought about it whenever he glanced at the valley. Ernest was an obedient and hard-working child who helped his mother. One fine day, a word spread across town that a son of the valley named Gathergold that had settled out of it to establish as a shopkeeper wanted to spend his last days in his native valley. He was so wealthy that it would have taken him a hundred years to count his wealth. A rumour was spread that he is the man being spoken of in the prophecy. People were excited to see him and upon seeing him, everyone except Ernest, believed that Mr Gathergold bore the likeness of the Great Stone Face. It was only after he lost all his wealth before dying that people agreed that he was not the man from the prophecy. As Ernest was a simple and helpful child, he grew up to be a diligent and kind man in his youth. He used to stay unnoticed in the valley as he was plain and simple which drew almost no attention to him. The only thing people noticed was that he used to gaze at the Great Stone Face for hours after finishing the work for the day. People thought it was foolish but still excusable as he was neighbourly. By the time he had grown up, the Great Stone Face had become a teacher for Earnest. It made him wiser than others of his age. Some time later, another son of a valley who had left it to become a soldier expressed his desire to spend his last days in the valley where he was born. After hard fighting, he had risen to the rank of a famous Commander and was known as Blood-and-Thunder in the battlefield. A word spread across the valley that this great fighter is the man they have been waiting for. Preparations to welcome him began and people who never even thought of looking at the Great Stone Face, began spending hours looking at it to know how Blood-and-Thunder would look. On the day of his arrival, everyone left their work early to gather at the place where the feast was organised to welcome the General. When people saw him, they shouted in joy as they claimed that he had the exact same face. At first, Ernest could not see him but when he did, he could compare Blood-and-Thunder and the Great Stone Face that stood beside him. He concluded that there was no such resemblance as people proclaimed. He turned away in disappointment as his heart (felt like it was the Great Stone Face was saying itself to him) whispered to him, “fear not, Earnest, the man will come”.

The Great Stone Face-I - Lesson and Explanation

One afternoon, when the sun was going down, a mother and her little boy sat at the door of their cottage, talking about the Great Stone Face. They had only to lift their eyes and there it was, plain to be seen, though miles away, with the sunshine brightening all its features. And what was the Great Stone Face? The Great Stone Face was a work of nature, formed on the perpendicular side of a mountain by some immense rocks, which had been thrown together so that, when viewed at a proper distance, they resembled the features of a human face. If the spectator approached too near, he lost the outline of the enormous face and could see only a heap of gigantic rocks, piled one upon another. But seen from a distance, the clouds clustering about it, the Great Stone Face seemed positively to be alive. It was the belief of many people that the valley owed much of its fertility to the benign face that was continually beaming over it.

Perpendicular- (cliff or rock-face) rising very steeply

the great stone

Immense- huge
Spectator- onlooker; watcher
Enormous- very big
Heap- pile
Gigantic- immense
Clustering- gathering
Benign- kind, gentle

One fine afternoon at sunset, a mother and her little son sat outside their cottage as they discussed the Great Stone Face. It was so big that it only required them to lift their eyes to be able to see it. Although it was miles away, it could still be seen clearly as the sunshine falling on it enhanced all its features. If you may ask, what really was the Great Stone Face? The Great Stone Face was a piece of art made by nature on the perpendicular side of a mountain by the natural piling up of some huge rocks. The rocks were piled in a way that when looked at from a particular distance, it seemed like a human face. But if the onlookers were to look at it from too close, they would lose the outline of the great face and would only see a pile of giant rocks. Surely, when looked at from miles away, as the clouds gathered around it, the Great Stone Face looked alive. Many people believed that the fertility of the valley is also because the kind and gentle face was constantly smiling over it.

 

A mother and her little boy, as we said earlier, sat at the door of their cottage, gazing at the Great Stone Face and talking about it. The child’s name was Ernest. “Mother,” said he, while the Great Face smiled on him, “I wish that it could speak, for it looks so very kindly that its voice must indeed be pleasant. If I ever see a man with such a face, I should love him very much.”
“If an old prophecy should come to pass,” answered his mother, “we may see a man some time, with exactly such a face as that.”
“What prophecy do you mean, dear Mother?” eagerly inquired Ernest. “Please tell me about it.”

Gazing- look steadily and intently, especially in admiration or thought
Prophecy- statement that tells what will happen in the future

A mother and her little son, as was mentioned in the story earlier, sat outside their cottage staring at the Great Stone Face and talking about it. The son’s name was “Ernest”. As the Great Stone Face smiled over him, Ernest described his desire to his mother to hear the Great Stone Face talk. He thought that a man with such a kind appearance must have a very pleasant voice. He further expressed if he would ever find a man that looked like the Great Stone Face, he would love him dearly. His mother replies and tells him that if an old prophecy were to come true, there may be a day where a man will come who will look exactly as the Great Stone Face. Upon hearing this, Ernest questions his mother about the old prophecy.

So his mother told him a story that her own mother had told her, when she herself was younger than little Ernest; that, at some future day, a child should be born near here, who was destined to become the greatest and noblest person of his time and whose face, in manhood, should bear an exact resemblance to the Great Stone Face. Many still had faith in this old prophecy. But others took it to be nothing but idle talk. At all events the great man of the prophecy had not yet appeared

Noblest- having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles
Idle talk- foolish or irrelevant talk

Upon being asked, Ernest’s mother told him the narrative that her mother had told her when she was even younger than little Ernest. It states that, at some point in the future, there would come a day when a child born near the place would look exactly like the Great Stone Face upon becoming an adult. He would be destined to become the greatest and most selfless man of his time. Majority of the population’s faith still lied in the prophecy while others considered it irrelevant. Whichever may be the case, the great man being talked about in the prophecy had not appeared till that time.

“O, Mother,” cried Ernest, clapping his hands above his head, “I do hope that I shall live to see him!” His mother was an affectionate and thoughtful woman. It was proper, she thought, not to discourage the fanciful hopes of her little boy. So she said to him, “Perhaps you may.”

Affectionate- loving, caring
Fanciful- over-imaginative and unrealistic

Upon hearing this, Ernest clapped his hands above his head since he was filled with hope. He told his mother that he wished to live long enough to see the noble man. Being a loving and thoughtful woman, his mother did not wish to discourage him, even though his hopes were a bit unrealistic. Thus, she replied, “Perhaps you may”.

 

And Ernest never forgot the story that his mother told him. It was always in his mind whenever he looked upon the Great Stone Face. He spent his childhood in the log-cottage where he was born, was dutiful to his mother and helpful to her in many things, assisting her much with his little hands, and more with his loving heart. In this manner, from a happy yet often pensive child he grew up to be a mild and quiet youth.

Pensive- thoughtful

Since that day, Ernest always remembered the story his mother told him and would always think about it whenever he looked at the Great Stone Face. During his childhood, he stayed in the log-cottage where he was born. He was responsible and loyal to his mother. He would help her in doing a lot of things with his little hands and loving heart. He was very obedient yet thoughtful as a child, as he grew up to be low-key and quiet in his youth.


Ernest had had no teacher, but the Great Stone Face became one to him. When the work of the day was over, he would gaze at it for hours, until he began to imagine that those vast features recognised him, and gave him a smile of kindness and encouragement.

Ernest never had a teacher, so the Great Stone Face acted as one in his life. Each day after winding up his work, he would stare at the Great Stone Face for hours, until he began to think that those immense features recognised him and smiled at him kindly. This encouraged him.


About this time there went a rumour throughout the valley that the great man, who was to bear a resemblance to the Great Stone Face, had appeared at last. It seems that, many years before, a young man had left the valley and settled at a distant seaport. Gathergold, which was his name, had set up as a shopkeeper and, being sharp in business matters, had become so very rich that it would have taken him a hundred years only to count his wealth. In time he thought of his native valley, and decided to go back there, and end his days where he had been born.

Native- a person born in a specified place or associated with a place by birth, whether subsequently resident there or not

Around that time, a word was spread across the valley that the great man from the old prophecy, that bore resemblance to the Great Stone Face was about to make his appearance. Quite a few years earlier, a young man born in the valley had settled at a distant seaport to become an established shopkeeper. His name was Gathergold and he had very good business skills. By that time, Gathergold had become so rich that if he began counting his wealth, it would have taken him a hundred years to do so. At that time, he thought of coming back to the valley as he wanted to spend his last days where he was born.


Ernest had been deeply stirred by the idea that the great man, the noble man, the man of prophecy, after so many ages of delay, was at length to be seen in his native valley. While the boy was still gazing up the valley one day and imagining that the Great Stone Face returned his gaze, the noise of wheels was heard, and a crowd of people cried. “Here comes the great Mr Gathergold.”

Stirred- arouse strong feeling in someone

Upon hearing this, Ernest was extremely moved at the idea of seeing the greatest and noblest man from the prophecy in his native valley. One day when Ernest was staring at the mountain, imagining that the Great Stone Face looked back at him, he heard the noise of wheels as people announced the arrival of the great Gathergold.


A carriage, drawn by four horses, dashed round the turn of the road. Within it, thrust partly out of the window appeared the face of an old man with yellow skin. “The very image of the Great Stone Face!” shouted the people. “Sure enough, the old prophecy is true. Here we have the great man, at last!” And, what greatly puzzled Ernest, they seemed actually to believe that here was the likeness which they spoke of. He turned away sadly from the wrinkled shrewdness of that unpleasant face, and gazed up the valley, where the Stone Face seemed to say: He will come! Fear not, Ernest; the man will come!

Dashed- (here) stopped forcefully
Shrewdness- the quality of having or showing good powers of judgement; sharpness
Likeness- the fact or quality of being alike; resemblance

The noise of wheels was made by the carriage in which Gathergold arrived. The carriage, being drawn by four horses, was stopped with force around the turn of the road. One could partly see the face of an old man with a yellowish skin tone from the open window. The people started shouting in excitement that the man exactly resembled the Great Stone Face and that the old prophecy was indeed true now that they have the great man in the valley. Ernest was unable to understand how people actually believed that the man resembled the Great Stone Face like it was said in the prophecy. He got disappointed and turned away from the wrinkled clever and unpleasant face of the old man. He stared at the valley where he could imagine the Great Stone Face asking him to have patience as the man in the prophecy will come.

 

Class 08th English Lessons Class 08th English MCQ Take Free MCQ Test English
Class 08th Science Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Science
Class 08th Hindi Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Hindi
CBSE CLASS 08th Social Science Lessons Take Free MCQ Test History

 

 

 

II 

mother story

The years went on, and Ernest grew to be a young man. He attracted little notice from the inhabitants of the valley. They saw nothing remarkable in his way of life, except that, when the labour of the day was over, he still loved to gaze upon the Great Stone Face. Their idea was that this was a folly, but pardonable, because Ernest was industrious, kind and neighbourly. They did not know that the Great Stone Face had become a teacher to him, and that the sentiment which was expressed in it would enlarge the young man's heart, and fill it with deeper sympathies than other hearts. They did not know that from this would come a better wisdom than could be learnt from books. Neither did Ernest know that the thoughts which came to him so naturally, in the fields and at the fireside, were of a higher tone than those which all men shared with him. A simple soul — simple as when his mother first told him the old story — he beheld the marvellous face looking down the valley, and still wondered, why its human likeness was so long in coming.

Inhabitants- people living in the valley; dwellers
Labour- work
Remarkable- worthy of attention; extraordinary
Folly- lack of good sense; foolishness
Pardonable- able to be forgiven; excusable
Industrious- diligent and hard-working
Beheld- saw
Marvellous- extremely good or pleasing; splendid
Sympathies- feelings (of sorrow, understanding and approval)

A few years passed by, Ernest grew up to be a young man. He was not very famous amongst the people living in the valley. He lived a very simple life and the people of the valley found nothing extraordinary which was worthy of their attention in his lifestyle. Only one thing drew their attention towards him, that after finishing the day’s work, he would still stare at the Great Stone Face. People thought it to be his foolishness but also considered it to be excusable because Ernest was diligent, hard-working, kind and also a good neighbour. The people were unaware that the Great Stone Face acted as a teacher in his life. They did not know that the sentiment which was expressed in it would expand Ernest’s heart and fill it with emotions like sympathy, deeper than other’s hearts. The wisdom that he acquired from it was better from what any book could teach and the people of the valley were unaware of it. Even Ernest himself did not know that the thoughts which came to him so naturally, in the fields and at the fireside, were much more complex and superior than what others like him had. A simple and uncomplicated soul as he continued to be, like he was when his mother first told him about the old prophecy. He still retained his extremely pure and good-looking face that looked down at the valley trying to reason why it is taking so long for the human embodiment of the Great Stone Face to come.


By this time poor Mr Gathergold was dead and buried. His wealth, which was the body and spirit of his existence, had disappeared before his death. Since the melting away of his gold, it had been generally agreed that there was no great likeness, after all, between the ruined merchant and the majestic face upon the mountain.

Majestic- having or showing impressive beauty

By that time, Mr Gathergold, who was considered to be the man in the old prophecy, died and was buried. Before he died, he lost all his wealth which was considered to be the main essence of his existence. As all of his gold melted away, the people of the valley came to the realisation that there was actually no resemblance between the ruined merchant and the magnificent beauty of the Great Stone Face.

It so happened that another son of the valley had become a soldier many years before. After a great deal of hard fighting, he was now a famous commander. He was known on the battlefield by the name of Blood-and-Thunder. Old and tired now, he had lately expressed a desire to return to his native valley. The inhabitants, his old neighbours and their grown up children, prepared to welcome the renowned commander. It was being said that at last the likeness of the Great Stone Face had actually appeared. Great, therefore, was the excitement throughout the valley, and many people who had never once thought of glancing at the Great Stone Face now spent much time in gazing at it, for the sake of knowing exactly how General Blood-and-Thunder looked.

Renowned- famous

Then came the news that one of the previous inhabitants of the valley became a soldier many years ago. After a lot of struggle and fighting, he rose to the rank of a commander, who was quite famous. In fact, on the battlefield, he was known by the name of Blood-and-Thunder. As he grew old, he desired to return to his native valley. The inhabitants, his old neighbours and their grown up children began the preparations to greet the acclaimed commander. A word also spread across the valley that the great likeness which was spoken of in the prophecy, had appeared. The valley grew excited and even those who had never even thought of looking at the Great Stone face before, began spending hours looking at it, just to anticipate how General Blood-and-Thunder actually looked like.

On the day of the general’s arrival, Ernest and all the other people of the valley left their work, and proceeded to the spot where a great banquet had been prepared. Soldiers stood on guard, flags waved and the crowd roared. Ernest was standing too far back to see Blood-and-Thunder’s face. However, he could hear several voices.

Banquet- feast


On the day of General Blood-and-Thunder’s arrival, everyone including Ernest left their work early to gather at the place where a feast had been prepared to welcome the General. To greet him, soldiers were made to stand on guard, flags were waved and the crowd shouted in excitement. Ernest stood far away and could not see the General himself but he surely could hear several voices.

“It’s the same face, exactly!” cried one man, dancing for joy.
“Wonderfully like it, that’s a fact!” replied another.
“And why not?” cried a third;

greatest man of this

“he’s the greatest man of this or any other age, beyond a doubt.”
Ernest at last could see the general’s face; and in the same glance, to the side, he could also see the Great Stone Face. If there was such a likeness as the crowd proclaimed, Ernest could not recognise it. “Fear not, Ernest,” said his heart, as if the Great Stone Face was whispering to him, “fear not, Ernest; he will come.”

Proclaimed- (here) said loudly, announced

 

 

One man claimed that the General had the exact same face as he danced in joy. Another said it for a fact that he looked wonderfully like the Great Stone Face. a voice could be heard saying that he is undoubtedly the man from the prophecy as he is the greatest man of all ages. By that moment, Ernest managed to glance at the General’s face in a way that he could also see the Great Stone Face beside him. Ernest could not find any resemblance between the two like the crowd announced. But at the same time, he could hear his heart tell him not to worry as if it was the Great Stone Face itself telling him that the man will come.

 

The Great Stone Face-I - Question and Answers

Comprehension Check
Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ against each of the following statements.
1. The Great Stone Face stood near where Ernest and his mother lived. ______

2. One would clearly distinguish the features of the Stone Face only from a distance. ______
3. Ernest loved his mother and helped her in her work. ______
4. Though not very rich, Gathergold was a skilful merchant. ______

5. Gathergold died in poverty and neglect. ______
6. The Great Stone Face seemed to suggest that Ernest should not fear the general. ______

Solution-
1. The Great Stone Face stood near where Ernest and his mother lived. False
2. One would clearly distinguish the features of the Stone Face only from a distance. True
3. Ernest loved his mother and helped her in her work. True
4. Though not very rich, Gathergold was a skilful merchant. False
5. Gathergold died in poverty and neglect. True
6. The Great Stone Face seemed to suggest that Ernest should not fear the general. False

Working with the Text
Answer the following questions.

1. (i) What was the Great Stone Face?
A. The Great Stone Face was a work of nature, formed on the perpendicular side of a mountain by some immense rocks, which had been thrown together so that, when viewed at a proper distance, they resembled the features of a human face.

(ii) What did young Ernest wish when he gazed at it?
A. When young Ernest gazed at the Great Stone Face, he wished for it to speak as he thought that it’s voice must be pleasant as it looked so kindly. He even mentioned that if he ever saw a man like it, he would love him dearly.

2. What was the story attributed to the Stone Face?
A. The story that was attributed to the Stone Face was that at some future day, a child should be born near the valley, who was destined to become the greatest and noblest person of his time and whose face, in manhood, should bear an exact resemblance to the Great Stone Face.

3. What gave the people of the valley the idea that the prophecy was about to come true for the first time?
A. The prophecy would come true when a man bearing an exact resemblance to the Great Stone Face would appear. The man was destined to be the greatest and noblest person of his time. Mr Gathergold, the old man who had left the valley many years ago to become a shopkeeper, was a clever businessman. He had earned so much, that if he began counting his wealth, it would have taken him a hundred years to do so. It was only through a rumour that a word was spread that he was the man being talked about it in the prophecy.

4. (i) Did Ernest see in Gathergold the likeness of the Stone Face?
A. No, Earnest did not see the likeness of the Great Stone Face in Gathergold.

(ii) Who did he confide in and how was he proved right?
A. When he realized that Gathergold did not bear the resemblance of the Great Stone Face, he confided in the Great Stone Face itself. He was proved right when Mr Gathergold lost all his wealth before he died. When all his gold was melted away, everyone living in the valley agreed that there was no likeness of the Great Stone Face in Mr Gathergold.

5. (i) What made people believe General Blood-and-Thunder was their man?
A. General Blood-and-Thunder had left the valley to become a soldier many years ago. After a lot of struggle and fighting hard, he rose to the rank of a Commander and was known by the name of Blood-and-Thunder in the battlefield. When he decided to come back to his native valley in his old age, people believed that he was the man that bore the likeness of the Great Stone Face because he was famous and one of the greatest men of his age.

(ii) Ernest compared the man’s face with the Stone Face. What did he conclude?
A. Upon comparing the man’s face with the Stone Face, Ernest could not recognise any likeness of the Great Stone Face in him as the people proclaimed. Thus, he concluded that General Blood-and-Thunder was not the man being talked about in the prophecy.

The Great Stone Face-I - Grammar Exercises

 

1. Look at the following words.
like - likeness
punctual - punctuality
The words on the left are adjectives and those on the right are their noun forms. Write the noun forms of the following words by adding -ness or -ity to them appropriately. Check the spelling of the new words.
(i) lofty ______________
(ii) able ______________
(iii) happy ______________
(iv) near ______________
(v) noble ______________
(vi) enormous ______________
(vii) pleasant ______________
(viii) dense ______________
(ix) great ______________
(x) stable ______________

Solution-
(i) lofty- loftiness
(ii) able- ability
(iii) happy- happiness
(iv) near- nearness
(v) noble- nobility
(vi) enormous- enormity
(vii) pleasant- pleasantness
(viii) dense- density
(ix) great- greatness
(x) stable- stability

2. Add -ly to each of the following adjectives, then use them to fill in the blanks.

perfect

near

kind

Pleasant

eager

(i) Why didn’t you turn up at the meeting? We all were _______ waiting for you.
(ii) _________ write your name and address in capital letters.
(iii) I was _________ surprised to see him at the railway station. I thought he was not coming.   
(iv) It is _________ believable that I am not responsible for this mess.
(v) He fell over the step and _________ broke his arm.

Solution-

perfect

perfectly

near

nearly

kind

kindly

pleasant

pleasantly

eager

eagerly

(i) Why didn’t you turn up at the meeting? We all were eagerly waiting for you.
(ii) Kindly write your name and address in capital letters.
(iii) I was pleasantly surprised to see him at the railway station. I thought he was not coming.
(iv) It is perfectly believable that I am not responsible for this mess.
(v) He fell over the step and nearly broke his arm.

 

3. Complete each sentence below using the appropriate forms of the verbs in brackets.
(i) I _________ (phone) you when I _________ (get) home from school.
(ii) Hurry up! Madam _________ (be) annoyed if we _________ (be) late.
(iii) If it _________ (rain) today, we _________ (not) go to the play.
(iv) When you _________ (see) Mandal again, you _________ (not/recognise) him. He is growing a beard.
(v) We are off today. We _________ (write) to you after we _________ (be) back.

Solution-
(i) I will phone you when I get home from school.
(ii) Hurry up! Madam will be annoyed if we are late.
(iii) If it rains today, we will not go to the play.
(iv) When you see Mandal again, you will not recognise him. He is growing a beard.
(v) We are off today. We will write to you after we are back.

 

 

Class 08th English Lessons Class 08th English MCQ Take Free MCQ Test English
Class 08th Science Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Science
Class 08th Hindi Lessons   Take Free MCQ Test Hindi
CBSE CLASS 08th Social Science Lessons Take Free MCQ Test History