Class 9 Drama Villa for Sale Summary, Explanation Notes


CBSE Class 9 English Drama Villa for Sale Summary, Explanation and Question Answers from Literature Reader (Communicative) Book


Villa for Sale – CBSE Class 9 English Literature Reader (Communicative) Book Drama Villa for Sale Summary and detailed explanation of the lesson along with the meanings of difficult words. Also, all the exercises and Questions Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered. 

Class 9 English Literature Reader Drama – Villa for Sale

by Sacha Guitry


Villa for Sale Introduction

The play is set in a suburban area of Paris, France. A lady, Juliette has put up her villa for sale. As it is at a good location, she had expected a better response from buyers. There is a buyer for the villa, a couple named Jeanne and Gaston. Jeanne, the lady, is interested in buying the villa whereas Gaston, her husband, is opposed to the idea. As Jeanne goes around the villa, Gaston chances to meet another prospective buyer, an American

actress, Mrs. Al Smith. She is in a hurry and so, hands him a cheque of 3,00,000 francs, the price of the villa, mistaking him to be the owner. The business – minded Gaston is happy to have struck a good deal and earns 1,00,000 francs as the amount fixed for the purchase of the villa between his wife and the owner is 2,00,000 francs.



Villa for Sale Summary

The play is set in a suburban area in France. The humorous play revolves round Juliette’s villa. Gaston and Jeanne is the couple who want to purchase the villa and Mrs. A L Smith is an actress who is also interested in buying it as it is near Paramount studio where she is going to shoot some films. Jeanne wants to buy the villa for her parents. She has been insisting on it since one month. Gaston is very business-minded, very shrewd and he expresses his displeasure in making any investment on his wife’s family. So, whenever she joins any conversation with him pertaining to purchase of villa, Gaston explains his unwillingness to buy a villa. Jeanne is firm in her decision to buy a villa. Gaston who is not interested finds faults with it. He says the garden looks like a yard with a patch of grass in the middle and the salon is small. On the other hand, Jeanne has a good opinion about it. Gaston is totally irritated by now and makes it very clear that he has no intention of purchasing the villa and is about to leave. At that very moment, Juliette, the owner of the villa enters. She shows to be very proud of her villa and announces that the villa was perfect for the couple. She flatters them, calls them ‘exceptional’ that the villa was according to their taste. After much bargaining Juliette reduces the price from 2,50,000 francs to 2,00,000 francs. Gaston rejects and is about to leave when Jeanne surprises him that she wants to see the upper floor and finally decide whether to purchase the villa or not. When the two women go upstairs, Gaston is left alone in the salon. While he waits, Mrs. A L Smith the American actress arrives to look at the villa. Mrs. Smith mistakes him as the owner of the villa and makes a deal with him. He tries to make some money by this deal. He acts as the owner and tells Mrs. Smith that the villa will cost 300000 francs. Immediately, she hands over a cheque of 300000 francs. She leaves telling him that her lawyer will complete the rest of the transaction. Juliette and Jeanne return and Jeanne is no longer interested in buying the villa but Gaston explains to her that the Villa will not only allow her parents to stay with them but also allow them to enjoy country life after retirement. Then, he immediately hands over a cheque of 200000 francs to Juliette. Juliette is still unaware that Gaston has sold the villa to Mrs. A L Smith for 300000 francs. Gaston’s deal is later discovered by Jeanne. Finally, Gaston earns one hundred thousand francs in the deal.


Villa for Sale Lesson Explanation

List of Characters
Julliette – The owner of the villa
Maid – Juliette’s maid
Gaston – A shrewd businessman
Jeanne – His young wife
Mrs Al Smith – A rich American lady

The scene represents the salon of a small villa near Nogent-sur-Marne.
When the curtain rises, the MAID and JULIETTE are discovered.

Explanation:The scene is set in a small room of a Villa which is located near Nogen t-sur-Marne. The two characters, maid and Juliet are present in the room.

Maid: Won’t Madame be sorry?
Juliette: Not at all. Mind you, if someone had bought it on the very day I placed it for sale, then I might have felt sorry because I would have wondered if I hadn’t been a fool to sell at all. But the sign has been hanging on the gate for over a month now and I am beginning to be afraid that the day I bought it, was when I was the real fool.
Maid: All the same, Madame, when they brought you the ‘For Sale’ sign, you wouldn’t let them put it up. You waited until it was night. Then you went and hung it yourself, Madame. Juliette: I know! You see, I thought that as they could not read it in the dark, the house would belong to me for one more night. I was so sure that the next day the entire world would be fighting to purchase it. For the first week, I was annoyed every time I passed that ‘Villa for Sale’ sign. The neighbours seemed to look at me in such a strange kind of way that I began to think the whole thing was going to be much more of a sell than a sale. That was a month ago and now, I have only one thought, that is to get the wretched place off my hands. I would sacrifice it at any price. One hundred thousand francs if necessary and that’s only twice what it cost me. I thought, I would get two hundred thousand but I suppose I must cut my loss. Besides, in the past two weeks, four people almost bought it, so I have begun to feel as though it no longer belongs to me. Oh! I’m fed up with the place, because nobody really wants it! What time did those agency people say the lady would call?

Word meanings:
sell: disappointment due to failure or trickery
Wretched: extremely bad or unpleasant
off my hands: to get rid of something
Cut my loss: to stop doing something in order to prevent the situation from getting worse

The maid asked the madam if she was sorry to which the Madam, Juliette replied that if someone had bought the villa on the first day of placing it on sale, she would have felt sorry for selling it but now that it had been a month, she felt sorry for having bought it initially. The maid says that the madam had waited for nightfall to put up the ‘for sale’ board. Juliette says that she did that so that no one could see the board in the dark and the house would be hers for one more night. She was confident that as soon as people would come to know that the villa was on sale, they would fight to buy it. For a week after putting up the board, she remained angry because of the looks that the neighbours gave her. She felt as if she was desperate to sell it and no one was interested in buying it. Now it is a month since the villa has been put up for sale and now she is desperate to sell it. She was ready to sell it at the lowest price offered. She would sell it for one hundred thousand Francs also which was twice the amount at which she had bought it. She had expected to get two hundred thousand Francs for it but now, she had to suffer a loss. She adds that in the last two weeks, four buyers had almost bought the property and so, she was detached with it. She wanted to get rid of it because no one else wanted to buy it. She asks the maid that at what time had the agency people said that they would call.

Maid: Between four and five, Madame.
Juliette: Then we must wait for her.
Maid: It was a nice little place for you to spend the weekends, Madame.
Juliette: Yes . . . but times are hard and business is as bad as it can be.
Maid: In that case, Madame, is it a good time to sell?
Juliette: No, perhaps not. But still. . . there are moments in life when it’s the right time to buy, but it’s never the right time to sell. For fifteen years everybody has had money at the same time and nobody wanted to sell. Now nobody has any money and nobody wants to buy. But still. .. even so … it would be funny if I couldn’t manage to sell a place here, a stone’s throw from Joinville, the French Hollywood, when all I’m asking is a paltry hundred thousand!

Word meanings:
Stone’s throw away: nearby
Joinville: the name of a film studio in Paris
Paltry: an amount, too small to be considered important or useful.

The maid said that they would come between four and five. Juliette said that she would wait. The maid suggested that the villa was a nice small place for her to spend the weekends. The owner replied that the times were tough for her and her business was not doing good. The maid said that in that case, it was a good idea to sell it. The owner said that maybe there can be a right time to buy something but there is never a right time to sell. For the last fifteen years everyone had the money to buy the villa but she did not want to sell it and now she wanted to sell it but nobody had the money to buy it. She thought it was funny that she wasn’t able to sell a property at such low price which was located at a prime location, near Joinville, the French Hollywood.

Maid: That reminds me, there is a favour I want to ask you, Madame.
Juliette: Yes, what is it my girl?
Maid: Will you be kind enough to let me off between nine and noon tomorrow morning? Juliette: From nine till noon?
Maid: They have asked me to play in a film at the Joinville Studio.
Juliette: You are going to act for the cinema?
Maid: Yes, Madame.
Juliette: What kind of part are you going to play?
Maid: A maid, Madame. They prefer the real article. They say maids are born; maids not made maids. They are giving me a hundred francs a morning for doing it.
Juliette: One hundred francs!
Maid: Yes, Madame. And as you only pay me four hundred a month, I can’t very well refuse, can I, Madame?
Juliette: A hundred francs! It’s unbelievable!

The maid said that she wanted a help from her madam. Juliet asked what it was to which the made asked for a leave from 9 to 12 the next day. She further said that she had been offered a role in a film at the Joinville studio. Julette asked her that if she was going to act for the cinema and the maid replied in the positive. Juliet asked what was the role that she was supposed to play. The maid said that it was the role of a maid. She added that they wanted a real maid for the role. They believed that maids were born and not made. She would be paid a 100 francs for each day of the shooting. Juliet was shocked to know the amount of money. The maid said that as Juliet was paying her only 400 francs for the whole month, she could not refuse such a nice offer.

Maid: Will you permit me, Madame, to tell you something I’ve suddenly thought of?
Juliette: What?
Maid: They want a cook in the film as well. They asked me if I knew of anybody suitable. You said just now, Madame, that times were hard. … Would you like me to get you the engagement?
Juliette: What?
Maid: Every little helps, Madame. Especially, Madame, as you have such a funny face.
Juliette: Thank you.

Word meanings:
Permit: allow
Engagement: here, the acting job

The maid took permission to speak something which came to her mind. Juliet asked her what it was. The maid said that the film crew required a suitable person for the role of a cook. She added that as Juliet said that she was facing financial difficulties, she could suggest Juliette’s name for the role. Julliette was shocked but the maid said that every little amount of money helps and she added that Juliette had a funny face. Juliette thanked her.

Maid (taking no notice). They might take you on for eight days, Madame. That would mean eight hundred francs. It’s really money for nothing. You would only have to peel potatoes one minute and make an omelette the next, quite easy. I could show you how to do it, Madame. Juliette: But how kind of you. … Thank God I’m not quite so hard up as that yet!
Maid: Oh, Madame, I hope you are not angry with me ? Please
Juliette: Not in the least.
Maid: You see, Madame, film acting is rather looked up to round here. Everybody wants to do it. Yesterday the butcher didn’t open his shop, he was being shot all the morning. Today, nobody could find the four policemen, they were taking part in Monsieur Milton’s fight scene in his new film. Nobody thinks about anything else round here now. You see, they pay so well. The manager is offering a thousand francs for a real beggar who has had nothing to eat for two days. Some people have all the luck! Think it over, Madame.
Juliette: Thanks, I will.

The maid did not pay any heed to Juliet’s words. She further added that Juliette would have to act for eight days which would fetch her 800 Francs and she said that Juliette could earn this money for doing nothing. She would only have to peel a few potatoes or make an omelette which was very easy. The maid also offered to help Juliette learn how to do these simple cooking tasks. Juliette thanked the maid for being very kind and she thanked god that her life was not that difficult that she had to take up such acting roles. The maid got worried and asked if Juliette was angry with her. Juliette denied it. The maid said that acting in films was considered to be a good profession. She added that the butcher did not open his shop the day before because he was also shooting. Also, that day no one could find the four policemen of the town because they were taking part in the fight scene of a new film that was being shot. She added that nobody thought of anything else other than acting because it was a well paid profession. The film manager was ready to pay 1000 Francs to a real beggar who had not eaten anything for the last two days. This was so because that man would not have to act, he would just have to be his real self. She added that those people who got the chance to act were lucky and she suggested Juliette to think over it. Juliette thanked the maid and said that she would think over it.

Maid: If you would go and see them with your hair slicked back the way you do when you are dressing, Madame, I am sure they would engage you right away. Because really, Madame, you look too comical!
Juliette: Thank you! (The bell rings) I am going upstairs for a moment. If that is the lady, tell her I will not be long. It won’t do to give her the impression that I am waiting for her.
Maid: Very good, Madame. (Exit JULIETTE, as she runs off to open the front door) Oh, if I could become a Greta Garbo! Why can’t I? Oh!
(Voices heard off, a second later, the MAID returns showing in GASTON and JEANNE) Maid: If you will be kind enough to sit down, I will tell Madame you are here.
Jeanne: Thank you.
(Exit MAID)

Word meanings:
Slicked: oiled
Comical: funny
Greta Garbo: Greta Garbo was a Swedish-American actress. Regarded as one of the greatest screen actresses

The maid suggested to Juliette that if she should go for the acting selection with her hair oiled and combed backwards as she did when she used to get ready, the organisers would surely hire her because she looked very funny in that hairstyle. Juliette thanked the maid and the doorbell rang. Juliette said that she was going upstairs for a moment. She added that if the lady was there at the door then the maid should ask her to wait because Juliette would be there any moment. The maid followed the instructions, Juliette went out of the room and the maid ran up to the door. The maid said to herself that if she could become the famous actress Greta Garbo, then she could act better. She questioned herself that why could she not be like her.
Some voice is heard in the background and the next moment the maid enters along with Gaston and John. The maid asks them to sit down as she would inform Juliette about their arrival. Jeanne thanks her and the maid leaves the room.

Gaston: And they call that a garden! Why, it’s a yard with a patch of grass in the middle! Jeanne: But the inside of the house seems very nice, Gaston.

Gaston: Twenty-five yards of Cretonne and a dash of paint… you can get that anywhere. Jeanne: That’s not fair. Wait until you’ve seen the rest of it.
Gaston: Why should I? I don’t want to see the kitchen to know that the garden is a myth and that the salon is impossible.
Jeanne: What’s the matter with it?
Gaston: Matter? Why, you can’t even call it a salon.
Jeanne: Perhaps there is another.
Gaston: Never mind the other. I’m talking about this one.

Word meanings:
Yard: a ground surrounding the house
Cretonne: a strong cotton or linen cloth used especially for curtains and upholstery.
25 yards: yards is a unit of measuring distance
Myth: an idea or belief which people believe in but which does not exist
Salon: reception room

Gaston complained that the so-called garden was only a yard with a patch of grass in the middle. Jeanne replied that the inside of the house seemed to be good but he complained that it was merely 25 yard long upholstery fabric and a few painted walls which is available everywhere. Jeanne complained that he was being unreasonable and that he should first see the entire villa. Gaston reasoned that there was no reason for him to do that. He did not want to see the kitchen because the garden and the salon were below his expectations. Jeanne asked what was wrong with them and he replied that the salon was such that one could not even call it a salon. Jeanne reasoned that maybe there was another salon. Gaston said that he did not bother about the other one because then he was talking about that one.

Jeanne: We could do something very original with it.
Gaston: Yes, make it an annex to the garden.
Jeanne: No, but a kind of study.
Gaston: A study? Good Lord! You’re not thinking of going in for studying are you?
Jeanne: Don’t be silly! You know perfectly well what a modern study is.
Gaston: No, I don’t.
Jeanne: Well . .. er.. . it’s a place where . .. where one gathers . ..
Gaston: Where one gathers what?
Jeanne: Don’t be aggravating, please! If you don’t want the house, tell me so at once and we’ll say no more about it.
Gaston: I told you before we crossed the road that I didn’t want it. As soon as you see a sign ‘Villa for Sale’, you have to go inside and be shown over it.
Jeanne: But we are buying a villa, aren’t we?
Gaston: We are not!
Jeanne: What do you mean, ‘We are not’? Then we’re not looking for a villa?
Gaston: Certainly not. It’s just an idea you’ve had stuck in your head for the past month. Jeanne: But we’ve talked about nothing else….

Word meanings:
Annex: to attach as an addition
Aggravating: to make something more worse or serious

Jeanne suggested that they could do something different with it. Gaston replied that they could attach the salon to the garden. She said that they could make it a study room. Gaston was amazed that she wanted to study at that age. Jeanne told him that he was being silly because he knew what a study was meant for. Gaston denied and Jeanne said that it was a place where one gathers and he asked that one gathers what. Jeanne asked him not to make things so serious, if he did not want the house, he should refuse and they would not look at it. Gaston told her that when they were crossing the road, then only he had showed his disinterest. He added that when there is a board of ‘villa for sale’ outside a house, one is shown around the place when one enters it. Jeanne confirmed that they wanted to buy a villa but Gaston refused. He added that the idea of buying a villa was just stuck in her mind for the last month. She added that that was all they had been discussing all the time.

Gaston: You mean, you’ve talked about nothing else. I’ve never talked about it. You see, you’ve talked about it so much, that you thought that we are talking. . .. You haven’t even noticed that I’ve never joined in the conversation. If you say that you are looking for a villa, then that’s different!
Jeanne: Well… at any rate . . . whether I’m looking for it or we’re looking for it, the one thing that matters anyway is that I’m looking for it for us!
Gaston: It’s not for us . . . it’s for your parents. You are simply trying to make me buy a villa so that you can put your father and your mother in it. You see, I know you. If you got what you want, do you realise what would happen? We would spend the month of August in the villa, but your parents would take possession of it every year from the beginning of April until the end of September. What’s more, they would bring the whole tribe of your sister’s children with them. No! I am very fond of your family, but not quite so fond as that.
Jeanne: Then why have you been looking over villas for the past week?
Gaston: I have not been looking over them, you have, and it bores me.
Jeanne: Well…
Gaston: Well what?
Jeanne: Then stop being bored and buy one. That will finish it. We won’t talk about it any more.
Gaston: Exactly!

Gaston asked if she meant that she had not talked about anything else. He had never talked about it. Gaston said that she was so busy speaking about the villa that she did not realize that it was not a conversation but only that she was only speaking. Maybe it could be that she wanted to say that she had been looking for a villa. Jeanne said that she wanted a villa at any cost. It could be that they were looking for it or that only she was looking for it but the fact was that she was looking for a villa for both of them. Gaston said that it was not for them but for Jeanne’s parents. He added that if she got it, then her parents would occupy it for the summer months along with her sisters and their children. He liked them but not to such an extent. Jeanne asks why he had been looking for villas for the past week. He replied that he had not been doing that but it was her and he had been getting bored all the time. Jeanne asks him to stop getting bored by buying one and Gaston said that was exactly what he wanted.

Jeanne: As far as that goes, what of it? Suppose I do want to buy a villa for papa and mamma? What of it?
Gaston: My darling. I quite admit that you want to buy a villa for your father and mother. But please admit on your side that I don’t want to pay for it.
Jeanne: There’s my dowry.
Gaston: Your dowry! My poor child, we have spent that long ago.
Jeanne: But since then you have made a fortune.
Gaston: Quite so. I have, but you haven’t. Anyway, there’s no use discussing it. I will not buy a villa and that ends it.
Jeanne: Then it wasn’t worthwhile coming in.
Gaston: That’s exactly what I told you at the door.
Jeanne: In that case, let’s go.
Gaston: By all means.

Word meanings:
Dowry:an amount of money or property which, in some countries, a woman’s family gives to the man she is marrying
By all means: certainly

Jeanne agrees that she wants to buy a house for her parents and Gaston says that he agrees with it but he clarifies that he does not want to pay for it. Jeanne says that they can pay with the dowry that she had got at the time of their marriage. Gaston says that it has already been spent and Jeanne says that during these years Gaston has earned a lot of money. Gaston says that is his money and not hers. He ends the discussion by saying that he would not buy a villa. They both decide to leave.

Jeanne: What on earth will the lady think of us.
Gaston: I have never cared much about anybody’s opinion. Come along. (He takes his hat and goes towards the door. At this moment JULIETTE enters.)
Juliette: Good afternoon, Madame… Monsieur….
Jeanne: How do you do, Madame?
Gaston: Good day.
Juliette: Won’t you sit down? (All three of them sit.) Is your first impression a good one? Jeanne: Excellent.
Juliette: I am not in the least surprised. It is the most delightful little place. Its appearance is modest, but it has a charm of its own. I can tell by just looking at you that it would suit you admirably, as you suit it, if you will permit me to say so. Coming from me, it may surprise you to hear that you already appear to be at home. The choice of a frame is not so easy when you have such a delightful pastel to place in it. (She naturally indicates JEANNE who is flattered.) The house possesses a great many advantages. Electricity, gas, water, telephone, and drainage. The bathroom is beautifully fitted and the roof was entirely repaired last year.

Word meanings:
What on earth: used to suggest that there is no obvious or easy answer to the question being asked.
Admirably: very well

Jeanne says that if they leave like this, the owner would get a wrong impression. Gaston said that he did not care and asked her to come. Just then Juliette arrived. They wished each other and sat. Juliette asked what was their first opinion about the house and Jeanne said that it was excellent. Juliette praised the house and said that it suited Jeanne and Gaston. She added that when the painting is exceptional, one has to look for the perfect frame for it. Here the painting was Jeanne. So, she was trying to flatter her. She added that the house had all the facilities required like telephone, gas, water, electricity and drainage. The bathrooms had nice bath fittings and they had repaired the roof the previous year. Jeanne said that all this was very important for a house.

Jeanne: Oh, that is very important, isn’t it, darling?
Gaston: For whom?
Juliette: The garden is not very large . . . it’s not long and it’s not wide, but…
Gaston: But my word, it is high!
Juliette: That’s not exactly what I meant. Your husband is very witty, Madame. As I was saying, the garden is not very large, but you see, it is surrounded by other gardens. . . . Gaston: On the principle of people who like children and haven’t any, can always go and live near a school.
Jeanne: Please don’t joke, Gaston. What this lady says is perfectly right. Will you tell me, Madame, what price you are asking for the villa?
Juliette: Well, you see, I must admit, quite frankly, that I don’t want to sell it any more. Gaston : (rising) Then there’s nothing further to be said about it.
Juliette: Please, I…
Jeanne: Let Madame finish, my dear.
Juliette: Thank you. I was going to say that for exceptional people like you, I don’t mind giving it up. One arranges a house in accordance with one’s own tastes – if you understand what I mean – to suit oneself, as it were – so one would not like to think that ordinary people had come to live in it. But to you, I can see with perfect assurance, I agree. Yes, I will sell it to you.

Word meanings:
Witty: clever and amusing
Exceptional: unusual and good
Giving it up: here, to stop owning the house

Jeanne says that all these things were very important and asks Gaston about it. Gaston asks if it was important for whom. Juliette adds that the garden was not very large and Gaston interrupts that it is high. Juliette says that was not what she meant and adds that Gaston is very clever and funny. She wanted to say that it was not very large but it was surrounded by other gardens. Gaston said that it was like people who liked children but did not have any, they could live near a school to see children. Jeanne stopped him from cracking jokes. She added that Juliette was right and asked her the price of the villa. Juliette said that she did not wish to sell it. Gaston stood up saying that nothing was left to discuss. Julieete wanted to speak and Jeanne requested Gaston to allow her. Juliette said that although she did not want to sell it, she would do so for such unusual and good people like Jeanne and Gaston. She added that they had good taste and would maintain the house in a similar way. She did not want ordinary people to live there. Jeanne and Gaston were perfect for the villa and she was willing to sell it to them.

Jeanne: It’s extremely kind of you.
Gaston: Extremely. Yes … but …er… what’s the price, Madame?
Juliette: You will never believe it…
Gaston: I believe in God and so you see …
Juliette: Entirely furnished with all the fixtures, just as it is, with the exception of that one little picture signed by Carot. I don’t know if you have ever heard of that painter, have you ?
Gaston: No, never.
Juliette: Neither have I. But I like the colour and I want to keep it, if you don’t mind. For the villa itself, just as it stands, two hundred and fifty thousand francs. I repeat, that I would much rather dispose of it at less than its value to people like yourselves, than to give it up, even for more money, to someone whom I didn’t like. The price must seem…
Gaston: Decidedly excessive….

Jeanne thanked Juliette for her kind words. Gaston was also thankful and asked her the price. Juliette said that it was unbelievably low. Gaston replied that he believed in God. Juliette said that with all fixtures except the picture signed by Carot painter, and she asked if they knew the painter to which Gaston denied. Julieete said that she also had not heard of the painter but she wanted to keep the painting, if they were ok with it. The villa was pitched for two hundred and fifty Thousand Francs. She said that she would sell it at a low price to nice people like them rather than sell it at a high price to people whom she disliked. She continued that the price would seem to be and Gaston interrupted that it was excessive.

Juliette: Oh, no!
Gaston: Oh, yes, Madame.
Juliette: Well, really, I must say I’m..
Gaston: Quite so, life is full of surprises, isn’t it?
Juliette: You think it dear at two hundred and fifty thousand? Very well, I can’t be fairer than this, Make me an offer.
Gaston: If I did, it would be much less than that.
Juliette: Make it anyway.
Gaston: It’s very awkward … I…
Jeanne. Name some figures, darling .., just to please me.
Gaston: Well I hardly know … sixty thousand….
Jeanne: Oh!
Juliette: Oh!

Word meanings:
Awkward: difficult to deal with
Figures: here, sum of money

Both Juliette and Gaston argued about the price. Juliette was astonished that Gaston thought the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand Francs to be expensive. She told him to make an offer. Gaston said that he would offer much less. Juliette asked him to make the offer but Gaston felt uneasy in quoting the price. Juliette asked him to tell a sum of money for which he was willing to buy and Gaston said sixty thousand Francs. Both the women said “oh!”.

Gaston: What do you mean by ‘Oh!’? It isn’t worth more than that to me.
Juliette: I give you my word of honour, Monsieur, I cannot let it go for less than two hundred thousand.
Gaston: You have perfect right to do as you please, Madame.
Juliette: I tell you what I will do. I will be philanthropic and let you have it for two hundred thousand.
Gaston: And I will be equally good-natured and let you keep it for the same price.
Juliette: In that case, there is nothing more to be said, Monsieur.
Gaston: Good day, Madame.
Jeanne: One minute, darling. Before you definitely decide, I would love you to go over the upper floor with me.
Juliette: I will show it to you with the greatest pleasure. This way, Madame. This way, Monsieur. . .
Gaston: No, thank you . . . really… I have made up my mind and I’m not very fond of climbing stairs.
Juliette: Just as you wish, Monsieur. (To JEANNE.) Shall I lead the way?
Jeanne: If you please, Madame.

Word meanings:
Philanthropic: one who promotes the welfare of others

Gaston asks the women what they mean by that expression because he did not consider the place to be worth more than that amount. Juliette reduces the price a bit in the name of helping the needy and says that two hundred thousand Francs is her final offer. Gaston says that she had the right to do as she felt was right. He adds that he would be equally good to her and let her retain the house at that price. He wishes her a good day. Jeanne says that before leaving, she would like to go around the first floor of the villa along with Gaston. Juliette offers to take them along on a tour of the villa. Gaston refuses to go because he has decided that he would not buy and he does not want to climb stairs unnecessarily. Juliette accepts Gaston’s desire not to go upstairs and she takes Jeanne along.

Jeanne (to her husband): You’re not over-polite, are you?
Gaston: Oh, my darling! For Heaven’s sake, stop worrying me about this shanty. Go and examine the bathroom and come back quickly.
(Exit JEANNE following JULIETTE)
Gaston (to himself): Two hundred thousand for a few yards of land . . . She must be thinking I’m crazy. . . .
(The doorbell rings and, a moment later, the MAID re-enters showing in Mrs Al Smith)

Word meanings:
Shanty: a small simple hut

Juliette goes out of the room. Jeanne scolds her husband for being rude. Gaston asks Jeanne to stop worrying about the small hut-like villa. He asks her to go quickly, examine the bathroom and come back. Jeanne goes out to follow Juliette. Gaston thinks that by asking two hundred and fifty thousand Francs for the villa, Juliette thinks him to be mad. The doorbell rings and the maid answers. Mrs Al Smith enters the room.

Maid: If Madame would be kind enough to come in.
Mrs Al Smith: See here, now I tell you I’m in a hurry. How much do they want for this house? Maid: I don’t know anything about it, Madame.
Mrs Al Smith: To start off with, why isn’t the price marked on the signboard? You French people have a cute way of doing business! You go and tell your boss that if he doesn’t come right away, I’m going. I haven’t any time to waste. Any hold up makes me sick when I want something. (MAID goes out.) Oh, you’re the husband, I suppose. Good afternoon. Do you speak American?
Gaston: Sure . . . You betcha.
Mrs Al Smith: That goes by me. How much for this house?
Gaston: How much?… Well… Won’t you sit down?
Mrs Al Smith: I do things standing up.
Gaston: Oh! Do you?
Mrs Al Smith: Yes! Where’s your wife?

The maid asked Mrs Al Smith to come inside the house. Mrs Al Smith said that she was in a hurry and she wanted to know the price for the house immediately. The maid said that she did not know anything about the price. Mrs Al Smith got annoyed and started complaining about the way French people did business. She said that the price of the house should have been written on the signboard. She then told the maid to go and call her boss as soon as possible. She did not like to wait for people. The maid went out to search for Juliette. Mrs Al Smith then saw Gaston and she approached him, thinking he was the owner of the house. She greeted him and asked if he spoke American. Gaston said that he spoke American and he used American slang to prove it. Mrs Al Smith then asked the price of the villa. Gaston asked her to sit down so they could discuss the price in a comfortable and relaxed mind. Mrs Al Smith refused to do so and said that she liked to do things while standing. She then asked him where his wife was.

Gaston: My wife? Oh, she’s upstairs.
Mrs Al Smith: Well, she can stay there. Unless you have to consult her before you make a sale?
Gaston: Me? Not on your life!
Mrs Al Smith: You are an exception. Frenchmen usually have to consult about ten people before they get a move on. Listen! Do you or don’t you want to sell this house?

Gaston told Mrs Al Smith that his wife was upstairs. Mrs Al Smith replied that she could stay up there unless Gaston had to talk to her wife before selling the villa to Mrs Al Smith. Gaston said that he would never consult his wife on such a matter. Mrs Al Smith was impressed and commented that Gaston was an exceptional Frenchman. Usually, Frenchmen consult other people before making a deal. She then asked if he wanted to sell the house or not.

Gaston: I? … Oh, I’d love to!
Mrs Al Smith: Then what about it? I haven’t more than five minutes to spare.
Gaston: Sit down for three of them anyway. To begin with, this villa was built by my grandfather…
Mrs Al Smith: I don’t care a darn about your grandfather!
Gaston: Neither do I. … But I must tell you that… er…
Mrs Al Smith: Listen, just tell me the price.

Gaston replied that he would love to sell the villa. Mrs Al Smith then told him to hurry up as she did not have more than five minutes to give to him. Gaston asked her to sit down for three out of the five minutes. He then began to tell a fictional story of how that house was built by his grandfather. However, Mrs Al Smith interrupted him and said that she did not care about his grandfather. Gaston said that he did not care for him either but he thought that it was important for him to tell her the history of the villa. She interrupted him and again asked him to tell the price.

Gaston: Let me explain that…
Mrs Al Smith: No!
Gaston: We have electricity, gas, telephone…
Mrs Al Smith: I don’t care! What’s the price?
Gaston: But you must go over the house…
Mrs Al Smith: No!… I want to knock it down and build a bungalow here.

Gaston asked her to let him explain some necessary things about the house like the fact they had provisions of electricity, gas and telephone there but Mrs Al Smith did not care about that. He insisted that it was a must for him to go over the house but she refused. She then revealed that she wanted to remove the villa and build a bungalow in its place.

Gaston: Oh, I see!
Mrs Al Smith: Yep! It’s the land I want. I have to be near Paramount where I’m going to shoot some films.
Gaston: Oh!
Mrs Al Smith: Yep. You see, I’m a big star.
Gaston: Not really?
Mrs Al Smith: (amiably): Yes! How do you do? Well now, how much?

Word meanings:
amiably: friendly

Mrs Al Smith told him that she wanted the land and not the villa. She wanted to be nearer to the place called Paramount. She was going to shoot some films there. She then told Gaston that she was a famous celebrity. Gaston asked if she was actually someone famous and she said yes. She then became a little more friendly and asked Gaston how he was doing. She then asked him the price of the villa.

Gaston: Now let’s see. … In that case, entirely furnished, with the exception of that little picture by an unknown artist … it belonged to my grandfather and I want to keep it. …
Mrs Al Smith: Say! You do love your grandparents in Europe!
Gaston: We have had them for such a long time!
Mrs Al Smith: You folk are queer. You think about the past all the time. We always think about the future.
Gaston: Everybody thinks about what he’s got.
Mrs Al Smith: What a pity you don’t try and copy us more.

Word meanings:
queer: weird

Gaston, who was satisfied by her change in attitude, told her that the entire land was hers, except the little picture made by an artist whose name he did not know. He said that it had belonged to his grandfather and he wanted to keep it in remembrance of him. Mrs Al Smith commented that Europeans were too attached to their grandparents. Gaston replied that his grandfather had been with him for a very long time. Mrs Al Smith then said that Europeans were weird as they thought about the past all the time. The Americans were the total opposite as they always thought about the future. Gaston did not agree with her and said that everybody thought of what they had and what they would get in the future, meaning that everybody thought of their past, present and future. Mrs Al Smith then said that it was sad to see that Europeans did not try to copy them.

Gaston: Copies are not always good. We could only imitate you and imitations are no better than parodies. We are so different. Think of it…. Europeans go to America to earn money and Americans come to Europe to spend it.
Mrs Al Smith: Just the same, you ought to learn how to do business
Gaston: We are learning now. We are practising…
Mrs Al Smith: Well then, how much?

Word meanings:
parody: an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect

Gaston did not agree with her opinion. He said that it was not necessary that all copies were always good. Europeans could only imitate the attitude of the Americans but they could never become Americans. They could try to be an imitation of the Americans but instead they would become parodies of Americans. This was because Americans and Europeans were so different in terms of behaviour and attitude. Europeans go to America to earn money and Americans come to Europe to spend their money. Therefore, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Mrs Al Smith said that he was right, but his words could not deny the fact that Europeans were poor businessmen. Gaston did not deny her. Instead, he said that at that time, Europeans were learning how to be good businessmen. Soon, they would be practising in the same way as the Americans. Mrs Al Smith then again asked the price of the villa.

Gaston: The house! Let me see. … I should say three hundred thousand francs. . . . The same for everybody, you know. Even though you are an American, I wouldn’t dream of raising the price.
Mrs Al Smith: Treat me the same as anybody. Then you say it is three hundred thousand? Gaston (to himself): Since you are dear bought – I will love you dear.
Mrs Al Smith: Say you, what do you take me for?

Gaston said that the price of the villa was three hundred thousand francs. He said that even though Mrs Al Smith was an American, a good businessman would treat her as the rest of his customers. He would not raise the price just because she was an American. Mrs Al Smith also told him to treat her as a fellow European and she confirmed if the price was three hundred thousand. Gaston said to himself that since Mrs Al Smith could be easily fooled into buying the villa at an overpriced cost, he would gladly take the opportunity. Mrs Al Smith got offended and did not realise what he was trying to say.

Gaston: Sorry. That’s Shakespeare. … I mean cash. . ,
Mrs Al Smith: Now I get you . . . cash down! Say! You’re coming on. (She takes her cheque book from her bag.)
Gaston (fumbling in a drawer): Wait… I never know where they put my pen and ink…
Mrs Al Smith: Let me tell you something, you’d better buy yourself a fountain pen with the money you get for the villa. What date is it today?
Gaston: The twenty- fourth.
Mrs Al Smith: You can fill in your name on the cheque yourself. I live at the Ritz Hotel., Place Vendome. My lawyer is…

Gaston apologised and said that he was saying something that Shakespeare had written. He then told her that he would accept the payment via cash. Mrs Al Smith thought she had misunderstood Gaston and took out her cheque book from her bag. Gaston opened a drawer and looked around for pen and ink hastily and clumsily. Mrs Al Smith decided to fill in some of the details of the cheque herself. She told him to buy a fountain pen with the money she would get for the villa. She asked Gaston what the date was so that she could fill in the date herself. The date was twenty four. Mrs Al Smith filled in the date and the rest of the details and gave the cheque to Gaston. She told him to fill in his name himself. She informed him that she lived at the Ritz Hotel, Place Vendome. She was about to tell her the name of her lawyer.

Gaston: Who …?
Mrs Al Smith: Exactly!
Gaston: What?
Mrs Al Smith: My lawyer is Mr. Who, 5, Rue Cambon. He will get in touch with yours about the rest of the transaction. Good-bye.
Gaston: Good-bye.

Gaston asked her who her lawyer was. She said that her lawyer’s name was Mr. Who, who lived at 5, Rue Cambon. Mr. Who would get in touch with Gaston to discuss the rest of the transaction. Then, they said goodbye to each other.

Mrs. Al Smith: When are you leaving?
Gaston: Well…er … I don’t quite know . . . whenever you like.
Mrs. Al Smith: Make it tomorrow and my architect can come on Thursday. Good-bye. I’m delighted.
Gaston: Delighted to hear it, Madame. (She goes and he looks at the cheque.) It’s a very good thing in business when everyone is delighted!
(At that moment, JEANNE and JULIETTE return)

Before exiting the villa, Mrs Al Smith asked Gaston when he was leaving. Gaston said that he was not quite sure when he would leave. He then said that he would move out whenever she would like them to move out. Mrs. Al Smith told him to move out the next day so that her architect could come on Thursday. She then said good-bye to Gaston and commented that it was nice to do business with him. Gaston was happy to hear the complement. Mrs Al Smith went out of the villa and as soon as she did, Gaston looked at the cheque she had given him. He said to himself that a business is said to be good when everyone involved in the business is happy with the outcome of the deal. Then quite immediately, Jeanne and Juliette returned from upstairs.

Gaston: Well?
Jeanne: Well… of course …it’s very charming. …
Juliette: Of course, as I told you, it’s not a large place. I warned you. There are two large bedrooms and one small one.
Gaston: Well now! That’s something.
Jeanne : (to her husband). You are quite right, darling. I’m afraid it would not be suitable. Thank you, Madame, we need not keep you any longer.
Juliette: Oh, that’s quite alright.

Gaston asked her how the rest of the villa was. Jeanne said that it was indeed a charming place but there was something that was bothering her. Juliette said that she had already warned Jeanne that it was not a large place. There were only two large bedrooms and one small bedroom. Hence, it was the size of the villa that Jeanne did not like. Gaston was sarcastic when he pretended to be shocked upon hearing the shortcomings of the villa. This meant that he already knew the shortcomings and that is why he was persistent about not buying the villa. Jeanne told her husband that now she too thought the villa was not suitable for them. She then thanked Juliette for her hospitality and assured that they would not take more of her precious time. Juliette said that it was not a problem.

Gaston: Just a moment, just a moment, my dear. You say there are two large bedrooms and a small one….
Juliette: Yes, and two servants’ rooms.
Gaston: Oh! There are two servants’ rooms in addition, are there?
Juliette: Yes.
Gaston: But that’s excellent!
Juliette: Gaston, stop joking!

Gaston asked his wife to stop for a moment. He then asked Juliette if there were only two large bedrooms and one small bedroom. Juliette said yes and that the villa had two servants’ rooms too. Gaston was surprised that there were two more bedrooms and said that it was an excellent feature of the villa. Juliette could not see any sense in that point and told him to stop making jokes.

Gaston: And the bathroom? What’s that like?
Juliette: Perfect! There’s a bath in it. …
Gaston: Oh, there’s a bath in the bathroom, is there?
Juliette: Of course there is!

Gaston asked Juliette what the bathroom was like. Juliette said that it was perfect. She began to explain the features of the bathroom and started by saying that the bathroom had a bath in it. Gaston interrupted her and exclaimed in surprise that there was a bath in the bathroom. Juliette said that a bathroom would obviously have a bath in it and it was not something to be surprised about.

Gaston: It’s all very important. A Bathroom with a bath in it. Bedrooms, two large and one small, two servants’ rooms and a garden. It’s really possible. While you were upstairs, I have been thinking a lot about your papa and mamma. You see, I am really unselfish, and then the rooms for your sister’s children. . . .Also, my dear, I’ve been thinking . . . and this is serious… about our old age. . . . It’s bound to come sooner or later and the natural desire of old age is a quiet country life. . . . (To JULIETTE:) You said two hundred thousand, didn’t you?
Jeanne: What on earth are you driving at?

Gaston said that all the information was extremely important to him. A bathroom having a bath in it, two large and one small bedroom, two servants’ rooms and a garden – all these details were necessary for him to know. Now that he knew about these details, he felt that buying this villa was indeed possible. He then told his wife that when she was upstairs with Juliette, he had been thinking about their family. He thought of Jeanne’s parents, their old age and sister’s children very seriously. He came to two conclusions – he had been really selfish and their old age would come someday and old people tend to desire a quiet country life. He then asked Juliette if the price was two hundred thousand. Jeanne asked Gaston what the point was.

Gaston: Just trying to please you, darling.
Juliette: Yes, two hundred thousand is my lowest. Cash, of course.
Gaston: Well, that’s fixed. I won’t argue about it. (He takes out his cheque book.)
Juliette: But there are so many things to be discussed before…
Gaston: Not at all. Only one thing. As I am not arguing about the price, as I’m not bargaining with you . . . well, you must be nice to me, you must allow me to keep this little picture which has kept me company while you and my wife went upstairs.

Gaston answered that he was just trying to please his wife. Juliette confirmed that two hundred thousand was the lowest she could go in terms of money. She also informed him that cash was the most preferred mode of payment. Gaston said that two hundred thousand was the final price and they would not argue over it anymore. He took out his cheque book. Juliette said that there were still many things that they had to discuss before they bought the villa. Gaston said that there was nothing left to discuss. He then said that there was one thing that he would like to discuss before buying the villa. As he was being kind enough to not argue or bargain the price of the villa, Juliette must be equally kind enough to let him have the picture which kept him company before they went upstairs.

Juliette: It’s not a question of value…
Gaston: Certainly not . . . just as a souvenir…
Juliette: Very well, you may keep it.
Gaston: Thank you, Madame. Will you give me a receipt, please? Our lawyers will draw up the details of the sale. Please fill in your name. . . . Let us see, it’s the twenty-third, isn’t it?

Word meaning:
souvenir : A thing that you keep to remind yourself of a place.

Juliette asked if the picture was valuable in terms of money. Gaston replied that he wanted to have it as a piece of art to remind him of the day when they bought the villa. Therefore, he wanted to have it for the sake of memories. Juliette told him to keep the picture for that reason. Gaston thanked Juliette and asked her to give him a receipt of his purchase. Their lawyers would handle the rest of the details of the sale. He then requested Juliette to fill in her name on the cheque. He filled in the name and confirmed if it was twenty third that day.

Juliette: No, the twenty-fourth. . . .
Gaston: What does it matter? One day more or less. (She signs the receipt and exchanges it for his cheque.) Splendid!
Juliette: Thank you, Monsieur.
Gaston: Here is my card. Good-bye, Madame. Oh, by the way, you will be kind enough to leave tomorrow morning, won’t you.
Juliette: Tomorrow! So soon?
Gaston: Well, say tomorrow evening at the latest.

Juliette said that it was not twenty third and instead it was twenty fourth. Gaston said that it would not matter if he wrote the date of the previous day. Juliette signed the receipt and exchanged it for Gaston’s cheque. Gaston exclaimed with happiness over the sale. Juliette thanked him. Gaston gave her a card which had his details on it in case Juliette wanted to contact him in the future. He asked if she would be kind enough to leave the villa the next day in the morning. Juliette was surprised that Gaston wanted to move her so quickly. She said that leaving the next day was a bit too soon for her. Gaston then asked if she could leave in the evening.

Juliette: Yes, I can manage that. Good-bye Madame.
Jeanne: Good day, Madame.
Gaston: I’ll take my little picture with me, if you don’t mind? (He unhooks it.) Just a beautiful souvenir, you know. .
Juliette: Very well. I’ll show you the garden on the way out.

Juliette said that she could leave the next evening. They said goodbye to one another and on the way out, Gaston grabbed the little picture and asked if he could take the picture with him right then as it was really beautiful. Juliette did not mind and offered to show them the garden on the way out. Juliette went out of the villa and Gaston and Jeanne followed.

Jeanne: What on earth have you done?
Gaston: I? I made a hundred thousand francs and a Carot!
Jeanne: But how?
Gaston: I’ll tell you later.

Word meaning:
carot: a unit of weight for measuring precious stones

Jeanne stopped Gaston and asked him what he had done and why he had bought the villa. Gaston replied that he had earned a hundred thousand francs and a painting by Carot. Jeanne, who did know the whole story behind the deal between Gaston and Mrs Al Smith, asked him how he had made so much money. Gaston said that he would explain everything to her later.



Villa for Sale Question Answer



Q1. Complete the following paragraph about the theme of the play using the clues given in the box below. Remember that there are more clues given than required.

sell, buying, house, enthusiastic, comes, 200 thousand francs, taking, favour, get, sleeps, money, 300 thousand francs, unhappy, in-laws, walks in, strikes, keep 


Juliette, the owner of a Villa wants to _____________ it as she is in need of ___________ . Moreover, she is not in __________ of the house. Jeanne and Gaston, a couple visit her with the aim of _________ the Villa. While Jeanne is _____________ about buying, Gaston detests the idea as he does not want his _____________in that house. Also, he finds the asking price of the _____________ to be expensive. When Jeanne and Juliette go around the house, another customer _____________ and starts talking to Gaston _____________ him to be Juliette’s husband. Gaston _____________ a deal with the customer by which he is able to give _____________ to the owner and _____________ one thousand francs for himself.
Ans.  Juliette, the owner of a Villa wants to sell it as she is in need of money. Moreover, she is not in favour of the house. Jeanne and Gaston, a couple visit her with the aim of buying the Villa. While Jeanne is enthusiastic about buying, Gaston detests the idea as he does not want his in-laws in that house. Also, he finds the asking price of the house to be expensive. When Jeanne and Juliette go around the house, another customer walks in and starts talking to Gaston taking him to be Juliette’s husband. Gaston strikes a deal with the customer by which he is able to give 200 thousand francs to the owner and keep one thousand francs for himself.

Q2. Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow by choosing the correct options.

(A) But the sign has been hanging on the gate for over a month now and I am beginning to be afraid that the day I bought it was when I was the real fool.

a) Why is Juliette disappointed?
(i) she is unable to get the role of a cook in the films.
(ii) her maid is leaving as she has got a role in the films.
(iii) she is unable to find a suitable buyer for her villa.
(iv) Gaston is offering a very low price for the villa.
Ans. (iii) she is unable to find a suitable buyer for her villa.

b) Why does she call herself a fool?
(i) she has decided to sell her villa.
(ii) there are no buyers for the villa.
(iii) she had bought the villa for more than it was worth.
(iv) the villa was too close to the film studios.
Ans. (iii) she had bought the villa for more than it was worth.

(B) ‘But your parents would take possession of it, every year from the beginning of spring until the end of September. What’s more they would bring the whole tribe of your sister’s children with them.’
(a) What does Gaston mean by ‘take possession’?
(i) her parents would stay with them for a long time.
(ii) Juliette’s sister has many children.
(iii) Gaston does not like children.
(iv) Juliette’s sister’s children are badly behaved.
Ans. (i) her parents would stay with them for a long time.

(C) ‘While you were upstairs, I have been thinking a lot about your Papa and Mamma.
(a) What is the discrepancy between what Gaston said earlier and what he says now?
(i) Earlier he did not want Juliette’s parents to stay with them but now he is showing concern for them.
(ii) Earlier he wanted Juliette’s parents to stay with them but now he does not want them to come over.
(iii) Earlier he wanted to buy a house for them but now he wants them to come and stay in their villa.
(iv) Earlier he stayed in Juliette’s parents’ villa but now he wants them to stay with him and Juliette.
Ans. (i) Earlier he did not want Juliette’s parents to stay with them but now he is showing concern for them.

(b) What does the above statement reveal about Gaston’s character?
(i) he is selfish.
(ii) he is an opportunist.
(iii) he is a caring person.
(iv) he is a hypocrite.
Ans. (ii) he is an opportunist.

Q3. Answer the following questions briefly.
a) Why does Jeanne want to buy a villa?
Ans. Jeanne wants to buy a villa for her parents to live in.

b) Why is Gaston not interested in buying the villa in the beginning?
Ans. Gaston is not interested in buying the villa because he does not want to invest money for his wife’s parents.

c) Mrs. Al Smith makes many statements about the French. Pick out any two and explain them.
Ans. Two statements which Mrs. Al Smith makes are:

  1. “Frenchmen usually have to consult about ten people before they get a move on.” This statement means that the French ask and discuss the matter with many people before taking a decision.
  2. “French people have a cute way of doing business!”. This means that the French have different rules for business than Americans.

d) Juliette says “………………. now I have only one thought that is to get the wretched place off my hands. I would sacrifice it at any price”, Does she stick to her words? Why / Why not?

Ans. Juliette does not stick to her words. She quotes a hefty amount of 250000 francs for the villa. Later, she reduces it to 200000 but does not bargain further. She is ready to give up the deal than to sell the villa for a lesser price.

e) Who is a better business person – Juliette or Gaston? Substantiate with examples from the text.
Ans. Gaston is better than Juliette in business. He managed to strike a deal with Mrs. Al Smith out of nothing and earns a good amount of money. He also gets the painting by Corot in the deal as a souvenir.

(f) The ending of the play was a win-win situation approach for Gaston, Juliette, and Mrs. AI Smith. Explain.
Ans. I like Gaston because he is shrewd, business – minded and manages to strike a deal out of nothing. On the other hand, his reluctance to spend money for Jeanne’s parents makes me dislike him. He seems to be self – centred.

Q4. Answer in detail.
a) Social Satire is a style of fictional representation that uses humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s behaviour, particularly in a social context. Substantiate how Villa for Sale reflects this style.
Ans. In Villa for sale, we see the characters of Juliette and Gaston to be using social satire. Gaston is humorous when he expresses astonishment that there is a bath in the bathroom. He also says that the villa is nothing but Twenty-five yards of Cretonne and a dash of paint. The maid suggests Juliette to act in plays in order to solve her financial problems. All these instances show that the play has social satire in it.

b) Passive characters are often considered ‘weak’ and ‘uninteresting,’ but can also be the true driving force of a story. Do you feel that the maid and Jeanne were the driving force of this play? Rationalise with evidence from the play.
Ans. The maid and Jeanne were the driving force of the play because they made it lively. Both the characters had a positive spirit, were determined and hard-working. They remain the same which brings stability to the otherwise over dramatic characters of Juliette and Gaston. Although they are passive characters, they help in providing a common thread from where the main characters often retake the story. Thus, we cannot overlook the importance of these passive characters.

Q5. Select words from the box to describe the characters in the play as revealed by the following lines. You may take the words from the box given on the next page.


select words from the box

select words from the box