The Girl Who Can Workbook Solution : ICSE Treasure Chest

The Girl Who Can Workbook Solution : ICSE Treasure Chest

Welcome to “The Girl Who Can Workbook Solution: ICSE Treasure Chest,” where we delve into the captivating narrative of ICSE English Literature Treasure Chest Part 2. Within these pages, we meticulously unravel the essence of “The Girl Who Can” through comprehensive workbook solutions. This post offers comprehensive answers to multiple-choice and contextual questions, deepening your understanding of this timeless tale. Meet the characters and delve into the nuances of character development and thematic exploration. Each question serves as a gateway to dissecting the text, urging readers to analyze subtle nuances and extract deeper meanings. Contextual inquiries broaden our canvas for exploration, encouraging critical engagement with socio-cultural backdrops and universal themes. Through this examination, readers sharpen analytical skills and develop a profound appreciation for literary craftsmanship. Whether a student navigating ICSE English Literature or an avid reader unraveling beloved stories, “The Girl Who Can Workbook Solutions” promises valuable companionship. Join us on this literary journey as we illuminate the path to understanding, one workbook solution at a time.

Table of Contents

Story Summary :

The story begins with the description of the protagonist and narrator of the story, a seven-year-old girl, Adjoa, who lived in a house with her mother, Kaya whom she called Maami and her grandmother whom she called Nana. Adjoa was a young girl, who found it difficult to express her thoughts. She did not have the words. She feared being silenced or ridiculed by her grandmother. She was often confused as her grandmother forbade her from repeating her statement, or mocked her with laughter over her childlike innocence and used to repeat Adjoa’s statements to her friends and neighbours. Little Adjoa could not understand the hypocrisy of the grown-ups. She felt stifled as she did not know if she should express herself or remain quiet.

Another thing that disturbed her was that her Nana and Maami constantly discussed the state of her legs. Nana felt that in future Adjoa’s thin legs would render Adjoa a failure as a woman as they (the thin long legs) would not be able to support strong hips required for childbearing. Nana, in fact, believed that it was Adjoa’s fault for not being born with thicker legs and fleshy muscles. At such discussions about her legs, Nana often referred to Adjoa’s mother, Kaya’s poor choice of a husband. Although Adjoa was too young to understand her grandmother’s accusations she could feel her mother’s silent tears and helplessness at her unfortunate marriage.

Adjoa was quite a curious child. Being a little girl, she did not understand what childbearing legs looked like and wanted to see them. In fact, she did not find any difference between her legs and those of other girls in her school. Since she could walk long distances and run fast, she did not find any shortcoming in her own legs. Her grandmother allowed her to go to school as she believed Adjoa’s thin legs rendered her useless. As an illiterate woman herself, Adjoa’s mother firmly believed that school education would greatly help her daughter to rise above ignorance and acquire knowledge for self-progress. Adjoa used to walk to her school daily which was estimated to be five kilometres away from her own village. But unlike others, she did not mind walking so far because she enjoyed her time at school. Adjoa won every race in her school but did not see it as an achievement.

A turning point in the story came when Adjoa was selected as a runner in her age group, to represent her school at the district sports meet. Nana did not believe this news and marched to the school to confirm its authenticity. To Adjoa’s great surprise, from that day onwards Nana took up washing and ironing her school uniform daily suggesting her acceptance of Adjoa’s new role as an athlete. When she won the award for the best all-around junior athlete, Nana carried the trophy on her back with great pride. The undue concern regarding Adjoa’s thin legs was finally dispelled. It made her mother and grandmother realise that her thin legs might not support childbearing hips, but they enabled her to run very fast and be a good athlete.

The story ends with the three women in the house having a newly found sense of pride and achievement. While Nana proudly exhorted her granddaughter’s achievement by carrying the trophy on her back. The mother was overwhelmed not only at her child’s success but also for being absolved of the blame of giving birth to a girl with thin legs. Although little Adjoa was confused at this change in the behaviour of adults, she rejoiced in her newly discovered self.

Workbook MCQs :

1. Name the figure of speech in
She carried the gleaming cup on her back. Like they do with babies, and other very precious things.
(a) Metaphor
(b) Simile
(c) Irony
(d) Alliteration

Answer :- (a) Metaphor

2. Who are referred to as They’ who describe the birthplace of the narrator?
(a) Her teachers
(b) The village community
(c) Her mother and grandmother
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (b) The village community

3. Why would Nana reprimand Adjoa for not finishing her food?
(a) She was a strict disciplinarian
(b) She was an agent of patriarchy
(c) She had seen hardships in life
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (c) She had seen hardships in life

4. What is the one serious problem Adjoa has to face?
(a) She cannot laugh when her grandmother laughs
(b) She cannot express herself
(c) She cannot understand the language of elders
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (b) She cannot express herself

5. Which characteristic trait of Nana is revealed by her act of not allowing Adjoa to express her thoughts?
(a) Authoritarian
(b) An agent of patriarchy
(c) Conservative
(d) All of the above

Answer :- (d) All of the above

6. The narrator wanted to tell her grandmother and mother not to worry about which of the following?
(a) Her problem of expressing her thoughts
(b) Her thin legs
(c) Her selection for the athletic competition
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (b) Her thin legs

7. According to the narrator’s grandmother, what was the biggest problem?
(a) Her daughter’s husband
(b) Her grand-daughter’s spindly legs
(c) Her daughter’s silence
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (b) Her grand-daughter’s spindly legs

8. Why did the narrator want to see the legs of other women who had children?
(a) To compare them with her own thin legs
(b) To compare them with her grandmother’s legs
(c) To compare them with her classmates’ legs
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (a) To compare them with her own thin legs

9. Which of the following statements is NOT correct?
(a) Adjoa could not express her thoughts freely
(b) Adjoa had to take bath in the bathhouse
(c) Adjoa complained about the long distance to school
(d) Adjoa had thin long legs.

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10. What was Nana’s view initially about school?
(a) A waste of time
(b) An idle pursuit
(c) A platform to showcase her talent
(d) None of the above

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11. What kind of clothes did Adjoa’s grandmother wear every afternoon while Visiting the town for sports meet?
(a) Fresh new clothes
(b) Old properly ironed clothes
(c) Fresh old clothes
(d) None of the above

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12. What were Nana’s feelings while carrying the cup won by Adjoa for the best all-round junior athlete?
(a) Proud of Adjoa’s achievement
(b) Recognised the worth of her thin legs
(c) It was like a ritual to her
(d) None of the above.

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13. Choose the option that lists the sequence of events in the correct order.

1. She carried the gleaming cup on her back.
2. When I went home to tell my mother and Nana, they had not believed it first.
3. Nana would just laugh. ‘Ah, may be with legs like hers, she might as well go to school.”
4. Each afternoon, she pulled one set of fresh old clothes from the big brags bowl to wear.

(a) 1,2,3,4
(b) 3,2,4,1
(c) 3,1,2,4
(d) 2,3 1,4

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14. Select the option that shows the correct relationship between statements (1) and (2).

1. ‘But Adjoa has legs’, Nana would insist; ‘except that they are too thin. And also too long for woman.’
2. Thin legs can also be useful…That ‘even though some legs don’t have much meat on them, to carry hips, they can run.’

(a) 1 is the cause for 2
(b) 1 is an example of 2
(c) 1 is independent of 2
(d) 1 is a contradiction of 2

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Workbook Questions :

Extract 1

As far as I could see, there was only one problem. And it had nothing to do with what I knew Nana considered as ‘problems’, or what Maami thinks of as ‘the problem.” Maami is my mother. Nana is my mother’s mother. And they say I am seven years old. And my problem is that at this seven years of age, there are things I can think in my head, but which, maybe, I do not have the proper language to speak them out with. And that, I think is a very serious problem. Because it is always difficult to decide whether to keep quiet and not say any of the things that come into my head, or say them and get laughed at.

(i) Who is referred to as ‘I’ in the extract? According to her, what was grandmother’s problem?

Answer :- The “I” in the extract refers to the narrator, a young girl of seven years. She distinguishes her own problem from what her grandmother, referred to as Nana, and her mother, referred to as Maami, perceive as problems. This suggests a disconnect between the narrator’s perception of her issue and the older generation’s understanding of challenges.

(iI) What is her problem at the age of seven? Why is it a serious problem?

Answer :- At the tender age of seven, the narrator’s predicament revolves around her cognitive abilities and verbal expression. Despite having thoughts swirling in her mind, she lacks the linguistic proficiency to articulate them effectively. This discrepancy between her internal world and external expression constitutes her problem. The narrator deems it serious because it poses a fundamental dilemma: whether to remain silent and withhold her thoughts or risk potential ridicule by vocalizing them. This internal conflict underscores the narrator’s struggle to navigate the complexities of communication and self-expression at a young age.

(iII) As described after this extract, how would Nana react when she would say something?

Answer :- When the narrator does express her thoughts, Nana’s reaction is characterized by laughter. This reaction suggests that Nana does not take the narrator’s statements seriously or may even find amusement in her attempts to articulate her thoughts. Nana’s laughter could contribute to the narrator’s feelings of uncertainty and inhibition, discouraging her from sharing her thoughts openly in the future.

(iV) How would Nana involve other people in her reaction?

Answer :- Nana involves other people in her reaction by laughing in their presence when the narrator speaks out. By laughing at the narrator’s expressions or thoughts, Nana not only dismisses the narrator’s attempts at communication but also potentially undermines her confidence in expressing herself. The inclusion of others in Nana’s reaction amplifies the social dynamics at play and reinforces the narrator’s sense of vulnerability and self-consciousness.

(v) Explain briefly the significance of the girl-child being the narrator of the story.

Answer :- The significance of the girl-child being the narrator of the story lies in its portrayal of the challenges faced by young girls in asserting their voices and identities in a patriarchal society. By centering the narrative on a young girl’s perspective, the story sheds light on the nuances of gender dynamics and power structures within the family. It highlights the struggles of marginalized voices and underscores the importance of empowering girls to express themselves freely and be heard in a world where their voices are often silenced or disregarded. Through the narrator’s lens, the story offers insights into the complexities of childhood, identity formation, and the quest for agency in the face of societal expectations and constraints.

 

Extract 2

I have always wanted to tell them not to worry. I mean Nana and my mother. That it did not have to be an issue for my two favourite people to fight over. But I didn’t want either to be told not to repeat that or it to be considered so funny that anyone would laugh at me until they cried. After all, they were my legs… When I think back on it now, those two,
Nana and my mother, must have been discussing my legs from the day I was born. What I am sure of is that when I came out of the land of sweet , soft silence into the world of noise and comprehension, the first topic I met wag my legs.

(i) Why does the narrator want to tell her grandmother and mother not to worry? What does it suggest about the narrator?

Answers :- The narrator wants to tell her grandmother and mother not to worry because she feels that her legs should not be a source of contention between them. This suggests that the narrator is sensitive to the conflict between her loved ones and desires to alleviate their concerns. Additionally, it demonstrates her desire for harmony and understanding within her family.

(iI) Who are the narrator’s two favourite people? What are their views on the issue?

Answers :- The narrator’s two favourite people are her grandmother (Nana) and her mother (referred to as “my mother”). While their exact views on the issue are not explicitly stated in the provided extract, it can be inferred that they have differing perspectives regarding the narrator’s legs. This is indicated by the narrator’s concern about the issue causing conflict between them.

(iII) Who are ‘they’ who would laugh at her and why?

Answers :- The “they” referred to in the extract are individuals who would laugh at the narrator. These individuals may include other family members, acquaintances, or society at large. They might find amusement in the narrator’s legs, potentially due to their thinness or some other perceived peculiarity. This laughter could be hurtful to the narrator, contributing to her apprehension about expressing herself openly.

(iV) Why does the narrator feel that her grandmother and mother would have been discussing her legs ever since she was born? What does it suggest about the two women?

Answers :- The narrator feels that her grandmother and mother would have been discussing her legs since birth because the topic of her legs seems to be a recurring theme in their conversations. This suggests that the appearance or condition of the narrator’s legs has been a point of interest or concern for her family members from the very beginning. It implies a preoccupation with physical appearance and societal expectations surrounding beauty or normalcy.

(v) Which figure of speech is used in the last two lines of the extract? Explain briefly the meaning of these lines.

Answers :- The figure of speech used in the last two lines of the extract is personification. The line “the first topic I met was my legs” imbues the abstract concept of a “topic” with human-like qualities by suggesting that it greeted or encountered the narrator upon her arrival into the world. This personification serves to emphasize the significance of the narrator’s legs in her life and the attention they have garnered since birth.

Extract 3

I knew from her voice that my mother was weeping inside. Nana never heard such inside weeping. Not that it would have stopped Nana even if she had heard it. Which always surprised me. Because, about almost, everything else apart from my legs, Nana is such a good grown-up. In any case, what do I know about good grown-ups and bad grown-ups? How could Nana be a good grown-up when she carried on so about my legs? All I want to say is that I really liked Nana except for that.

(i) Why could the narrator feel that her mother was weeping from inside? Why could not her grandmother hear her daughter’s inside weeping?

Answer :-The narrator could feel that her mother was weeping inside based on her mother’s voice, which likely conveyed a tone of sadness or distress. However, the narrator’s grandmother, Nana, would not have heard her daughter’s inside weeping because it was not audible externally. Nana’s inability to perceive her daughter’s inner turmoil suggests a lack of emotional sensitivity or perhaps a focus on external appearances rather than internal emotions.

(iI) The narrator feels that her grandmother would not have stopped even if she had heard her mother’s inside weeping. Why? What does it suggest about her grandmother and mother?

Answer :- The narrator feels that her grandmother, Nana, would not have stopped even if she had heard her mother’s inside weeping because Nana’s fixation on the narrator’s legs seems to overshadow her ability to empathize with her daughter’s emotional pain. This suggests that Nana prioritizes her concerns about the narrator’s physical appearance over her daughter’s emotional well-being. It also implies a strained relationship between the narrator’s mother and grandmother, characterized by a lack of understanding or support.

(iII) Why does the narrator say that except for talking about her legs her grandmother is a ‘good grown-up? What does it suggest about the narrator?

Answer :- The narrator says that apart from talking about her legs, her grandmother is a “good grown-up” because she likely exhibits positive qualities in other aspects of her character and behavior. This suggests that the narrator is capable of recognizing and appreciating positive traits in people, even if they have shortcomings or areas of disagreement. It also indicates that the narrator values goodness and kindness in others, despite her frustration with her grandmother’s fixation on her legs.

(iV) What would the grandmother be discussing when she would bring in the narrator’s father in her discussion? What does she admit about the man?

Answer :- When the grandmother brings the narrator’s father into her discussions, she might be discussing his perceived role or influence in shaping the narrator’s physical traits, including her legs. She might admit certain traits or characteristics about the man, possibly implying that he has contributed to the narrator’s physical appearance in some way. This could suggest a familial focus on hereditary factors or familial resemblance.

(v) State important characteristic traits of the narrator as revealed in this extract.

Answer :- Important characteristic traits of the narrator as revealed in this extract include her sensitivity to her mother’s emotions, her frustration with her grandmother’s fixation on her physical appearance, her ability to recognize positive qualities in others despite disagreements, and her introspective nature in reflecting on her family dynamics. Additionally, her contemplation about what constitutes a “good grown-up” suggests a maturity beyond her years in evaluating adult behavior and relationships.

Extract 4

Sometimes, Nana would pull in something about my father. How, ‘Looking at such a man, we have to be humble and admit that after all, God’s children are many…”

How, ‘After one’s only daughter had insisted on marrying a man like that, you still have to thank your God that the biggest problem you got later was having a grand daughter with spindly legs that are too long for a woman, and too thin to be of any use.’

The way she always added that bit about my father under her breath, she probably thought I didn’t hear it. But I always heard it.

(i) Why would the grandmother thank God? What does it suggest about her?

Answer :- The grandmother would thank God despite her daughter marrying a man she might not approve of because, in her perspective, having a granddaughter with thin and spindly legs is perceived as a lesser problem compared to other potential issues. This suggests that the grandmother has a fatalistic or resigned attitude towards life’s challenges, choosing to find solace in what she perceives as blessings or lesser evils.

(iI) What makes the narrator question her own viewpoint that her grandmother is a “good grown-up? What does the narrator finally think about her grandmother?

Answer :- The narrator questions her own viewpoint that her grandmother is a “good grown-up” because of the grandmother’s fixation on the narrator’s physical appearance, particularly her legs. Despite acknowledging positive qualities in her grandmother, such as being “good” in other aspects, the narrator’s frustration with her grandmother’s obsession with her legs leads her to reevaluate her perception. Eventually, the narrator realizes that her grandmother’s fixation on her legs overshadows her positive traits, leading her to question her initial assessment of her grandmother’s character.

(iII) Describe the feelings of the Adjoa’s mother when she hears about her husband. What kind of relationship existed between Adjoa’s mother and grandmother?

Answer :- Adjoa’s mother likely feels a mix of sadness, resignation, and perhaps resentment when her husband is mentioned by her mother-in-law. The relationship between Adjoa’s mother and grandmother appears strained, characterized by underlying tension, differing perspectives, and unresolved issues related to Adjoa’s father and her physical appearance.

(iV) Why does the grandmother hush up things about Adjoa’s father? What does it reveal about her relationship with Adjoa?

Answer :- The grandmother hushes up things about Adjoa’s father, possibly to avoid stirring up further conflict or distress within the family. It reveals that the grandmother prioritizes maintaining a semblance of harmony or avoiding confrontation, even if it means suppressing certain truths or emotions. This behavior suggests a complex relationship dynamic between the grandmother and Adjoa, marked by unspoken tensions and the grandmother’s attempts to navigate delicate familial dynamics.

(v) Describe briefly how Adjoa’s grandmother serves as an agent of patriarchy.

Answer :- Adjoa’s grandmother serves as an agent of patriarchy by perpetuating traditional gender roles and expectations within the family. Through her fixation on Adjoa’s physical appearance, particularly her legs, the grandmother reinforces societal standards of femininity and beauty, which prioritize certain physical attributes over others. Additionally, her dismissive attitude towards her daughter’s choice in marriage and her focus on Adjoa’s physical traits reflect a patriarchal mindset that values women based on their adherence to societal norms and their relationships with men.

Extract 5

In my eyes, all my friends have got legs that look like legs : but whether the legs have got meat on them to support the kind of hips that… that I don’t know.

According to the older boys and girls, the distance between our little village and the small town is about five kilometres. I don’t know what five kilometres mean. They always complain about how long it is to walk to school and back. But to me, we live in our village, and walking those kilometres didn’t matter. School is nice.

(i) How does the narrator describe her friends’ legs? What is she not sure about?

Answer :- The narrator describes her friends’ legs as typical, resembling what legs are expected to look like. However, she expresses uncertainty about whether their legs have enough “meat” on them to support a certain kind of hips. This uncertainty suggests that the narrator is comparing her own legs to those of her friends and noticing differences in their physical attributes.

(iI) The narrator says that she does not know how far is five kilometres? What does it suggest about her? Who are ‘they’ who complain about the distance?

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(iII) The narrator says that she does not feel uncomfortable while walking five kilometres to school and back. What is suggested by the narrator’s statement? How does she prove it at the end of the story?

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(iV) Explain two characteristic traits of the narrator that emerge from this extract. 

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(v) Explain briefly the change in the attitude of the narrator’s grandmother by the end of the story? What brought about this change?

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Extract 6

Nana would just laugh. ‘Ah, maybe with legs like hers, she might as well go to school.”
Running with our classmates on our small sports field and winning first place each time never seemed to me to be anything about which to tell anyone at home. This time it was different. I don’t know how the teachers decided to let me run for the junior section of our school in the district games. But they did.

When I went home to tell my mother and Nana, they had not believed it at first. So Nana had taken it upon herself to go and ‘ask into it properly.’

(i) Why would Nana laugh? Why does she allow Adjoa to go to school?

Answer :- Nana laughs in response to the narrator’s desire to go to school, perhaps because she finds it amusing or unexpected due to the narrator’s perceived physical limitations. However, she allows Adjoa to go to school because it is considered the norm or expected behavior for children of her age, despite any reservations she may have about Adjoa’s abilities.

(iI) Why does Adjoa not tell anybody at home about her running on the sports field and winning all the competitions? Why does she say that this time it was different?

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(iII) How does Adjoa’s mother and grandmother react to the news about her being selected as a runner for the district games? How does her grandmother check the truth about the news?

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(iV) How does Adjoa’s mother react after her grandmother verified that Adjoa was indeed one of her school’s runners?

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(v) Explain briefly what all Nana did on getting the news of Adjon’s selection for district sports meet and why.

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Extract 7

She carried the gleaming cup on her back. Like they do with babies, and other very precious things. And this time, not taking the trouble to walk by herself.

When we arrived in our village, she entered our compound to show the cup to my mother before going to give it back to the Headmaster. Oh. Grown-ups are so strange. Nana is right now carrying me on her knee, and crying softly.

(i) What was the ‘gleaming cup? Why did she carry it on her back?

Answer :- The “gleaming cup” refers to the trophy or award that the narrator, Adjoa, won for being the best all-round junior athlete. She carried it on her back as a sign of its significance and importance, akin to how people carry babies or other precious items.

(iI) With whom has the narrator compared the gleaming cup? Why?

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(iII) Why did she want to show the cup to the narrator’s mother? How did she react to it?

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(iV) Why did the grandmother cry softly? What does it suggest about her.

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(v) Explain how did the three women in the story feel when Adjoa won the cup for the best all-round junior athlete.

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