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Bishop’s Candlestick: NBSE, BSEM English Literature questions, answers

Bishop's Candlestick NBSE class 9

Get notes, questions, answers, solutions, summary, pdf, and extras for the chapter Bishop’s Candlestick. However, these notes should be used only for references and additions/modifications should be made as per the requirements.

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Summary

The play is based on the theme that love and care can change a man, rather than violence. The play is about a convict who broke into the Bishop’s house one night as the Bishop’s sister Persome and the Bishop were about to have dinner. The convict had actually escaped from the prison because the police had forgotten to chain him up. He was sent to prison for ten years because he had stolen food for his sick wife because he didn’t have a job or money. The Bishop told the convict that he should not be afraid but take a rest. The benevolence of the bishop somewhat softened the convict, but, when he saw the candlesticks, he became greedy and stole them. He tried to run away with them.

The candlesticks were given to the Bishop by his dying mother and so they were very dear to him. The convict was, however, caught by the police and brought back to the Bishop without realising that they had caught an escaped criminal. The convict expected to go back to jail, but the Bishop informed the police that the candlesticks were a gift to the man and he was his friend. The act of kindness by the Bishop changed the convict’s heart and he believed in the spirit of God that dwells in the heart of every human being.

After the police were gone, the Bishop gave the candlesticks to the convict and told him to move to Paris and start a new life selling the candlesticks. The convict became a changed man.

Additional/extra questions and answers

1. Why did the convict break into the Bishop’s house?

Answer: The convict broke into the Bishop’s house because he was starving and had not eaten for three days. As an escaped prisoner, he did not have any food, money, or shelter, so he resorted to stealing in order to survive.

2. How did the Bishop react when the convict threatened him with a knife?

Answer: When the convict threatened the Bishop with a knife, demanding food, the Bishop remained calm and kind. He offered to get the convict some food from the cupboard, wanting to help feed the starving man despite being threatened. The Bishop showed no fear.

3. Where in the Bishop’s house does this play take place?

Answer: This play takes place entirely in the kitchen of the Bishop’s modest cottage.

4. What did the convict demand from the Bishop when he first entered the house?

Answer: When the convict first broke into the Bishop’s cottage, he demanded food, telling the Bishop he was starving and hadn’t eaten in three days. He threatened the Bishop with a knife, demanding to be quickly fed.

5. Who is Persome and what is her relationship to the Bishop?

Answer: Persome is the Bishop’s sister. She lives with him and takes care of the household duties like cooking meals. She is protective of her brother but disapproves of his charitable habits.

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24. Explain how the Bishop demonstrated true Christian values.

Answer: The Bishop treats the dangerous, threatening convict with unconditional compassion and forgiveness. He feeds the hungry, protects the vulnerable, and sacrifices material goods for those in need – all while maintaining faith the man’s soul can be redeemed.

25. Analyze how small acts of kindness can effect great change.

Answer: The play provides an impactful example of how even small acts of kindness, mercy, and compassion can profoundly transform another person’s life and perspective. Through humble actions like feeding the starving convict, forgiving his theft, speaking to him as a friend, and blessing him, the kindly Bishop reached past the man’s hardened, beast-like exterior that had been forged by years of cruelty. His grace ultimately penetrated the convict’s heart, evoking his long-buried humanity. This suggests we all have the power through simple kindness to redeem and reshape even the most broken souls, making the world a gentler place.

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