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On Saying Please: AHSEC Class 11 Alternative English (Seasons)

an angry man on saying please

Get here the summary, questions, answers, textbook solutions, extras, and pdf of the chapter “On Saying Please” by A.G. Gardiner of the Assam Board (AHSEC / SEBA) Class 11 (first year) Alternative English (Seasons) textbook. However, the given notes/solutions should only be used for references and should be modified/changed according to needs.

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AHSEC Class 11 Alternative English version notes
BSEM Class 10 English Literature version notes

I. Answer these questions in one or two words.

1. Where was Alfred G. Gardiner born? 

Answer: Alfred G. Gardiner was born in England.

2. Is discourtesy a legal offence? 

Answer: No, discourtesy is not a legal offence.

3. Which literary period did John Keats belong to?

Answer: John Keats belonged to the Romantic Period.

4. What effect has the war had on the niceties and civilities of life?

Answer: According to the author, wars have dehumanised society and taken away the niceties and civilities of life.

5. Who does Gardiner ‘feature’ in his essay as a perfect example of polite social behaviour?

Answer: Gardiner features the bus conductor in his essay as a perfect example of polite social behaviour.

II. Answer these questions in a few words.

1. Why did the young liftman in the city office throw the passenger out of his lift?

Answer: The young list-man in the city office threw the passenger out because the man wouldn’t say “please” when he was asked to.

2. What does the law say with regard to “discourtesy”? 

Answer: Discourteous behaviour is not punishable by law.

3. What would happen if we were at liberty to physically assault someone just because any aspect of his demeanour was unacceptable to us?

Answer: Total violence, anarchy, and social collapse would result if we were at liberty to physically assault someone just because any aspect of his demeanour was unacceptable to us.

4. What is the penalty for a person for being uncivil? 

Answer: An inconsiderate person pays the price in social discomfort and inconvenience.

5. What happened to Gardiner one day when he sat reading on the top of a bus? 

Answer: While taking the bus, Gardiner realised he had forgotten his wallet at home and had no money with which to continue his journey.

III. Answer these questions briefly.

1. How does the “pain of a wound to our self-respect” linger?

Answer: A bruise on the shins heals quickly, but a blow to our pride or ego can taint our entire day. Without being able to throw the person who insulted him out of the lift, I can imagine that lift-man stewing over the insult more and more with each passing hour. The passenger probably just wanted to get back at his boss for not saying “Good morning” to him in the morning, so he said “Top” to the lift operator. The world is infected with our bad mood. Inconsiderate people likely taint society more than criminals do in a year. However, the law should not be the arbiter of our personal conduct. To govern our social civilities, speech, the tilt of our eyebrows, and all our moods and manners would require a law that no decalogue or court could administer.

2. What kind of victory is preferable? How would the lift-man have scored a more effective victory?

Answer: If we can maintain our composure and our polite demeanour no matter what the situation, we may lose the material advantage, but we will always come out victorious in the end from a moralistic point of view, which is better than any tangible victory.

The author believes that if the liftman had treated the gentleman with elaborate politeness, he would have gained more satisfying and lasting revenge. Then, not only would he have triumphed over the rude gentleman but also over himself, since even if the polite man lost the material advantage, he would have won the moral and ethical conflict.

3. What prompts Gardiner to heap praise on the bus conductor?

Answer: Gardiner heaped praise on the bus conductor because The bus driver was a pleasant, down-to-earth man. He had an abundance of tolerance and patience. Never once did he get angry. He was basically perfect in every way. He made sure that everyone in the bus was fine. His passengers found him to be exceptionally helpful. He was a doting father to the kids, but a respectful son to the elders. With the youth, he shared a great laugh. He was especially compassionate toward the visually impaired and those with physical impairments. At one point, when the author was strapped for cash, he helped him out by buying him a ticket. He once apologised to the author after stepping on his toe. Because of his politeness, the author gained some insight into proper conduct. One could therefore conclude that the bus driver possessed a wide range of skills and abilities. Respect and politeness are life lessons we can learn from his character. Having these manners will make you happy. 

IV. Answer these questions in detail.

1. “Please and Thank you” are the small changes with which we pay our way as social beings. Explain.

Answer: Positive first impressions are made when we use the words “please” and “thank you” when asking for and receiving assistance. Having good manners and courtesy enables us to treat others with kindness. People who act politely earn our trust and admiration. We show the people we talk to that we appreciate them taking the time to talk to us. When we treat others with kindness and respect, we treat ourselves in a better mood as well. Having a positive effect on those around us and on ourselves is a direct result of practising good manners.

2. Write, in your own words, about the incident on the bus involving the bus conductor and the author.

Answer: The author took a bus to work once and realised that he had forgotten his wallet. He informed the bus driver that he was unable to pay. Because he needed the cash, he considered making a return trip. The conductor surprised him by saying he didn’t have to return to the station to get his fare. Without asking for payment, he handed the writer a ticket. The author inquired of the driver about where the fare should be remitted. The driver assured the author that they would cross paths again. The bill was paid when he eventually located a shilling in his pocket. The author was even more impressed by the conductor’s demeanour when he trawled on the writer’s toe mistakenly but quickly apologised for the same.

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