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The Rule of the Road: NBSE, AHSEC Classes 9 and 11 Alternative

Get notes, questions, answers, solutions, pdf, and extras for NBSE class 9 and AHSEC class 11 Alternative English chapter “On the Rule of the Road.” However, these notes should be used only for references and additions/modifications should be made as per the requirements.

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NBSE Class 9 Alternative English version
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On the Rule of the Road NBSE Class 9


The issue of “freedom” and how some people, in their ignorance, misuse their individual freedom are addressed in A. G. Gardiner’s prose piece “The Rule of the Road.” The writer begins by describing a woman in Petrograd who, confused about the true meaning of liberty, believed she could legally walk in the middle of the street. 

Gardiner argues that if she can exercise such personal freedom by choosing to drive over the pavement, then a cab driver can do the same. If this were the definition of “freedom,” then people would be trampling each other in anarchy. Thus, rules must be established and adhered to in order to maintain harmony in human interactions. In light of this, Gardiner argues that the police officer is a necessary symbol of liberty, rather than oppression. 

As fallible beings, we need the institution of law in our societies to prevent us from trampling on one another’s rights. Thus, both freedom and restraints on freedom are essential for a peaceful existence. One’s negative impulses are mitigated by the fear of being punished, so nobody can be given complete freedom.

Although Gardiner is correct in his assessment that personal freedom allows us to act on our whims in the comfort of our own homes, he is also correct in his observation that when we leave our castles, we must take care to respect the freedom of others.

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Extra MCQs

1. What did the old lady in Petrograd claim as her right?

A. To walk on the pavement B. To walk in the middle of the street C. To carry her basket freely D. To enjoy the newfound liberty

Answer: B. To walk in the middle of the street

2. According to Gardiner, what would be the result if the old lady’s desired liberty was allowed?

A. Traffic chaos B. Social anarchy C. Both A and B D. None of the above

Answer: C. Both A and B

3. What does the policeman directing traffic at Piccadilly Circus symbolize, according to Gardiner?

A. Tyranny B. Liberty C. Social order D. Both B and C

Answer: D. Both B and C

4. In what realm does Gardiner say one can exercise complete personal liberty?

A. In public spaces B. In one’s private kingdom C. On the roads D. None of the above

Answer: B. In one’s private kingdom

5. Which of the following does Gardiner NOT give as an example of personal liberty?

A. Wearing a dressing gown in public B. Dyeing one’s hair C. Practicing the trombone at night D. Following a particular religion

Answer: C. Practicing the trombone at night

6. According to Gardiner, what happens when one steps out of their personal realm?

A. Personal liberty becomes absolute B. Personal liberty becomes qualified by others’ liberty C. Personal liberty is curtailed completely D. None of the above

Answer: B. Personal liberty becomes qualified by others’ liberty

7. What does Gardiner say we are more conscious of?

A. Our own imperfections B. Others’ imperfections C. Both are equally conscious D. None of the above

Answer: B. Others’ imperfections

8. According to Gardiner, what is the foundation of social conduct?

A. Reasonable consideration for others B. Observance of the rule of the road C. Both A and B D. None of the above

Answer: C. Both A and B

9. What does Gardiner say are rare?

A. Great moments of heroism and sacrifice B. Little habits of commonplace intercourse C. Individual liberty D. Social anarchy

Answer: A. Great moments of heroism and sacrifice

10. According to Gardiner, what makes up the great sum of life?

A. Great moments of heroism and sacrifice B. Little habits of commonplace intercourse C. Individual liberty D. Social anarchy

Answer: B. Little habits of commonplace intercourse

Additional/extra questions and answers/solutions

1. What exactly does “rule of the road” mean?

Answer: The author maintains that everyone’s freedoms must be limited for the greater good of maintaining everyone’s freedoms. For the sake of social freedom, it is necessary to limit individual freedom. Individual freedom can only exist in conjunction with the freedom of others.

2. For the old woman who walked down the centre of a Petrograd street, what did freedom mean?

Answer: The old woman believes that liberty means that she can do as she pleases. Once she gained her freedom, she could go in any direction she pleased.

3. At what point does personal freedom lead to chaos for everyone?

Answer: If everyone was allowed the same amount of freedom, anarchy would ensue. For example, if the foot passengers were allowed to walk down the middle of the road, and the cab driver was allowed to drive on the pavements, everyone’s freedom would be a mess. Personal freedom would have led to complete anarchy in society.

4. When riding on the train, why did the author choose to read the “Blue-book”? How well did he read it? Why?

Answer: AG Gardiner has never been a fan of “Blue-book.” He read them to improve his productivity at work and thus increase his honest income. So, he was attempting to read a Blue-book while riding the rails. However, the necessary reasonable quiet was not present, as at the next station a pair of men entered the carriage, and one of them kept talking to his friend in a loud and pompous voice for the remainder of the trip, preventing him from finishing the book.

5. When the author realised he was unable to read the “Blue-book,” why did he remain silent?

Answer: The author chose to remain silent because he was afraid that his fellow passenger would view him as rude and uncultured if he asked him to reduce his volume. Because the man was sure that no one in the carriage had anything more important to do than listen to him, and because he thought that everyone had thanked him for an enlightening ride.

6. In the story, what is described as the foundation for social conduct?

Answer: A person’s behaviour should reflect the values and concerns of the community in which he or she resides. We might refer to this as “social conduct.” According to the author, respect for the rights and feelings of others is the bedrock of civil behaviour.

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7 thoughts on “The Rule of the Road: NBSE, ASSEB Classes 9 and 11 Alternative”

  1. Dwaipayan kashyap

    The difference is that the liberty one has in dressing to please oneself remains only with that person and doesnot affect liberties of other people but while playing tremboline at night one has to keep in account the liberty of the people living nearby as the sound of the tremboline could disturb others thus affecting their individual liberty to sleep peacefully without any interference.

  2. Debashree Saikia

    thank another qestion…What is the difference in the linberty one has in dressing to please oneself and in playinf the tramboline at night?

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