Get here the summary, questions, answers, textbook solutions, extras, and pdf of A House is Not a Home by Zan Gaudioso of Assam Board (SEBA) and Tripura Board (TBSE) Class 9 English Supplementary Reader textbook (Moments). However, the given notes/solutions should only be used for references and should be modified/changed according to needs.
Summary: Zan Gaudioso’s “A House is Not a Home” is a memoir detailing her development from a shy freshman to a confident individual with a large circle of friends. It also touches on a tragedy and how that has aided her in her transition. Because she was new, the author was having difficulty adjusting to her new surroundings and resented having to transfer to a new school. However, everything changes when her house is destroyed in a fire one Sunday afternoon. Already dissatisfied with her new school, the author cries as she watches the flames engulf her house, knowing that her beloved cat could be trapped inside and thus lost to her forever.
She curses her bad luck and misses her loving cat while bundled up with her mother at her grandparents’ home. To add salt to her wounds, the next day she is sent to school without a backpack, books, or homework, dressed in her Sunday clothes and her aunt’s tennis shoes. She trudged through the day like a zombie, feeling like an outcast and missing the security of her house, cat, and old friends. Her mother and she attempted to rebuild their lives. The news of the disaster spread quickly, and she was embarrassed by the focus on her at school as if she were to blame. When she walked into the school gym one day, she was greeted by a large table laden with school supplies and a variety of clothing destined for her.
The author then realised that her classmates had started a collection to replace the items she had lost in the fire. Her heart was touched by the genuine outpouring of concern and compassion, which helped her overcome the barriers she had constructed. She made new friends, and a month later, she was standing with two of them, watching her house be rebuilt. Her cat was also returned to her that day by a kind lady. The author was overjoyed to learn that her beloved cat was still alive. The author realised, as she clutched her tabby cat in her arms, that she and her cat had finally returned to living normal lives.
Textual questions and answers
1. What did the author notice one Sunday afternoon? What was her mother’s reaction? What does she do?
Answer: On a Sunday afternoon, the author smelled something strange and then noticed smoke pouring in through the ceiling seams, quickly filling the entire room.
The author’s mother dashed out of the house, clutching a small metal box containing important documents. She dashed back into the house after dropping the case on the lawn, hoping to save the few memories she had of her late husband, which included photos and letters.
2. Why does she (the author) break down in tears after the fire?
Answer: The author in the story A House is Not a Home was overcome with emotion as she watched the flames engulf her home and realised she was losing one thing after another. She had first felt awkward going to a new school away from her old teachers and friends; now her house had burned down, and her favourite pet cat had vanished. She was overcome with self-pity and sobbed uncontrollably.
3. Why is the author deeply embarrassed the next day in school? Which words show her fear and insecurity?
Answer: In the story A House is Not a Home, the author was deeply embarrassed the next day in school because, as a newcomer, she was already feeling pressured to fit in; and, to make matters worse, the fire had destroyed all of her belongings, forcing her to show up in Sunday clothes and her aunt’s tennis shoes. She wore no uniform and didn’t have a backpack, books, or homework with her. All of this, according to the author, made her feel like an outcast.
Her fear and insecurity are expressed through the words, “The more I tried to fit in, the worse it got. Was I destined to be an outcast and a geek all my life?” and “I just wanted to curl up and die.”
6. What is the meaning of “My cat was back and so was I”? Had the author gone anywhere? Why does she say that she is also back?
Answer: Since her transfer to a new school, the author has been going through a depressing period, feeling like an outsider and dealing with the embarrassment of losing everything in a fire. Her perspective on life and people changes as a result of her new classmates’ unexpected support, and her loneliness disappears. To add to her joy, the author’s cat, which was lost after their house was destroyed by fire, was returned to her by a kind lady who painstakingly tracked down the owner. She is now content with her life and hence makes the above-mentioned statement.
Additional/extra questions and answers/solutions
1. In the story A House is Not a Home, what did the author’s old school teachers advise her to do?
Answer: The author would return to her old school and visit her old teachers because she could not adjust to the atmosphere of her new school and she missed her old teachers terribly. They would encourage her to participate in her new school’s activities, where she would meet new people and make new friends. They told her that she would get used to her new surroundings and would probably prefer her new school to her old one.
2. What was the reason behind the author and her mother borrowing money? Who gave them the money?
Answer: A fire destroyed the author’s home, destroying all of their valuables and money in the incident. They also lacked credit cards or any other form of identification to withdraw money from the bank. As a result, the author and her mother were forced to seek financial assistance. Her grandparents loaned the author and her mother money.
3. During her first year of high school, why did Zan feel awkward and alone?
Answer: Zan felt awkward in her first year of high school because she was in the junior class. she felt alienated because of the large size of the new school and the distance between her and her closest pals.
4. Why did the author yearn for her former professors?
Answer: The author yearned for her old teachers, who encouraged her to participate in school activities in order to meet new people. They also promised her that she would acclimate to her new school quickly. The author missed their kindness, tenderness, and collaboration in making her feel special.
5. When the narrator’s mother ran into the flaming house, what happened to her?
Answer: When she ran into the burning house, the author’s mother inhaled a little smoke. Firefighters rescued her and fitted her with an oxygen mask once she was out. She soon recovered, though.
6. How did Zan’s mother escape the burning house with critical documents?
Answer: Zan’s mother bravely rushed inside the blazing house and brought out a little metal box containing those documents, saving the critical documents. She put her life on the line, yet she eventually completed her task.
7. Why did Zan try to run after her mother, and why was she stopped by the fireman?
Answer: Because she was afraid of losing her mother, Zan attempted to run after her. She was frightened she would be burned by the flames. Zan’s actions were impulsive and unreasonable, so the firefighter held her back. The deception would not have rescued her mother and would have put her own life in jeopardy.
8. Why did the author find growing up so difficult?
Answer: Growing up was something the author despised since she believed it had brought with it so many losses. She’d lost her old school, friends, home, and, most importantly, her beloved pet cat.
9. How much damage did the fire cause?
Answer: Except for photo albums, documents, and a few personal objects, everything was destroyed in the fire. Whatever was left had been destroyed by the water and chemicals used to extinguish the fire.
10. Why did Zan’s mother have to rely on her grandparents for money?
Answer: Because the fire destroyed her credit cards, cash, and even the identification needed to withdraw money from the bank, Zan’s mother had to borrow money from her grandparents. She needed to swiftly find a new place to rent, buy new clothes for Zan, and settle in. She didn’t have time to wait for her lost documents to be recovered.
20. What happened to the cat of the narrator?
Answer: The narrator in the story A House is Not a Home was a huge admirer of her cat. Unfortunately, a fierce fire engulfed her home, completely destroying everything. Her cat was nowhere to be seen in the house. The cat may have ended up anywhere. It could have been burned in the fire or fled to save its life.
21. What role did Zan’s school play in restoring order to her life following the fire?
Answer: The narrator, Zan, became depressed and sad after losing all of her belongings in the fire that burned her home. At this time, her classmates’ pleasant and helpful behaviours transformed her perspective on life and people and emotionally calmed her. Her classmates organised a collection to buy her school supplies, notebooks, and a variety of clothing, including pants, blouses, and sweatshirts. Those who had never spoken to her before approached her and made introductions. Several people invited her to their homes. Zan was moved by their genuine concern. She felt better and began to hope that everything would turn out fine. She stopped focusing on her insecurity and began to open herself to all of the lovely people in her life. Her loneliness was dispelled by the companionship of her new acquaintances, and sharing joy with them restored her to life.
22. Describe the fire that destroyed Zan’s home.
Answer: What started as a fire to keep the house warm evolved into a massive fire that reduced Zan’s home to cinders and destroyed her and her mother. Zan only saw smoke coming in via the ceiling gaps after initially smelling something unusual. Zan and her mother could scarcely see as the smoke swiftly filled the room. They made their way to the front door and dashed out into the street.
As soon as they stepped outside, the entire roof was engulfed in flames, and the fire immediately spread. Zan dashed to her neighbours to get the fire brigade, while her mother dashed back into the house and emerged with a little metal box containing critical paperwork. She dashed back into the house to fetch her husband’s photographs and letters, which were the only mementoes she had of him. A firefighter stopped Zan from pursuing her. The fire truck had already arrived and was in the process of putting out the flames. Zan’s mother was safely carried out of the house by firefighters who handed her an oxygen mask because she had ingested smoke. The fire took five hours to put out, but the house was almost completely destroyed, and Zan’s pet cat was nowhere to be found. Zan was terrified of being burned alive.
23. Describe the author’s school experience following the fire.
Answer: In the story A House is Not a Home, the author had recently started at a new school. She was having a difficult time fitting into the new school. Her house caught fire after only a couple of days. A fire had consumed her schoolbag and shoes. She went to school the next day. She wandered around the school like a nomad. Everything seemed odd to her. She had no idea what was about to happen to her. With a broken heart, she returned home. She was going through some difficult times in her life. When she returned to school the next day, she noticed a weird aura all around her. Around him, people were forming groups. They had gathered funds for her as well as school supplies and clothing. This shifted her perspective on life once more.
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