If I Were You: BoSEM Class 10 Additional English answers, notes

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Get here the notes, questions, answers, textbook solutions, summary, extras, and PDF of BSEM or BoSEM (Manipur Board) Class 10 Additional English prose (play) “If I were You”. However, the provided notes should only be treated as references, and the students are encouraged to make changes to them as they feel appropriate.

two men talking, illustrating the play if i were you

Summary

The story If I Were You by James Douglas begins with the protagonist, Gerrard, a playwright, preparing to leave his home to attend a rehearsal. As he packs his bag, an intruder enters his home, holding a revolver and directing Gerrard to put his hands in the air. The intruder reveals that he is a jewelry robber and a wanted criminal, having killed a police officer in the past. He explains his plan to kill Gerrard and assume his identity to evade the police.

Gerrard, however, shows remarkable calmness even at gunpoint and engages in a pleasant conversation with the intruder. He learns that the intruder is not very intelligent, but overconfident. Taking advantage of this, Gerrard lies to the intruder and tells him that he too is a criminal and a murderer being pursued by the police. He convinces the intruder to flee with him in his car from the garage.

As they enter the garage, however, it is revealed to be a cupboard. Gerrard quickly locks the intruder inside and calls the police to inform them of his whereabouts. In this way, Gerrard outwits the intruder and saves himself from a deadly situation. The story highlights the importance of quick thinking and cleverness in dire situations.

Words study and use

Adjective form of the word trouble is troublesome. Find out 5 such words.

Answers:

  • Adjective form of the word ‘trouble’ is ‘troublesome’
  • Adjective form of the word ‘fear’ is ‘fearsome’
  • Adjective form of the word ‘power’ is ‘powerful’
  • Adjective form of the word ‘use’ is ‘useful’
  • Adjective form of the word ‘worth’ is ‘worthy’

Fill in the blanks in the following sentences using the phrasal verbs in the box. You may change the form of the verbs if necessary: turn up, fill in, break down, shut down, call off.

Answers: 1. If you want to receive the letter, make sure you fill in your mailing address properly.
2. We are to call in the engineer in case the machine breaks down again.
3. The strikers called off the strike.
4. The manager gave word to shut down the factory.
5. Only two members turned up in the meeting.

Frame sentences using the following words: boss, cop, guy, queer, dandy, grave, crook, identity, compliment, fake.

Answers: 

  • The boss was unhappy with the employee’s work and gave him a grave warning.
  • The cop was on the lookout for a known crook and kept an eye out for suspicious behavior.
  • The guy had to change his identity to escape prosecution for his crimes.
  • The queer thing about the situation was that the crook thought he could outsmart the cop.
  • The crook’s dandy appearance was a disguise to throw off suspicion.
  • The cop was able to identify the guy as a crook by tracing his fake identity.
  • The boss was worried that the employee’s queer behavior would attract unwanted attention.
  • The crook was desperate to keep his true identity a secret.
  • The cop paid the crook a compliment on his disguise, but it was clear he knew who he was.
  • The guy was a fake and the boss knew it, but he couldn’t prove it without evidence.

Comprehension

1. Describe the disguise outfit.

Answer: The disguise outfit is not described in detail in the provided drama, it is only mentioned that it includes “false moustaches and what not.”

2. What does Gerrard do for a living? How do you know?

Answer: Gerrard is a criminal and is on the run from the law for committing a crime involving bullets. He also mentions that he is a playwright and is planning to escape.

3. Where did Gerrard push the Intruder into?

Answer: Gerrard pushes the Intruder into a cupboard.

4. What happened to the Intruder’s revolver?

Answer: The Intruder’s revolver is knocked out of his hand by Gerrard and picked up by Gerrard after he locks the Intruder in the cupboard.

5. Who was cleverer – Gerrard or the Intruder? Why?

Answer: The Intruder is described as being smart, but Gerrard is able to outsmart him by using his knowledge of criminal activity and quick thinking to lock him in the cupboard and call the police.

6. Why was the Intruder a hunted rat?

Answer: The Intruder is referred as hunted rat because he is wanted for murder, he plugged a cop and ever since he has been dodging the police.

Application

1. Why did the Intruder come to Garrard’s house ?

Answer: The Intruder broke into Gerrard’s house because he recognised him from a chance encounter in a car in Aylesbury and decided he would be a good candidate to imitate while on the run from the law. After hearing rumours about Gerrard’s strange habits and routines, he decided to assume his identity in the hopes of avoiding the law and leading a more comfortable existence.

2. Describe the opening scene of the play.

Answer: The opening scene of the play is set in a small cottage interior, with simple furnishings consisting of a small table, chair or two, and a divan. The scene opens with Gerrard standing by the table making a phone call and packing his bag. Suddenly, an intruder enters the scene with a revolver in hand and starts to question Gerrard about his habits and lifestyle. The intruder is flashily dressed in an overcoat and a soft hat, and his appearance is unexpected and menacing.

3. Relate the Intruder’s encounter with Gerrard.

Answer: The Intruder’s encounter with Gerrard is initially hostile and threatening, as he holds a revolver and questions Gerrard about his living situation, car ownership and plans to kill him to assume his identity. However, as the conversation progresses, the Intruder’s attitude shifts, and he becomes more interested in learning about Gerrard’s habits and behavior in order to successfully impersonate him.

4. Why couldn’t the Intruder carry out his plan at once ?

Answer: The Intruder could not carry out his plan at once because he needed to learn about Gerrard’s behavior and mannerisms in order to impersonate him successfully. He needed to observe and study Gerrard’s habits and behavior in order to convincingly take on his identity.

5. How did Gerrard make a trick to the Intruder ?

Answer: Gerrard played the Intruder by confessing that he, too, is a criminal and that his strange behaviour is due to this. He claims that the Intruder will not kill him since doing so would show that he, Gerrard, is also a criminal and the Intruder would be apprehended. He uses this disclosure as a bargaining point to persuade the Intruder to accompany him in the automobile, implying that they could collaborate.

6. What did the Intruder plan to do as Vincent Charles Gerrard ?

Answer: In order to flee the police and live in freedom, the Intruder planned to murder Gerrard and assume his identity. This would allow him to eat well and sleep well without worrying about being on the ready to fight at the sight of a police officer. Gerrard was a man who phoned in his orders and occasionally left unexpectedly and returned the same way, so he thought his habits would fit him.

7. Describe the appearance of Gerrard.

Answer: Gerrard is a medium height man, he wears horn rimmed glasses, he is dressed in a lounge suit and a great coat. He has a cultured voice and confident personality.

8. Who gives away more information about himself – the Intruder or Gerrard?

Answer: One may argue that the intruder reveals more personal information than Gerrard. The Intruder discloses that he is a wanted man for murder and a jewel thief. He further states that in order to avoid the authorities, he is a “poor hunted rat” and must assume a new name. On the other hand, Gerrard fabricates claims that he is engaged in illegal behaviour without providing any specifics. Indications that he might be departing soon include the fact that he says he expects difficulties and that his bag is packed. Overall, the Intruder seems to be more forthcoming about his criminal past and present than Gerrard, who is more circumspect.

9. Give the element of suspense in the play.

Answer: The plot of the intrusionist to murder Gerrard and assume his identity in order to avoid being apprehended by the authorities for a previous murder adds suspense to the play. The situation becomes more tense as Gerrard tries to persuade the intruder to let him go and join him in his illegal activities while the intruder holds a gun to his head and threatens to kill him. When Gerrard tricks the intruder and confines him in a cupboard while he waits for the cops, the suspenseful moment is reached.

Composition

1. List two things that the intruder had found out about Gerrard before coming to his house.

Answer: The two things that the intruder had found out about Gerrard before coming to his house.

  • The intruder found out that Gerrard runs a car
  • The intruder also found out that Gerrard is a bit of a mystery man, phoning in orders and sometimes leaving suddenly and coming back.

2. “In most melodramas the villain is foolish enough to delay his killing long enough to be frustrated.” Explain this statement with reference to If I Were You in not more than 70 words.

Answers: In most melodramatic stories, the villain’s plan to kill the protagonist is often delayed, which ultimately leads to their downfall. The villain may have the opportunity to kill the protagonist, but they often hesitate and delay the act, which gives the protagonist time to outsmart them and ultimately escape or defeat them. This is seen in the play “If I Were You” when the intruder, who has broken into Gerrard’s house with the intention of killing him and taking on his identity, hesitates and delays in carrying out the plan. He engages in conversation with Gerrard, which ultimately leads to his undoing as Gerrard is able to outsmart him and lock him in a cupboard. The delay in the intruder’s plan ultimately leads to his frustration as he is unable to carry out his plan.

3. Why did the Intruder want to kill Gerrard?

Answer: The Intruder wants to kill Gerrard so that he can take on his identity and use it to evade the police. He is wanted for murder and believes that by becoming Vincent Charles Gerrard, he will be able to live freely without fear of being caught.

4. When did the plan of killing Gerrard occur to the Intruder?

Answer: When the Intruder saw Gerrard in the car in Aylesbury, he decided to murder him. He had been evading capture since robbing a jeweller and killing a police officer. He understood that assuming Gerrard’s identity would provide him with the ideal way to leave his current circumstance and begin a new life. In the dialogue, he says that he has been pursued for too long and that his big surprise is that he is going to murder Gerrard and assume his identity.

5. Why does the Intruder delay killing him?

Answer: The Intruder delays killing Gerrard because he wants to learn more about him and his habits, such as how he speaks and his mannerisms, in order to impersonate him more effectively. He also wants to confirm that Gerrard’s car will be useful for his escape and that he doesn’t have any other assets that could be used against him.

6. Give a brief character sketch of Gerrand.

Answer: Gerrard is a well-educated, articulate man who is described as being of average height and donning horn-rimmed glasses. He is seen packing a bag before leaving his cottage while wearing a lounge suit and a great coat. He also turns out to be a wanted felon who intended to flee with the aid of a man he had placed on the main road. Even in the face of peril and intimidation, he is able to maintain his composure and use quick thinking to outsmart the Intruder.

7. How did Gerrard succeed in outwitting the Intruder?

Answer: Gerrard outwits the Intruder by leading him to believe that he is going to assist him in his plan to take over his identity, and then using that opportunity to lock him in a cupboard and call the police. He also uses the Intruder’s own arrogance and desire for control against him by playing along with his demands and pretending to be compliant.

8 What does the title – If I Were You suggest?

Answer: The title “If I Were You” suggests the idea of taking on someone else’s identity and experiencing life from their perspective. It could also suggest the idea of pretending to be someone else in order to gain an advantage or escape from a difficult situation.

9. What do you think happens in the end? Does the Intruder succeed in his plan to kill Gerrard?

Answer: The story’s conclusion is not made clear. However, it is obvious that Gerrard outsmarts the Intruder by making him think that he is a thief and murderer who is evading capture when he is not. He pretends to be compliant while taking advantage of the Intruder’s need for control, locking him in a cabinet and calling the police as a result. After this incident, the story doesn’t say what happens to Gerrard, but it’s possible that he resumes his normal life.

10. If Gerrand does not resemble the Intruder, what will the Intruder do?

Answer: If Gerrand does not resemble the Intruder, the Intruder would have to find another way to take on someone else’s identity, or he would have to continue on the run. He would need to come up with a new plan to escape the police and start a new life.

11. What would you do if you were Gerrard to tackle the situation?

Answer: The first thing I would have done if I were Gerrard is try to figure out how to get help or how to disarm the intruder so that I could call the police. I would use my wits and cunning to outsmart the intruder and keep myself safe rather than losing my composure and giving in to his threats and intimidation.

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