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NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Vistas Chapter 5 Should Wizard Hit Mommy

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NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Vistas Chapter 5 Should Wizard Hit Mommy

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Vistas Chapter 5 Should Wizard Hit Mommy

Class 12 English NCERT Solutions Vistas Chapter 5 Should Wizard Hit Mommy? Free PDF Download

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English

Should Wizard Hit Mommy? Textual Questions and Answers

Read-and-find-out Questions

Question 1.
Who is Jo? How does she respond to her father’s storytelling?
Answer:
Jo was a four-year-old girl who was fond of listening to stories. Every Saturday afternoon, her father Jack used to tell a story to Jo to put her to sleep. Jo was a very keen listener and used to ask many questions. She even predicted the next movement. She used to get so much involved in the story that her facial expression also changed accordingly.

Question 2.
What possible plot line could the story continue with?
Ans. Here the possible plot line could be that Roger Skunk’s mommy would not like the smell of roses. She would take him back to the wizard and ask him to make him a skunk again without any specific smell, free from any odour.

Question 3.
What do you think was Jo’s problem?
Answer:
Jo was a small girl. For her peer acceptance was of prime importance. She could not imagine the main character of the story to smell so bad as to be humiliated and shunned by other animals. It was quite embarrassing to smell bad, so she wanted acceptability and peer appreciation as she identified with the pain and suffering of Roger Skunk.

Should Wizard Hit Mommy? Reading with Insight

Question 1.
What is the moral issue that the story raises?
Answer:
The story deals with the moral issue of the extent of parental control over the children. How much freedom is to be given to the children? Moreover, the story raises an issue whether children should be allowed to remain in an ideal world of their own or should they be forced to accept the harsh realities of the adult world.

Question 2.
How does Jo want the story to end and why? [Delhi 2019, Delhi 2014 (C), Delhi 2015]
Answer:
Jo wants a happy ending to the story. She wants that Roger Skunk will get the smell of roses and mommy should be punished. She wants that the wizard should hit mommy because it is cruel on the part of mommy to make Roger Skunk again smell like a Skunk. As a small child acceptability and peer appreciation is of prime importance.

Question 3.
Why does Jack insist that the mother would not be hit?
Answer:
For Jack hitting the mother was a challenge to the parental authority. While defending Roger’s mother, Jack is unconsciously defending his own mother who could never be wrong. He wanted his daughter to understand the fact that mothers can never be wrong. In other words, parental authority is for the benefit of a child.

Question 4.
What makes Jack feel caught in the ugly middle position?
Answer:
Jack feels caught in the ugly middle position because his little daughter. Jo was in a defiant mood and wanted the wizard to hit mommy. But Jack didn’t want to lose his authority so he threatened her and ordered her to sleep. He was feeling helpless in handling his little daughter who had suddenly started asserting her opinion. Moreover, he knew that his wife was waiting for him to help her. So he feels trapped and uneasy.

Question 5.
What is your stance regarding the two endings to the Roger Skunk stoiy? [HOTS]
Answer:
Children see facts as they are, as did Jo. She thought it was unfair that the Skunk’s mother should go back to the wizard and force him to change the Skunk back into his stinky old self. This way he would lose all his friends and be lonely and sad. When he smelt of roses, he was more acceptable and had friends.

Adults, on the other hand, are coloured by biases or sometimes base their conclusions on the wisdom of their experiences, as did Jack. He felt that the Skunk’s mother knew what was best for him. This can be translated to mean either that adults know what is best for their children or that adults are in the habit of imposing their will on children.

Thus, how the story should end would depend largely on how each one interprets the facts of the story and their underlying implications.

Question 6.
Why is an adult’s perspective on life different from that of a child’s?
Answer:
In the story, ‘Should Wizard Hit Mommy?’, the writer examines the issues of parenting and the flaws that inadvertently creep in. The adult tendency to quell the questioning mind of a child and also the intrusion of the beliefs held by adults to represent the only valid viewpoint, are areas that find mention in the simple yet powerful story.

Jo, the four-year old daughter of Jack, has been subjected to a ritual of bedtime story telling by her father ever since she was two years of age.

Now at six years of age, Jo wants the wizard to hit Mommy in retaliation for her having hit the wizard. If Mommy got away with turning the skunk, which now smelt of roses into -his old stinky self, he would lose his newfound friends. This violated Jo’s sense of fairness, for why should the skunk not smell nice, have friends and thus be happy?

Jack insists that it was the wizard that was hit and not the mother; for he wants Jo to understand that the skunk’s mother knew what was best for him. Also, Jack is a little taken aback to find that Jo has actually dared to question him. This appears like an act of defiance to him and he suddenly feels that he is on shaky ground, and needs to re-establish his authority. When he had started this story about the poor stinky skunk, he had been reminded of all the humiliations of his own childhood and in a way the stand that he takes regarding the skunk’s mother is in defence of his own mother. This story illustrates the difference in the attitudes to life between children and adults.

Should Wizard Hit Mommy? Short Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Give an example to show that Jo was a sensitive child. [Foreign 2017]
Answer:
“Uh-oh, here comes Roger Stinky Skunk,’’all the other tiny animals would cry. Jo hears new stories like this each day from her father Jack. So sensitive a child she was that she wanted Roger Skunk as the hero. Her joy and sorrow was linked to that of the protagonist, the Skunk.

Question 2.
Why did Jo feel that the Skunk’s mommy was stupid? [Foreign 2014]
Answer:
For Jo, if mommy does not care for the wishes of the child, then she was stupid. Jo found Roger Skunk’s mommy very cruel and insensitive because she did not bother about her son’s happiness and could not understand the misery he faced when rejected by woodland creatures.

Question 3.
Why does Jo insist that her father should tell her the stoiy with a different ending? [All India 2013]
Answer:
Jo was a small girl of four years. For her peer acceptance and appreciation was the most important thing. She found it cruel and insensitive on the part of mommy to hit the wizard and get back Skunk his original smell. She wanted a happy ending and also wizard to hit mommy for her insensitive act. So she asked her father to tell the story with a different ending.

Question 4.
Which action of Jo annoyed Jack? What do you think disturbed him? [Foreign 2013]
Answer:
While Jack was telling the story, Jo was interrupting him due to her excitement. This annoyed Jack.
Jack didn’t want to lose his authority as a storyteller and wanted to exert full freedom for that. Most importantly, Jack did not approve of the sentiment of punishment for the mother. Moreover, he was in a hurry to make Jo sleep so that he could help his pregnant wife who was working alone downstairs.

Question 5.
Which two factors made Jack continue the story? [Foreign 2013]
Answer:
While Jack was telling the story, he found that though Jo was exhibiting the desired response to the story, her response was not sincere like his wife’s pretence at the cocktail party. So he thought of continuing the story to create her real interest in the story. Moreover, he noticed that Jo was expecting the story to end in a particular way and he could not bear when women take things for granted. So he decided to continue the story by giving it a twist.

Question 6.
What changes did Jack find in his daughter as compared to the past when he began narrating her bedtime stories?
Answer:
Jack had been telling stories to Jo for two years. But he found that of late there was a change in his daughter as compared to the past. Now Jo was developing a questioning attitude and her curiosity level was increasing day by day. She wanted logical answers to questions as to how was God around them? Could magic spells be real?, etc. Moreover, her awareness of the world was growing.

Question 7.
Why was Roger Skunk’s mummy angry with him? Does her anger seem justified? [HOTS]
Answer:
When Roger Skunk’s mother found him smelling like roses, she got very upset and angry. She did not like the idea that her son should lose his true skunk character. In fact, she was correct because one should not leave one’s originality for the sake of others.

Question 8.
Why did Jo think Roger Skunk was better off with the new smell?
Answer:
Jo was a small child. For her, peer acceptance and appreciation was of utmost importance. That’s why she thought Roger Skunk was better off with the new smell as it gave him acceptance and appreciation of his peer group.

Question 9.
How did the wizard help Roger Skunk? [Delhi 2012]
Ans. Roger Skunk smelt very bad and that is why nobody wanted to play with him. The owl suggested to him to go to the wizard for help. The wizard asked Roger Skunk for the smell he wanted to have and so gave him the smell of roses with the help of his magic wand.

Question 10.
Why did Roger Skunk’s mommy insist on taking him to the wizard at once? [Foreign 2013]
Answer:
Roger Skunk’s mother was annoyed to find him smelling like roses. She believed that a skunk should
smell like a skunk. It is their natural feature and the mark of their identity. So, she wanted his original smell to be restored as soon as possible and that is why she immediately took him to the wizard.

Question 11.
Why was Roger Skunk’s mother angry? On whom did she pour her anger? [All India 2014 (C)]
Answer:
Roger Skunk’s mother was angry to find Roger Skunk smelling like a rose and losing his original smell. In a rage, she went to the wizard and hit him on his head for changing Roger Skunk’s smell. She asked him to give his original smell back to him.

Question 12.
Why did Roger Skunk go to visit the owl? [All India 2014 (C), Delhi 2015]
Answer:
Roger Skunk smelt awful that is why no woodland creature was ready to play with him. He was rejected and ridiculed by all other children in the forest. He was very sad and disheartened. So, in order to take the advice as to how to get rid of the smell, he went to the owl.

Question 13.
How was the Skunk’s story different from the other stories narrated by Jack? [Delhi 2014]
Answer:
All the previous stories narrated by Jack had a happy ending where the protagonist was happy and satisfied at the end of the story. But this story ended on a very different note. Here Roger Skunk was given his original bad smell because his mother didn’t want him to have any other smell. The wizard, who gave the smell of roses to Skunk, was hit by mommy on his head.

Question 14.
What did Jo want the wizard to do when Mommy Skunk approached him? [Delhi 2013]
Answer:
Jo was a small girl of four. She had more importance for peer appreciation and acceptance. She was too young to understand the moral values to remain original and maintain one’s own identity. That was why Jo didn’t like her act of hitting the wizard on the head. She wanted that mother should be punished for her cruel act of having hit the wizard on the head.

Question 15.
Why does Jack insist that it was the wizard that was hit and not the mother? [Delhi 2014 (C)]
Answer:
Jack insisted that it was the wizard and not the mother who was hit because he wanted to imbibe a moral value in his daughter. He wanted to stress the point that parents are always right so they demand respect and authority.

Question 16.
Which do you think is a better ending of Roger Skunk’s story, Jo’s or her father’s? Why? [Delhi 2015]
Answer:
In fact, the ending of Roger Skunk’s story should be as given by father Jack. Every story should have a moral. In this ending, the message is very strong and important. We must honour and respect what we have got naturally. We should not try to lose our identity and originality and should be accepted in the society for what we really are.

Question 17.
What was the basic plot of each story told by Jack? [Delhi 2017]
Answer:
The basic plot of each story was that the tale would start with some animal, for example Roger, who
would have a problem and visit an owl who in turn would direct him to a wizard. The wizard would then perform a magic spell and take a certain fee that would be insufficient and on the directions of the wizard, the animal would find them at a place and pay him.

Question 18.
Having got rid of his stink, what problem did Roger Skunk face? [Delhi 2017]
Answer:
Although Skunk’s friends were happy and played with him as he smelled good, his mother got angry and told him that he smelled awful. She felt that a Skunk should smell like one as it’s his identity. This was the problem he faced.

Question 19.
What problem did Roger Skunk face when he went to play with his friends. How did he solve it? [Delhi 2017]
Answer:
Roger Skunk smelled awful. He smelled so bad that none of the other animals would play with him. He solved the problem by seeking the old wise owl’s advice who in turn sent him to the wizard.

Question 20.
What is mother Skunk’s role in the story? [All India 2017]
Answer:
It is the mother Skunk who brings in a change in the narrative by disapproving the Skunk’s rosy smell and telling him that a Skunk’s identity is its stinking smell and he should smell like one. She convinces her son that his friends should accept him as he is which eventually they do.

Should Wizard Hit Mommy? Long Questions and Answers

Question 1.
At the end of the storytelling session, why does Jack consider himself ‘caught in an ugly middle position’? [CBSE 2018]
Answer:
Jack feels that he has been caught in an ugly middle position, mentally as well as emotionally. He was aware of his duties as a father and as a husband. His little son Bobby was already asleep. His efforts to make his daughter fall asleep proved very tiring. She kept on interrupting him, asking for clarifications, pointing out errors and putting out alternatives to him. Jack did not relish such a behaviour of hers. He liked her to be apprehensive. So he kept on extending the story, though he was in a hurry to go downstairs and assist his pregnant wife in her onerous task of painting the wooden items. The result of extending the story proved unfruitful and unpleasant for Jo, Clare and Jack. Jo wanted him to change the ending of the story. Clare complained that he had told a long story. Jack felt very tired and did not want to speak to his wife or work with her or touch her. He was thus caught in an ugly middle position.

Question 2.
The same situation can be viewed through two different perspectives. How does ‘Should Wizard Hit Mommy?’ establish this point through the views of Jack and Jo? [Delhi 2013 (C)]
Answer:
The same situation can be viewed through two different perspectives. This is evident through the story of Roger Skunk. In the story, Roger Skunk had a very bad smell and was ridiculed and rejected by his peer group. He went to the wizard who changed his bad smell into the pleasant smell of roses. Consequently, he is appreciated and accepted by all the creatures. But his mother was annoyed and went to the wizard, hit him on the head and got Roger’s original smell restored. From the viewpoint of Jo, this was not the appropriate ending as mommy cannot be so cruel as to humiliate her own child. So she wanted mommy to be punished. But from Jack’s viewpoint, parents are always right and keeping one’s originality is very significant. Thus, the story emphasises the point that the same situation can be analysed through two different angles.

Question 3.
Why did Jo think Roger Skunk was better off with the new smell? [Delhi 2010]
Ans. Jo was a small girl. For her peer appreciation and acceptance was the most important thing. In fact, she identified Roger Skunk with herself. She felt bad and could feel the pain of Roger Skunk when he was rejected by other woodland creatures due to his bad smell. So when the wizard gave him the new smell due to which he smelt like roses, Jo became happy. Due to his new smell, all the creatures became his friends and he was accepted wholeheartedly. He enjoyed playing with the woodland creatures throughout the day. Acceptance and appreciation of Roger Skunk by other creatures of the woodland made Jo feel that he was better off with the new smell.

Question 4.
Why was Roger Skunk’s mommy angry with him? What did she finally tell him? [Delhi 2010]
Answer:
Roger Skunk, on the advice of the wise owl, went to the wizard to get rid of his bad smell. The wizard gave him a new smell, i.e. of roses. He was very happy. Due to the good smell, all the creatures of the woodland became his friends and allowed him to play with them. But when he reached home in the evening, his mother was angry to find him smelling of roses. She didn’t want Roger Skunk to lose his true nature. She scolded him and asked him to immediately have his original smell restored. She finally took him to the wizard and hit him on his head as a punishment and asked him to restore Roger Skunk’s original smell.

Question 5.
Discuss the significance of the title ‘Should Wizard Hit Mommy?’
Answer:
The title of the story is in the form of a question and raises moral and ethical issues. Jack told a story to little Jo in which mommy hit the wizard for daring to change the natural feature of her child. But Jo found it to be cruel on the part of mommy. The story depicts a conflict of viewpoints between adults and children. Jo believes in a happy ending so she wanted her father to tell another story in which the wizard would hit Mommy. But her protest is a challenge to parental authority. Jack wondered whether or not he would bend before Jo’s emotional blackmail. The story is left at this crucial moment and the writer leaves it to the reader to interpret it in the light of his or her own experiences and beliefs.

Question 6.
In what way is Roger Skunk’s story similar and different from other Roger stories?
Answer:
Jack used to tell stories to Jo on Saturday afternoons to put her to sleep. He was doing it for the last two years and had made a storyline. Every time there was a Roger creature in the story who had a problem and he always went to the wise owl to take his advice. The owl used to refer him to the wizard who with his magic spell solved his problems and charged money. There were creatures like fish, squirrel, Chipmunk, etc. with minor problems and the wizard used to solve these problems quickly. Moreover, they were not rejected or teased by their peer groups. But Roger Skunk’s problem was very characteristic of his species and was related to a moral issue: the need to maintain one’s natural characteristics.

Question 7.
What part of story did Jack himself enjoy the most? Why?
Answer:
Jack enjoyed most the part of the story in which the wizard was present. He was proud of his ability to enact the part of the wizard through his voice modulation and facial expressions. He did it by scrunching up his face and whinning through his eyes, which felt for the interval rheumy. He liked to enact an old man. This kind of improvisation in the storytelling captured Jo. Moreover, Jack himself felt satisfied and happy to tell the story using all his wits and talent.

Question 8.
Jack is not used to having his authority questioned? How do we know about it? How does he show this to his daughter?
Answer:
Jack was not used to his authority being questioned. Till this time, Jo had never-questioned anything in the story. But now a phase was developing. Jo had started asking questions and reasons. Moreover, Jo’s constant questioning during the story and her refusal to accept the ending of the story appeared to him to be a threat to his authority. Many times during the course of storytelling, Jack exerts his authority by asking her “Who’s telling the story?” At the end when he left the room in spite of Jo’s protest against the end and demand for a new story, he came back again to sense Jo’s restlessness. He ultimately used the adult authority and asked her if she wanted him to spank her.

Question 9.
How does Jack interweave his own childhood in the story of Stinky Skunk?
Answer:
Jack told his daughter Jo a story in which the protagonist Roger Skunk is humiliated and rejected by the peer group because of his bad smell. While narrating the story, Jack felt this to be part of his own childhood experience. He remembered the humiliation and ridicule that he had faced in his childhood. He told Jo that all the other creatures refused to play with or befriend Roger and ran away because of his bad smell. He was left alone to cry. This must have been his own childhood experience when he might have been rejected and mocked by peers and cried alone as everyone would have left him.

Question 10.
During childhood and adolescence, peer pressure plays a very important role in our lives. Write a speech on the topic ‘Effect of Peer Pressure on Children’.
Answer:

Effect of Peer Pressure on Children

Good Morning dear friends, childhood is supposed to be the most tender time of life. A child is like clay with no preconceptions. Its world is small. It includes its parents and friends. But as Wordsworth said “The child is father of the Man”, so even this small child is conscious of his image, acceptance and appreciation. At this young age, it is very difficult for a child to accept ridicule and rejection because he is not mature enough to handle harsh realities of life. As a result, the action and reaction of its friends becomes most important to him.

It’s not that the peer effect is always negative. Many a time, a child learns new constructive things and habits in a very natural way while dealing with its friends. It learns social manners and the significance of caring and sharing. But if the peer group is not right, then the pressure of peer group might mislead it. It can start imitating bad habits like telling lies, abusing, stealing, etc. Even if the child knows whatever the others are doing is wrong, it is compelled to do the same out of peer pressure.

Thus, peer pressure can be very effective if it consists of children who have good habits. But if the peer group is not up to the mark, then this may lead to disastrous effects.

Question 11.
Conflict between the viewpoints of children and parents is a very common feature. Many a time parents find it difficult to handle children. Write an article on the growing conflicts between the ideologies of the parents and children with reference to the story ‘Should Wizard Hit Mommy?’
Answer:

Conflict between Parents and Children

The conflict between parents and children is an age-old phenomenon. Some call it a generation gap, while others dub it as conflict of ideas. In fact, they both seem to be right on their part. Parents, being adults, want to be caring and cautious about their children. As an adult, it is their duty to imbibe traditions in them. Their concern for the future of their children makes them to supervise them. But, on the other hand, children have their own viewpoint. For them their individuality and standing in their own society is of utmost importance. Like Jo in the story ‘Should Wizard Hit Mommy?’ they find it cruel on the part of their parents to make them an object of ridicule by the peer group.

But, on the other hand, parents are also right in their thinking, like Roger Skunk’s mommy, who did not want her son to lose his originality and identity. She wants to teach Skunk that we should not change for others; the world should accept us as what we are.

Thus, the conflict between the ideologies of parents and that of children is an ongoing process.

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