The Short Stories

12 Ambai: Squirrel

12.2 Appendix I: Some Questions

Appendix I: Some Questions

           The Holy Panchayat

  1. Comment critically on the title of the story.
  2. What according to you is the theme of the story ‘The Holy Panchayat’?
  3. Comment on the significance of the word ‘Holy’ in the title of the story.
  4. Do you find the ending of ‘The Holy Panchayat’ convincing? Give reasons for your answer.
  5. How is the conduct of an individual influenced by society in Premchand’s ‘The Holy Panchayat’?

           The M C C

  1. Comment critically on the title of the story.
  2. Do you think Narayan has been able to take us into the world of children in his story ‘The M.C.C’? Illustrate your answer with reference to the text.
  3. Is ‘The M.C.C.’ just a simple story about children and for children or does it operate on a deeper level too? Comment.
  4. In spite of its apparent simplicity, R. K. Narayan’s ‘The M.C.C.’ has strong nationalist overtones. Comment.
  5. Discuss “the starting of a cricket team (as) the most complicated problem on earth” from the point of view of children in R. K. Narayan’s ‘The M.C.C.’

           The Card Sharper’s Daughter

  1. Basheer has been successful in presenting a realistic picture of a village in Kerala. Do you agree?
  2. Comment on the humour in Basheer’s ‘The Card-Sharper’s daughter?
  3. Do you agree with the narrator when he says that in this story he has recorded a history? Give reasons for your answer.
  4. How has Basheer managed to present a critique of political ideologies through his narrative?
  5. Comment on the use of irony in the story?

           Toba Tek Singh

  1. Comment critically on the meaning and content of ‘Toba Tek Singh’.
  2. Do you think Manto has been successful in conveying the agony of the Partition in ‘Toba Tek Singh’? Give reasons for your answer.
  3. It has been observed that history is better represented through the medium of fiction than through a chronicling of historical events. Do you think ‘Toba Tek Singh’ bears out this point well?
  4. Critically comment on Manto’s use of madness as metaphor in ‘Toba Tek Singh’.
  5. “In the middle on a strip of no man’s land lay Toba Tek Singh.” What does this comment signify in ‘Toba Tek Singh’?

           The Quilt

  1. Comment on the title of the story ‘The Quilt.’
  2. Compare and contrast the presentation of women characters in ‘The Quilt’ and ‘Squirrel.’
  3. Evaluate Ismat Chughtai’s use of the first person narrative in ‘The Quilt.’ Does it bring out the latent meaning of the story more effectively?
  4. How is the quilt used as a metaphor and symbol in the story?
  5. Critically comment on the ending of the story.
  6. Ismat Chugtai’s ‘Lihaaf’ (The Quilt) deals primarily with woman’s sexual frustrations. Discuss the story in the light of this remark..


  1. With the help of suitable illustrations, consider ‘Squirrel’ as both an autobiographical sketch and a reflection on the activity of writing.
  2. Would you agree with the view that ‘Squirrel’ is a story dominated by feminist concerns? Elucidate.
  3. Comment on the use of the first person narrator in the story.
  4. The story works on a literal as well as a metaphorical level. Illustrate how this helps in drawing forth the main concerns of the story.
  5.  Discuss the use of allusions in ‘Squirrel.’