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The Happy Prince Extra Questions and Answers Class 9 English Moments
The Happy Prince Extra Questions and Answers Short Answer Type
Describe the statue of the Happy Prince.
The statue stood high above the city on a tall column. He was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold with two bright sapphires for eyes. A large red ruby glowed on his sword hilt.
Did the swallow belong to the city? How can you tell? Where was it going?
No, the swallow did not belong to the city, as it is written that it flew over the city on its way to Egypt.
Where did the bird decide to stay for the night? Why?
The bird decided to stay near the statue of the prince, because it was located on a tall column and the bird felt he would get plenty of fresh air there.
Why did the bird think he had a ‘golden bedroom’?
The bird alighted near the feel of the statue of the Happy Prince, which was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold. That is why he felt that he had got a ‘golden bedroom’ to sleep in.
Why was the bird not able to sleep peacefully that first night?
Just as the bird was about to sleep, he was disturbed by three tear drops that fell from the eyes of the statue. When he saw the tears running down the cheeks of the statue, he looked so beautiful in the moonlight that the bird was filled with pity and could not sleep.
Why was the statue of the Happy Prince weeping?
The statue of the Happy Prince was weeping because when he had been alive, he had not known any sorrow. But after his statue had been erected, he was able to see all the ugliness and misery of the city, and even though he now had a heart of lead, he could still feel the pain, which made him cry.
Who does the Prince ask the swallow to deliver the red ruby to?
The Prince asked the swallow to deliver the ruby to a poor seamstress whose son was very ill. The child was asking his mother for oranges, but she had nothing to give him but water. Since the statue’s feet were fixed to the pedestal, he could not deliver it himself, so he asked the swallow to do so.
Why did the swallow agree to deliver the ruby even though he wanted to join his friends in Egypt?
The Prince looked so sad that the little swallow felt sorry for him and agreed to stay one night and be his messenger.
What were the things that the swallow saw on his journey to deliver the ruby?
He saw the cathedral tower, the palace, the river, and the ships before coming to the poor woman’s house.
What made the sick boy fall into a deep, restful sleep?
When the bird delivered the ruby, he flew gently around the bed of the sick boy, fanning the boy’s forehead with his wings. This soothed the boy and he fell into a deep, restful sleep.
Though it was cold, the bird felt warm. Why did this happen?
This happened because he had done a good deed by delivering the ruby to the seamstress’ house, which made him feel warm and happy from inside.
Why did the swallow delay his departure for the second time?
He delayed his departure for the second time because the Prince asked him to deliver one of his sapphire eyes to a poor young man in a garret who was trying to finish a play for the Director of the theatre, but who was too hungry and cold to write anymore.
What did the Prince expect the young playwright to do with the sapphire? Did the swallow willingly agree to the Prince’s request?
The Prince expected him to sell it to the jeweller and buy firewood so he could complete writing his play. No, the swallow protested at first, as he wanted to continue on his journey. However, he finally agreed to help the Prince again.
Where did the playwright find the sapphire, and where did he think it had come from?
He found it lying on the withered violets, and thought it must have been left there by an admirer.
Where did the swallow go after dropping the sapphire at the playwright’s?
He flew down to the harbour where he sat on the mast of a large ship and watched the sailors working.
Why did the swallow want to fly to Egypt?
He wanted to do so because it was a warm country where the sum shone on green palm trees and crocodiles lay in the mud. Moreover, all his friends had already gone there to escape the cold weather.
Why was the match girl crying?
She was crying because her matches had fallen into the gutter and were all spoilt. Now her father would beat her for not bringing home any money.
How does the Happy Prince help the match girl, and why?
He asks the swallow to pluck out his remaining sapphire eye and give it to her. He does this to save her from her father’s beating.
After helping the Prince, when he had the freedom to fly to Egypt, why did the swallow change his mind? What does it reveal about his character?
He decided to stay with the statue as it had become blind now. This shows that the bird was very loyal and caring.
Why did the Prince ask the swallow to fly over his city?
The Prince said that the suffering of men and women was the greatest misery of all, and asked the swallow to fly over the city so that he could come back and tell him about all that he saw there.
What did the swallow see in the city?
He saw the rich making merry in their beautiful homes, while the beggars sat at their gates. He saw the starving children and two little boys hugging each other to keep warm. They were hungry as well, and were forced out into the rain by a watchman.
How did the Prince react to the bird’s report on all that he had seen in the city?
He asked the swallow to remove all the gold covering his body, leaf by leaf, and give it to the poor people.
How did the swallow make the poor starving children happy?
He did so by dropping the gold from the statue among the poor, who used it to buy bread and drive away their hunger.
How did the coming of the cold weather affect the swallow?
He grew colder by the day, but did not leave the statue of the Happy Prince, which he had come to love dearly. He ate the crumbs he found outside the baker’s door and tried to keep warm by flapping his wings.
Why did the heart of the statue snap into two?
The moment the swallow died at the feet of the statue, there was a curious crack inside the statue, as if something had broken. It was the leaden heart of the statue, which had broken as soon as its friend died.
The Happy Prince Extra Questions and Answers Long Answer Type
Why is the frost called a ‘dreadfully hard frost’?
The frost has been called hard because the snow had hardened due to the cold. Further, it also refers to the swallow had wanted to migrate to a wanner climate in Egypt, he had stayed back, at first unwillingly, to help the poor people by delivering the ruby, sapphire and gold leaf that had covered the statue of the Prince. Later, once the Prince was left without eyes to see, he decided to stay to keep him company. In the process, he succumbed to the cold weather and lost his life. On finding his friend dead, the statue broke, revealing his leaden heart. Thus, the death of these two selfless heroes cast a gloomy atmosphere.
What are the two most precious things that the Angels find in the city?
The two most precious things that the Angels pick up from the city are the dead swallow and the lead heart of the Happy Prince. They picked these two because both the bird and the statue had gone beyond their selfish interest and lost their lives serving the poor and down-trodden. The bird had cancelled his plans to migrate to warmer climes for the winter, staying back to help deliver valuables as directed by the statue, to those who were in dire need.
After the statue gave away his sapphire eyes and became blind, he did not have the heart to fly away from his friend. Instead, he died in his attempt to keep him company. Similarly, the statue had selflessly given away all the valuables that covered his body to help the poor and hungry people in the city. It made him extremely sad to see their misery, so he chose to give them everything he had. When at last his friend the swallow died, he was completely broken, and his heart cracked into two. The angels valued their sacrifice and charitable acts, and chose them as the most precious things.
Why did the courtiers call the prince the ‘Happy Prince’? Was he really happy? What does he see all around him?
The prince had been called a Happy Prince when he had been alive. At that time, he lived a sheltered and privileged life, with no inkling of the suffering faced by the common people. After his death, when his statue was placed on a high column overlooking the city, he was able to see the misery and unhappiness of the people. The poverty and ugliness all around made him extremely unhappy. Therefore, with the help of the swallow, he tried to compensate for the neglect which he had shown his subjects while he had been alive. Thus, he was not happy looking at the misery of the people, but by giving away all his valuables and helping the poor people, his sadness would have been somewhat abated.
Comment on the title of the story. Was the prince really happy?
The title is an ironical one, as it suggests that the story is about a Prince who is happy. However, the readers soon realise that the Prince is not a human, but a statue. The prince had been called a Happy Prince when he had been alive. At that time, he lived a sheltered and privileged life, with no inkling of the suffering faced by the common people. After his death, his statue was placed on a high column overlooking the city. Since the statue was placed at a high point, he could see all the misery and sadness in the city, which made him sad.
How do the councillors and Mayor react on seeing the broken statue?
The councillors and Mayor called the statue shabby because all the gold and precious stones no longer decorated it. They felt that without these embellishments, the statue looked like that of a beggar. Moreover, they felt that the dead swallow at its feet added to the shabby condition of the statue. Thus, since the statue was no longer beautiful or useful, it should be pulled down and melted in the furnace. However, its lead heart did not melt, which was finally thrown onto the garbage heap with the dead swallow’s body.
Men melt down the statue, yet the Angels proclaim it one of the most precious things in the city. Comment on the divergent viewpoints of the Angels and humans with reference to the story The Happy Prince.
Humans are attracted to material things, and tend to appreciate only outer beauty. Thus, the statue was considered beautiful when it was covered with gold leaf and precious stones like rubies and sapphires. However, when it was stripped of the gold and jewels, they declared that it was shabby and should be pulled down. On the other hand, the Angels looked into the mind and heart of all creatures, and valued qualities like charity, selflessness and kindness above any external materials.
In this story, we have two very noble characters—the swallow and the statue—who together help out several poor people in the city quietly, without expecting praise or acclaim. The statue gives every valuable part that can help someone, even though it makes him look shabby and he goes blind. The swallow also risks his life by staying on in the cold weather instead of flying to warmer climes like its friends. Instead, it stays back and helps the prince alleviate the suffering of several people in the city. Thus, their actions make them the most precious things in the city.