Treasure Trove A Collection of ICSE Short Stories Workbook Answers Chapter 8 Notes The Blue Bead – ICSE Class 10, 9 English
About the Author
Norah (Aileen) Burke born on 2nd August 1907 in Bedford, England and was a well known novelist and non-fiction writer famous for her descriptions of life in India during the early 20th century.
Her father, Redmond St. George Burke, was a Forest Officer in India and her early childhood was spent travelling through the Indian forests, often on elephant back. The Indian jungle and her interactions with its wild animals inspired her autobiographical travel books Jungle Child (1956), Eleven Leopards (1965), and Midnight Forests (1966). She also wrote a short story “Journey by Night”.
Constantly changing camps, carrying their belongings by elephant, made education difficult, but she learned to write at the age of eight, and started writing stories straight away. She also read as much as she could, including bound volumes of Chums and Boy’s Own Paper, and even wrote and edited her own little magazine entitled The Monthly Dorrit.
She returned to England in 1919 to attend a school in Devonshire, and lived at her family home at The Auberies, Buhner, in Suffolk. Her first novel, Dark Road, was published in 1933,. After a second novel dealing with a European dictator (The Scarlet Vampire), she wrote Merry England, which was set in historical Suffolk.
By 1950, she had published 11 novels and her short stories and articles had appeared in more than 100 periodicals. Her work was published in France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Irish Free State, Holland, Australia, America and Canada. In 1954, she was the winner of the New York Herald Tribune World Short Story Contest.
As well as fiction, Norah Burke was also an enthusiastic travel writer, relating many of her early adventures in autobiographical travel books Jungle Child (1956), Tiger Country (1965) and Eleven Leopards (1965). She also wrote about wildlife in King Todd (1963), Fire in the Forest and The Midnight Forest (1966) and numerous short stories. She collaborated with her father on his book of big game hunting and camp life in the Indian jungles, Jungle Days (1935).
She married Henry Humphrey R. Metlnvold Walrond (1904-1987), a lawyer, and had two sons. She lived for many years at Thorne Court., in Cockfield, near Bury St. Edmunds, Suffollk. She died in 1976.
About the Story
This is the heroic story of a twelve year old Indian girl who saved a gujjar woman from being devoured by a crocodile. There was a mugger crocodile laying in the water. A little 12-year-old girl name Sibia lived in a small village and she was marked for work from a very young age. She had never owned anything in her life In the village the woman would get paper grass from above the river. When they had enough they would take it to the bullock and sell it for money. One day when they were crossing the river on their way home, Sibia decided to rest. One of the Gujjar women went down to fill her two gurrahs with water. Things took a turn for the worst and all of a sudden a crocodile attacked the woman, biting on the woman’s leg. At that moment Sibia got up, sprinted, grabbed the hay fork and stabbed the crocodile in the eye with all her power. Immediately the crocodile let go and went away. Sibia saw a small blue bead lying by the river, she grabbed it. Since she was poor she didn’t have a necklace. She’d always wanted one like the other women, now she could make one with the blue bead. After that she went home and told her mother all about it.
- Introduction: The mention of the crocodile. Sibia’s day starts with a small breakfast, then she leaves to work in the fields with her mother.
- Climax: Women were travelling to the cliff to collect grass paper. On the way back Sibia gets left behind because she was day-dreaming. Sibia has to cross a river in order to get home and when she arrives at the river she sees a women being attacked by a crocodile “She was within a yard of the crocodile when it lunged at her.” Marks the beginning of climax.
- Rising Action: Sibia rushes in to save the woman and stabs the crocodile in the eye with her hay-fork. She helped the woman back home to camp ground. Sibia saves the women and cleans her wounds, then returns to the river to get her hayfork
- Tailing action: When Sibia bends down to retrieve her hay-fork she finds a blue bead. She excitedly went to her mother and told her about her blue bead.
- Conclusion: Sibia then returns home to her mother where she explains of her day’s events . She excitedly went to her mother and told her about her blue bead.“Beside him in the shoals where he lay waiting, glimmered a blue gem.”
The theme of the story “The Blue Bead” is that people often don’t realize that risk taking can lead to unforeseen achievements. This story is about a young girl named Sibia who one day goes to the fields with her mom to work. After working she gets left behind because she was daydreaming or she was lost in her own thoughts. In order to get home Sibia has to cross a river. While she’s doing that she sees a woman getting attacked by a crocodile. Sibia rushes to help the woman and she stabs the crocodile in the eye with a pitchfork. Sibia takes the injured woman back into the village where a group of people take her to get treated. When she returns to the river to get her pitchfork she finds a blue bead. In the end Sibia doesn’t tell her mother about helping the lady because she is more excited about finding the blue bead for her necklace.
The blue bead symbolizes that even the little things can make Sibia happy. We take many things for granted and don’t realize the little things that make us happy.
Crocodiles often attack humans in India and surrounding countries.It’s very unlikely that one would survive an attack, luckily, Sibia was there to save that woman. What goes around comes around. The crocodile attacks the Gujjar woman. Then the crocodile gets attacked by Sibia. Sibia saves the Gujjar woman and in return gets the blue bead. Sibia never gave up on getting jewellery and always tries her best to find solutions. Eventually she gets what she always wanted.
Highlights of Speech/or Summary
A mugger crocodile was laying motionless waiting for food, armored with his thick hide. Beside him lay a small blue bead. There was a village above the river. This was the home to a little girl, named Sibia. In all her life, she had never owned anything but a rag. From the moment Sibia was born she was marked for work. Today, she was going with her mother and the other women to get paper grass from above the river. When the women had enough, they would take it down to the bullock cart and sell it to the agent who would arrange for it to be sent to the paper mills. The women toiled all day at this work. On the way back, the woman passed the Gujjar people’s grass huts where some nomadic graziers would live until their animals finished grazing in that spot. The women were crossing the river and stepping on the ghats trying to avoid an attack from a crocodile. They all crossed safely and were on their way back home. Sibia was dawdling and the last to cross the stones, in the middle she decided to take a break. At that same moment, a Gujjar woman went down to the water to fill up her gurrahs. Out of the blue, a crocodile lunged at her. The crocodile’s jaws closed in on the Guljar woman’s leg, blood . spreading everywhere. Quickly, Sibia ran over and stabbed the crocodile in the eyes with her hay fork, the only weak part of that saurian. The crocodile reared up in convulsion, disappearing into the water. Sibia had saved the attacked woman. Sibia looked down near her hay fork, and noticed a small blue bead. She was ecstatic. Since she was poor she didn’t have a necklace. She’d always wanted one like the other women, now she could make one with the blue bead. Sibia picked it up, and went back home where her mother * awaited her.
The antagonist and protagonist in this short story are revealed through direct statements. The author (Norah Burke) tells us about Sibia and the crocodile.
Sibia was a little girl, a thin starving child dressed in an earth—?coloured rag. straight white teeth. With her ebony hair and great eyes, and,her skin of oiled brown cream, she was a happy immature child—? woman about twelve years old. Bare foot, of course, and often goosey—? cold on a winter morning, and born to toil. In all her life, she had never owned anything but a rag. She had never owned even one anna—not a pice.
Sibia is the protagonist in this short story. Sibia’s character in this story is static, because she is simple throughout the whole story, and she does not change that characteristic of hers. Sibia is extremely observant and is quick to see the blue bead. She has lived a life of poverty and from the moment Sibia was born she was marked for work. She always dreams about jewellery and is happy to find the blue bead with which she can make a necklace. She appreciates the little things in life. She is only twelve years old but is ready to help others even at the cost of endangering her own life. When she lunges at the crocodile, not for a moment does she think of saving herself and running. Infact she behaves like a true soldier thinking of others before self. Yes, the woman would be dead if Sibia didn’t rescue her. In the end also she did not give importance to her act of bravery. Sibia didn’t tell her mother about how she saved the woman’s life because she was happy about finding the bead.
She was fearless and quick footed. When she saw the woman being attacked, Sibia leapt forward from boulder to boulder. She came leaping with the agility of a rock goat. Sometimes it had seemed difficult to cross these stones, especially the big gap in the middle where the river coursed through like a bulge of glass. But now she came on wings, choosing her footing in midair without even thinking about it, and in one moment she was beside the shrieking woman. She was adventurous and courageous. ‘With all the force in (Sibia’s) little body, she drove the hayfork at the eyes, and one prong went right in.’ Sibia shows that she is capable of disabling the crocodile, she demonstrates courage in an overwhelming, impressive manner Even after rescuing the woman from the crocodile she helped her and tended her wounds. “Sibia got her arms around the fainting woman…she stopped her wounds with sand, and bound them with a rag.” Sibia represents herself as a hero in this portion of the story, as she successfully defeated the crocodile in order to save a woman. Sibia is a 12 year old girl, and without hesitation or a second thought, she kills a crocodile. “With all the force in her little body, she drove the hayfork at the eyes, and with one prong went in -right in- while it’s pair scratched past on the horny cheek… He would die.” Therefore, along with Sibia’s young age, she simply attains courage to execute a vicious crocodile.
In the short story “The Blue Bead” by Norah Burke, courageous Sibia lives a simplistic life. To begin with, young Sibia creates commodities using simple utilities. She makes use of a single rag because, “[Sibia] [has] torn the rag in two to make skirt and sari.” She has made use of a simplistic object that we take for granted. She has found a way to make a simple object in life into a lot more and cherish it. In addition, Sibia attains courage to diminish the crocodile using a simple, sole implement.
Furthermore, events that occur in Sibia’s life are described as undetailed , unsophisticated events. For instance,Sibia goes through an adventurous battle with the crocodile and arrives home to her worried mother. Instead of stating (to her mother) about the colossal event that had occured, she simply says “I found a blue bead for my necklace, look!”, which is merely a miniscule detail from her adventure. Sibia experiences a life changing and life saving event, along with finding a blue bead, but she chooses to mention only the simplest event of her day to her mother. Conclusively, from the way Sibia lives, to the way she thinks and the way she speaks, Sibia’s courageous actions in life are very simplistic.
The author introduces the feisty crocodile simply foreshadowing what is to happen later. He ‘was twice the length of a tall man.’ It was vicious and it eating habits are described eating habits
“Fed mostly on fish, but also deer and monkeys…and a duck or two…and a half-burned bodies of Indians…”
The blue Bead was called that because of how the story ends. In the end of the story, Sibia finds a blue bead. After all the life changing and life saving events that happened, along with finding a blue bead, during the day she believes in putting aside the fact that she had saved the woman’s life, and feels happy because she had found a blue bead with which she could make a necklace. She had always wanted jewellery and now. she could have it. Thus for her the finding of the blue bead is the most significant.
The setting of the story took place somewhere in India, where deep in a wild forest flowed a great Indian river. The story took place during the day time when the sun shone brightly. As well as during the evening as the sun set, and Sibia could see the pink ultraviolet shadows as she came down to the stepping-stones.
The Point of View used in this short story is Third Person Point of View. It is in oinniscient. The narrator repetitively uses the pronouns him, her, it, and them. The narrator knows the details of the girl, they and the crocodile. He says, She was within a yard of the crocodile when it lunged at her.’ The omniscient third person is where the narrator is talking about the crocodile, and on there when the Gujars are explained.
The story is narrated in the third person for hypothetical reasons. Perhaps the author had no option for a character who had an appropriate point of view for the story. If the author had chosen a subjective narrator only one point of view would be delivered to the reader. On the other hand an objective narrative point of view allowed the reader to comprehend a variety of point of views equally. Namely the narrator expresses the story without bias and states events as they occur without interpreting any person’s opinion or point of view.
This story is about a young girl named Sibia who one day goes to the fields with her mom to work. After working she gets left behind because she was daydreaming or she was lost in her own thoughts. In order to get home Sibia has to cross a river. While she’s doing that she sees a woman getting attacked by a crocodile. Sibia rushes to help the woman and she stabs the crocodile in the eye with a pitchfork. Sibia takes the injured woman back into the village where a group of people take her to get treated. When she returns to the river to get her pitchfork she finds a blue bead. In the end Sibia doesn’t tell her mother about helping the lady because she is excited about finding the blue bead for her necklace.
The story, is about the bravery of a twelve year old Indian girl who saves a Gujjar woman from the jaws of a crocodile. When she sees the crocodile attacking the woman Sibia lunges with her hay fork and plunges it into the most vulnerable spot in the crocodiles body, its eye.
In the beginning the mood of the story expresses an aura of fascination and curiosity. As the story continues the mood transitions into unease and a sense of doubt because of the mention of the huge and vicious crocodile. One is left with a sense of foreboding. When Sibia witnesses the attack of the crocodile on the woman, she acted impetuously and with fearlessness to kill the beast. The author here introduces a sense suspense and hesitation for her survival.
Her brave act of lunging at the crocodile is an appropriate image because, it portrays an act of risk taking, or in other words taking a leap of faith. This was the act Sibia had taken as she gained the courage to rescue the woman from the ferocious crocodile.
As the story begins to express the array of sunshine, crystal water, golden shallows and forested hills, the atmosphere emitted a calm and serene vibe. When the crocodile was introduced the atmosphere became more tense and wary. As the story advanced to the climax, and Sibia rescued the women from the crocodile, the atmosphere changed from calm to erratic. The author uses the setting, atmosphere, and mood to help us understand the story’s theme by explaining and analyzing the basic structure of life as it is lived. There is conveyed a feeling of anxiety and calmness, while the author gives a visual description of various situations.
The author makes use of various literary devices to make the story interesting and * to forward his plot and theme. Metaphors like: “But now she came on wings, choosing her footing in midair” and “All her golden body decorated” are used to create word images. Similes are used to make unusual comparisons.’The sunset shuffled about it like gold dust”, “Where the river coursed through like a bulge of glass”, “She could look down over the river as if she was a bird” and “Heroism of the jungle is as common as a thorn tree”
Symbolism is extensively used to convey the point to be made. The blue bead represents Sibia’s happiness because she grew up in poverty. The blue bead is used as a symbol, it represents the riches and luxuries that she could never afford, and all she fought for in order to achieve it. It is also a symbol and reminder of her bravery and heroism on that day. The blue bead symbolizes even the little things can make them happy. Here where we take many things for granted and don’t realize the little things that make us happy.
The author also gives us a vivid idea of the condition of third world country like India with its very hot weather and very poor people working for little money living in mud buildings and encountering dangers in daily life.
There are various conflicts in the story. Sibia wants jewellery but cannot afford it.Has to work much harder than any child should and struggles to survive. Everyday Sibia has to cross the Indian River which is full of crocodiles. The grown Gujjar woman is attacked by the crocodile and the twelve year old Sibia kills the crocodile and saves the women. She does a good deed and is rewarded.
Then there is the conflict of lack of wealth in Sibia’s family. The author states in the beginning of the story:”She was a happy immature child woman, about 12 years old. Bare foot, of course, and often goosey cold on a winter morning, and born to toil. In all her life, she had owned anything but a rag.”Another major conflict highlighted in the story is Human vs Nature. The conflict was that a woman was attacked by a crocodile and Sibia was there to save the woman. This conflict served the purpose of telling us how brave and courageous Sibia was and how she found the blue bead.
Irony of various types is used by the author. “And Sibia bursting with her story cried ‘Something did! I found a blue bead for my necklace, LOOK!”’ is an example of dramatic Irony because we know something that another character does not know.
Another example of irony in the story would be “With all the force of her little body, she drove the hay fork at the eyes and with one prong went in- right in- while it’s pair scratched past on the horny cheek… He would die.”This is an example of situational irony because it is something that was unexpected.
The antagonist and protagonist in this short stoiy are revealed through direct statements. The author (Norah Burke) tells us about Sibia and the crocodile. The protagonist in this story is a 12 year old girl named Sibia. The antagonist is the dearth of wealth in her family. There is suspense in the story and foreshadowing. Suspense is introduced when the crocodile rests in the swamp that Sibia is passing, but Sibia isn’t aware of this. The author uses foreshadowing from the beginning when the crocodile is introduced to hint at the later attack. Foreshadowing is also used when the bead is introduced, to show it will play a big part in the story.
- Juggernaut: any large, overpowering, destructive force of an object
- Putrid: in a state of foul decay or decomposition, as animal or vegetable matter; rotten
- Perforated: pierced with a hole or holes
- Graziers: a person who grazes cattle for the market
- Toiled: hard and continuous work; exhausting labour or effort
- Convulsion: violent agitation or disturbance; commotion.
- Jostled: pushed roughly.
- Sleepers: heavy pieces of wood.
- Cliffs: rocks.
- Trilling: make high sound.
- Ferocious: violent , savage
- Formidable: impressive, powerful.
- Parasites: small animals that get their food from others.
- Milling: people moving in large numbers.
- Lunged: moved forward, attacked.
- Dazzle: impress.
- Encampment: a group of tents.
- Clinking: making sharp sound.
- Pastoral: rural.
- Sickle: a tool with a curved blade.
- Dawdle: to take a long time to go.
- Clatter: to make a sound.
- Convulsion: fit, shaking movement of body.
- Dragged: pulled.
- Wobbling: moving from side to side in an unsteady manner.
- Smudged: smeared.
- Wriggle: twist or turn your body.
- Morose: sad.
- Scolding: rebuke.
- Bead: a small piece of glass.
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