A Child’s Journey with Dickens: Q & Answers, Summary and Meanings

“A Child’s Journey with Dickens” was written by Kate Douglas Wiggin. Here you get a summary, word meanings and textbook question and answers as given in the book Wind Chimes for class 7. If questions do not match with your textbook, then contact us.

A Child’s Journey with Dickens

Summary

“A Child’s Journey with Dickens” by Kate Douglas Wiggin is a charming story about a young girl’s memorable encounter with the famous novelist Charles Dickens during a train journey. The story begins with the girl noticing excitement among passengers at North Berwick, where she spots Charles Dickens on the platform. Overcome with curiosity and admiration, she sneaks into the next car to see him.

Seated nearby, she watches Dickens interact with others until, by chance, his companion leaves. Seizing the moment, she approaches Dickens, who is initially surprised but quickly warms to her. They engage in a heartfelt conversation about his books, particularly “David Copperfield,” which she reveals she has read six times. Dickens is delighted by her enthusiasm and reciprocates her affection, treating her with kindness and attention.

As they near Boston, Dickens escorts her back to her mother and introduces himself. The story concludes with the girl cherishing the vivid and joyful memory of her encounter with Dickens, a memory that remains bright and unfaded throughout her life.

Word Meanings

Here are some important vocabulary words from the story “A Child’s Journey with Dickens” by Kate Douglas Wiggin:

  1. Apparent – clearly visible or understood; obvious.
  2. Eagerly – with a great deal of enthusiasm, wanting to do or have something very much.
  3. Panes – sheets of glass in a window or door.
  4. Platform – a raised level surface on which people or things can stand.
  5. Adored – loved and respected deeply.
  6. Gesture – a movement of part of the body, especially a hand or the head, to express an idea or meaning.
  7. Companion – a person or animal with whom one spends a lot of time or with whom one travels.
  8. Novelist – a person who writes novels.
  9. Genial – friendly and cheerful.
  10. Brilliant – very bright and radiant; exceptionally clever or talented.
  11. Carnation – a double-flowered cultivated variety of clove pink, with gray-green leaves and showy pink, white, or red flowers.
  12. Vanished – disappeared suddenly and completely.
  13. Occupied – being used by someone; busy and active.
  14. Unoccupied – not being used or occupied.
  15. Greeting – a polite word or sign of welcome or recognition.
  16. Apology – an expression of regret for something that one has done wrong.
  17. Adjacent – next to or adjoining something else.
  18. Intention – an aim or plan.
  19. Provocation – action or speech that makes someone annoyed or angry, especially deliberately.
  20. Timorously – showing or suffering from nervousness, fear, or a lack of confidence.
  21. Unbidden – without having been commanded or invited.
  22. Equanimity – mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.
  23. Justifiable – able to be shown to be right or reasonable; defensible.
  24. Surprise – a feeling of mild astonishment or shock caused by something unexpected.
  25. Stammered – spoke with sudden involuntary pauses and a tendency to repeat the initial letters of words.
  26. Betsey Trotwood – a character from Charles Dickens’ novel “David Copperfield”.
  27. Enquired – asked for information.
  28. Exclaimed – cried out suddenly in surprise, strong emotion, or pain.
  29. Slip of a thing – a small, slight person.
  30. Exhilarated – very happy, animated, or elated.
  31. Inexperienced – lacking experience; not having much practice or knowledge of something.
  32. Conscious – aware of and responding to one’s surroundings; awake.
  33. Interview – a meeting at which information is obtained (often used here in a less formal sense, referring to their conversation).
  34. David Copperfield – a novel by Charles Dickens, and also the name of the protagonist in that novel.
  35. Attracted – drew attention or interest.
  36. Passengers – people who are traveling in a vehicle but are not operating it.
  37. Approaching – coming near or nearer to something in distance or time.
  38. Collect – gather together.
  39. Wraps – coats, shawls, or other coverings for warmth.
  40. Appearance – the way that someone or something looks or seems to others.
  41. Clinging – holding tightly.
  42. Disappeared – passed out of sight; vanished.
  43. Carriage – a vehicle with wheels drawn by horses, typically used in the past.
  44. Glimpse – a brief or quick view or look.
  45. Painted in bright hues – a phrase meaning that the memory is vivid and clear, as if painted in bright colors.
  46. Faded – gradually grew faint and disappeared.

Textbook Question and Answers

Note: Sometimes more than one set of answers are given here to help students. Choose as per your choice or write your own answers.

Comprehension

  1. What happened immediately after the train stopped for a brief period?
  2. How did the narrator feel about sitting still in her seat while others were looking out of the windows?
  3. Who did the narrator see on the platform at North Berwick, and why was he called the ‘Adored One?
  4. Which physical characteristics of the person on the platform made the narrator recognise him as Charles Dickens?
  5. Why did the narrator slip away and enter the next car?
  6. How did the narrator manage to sit in the ‘seat of honour’ next to Charles Dickens?
  7. What did the narrator tell Charles Dickens about her origins and her reason for not attending his reading the previous night?
  8. How did Charles Dickens react when the narrator mentioned that she had read all of his books, some of them six times?
  9. According to the passage, which book of Charles Dickens did the narrator like the best?
  10. How did the other passengers react when they saw the narrator talking with Charles Dickens?
  11. How did the encounter with Charles Dickens end? What did the narrator do after that?

Answers:

  1. What happened immediately after the train stopped for a brief period?
    Ans. The narrator noticed that people on her side of the car were looking out eagerly at something of apparent interest.
  2. How did the narrator feel about sitting still in her seat while others were looking out of the windows?
    Ans. The narrator did not want to sit still and quickly flattened her nose against one of the windowpanes to see what was happening.
  3. Who did the narrator see on the platform at North Berwick, and why was he called the ‘Adored One’?
    Ans. The narrator saw Charles Dickens on the platform and called him the ‘Adored One’ because he was her favourite novelist.
  4. Which physical characteristics of the person on the platform made the narrator recognize him as Charles Dickens?
    Ans. The narrator recognized Charles Dickens by his smiling, genial face, brilliant eyes, watch chain, red carnation in his buttonhole, and his hands in his pockets.
  5. Why did the narrator slip away and enter the next car?
    Ans. The narrator slipped away to try to see Charles Dickens up close and perhaps speak with him.
  6. How did the narrator manage to sit in the ‘seat of honour’ next to Charles Dickens?
    Ans. The narrator took advantage of the moment when Mr. Osgood left the seat, and she timorously sat down in his place.
  7. What did the narrator tell Charles Dickens about her origins and her reason for not attending his reading the previous night?
    Ans. The narrator told Charles Dickens that she came from Hollis, Maine, and stayed back because only two members of her family could attend the reading.
  8. How did Charles Dickens react when the narrator mentioned that she had read all of his books, some of them six times?
    Ans. Charles Dickens was surprised and delighted, exclaiming that he was glad she liked his books, especially “David Copperfield.”
  9. According to the passage, which book of Charles Dickens did the narrator like the best?
    Ans. The narrator liked “David Copperfield” the best.
  10. How did the other passengers react when they saw the narrator talking with Charles Dickens?
    Ans. The other passengers occasionally looked in their direction, attracted by the conversation.
  11. How did the encounter with Charles Dickens end? What did the narrator do after that?
    Ans. The encounter ended with Charles Dickens taking the narrator back to her mother and introducing himself. The narrator clung to his hand and walked with him down the platform until he disappeared into a carriage.

1. What happened immediately after the train stopped for a brief period?

Ans. The people on the side of the car next to the station stood up and looked out eagerly at something of apparent interest.

2. How did the narrator feel about sitting still in her seat while others were looking out of the windows?

Ans. The narrator did not want to sit still in her seat while others were looking out, so she quickly flattened her nose against one of the windowpanes to see what was happening.

3. Who did the narrator see on the platform at North Berwick, and why was he called the ‘Adored One’?

Ans. The narrator saw Charles Dickens on the platform, who she called the ‘Adored One’ because he was her favourite novelist.

4. Which physical characteristics of the person on the platform made the narrator recognize him as Charles Dickens?

Ans. The narrator recognized Charles Dickens by his smiling, genial face, brilliant eyes, watch chain, red carnation in his buttonhole, and his hands in his pockets.

5. Why did the narrator slip away and enter the next car?

Ans. The narrator slipped away and entered the next car because she wanted to see and speak to Charles Dickens, who had taken a seat there.

6. How did the narrator manage to sit in the ‘seat of honour’ next to Charles Dickens?

Ans. The narrator managed to sit in the ‘seat of honour’ next to Charles Dickens when Mr. Osgood, his companion, left for a moment, giving her the opportunity to move to the seat.

7. What did the narrator tell Charles Dickens about her origins and her reason for not attending his reading the previous night?

Ans. The narrator told Charles Dickens that she came from Hollis, Maine, and was going to Charlestown to visit her uncle. She stayed back from his reading the previous night because only two from her family could go, and her mother and her cousin attended instead.

8. How did Charles Dickens react when the narrator mentioned that she had read all of his books, some of them six times?

Ans. Charles Dickens was surprised and delighted, exclaiming about the length of his books and her dedication to reading them despite being so young.

9. According to the passage, which book of Charles Dickens did the narrator like the best?

Ans. The narrator liked “David Copperfield” the best and mentioned that she had read it six times.

10. How did the other passengers react when they saw the narrator talking with Charles Dickens?

Ans. The other passengers occasionally looked in their direction, especially when Dickens made a remark that attracted their attention.

11. How did the encounter with Charles Dickens end? What did the narrator do after that?

Ans. The encounter ended when Dickens escorted the narrator back to her mother, introduced himself, and then walked with her down the platform until he disappeared into a carriage. The narrator clung to his hand and cherished the vivid memory of this experience.

  1. Suddenly, I noticed that the people on the side of the car, next to the station, were on their feet and looking out eagerly at some object of apparent interest
    a. Which station is being referred to here?
    b. What were people looking out eagerly at?
    c. What was the narrator excited about?
  2. One gentleman after another came to exchange a word of greeting with him, so that he was never for a moment alone.
    a. Who does ‘he’ refer to?
    b. Why were people greeting him?
    c. Why did ‘he’ seem busy and how did the narrator feel about this?
  3. I, still clinging to his hand, left the car and walked with him down the platform until he disappeared in the carriage.
    That was my last glimpse of him, but pictures made in childhood are painted in bright hues, and this one has never faded.

    a. Who was clinging to whose hand?
    b. What do you understand about the relationship between the two people mentioned in these lines?
    c. What does the narrator mean by saying ‘pictures made in childhood are painted in bright hues’?

Answers:

  1. a. North Berwick
    b. Charles Dickens on the platform
    c. He seemed busy because many people were coming to greet him, leaving him never alone. The narrator felt frustrated and anxious, as she wanted a chance to speak with him.
  2. a. Charles Dickens
    b. People were greeting him because he was a famous and beloved novelist.
    c. He seemed busy because many people were coming to greet him, leaving him never alone. The narrator felt frustrated and anxious, as she wanted a chance to speak with him.
  3. a. The narrator, a young girl, was clinging to Charles Dickens’ hand.
    b. The relationship was one of admiration and affection from the young girl towards Charles Dickens, who reciprocated with kindness and warmth.
    c. The narrator means that memories from childhood are often vivid, joyful, and unforgettable. This particular memory of meeting Charles Dickens remains especially clear and cherished.
  1. How does the description of Charles Dickens help create a vivid image of his appearance?
  2. Imagine you were on the train with the narrator. What would you be thinking and feeling when you saw ‘the Adored One’ (Charles Dickens) on the platform?
  3. What shows you that the narrator was determined and curious to meet Charles Dickens?
  4. What might have made the other gentlemen on the train come and greet Charles Dickens, preventing him from being alone for even a moment?
  5. What does the narrator’s action of rushing through the aisle and sitting down next to Charles Dickens without any prior planning or intention tell you about her?
  6. Why do you think Charles Dickens was impressed by the fact that the young narrator had read all of his books, some of them multiple times?
  7. Why do you think Mr Osgood, Charles Dickens’ friend, respected the narrator’s interaction with Dickens and excused himself from their conversation with a smile?
  8. What does the last sentence of the passage, ‘pictures made in childhood are painted in bright hues, and this one has never faded’ suggest about the impact of the encounter with Charles Dickens on the narrator’s life?

Answers:

  1. How does the description of Charles Dickens help create a vivid image of his appearance?
    Ans. The detailed description, including his smiling face, brilliant eyes, watch chain, red carnation, and hands in pockets, creates a clear and vivid image.
  2. Imagine you were on the train with the narrator. What would you be thinking and feeling when you saw ‘the Adored One’ (Charles Dickens) on the platform?
    Ans. I would feel excited and thrilled, eager to see Charles Dickens and hopeful about the chance to meet him.
  3. What shows you that the narrator was determined and curious to meet Charles Dickens?
    Ans. The narrator’s eagerness to look out the window, sneaking into the next car, and taking the chance to sit next to Dickens show her determination and curiosity.
  4. What might have made the other gentlemen on the train come and greet Charles Dickens, preventing him from being alone for even a moment?
    Ans. The gentlemen likely admired his work and wanted to meet the famous author.
  5. What does the narrator’s action of rushing through the aisle and sitting down next to Charles Dickens without any prior planning or intention tell you about her?
    Ans. It shows she is impulsive, brave, and driven by her emotions to make the most of the opportunity.
  6. Why do you think Charles Dickens was impressed by the fact that the young narrator had read all of his books, some of them multiple times?
    Ans. It showed her deep appreciation and strong connection to his work, which would be flattering to any author.
  7. Why do you think Mr. Osgood, Charles Dickens’ friend, respected the narrator’s interaction with Dickens and excused himself from their conversation with a smile?
    Ans. He recognized the special nature of the encounter and wanted to allow them to enjoy it.
  8. What does the last sentence of the passage, ‘pictures made in childhood are painted in bright hues, and this one has never faded’ suggest about the impact of the encounter with Charles Dickens on the narrator’s life?
    Ans. The encounter left a lasting, vivid, and cherished memory from her childhood.
  1. How does the description of Charles Dickens help create a vivid image of his appearance?
    Ans. The description of Charles Dickens includes specific details such as his smiling, genial face, brilliant eyes, watch chain, red carnation in his buttonhole, and his hands in his pockets. These details paint a clear and vivid image of his appearance, making it easy for readers to visualize him.
  2. Imagine you were on the train with the narrator. What would you be thinking and feeling when you saw ‘the Adored One’ (Charles Dickens) on the platform?
    Ans. If I were on the train with the narrator, I would likely be filled with excitement and admiration, much like the narrator. Seeing a famous and beloved author like Charles Dickens would be a thrilling experience. I would be eager to catch a glimpse of him and perhaps feel a bit nervous but hopeful about the possibility of meeting him.
  3. What shows you that the narrator was determined and curious to meet Charles Dickens?
    Ans. The narrator’s actions show her determination and curiosity. She eagerly looks out the window to see what others are watching, sneaks away to the next car to get closer to Dickens, and takes advantage of the opportunity to sit next to him when his companion leaves. These actions demonstrate her strong desire to meet and interact with Dickens.
  4. What might have made the other gentlemen on the train come and greet Charles Dickens, preventing him from being alone for even a moment?
    Ans. The other gentlemen likely came to greet Charles Dickens because of his fame and reputation as a celebrated author. They probably admired his work and wanted to take the opportunity to meet him, exchange a few words, and show their respect and appreciation.
  5. What does the narrator’s action of rushing through the aisle and sitting down next to Charles Dickens without any prior planning or intention tell you about her?
    Ans. The narrator’s spontaneous action suggests that she is impulsive and driven by her emotions. It also shows her bravery and strong desire to seize the moment and make the most of the unexpected opportunity to meet her idol, despite any nervousness or fear she might have felt.
  6. Why do you think Charles Dickens was impressed by the fact that the young narrator had read all of his books, some of them multiple times?
    Ans. Charles Dickens was likely impressed because it showed the young narrator’s deep appreciation and enthusiasm for his work. Reading all his books, especially multiple times, indicates a strong connection to his stories and characters, which would be flattering and gratifying for any author to hear.
  7. Why do you think Mr. Osgood, Charles Dickens’ friend, respected the narrator’s interaction with Dickens and excused himself from their conversation with a smile?
    Ans. Mr. Osgood likely respected the narrator’s interaction with Dickens because he recognized the special and heartfelt nature of the encounter. He might have seen the joy it brought to both Dickens and the young girl, understanding the significance of such a moment for a young fan. His smile and polite departure suggest he wanted to give them space to enjoy the interaction.
  8. What does the last sentence of the passage, ‘pictures made in childhood are painted in bright hues, and this one has never faded’ suggest about the impact of the encounter with Charles Dickens on the narrator’s life?
    Ans. The last sentence suggests that the encounter with Charles Dickens left a lasting and vivid impression on the narrator. It was a joyful and significant memory from her childhood that remained clear and cherished throughout her life. This indicates that meeting Dickens was a formative and unforgettable experience for her.

Vocabulary

  1. Some people would consider using a typewriter…………..
  2. My younger brother and his friends like only mystery stories and ……………
  3. My grandmother thinks that my mother is an ……………….. as she is always on our side.
  4. Dal and roti is the …………….. of many people in our country
  5. Though the fight took place a week ago, there was still an …………….. between the two teams.
  6. Not allowing girls to take up jobs in the armed forces …………… is exhibiting
  7. Many …………… people are working hard to preserve the Earth
  8. The use of ………….. seeds is not approved universally.
  9. Many tigers become man-eaters as humans ……………. on the forest.

Answers:

  1. Some people would consider using a typewriter ante-diluvian.
  2. My younger brother and his friends like only mystery stories and whodunits.
  3. My grandmother thinks that my mother is an indulgent mother as she is always on our side.
  4. Dal and roti is the staple diet of many people in our country.
  5. Though the fight took place a week ago, there was still an air of hostility between the two teams.
  6. Not allowing girls to take up jobs in the armed forces is exhibiting gender bias.
  7. Many environmentally conscious people are working hard to preserve the Earth.
  8. The use of genetically modified seeds is not approved universally.
  9. Many tigers become man-eaters as humans encroach on the forest.

Answers: Sample sentences are given here. You can make your own sentences.

  1. Ante-diluvian: My grandfather’s views on technology are so outdated, they seem almost ante-diluvian.
  2. Whodunits: Agatha Christie’s whodunits always keep me on the edge of my seat until the very last page.
  3. Indulgent mother: My friend’s indulgent mother always lets him eat dessert before dinner.
  4. Staple diet: Rice and beans are a staple diet in many Latin American countries.
  5. Air of hostility: Despite the peace talks, there was still an air of hostility between the two rival groups.
  6. Gender bias: The company’s hiring practices were criticized for showing a clear gender bias against women.
  7. Environmentally conscious: As an environmentally conscious citizen, she always recycles and uses a reusable water bottle.
  8. Genetically modified: There is a lot of debate about the benefits and risks of genetically modified crops.
  9. Encroach: The new housing development threatens to encroach on the protected wetlands.

Ante-diluvian: My grandmother’s old radio seemed positively ante-diluvian compared to today’s advanced technology.
Whodunits: She spent the entire weekend engrossed in her favorite whodunits, trying to solve the mysteries before the detectives did.
Indulgent mother: Sarah’s indulgent mother always let her stay up late and have extra desserts, much to her grandmother’s disapproval.
Staple diet: Rice and beans form the staple diet of many communities in South America.
Air of hostility: There was an air of hostility in the room after the heated debate ended.
Gender bias: The company’s policy of promoting only men to senior positions clearly reflected a gender bias.
Environmentally conscious: Many environmentally conscious citizens are now using reusable bags to reduce plastic waste.
Genetically modified: The debate over the safety and ethics of genetically modified crops continues to be a hot topic among scientists and farmers.
Encroach: The construction project threatened to encroach on the protected wetlands, sparking protests from environmentalists.

Grammar

  1. The novel was very interesting.
  2. Ronnie rarely drives to his club.
  3. My father gifted me a poetry book yesterday.
  4. They searched for the little pup everywhere.
  5. The baby slept soundly after eating the porridge.
  6. The bell rang, so he rushed for home.
  7. My brother always reaches on time for his guitar classes.
  8. The little bird fell down from the nest.
  9. Vipin had nearly missed the flight to Toronto.
  10. Tushar replied to my email quickly.
  11. Atul is too good at solving puzzles.
  12. Manasi is only sixteen years old, and therefore not eligible to drive.

Answers:

  1. The novel was very interesting.
    • Adverb: very
    • Type: Adverb of degree
  2. Ronnie rarely drives to his club.
    • Adverb: rarely
    • Type: Adverb of frequency
  3. My father gifted me a poetry book yesterday.
    • Adverb: yesterday
    • Type: Adverb of time
  4. They searched for the little pup everywhere.
    • Adverb: everywhere
    • Type: Adverb of place
  5. The baby slept soundly after eating the porridge.
    • Adverb: soundly
    • Type: Adverb of manner
  6. The bell rang, so he rushed for home.
    • Adverb: so
    • Type: Adverb of reason (conjunctive adverb)
  7. My brother always reaches on time for his guitar classes.
    • Adverb: always
    • Type: Adverb of frequency
  8. The little bird fell down from the nest.
    • Adverb: down
    • Type: Adverb of place
  9. Vipin had nearly missed the flight to Toronto.
    • Adverb: nearly
    • Type: Adverb of degree
  10. Tushar replied to my email quickly.
    • Adverb: quickly
    • Type: Adverb of manner
  11. Atul is too good at solving puzzles.
    • Adverb: too
    • Type: Adverb of degree
  12. Manasi is only sixteen years old, and therefore not eligible to drive.
    • Adverbs: only, therefore
    • Types:
      • only: Adverb of degree
      • therefore: Adverb of reason (conjunctive adverb)

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