‘Stepping Out’ by Charles Dickens is a story of an unfortunate boy Oliver. The lesson as published in Wind Chimes English Textbook for Class 6 is here supplemented with textbook exercise solutions together with meanings and a summary of ‘Stepping Out’.
poverty – poor condition
hardship – difficulties
starve – to suffer or die of hunger
apprentice – a learner, under training
unfairly – not proper, injustice
desperate – without hope
artful – tricky person
dodger – a person who dishonestly tricks others with a sudden movement
dilapidated – old and in bad condition
grimmy – covered with dirt
sallied out – went out in order to do something, often said humorously
sauntering – walking in a slow, relaxed way
deceive – to cheat
emerge – to come out from
cove – an old-fashioned term for a man
slunk – to go slowly so that other people do not see
advance – to move ahead
retire – to withdraw or come back
plunge – to thrust
thence – from there
round the corner – nearby
instant – moment
take to heels (idiom) – to run away quickly
make off – run away
scudding – moving quickly
depredator – one who takes away something unfairly, a plunderer
hue and cry – a large noise produced by people
issue forth – to come out of a place
pail – bucket
pell-mell – quickly and in an uncontrolled way
helter-skelter – in a hurry or rush
slap-dash – doing quickly and carelessly
yelling – crying, screaming
jostle – pushing or knocking
deserve – be worthy of
make room for (idiom) – create space
chase – pursue, to run after to catch or take hold of
lubberly – big and clumsy
contemplated – thought
compassionately – with deep feelings and emotions
lugged – dragged by leg
Oliver finally had the chance to venture out onto the streets to work alongside Charley Bates and the Artful Dodger. While observing the duo, they targeted an elderly man who was engrossed in a book at a nearby stall and skillfully pickpocketed his handkerchief. This was a shocking revelation for Oliver, who had no idea that this was what “working” entailed. He stood frozen in horror for a moment before deciding to chase after Bates and the Dodger, albeit a little too late. As the elderly man reached for his missing handkerchief, he caught sight of Oliver running away and immediately cried out, “Stop thief!” This cry attracted a swarm of onlookers, including idlers, bystanders, vagrants, and all kinds of market people who joined in the pursuit. Bates and the Dodger hid in the crowd, blending in with the mob.
Unfortunately, Oliver was eventually apprehended, looking dishevelled and covered in blood, mud, and dust. The crowd seemed to take pleasure in his misery, relishing in his downfall. However, the elderly man couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor boy, and begged the police officer to treat him kindly. Despite the gentleman’s plea and Oliver’s protests of innocence, the officer was convinced of his guilt and dragged him away by his collar. The concerned gentleman followed behind, while the crowd eagerly anticipated more drama.
Textbook Exercise Solutions
A. Answer these questions in brief.
- Why do you think the Dodger chose the old man?
- What act of the Dodger and Bates shocked Oliver?
- When did Oliver realise what Fagin actually did?
- What was the effect of this realisation on Oliver?
- Why did the old man suspect Oliver?
- What was the policeman’s opinion of Oliver?
- The Dodger selected the elderly man for his lack of awareness, engrossed in the book he perused.
- Oliver was taken aback when he witnessed the Dodger and Bates steal the old man’s handkerchief.
- As he watched the Dodger extract the handkerchief from the elderly man’s pocket and pass it to Bates before escaping together, Oliver comprehended Fagin’s true intentions.
- Overcome with shock and fear, Oliver’s sole focus was to flee as quickly as possible.
- Coincidentally, as the handkerchief was pilfered, the old man searched for it at the same time. Upon seeing Oliver’s hasty departure, the old man suspected him of theft.
- Despite Oliver’s protestations of innocence, the policeman disbelieved him, forcefully grabbing him by the jacket and dragging him onto the street.
B. Answer these questions with reference to the context.
- The three boys sallied out…
a. Who were the three boys?
b. What was unique about their manner?
c. Who gave them permission to sally out?
- ‘Do you see the old cove at the bookstall?’
a. Who is the speaker?
b. Who is ‘the old cove’?
c. What does the speaker do to the old cove?
- They no sooner heard the cry, and saw Oliver running, than, guessing exactly how the matter stood, they issued forth, and shouting ‘Stop thief!’ too, joined in the pursuit like good citizens.
a. Who are being referred to as ‘they’?
b. What is the situation being described?
c. Were they good citizens? Give reasons.
- a. The three boys were Oliver, the Artful Dodger, and Charley Bates.
b. Their lazy and suspicious behaviour made Oliver believe they planned to trick Fagin by avoiding work.
- a. The speaker is the Artful Dodger.
b. The old cove is the gentleman at the bookstall.
c. The speaker steals the old cove’s handkerchief.
- a. They are Charley Bates and the Artful Dodger.
b. The situation being recounted is a group of people chasing Oliver, who is wrongly accused of stealing a handkerchief.
c. They are not good citizens and not only committed the theft but also accused an innocent boy of it.
C. Answer these questions.
- What is the significance of the Dodger saying, ‘Do you see the old cove’?
- Describe in your own words how the old man was reading.
- Why did the old man think that Oliver had stolen his handkerchief?
- In what way is there magic in the cry ‘Stop thief’?
- What did the Dodger and Bates do when the old man raised a hue and cry?
- Why did the old man want to run away from the crowd? Why did he not run away?
- What do we get to know about the old man from this extract?
- What do we get to know about the Dodger and Bates from this extract?
- What does this extract tell us about mob behaviour and mentality?
- Is society in this day and age different or the same? Give reasons and examples to support your answer.
- In what way is the opening sentence of this extract ironical?
- The Dodger’s intention was to target and steal the old cove’s handkerchief.
- The old man was deeply absorbed in the book he was reading, oblivious to his surroundings.
- Upon discovering his missing handkerchief, the old man turned to see Oliver running and suspected him of being the thief.
- The phrase “stop the thief” had a magical effect, causing people and even schoolboys to abandon their tasks and pursue Oliver.
- The Dodger and Bates joined the chase for Oliver, blending into the crowd before slipping away opportunistically.
- Despite being a kind person, the old man felt uneasy about the treatment of Oliver by the mob and wished to leave, but was deterred by the presence of a policeman.
- The old man was a compassionate book-lover.
- The Dodger and Master Bates were skilled thieves who lacked strong moral values, as evidenced by their indifference to Oliver’s situation.
- The passage demonstrates that mobs are driven by emotion rather than rational thinking, making them capable of violence and cruelty while deriving pleasure from the suffering of others.
- Yes, it is almost the same behaviour witnessed even today. When a thief or suspect runs, or a person calls out to catch hold of any suspect the people around take no time in running after chasing to catch and give almost the similar treatment that was meted out to Oliver. There may be some compassionate people around the scene as was the old cove. Police are also called to take action. Sometimes innocent or accidental thieves are caught, lynched and even beaten to death. People need to be careful not to take the law into their hands and apply some thoughts before a sudden onslaught on such persons.
- The sentence, in the beginning, is ironic as Oliver had to bear a lot in his childhood after his birth. Every child should get parental care and love. The parents try their best to fulfil the basic needs and requirements of their children which Olver was deprived of.
A. Use the appropriate similes to complete these sentences.
|rock, thunder, feather, ghost, wind, cucumber|
- When Sai dances, she floats across the stage like a ……………………………………..
- Jasmine runs like the ……………………………………..
- The crash of the utensils falling was loud as ……………………………………..
- Ali is depended upon by everyone because he is solid as a…………………………………. . .
- Everyone was nervous about the results but Sushmita was cool as a…………………………………. . .
- He turned white as a ……………………………………. when he was caught stealing.
1. feather 2. wind 3. thunder 4. rock 5. cucumber 6. ghost
B. Match these words with their meanings. You can use a dictionary.
|1. amble||a. walk leisurely|
|2. parade||b. walk with difficulty|
|3. stagger||c. walk taking long steps|
|4. strut||d. walk heavily as through sand|
|5. trudge||e. walk like a soldier|
|6. march||f. walk showing off|
|7. patrol||g. march in procession|
|8. stride||h. walk around to check safety|
1. a 2. g 3. b 4. f 5. d 6. e 7. h 8. c
A. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate forms of the verbs in the brackets. Some of the blanks can have more than one correct answer.
Yesterday ……………………………………. (be) the coldest day of the year. The mercury ……………………………………. (fall) to 0°C. At sunset, many homeless people …………………….. …………….. (look) for dry twigs. A man ……………………………………. (break) the branches of a tree. He ……………………………………. (throw) them down. People ……………………………………. ( collect) those dry twigs and branches. They ……………………………………. (light) a bonfire. They ……………………………………. (sit) around it to keep themselves warm.
A. One possible answer per blank is provided here.
was; fell; were looking; broke; threw; collected; lit; sat
B Match the parts of the sentences on each side to construct complete sentences. There can be more than one correct answer.
- had not understood the problem – a. I was transferred to the other.
- When I had learnt the work of – b. the people cheered him. one department
- As soon as he recited the poem – c. when I gave my umbrella to my helper.
- I had finished my work – d. until he explained it to me.
- The rain had stopped – e. when my uncle walked in.
Answers: 1. d, 2. a, 3. b, 4. e, 5. c
C. This table shows the arrival timings of various trains at the New Delhi Railway Station. Study the table carefully and answer the questions that follow using the proper tenses.
- Has the train from Bhopal arrived?
- When did the train from Hyderabad arrive?
- Has the train from Jaipur arrived?
- Has the train from Guwahati arrived?
- When did it arrive and where?
- Has the train from Lucknow arrived?
- No, has not arrived.
- The train from Hyderabad arrived at 7:45 a.m.
- No, has not arrived.
- Yes, it has arrived.
- It arrived at 9:40 a.m. on Platform 4.
- Yes, it has arrived.
A. 1. c
B. 1. Prometheus was more sympathetic towards humans than Zeus.
2. Prometheus wanted to give fire to humans so they could keep themselves warm, cook their food, bake their pots, and smelt metal to make weapons.
3. Zeus felt that with fire, humans would become too powerful, even capable of challenging the gods.
4. Prometheus left Mount Olympus and went to a place where the fire of the gods was kept. He burnt a log in the fire until it was glowing coal and then placed it in a hollow root. Then he hid it in the fold of his cloak and crept away from Mount Olympus to make his way down to Earth.
5. The healing of the liver every night meant that Prometheus was unable to die and escape the suffering.
6. Subjective question. Any logically argued answer is acceptable.
7. Subjective question. Any logically argued answer is acceptable
A. 1. My friend always wins against me at tennis.
2. It is important to determine our plan of action.
3. The factory was organised towards producing cars efficiently.
4. Certain activities are disapproved of by the management.
5. She considered the problem and arrived at a conclusion.
6. You cannot retract your word.
7. We need to discuss the problem seriously.
8. The city has weathered the ravages of time.
A. 1. played 2. rang 3. asked 4. swept 5. had 6. fought 7. went; played; sat; watched
B. 1. was shouting 2. was dancing 3. were walking; crossed 4. joined 5. was pulling 6. was shopping; bumped
C. 1. had read; called 2. had fallen; reached 3. was moving; took 4. had watered; spotted 5. had not reached; broke
D. got out; stood; looked; surrounded; walked; caught; was talking; seemed; filed; carried; met; said; ushered; was; was informed; wanted; go