‘The Gift’ by Rad Bradbury Question & Answers, Summary, Glossary Notes Class 7

‘The Gift’ by Rad Bradburry Question & Answers: Here get the answers to textbook exercise as given in Class 7 New voices English textbook. This post contains a summary, glossary notes and solutions to exercise.

Glossary

Here is the glossary of words with their meanings arranged in alphabetical order:

  1. Burning: This word is used to describe the flames that are coming out of the rocket’s engines. The boy is fascinated by the fire and the way it propels the rocket through space.
  2. Burning and burning: A repetition of the word “burning” for emphasis, suggesting the vastness and endlessness of space.
  3. Burning and burning of ten billion, billion white and lovely candles: A metaphorical description of the stars in the sky. The stars are like candles, and there are so many of them that it is impossible to count them.
  4. Carols: Traditional festive songs, especially associated with Christmas. In the story, people in the room sang old and familiar Christmas carols.
  5. Clash: A conflict or disagreement. The parents had an unsuccessful clash with the Inter-planetary officials regarding the weight limit.
  6. Code: A system of symbols or letters used for communicating secretly.
  7. Customs Table: A place where officials check and regulate goods entering or leaving a country. In the story, the family had to go through customs before boarding the rocket.
  8. Deep Night: Refers to the darkness of space during nighttime. The boy stood looking out into space and the deep night.
  9. Deprived: To be denied or prevented from having something. In the story, the family felt deprived of the holiday season and their love due to the customs restrictions.
  10. Dismayed: To feel distressed or discouraged. The mother felt dismayed when the father mentioned Christmas because they had left behind the boy’s gift and tree.
  11. Drifting: This word is used to describe the way that the rocket moves through space. The boy is watching the stars drift by outside the porthole, and he is mesmerized by the sight.
  12. Earth-time New York watches: These are watches that are set to the time zone of New York City, even though the people are now in space. The boy is still on Earth-time, so he wakes up at midnight on Christmas Eve.
  13. Feverish: Showing signs of fever, or in an intense or excited state. The boy’s face grew feverish as he anticipated Christmas.
  14. Fire: This word is used to describe the flames that are coming out of the rocket’s engines. The boy is fascinated by the fire and the way it propels the rocket through space.
  15. Fire and silence: This means that the rocket was traveling through space, which is a place of fire (from the stars and the rocket’s engines) and silence (because there is no air in space).
  16. Gasped: Inhaling sharply, often in surprise or shock. The boy, father, and mother gasped when they saw what was outside the porthole.
  17. Headlong: In a rush or with great speed. The family was flung headlong into dark space when the rocket took off.
  18. Inter-planetary officials: These are the people who are responsible for enforcing the rules and regulations of interplanetary travel.
  19. Loomed: Appeared in a large or threatening form. In this context, the porthole loomed large before them.
  20. Port (also porthole): A small, round window in the side of a ship or aircraft, typically used for looking out.
  21. Rampway: A sloping path or walkway. In the story, they walked up a rampway to reach a cabin.
  22. Rocket Port: A place where rockets are launched or land. In this context, it’s where the family is boarding a rocket for their space journey.
  23. Season: This word refers to the Christmas season. The mother and father are disappointed that their son will not be able to experience the Christmas season in the same way that he would on Earth.
  24. Siren: A loud, wailing sound often used as a warning. In this context, it signals the boarding of the Mars Rocket.
  25. Silence: This word is used to describe the lack of sound in space. The boy is surprised by how quiet it is in space, and he finds it to be a very peaceful experience.
  26. Silly rules: This phrase is used by the mother to express her frustration with the Inter-planetary officials who would not allow the boy to take his gift and tree on board the rocket. She believes that the rules are arbitrary and unreasonable.
  27. Terminal room: A waiting area in an airport or other transportation facility where passengers wait for their flights to be called.
  28. Ticking: This word is used to describe the sound that a watch makes. The boy is holding his father’s watch, and he is listening to it tick as the minutes and seconds go by.
  29. Unfelt motion: This means that the motion of the rocket was so smooth that the passengers could not feel it.
  30. Weight Limit: The maximum allowed weight for luggage or items. The family had to leave behind the boy’s gift and the little tree because they exceeded the weight limit.
  31. Weight limit: This is a rule that sets a maximum amount of weight that a passenger can bring on board a rocket. The boy’s gift and tree exceeded the weight limit by a few ounces, so they were not allowed to bring them on board.
  32. Whisper: To speak quietly or in hushed tones. There was a whisper of voices in the dark room.

Summary

The story “The Gift” by Ray Bradbury is a heartwarming tale set in the future, where a family is on a rocket journey into space on Christmas Eve. The parents, particularly the father, are concerned about making their son’s first flight and Christmas special. However, they encounter a setback when customs officials force them to leave behind the boy’s gift and a small Christmas tree.

Despite this disappointment, the father is determined to salvage the Christmas spirit for his son. He shares a secret plan with his wife, and as they board the rocket, the mother and father are seen whispering about their predicament.

During the journey, the father reveals his plan to the boy, stating that in half an hour, it will be Christmas. The boy eagerly anticipates his Christmas presents and a tree, and the father leaves briefly, returning with a smile.

When the time comes, the father leads the boy to a closed cabin, where a code is used to gain entry. Inside, the family is greeted by darkness, and a large glass porthole is revealed. The father holds the boy’s hand as they enter, and the room goes silent. Suddenly, voices start singing Christmas carols, creating a magical atmosphere. The boy is surprised when he realizes that the porthole serves as a window to space.

The story ends with the boy, his face pressed against the cool glass, looking out into the vastness of space. The voices in the room sing Christmas carols, and the boy witnesses the burning of countless stars, describing them as “ten billion, billion white and lovely candles.”

Textbook Questions & Answers

Comprehension

1. What rules are referred to as ‘silly rules’ and why?

2. What is the difference between the two sentences?

a. He so wanted the tree.

b. So he wanted the tree.

3. Why was the mother dismayed when the father mentioned Christmas?

4. Why was the father restless? Why couldn’t he sleep?

5. What happened after the boy and his family stepped into the large cabin room?

Answers:

  1. The rules referred to as ‘silly rules’ are likely the customs rules at the rocket port that forced the family to leave behind the boy’s gift and Christmas tree. They are considered silly because the items exceeded the weight limit by only a few ounces.
  2. The difference between the two sentences: a. “He so wanted the tree.” – This sentence emphasizes the boy’s strong desire for the tree. b. “So he wanted the tree.” – This sentence implies that the boy’s desire for the tree was the reason for some preceding action or statement.
  3. The mother was dismayed when the father mentioned Christmas because she had hoped the boy would forget about it, likely due to the challenges they faced in making the journey special without the gift and tree.
  4. The father was restless because he was troubled by the abandoned gift and the lost tree. He couldn’t sleep as he was trying to figure out a plan to salvage the Christmas celebration for his son.
  5. After the boy and his family stepped into the large cabin room, they were greeted with darkness, and then voices in the room began singing Christmas carols. The room contained a large glass porthole that served as a window to space, creating a magical Christmas experience for the boy.
  1. ‘Not quite yet,’ said the father. ‘I’ll take you up later.’
    a. Who is the father talking to?
    b. Why does he say, ‘not quite yet’?
    c. Where will he take the person and why?
  2. ‘Yes, yes, all that and more,
    a. Who says this and to whom?
    b. Why did the speaker say this?
    c. What does ‘all that and more’ refer to?
  3. ‘Can I hold your watch?’
    a. Who is the speaker?
    b. Whose watch is being referred to here?
    c. Why does he want to hold the watch?

Answers:

  1. a. The father is talking to the boy.
    b. He says, ‘not quite yet’ because he has a plan related to Christmas that he wants to reveal later.
    c. He will take the boy up to see the porthole, the window to space, and reveal the special Christmas surprise.
  2. a. The father says, “Yes, yes, all that and more.”
    b. The speaker said this to the boy.
    c. ‘All that and more’ refers to the boy’s Christmas expectations—presents, a tree, and something extra special that the father has planned.
  3. a. The boy is the speaker.
    b. The watch being referred to is the father’s New York watch.
    c. He wants to hold the watch to count down to the exact moment when it becomes Christmas, as he is eager for his Christmas presents and celebration.
  1. What do you think would be the job of interplanetary officers?
  2. Explain the given line in your own words: ‘the hour drifted by in fire and silence and unfelt motion.’
  3. Why did the father ask the boy to wait before taking him to the porthole?
  4. How did the father find a solution to the problem?
  5. Why do you think the boy gasped?
  6. Why are the carols referred to as ‘old and familiar’?
  7. Was the boy able to see white candles on Christmas? How?
  8. Do you think the boy got a better gift in the end? Give reasons.

Answers:

C. Answers in Easy Language:

  1. Interplanetary officers probably have the job of making sure people follow the rules when traveling between planets. Like at the airport, they might check bags and make sure everything is okay.
  2. The line means that time passed on the journey in a way that felt like it was on fire, in silence, and without them feeling any movement. It describes the experience of being in the rocket.
  3. The father asked the boy to wait before taking him to the porthole because he had a surprise planned for the exact moment when it would be Christmas, and he wanted it to be a special reveal.
  4. The father thought a lot about the problem of the abandoned gift and lost tree. He came up with a plan to make Christmas special by using the large glass window (porthole) as a way to celebrate in space.
  5. The boy gasped because when he looked out of the porthole, he saw a vast and beautiful view of space, like seeing a lot of bright and lovely candles.
  6. The carols are called ‘old and familiar’ because they are traditional songs that people sing during Christmas every year. They are songs that many people know and love.
  7. Yes, the boy was able to see “white candles on Christmas” through the porthole. The story describes the stars in space as “ten billion, billion white and lovely candles.”
  8. Yes, the boy got a better gift in the end. Instead of a regular Christmas tree, he got to see the vastness of space and the beautiful stars through the porthole, making it a unique and unforgettable Christmas celebration.

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