Short Answer Questions of A Shady Plot Class 10th English Chapter 4.


1.  Why was the writer getting over confident about his ability of writing ghost   stories?

Ans : Mr Hallock, the writer had always managed to write good ghost stories, though he was not a specialist in these kind of stories. Such stories were greatly in public demand. He was confident that somehow or the other, a good plot always appeared from somewhere and he was able to write a good   story.

2.  Watching the ghost taking shape was ‘Like watching of the moving picture cartoons put together.’ how?

Ans : Helen, the ghost, appeared in parts. First, a hand took shape, then some other body part, so on and so forth. The process in which the final apparition appeared in the end, was a matter of surprise. The ghost always took shape in bits and pieces like a cartoon in a moving picture.

3.  What surprising revelation is made by the ghost? Why did the writer not  believe   her?

Ans : The writer was greatly surprised to discover that all the good plots of ghost stories had been supplied to him by the ghost Helen. The writer disbelieved her because he had never really seen her before. But the ghost said that she had sat on his shoulders and suggested the plots for his stories.

4.  Why is the ghost fed up of the Ouija Board fanatics?

Ans : The ghosts are now fed up of being called again and again for answers and queries. They were pulled out  of beds at odd times, so they were very tired. The Ouija Board crazy fans would keep asking questions, so this irritated the ghosts and proved to be tiresome and troublesome.

5.  What reasons are given by Lavinia for not getting rid of the Ouija   Board?

Ans : Lavinia felt that the Ouija board was procured at bargain price. Moreover, she felt that it would help her husband in writing ghost stories. It would also provide an interesting activity for her book-club   meetings.

6.  Why was the narrator shocked to see the activities of his wife’s Book   Club?

Ans : The narrator was in for a great shock to see that  all the ladies of his wife’s book-club were sitting near a Ouija Board. Helen, the ghost, had threatened the narrator that he must exert all his force to dissuade people from using the Ouija Board and keep calling ghosts now and then for their problems. So to see so many ladies using the board was a painful sight for    him.

7.  What controversy or furore was caused in the parlour by the name of   ‘Helen’?

Ans : The narrator was forced to be a partner in the Ouija board game and to his horror he discovered that he was called a ‘traitor’ by the ghost. When Miss Hinkle wished to know the details, it was revealed on the Ouija Board that the person, who had called the narrator, a trai- tor, was someone with the name ‘Helen.’ This name cre- ated controversy since the narrator’s wife did not know anyone with that  name.

8.  Helen the ghost says, ‘‘I’m too tired to materialise.’’ What does she imply by the above statement?

Ans : Helen was too tired because she had to work overtime the earlier night answering all the questions of Lavinia’s friends. She took longer than before to appear  in

her full shape because she couldn’t be expected to retain  all her faculties after answering all the Ouija Board fanat- ics of Lavinia’s  book-club, all the  night.

9.  Why did Helen pay a visit to the narrator again?

Ans :  Helen paid a visit to the narrator because she   had been sent to ensure that the narrator’s wife should get rid of the Ouija Board. She had come to threaten the writer and if he did not pay any heed then she would not help the narrator and suggest new plots for his    stories.

10.   Lavinia entered the narrator’s room with a solid finality. What was her   purpose?

Ans : Lavinia had become suspicious of the narrator  that he was involved with some woman called ‘Helen’. So she had come to tell her husband that she was leaving him and moving out. She could not tolerate the infidelity of her husband.

11.   Why was the narrator unable to conceal Helen behind his back before  his  wife?

Ans : Lavinia refused to stand on one side, she jumped quickly to see who was standing behind her husband. She was already suspicious and noticed that her husband was trying to conceal someone behind his back. Even Helen  did not disappear so both the women confronted  each  other for first  time.

12.   How did  Lavinia  react  after facing Helen?

Ans : The writer had always thought that Lavinia was weak-hearted and she might faint at the sight of the ghost. But nothing like this happened. The interaction proved positive and Lavinia stood boldly and confidently before the ghost.

13.   Why did the narrator have a strong urge to pen down his new  story?

Ans :  The narrator had undergone a great experience.  It was scary, interesting, revealing and an excellent plot for any ghost story. A ghost story based on this kind of story was going to be a sure    hit.

14.   How did narrator react to the appearance of  the ghost?  [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]

Ans : One day the narrator was asked by his employer  to write a horrifying ghost story with supernatural ele- ments because the public liked such stories. As he  sat down to pen down the story, he started muttering questions to himself and surprisingly someone in the room answered them. The writer was greatly surprised to see a figure tak- ing shape gradually. It was a woman, tall and angular, with

fishy eyes, wearing spectacles. The writer was dumbstruck on seeing a ghost standing before his    eyes.

15.   Why did Lavinia decide to leave her husband and what made her change her   mind?

[C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]

Ans  :  The  narrator  had  become  suspicious  of  her husband, and believed he was involved with some woman, called Helen. Unable to tolerate the infidelity of her husband, she decided to leave him. But when she confronted Helen and came to know that she was only a ghost, Lavinia felt miserable to have created such a ruckus accusing her husband of infidelity. All this made Lavinia change her mind.

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