NCERT Class 8 English Chapter 1: Complete Resource for The Best Christmas Present In The World
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Access NCERT Solutions For Class 8 English Honeydew Chapter 1 - The Best Christmas Present in the World
1. What did the author find in a junk shop?
Ans: A roll-top desk that belonged to the 19th century, was found by the author in the junk shop. It was in a bad condition and was made from oak wood. One of its legs was clumsy. The top was broken into several pieces and there were scratch marks on one side.
2. What did he find in a secret drawer? Who do you think had put it in there?
Ans: There was a small tin box, found in the secret door of the roll-top desk. There was a piece of lined note paper with sellotape on the top. It was received on 25 January 1915 and was meant to be buried with his wife, when the time comes. The letter was sent by Jim, the husband, to his wife when he was on duty. Mrs Macpherson, Jim’s wife, would have put it there.
3. Who had written the letter, to whom, and when?
Ans: The letter was written to the wife, Connie Macpherson on December 26, 1914, by Jim who had gone to fight the war against the Germans.
4. Why was the letter written? What was the wonderful thing that had happened?
Ans: Jim wanted to narrate a beautiful incident that happened on Christmas. Germans and British were engaged in the war but on Christmas, they met in the no man's land. Right in the middle of the war the soldiers were making peace and celebrating Christmas together. They even played a brief football match together.
5. What jobs did Hans Wolf and Jim Macpherson have when they were not soldiers?
Ans: Hans Wolf played the cello in the orchestra at Dusseldorf while Jim was a school teacher in the West of England. Both were not soldiers and their normal life.
6. Had Hans Wolf even been to Dorset? Why did he say he knew it?
Ans: No, Hans never went to Dorset and had learned all about England from the school and reading books in English. Thomas Hardy was his favourite writer and from his novels, he learned a lot about England.
7. Do you think Jim Macpherson came back from the war? How do you know this?
Ans: The sellotaped note paper was the last that was written by Jim last letter. Hence it was likely that he didn't come back from the war. His wife never received any more letters from him after that. She lived alone, as told by her neighbour and the nurse said that no member of her family has ever visited her to date.
8. Why did the author go to Bridport?
Ans: The author was guilty that he opened the letter inside the drawer and read it. The address where Mrs Macpherson lived was mentioned in the letter.
9. How old was Mrs Macpherson now? Where was she?
Ans: Mrs Macpherson was in a nursing home in Burlington home, on Dorchester Road on the other side of the town. She was that time 101 years old
10. Who did Connie Macpherson think her visitor was?
Ans: The narrator was carrying in his hand the letter and hence Connie thought that he was her husband.
11. Which sentence in the text shows that the visitor did not try to hide his identity?
Ans: The visitor did not try to hide his identity. It can be seen through, 'I explained about the desk, about how I had found it, but I don't think she was listening.'
Working with Text
1. For how long do you think Connie had kept Jim's letter? Give reasons for your
Ans: Connie reads the letter quite often every day. She must have kept the letter for long as it made her feel that Jim was near her.
2. Why do you think the desk had been sold, and when?
Ans: Connie’s home caught fire and all the things must have been sold after that. The desk must have been a part of it. Connie was taken to a nearby nursing home after that.
3. Why do Jim and Hans think that games or sports are good ways of resolving conflicts? Do you agree?
Ans: While playing games, nobody dies at the end of it. No woman becomes a widow and no child loses their father. Jim and Hans did think that games or sports are a good way of resolving conflict. Wars only cause destruction and death, and nothing is gained after that. The way the soldiers celebrated Christmas by playing football in no man’s land was such a beautiful incident to show that wars are a useless way to show dominance and its humanity that wins at last.
4. Do you think the soldiers of the two armies are like each other, or different from each other? Find evidence from the story to support your
Ans: The soldiers of the armies liked each other. Both British and German armies liked each other, and they celebrated Christmas together by drinking, laughing, smoking, drinking and eating. Jim even shared the cake he was sent over by his wife. They placed a football match with each other to lift away the dullness due to war. At night they even exchanged carols and ended Christmas merrily.
5. Mention the various ways in which the British and the German soldiers become friends and find things in common at Christmas.
Ans: Christmas is a beautiful holiday that brings everyone together. The British and German troops celebrated Christmas on a beautiful, frosty morning. They smoked, laughed, drank and ate together. Connie had sent over a cake and Jim and Hans shared it with everyone. They also talked about the books they liked, and they played a match of football together. At night they even exchanged carols.
6. What is Connie’s Christmas present? Why is it “the best Christmas present in the world?
Ans: Connie mistook the narrator as her husband when he came to return the box and her letter. Due to old age, she eventually lost her memory and mistook the narrator to be her husband. She thought that he had returned back. The narrator, even though it was an illusion of her husband, became her best Christmas present ever. In the letter, Jim wrote that he would come back on Christmas and when the narrator came to meet her on Christmas, she felt that her husband kept his promise and came back on Christmas. His visit would have made him extremely happy and content.
7. Do you think the title of this story is suitable for it? Can you think of any other title(s)?
Ans: Yes, I believe the title of the story is suitable. We see Christmas as an occasion of celebration throughout the novel. Jim shared a happy memory of Christmas with his wife. When Britain and Germany were at war, both the troops decided to play football on no man’s land and celebrate Christmas. It was a happy memory for him before he died. It was on Christmas the narrative went to meet Mrs Macpherson and tell her about the letter and ask her for forgiveness for reading it. Since it was her husband’s last letter it was a precious memory for her. But instead, she felt that the narrator was her husband, and that illusion made her happy. It would have been the best Christmas present for her. Other titles can be “The Christmas Present”, “Christmas Wish”.
Working with Language
1. (i) Read the passage below and underline the verbs in the past tense.
A man got on the train and sat down. The compartment was empty except for one lady. She took her gloves off. A few hours later the police arrested the man. They held him for 24 hours and then freed him.
Ans: A man got on the train and sat down. The compartment was empty except for one lady. She took her gloves off. A few hours later the police arrested the man. They held him for 24 hours and then freed him.
(ii) Fill in the blanks using the correct form of the verbs in brackets.
My little sister is very naughty. When she ____________(come) back from school yesterday, she had ____________ (tear) her dress. We ____________(ask) her how it had ____________(happen). She ___________(say) she ___________ (have, quarrel) with a boy. She _____________ (have, beat) him in a race and he __________ (have, try) to push her. She __________ (have, tell) the teacher and so he ___________ (have, chase) her, and she ___________ (have, fall) down and _________ (have, tear) her dress.
My little sister is very naughty. When she came (come) back from school yesterday, she had torn(tear) her dress. We asked (ask) her how it had happened (happen). She said (say) she had quarrelled (have, quarrel) with a boy. She had beaten (have, beat) him in a race and he had tried (have, try) to push her. She had told (have, tell) the teacher and so he had chased (have, chase) her, and she had fallen (have, fall) down and had torn (have, tear) her dress.
(iii) Underline the verbs and arrange them in two columns, Past and Earlier past.
(a) My friends set out to see the caves in the next town, but I stayed at home because I had seen them already.
Ans: My friends set out to see the caves in the next town, but I stayed at home because I had seen them already.
(b) When they arrived at the station, their train had left. They came back home, but by that time I had gone out to see a movie!
Ans: When they arrived at the station, their train had left. They came back home, but by that time I had gone out to see a movie!
(c) So they sat outside and ate the lunch I had packed for them.
Ans: So they sat outside and ate the lunch I had packed for them.
(d) By the time I returned, they had fallen asleep!
Ans: By the time I returned, they had fallen asleep!
2. Find these phrasal verbs in the story.
burn out light-up look on run out keep out
Write down the sentences in which they occur, consult a dictionary and write down the meaning that you think matches the meaning of the phrasal verb in the sentence.
Ans: burn out- House number 12 turned out to be nothing but a burned-out shell, the roof gaping, the windows boarded-up.
light up-That was the moment her eyes lit up with recognition and her face became suffused with a sudden glow of happiness.
look on-Hans Wolf and I looked on and cheered, clapping our hands and stamping our feet, to keep out the cold as much as anything.
run out-The time came, and all too soon, when the game was finished, the schnapps and the rum and the sausage had long since run out, and we knew it was all over.
keep out-Hans Wolf and I looked on and cheered, clapping our hands and stamping our feet, to keep out the cold as much as anything.
3. The table below contains a list of nouns and some adjectives. Use as many adjectives as you can to describe each noun. You might come up with some funny descriptions!
1. Imagine that you are Jim. You have returned to your town after the war. In your diary record how you feel about the changes you see and the events that occur in your town. You could begin like this
25 December 1919
It’s Christmas today, but the town looks.....
Suppose you are the visitor. You are in a dilemma. You don't know whether to disclose your identity and disappoint the old lady or let her believe that her dear Jim has come back. Write a letter to a friend highlighting your anxiety, fears and feelings.
Ans: 25 December 1919
It is Christmas today, but the town looks dull. There are few homes that are decorated. The streets are grey. The war has left the country and its people tattered. Everyone is still trying to get out of the grief of the losses the war has caused. I lost many friends during the war. Seeing them die in front of my eyes was traumatizing. I still get scared hearing loud thumps. It is the post-war trauma. I thought the Christmas decorated city would lift my spirits but it looks like everyone is going through something. There are new shops up on the street but many are closed too. They would have either left or suffered monetarily not to sustain the shop further. Amidst all this dullness seeing my wife again after so long made me realize what home actually is. Her warmth welcomed me and the house still looks the same. I am so happy to be back home. I truly wish we do not have to see this phase again.
25 December 1919
How are you? I hope the holiday season went well for you as well as your family. I wrote this letter to you since I wanted your advice about a dilemma I am recently stuck in. Remember I told you about an old desk I bought recently for my new home. When I was skimming through the drawers, I came across a letter. It was written by a person named Jim, to his old British wife. The address mentioned the city of Bridport and since I felt guilty, reading a personal letter, I thought it would be better to return it back. I also felt that the letter must be close to her heart. I went there and found out that she was 101 years old and was waiting for her husband, Jim who died in the war. He promised to visit her back on Christmas. I visited her on Christmas and she hallucinated and thought of me as her husband. I felt bad for her but I couldn't decide if I should tell her that I am not her husband or let her imagine it. It breaks my heart to do that as it looks like she smiled after years and yearned for his presence.
Please let me know what you think I should do at this point.
2. Given below is the outline of a story. Construct the story using the outline. A young, newly married doctor _______________ freedom fighter _______________ exiled to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands by the British _______________ infamous Cellular Jail _______________ prisoners tortured _______________ revolt by inmates _______________ doctor hanged _______________ wife waits for his return _______________ becomes old _______________ continues to wait with hope and faith.
Ans: A young doctor, who was not only dedicated to his profession but also to his country. He was a dedicated freedom fighter. He was newly married but due to unfortunate circumstances was arrested and exiled to Andaman and Nicobar by the British forces. He asked his wife to stay strong and wait for him. He assured her that he will be safe and fight for his country’s freedom. He was sent to the infamous Cellular Jail and was tortured. He fought against the tortures and revolted with his inmates. Troubled by his revolts and continuous upsurge he was causing the Britishers to hang him. His revolts did aid his country to gain freedom but his wife awaited his return. She waited for him as the seasons changed and became old. She didn’t leave hope and continued to wait for him and meet him either on this mortal earth or life beyond the human body.
NCERT Solutions For Class 8 English Honeydew - Free PDF Download
It is a fact that students try hard to catch up with the studies at their school and coaching and get stressed. They spend a lot to get enrolled at coaching so that they can understand their subjects in a better way. Students don't even realize the huge amount of time that they spend to study from some coaching that doesn't even solve their doubts properly. Parents live under the impression that if their child goes to coaching his grades will improve and when that doesn't happen, they feel that the fault is in the coaching centers. The fault here is sending your child to coaching when instead the student could just invest all his time sitting back at home and involving in self-studies.
Class 8 Students no longer need to worry about how to put forward their English questions in the middle of a class, with NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English Honeydew pdf offered by Vedantu on its official website. With this, students will have all the study material sufficient enough to clear all doubts of the English Honeydew.
NCERT Class 8 English Honeydew Chapter wise Solutions
An Overview of Class 8 English Honeydew Chapter 1 The Best Christmas Present in the World
Honeydew is the CBSE prescribed book that contains a collection of 10 short stories. English Honeydew Class 8 Chapter 1 is The Best Christmas Present in the World by British writer and author Michael Morpurgo. The story begins with the author buying a roll-top table from a junk shop. Although the table was in a bad condition, the author thought he could repair it. While repairing the table, he finds a small tin box in one of the drawers. The box contained a letter addressed to Macpherson from her husband Jim Macpherson who served the English army in 1914. The letter tells about the Christmas of 1914 when both the Germans and English kept the war aside and celebrated Christmas with good wine and food together. They played a game of football and sang together. Upon reading this letter, the author takes it to Mrs Macpherson, and she is delighted to see that her husband kept his promise. You can find a detailed overview of this story by downloading Class 8 English Chapter 1 The Best Christmas Present in the World notes pdf provided on this page.
The Theme of Class 8 English Honeydew Chapter1: The Best Christmas Present in the World
The theme of the story ‘The Best Christmas Present in the World’ deals with friendship and universal brotherhood. After stressful days of wars and observing death closely, all that soldiers desire is peace and harmony. They wish the most to be with their families and dear ones. Although their faces may be covered in blood and dust and they may be bearing flags of opposing countries, at the heart they are all humans who have no personal reasons to be fighting on the battlefield.
This story reiterates the destruction and stark realities of war. It shows us the pleasant sight of what happens when enemies forget their individual differences and join hands in celebration and merriment. Christmas is indeed a time of happiness and togetherness. The true spirit of Christmas, which is love and hope, reverberates throughout the story. It drives away loneliness and grief. This is reflected in the story in the narration of the incidents on the battlefield and also in the present when the author handovers Connie her husband’s letter. It establishes the universal truth that a man may fight numerous battles in his lifetime, but essentially his main character is to be peaceful. Only that can restore his happiness.
Benefits of NCERT Solutions For Class 8 English Honeydew Chapter 1
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Vedantu's NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English Chapter 1 - "The Best Christmas Present In The World" offer a comprehensive and insightful resource for students. The platform provides a user-friendly interface, making learning engaging and interactive. By combining the expertise of qualified educators and the convenience of digital technology, Vedantu ensures that students can grasp the essence of the chapter effectively. The solutions cater to diverse learning styles, promoting a deeper understanding of the text's themes and literary techniques. As a result, students can enhance their language skills and analytical thinking. Vedantu proves to be a valuable companion in the journey of academic excellence and fosters a love for literature among young learners.
FAQs on NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English Chapter 1 - The Best Christmas Present In The World
1. What are the Benefits of Studying English Literature with Vedantu?
English involves long answer questions and short answer questions mostly. You need to learn the format of writing long answers correctly. Vedantu not only explains all the chapters in detail but also tells you about the writer and the background of the story. The practice questions help you compile all this information together. Make self-notes and write down all the points you know. Begin with the writer, a short overview of what the writer or poet have tried to tell and then begin with your main answer interlinking all of them into a long answer. For short answers, just keep it crisp and to the point but in the same format.
2. What Message has the Author Tried to Convey in this Story?
NCERT Class 8 English Honeydew Chapter 1 is The Best Christmas Present in the World by Michael Morpurgo. The author wants to tell that no matter who wins or who loses, war is futile, destructive and inhumane. It only brings sadness, anxiety and trauma to the people and the world. One should try to resolve their tussles with peace so that harmony exists and mankind doesn't lose faith in humanity. Irrelevant of our country, religion, race, we all are humans and war has never ended in anything good for any human.
3. How to Easily Understand What the Writer or Poet is Trying to Convey?
Whenever a poet or a writer pens down something, it is because of something he just experienced or maybe the social or political environment during that time. Once you know about the writer, you can decode the idea or thought behind the writing very easily. Remember, if you understand a writer and then read his writings, then only you will get the true essence of it. Though this takes some time, it will be worth the investment and you will have a clear knowledge which will help you learn fast.
4. What is The Best Christmas Present in the World and why?
The Best Christmas Present in the World is the first chapter from the Class 8 English Honeydew textbook. According to the chapter, the best Christmas present in the world is the return of Jim from war. Connie thinks that the author is her husband, Jim, who has come back home from war. She had been waiting for him, and so, his coming home was the best Christmas present for her.
5. What is the moral of The Best Christmas Present in the World?
The moral of The Best Christmas Present in the World is that the path to achieving happiness in the world is through peace and not war, as war can only bring death, sadness and pain. Differences and conflicts in the world can be resolved in other ways also. Because of wars and fighting, thousands of soldiers die, and it is painful for their families. Hence, harmony should be maintained in the world.
6. Why is it The Best Christmas Present in the World?
It is the best Christmas present in the world for Connie because she thinks that the author is her husband Jim, who had been away from home fighting the war. She thinks that her husband has returned home now, which is why it is the best Christmas present in the world for her. She was very happy because Jim had written in his letter that he would come back on Christmas.
7. What is a Connie Christmas present, and why is it The Best Christmas Present in the World?
Connie’s actual Christmas present was the author coming to meet her and giving her the letter written by her husband Jim. However, she mistook the author to be her husband because she had been waiting for him to come back home from war for a long time. When she saw the author, she became emotional, and for her, that was the best Christmas present in the world.
8. Where can I get the NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English Chapter 1?
Students can download the NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English Chapter 1 from NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English Chapter 1. The answers to all the questions from Chapter 1 of the Class 8 NCERT English textbook Honeydew are given in the NCERT Solutions provided by Vedantu (vedantu.com), which are available free of cost. Students can download the NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English Chapter 1 from Vedantu mobile app as well. Students can also download other study materials such as revision notes, important questions and previous year as well as sample question papers while preparing for their exams.