Chapter 18 : To Sir, With Love Questions and Answers ICSE Class 10

Question 1 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

(i) Who is ‘she’ in the given extract? Why has she visited Braithwaite?

Answer : ‘She’ in the given extract refers to Miss Gillian Blanchard. She was Braithwaite’s close friend and had come to inform him that she had a glimpse in store for him. It was her birthday on November 18th and she had planned a dinner for both of them a an elegant restaurant.

(ii) How did the students react to the visit?

Answer : The students were very inquisitive about the visit that Miss Gillian had made to their class. Braithwaite walked back to the group of children and into a barrage of questions. It was the first time the had seen her in their classroom and their quick minds were full of meanings and speculations. They wanted to know if Miss Gillian was Braithwaite’s girlified.

(iii) What options do Braithwaite’s students have for the lady visitor?

Answer : Braithwaite’s students were full of praise for Miss Gillian. Tich Jackson thought that she was ‘smashing’ and Braithwaite agreed. The girls began to discuss Miss Gillian’s hair, clothes and shoes. Pamela said nothing. It was obvious that she did not share their enthusiasm for Miss Gillian.

(iv) What are Braithwaite’s feelings towards the lady visitor?

Answer : Braithwaite was in love with Miss Gillian. He had developed a liking for her from the first time he had seen her. They had grown closer over time, but had never expressed their love for each other. Later, Braithwaite was also seen pretty much concerned about her feelings.

(v) How did Braithwaite’s evening with the lady visitor get spoiled?

Answer : Gillian had decided that they would have dinner at an elegant restaurant on her birthday. They also saw a film and were having a pleasant time until their visit to the restaurant. The waiter at the restaurant behaved very rudely towards Braithwaite for he was black. Gillian was not able to take it and was very furious. She left the restaurant at once and fought with Braithwaite for not fighting the waiter. She was reduced to tears also.

Question 2 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“Damn you, damn you.” Each word was torn out of her like a painful cough. “Why did you just sit there and take it?”

(i) Who is ‘her’ in the above lines? In what mood is she now? Why?

Answer : ‘Her’ in the above lines refers to Miss Gillian Blanchard. She is very furious because Braithwaite had been ill-treated at the restaurant where they were celebrating Gillian’s Birthday.

(ii) Why was she angry with the listener?

Answer : Gillian was angry with the listener because he did not do anything even after the people at the restaurant had treated him very badly. They were not served properly and there was spilled soup in Braithwaite’s plate which was pretty much intentional. However, Braithwaite made no effort to confront the waiter.

(iii) What reasons did the listener give her for just sitting there and not responding to what had happened?

Answer : Braithwaite asked Gillian what was he supposed to do. He did not want to hit the waiter as it would have created a big scene and hitting anybody had never solved matters. It never helped. He wanted to forget the whole thing but Gillian was is no mood to relent. She was certainly not happy with Braithwaite for he had not retorted at the restaurant.

(iv) How does the speaker react to the explanation given by the listener?

Answer : Gillian had lost her cool. She asked Braithwaite why he had not done anything. According to her, he should have hit the bloody waiter. But Braithwaite told her that hitting anybody never helped. However, she could not relate to this explanation. She wanted Braithwaite to stand up for his rights. She had always seen other fighting for him.

(v) This bitter conversation soon turns into a lovely thing. Comment.

Answer : After the unpleasant incident at the restaurant, Gillian was like a tempest hurling out mean things at Braithwaite for he had not reacted to the discrimination. She had planned a beautiful evening but it had been spoiled. She was overwhelmed and charged at Braithwaite who held her. Her fury had passed. She had tears in her eyes and told Braithwaite that she wanted to be with him. Then they confessed their love for each other and a bitter conversation turned into a lovely thing.

Long Questions

Question 1 : How did the incident , of racism against Braithwaite in the restaurant, on Gillian’s birthday turned out to be a defining moment in their relationship? Why was Braithwaite concerned about her? What did he resolve to do?

Answer : On Thursday, November 18th was Gillian’s birthday. Braithwaite had bought a book of poems for her. On Tuesday, she came to Braithwaite’s class and called him out. She told him that on the occasion of her birthday, she had arranged for a dinner for both of them. It was going to be elegant according to her. Braithwaite suggested that they would watch a movie first. Gillian agreed to that.

After watching a movie, Braithwaite and Gillian went to the Poisson d’Or- a very elegant restaurant. They were directed to their table. However, the service to their table was particularly slow. The waiter behaved unexpectedly and Gillian was very annoyed. At last, she was unable to take the bias much longer when Braithwaite’s plate came with some spilled soup and the waiter did not bother to clean it. She was furious and left the restaurant at once. Braithwaite was confused and they took the taxi, in which Gillian sat away from him.

Even though it was not Braithwaite’s mistake, he thought that anything he had with Gillian was over due to the humiliation they had faced. Gillian was very angry as Braithwaite had not fought against it. According to her, he should have hit the bloody waiter. But Braithwaite told her that hitting anybody never helped. However, she could not relate to this explanation. She wanted Braithwaite to sand up for his rights. She had always seen others fighting for him.

Braithwaite told her that it never solved things. But she was adamant. She was disturbed and angry. Her birthday had been spoiled. She rushed towards Braithwaite in rage but her caught hold of her. The tempest had passed. She cried in Braithwaite’s arms. She had witnessed racism and was very shaken by it. Braithwaite did not know what to say. He just wanted her to be happy even if it meant his departure for her life. He did not want Gillian to face such things again as they would hurt her very much.

But Gillian did not want Braithwaite to leave her. She knew that she was not brave enough but loved Braithwaite more. She wanted to be with him. They confessed that they loved each other dearly. They were both ready to try for their relationship.