Short Questions (2 Marks)
Question 1 : What did the two friends in the story ‘The Last Leaf’ do? Where did they live?
Answer : The two friends in the story ‘The Last Leaf’ , Sue and Johnsy, were artists. They used to paint and earn meagrely for their living. They lived in a small flat on the third floor of an old building.
Question 2 : When did Johnsy fall ill? What was the cause of her illness?
Answer : Johnsy fell very seriously ill in the month of November. She was suffering from pneumonia. Apart from his, she was also depressed and believed that she would not get well. That feeling was more dangerous than the illness itself.
Question 3 : Describe the things Sue did to make Johnsy interested.
Answer : Sue tried her best to make Johnsy take an interest in things. She talked about the clothes and fashions. She started painting in Johnsy’s room so that she notices her and even whistled while painting to grab her attention.
Question 4 : Name the creeper that Johnsy continuously looked at. Why was it shedding its leaves?
Answer : The name of the creeper that Johnsy continuously looked at was Ivy creeper. It was nearby the window of the room. It was shedding its leaves as it was autumn season when generally trees shed old leaves.
Question 5 : How did Johnsy spend her day?
Answer : Johnsy spent her day lying on her bed. She kept gazing out of the window and counted the leaves that were remainig on the Ivy creeper. At times, she also slept. She was under depression and was losing the will to live.
Question 6 : Describe the strange supposition of Johnsy.
Answer : Johnsy kept on counting the remaining leaves on the Ivy creeper outside her window. She supposed that she would die once the last leaf on the creeper would fall. It was a very stupid idea and she must not have thought so.
Question 7 : Who was Bherman? Why did he come to Sue’s flat?
Answer : Behrman was a sixty year old painter who was a neighbour of Sue and Johnsy . He wanted to help Sue and Johnsy in one of the paintings.
He came to Sue’s flat as she wanted him to pose as an old miner so that she could complete her painting.
Question 8 : What made Johnsy change her mind?
Answer : Johnsy was certain that the last leaf from the Ivy creeper outside her window would fall soon. When the last leaf did not fall in the storm and the fierce winds, Johnsy changed her mind. She came out of depression and started her interest in her life.
Question 9 : How did Behrman save Johnsy’s life?
Answer : Behrman saved Johnsy’s life by painting a leaf that looked identical to the last leaf on the Ivy creeper. He tied the leaf to the creeper.
The leaf staying intact on the creeper inspite of fierce winds and storm let Johnsy to change her mind and save herself.
Long Questions (8 Marks)
Question 1 : What was troubling Johnsy and how did she get well?
Answer : Johnsy was suffering from pneumonia. It was accompanied by high fever. Apart from this ailment, she was depressed and had lost hop for living. She thought that she would die as soon as the last leaf from the Ivy creeper outside her window would fall. Sue called the doctor so that Johnsy could be treated.
Although the doctor came regularly for her checkup and gave her medicines , he was doubtful about her getting well as she didn’t want to live. Sue came to know about Johnsy’s strange supposition and tried her best so that she can get rid of her nonsensical belief. But, Johnsy did not want to change. When she observed that the last leaf was intact despite strong winds and storm, she realised that it is a sin to want to die. This led her to think positive and get well. After that, she came back to life.
Question 2 : “Behrman’s visit to Sue’s flat was a blessing in disguise for Johnsy.” Justify the above statement.
Answer : Sue got a small painting project in which she was to paint an old miner. She pondered for a while whom to make the role model and she thought of Mr Behrman. Sue called Behrman to her flat as she wanted him to be her role model so that she could pint the picture of an old miner. When he came, he told him about Johnsy’s illness and the fact that Johnsy believed that she would die when the last leaf from the Ivy creeper would fall.
When Behrman came to her flat, he saw the pitiable condition of Johnsy. He didn’t say a word and went back to his room. He painted a leaf similar to the Ivy creeper’s leaf and took a ladder and tied that leaf to the creeper while Johnsy was sleeping. When Johnsy noticed that the leaf has not fallen in the harsh winds, she realised that it was a sin to want to die. From then onwards, she hoped to get well which eventually saved her life.
Hence, we can say that Behrman’s visit to Sue’s flat was a blessing in disguise for Johnsy.
Question 3 : What lessons do you learn from the story ‘The Last Leaf’?
Answer : The story comes along with a great lesson for its readers. When there is nothing left in your life then the zeal to live gets lost. But, an inspiration is always there to keep you going ahead in the life. A thought which is positive keeps you well on the path of life. The story ‘The Last Leaf’ teaches us to be positive in life and never believe in superstitions. It also teaches us not to lose hope in difficult circumstances and of helping others.
Johnsy, the artist in the story, falls ill and loses hope of living. She could not get well despite the best efforts of her roommate, Sue and her doctor. Later on, she realises that relating one’s death to the falling leaves of a creeper is nonsensical. She also learns that life is precious and it is a sin to let oneself die.
Behrman, the painter in the story, helps Johnsy by painting a leaf that would not fall in the fierce winds of storm and in the process of saving her, loses his life. His selfless act of helping his neighbour teaches us to be compassionate and helpful towards others.