The Portrait of a Lady Summary and Important Questions for class 11th

The Portrait of a Lady Summary and Important Questions for class 11th

The Portrait of a Lady is based on the author's grandmother's true story. The author goes by Kushwant Singh. His granny was an elderly woman. The author shares with us the tale of his early years spent with his grandma. The author has discussed how his relationship with his grandma has changed over time. He considers what she does on a daily basis and how her character has developed through time. He makes reference to her appearance, which helps the reader form an image of her.

The Portrait of a Lady Summary and Important Questions

The Portrait of a Lady Summary

The author remembers his grandmother as being short, robust, and a little crooked. Her silver hair was disheveled and strewn all over her creased face. She used to wear all white while she strolled around the house. She continued to recount the beads of her rosary with one hand resting on her waist.

The Portrait of a Lady Summary and Important Questions-Although the writer believes she is not very attractive, she is always gorgeous. Her serene visage is like the winter scenery, he thinks. Grandmother got him out of bed in the wee hours of the morning during their extended stay in the village, plastered his wooden slate, made his breakfast, and sent him to school. The school has a connection to the temple. While the kids learned their alphabets, she sat inside and perused the holy books.

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On their way back to the home she used to give the stale chapattis to the street dogs. A turning point in their beautiful relationship arrived when they went to live in a city. Despite the fact that they shared a room, their relationship started to grow apart. Now, the writer used to go to the city school on a school bus and studied subjects like English, Physics, mathematics and many more subjects that his grandmother could not understand at all.

The Portrait of a Lady Summary and Important Questions-His grandmother could no longer go to school with him to send him. She felt upset that there was no teaching about God and scriptures at the city school. Instead, he was given music lessons, but she said nothing. She thought music was dreadful. It was just good for prostitutes and beggars, according to her. It was not intended for gentlemen.

The author received a separate room in his house when he enrolled in a university. Now, the grandma and grandson's shared relationship was no longer intact. These days, Grandmother hardly ever spoke to anyone in the house. The writer's grandmother gently came to terms with her isolation. She rarely spoke to anyone and was always preoccupied with her spinning wheel and praying. In the afternoon, she had a break. She would break bread into pieces and feed it to the birds as part of her daily practice. The birds would sit on top of her head, shoulders, and even on her legs.

The Portrait of a Lady Summary and Important Questions-When the writer was leaving on a trip abroad for his further studies, his grandmother did not get disturbed at all. Rather she went to the train station to say goodbye, but she didn’t say anything and merely kissed his forehead. Her lips were moving in prayer, her thoughts were consumed by prayer and her fingers were busy reciting the storey of the beads on her rosary. Seeing her grandmother at this old age, the writer was thinking that it might be his last meeting with his grandmother. But when he came back home after a duration of 5 years, his grandmother was there to welcome him back and he saw her celebrate his return.

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The next morning after the return of his grandson she got ill. Although the doctor told them that it was a slight fever and would go away very soon, still she could foresee that her time to leave this world was near. She did not want to waste her time talking to someone. Her fingers were busy reciting the storey of the beads on her rosary.

She went to her bed praying and telling the beads till her lips stopped moving and the rosary fell down from her lifeless hand. Her body was discovered on the floor, wrapped in a red shawl after she died. To grieve her death, thousands of sparrows flew in and sat dispersed around her body. All the sparrows flew away without making any noise when the dead body of the old lady was carried away for the last rites.

Characters In The Portrait of a Lady

The Khushwant Singh : It is a narrator of the story The Portrait of a Lady' was a sensitive and observant person. Having been entirely brought up under his grandmother's care, he displays a genteel sensitivity towards her. He cherished the memories of his association with his grandmother. He has beautifully described the details about many episodes from his past life that were related to his grandmother. His description of his grandmother's old age, her movements, her religious beliefs, her association with sparrows reflect his ability to describe the common things with sensitive delicacy. He was a great author, grandson, and human being.

The Grandmother: It was an elderly, formerly young and attractive woman with a wrinkly face. She was chubby, short, and a little twisted. She is described by the narrator as a "winter landscape in the mountains" since she wore a white outfit that covered her face most of the time and her silver hair. She is quite devout and spends a lot of time counting the beads on her rosary and performing prayers. She feeds the local dogs on a daily basis and is a compassionate person. She gave pieces of bread to the birds in the city. She would spend hours discussing her grandson's academics since she was so devoted to him.

She is conventional, nevertheless, and disapproves of the new curriculum her grandson is following since, in her opinion, it fails to teach him about God and the sacred texts. As her grandson grows older and distances himself from her, their relationship evolves. She still takes care of him and greets him when he gets home in spite of everything. She is a straightforward, devoted, and kind woman who lives her life in accordance with her customs and beliefs.

The Grandfather: The drawing room mantelpiece had the portrait of the author's grandfather hanging above it. He had a long white beard that covered the best portion of his chest, and he was dressed loosely in a large turban. He has been dead for a very long time. Khushwant Singh's grandfather had never been seen by him. Because of his advanced age, the author's grandfather appeared to be a guy without a wife or children but with an enormous number of grandchildren.

The Portrait of a Lady Important Questions and Answers

Khushwant Singh’s grandmother was not pretty but was always beautiful. Explain the meaning of this statement.

Khushwant Singh’s grandmother was not attractive and good-looking, but she had an extremely gracious personality. Her serenity and calmness gave her an inner beauty.

What was Khushwant Singh’s and his grandmother’s routine in the village?

The grandmother used to wake Khushwant Singh up in the morning, bathe him, dress him, and accompany him to school. While he studied, she sat in the temple and read scriptures. On return, she fed stale ‘chapattis’ to the village dogs. She used to prepare his wooden slate by plastering it lightly with yellow chalk.

Describe the changing relationship between the author and his grandmother.

The relationship changed from total dependency during their village stay to a hint of withdrawal during the city stay as the grandmother could not comprehend the efficacy of a curriculum based on science, sans religious instructions. Later, this changed to an overall affection for the author.



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