Refund by Fritz Karinthy: Summary | Questions and Answers | Class 11 English

CLICK HERE 👇 TO SELECT CHAPTERS

NEB ENGLISH ALL NOTES [C.ENG | M. ENG] CLASS 11


Refund by Fritz Karinthy: Summary | Questions and Answers | Class 11 English
Neb English Support 


Refund by Fritz Karinthy: Summary | Questions and Answers | Class 11 English


Refund by Fritz Karinthy


MAIN INTRO FOR ANSWERS

Note: Add this introduction to your answers to the exam.

This humorous one-act play 'Refund' was written by the famous Hungarian playwright Fritz Karinthy in 1938. This absurd and satirical play has satirised the present-day education system, which is quite backward in preparing good students for the future. The play is about a man named Wasserkopf, a former Hungarian student, who demands a refund for tuition fees, claiming he learned nothing useful. This play is based on the themes of wit and unity.




Table of Contents



THEME

Refund by Fritz Karinthy

This humorous one-act play 'Refund' was written by the famous Hungarian playwright Fritz Karinthy in 1938. This one-act play has been adapted and translated by the American playwright Percival Wilde. This play is an absurd and satirical play that has satirised the present-day education system, which is quite backward to prepare good students for the future. Here in this play, we find an extraordinary situation that has created extreme humour. This play is based on the themes of wit and unity.


ABOUT THE PLAY

Refund by Fritz Karinthy

This play is about a former student of a school in Hungary named Wasserkopf who goes back to the school where he studied and demands a refund of the tuition fees he had paid eighteen years ago, claiming that he had learned nothing useful at school and is now good for nothing. This play has shown the fine ability of teachers to manage the situation and how they tackle Wasserkopf without spoiling the reputation of their school.


MAIN SUMMARY

Refund by Fritz Karinthy

Wasserkof is a mannerless man who uses abusive words while talking. He is not able to get any employment. Even if he succeeds in getting a job, he cannot keep it for a long period of time. Wherever he goes to ask for the job, people tell him that he is fit for nothing and hasn’t learned anything worth doing in school. Once, he meets his old classmate Leaderer in the street. When Leaderer talks about investment in foreign exchange and the Hungarian currency with him, Wasserkopf expresses his inability to understand them. He starts asking questions about foreign exchange. The leader says that if he doesn’t know about such a small thing, he hasn’t learned anything in school. He advises him to go back to his school and get his tuition fees back.


CLICK HERE 👇 TO SELECT CHAPTERS

NEB ENGLISH ALL NOTES [C.ENG | M. ENG] CLASS 11


Wasserkopf, being jobless and penniless, thinks it is a good idea and beneficial to him. So, he comes back to his old school after eighteen years and demands his tuition fees back, claiming he hasn’t learned anything and they haven’t taught him anything worth. The principal is shocked after hearing such an absurd demand. Wasserkopf even threatens to go to the education minister if justice is denied to him. He demands a re-examination and says if he fails it, he must get his money back. The principal becomes quite confused, finds himself in a peculiar situation and calls for an urgent meeting of all the masters. They decide to conduct the re-examination and agree to prove the answers given by him, whether right or wrong, correct. They realise that Wasserkopf would intentionally try to fail the exam by giving wrong answers and get his refund back from the school. So, all the staff decide to outsmart him and to help each other be united. Wasserkopf uses abusive and derogative words to each master intending to be thrown out of the school. But the masters outsmart him by proving him excellent in manners, physical culture, alertness, perseverance, logic and ambition.

The history teacher politely asks him to sit on a seat, but he infuriates the teacher with his reply. The master remains patient and starts his question. The first question he asks him is how many years the ‘Thirty Years War’ lasted. The physics master whispers the answer loudly, and the geography master shows his ten fingers three times. Even though the answer is within the question, Waaserkopf is eager to give the wrong answer and says that the war lasted for seven meters. All the teachers get paralysed. When the history master is unable to prove his wrong answer right, the mathematics master aids him. He argues that according to Einstein’s relativity theory, years can be represented in terms of metres, and the actual war took place only for seven years. Because the war was held only during the day time (twelve hours), which means 15 years. Among 15 years, the master subtracts three hours each day for combatants' eating, which reduces 15 years into 12 years. He again subtracts various hours for noon-day siestas, peaceful diversions, and non-warlike activities. He reaches seven years at last and wipes his brow. So, the answer of seven metres given by the candidate is right in Einstein’s equivalence of seven meters.

Next, the physics master asks him about clocks in the churches' steeples. He asks the reason why the church's clock becomes smaller if someone walks away from it, or is it because of optical illusion. Wasserkopf calls the master an ass in answer. But the answer is accepted by the master as the correct one. The reason given is that an ass doesn’t have any imaginative powers because it is a sad creature. The master says that it must have an optical illusion, and Wasserkopf has given a metaphorical answer.

Next, he is asked to name the capital city of the same name, Brunswick, a German province, by the geography teacher. But Wasserkopf answers as'same'. The master proves his answer to be the correct one by claiming the city has another name, ‘Same’ too. According to a legend, the emperor Barbarossa was once riding in the city and met a peasant girl. He asked her the name of the city after wishing her ‘God bless you'. The girl answered'same to you, sir’ while munching a bun in her mouth. But the emperor mistook the city name as ‘Same’. In this way, masters mark Wasserkopf as excellent in geography. Finally, the mathematics master comes ahead to ask his question. He declares that he is going to ask Wasserkopf two questions, both easy and difficult. First, he asks him an easy question on the circumference of a 109-degree-sided polyhedron with irrelevant data for the calculation. Wasserkopf gives an incorrect answer. The mathematics teacher gets angry and declares that his answer is incorrect. So he says that Wasserkopf deserves the refund of tuition fees. Then he asks for the exact amount he has to get. Wasserkopf tells them the exact total amount as 5682 crowns and 38 hellers and the grand total amount as 6450 crowns and 50 hellers without realising the trap of the teachers. At this time, the mathematics master declares his answer correct to his tough question. All the teachers justify all his answers as being correct. They mark him as distinguished in all the subjects and throw him out of the school.


SHORT SUMMARY

Refund by Fritz Karinthy

A former student named Wasserkopf unexpectedly arrives at his old school. He had studied there nearly eighteen years ago. He makes an entry into the principal’s office arrogantly. He relates his name to the principal. He answers the principal's questions in a very negative way. He tells him about his failures and demands a refund of the tuition fees he had paid for his education eighteen years ago. According to him, he hasn't gotten his money’s worth or knowledge through their education. He tells people's and his friend Leaderer's opinions about him. He demands his re-examination and even threatens the principle to go to the education minister if his demand is denied.


CLICK HERE 👇 TO SELECT CHAPTERS

NEB ENGLISH ALL NOTES [C.ENG | M. ENG] CLASS 11


The principal asks him to wait and calls an immediate conference of the masters. They discuss the matter seriously. The masters decide to take the examination and ask him simple questions. They decide to help each other and declare his wrong answers right.

Wasserkopf faces all the teachers one-by-one. He calls them loafers to irritate them. He calls them by rude names and gives silly answers. The teachers accepted his answers positively. He is excellent in patriarchal manners, gentlemanliness, courtesy, physical culture, alertness, perseverance, logic, and ambition. He faces History Master at first with a very simple question: "How long did the 'Thirty Years' War last?" He answers wrongly as 'Seven metres' in his first question. Both the history master and the mathematics master prove their answers right through their reasoning.

Next, he is asked a simple question by the physics master about optical illusions. In reply, Wasserkopf calls the master an ass. But his answer is accepted as the correct answer with proper reasoning. The geography master asks him to say the same name for the capital city of Brunswick, a German province. Wasserkopf answers that the answer is "same'. The masters claim it as the right answer.

The mathematics master then asks a meaningless question about the circumference of a 109-degree-sided polyhedron. Even the data provided for the calculation is irrelevant. Wasserkopf says that the answer is 2629 litres. The master becomes angry, saying that his answer is wrong to an easy question.

Then the master asks Wasserkopf to calculate the amount of the fees to be refunded. He refers to it as a tough question. Wasserkopf calculates the total amount and answers exactly.

One by one, each teacher questions him and justifies his wrong answers as correct, and they mark him as excellent. Though Wasserkopf gives wrong answers and uses abusive words to each master, they don’t show their anger because they have to prove him an excellent student to throw him out. Finally, the masters declare him excellent and throw him out of school.


PARAGRAPH SUMMARY

The play "Refund" by Fritz Karinthy is a satire on the modern education system. The main character of this play is Wasserkopf. He moves to his old school and demands his tuition fees back, claiming that he has learned nothing during his 18 years of education. To prove his point, Wasserkopf asks for his re-exam in all the subjects he studied in school. Despite giving ridiculous and wrong answers, his school teachers accept all his answers, proving them to be correct and appropriate to maintain the school's reputation. Ultimately, Wasserkopf was declared a distinguished graduate and was asked to leave the school. The play highlights the flaws of the education system, such as the focus on memorization rather than practical skills and the prioritisation of grades over actual learning. This also shows that the knowledge provided by education does not always have practical relevance in one's daily life.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Refund by Fritz Karinthy


BEFORE YOU READ

a. Will you demand your tuition fees back from the school if you don’t get any job in the future?

Answer:

No, I don't demand my tuition fee back from the school if I don't get any jobs in the future. I don't want to be the worst person, like Wasserkopf.


b. What do you want to be after getting education?

Answer:

I want to be a good person with a good job after getting an education. I want to establish myself in the social sector too. I will try my best to help miserable people.


c. Does one’s certificate show the talent of that person?

Answer:

No, one's certificate doesn't show the talent of that person. Talent is related to the inner art or knowledge of the person. Talent remains a lifetime skill and leads anyone towards perfection. A certificate can never judge anyone's hidden talents.


a. Why does Wasserkopf demand a refund of his tuition fees from the school?

Answer:

Wasserkopf demands a refund of his tuition fees from the school because he finds himself good for nothing in his life. He becomes failure many times in getting a proper job for him. He thinks of himself as a loser at the age of forty only because of his education. He is not able to get any employment. Even if he succeeds in getting a job, he cannot keep it for a long period of time. Wherever he goes to ask for the job, people tell him that he is fit for nothing and he hasn’t learned anything worth doing in school. His old classmate Leadrer even says the same and advises him to demand tuition fees from his old school.


CLICK HERE 👇 TO SELECT CHAPTERS

NEB ENGLISH ALL NOTES [C.ENG | M. ENG] CLASS 11


b. Why does Wasserkopf consider himself good for nothing?

Answer:

Wasserkopf considers himself good for nothing because he has failed many times in his life in the matter of getting a job. He faces rejection many times in his life. He is completely broke. He thinks himself worthless and good for nothing.


c. What did the teachers decide to do when Wasserkopf asked for a refund?

Answer:

The teachers decided to fulfil Wasserkopf's demand of taking a re-examination and pass him in every subject, no matter if his answers were wrong. They decided to unite and help each other during his examination. They made an agreement to prove Wasserkopf's answers to their questions.


d. Why did Wasserkopf give ridiculous answers? Why did the teachers accept these answers?

Answer:

Wasserkopf gave ridiculous answers because he wanted to fail the examination by hook and crook and claim his refund. Teachers accepted these answers because they wanted to pass him in the examination for the sake of their school's reputation. 


e. How does the Mathematics Master describe Wasserkopf’s character?

Answer:

The Mathematics Master describes Wasserkopf as a sly and crafty person who wants to fail his exam deliberately and take his tuition fee back. According to him, Wasserkopf is an ill-natured man who doesn't have a proper talking manner. He is quite different and irritates all the teachers with his abusive words.


f. How did the teachers outwit Wasserkopf?

Answer:

Teachers outwitted Wasserkopf by making proper use of their minds. Wasserkopf tried his best to fail his oral exam through his absurd answers. But the teachers proved his wrong answers right along with different reasonings. Wasserkopf felt astonished to find his answers right. He was declared a pass in every subject. His refund request was rejected. He was sent out of school at last.


g. What is the final judgment on Waserkopf’s demand of refund? 

Answer: 

The final judgement on Waserkopf’s demand for a refund is the rejection of the refund. The result is in favour of all the teachers. All the teachers certify Wasserkopf's answers as correct, except one. The principal of the school declares Wasserkopf distinction in every subject. He has been certified and congratulated for his graduation.


a. Read the extract from the play given below and answer the questions that follow:

It’s possible I’ve changed. What the hell…! Your class records will show I’ve got a right to come here.”


i. Who is the speaker? Who is he speaking to?

Answer:

The speaker is Wasserkopf. He is speaking to the principal of his old school.


ii. Why does the speaker say these words?

Answer:

The speaker says these words because he is quite upset with his educational records, which he had achieved eighteen years ago at his old school.


iii. Where is the speaker at this moment?

Answer:

The speaker is in the Principal's office at this moment.


b. Read the extract dialogue given below and answer the questions that follow:

“THE STAFF: (bowing, heartily) How do you do?

WASSERKOPF: Who the hell are you? Sit down, you loafers! (He grins, waiting to be thrown out)

THE PRINCIPAL: "How dare you ?”


i. What is to be the response to ‘How do you do?’

Answer:

'I'm fine' is to be the response to 'How do you do'.


ii. Is Wasserkopf’s response polite enough to the staff?

Answer:

No, Wasserkopf's response isn't polite enough for the staff. He uses abusive words against them.


iii. How does Wasserkopf rebuke the staff?

Answer:

Wasserkopf rebukes the staff by calling them 'loafers' and 'Who the hell are you?'


CLICK HERE 👇 TO SELECT CHAPTERS

NEB ENGLISH ALL NOTES [C.ENG | M. ENG] CLASS 11


iv. What does the Principal mean by ‘How dare you' ?

Answer:

By 'How dare you?', the principal means Wasserkopf's dare to speak abusive remarks against masters.


c. Explain the following line of the play:

“Because I didn’t get my money’s worth, that’s why!”

Answer:

This line has been taken from Fritz Karinthy's one-act play 'Refund'. This line was spoken by the main character of this play, whose name is Wasserkopf. Here in this line, Wasserkopf is explaining the reason behind his arrival and demand to the principal of the school. According to him, the education he got from his school hasn't provided him with his life's worth. He has faced rejection many times in his life. He thinks himself good for nothing.


d. What is the theme of the play?

Answer:

The theme of the play is wit and unity. This play has presented the outstanding use of wit by teachers and their unity against an ill-natured old pupil, Wasserkopf, who comes to his old school with his absurd demand. This play shows a satire on the present education system, which has failed to prepare students for life.


e. Sketch the character of Wasserkopf.

Answer:

Wasserkopf is a poor and greedy person who is forty years old. He is a native of Hungary. He is an ill-natured man who has been fired from his jobs many times due to his ill manners and rude behavior. He doesn't have any knowledge of any field. There is neither shame nor a sense of respect in his life's dictionary. He feels good for nothing. He moves to his school to demand his tuition fee without any feeling of shame. He behaves immorally towards the principal and other teachers. He calls the teachers ’loafers’. He calls teachers using such irritating names as the history master a ‘numskull’, the physics master ‘a cannibal’ and ‘a whiskered balloon’, and the math teacher an ‘old stick in the mud’.


 REFERENCE BEYOND THE TEXT 

a. The play is a satire on the present day education system. Do you think that our education system does not prepare students for life? Discuss.

Answer:

Yes, I think that our education system does not prepare students for life. The present education system is far from the concept of practical life. It doesn't have any relation to a practical way of living. It has distracted people's minds from creativity and made them impractical. In the present time, we find many educated people with high certificate values, but they lack knowledge about anything. They even don't have the proper talent to guide others. Thus, the present education system is producing useless manpower in different sectors.


b. Our education system focuses on memorisation rather than creative thinking. Do you think the knowledge imparted by education may not have practical relevance in one’s day-to-day life? Who do you blame for this?

Answer:

Yes, I think the knowledge imparted by education may not have practical relevance in one's day-to-day life. In the context of the present education system, we find education and its related knowledge quite away from creative thinking. The courses of the education system have been designed in such a way that has no relation with practical relevance in one's day-to-day life. These educational contents don't have any relation with practical living. The people who are struggling in the academic fields are also seeking an easy course of memorisation rather than creative thinking. Most of the students are on the wrong track of just passing exams and getting certificates. For them, creativity doesn't have any place in their lives. They only focus to get fine certificates through various means. I directly blame the present education system for this which have corrupted thousands of minds.


CLICK HERE 👇 TO SELECT CHAPTERS

NEB ENGLISH ALL NOTES [C.ENG | M. ENG] CLASS 11


c. Most of the students want to learn just for examination rather than knowledge. Do you think that certificate will help them in their future career?

Answer:

No, I don't think that certificate will help students in their future careers. At present, most of the students are on the wrong track. Their preparation for their examination has a certain time. They are seen as much busier before two or three months of their examination. They are quite away from the concept of knowledge but believe in shortcut ways to pass their examination. The way they are choosing to pass their examination isn't good for their future. They will surely face a lack of authentic knowledge in the future because certificates never reveal real knowledge or talent. Most of the students at present get certificates through fake means too.


CLICK HERE 👇 TO READ


CLICK HERE 👇 TO READ





Thanks for Visiting my Website: Suraj Bhatt 

2 Comments

Post a Comment

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post
DMCA.com Protection Status