Short Summaries of Section 2 Literature Compulsory English Grade 11 by Suraj Bhatt



Short Summaries of Section2 Literature Compulsory English Grade 11 by Suraj Bhatt
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Short Summaries of Section 2 Literature Compulsory English Grade 11 by Suraj Bhatt

Unit: One (All Short-Stories Short Summaries)

Table of Contents


The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful garden for the giant in his castle. During his absence, the schoolchildren used to play there. After seven years, when the giant returned from his friend the cornish ogre, he became furious to find children playing in his garden. He chased them out of his garden and put up a high wall around it, along with a notice board with warning lines:


The children became quite upset because they didn't find a proper place to play. Due to the selfish nature of the giant, the spring season stopped appearing in his garden. Other seasons, such as the frost, the north wind, the hail, and the snow, started appearing there. The giant became sad to find the spring season outside but not in his garden.

One morning, he saw a wonderful sight. He saw the children entering his garden through a small hole in the wall and playing in his garden. He found the spring season once again in his garden. He saw a small boy in one of the farthest corners who was unable to climb up the tree and was crying. The sight made the giant realise his mistake. He went there and helped the boy. The boy kissed the giant, who was happy. The giant broke the wall of his garden and allowed all the children to play in it. He started playing with them. Time passed, and the giant became old and feeble. He tried his best to find his lovable boy most of the time, but couldn't find him. One day, while he was sitting in his chair, he saw the same boy once again in one of the corners of the garden. He rushed towards them but became angry to find signs of nails on the boy's palms and feet. When he asked the boy about him, the boy related to him about his help and offered him his garden, which was the garden of paradise. That particular afternoon, the giant was found dead underneath a big tree. His body was covered with flowers.


The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe 

This gothic horror story has been written by renowned American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The main theme of this story is the relationship between art and life. According to this story, the narrator and his valet, Pedro, arrived at a desolate Chateau of the Apennines in central Italy during the evening. The narrator was seriously wounded. The valet took the narrator inside the chรขteau forcibly because it was cold outside. He took the narrator to one of the smallest apartments in the chateau. The decoration of the room was in a decaying state. There were unmanaged old paintings, tapestries, and trophies. The valet comforted the narrator and even closed the shutters of the room. He lit a candelabrum for the narrator too. The narrator started reading a book related to paintings while his valet, Pedro, slept. When the narrator changed the place of the candelabrum, he noticed a beautiful lady's painting. He was quite startled to notice such an artistic painting of a newly married woman. He felt deceived to watch such a wonderful oval-shaped painting. He couldn't believe his eyes. He closed and opened his eyes while watching that special painting. His curiosity about that painting aroused. He started reading the background of the painting. According to the history of painting, the woman in the oval portrait was the wife of a passionate painter who loved his artwork more than anything else. One day, he desired to paint his beautiful wife's painting. His wife agreed and posed for him, sitting on the chair. The painter became quite obsessed with his artwork. He kept on painting the portrait for many weeks. He even locked himself and his wife in the chateau's tower to get rid of disturbances. His wife became weak. She didn't reveal her pain to her husband. The painter even didn't ask about her condition. He kept on painting the changing colour of his wife. Finally, when he finished his artwork and showed his creation to his wife, who was joyous, he found her dead on the chair.


God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo N. Tolstoy 

This story is about a young merchant named Aksionov from the town of Vladimir, Russia. He was quite handsome and jovial, with a hobby of singing. He had two shops and a house. Before marriage, he used to drink a lot and become riotous. But after marriage, he gave up much drinking. Once, he planned to go to Nizhny Fair for business. His wife stopped him, relating her bad dream to him. She saw her husband returning to his town with grey hair in her dream. But Aksionov moved towards his destination against his wife's will. On the way, he stopped at an inn where he met a merchant from Ryazan. The next morning, he was arrested on charges of robbery and murder of that merchant. He was sent to prison. His wife came to meet him in prison. Aksionov knew about the rejection of his petition by the Czar. His wife's suspicions made him so sad. Aksionov was tortured in prison a lot. Later on, he was sent to a Siberian prison to work in mines. Aksionov spent his 26 years there. He became quite old, with grey hair and a beard. His life in prison changed his life. He became religious and popular among the other prisoners. He was respected and addressed as Grandfather or the Saint. Once a new gang of prisoners arrived in prison, Makar Semeyonich was one of the prisoners who shared his experience with other prisoners boastfully. He even talked with Aksionov and told him various things in very twisted ways. Aksionov became restless, thinking about his whole life and Makar's words. He thought of killing himself and couldn't sleep properly. He even knew about the facts as time passed. One evening, Asksionov saw Makar digging under the prison's wall. Makar threatened to kill him if he informed others. Aksionov revealed the facts of his life to Makar, who was quite angry. When the governor learned about the illegal activities in the prison, he asked the prisoners one by one. But Aksionov didn't open his mouth against Makar. Makar felt so shamed and moved to Aksionov's cell to ask for an apology. Makar asked for forgiveness. He admitted confessing his crime to the governor. Makar kneeled on the ground, didn't rise, bent his head on the floor, and wept for his forgiveness. Aksionov even wept along with Makar. Aksionov felt his heart lighter. He longed to stay and die in prison. At last, when Makar confessed and the order for Aksionov's release came, Aksionov was already dead.


The Wish by Roald Dahl 

This short story, "The Wish," is about an imaginative game plan as well as the wish of the child. Here in this story, the child plays his imaginative game using the colours of the red carpet. His imaginative game is quite tough to play and is related to life and death. This game is connected to the child's wish. If he manages to reach inside by crossing the red carpet, he will get a puppy as a gift on his birthday. The child's wish for a puppy has made him creative and imaginative. In the very beginning, the boy imagines different colours of the red carpet as different things. He supposes red colour parts as a lump of coals, black colour parts as black cobras and adders, and yellow colour parts as a safe zone. He decides to cross the carpet, stepping on the safe zones. His wish for a beautiful puppy on his birthday encourages him to undertake this terrible game. He moves ahead, stepping into yellow zones safely at first.

When he reaches halfway across, he starts to wobble around. He starts to panic, finding no way ahead. He balances his body by waving his arms. He doesn't get a proper step ahead. He remains in the yellow zone, thinking a lot about possible ways to move ahead. The fear of losing the puppy compels him to continue his way ahead. He makes proper use of his mind, pauses himself, and steps further quite carefully.

Just a step ahead of halfway, the child has to make a decision. He has to choose whether to move on the left or the right. When he moves his further step, he is a centimetre close to black. His luck saves him. He moves left because he fears a lot about the black, poisonous snakes on the right. When the snakes look up to see if he touches the black part or not, he defends himself through his panicky dialogue. Next, he has to take a long stride. When he jumps, his feet fall on the spots too wide. He tries to get back but can't. He feels stuck. The snakes start stirring underneath his feet. He starts to wobble in panic. He tries his best to balance himself by waving his arms. Finally, he falls and gives a loud cry as he touches the black.


Civil Peace by Chinua Achebe

This short story is about a Nigerian family who lived in Enugu, a place in eastern Nigeria. This family had experienced the devastated Nigerian Civil War. The main character of this story is Jonathan Lwegbu, who is an optimistic person. The main character, Jonathan Iwegbu, considered himself extraordinarily lucky. The miracle in his life was that he had come out of the war with five inestimable blessings. He, his wife, Maria, and three of their four children were alive. All five heads were safe in his family. The next miracle in his life, as a bonus, was his old bicycle, which he got in fine condition after the war. When miracles took place in his life, he used to utter a phrase in wonder, "Nothing puzzles God." He had saved his bicycle during the war from an officer by providing him with a bribe of £2. After taking his bicycle off the ground, he started using it as a taxi. Within two weeks, he earned £115 through his taxi service. The next miracle in his life was his house in Enugu, which he found standing after the war. He repaired the house and shifted his family there. After their settlement, the entire family worked hard to earn money and restore their lives. Jonathan used to work in the mines before the war. But when he realised that he couldn't regain his job as a coal miner, Jonathan opened up a bar for the soldiers, which he ran out of his home. Jonathan was thankful to God that he had family members, a home, and a job.

Jonathan got egg-rashers—payments of twenty pounds in exchange for the Biafran money Nigerians turned over to the government's treasury. He was quite worried about the thieves on his way home. At home that evening, Jonathan became restless and couldn’t get to sleep late at night. Finally, when he slept, he was awakened by a violent knock on the front door. He called out to ask who was knocking, and the reply came from the thieves. Jonathan’s family called out for help from the police and the neighbours, but no one came there to help them. Eventually, they stopped calling. The leader of the thieves demanded £100. They warned Jonathan not to enter his house. Jonathan related his real condition to them. The thieves rattled their guns, which scared Jonathan's family members. Jonathan informed them about the money he had gotten from Egg-Rasher. The thieves moved away from there after receiving money from Jonathan through the window. The next morning, Jonathan stated to his neighbours that the loss of 20 pounds was nothing; the week before, he did not have the egg-rasher money, and he didn’t want to depend on it. The money went on easily from his hands, as did many other things in the war. Finally, he spoke out the line, "Nothing puzzles God.".


Two Little Soldiers by Guy de Maupassant 

This short story, "Two Little Soldiers," has been written by a French writer, Guy de Maupassant.

This story has presented the themes of friendship, romantic love, discontent, betrayal, and jealousy. This short story is about a triangular love story where the deception of a friend has created an unfortunate incident for the next friend.

The main characters, Luc Le Ganidec and Jean Kerderen, were quite good friends. Both of them used to pass their weekends in a little wood near Bezons, quite away from their barracks. They enjoyed themselves a lot in that environment because that particular area reminded them of their homeland. They used to stop at Bezons's bridge and enjoy the scene of surging white sails that reminded them of fishing smacks at home. They bought essential items after crossing the bridge. In the woods, they enjoyed roasted sausage, bread, and wine. For them, the trip to Bezons was just a kind of ritual.

One day, they met a milkmaid who was taking her cow to pasture. Next Sunday, she talked with them. Due to their meetings, they became friends with each other. They shared sweet items, milk, breakfast items, etc.

For both soldiers, the milkmaid became the topic of discussion. As the weeks passed, Luc Le Ganidec started leaving the barracks for several hours without informing Jean about it. He used to ask for money from Jean Kerderen but never revealed his intention behind his leave. Next Sunday, Jean found intimacy between Luc Le Ganidec and the milkmaid. He felt heartbroken. He became quite discontent because the girl didn't pay attention to him. He realised the betrayal of his friend. Being so sad, he committed suicide by letting his body fall into the river. His dead body was found by boatmen later on. Luc le Ganidec informed me about Jean Kerderen's death in the barracks because he was so nervous.


An Astrologer's Day by R. K. Narayan

This short story, "An Astrologer's Day," has been written by renowned Indian writer R. K. Narayan. This story has presented a fine blend of suspense and surprise. This story was published in the year 1947. This story is set in Malgudi, a town near Madras, South India.

The main character of this story is an astrologer who is unnamed. This story begins with the description of this astrologer, who sits under a tamarind tree on Town Hall Road and sells prophecies to gullible people. He finely decorates his business, placing cowry shells, mystic astrological charts, palmyra writings, etc. He presents himself perfectly, using sacred ash and vermilion on his forehead. His dress and saffron turban present him as a wise astrologer. He is a fake astrologer in reality who is quite good at making shrewd calculations about people. He works hard in his guesswork to satisfy his customers.

One day, he meets Guru Nayak in the evening. Guru Nayak demands a satisfactory answer from the astrologer. Guru Nayak puts up a bet and promises to provide one rupee to the astrologer. Guru Nayak doesn't recognise the astrologer in the evening. The astrologer tells Guru Nayak various facts. He relates his past incident, his name and address, and the death of the culprit. Finally, the astrologer advises him to return to his hometown immediately for his safety. The astrologer gets twelve and a half annas from Guru Nayak. At home, the astrologer reveals his past events to his wife. The astrologer himself had attacked Guru Nayak in the past. He has spent many years away from his native village due to the fear of murder. But, after convincing Guru Nayak, he feels quite good to be free from the burden of his life.


Thanks for Visiting my Website: Suraj Bhatt

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