The Snake and the Mirror Extra Questions and Answers Class 9 English

The Snake and the Mirror class 9 English beehive chapter 5 Extra Questions and Answers are available here. All these questions are divided into short type questions answers, long type question answers and extract based questions. These Class 9 extra questions are prepared by our expert teachers. Learning these questions will help you to score excellent marks in the board exams.

Extra Questions for Class 9 English Beehive Chapter 5 The Snake and the Mirror

Very Short Answer Questions

1. What were V.M. Basheer and his friends discussing?
Answer: They were discussing snakes.

2. Who is the narrator of the story ‘The Snake and the Mirror’?
Answer: A homeopath is the narrator of this story.

3. Where did the narrator of the story ‘The Snake and the Mirror’ life?
Answer: He lived in a small rented room.

4. Who shared the room with the narrator in the story ‘The Snake and the Mirror’?
Answer: The rats shared the room with him. 

5. What was the homeopath’s first decision while sitting before the mirror?
Answer: He took the decision that he would shave daily and grow a thin mustache.

6. What was his second earth-shaking decision?
Answer: His second earth-shaking decision was that he would always keep an attractive smile on his face.

7. Who did the narrator decides to marriage?
Answer: He decided to marry a woman doctor who had plenty of money and good medical practice.

8. How did the snake coil itself?
Answer: The snake coiled itself around the narrator’s left arm above the elbow.

9. What happened when the snake looked in the mirror?
Answer: When the snake looked into the mirror it uncoiled itself and moved towards the minor.

10. What did the snake seem admiring in the mirror?
Answer: It seemed admiring its own beauty.

11. Where did the narrator spend his night when he was free from the snake’s grip?
Answer: He spent the night at a friends’ s house.

12. Who entered the narrator’s room in his absence during the night?
Answer: A thief entered his room.

13. Name the author of the story ‘The Snake and the Mirror’.
Answer:  Vaikom Muhammad Basheer.

14. What made the doctor narrates his encounter with a snake?
Answer: The doctor, the narrator, and some others happened to discuss snakes. The topic reminded the doctor of his own encounter with a snake and he narrated the incident.

15. When did the incident regarding the snake take place?
Answer: The incident took place after the doctor had taken his meal in a restaurant and had returned to his room at about ten o’clock at night.

Short Answer Type Questions

1. Why did the doctor have to light the kerosene lamp on reaching his room?

Answer: The doctor had to light the kerosene lamp because the room did not have electricity and the night was pitch dark. The doctor had limited money and as a result, he could not afford an any better place.

2. What kind of room did the doctor live in?

Answer: The doctor lived in a small, poorly furnished room which did not have any electricity. It was an outer room with one wall looking upon the open yard. The roof was tiled and supported by gables which rested on a beam. The room did not have a ceiling and it was infested with rats.

3. Why did the doctor lives in a small, poor house?

Answer: The doctor lived in a small, poor house because he had just started his practice and he was not earning much. He could not afford to rent a better and more comfortable accommodation with his meager earnings.

4. What were the doctor’s possessions when he set up his medical practice?
Answer: The doctor had about sixty rupees in his suitcase when he set up his medical practice. In addition, he had some shirts, dhotis and one solitary black coat.

5. “The sound was a familiar one.” What sound did the doctor hear? What did he think it was? How many times did he hear it? When and why did the sounds stop?

Answer: The doctor heard the sound made by a snake that was trying to reach the floor. He thought it was the squeaking sound made by the rats that infested his room. He heard this sound three times, after short intervals and it stopped when the snake fell down because it had reached the floor.

6. Why did the doctor look in the mirror again and again?

Answer: The doctor had developed an admiration for his looks and he wanted to appear even more handsome. Looking into the mirror gave him a chance to assess his looks again and again. He would comb his hair carefully, and his vanity would get a boost.

7. Which two ‘important’ and ‘earth-shaking decisions did the doctor make as he looked at his image in the mirror?

Answer: The doctor made two decisions after looking at himself in the mirror. The first was that he would shave daily and grow a thin mustache in order to look more handsome as he was still unmarried and was in the reputed medical profession. The second decision was that he would marry a rich and fat lady-doctor.

8. What kind of woman did the doctor decide to marry? Why?

Answer: The doctor decided to marry a wealthy woman running a good medical practice. He also wanted her to be fat so that in case he made some stupid mistake, he could run away without being chased and caught by her. However, this wish was made in a lighter vein and was not fulfilled.

9. What did the doctor do when the snake landed on his shoulder?
How did the doctor react when he found the snake on his shoulder?
‘I was turned to stone’. When does the doctor say so? Why?

Answer: When the doctor found a snake on his shoulder, he did not shriek, jump, or tremble. He held his breath and became as still as a stone. He knew that the snake would strike him if he made any movement since the hood of the snake was only four inches away from his face.

10. When did the doctor feel like a foolish, weak person? Why?

Answer: The doctor felt like a foolish and weak person when, already in the grip of a frightful snake, he realised that there was no medicine in the room for the snake bite, which was a distinct possibility at that moment. He felt helpless and frightened. The vanity and pride he had moments ago had vanished. He smiled feebly at his stupidity and ill-luck.

11. How did the doctor feel when the snake coiled itself around his arm?

Answer: When the snake coiled itself around the arm of the doctor, he felt some pain as if his arm was being crushed strongly with a rod made of molten fire. His arm lost all strength and felt very weak.

12. What thoughts crossed the doctor’s mind when he saw the snake looking into the mirror?

Answer: When the doctor saw the snake looking into the mirror, he thought that perhaps it too was admiring its beauty or was trying to make some important, actually frivolous decisions like growing a moustache, or using eyeshadow and mascara or wearing a vermilion spot on its forehead.

13. How was the doctor relieved of the hold of the snake?

Answer: The snake happened to look at its reflection in the mirror on the table. It uncoiled itself from the arm of the doctor, slipped into his lap and then crawled towards the mirror. Perhaps, it too got fascinated by its looks as the doctor had a while ago.

14. What did the doctor do when the snake was absorbed in looking at the mirror?

Answer: As the snake was absorbed in looking at the mirror, the doctor at once availed of the opportunity and holding his breath, rose from the chair and quietly slipped out of the room. From there he passed through the veranda and the yard and ran to finally reach the house of a friend.

15. What did the doctor do as soon as he reached his friend’s house? Why?

Answer: Immediately after reaching his friend’s house, the doctor applied oil to his entire body, took a bath and put on fresh clothes. He did so because the snake had slithered over his back, shoulder, and arm. He wanted to get rid of his Creepy feelings and any possible ill-effects of a snake’s touch.

16. Why did the doctor decide to leave the room?

Answer: The doctor was already unhappy with the poor condition of his room that did not have electricity and was infested with rats. To top it, his encounter with the snake, that could have nearly killed him, made him decide to leave the room.

17. What did the doctor and his friends find when they went to remove things from the room?
Answer: The doctor and his friends found that there was nothing in the room except for a dirty vest. All the other things had been stolen away by some thief.

18. Did the doctor marry a fat woman as he had wished?
Answer: No, the doctor did not marry a fat woman. On the contrary, his wife was a thin and lean person who could run very fast like a sprinter.

19. Why does the doctor remark that the snake was “taken with its own beauty”?

Answer: The doctor remarks that the snake was “taken with its own beauty” because it kept looking into the mirror just like the doctor used to when he would admire his looks while in front of the mirror.

Long Answer Type Questions

1. What was the doctor’s opinion about himself? How did this opinion change after his encounter with the snake?
How did the doctor lose his pride after the snake landed on his shoulder?

Answer: The doctor had a very high opinion of himself regarding both his appearance and profession. He was conscious of his looks and wanted to look even more handsome. He repeatedly looked at himself in the mirror to admire his handsomeness. He wanted to be attractive to women because he was an eligible bachelor. He was also proud of being a doctor and was arrogant because of his professional qualifications.

But a short encounter with a snake, a full-blooded cobra, cured him of his pride. When the snake reached his shoulder and coiled itself around his arm, the doctor lost all arrogance and was reminded of the existence of God. Face to face with death, he realised what a weak and foolish man he was. When he recalled that there were no medicines in his room to cure him of a snake-bite, he humbly and meekly regarded himself to be a stupid and helpless person.
Thus, the encounter with the snake transformed the doctor from a vain and foolish person into a humble and God-fearing man.

2. What kind of room was the doctor living in and why did he decide to leave that room?

Answer: The room that the doctor was living in was a small, poor, uncomfortable and unhygienic one. Since his medical practice was yet not well-established, he did not earn much and could not afford a better place. This room was without the facility of electricity and he had to depend on a kerosene lamp for studying. The room was on the outer side of the house and one of its walls opened into the yard. It had two windows; its roof was tiled and had long supporting gables which rested on a beam over the wait The room did not have any ceiling and it was infested with rats that kept squeaking all the time.

The doctor’s description of the room shows that he was not happy with this poor accommodation. But he decided to leave it only after his encounter with the snake. It was such a horrifying experience that he had to run to a friend’s house to save his life. Therefore he decided not to live in the room any longer.

3. What kind of woman did the doctor want to marry? What does it show about his character? What kind of a wife did he eventually get?

Answer: The doctor took pride in his handsome looks and his medical profession. Therefore, he wanted to marry a rich lady-doctor with good medical practice. He also wanted his future wife to be a fat woman. His reason behind this desire was rather funny. He said that if he made a silly mistake and had to run away, a fat wife would not be able to chase and catch him.

The doctor’s ambition about his marriage shows that he was a status-conscious, money-minded person. He did not think much about the appearance and other qualities of his wife and thought only of her riches. His desire to marry a fat wife shows that he had a sense of humour and could laugh at himself. However, the doctor’s real wife was unlike what he had desired. It is not clear whether she was a doctor or not but she was certainly a thin woman with the physique of a sprinter.

4. What are the similarities between the behaviour of the doctor and of the snake?
Do you think both the doctor and the snake had some common qualities? Why/Why not?

Answer: The behaviour of the doctor and the snake did have certain similarities. Both of them were enamored by their reflection in the mirror and stood looking longingly at it. However, the similarity ended at this aspect of their respective behaviour since the doctor could not ascertain confidently the reason behind the snake getting charmed by its own image. The doctor was certainly compelled by his vanity to repeatedly look at his image.

So, when he notices the snake looking into the mirror, he thinks that perhaps it too was admiring its beauty or was trying to make some ‘important’ decisions just like him. But these two were as frivolous as the doctor’s decision to shave daily and keep a thin mustache. Just like the doctor’s obsession with his looks landed him in trouble, the snake too seemed to be “taken with its beauty.” It releases its victim to have a better look at itself in the mirror. Thus both the doctor and the snake display narcissistic tendency.

5. Why did the snake not strike the doctor although it was so near his face?
Which qualities and values of the doctor saved his life?

Answer: The snake did not strike the doctor although it was so near his face because the doctor remained motionless even when his life was in danger. Displaying great presence of mind, the doctor stayed still like a stone which assured the snake that there was no danger to it. Snakes strike only in self-defense and the doctor patiently let the snake go. He remained calm and didn’t jump, or tremble or cry out.

He did not try to either catch the snake to throw it away or to loosen its hold on his arm. Fear had gripped him but he kept his cool. Thus the snake left the doctor unharmed and got busy admiring its image in the mirror. The doctor’s qualities of patience, presence of mind, courage, and calmness helped him ward off the danger posed by the deadly snake, and saved his life.

6. Write a note on the element of humour in the story.
This story about a frightening incident is narrated in a humorous way. What makes it humorous?

Answer: Although the story “The Snake and the Mirror” by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer is the narration of a serious incident, it is not devoid of the element of humour. This humour is generated by way of contrasts employed by the writer. The doctor reveals his pride and arrogance by telling us how highly he rated his looks and his profession as a doctor. This pride and arrogance stand in contrast to his admittance that he felt feeble and foolish when encountered by the snake. Again, his desire to marry a fat and u wealthy lady-doctor who cannot run after him when he commits some silly mistake stands in contrast to the thin and agile lady, with the physique of a sprinter, whom he finally marries.

Further, the doctor pokes fun at himself when he tells that the thief did not take away his dirty vest because he had a sense of cleanliness. His remark about the snake that perhaps it was making some decision about growing a mustache or using eyeshadow and mascara or wearing a vermilion spot on its head is also very witty and humorous. Thus, even a serious incident is made interesting by the doctor’s witty treatment of a very dangerous situation.

7. “I looked into the mirror and smiled”, says the doctor. A little later he says, “I forgot my danger and smiled feebly at myself”. What is the doctor’s opinion about himself when he smiles first and then later? In what way do his thoughts change in between, and why?

Answer: The doctor rated his looks quite high and smiled at his image whenever he looked into the large mirror on his table. He tells the listeners that the first time he looked into the mirror and smiled, his opinion about himself was marked by self-adulation. He thought that he was very handsome and deserved to stay well-groomed. However, these thoughts changed by the time he tells the listeners that he forgot his danger and smiled feebly at himself. On the second occasion, his opinion about himself was marked by humility. By then he had realised that he had been vain, foolish and stupid. His encounter with the deadly snake had exposed his shortcomings to him. In spite of being a doctor, he did not have any medicine in his room even for an emergency like a snake-bite. His good looks became immaterial when he came face to face with death and the only thoughts that came to his mind then were about God. The feeble smile indicated his acceptance of the folly and vanity that had so far governed his life.