Homesickness Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share Homesickness Questions & Answers.

This excerpt is from Roald Dahl’s autobiography ‘Boy: Tales of Childhood’ and it recounts an amusing episode from the author’s childhood. In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of A Song For Jin Wai, The Master Artist, Uncomfortable Bed and Maps Poem so, you can check these posts as well.

Homesickness Questions & Answers

  • Spellbound – fascinated
  • Appendicitis – a condition in which the appendix – a small organ attached to the intestine – becomes infected and has to be removed through operation.
  • Pathetically – in a way that would make people pity him
  • Solomon – an ancient king known for his wisdom
  • Staggering – walking with difficulty
  • Ruptured – broken or burst
  • Prodding – poking or pushing with a pointed object
  • Inflammation – a painful swelling caused by an infection

Question 1: Why did the speaker think that he may sound silly? How did he argue that he was not silly?

Answer: The speaker thought that he might sound silly for thinking that as a nine-year-old he could make a number of grown-ups believe that he had appendicitis when he did not and thus get sent home from school. He argued that he was, in fact, not silly, by explaining that not long before one of his sisters had actually had appendicitis, and he had observed closely how she behaved – how she hurt on the lower right side of her tummy, kept being sick and ran a temperature. So, he knew exactly how to pretend to be ill so that he would be believed.

Question 2: Who are the adults in the story? How did the speaker, as a child, feel towards them? Why do you think he felt that way?

Answer: The adults in this story are the speaker’s Nanny, the school doctor, the speaker’s mother and Dr Dunbar. The speaker, as a child, admired Nanny as being very wise and believed everything she told him. This could be because she had a ready reply for every question. He was rather afraid of the school Matron. It could be because she was rather stern with him. He loved his mother and wanted to go home to her. He also admired Dr Dunbar greatly because Dr Dunbar was a skillful doctor as well as a wise and kind person. He listened to his advice and was grateful to Dr Dunbar for helping him.

Homesickness Questions & Answers

Question 3: How did the speaker and his sisters react to the event of operation inside their home?

Answer: The speaker and his sisters were very excited about the event of an operation inside their home. They lurked in the corridor outside the nursery while the operation was going on. They stood fascinated outside the nursery door, listening to the soft murmurs that could be heard from inside. They could smell the ether through the crack under the door and imagined what the patient might be looking like.

Question 4: Dr Dunbar taught the speaker a lesson but he also helped him. How did he do that?

Answer: Dr Dunbar taught the speaker a lesson by pointing out that life is tough and the sooner he learned to cope with it, the better it would be for him. He explained why the speaker needed to face his homesickness. At the same time, he was kind, understanding and sympathetic. He told the school that the speaker had to stay at home for few days so that the speaker’s plan was not a complete failure and he did get to spend some time with his family.

Question 5: Read the line and answer the questions:

I entered the room clutching my stomach on the right – hand side and staggering pathetically.

(a) Which room is being referred to?

Answer: The Matron’s room in the speaker’s school is being referred to here.

(b) Why was the speaker clutching his stomach on the right-hand side?

Answer: The speaker was pretending to have an attack of appendicitis.

(c) Why was he ‘staggering pathetically’?

Answer: The speaker was staggering pathetically because he was pretending to be in great pain. He was putting on an act of being very ill-so ill that he could not eat or walk properly.

Homesickness Questions & Answers

Question 6: Read the line and answer the questions:

“For years after that, I used to get nervous whenever I found a toothbrush bristle on my tongue”


Homesickness Questions & Answers

Answer: The speaker had asked his Nanny what causes an attack of appendicitis and she had said that if loose toothbrush bristles were swallowed, then they get stuck in the appendix and turn it rotten. That is why he would get nervous if he found a loose toothbrush bristle on his tongue.


Homesickness Questions & Answers

Answer: From this statement it is clear that the speaker had great faith in his Nanny’s wisdom. He believed whatever she told him. The other words that show his attitude towards his Nanny are ‘Nanny, who in my eyes was filled with more wisdom than Solomon…’

Question 7: Read the line and answer the questions:

“Then I slipped in the clincher”

(a) What was the clincher?

Answer: The clincher was the speaker’s (false) report to the Matron that he had been sick all morning.

(b) What do you think the word ‘clincher’ means here?

Answer: Here, the word ‘clincher’ means the final argument or statement that would decide the case. It is because the speaker said that he had been sick that the Matron finally began to believe him.

Question 8:

Question 8

Answer: Dr Dunbar said this because he had understood that the speaker had lied and pretended to be sick in order to come back home. He knew that the speaker may be homesick again. Or face other problems at school, but he had to be strong and face them bravely.

So, these were Homesickness Questions & Answers.

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