The Governess Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share The Governess Questions & Answers.

In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of Dr Dolittle Learns a New Language, The Case of The Candy Bandit and At Least A Fish so, you can check these posts as well.

The Governess Questions & Answers

Question 1: Mistress expects that Julia should take care of the children’s studies, their safety etc. What are the different jobs Julia is expected to do? List them.

Answer: Julia is supposed to teach French and mathematics to the children.

Question 2: How much is Julia’s actual salary? How much does Mistress offer her at the opening of the drama?

Answer: Julia is supposed to get forty rubles as her salary. The Mistress offers her thirty rubles at the opening of the drama.

Question 3: List the different reasons Mistress quotes to reduce Julia’s salary.

Answer: Mistress deducts Julia’s salary for nine Sundays, for being on leave for three holidays, not teaching Kolya for four days when he fell sick, for missing on work for three days due to toothache and being absent on other days after she sought permission of the master, for not working after lunch, for breaking the cup and the saucepan, for not being able to handle Kolya who tore his jacket by climbing a tree, for not being mindful when Vanya’s shoes were stolen by the maid.

Question 4: “Pick your head up.” What does Mistress want Julia to learn when she says this?

Answer: Mistress asks Julia to put her head up and look into her eyes so that she can feel confident while responding. Mistress reminds her that if she considers herself to be inferior before her social superiors, superiors will not treat her well.

Question 5: What does Julia think of Mistress’s children’s ability to learn mathematics?

Answer: Julia says that the children are good at mathematics, especially Vanya.

Question 6: Early in the drama, Mistress says, “Don’t be afraid to look people in the eyes, my dear…. If you think of yourself as inferior, that’s exactly how people will treat you….” What did she mean?

Answer: Maybe, she meant those words because later in the story, she tries to prove her point by intentionally putting Julia into a situation where she would be bound to take a stand for herself instead of letting people exploit her.

Question 7: Mistress uses various reasons to deduct Julia’s salary. Of them all which is the one you find most unfair? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: Mistress should not have deducted her salary for not being alert when Vanya’s shoes were stolen. Julia tries to defend herself by reminding the mistress that she dismissed the maid for thieving and it wasn’t her fault.

Question 8: This drama has drama within it. Mistress is playing real-life performance with Julia. Do you agree? Support your view.

Answer: Yes, this drama has drama within it. Mistress plays a role knowingly to make Julia more confident about herself. She admits it at the end of the play that she had been performing throughout so that Julia realizes her self-worth and never gives in to exploitation.

Question 9: What do you think is the time period (which century/year) shown in the play? How do you know?

Answer: The setting of the play is probably 19th century Russia (compare it with Victorian England of the 19th century). We can guess this because women from financially weaker backgrounds were supposed to take up the role of a governess in order to make a living during this period. Here, Julia might be the representative of women who were forced to take it up as a profession to survive.

Question 10: “….I imagine you must need money although you never ask me for it yourself.” What does this statement tell us about Julia and Mistress?

Answer: Julia seems submissive and never asks for money even if she needs it. This also speaks about their relationship where mistress can dictate her own terms and even impose it on Julia because of her social standing.

Question 11: Mistress uses an innovative way to teach Julia to enjoy her rights.

(a) Do you think Julia has learnt her lesson? How do you know?

Answer: Maybe Julia has not really taken home the lesson that mistress wanted her to convey. At the end of the story, we see Julia agreeing to whatever the mistress says in order to avoid argument without realizing the fact that it was just a ploy to make her more confident.

(b) Do you like the method used by Mistress? Why?

Answer: The method used by the mistress was not effective. On the contrary, it made Julia resentful.

(c) Can you think of a different method that Mistress could have used to teach Julia? Discuss.

Answer: Mistress could have taken a situation and explained to her about how she could have resisted being exploited if she had been more confident.

So, these were The Governess Questions & Answers.

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