NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 13 The Dear Departed are part of NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English. Here we have given NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 13 The Dear Departed.

The Dear Departed Summary of CBSE Class 10 English poem followed by detailed explanation of the poem along with meanings of difficult words and literary devices used in the poem.

Board CBSE
Textbook NCERT
Class Class 10
Subject English Literature
Chapter Chapter 13
Chapter Name The Dear Departed
Category NCERT Solutions

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 13 The Dear Departed

(Pages 135, 154)

Question 1.
Read an excerpt from the diary of a man of 72 years :
As I sit here alone and waiting

  • What do you think is he feeling ?
  • What situation do you think leads to people feeling so ?
  • Can such people be helped ? How ?


  • I think that the man is feeling quite lonely and aloof. He wants to talk to the people and smile at them. He wants to socialise with the people to fight his loneliness. But no one looks at him. For those he gazes at, he is nothing.
  • The situation that leads to people feeling so is clear. It is the passive and indifferent attitude of the members of his family and his relations. His own men and members of his family have turned away from him. So he is left alone to manage on his own in old age when he needs them the most.
  • Such people can be helped through some understanding or fellow-feeling. The police or social welfare organisations can help them. Then people like Mother Teresa, can bring in a sense of positivism in their life. Home for the Aged etc, can help them greatly.

Question 2.
Read the news story given below.
NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 13 The Dear Departed 1
Discuss in groups :

(a) What are the reasons for the old people being “abused, harassed and abandoned” in India ?
(b) What are the problems faced by the old people as a result ?

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 13 The Dear Departed 2


(a) There are many reasons behind the old people being abused, harassed and abandoned. These are : importance of money more than human values among the young, increasing selfishness, growing materialism, breaking family system, lack of employment, economic hardships, increasing consciousness of celebrating one’s own life, youth leaving for other cities for jobs, generation gap, existential problems like urban poverty, lack of space for living, infighting among family members.

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Chapter 13 The Dear Departed 3

(b) These problems are : loneliness, neglect, absence of communication among their own, lack of sympathy, no medical help, growing independence on others, absence of interacting with others at social level, not sharing of grief etc.

Question 3.
The play ‘The Dear Departed’ can be performed on the stage. The first step would be a dramatized reading of the play as a whole class activity. Later, your teacher will assign you roles which you will play after an audition. Later the play can be put up on stage.
Classroom activity under the guidance of class teacher.

Question 4.
Given below are the main incidents in the play. They are in a jumbled order. Arrange them in the sequence in which they occur in the play.

  1. Victoria is asked to fetch the bunch of keys to the bureau to look for the insurance receipt.
  2. Mrs. Slater instructs Victoria to put her white frock on with a black sash.
  3. Mrs. Slater discovers that grandfather is ‘dead’.
  4. The Slaters fetch the bureau and the clock from upstairs.
  5. The family sits down to have tea.
  6. Henry wears the new slippers of grandfather’s.
  7. Grandfather comes to know how his daughters were in a hurry to divide his things between them.
  8. Grandfather announces his intention to change his will and to marry Mrs. Shorrocks.
  9. Grandfather comes down and is surprised to find the Jordans.
  10. They discuss the obituary announcement in the papers and the insurance premium payment.
  11. The Jordans arrive and learn the details of grandfather’s ‘demise’ from the Slaters.

The sequential order will be :
3, 2, 1, 4, 6, 11, 5, 10, 9, 7, 8.

Question 5.
Answer the following questions briefly.

1. How does Mrs. Slater plan to outshine the Jordans ? What does it reveal about her character ? (CBSE 2014)

2. Why does Mrs. Slater decide to shift the bureau from grandfather’s room before the arrival of the Jordans ? How does Henry react to the suggestion ? (V. Imp.)

3. What is the reason for the Jordans taking a long time to get to the house of the Slaters ? What does it show about the two sisters’ attitude towards each other ?

4. What does Mrs. Jordan describe as ‘a fatal mistake’ ? What is the irony in the comment she makes on Mrs. Slater’s defense ? (V. Imp.)

5. Ben appreciates grandfather saying ‘its’ a good thing he did’. Later he calls him a ‘drunken old beggar’. Why does he change his opinion about grandfather ? (V. Imp.)

6. What change does grandfather make in his new will ? What effect does it have on his daughters ?
Why did grandfather change his will ? Did it please his daughters ? (CBSE 2015)

7. What are the three things that grandfather plans to do on Monday next ? (V. Imp.)
What are the three things that the grandfather planned to do on Monday ? (CBSE 2015)


1. Mrs. Slater plans to outshine the Jordans in wearing mourning dress. This attitude reveals that she is an inconsiderate and unscrupulous woman. For her, human relationships and being a daughter carry no meaning.

2. Mrs. Slater decides to shift the bureau from grandfather’s room as she has had an eye on it. She wants to grab it before the arrivals of the Jordans. Otherwise, it will be subject to being divided. Henry doesn’t like it. He advises her to arrange it with Elizabeth when she comes.

3. The reason behind this is that the Jordans don’t have mourning dresses for the occasion. They have ordered theirs. They don’t fancy to buy ready-made dresses. This shows that they give more importance to showmanship than the real thing. The real thing is that they must be ideal relatives and not mean ones.

4. Mrs. Jordan describes Mrs. Slater’s not going to another doctor than Dr. Pringle about father is ‘a fatal mistake’. The irony is that they want their father ‘dead’. But here it shows Mrs. Jordan’s concern for father’s life.

5. Ben like his wife is a mean and unscrupulous person. His eyes are on grabbing as many things of the father as is possible. He changes his opinion about grandfather due to his selfishness and meanness.

6. Grandfather makes a change in his Will that he won’t give a penny to either of his daughters. He will marry next Monday and liv6 happily. He does so as his daughters do not care hu him. His daughters get shocked to know this. They are unable to speak as his decision of marrying is a slap on them as daughters.

7. The three things are : one, he will go to the lawyer and change his Will. Two, he will pay his insurance premium. Three, he will get married.

Question 6.
Answer the following in detail :

1. Bring out the irony in the title of the play.
Bring out the irony of the title, ‘The Dear Departed’. (CBSE 2014)

2. How does the spat between his daughters lead to grandfather discovering the truth ? (V. Imp.)

3. Compare and contrast Henry’s character with that of his wife. Support your answer with evidence from the play. (V. Imp.)


1. The irony in ‘The Dear Departed’ is clearly seen. On the surface value, it means the dearest member of the family has been dead. So all must lament and grieve. But at a deeper level, they don’t lament or grieve. They are more concerned about grabbing father’s things. They also fight over these greedily and selfishly even when he’s not dead.

2. Abel comes to senses and sees his daughter Elizabeth and Mr. Ben Jordan in mourning. He asks what has brought them there. Abel sees Mrs. Slater whispering. Then he finds Henry wearing his slippers. Mrs. Slater asks him if he had promised Jimmy his gold watch. He sees his bureau shifted downstairs. Finally, he sees his daughters quarrelling. When Mrs. Jordan says ‘After you were dead, I say’ he realizes the truth. This is confirmed when both the daughters talk about grabbing his things. Now Abel discovers the whole truth.

3. Mrs. Slater can be called a greedy, selfish, mean and crafty woman. She doesn’t bother about family values or the sweet relationship between a father and his daughter. Her eyes are to pinch as many things of father as possible. She has already grabbed his bureau, clock and slippers. Thus she is mean and unscrupulous. She is impolite, blunt, greedy, insensitive and what not. She doesn’t value moral and familial values but material things. Thus she is like her sister Mrs. Jordan as far as greed is considered.

On the other hand, her husband doesn’t have these qualities. But he is a weak- natured person. He is afraid of his wife and dares not displease her. If she speaks a bit hard, he surrenders. For instance, he calls her shifting father’s bureau undesirable. But when she talks in a harsh tone, he surrenders. He can be called his wife’s shadow. He is, thus, a weak and non-assertive person. He can be called a hen-pecked husband.

Question 7.
Bring out the traits in Mrs. Slater’s personality quoting evidence from the play.

Trait Evidence from the play
greedy (a)
Overpowering/dominating (b)
Blunt/straight talking (c)
impolite (d)
Insensitive (e)


(a) Her grabbing the bureau and clock of father before the arrival of her sister Elizabeth, asking Henry to wear father’s slippers.

(b) Her rebuking Victoria not to gallivant in the street; asking her to close the door if her aunt Elizabeth and uncle come; her dominating attitude towards her husband Henry, etc.

(c) Her bluntness/straight talking to her sister and father like : “Don’t be so silly, Elizabeth” when they are talking about Dr. Pringle. Second, when Victoria says that perhaps grandpa didn’t go to pay his insurance premium Mrs. Slater snubs her saying ‘He went out”. Finally, her bluntness in her asking Victoria to change her dress and not gallivant.

(d) Impoliteness of Mrs. Slater is seen in her talks like : “What do you mean by that Henry Slater ?” when Henry refers to greediness in the family.

Second example : Mrs. Slater : Henry, why shouldn’t we bring that bureau down here now ? We could do it before they come.

Henry (stupefied) : I wouldn’t care to.
Mrs. Slater : Don’t look so daft. Why not ?

(e) Her insensitiveness is seen in :
1. Victoria: That’s grandpa’s clock.
Mrs. Slater: Chut ! Bc quit! It’s ours now.

2. Mrs. Jordan: I’ll tell you what’s been going on in this house. Father, nothing short of robbery.
Mrs. Slater: Be quiet. Elizabeth.

Note : Students themselves can find out more such examples. Mrs. Slater’s talks border on greediness, impoliteness, bluntness and insensitivity taken together.

Question 8.
Answer the following with reference to the context.

1. “Are we pinching it before Aunt Elizabeth comes ?”

(a) What does ‘it’ refer to here ?
(b) How does Vicky conclude that her parents are ‘pinching it’ ?
(c) Mention the two reasons that Mrs. Slater gives for her action.
(d) What does it reveal about the difference between the attitude of the elders and that of Vicky ?

2. “7 don’t call that delicate, stepping into a dead man’s shoes in such haste.”

(a) Who makes this comment ?
(b) What prompts the speaker to say this ?
(c) Bring out the significance of this statement.

3. “Now, Amelia, you mustn’t give way. We’ve all got to die some time or other. It might have been worse.”

(a) Who is the speaker of these lines ?
(b) What prompts the speaker to say these words ?
(c) What does he mean when he says ‘It might have been worse’ ?
(d) What does it reveal about the speaker’s character ?


(a) ‘It’ here refers to the shifting of the bureau by Mrs. Slater.

(b) Victoria (Vicky) concludes it from her mother’s lie that her grandpa gave it to her that morning. But she says that that morning he was drunk. At this Mrs. Slater rebukes her saying that she mustn’t ever say he was drunk.

(c) One, she says her grandpa gave it to her. Second, she had had always a fancy for that.

(d) It reveals the difference that Victoria (Vicky) speaks the truth but the elders tell lies.

(a) Abel (grandpa) makes this comment.

(b) Abel sees that Henry has worn his slippers which he should not. This prompts him to say these words.

(c) The significance is that Abel is conscious of the fact that his things are slowly being grabbed by his daughters.

(a) Ben Jordan speaks these lines.

(b) Mrs. Slater informs Mr. Jordan and his sister Elizabeth (Mrs. Jordan) that father, 72, is now dead. This prompts Ben Jordan (to) say this.

(c) By this he means to say that father died. It is alright as every one has to die sooner or later. But his death could have been due to the worst things. The way he died was not much troublesome.

(d) The speaker’s character seen in this comment here seems normal and mature.

Question 9.

Victoria Slater is truly attached to her Grandpa. As she sees the elders in her family quarrel over the inheritance, she is bewildered and upset by their attitude. As Victoria write a diary entry outlining the incident and your feelings. (150 words)


Wednesday, 24th April, 20 – 9 pm

I can’t forget this day when I found my mom and dad grabbing dear grandpa’s bureau, clock and slippers. I was greatly shocked to hear mom saying that grandpa was dead. However, I saw that he was drunk this morning. Soon my aunt Elizabeth and uncle Ben came and were in mourning dress. All of them started arguing hotly over grandpa. My mom told my aunt that he was as merry as a sandboy in the morning. After taking tea they started talking over dividing his things like gold watch, slippers, clock etc. I felt it very bad that grandpa was not yet dead. But he was made to be ‘dead’ and they started fighting over his things ! It was most inhuman and unbecoming of them to treat grandpa so badly.

I was overjoyed when I saw grandpa still alive. When I expressed my happiness, my mom snubbed me. Things finally came out when my aunt told grandpa that my mom and dad had been robbing him. Grandpa didn’t take long to understand that for his daughters his death and his things were more important than his life. He took no time to frustrate their evil designs by saying that he was marrying again next Monday. I shall miss my dearest grandpa. But I would go to him whenever I like.


Question 10.

Grandfather says, “It seems to me that neither of you has any cause to feel proud about the way you’ve treated me.” While it is true that the daughters disregard modesty, decency and filial obligation, grandfather cannot be fully justified in practically disowning his family. Besides, Victoria loves him and he seems to have spared no thought for her feelings.

Divide yourselves into groups of four or five and discuss the statement: Grandfather is not entirely right in moving away from his daughters.

After the discussion, a representative from each group will present the views of her/his group to the class in about 3 minutes.


Mainly for discussion in groups at class level.

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