NCERT Solutions for Class 7 English The Alien Hand Chapter 6 I Want Something in a cage, characterizes one of the most important aspects of life which remains to be seen which is the independence of individuals. The story surrounds Mr. Purcell a man with a shop where he sold animals like cats, birds, and monkeys. I want something in a cage that highlights not only the intention of a person to own a bird but is beyond that which has kept the readers in deep thought as to how should this be understood.
The question which should interest one is whether the strange actually meant “I want something in a cage” or there is a separate meaning added to it. The following consists of the NCERT Solutions for Class 7 English The Alien Hand Chapter 6 I Want Something in a cage as well as a summary of the chapter written by Leland Exton Modesitt Jr.
Chapter Summary -NCERT Solutions for Class 7 English The Alien Hand Chapter 6 I Want Something in a cage
NCERT Solutions for Class 7 English The Alien Hand Chapter 6 I Want Something in a cage story features a pet shop owned by one Mr. Purcell and recounts a strange encounter between him and a buyer in the shop on a cold winter morning. The pet shop sold a variety of animals such as cats, dogs, and monkeys; animal products such as fish food and bird seeds; remedies for ailing canaries and elaborately decorated and gold painted cages.
The shop was always pervaded by a constant stir of movement be it screeching of animals or twittering of birds. The continuous sounds made by various animals composed of rustlings, squeals, cheeps, and sudden squeaks. Many small animals paced agitatedly in their cages and the overall noise signified a constant reminder of life on the shelves. Mr. Purcell was so used to the noises that he never was disturbed by them. He did not even consider them out of the ordinary but very common like that of the ticking of a clock.
Visually, Mr. Purcell was a small man with red cheeks and a tight melon stomach. He seemed rather fussy in nature. He wore large glasses that made his eyes appear big and gave him the appearance of a wise and friendly owl. He considered himself to be a professional man and was a thorough reading of the newspaper. Every day, after completing the morning routine of opening his shop he would open the newspaper and digest the daily news. He read everything expressively, even the advice in the love columns and the advertisements.
One day when the weather was rough- the air was smoky, grey, frosty and strong winds were blowing against the window panes-a strange customer entered Mr. Purcell’s shop so quietly that the owner did not even realise his entrance. Mr. Purcell’s instincts told him that there was something very strange about the man, with an air of neglect and staleness hanging around him. The shopkeeper tried to make him comfortable by offering usual pleasantries that he would offer any new customer, but did not receive any positive response in return. He spoke about the bad weather and enquired politely form the strange customer what he was looking for.
The man without specifying any animal, asked ‘ I want something in a cage.’ Mr. Purcell was surprised by the odd request and double-checked with him enquiring if he wanted a specific pet. On given a suggestion to buy rats, the customer asked for something with wings and settled for a pair of white snowy doves. He was short of the money to buy the doves but after a shrewd calculation regarding the profits, he was given a discount of fifty cents on them by Mr. Purcell. This allowed him to buy the doves for five dollars.
The man was wearing shiny shoes. His suit was cheap. His dress was ill-fitting but new. He had close cropped hair and unsteady eyes. It was clearly visible that he had been just released from prison. He had a sense of regret and bitterness about him that was shown by his impatience to hear the instructions to care for the dove given by Mr. Purcell. He was irritated by the constant noise and the cages present in the shop. So, he wanted to buy an animal which could possibly give him a taste of freedom.
The man informed Mr. Purcell that it had taken him ten years to earn the five dollars he had spent, in prison. As soon as the man came out of the shop, he set the doves free. While Mr. Purcell felt strange and vaguely insulted at the action of the man, the release of the doves was symbolic to the prisoner. He released them from the cage in the same manner he was released from the cage or prison cell when he was imprisoned. He wanted to somehow commemorate his release of the birds. The idea of “I want something in a cage” was not for the purpose of keeping the birds as pets for the buyer.
Conclusion: NCERT Solutions for Class 7 English The Alien Hand Chapter 6 I Want Something in a cage
NCERT Solutions for Class 7 English The Alien Hand Chapter 6 I Want Something in a cage Leland Exton Modesitt Jr., the author wanted to let everyone know that freedom is not just for humans but also for the animals too. For a prisoner who was trapped inside the jail for 10 years, understood the true meaning of freedom. So we get to know, the man in shabby clothes did not intend to actually by the birds to pet them but focused on providing them with the freedom they deserved.
I want something in a cage as the title speaks for itself, the independence of the bird which was spoken for mattered the most was to the one who understood it well. The author also shows that the true meaning of “I want something in a cage” isn’t just confined to the idea of creating freedom but also portrays the penalty which the poor creatures pay for the satisfaction of human wants and needs.
Questions and Answers:NCERT Solutions for Class 7 English The Alien Hand Chapter 6 I Want Something in a cage
Find NCERT Solutions for Class 7 English The Alien Hand Chapter 6 I Want Something in a cage below:
Question 1: Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ against each of following statements.
- Mr Purcell sold birds, cats, dogs and monkeys. True
- He was very concerned about the well-being of the birds and animals in his shop. False
- He was impressed by the customer who bought the two doves. False
- He was a successful shop owner, though insensitive and cold as a person. True
Question 2. Why is Mr Purcell compared to an owl?
Answer: Mr Purcell is compared to an owl because he wore large glasses that made his eyes appear big and gave him an appearance of a wise and friendly owl.
Question 3. From the third paragraph pick out
- words associated with cries of birds: squeal, cheeps, twitter
- words associated with noise: squeaks, rustling, stir, scampered
- words suggestive of confusion and fear: blindly seeking, bewildered
Question 4. “…Mr Purcell heard it no more than he would have heard the monotonous ticking of a familiar clock.” (Read para beginning with “It was a rough day…”)
(i) What does ‘it’ refer to?
Answer: (i) ‘It’ refers to the noise produced by the birds around him.
(ii) Why does Mr Purcell not hear ‘it’ clearly?
Q. 1 Why, in your opinion, did the man set the doves free?
Ans 1. In the story of “I want something in a cage“, the man, who bought the two doves for 5 dollars did not pet the birds but rather freed them. The man was imprisoned for 10 years where he understood the true meaning of freedom which was taken away by the jail officials. He understood the pain of the two birds who were trapped in the cage and which was taking their freedom completely away. That is why the man set those birds free.
Q.2 Why did it make Mr. Purcell feel “vaguely insulted”?
Ans 2. In the story of ” I want something in a cage“, Mr. Purcell was the owner of the shop that sold birds and animals of variety. Mr. Purcell sold the doves at a cheaper price and was still able to make a profit out of it. He was insulted by the man’s behavior. Instead of listening to the help provided by Mr. Purcell, he left the shop and released those birds immediately. This annoyed Mr. Purcell and as a result, he felt vaguely insulted.