Facing Death Exercise
Facing Death Question Answer, Class 12 English Chapter 2 One-Act Play Section August Strindberg: Facing Death Exercise Question Answer Solution note.
Understanding The Text.
Answer the following questions.
a. Where does the play take place?
Answer➡ The play takes place in the dining room of Monsieur Durand, a former railroad worker, widower and owner of the boarding house who lives there with his three daughters.
b. Why do the grocery, the baker and the butcher send their bills to the Durand household?
Answer➡ A long-term lack of payment has resulted in bills from the store, bakery, and butcher being sent to Durand's home. To avoid further delays and unpaid invoices, they are unable to provide more services.
c. Why does Monsieur Durand spend money on candles when he doesn’t have money to buy even bread?
Answer➡ Monsieur Durand spends money on candles when he doesn’t have money to buy even bread because he wishes to burn the candles on the death anniversary of his late loving son, René, who died when he was a child. Durand is heartbroken by his death and still has feelings for the deceased child. Durand also has another plan: he plans to set fire to his house and collect fire insurance money to compensate for his daughters’ financial difficulties.
d. Why did Monsieur Duran sell his life insurance?
Answer➡ Monsieur sold his life insurance to pay off the loan to his debtor. He was in the worst condition and the debtor was furious with him for not paying his money.
e. Why has Monsieur Duran paid fire insurance?
Answer➡ Monsieur Durand has paid fire insurance to make a compensation claim later on. He intends to get compensation from the fire insurance by burning his house so that the money given as compensation will help his daughters.
f. How did Durand and Mrs. Durand run out of their inheritances from both the sides?
Answer➡ Due to Mrs. Durand’s carelessness and foolish speculation, they lost paternal inheritance. Maternal inheritance was used in raising daughters. In this way, they ran out of their inheritances.
g. Why does Monsieur Duran tell a lie about his birthplace?
Answer➡ Monsieur Duran tells a lie about his birthplace for the sake of his wife and his inclined towards his nation or patriotism.
h. What business is Monsieur Durand running to make a living?
Answer➡ Monsieur Durand is running a boarding house to make a living. He has converted his house into a lodge to earn money. He provides lodging and dining services to his guests. There is quite a good facility like a homestay.
i. What plan does Monsieur Durand have to help his daughters with money?
Answer➡ Monsieur Durand plans to commit suicide by setting fire to his home to help his daughters with money. He intends to receive compensation from the fire insurance policy so that he may provide financial assistance to his daughters. For the sake of his three daughters, he wishes to give his life.
j. How does Monsieur Durand die?
Answer➡ Monsieur Durand dies committing suicide at last. He drinks poison to help his daughters with the amount of compensation from the insurance policy.
Reference To The Context.
a. Sketch the character of Monsieur Durand.
Monsieur Durand is the main character of the play "Facing Death". He is a widower, the lodge owner and former railway worker. He is a financially ruined person who has three daughters. All of them live in the lodge. The relationship between Durand and his daughters isn't good. Here, in this play, we find him so loving, caring as well as protective father. Due to his bankruptcy, he is spending his miserable life along with his three daughters. His daughters hate him and blame him most of the time. But he keeps on thinking about the well-being of his daughters. He sacrifices his life for the welfare of his daughters who hate him. He is quite an enduring man who endures injustice from his late wife and remained silent for the rest of his life, blaming her for the financial ruin. He is also a loving husband. He is a patriot too who loves his native France, although he is forced to live in Switzerland. He is a tragic hero who faces financial difficulties and eventually ends his life tragically committing suicide for the well-being of his three daughters.
b. How do we know that the Duran family has reached a dead end?
We know that the Duran family has reached a dead end due to following reasons:
The Duran family is unable to manage or buy food, breakfast, and coffee for the family.
The grocery, the baker and the butcher send their bills to the Durand family because the Durant family had ordered so many foodstuffs from their shops but had not paid the due.
Durand states when his business was down for three months, he was helped by an American family.
Durant sells his life insurance to pay due of a person who irritates him very much.
The family has reached such dead end regarding financial crisis that Durand kills himself in the fire at the end to provide his death insurance money to his daughters.
c. ‘The mother, though already dead, seems to have had a great influence on the daughters, especially Theresa.’ Do you agree?
Yes, I must agree with this sentence as the mother, though already dead, had a great influence on the daughters, especially Theresa. When she was alive she used to teach the hate towards their father. She forcefully made them obey her. Most of the time she blamed her husband and taught the same to the daughters.
After the death, Mr. Durand remained silent all his life because he didn’t want his daughters to question their mother’s goodness. But due to their mother’s teaching, his daughters keep hating him. They thought and blamed their father that he was the root of their financial hardships.
And especially Theresa, the most influenced by her mother is the one who always showed rude behaviour to the father. She threw the matches away when he tried to burn tobacco. Similarly, she snatches the glass of milk from him. She was cruel towards the father and never showed respect and love.
d. Discuss the relationship between Monsieur Duran and his wife.
The relationship between Monsieur Durand and his wife was not so good. While Mrs. Durand was alive, she used to blame Mr. Durand though she herself had ruined the ancestral property. Due to her negligence and foolish conjecture, she ruined the ancestral property. She used to spend household money on lottery tickets. After being abused, she threatened her husband to become a prostitute for money. He called her a lone soldier. She taught all her daughters to hate their father and filled their minds with all the negativities. She had become successful to divert her daughters' minds and made them against their father.
e. 'Money determines the relationship between characters in this play.' Elaborate this statement with examples from the play.
The play "Facing Death" is the story of Monsieur Durand who is financially ruined. He has three daughters but no one coves him. He is heated by his own wife and my daughters too. They become aggressive towards him, thinking that he throw away money and compelled them to starve. But when daughters knows about insurance, they start loving him. Here, the relation is just alive due to the money with him. Either they could kill him. In the play, the main discussion is due to lack of money for livelihood. The nature of care and love for their father before and after is different. So, we can say money determines the relationship between characters in the play.
f. Monsieur Duran kills himself so that his daughters would get 5000 francs as the compensation from the insurance company. What does his plan tell us about him?
In the play "Facing Death," Monsieur Duran, the protagonist is disgusted by all the family members especially his three daughters since they regard him as an unsuccessful and irresponsible father to fulfill the basic desires of them. The family faces grim poverty and many dues and bills to pay off. He is unable to make progress in his business. Even his daughters find him as responsible for all these obstacles in the family. The family is dealing with financial hardships in this drama. Facing no income, Durand decides to burn down the house and poisons himself. He advises Adele, the oldest, to keep the truth secret and cash in on fire policy to save the family. Thus, Monsieur Duran kills himself so that his daughters would get 5000 francs as the compensation and supports from the insurance company.
g. Discuss Facing Death as a modern tragedy.
Tragedy is a branch of drama that treats in a serious and dignified style the sorrowful or terrible events caused by sufferings, deaths, destructions and troublesome incidences. The play "Facing Death" is a modern tragedy since it ends with the tragic death of the protagonist, Monsieur Duran. He suffers a lot in the play in such a way that the main character in the modern tragedy suffers
A modern tragedy uses elements like struggles, tussles, irony, sarcasm, hatred, grim poverty, murder or killing etc. As we go through the play "Facing Death", we see characters especially suffering from such above mentioned characteristics and go through difficult days that the protagonist like Monsieur Duran gets no anyway except killing himself burning in the fire and having poison so that his daughters may get the compensation or insurance money and their attitudes towards their father may change The family is unable to fulfill the basic desires of the family and many bills and dues remain due to family's grim poverty and loss in business. Thus, we can say that it is an example of modern tragedy.
Reference beyond the Context.
a. Write a few paragraphs describing the role of the father in the family.
Our country Nepal is a country of patriarchal norms and values where we find the vital roles of fathers in the families. In most Nepalese families, fathers are considered as the heads, who lead the entire family members.
In the context of a Nepali family, the position of the father is at the top who decides the overall activities of the family members. The father in the family is the responsible person who takes care of his family and members. He is regarded as the bread earner who performs his duties being responsible for the welfare of his family members. The entire family members feel a sense of security in the presence of the father. Following are the roles of a father in the family:
- Father is one who teaches and guides righteousness to his family members.
- Father is the pillar of the family who faces a lot of hardships for the welfare of his family.
- Father plays a very vital role in the development of a children’s emotional well-being.
- Father provide a feeling of security to his children, both physical and emotional.
- Father plays supportive roles in his children's studies.
- Father sets the bar for relationships with others. He is the man who shares the culture, tradition and rituals of the family to his children.
- Father develops the confidence of his children.
- Father sets rules for children's bright future.
b. In his famous essay “The Experimental Novel,” Emile Zola says: This is what constitutes the experimental novel: to possess a knowledge of the mechanism of the phenomena inherent in man, to show the machinery of his intellectual and sensory manifestations, under the influences of heredity and environment, such as physiology shall give them to us, and then finally to exhibit man living in social conditions produced by himself, which he modifies daily, and in the heart of which he himself experiences a continual transformation. To what extent do you agree with Zola’s idea that human beings’ intellectual as well as emotional capacities are determined by their environment and heredity? Discuss with examples including Facing Death.
This is what constitutes the experimental novel: to possess a knowledge of the mechanism of the phenomena inherent in man, to show the machinery of his intellectual and sensory manifestations, under the influences of heredity and environment, such as physiology shall give them to us, and then finally to exhibit man living in social conditions produced by himself, which he modifies daily, and in the heart of which he himself experiences a continual transformation.