ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FROM MRS PACKLETIDE’S TIGER
- Why do people hunt? Complete the web chart giving various reasons for the
- Was thought to be an act of bravery
- Poaching for animal skin
- To protect themselves from attack of wild animals
- Hunting used to be a game
- To become famous
- Tiger skin and tiger head were used for interior decoration.
Read these lines and guess the answers to the questions given below:
- Why did Mrs. Packletide want to kill a tiger?
Mrs Packeltide was in no mood to let Loona Bmberton be more famous and publicized than herself and so she decided to kill a tiger and bring more limelight and fame than the other lady had received.
- What does it tell you about her?
It shows she is jealous of Loona and also that she was hungry for publicity.
- What is the tone of the storywriter?
The story has a sarcastic tone. In a humorous tone, the author satirizes Mrs Packeltide’s hunger for fame and the haughtiness of British ladies that lived in India when it was a British colony.
- Do you think she was successful in her mission?
Mrs Packeltide was successful but not to a complete extent because the event had a comic ending and she frightened the tiger to death while she shot the goat instead.
- What do you think the story is all about?
The story is about a haughty British lady who plans to hunt a tiger for fame.
Answer the following questions in your own words:
- Why did Mrs. Packletide wish to kill a tiger?
Mrs Packletide had heard of Loona Bimberton’s fame after having acquired tiger skin. She was jealous and wished to give her an apt reply. So she decided to do something that could bring more fame and publicity. Thus, she went for killing a tiger.
(b) What made her decide to give a party in Loona Bimberton’s honour? What did she intend to give Loona on her birthday?
The party was just a method to show Loona down before others. Actually, Mrs Packeltide was jealous and was trying to show Loona that she was more famous than her. In this way, she wanted to make Loona feel jealous and to double her jealousy, Mrs Packeltide decided to gift her a brooch made of Tiger claws.
(c) How was the tiger shooting arranged? What kind of a tiger was chosen for the
It was a paid arrangement. The villagers were eager to win the prize and therefore arranged for an old Tiger who could barely be dangerous. This tiger fed on cattle and could be an easy target for Mrs Packeltide’s gun.
(d) In what way did the villagers help Mrs. Packletide shoot the tiger?
The villagers were excited about the prize money. For days they kept useless cattle on loose so the Tiger kept around and did not have to go far in search of prey. They also arranged for a platform from where Mrs Packeltide could shoot the tiger.
(e) Who was Miss Mebbin? Was she really devoted to Mrs. Packletide? How did she
behave during the tiger shooting?
Miss Mebbin was just a money hungry assistant whom Mrs Packeltide had hired to lend her company during the hunt. While they were on the platform she kept chatting about money and that Mrs Packeltide must not pay the villagers as much for the old tiger. She has no real devotion for Mrs Packeltide but is manipulative and exploitative in nature.
(f) Mrs. Packletide was a good shot. Discuss.
This is a sarcastic statement. Mrs Packeltide was a bad shot. She hunted the goat and the tiger died of heart attack. However, everyone kept it a secret for money and the news got around that she was a good shot.
(g) What comment did Miss Mebbin make after Mrs Packletide had fired the shot?
Why did Miss Mebbin make this comment? How did Mrs Packletide react to this
Miss Mebbin commented that the Tiger had not been shot and that the wrong animal was hit. Mrs Packeltide was annoyed at her comment because she expected her to remain silent if she discovered anything peculiar. However, Miss Mebbin was a cunning woman and knew she could exploit this fact later.
(h) How did the villagers react to the tiger’s death?
The villagers were excited about the prize money and did not worry whether the Tiger was shot or the goat. So, they decided to keep mum about the reality so they got paid.
(i) Do you think Mrs. Packletide was able to achieve her heart’s desire? Give reasons
for your answer.
Mrs Packeltide desired nothing but fame and publicity that was bigger than Loona’s. She successfully managed to grab it by arranging the tiger hunt and then by being published in a well-known newspaper.
(j) How did Miss Mebbin manage to get her week-end cottage? Why did she plant so
many tiger lilies in her garden?
Miss Mebbin had not forgotten what had happened the night of hunting. She had decided to exploit Mrs Packletide’s weakness and coerced the money for a cottage by blackmailing her as soon as she found the chance. She planted tiger lilies in the memory of the old dead tiger that had helped her get this cottage.
(k) “The incidental expenses are so heavy,” she confides to inquiring friends. Who is
the speaker? What is she referring to here?
It is Mrs Packeltide’s freshest excuse about hunting. She has excused herself from big game hunting because of the large secondary expenses. However, the truth is something else.
Discuss the following questions in detail and write the answers in your
(a) Do you think the tiger shooting organized by the villagers was a serious affair?
Give reasons for your answer.
The only thing the villagers were serious about was the money Mrs Packeltide was gonna pay them. Everyone knew it was an old tiger that could barely hunt and could be easily hunted. The villagers were trying to keep the Tiger from moving away using cheap goats as prey to keep it in the area. It was a paid arrangement like a staged drama and therefore nothing serious about it altogether.
(b) Do you think the writer is trying to make fun of the main characters in the story i.e. Mrs. Packletide, Miss Mebbin and Loona Bimberton? Pick out instances from the story that point to this fact.
It is a sarcastic story and the author is trying to satirize the vanity of Loona Bimberton and Mrs Packeltide and the stingy and cunning attitude of Miss Mebbins. Starting from the news of Loona Bimberton’s fame to Mrs Packeltide’s jealousy and her decision to hunt a tiger and throw a party after getting famous at every point the writer has ridiculed the comic attitude of these vain ladies. Even in the hunting of the tiger and the talking of Miss Mebbin on the platform, the writer has highlighted all that is so fake in the lives of these ladies.
(c) A person who is vain is full of self-importance and can only think of himself/herself and can go to great lengths to prove his/her superiority. Do you think Mrs Packeltide is vain? Give reasons in support of your answer.
Mrs Packeltide is vain and her pride is hurt to hear of Loona Bimberton’s fame. She stages all the hunting drama just to prove that she is superior and can be more famous than Loona if she likes. This shows the haughtiness of the British ladies and how they would go to any length just to prove themselves superior.
(d) Sometimes writers highlight certain negative aspects in society or human beings by making fun of it. This is called satire. In your groups discuss whether you would classify this story as a satire. Give reasons to support your answer.
This story classifies as a satire. It shows how the rich ladies would waste money and time just to satisfy their vanity. It also satirizes their fake attitude and their jealousy. Particularly, the piece highlights and ridicules the comic British attitude during the times when India was a British colony like E M Forster does in his A Passage to India.
(e) How does the writer create humor in this story?
The central point of the story is Mrs Packeltide’s vanity. The writer has used the irony of the situation to create humor. Every time the situation is so ironic like poor villagers arranging a hunting drama for the sake of thousand Rupees, the tiger being treated like a VIP, the tiger’s death of heart attack and even Miss Mebbin’s blackmailing of Mrs Packeltide. The author has used all these instances to create humor and ridicule the poor attitude of the British.
Choose extracts from the story that illustrate the character of the people listed in the table given below. There are some words given to help you. You may add words of your own. One has been done as an example:
vain jealous competitive shrewd manipulative stingy materialistic spiteful
|Mrs Packletide||(i) The compelling motive for her sudden Competitive
deviation towards the footsteps of Nimrod was the fact that Loona Bimberton had recently been carried eleven miles in an aeroplane by an Algerian aviator, and talked of nothing else; only a personally procured
tiger-skin and a heavy harvest of Press photographs could successfully counter
that sort of thing
(ii) Mrs. Packletide had offered a thousand
rupees for the opportunity of shooting a
tiger without over-much risk or exertion,
(iii) Mrs. Packletide faced the cameras with
a light heart, and her pictured fame
reached from the pages of the Texas
Weekly Snapshot to the illustrated
Monday supplement of the
|Louisa Mebbin||(i) “If it’s an old tiger I think you ought to get it cheaper. A thousand rupees is a lot of money.”
(ii) Louisa Mebbin adopted a protective elder-sister attitude towards money in
general, irrespective of nationality or denomination
(iii) “How amused every one would be if they knew what really happened,” said
Louisa Mebbin a few days after the ball.
(iv) Louisa Mebbin’s pretty week-end cottage, christened by her “Les Fauves,” and gay in summer-time with its garden borders of tiger-lilies, is the wonder and
admiration of her friends
|Loona Bimberton||As for Loona Bimberton, she refused to
look at an illustrated paper for weeks,
and her letter of thanks for the gift of a
tiger-claw brooch was a model of
(ii) there are limits beyond which repressed
emotions become dangerous.
- There are many amusing lines in the story. Here are a few of them. Rewrite each one in ordinary prose so that the meaning is retained. One has been done for you as an example:
- a) It was Mrs. Packletide’s pleasure and intention that she should shoot a tiger.
Mrs. Packletide wanted to shoot a tiger.
- b) Mrs. Packletide had already arranged in her mind the lunch she would give at her
house in Curzon Street, ostensibly in Loona Bimberton’s honour, with a tiger-skin
rug occupying most of the foreground and all of the conversation.
- Mrs Packeltide was planning to flaunt the tiger’s skin at a party she would throw in the honor of Loona Bimberton.
- c) Mothers carrying their babies home through the jungle after the day’s work in the
fields hushed their singing lest they might curtail the restful sleep of the venerable
- Mothers passed through the jungle trail quietly so as to not to wake the tiger.
- d) Louisa Mebbin adopted a protective elder-sister attitude towards money in
general, irrespective of nationality or denomination
- Louisa Mebbin acted like a wiser lady before anyone.
(e) Evidently the wrong animal had been hit, and the beast of prey had succumbed to heart-failure, caused by the sudden report of the rifle, accelerated by senile decay.
- The wrong animal was hit and the tiger died of heart failure caused by the noise of the rifle and old age.
(f) As for Loona Bimberton, she refused to look at an illustrated paper for weeks, and
her letter of thanks for the gift of a tiger-claw brooch was a model of repressed
- Loona Bimberton did not look at any newspaper for a week and just to show, thanked for the brooch in a letter.
The story Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger has a number of oxymorons. Can you identify them and write them down in your notebooks?
venerable herd-robber (meaning a respectable killer)
Years later Mrs. Packletide writes her autobiography. As Mrs. Packletide, write
about the tiger episode with the help of the clues given below.
jealous of the applause Loona was getting-thought of tiger
hunt–all arranged– Louisa Mebbin accompanied; turned out
to be a blackmailer-huge price to pay to outdo a rival
Years ago, it happened while I lived in India. A day, the news of Loona Bimberton getting a lot of applause and receiving fame, reached my ears. All this left me feeling overly jealous and before Loona’s fame could further haunt me I decided to go tiger hunting. Actually, I could not think of a better way to counter her new fame. Somehow I managed to find a tiger with the help of the local villagers. They were willing to do everything to help me hunt a tiger when I proposed to pay them a thousand Rupees in exchange. It was quite a big sum for them and the villagers found my proposal irresistible. So, not just they found a tiger old enough to be easily hunted, they kept it lured by offering easy prey and prepared for me a platform to shoot it. The day of hunting, I brought with me a rifle and a paid companion Miss Louisa Mebbin who appeared to me smart and honest. She was quite talkative all the while and offered free advice over everything and particularly money matters. She kept advising me over paying the villagers less for the tiger and the goat. Soon, the poor beast arrived and I fired the shot. The beast was dead and we got down to claim the prize. Louisa Mebbin was a peculiar woman who announced that the beast did not die of my bullet but that I had shot the goat. I was not the slightest amused at her remark. However, the headless woman had left me feeling annoyed and I could do little so I just indicated her to remain silent. The villagers were eager to keep my secret a secret since I was paying them better than their expectations. Anyway, I got clicked with my hunt and the pictures were published in a renowned newspaper. Obviously, Loona must have been very jealous which showed in her half-hearted thanks for the tiger claws Brooch I sent her. It was Miss Mebbin whose behavior left me badly frustrated. The ugly woman blackmailed me of a nice sum to buy a cottage in lieu of my secret. Since then, I have kept off hunting because of the large extra expenses.
(b) In groups of four construct the dialogues and enact the following situations from
- Mrs. Packletide and the headman of the village/other villagers discussing the
details of the tiger shooting
Vilage Head: I heard Madam Sahib wanted to hunt a tiger.
Mrs Packeltide: Yes, I do, but I do not want it to be a big or difficult hunt.
Village Head: I understand. A beast has been preying on our cattle for quite a few days. It has grown weak of age and hunts for easy prey. We have been trying to get rid of it. Now, I think Madam Sahib must hunt the beast.
Mrs Packeltide: You are a clever man. I will pay you for it. Just arrange everything and I will pay you a thousand Rupees.
Village Head: Sure madam Sahib. We will arrange for the platform and the prey and will take good care that you are able to hunt the tiger.
- Miss Mebbin blackmailing Mrs Packletide into gifting her a cottage
Miss Mebbin: I’ve seen a week-end cottage near Darking that I should rather like to buy,”
Mrs Packeltide: Hmm
Miss Mebbin: Six hundred and eighty, freehold. Quite a bargain, only I don’t happen to have the money.”
Mrs Packeltide: So? What do you want of me?
Miss Mebbin: Nothing. I just thought Loona would be so amused to know of how you killed the poor tiger.
Mrs Packeltide: What? Are you trying to blackmail me?
Miss Mebbin: Blackmail? Not at all. I was just thinking of retiring somewhere in peace and thought you could help me as a friend.
Mrs Packeltide: If I do not, what would you do? Open your big mouth and tell everyone that Mrs Packeltide did not kill the tiger but frightened it to death.
Miss Mebbin: Might be. I don’t really know.
Mrs Packeltide: Okay, I will pay you but remember you have blackmailed me and you promise to never open your mouth.
Miss Mebbin: Why would I? As I said, I just wish to retire in peace.
- Loona Bimberton and a lady-friend discussing Mrs Packletide’s hunting success
Lady Friend: What is that Brooch lying on the table?
Loona: Oh that one? Nothing just a tiger claw brooch sent to me by a friend.
Friend: May I know who this friend is?
Loona: A Mrs Packeltide.
Friend: Is this the same Mrs Packeltide that we saw in the newspapers a few weeks ago.
Loona: Yeah same one. Poor lady somehow managed to hunt a tiger in Indian jungles.
Friend: Terrific. The lady must be very courageous.
Loona: Never appeared so to me. I doubt if she really shot the tiger or made someone do it.
Friend: Why do you think so?
Loona: Packeltide was never a courageous woman. I think she staged all the drama because she is jealous of me.