The Browning Version

Book: National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)
Board: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
Class: 11th
Subject: English Hornbill
Chapter: 9
Chapters Name: The Browning Version
Medium: English

The Browning Version | Class 11 English | NCERT Books Solutions

Page No 50:
Question 1:

Notice these expressions in the text. Infer their meaning from the context.

  • Remove

  • slackers

  • muck

  • kept in

  • got carried away

  • cut

  • sadist

  • shrivelled up

  • emove: a division in a school
  • slackers: unmotivated and lazy students
  • muck: useless, of no practical good
  • kept in: grounded, detained, work after the official school hours
  • got carried away: to get very excited or lose control of your feelings due to strong emotions.
  • cut: escape, go away without permission.
  • sadist: a person who gets pleasure out of inflicting pain to others
  • shrivelled up: having no feelings


Page No 56:
Question 1:

Comment on the attitude shown by Taplow towards Crocker-Harris.


Taplow has a strange attitude towards Crocker Harris. Although he does not appreciate the teacher much, he tells Frank, “The funny thing is that in spite of everything, I do rather like him. I can’t help it.”

On one hand, Taplow feels that Crocker is a master who cannot appreciate the extra work done by the students. Taplow says that Crocker is “hardly human”. He asserts that Crocker is no “sadist” as he has no feelings at all. He is “like a nut”. Taplow believes that Crocker seems to hate people who like him. He is a teacher who a student can never disobey. And therefore, Taplow feels scared to escape meeting him and waits for him even when Crocker is late.

However, Taplow still likes Crocker. He laughs at his poor jokes to make a common gesture of politeness. He is respectful towards Crocker and dares not cut the extra work even after Millie Crocker-Harris suggests him to do that. He only moves out when she hands him a task related to Crocker himself.

Page No 56:
Question 2:

Does Frank seem to encourage Taplow’s comments on Crocker-Harris?


Frank does not encourage Taplow’s comments on Mr. Crocker-Harris. It is possible that he just wanted to have an insight of what students think of his colleague. We cannot neglect the fact that Frank was a teacher himself. However, he was much understanding towards his students and thus, students opened up to him quiet easily. Frank is young and shows a better understanding of the behaviour and psychology of a student and so is humble towards them.

However, it is quite clear that Frank is a teacher who does not appreciate sarcasms on a fellow teacher. Therefore, he points out to Taplow that he got too far in mocking his teacher. Besides, when Taplow casually calls Mr. Crocker-Harris as Crock, Frank corrects him.

Page No 56:
Question 3:

What do you gather about Crocker-Harris from the play?


Crocker-Harris is a teacher who would not compromise on the rules and regulations to suffice the sentiments of students. He is strict with students when it comes to studies and so calls Taplow for extra work even on the last day of the school.

He is a teacher that a student could never disobey. It seems that the students respect him out of fear. He does not showcase his feeling in front of his students. He is “shrivelled up inside like a nut and seems to hate people to like him”. He is different from young teachers and is grounded to his ideals. This is evident in his reply to Taplow, “My dear Taplow, I have given you what you deserve. No less; and certainly no more.” His jokes are classical and elite but poor for students as not a single student is able to comprehend them. Other teachers like Frank envied him for the effect he had on the students as all seemed too scared of him.

Page No 56:
Question 1:

Talking about teachers among friends.


To answer this question, you may talk about the following points.

  • The relation that a student shares with a teacher.
  • The manner in which the students talk about teachers.
  • Expectations of a student from a teacher and vice versa.
  • The issues that students discuss about the teachers.
  • The qualities that make a teacher popular and likeable among students?
  • Is all that students talk about teachers, morally correct, such as the use of personal remarks?
Page No 56:
Question 2:

The manner you adopt when you talk about a teacher to other teachers.


To answer this question, you may talk about the following points.

  • Is it so that a student might be friendlier with one teacher than another one?
  • What are the qualities that make teachers a friend of a student?
  • Are students afraid of talking about a teacher to another teacher, knowing that they are colleagues?
  • Do students take the problems they face with one teacher to another teacher in the hope for a solution?
  • Does a student try to be respectful towards his/her teacher while talking about him to another teacher?
Page No 56:
Question 3:

Reading plays is more interesting than studying science.


Reading plays has always been more fascinating than studying facts. It is the imaginative and far-fetched insight into things that grips one’s interest in reading plays. It develops a critical bent of mind which is helpful in our daily life and its problems. Science is all about the existing facts and learning of those facts. While reading plays, one gets to learn about human nature and its vices and virtues.

Whereas science is about observing the facts that are already set, plays are about observing what one wrote and rebuilding one’s own understanding of it. There is no compulsion of accepting it as a truth laid by someone. Therefore, nothing matches being imaginative and thoughtful.

(A sample answer has been provided for your reference. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the answer based on your own understanding.)

Page No 56:
Question 1:

A sadist is a person who gets pleasure out of giving pain to others. 

Given below are some dictionary definitions of certain kinds of persons. 

Find out the words that fit these descriptions. 

1. A person who considers it very important that things should be correct or genuine e.g. in the use of language or in the arts: P… 

2. A person who believes that war and violence are wrong and will not fight in a war: P… 

3.A person who believes that nothing really exists: N… 

4. A person who is always hopeful and expects the best in all things: O… 

5. A person who follows generally accepted norms of behaviour: C… 

6. A person who believes that material possessions are all that matter in life: M… 


1. Perfectionist

2. Pacifist

3. Nihilist

4. Optimist

5. Conventionalist

6. Materialist

Page No 56:
Question 1:

Based on the text enact your own version of the play. Work in pairs.



  • Divide yourself in groups of three students each.
  • Read the play.
  • Understand the plot and theme of the play.
  • Analyse the characters in the play.
  • Decide who would play whose role.
  • Understand and learn your dialogues.
  • Rehearse your dialogues.
  • Enact the play.

(Directions have been provided for students’ benefit. It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer on their own.)

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