NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English - Honeydew Textbook- Chapter 1: The Best Christmas Present in the World

In this article, we have provided Class 8th NCERT Solutions for Chapter 1 from the English Honeydew Textbook. Chapter 1 presents some dates and events occurred during a war between the British and the Germans in 1914. The NCERT solutions of this chapter have been provided after a detailed analysis of the latest syllabus issued by CBSE. Students of Class 8th can study the answers provided here to score well in their school exams.

NCERT Solutions for Class 8 English - Honeydew Textbook- Chapter 1

Ques: 

  1. What did the author find in a junk shop?
  2. What did he find in a secret drawer? Who do you think had put it in there?

Answer: 

  1. The author finds a roll-top desk for sale in a junk shop. It was made of oak wood, but it was in a veiy bad condition.
  2.  In the hidden drawer of the desk, the author found a small tin box. This had a message in it. I assume the owner of the roll-top desk may have put it there.
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Ques: 

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  1. Who had written the letter, to whom, and when?
  2. Why was the letter written — what was the wonderful thing that had happened?
  3. What jobs did Hans Wolf and Jim Macpherson have when they were not soldiers?
  4. Had Hans Wolf ever been to Dorset? Why did he say he knew it?
  5. Do you think Jim Macpherson came back from the war? How do you know this?

Answer: 

  1. John Macpherson, a captain in the British army, had written that letter, dated Dec. 26, 1914, to his wife Connie.
  2. The letter described a wonderful event. The two armies-the British and the Ger­man—fighting against each other celebrated Christmas together.
  3. Before joining the army, Hans played the cello in the orchestra, and Jim was a teacher.
  4. No, Hans had never been to Dorset. He had only read about Dorset in Hardy’s novel ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’.
  5. No, Jim Macpherson never came back home from the war. Perhaps, therefore, his wife Connie had preserved his letters.

Ques: 

  1. Why did the author go to Bridport?
  2. How old was Mrs. Macpherson now? Where was she?

Answer: 

  1. The author went to Bridport to visit Mrs. Jim Macpherson and give to her Jim 's message.
  2. Macpherson was 101 years old. She was in a nursing home.

Ques: 

  1. Who did Connie Macpherson think her visitor was?
  2. Which sentence in the text shows that the visitor did not try to hide his identity?

Answer: 

  1. Connie assumed that the visitor was her own friend, Jim Macpherson.
  2. That sentence is, “you promised me you 'd come home by Christmas, dearest,” she said, “And here you are, the best Christmas present in the world. Come closer, Jim dear, sit down.

Ques: For how long do you think Connie had kept Jim’s letter? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: Connie had kept Jim's last letter till January 25, 1915. The letter was dated Dec. 26, 1914.

Ques: Why do you think the desk had been sold, and when?

Answer: The desk must have been sold when Connie’s house had burnt. The table had been damaged by fire as well as water.

Ques: Why do Jim and Hans think that games or sports are good ways of resolving conflicts? Do you agree?

Answer: Both Jim and Hans were soldiers. Both were warm-hearted. They had seen the sufferings of war. So it was natural for them to hate war. They favoured a peaceful solution to settle disputes. Games or sports, they said, were good ways of resolving conflicts. I also quite agree with them.

Ques: Do you think the soldiers of the two armies are like each other, or different from each other? Find evidence from the story to support your answer.

Answer: All human beings are alike in many ways. They love peace and hate war. They want to live together. Examples from the story: “Then they were calling out to us from a cross no man’s land. “Happy Christmas, Tommy! Happy Christmas! “When we had got

Ques: Mention the various ways in which the British and the German soldiers become friends and find things in common at Christmas.

Answer: The British and the German troops belonged to separate camps. We were rivals in wartime. Yet, after all, they were human beings and so they had similar feelings. They shared the festive spirit of Christmas. They got over hate and played football, feasted and drank like true friends. Both hated war. Both were eager to go back to their families at the end of the battle.

Ques: What is Connie’s Christmas present? Why is it the best Christmas present in the world?

Answer: Connie figured that Jim had come back home from battle. She mistook the speaker for Jim. She had been waiting for her husband Jim. And the coming home of Jim was the best Christmas gift in the world for her.

Ques: Do you think the title of the story is suitable for it? Can you think of any other title(s)?

Answer: Decidedly the title of the tale is most appropriate. To the old Connie, no other gift could have brought her such happiness as the coming home of Jim, her husband. Her presumption might be wrong, but she got the greatest happiness of her life. Since the story revolves around Christmas, the alternate title of the story could be War and Peace’ or ‘Christmas Gift’. But neither can be a match to the present title.

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