MP Board Class 12th English A Voyage Solutions Chapter 10 On Umbrella Morals

MP Board Class 12th English A Voyage Solutions Chapter 10 On Umbrella Morals (A.G. Gardiner)

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On Umbrella Morals Textbook Exercises

Word Power

A. Give antonyms of the following words:
sharp, truth, never, wrong, admirable, dim.
Words Antonyms

  • Sharp Blunt
  • Truth Untruth
  • Never Always
  • Wrong Right
  • Admirable Hateful
  • Dim Bright

B. Use the following phrases in sentences of your own:
put up, in fact, cling to, for the taking.

  • Put up — The case has been put up with the Magistrate.
  • In fact — In fact, I was very much worried about your result.
  • Cling to — The kangaroo’s baby clings to its mother’s belly.
  • For the taking —For the taking of faith a grand function was organised.

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C. Use the following words as nouns and verbs:
shower, surprise, frame, glance, sound, rule, exchange, hand.

  • Shower Noun I enjoy bathing under shower.
    Verb My teacher showered all his blessings.
  • Surprise Noun It is a surprise to me.
    Verb His result surprised me.
  • Frame Noun The frame of his window is broken.
    Verb He framed serious charges against the criminal.
  • Glance Noun I wanted to have a glance at the book.
    Verb I have glanced the important points of this matter.
  • Sound Noun The sound of his bike is very unpleasant.
    Verb It sounds harsh to ear.
  • Rule Noun The rule against deforestation is not so strict.
    Verb He has ruled it out for the welfare of his son.
  • Exchange Noun It is a good exchange offer.
    Verb I have exchanged my car.
  • Hand Noun This is my hand.
    Verb Mr. Verma hands over his files to his son.

D. Give synonyms of the following words:
sharp, truth, surprise, famous, admirable.
Words Synonyms

  • Sharp — edged
  • Truth — reality
  • Surprise — amaze
  • Famous — renowned
  • Admirable — praiseworthy


A. Answer the following questions in about 60 words each:

Question 1.
How do people who pick things belonging to others satisfy their conscience?
People who pick things belonging to others satisfy their conscience by expressing an apology to themselves that they hadn’t done it deliberately but by mistake. Sometimes, they say ‘Ah! I was just going to return it. I don’t know how did it happen.’ Such people if not caught won’t bother to feel sorry. They don’t say a word of apology. They are umbrella conscience.

Question 2.
What has the author to say about morals concerning books?
The author has a strong feeling for those who pick up other’s things. They do it deliberately in order to satisfy their conscience. They don’t feel shy if they are caught. They just say, “It was a surprise how did it happen?” The author has the same feeling for those who take away books from library and never bother to return them. He advises us never to trust even our dearest friend. He has instances of even religious people who don’t return books.

Question 3.
Why does the author say that picking of other people’s hat is unpardonable?
The author in this essay presents his views about those who pick others’ things. They can take anything. They take umbrellas, books and many other things. They don’t spare even hats which symbolises one’s prestige. They do it deliberately except in some rare cases when it happens accidentally or unknowingly. The author finds it unpardonable. It is beyond the borderland of conscience where dishonesty dissembles.

Question 4.
What does the author mean by ‘play hide and seek with our own conscience’?
The author is very much annoyed with the people’s habit of picking up others’ things. Usually they do it deliberately. They know that they are picking up a better thing and ‘ leaving their own inferior thing. They don’t feel shy. They don’t bother to return it back even if the owner’s name is written there. If caught they will simply say ‘Ah! I don’t know, how did it happen?” They show their ignorance but they feel happy. In this way, they play hide and seek with their own conscience by satiating their inner-self which did wrong.

MP Board Solutions

B. Answer the following questions in about 75-100 words each:

Question 1.
What does the author say about ‘umbrella conscience’? Mention some of its chief characteristics. (M.P. Board 2012,2015)
This essay is a satire on the modem culture where people have lost their morals. They do wrong but don’t accept it. They do wrong knowingly. They don’t care for others’ trouble. The author gives many examples. He says that such people take your umbrellas made of silk and leave their own cotton umbrellas in exchange. They take your books and never return. They are not only ordinary people but some religious and high profile people also who do it. They also don’t feel shy. They do it only to appease their conscience. Sometimes, they may feel sorry and say to you that they were just going to return it but that is not the fact. They only play hide and seek with their own conscience.

Question 2.
“It is not enough to be found out by others; we refuse to be found out by ourselves.” Discuss.
On Umbrella Morals is a satire on the moral degradation of modem people. The author through a very common phenomena tries to capture a real view of our society. In life, we lose our things, no doubt. However, for the author losing an umbrella leads to pull his thoughts and emotions towards serious things like morals and conscience. He feels unhappy that many people forget to return books taken from others or a library. They don’t hesitate from picking other peoples’ hats as well. Here the point to think is that they are not found out by others. They also don’t feel shy or fear from their own conscience. Their inner-self is dead and they refuse to be found out by their own-self.

Question 3.
Describe how and why did the author return the umbrella belonging to some politicians.
The author narrates a peculiar experience of his life. Once he got a silk umbrella in exchange somewhere. Later, he found that there was a band with the owner and his address. It made him upset. It was a super umbrella. He was terrified. He thought that some day he may be caught with the charge of stealing an umbrella of a British emperor. So, he wrote a letter of apology and went to dispatch it. Later, he was invited. When he went there, he found a group of high profile people. Someone gave him a hat, someone a coat. Then, he came to know that the silk umbrella had travelled a long series of exchange. He, at last, took a sigh of relief for he had not done any mistake.

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C. Answer the following questions in about 200 words each:

Question 1.
Justify the title, ‘On Umbrella Morals’ in your own words.
A.G. Gardiner was famous for his essays on even trivial subjects like On Catching Trains, ‘On the Rule of the Road, On saying Please. On Umbrella Morals is such a peculiar essay which captures a very common phenomena which expresses the modem way of life. Here he takes the theme of losing things. There are people who pick up other’s things without hesitation. They do it deliberately and if caught, they without any sense of shame say Ah! I don’t know how did it happen? It is really a surprise to me.

They don’t return the umbrella even if they get any clue of the owner. The whole of the story is based on umbrella. Since, the author shows, how the umbrella goes from one person to another and how one incident made him realise, how can he protect his umbrella by putting his name on it gives him a moral of life. Hence the title is very suitable to its theme.

Question 2.
Write a critical summary of the essay, “On Umbrella Morals”.
See Summary in English of this chapter.

MP Board Solutions

D. Explain the following sentences:

Question 1.
He is one of those people who have what I may call an umbrella conscience.
Through this line the author wants to expose the so-called civilised people who not only defame society but also lose their morals. They are also tempted to get a good thing in exchange. So, they do it. It is umbrella conscience.

Question 2.
He would never put his hand in another’s pocket, cf forge a cheque or rob a till not even if he had the chance.
The author says that the people of umbrella conscience do not put their hands in another’s pocket, forge or rob even if they get a fair chance for it. They only pick your umbrella in exchange.

Question 3.
Quite impeccable people, people who ordinarily seem unspotted from the world, are afflicted with umbrella morals.
The people who are in the habit of picking up other’s things always escape from being seen. They do it in such a manner that they can’t be spotted. They are affected with umbrella morals.


Look at the following sentences:
1. A sharp shower came on as I walked along the Strand, but I did not put up my umbrella. The truth is I couldn’t put up my umbrella.
2. The frame would not work for one thing, and if it had worked, I would not have put the thing up, for I would no more be seen under such a travesty of an umbrella than Falstaff would be seen marching through Coventry with his regiment of ragamuffins.
3. He would never put his hand in another’s pocket, or forge a cheque or rob a till not even if he had the chance. The italicised words in these sentences are Modal verbs.
Modal verbs express ability, permission, wish, etc. to do something. (I may/can must swim.) Many modal verbs cannot be used in all the English tenses.
The main characteristics of Modals are:

  • They never change their form irrespective of the subject of the sentence.
  • They do not change to show past tense.
  • They all carry the negative of the sentence by the addition of not/n’t
  • They all form questions by inversion with the subject of the sentence.

MP Board Solutions

Fill in the blanks in the following sentences with appropriate modal verbs:

1. I think you should take an umbrella. It ………. rain. (future possibility)
2. You……. pay income tax. (obligation)
3. You ………. leave now. (permission)
4. Be careful with that gun. It ……….. be loaded. (possibility)
5. ………… you speak English well? (ability)
6. I ……. come tomorrow. (future promise)
7. ……….. you please close the door? (request for action)
8. If you want to catch the train you start at once. (desirability)
9. You ………… not talk in the library.(prohibition)
10. The teacher said to him,’You … your homework again. (Absence of obligation)

  1. might/may
  2. must
  3. can
  4. may
  5. can
  6. will
  7. will
  8. should
  9. can
  10. have to.

Speaking Activity

Make several groups of about five or six students in the class. Ask each one of them about the loss of something at home, even a theft or a robbery, then ask them to narrate the incident.
fro yourself.

Writing Activity

A. Write a letter to your friend narrating the incident when you lost your books that you had kept outside the school-library when you went there to study.
A-398, Shivaji Park,
5th July, 20xx Bhopal, M.P.
My dear Shekhar,
I hope you have enjoyed your vacation with all ease and comfort. I also did well during this break. Today my school reopened. On the very first day, something very strange happened with me. Last two periods were for library. We went there. As our bags are not allowed inside, we left them outside the library hall. We spent our two periods in the library hall. I read some adventure books. Then, the bell rang and it was the last bell, so all were in hurry. When I came out, I found my bag missing. I searched for it everywhere, but it was nowhere. Someone might have taken it unknowingly. However, I reported it to the Principal who put a notice on the notice board. I was very much disturbed. Hoping for its early recovery, I returned home.
Your friend,

B. Write a short piece narrating the fact of losing some items like lunch-boxes, pullovers, ties, pencils, erasers and pens during recess or games hour in your school. The write up should not be more than ten tines to recess in-charge.
Yesterday, during recess period, I found my lunch-box missing. I was very upset. First, I thought someone has tricked me. I asked my class-mates but everyone denied. I was feeling hungry. I reported the matter to my recess-in-charge. She also made inquiries about it but it was of no use. Later, she managed some snacks and food items for me. A notice was put on the notice board. Next day, the watchman gave me the lunch-box. He found it somewhere in the ground. I was relaxed and happy.

Think it Over

In the lesson, you came across the word ‘ragamuffin.’ Technically the word is used for a dangerous frilow. Some other people who are equally dangerous to society are listed here:
thief, robber, dacoit, vandal, burglar, highwayman, brigand, swindler, kleptomaniac
Consult a good dictionary and try to ascertain the meanings and uses of these words.

  • Thief : One who steals hideously and willfully;
  • Robber : One who steals in a bold manner.
  • Dacoit : One who robs in a bold way.
  • Vandal : One who damages things willfully.
  • Burglar : A person who breaks into a building in order to steal.
  • Highwayman : A person (usually on horseback) who robbed travellers in ancient days.
  • Brigand : A member of a band of robbers.
  • Swindler : One who cheats in a business transaction.
  • Kleptomaniac : One who has a compulsive desire to steal.

Things to Do

A. Have you read other essays by A.G. Gardiner, like ‘On saying Please’, ‘All about a Dog’ and so on? What characteristics of A.G. Gardiner, as an essayist do stand out? .
Do it yourself.

B. Have you read essays by Aldous Huxley, a prominent modern essayist? Bring out the differences of style and theme between A.G. Gardiner and Aldous Huxley.
Do it yourself.

On Umbrella Morals by AG. Gardiner Introduction

The author feels unhappy’ to many people forget to return books taken from others or library They do not from picking other people s hats as well All these things are very annoying to the author

On Umbrella Morals Summary in English

This essay is a satire on the people’s habit of picking up others’ things and then at the same moment losing them by the others. The narrator once loses his silk umbrella and gets a cotton umbrella in exchange. He thinks that the man who would have picked up his silk umbrella might be feeling smart. For such people the narrator has not at all a good opinion. He thinks that these people have umbrella conscience. They are not cheats or a forging men but they pick umbrellas of other people and don’t return it deliberately. They have no feeling of shame or apology

MP Board Solutions

The narrator has the same feeling for those who never return the books of the library or of the others. He has the instances of even the religious persons who also do such things. So, the narrator advises us not to trust even our dearest friends in such affairs. He has also met a number of people who don’t hesitate to take other’s hats. They don’t do it unknowingly but deliberately because they have lost their conscience. They don’t hesitate to do it even in the high class society.

The narrator says that sometimes someone does it by mistake and the moment he knows the real owner he returns it properly with excuses. Once he himself comes to know that the silk umbrella that he got in exchange had travelled a long way with a series of exchanges. He has peculiar experience in his life.

On Umbrella Morals Summary in Hindi

प्रस्तुत लेख लोगों के द्वारा दूसरे के सामान को उठा लेने और उसी समय किसी दूसरे के द्वारा उसे खोने जैसे मानव स्वभाव पर एक व्यंग्य है। लेखक ने एक बार अपना एक रेशमी छाता खो दिया और बदले में एक सूती छाता पाया। वह सोचता है कि जिस व्यक्ति ने उसका छाता लिया होगा वह अपने को ज़्यादा होशियार समझ रहा होग्न। ऐसे लोगों के लिए उसके विचार कतई अच्छे नहीं है। वह सोचता है कि ऐसे लोग छाता-सजग लोग होते हैं। वे ठग नहीं होते, न ही दूसरों को चकपा देते हैं बल्कि वे जानबूझकर दूसरों का छाता ले लेते हैं और फिर इसे कभी लौटाते नहीं।

उन्हें अपने किए पर कोई शर्म या पछतावा नहीं होता। कथाकार ऐसा ही विचार उन लोगों के लिए रखता है जो पुस्तकालय या दूसरों से ली गई पुस्तकें कभी लौटाते नहीं। उसके पास कई धार्मिक व्यक्तियों के भी उदाहरण हैं जो ऐसा काम करते हैं। इसीलिए लेखक हमें ऐसे मामलों में अपने निकटतम मित्रों पर भी भरोसा न करने की सलाह देता है। वह ऐसे लोगों से भी मिला है जो दूसरों की टोपी भी लेने से नहीं हिचकते।

वे ऐसा अनजाने में नहीं बल्कि जानबूझकर करते हैं क्योंकि उनका ज़मीर मर चुका है। उच्च वर्ग में भी ऐसा करने से लोग नहीं हिचकते। कथाकार कहता है कि कुछ लोग गलती से ऐसा कर बैठते हैं और अगर उन्हें सही मालिक का पता चल जाए तो क्षमा प्रार्थना के साथ इसे लौटा देते हैं। एक बार उसे खुद पता चला कि रेशमी छाता जो उसे मिला था, वह इसी तरह के बदलाव का लम्बा सफर तय कर उसके पास आ गया था। उसके जीवन में बड़े अजीब अनुभव हुए।

On Umbrella Morals Word Meaning

MP Board Class 12th English A Voyage Solutions Chapter 10 On Umbrella Morals img 1

On Umbrella Morals Important Pronunciations

MP Board Class 12th English A Voyage Solutions Chapter 10 On Umbrella Morals img 2

On Umbrella Morals Passages for Comprehension

Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions that follow them:

1. And as for books, who has any morals where they are concerned? I remember some years ago the library of a famous divine and literary critic, who had died, being sold. It was a splendid library of rare books, chiefly concerned with seventeenth-century writers, about whom he was a distinguished authority. Multitudes of the books had the marks of libraries all over the country. He had borrowed them and never found a convenient opportunity of returning them. They clung to him like precedents to law. Yet he was a
holy man and preached admirable sermons, as I can bear witness. And, if you press me on the point, I shall have to own that it is hard to part with a book you have come to love. (Page 73)


(i) Where did the author see a library? How did the man collect the books in his library?
(ii) Find a word similar in meaning to ‘praiseworthy’.
(iii) Give a word opposite in meaning to ‘common’.
(iv) Give noun form of the word ‘admirable’.
(i) The author saw a library of a famous divine and literary .critic. He had collected books by borrowing and never returning the books of other libraries or from his friends.
(ii) Admirable has similar meaning to ‘praiseworthy’.
(iii) Rare is opposite in meaning to ‘common’.
(iv) Admiration is the noun form of ‘admirable’.

MP Board Solutions

2. Be it observed, it was the name on the umbrella that saved the situation in this case. That is the way to circumvent the man with an umbrella conscience. I see him eyeing his exchange with a secret joy; then he observes the name and address and his solemn conviction that he is an honest man does the rest. After my experience to-day, I think I will engrave my name on my umbrella. But not on that baggy thing standing in the corner. I do not care who relieves me of that. It is any body’s for the taking. (Page 74)

(i) What experience does the author narrate here?
(ii) Find a word similar in meaning to ‘inner sense’.
(iii) Make a sentence with the word ‘exchange’.
(iv) Make noun from ‘observe’.
(i) Here the author narrates his experience when he went to return the umbrella of a politician.
(ii) Conscience is a word similar in meaning to ‘inner sense’.
(iii) I got a new bike in exchange of my old one.
(iv) Noun from ‘observe’ is ‘observation’.

MP Board Class 12th English Solutions

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