5. a) What genre of stories does Jenkins want the narrator to write ? Why?
Answer- Jenkins, the editor of the only magazine John Hallock is associated to, aspired to compose a fiction to the supernatural genre.
Jenkins with a subtle understanding knows that common readers are fond of ghostly matters which deal with supernatural and mysterious world. Besides, John Hallock’s ability to give a shiver to the spine of the readers regarding ghostly aspects inspired Jenkins to motivate John Hallock to write.
b) Does the narrator like writing ghost stories? Support your answer with evidence from the story.
Answer - No, John hillock is a victim of circumstantial pressure. He is not a laureate in writing ghost stories. He is in no situation to deny Jenkins as his writings are published only in Jenkins magazine and ensures a part of air earning. With a very pessimistic approach he starts writing ghost stories and eventually with a surprise ends in writing a handsome one.
c) What makes Helen, the ghost, and her co-ghosts organize the Writer's Inspiration Bureau?
Answer - Helen as described in the story is a ghost and in real life she was a writer who had a lot of hindrances and failures due to the lacuna of plots. Getting into the world beyond, she had empathy for the writers suffering from the same. In the astral world she met with a fellow sufferers and organized ‘writers inspiration bureau’ to help those mortal people out who are suffering from a proper plot.
d) Why had Helen, the ghost, been helping the narrator write ghost stories? Why was she going on strike? What conditions did she place for providing continued help?
Answer - As per the ethical value established by the ‘writers’ inspiration bureau’, Helen had come to John Hallock to help him out writing ghost stories as he was suffering from lacuna of plots.
Owing to limitless usages of wicked Ouija boards they are continuously disturbed. So Helen with all the members of ‘writers’ inspiration bureau’ had been on strike.
Until John Hallock made efforts to assuage and bring an end to the usage of Ouija boards, Hellen and others would not start helping out the writers with plots.
e) How does the ghost undermine the narrator’s faith in his ability to write ghost stories?
Answer - According to Helen John Hallock did not have ability to compose a ghost story. According to her she had helped John Hallock with plots in all the previous occasions and hence forth he would not get a chance to get any of the plots and they were going on strike It was total under estimation for John Hallock as she hinted the incapability of his writing ghost stories with out their help.
f) Why does John want the ghost to disappear before his wife appears on the scene? What impression of his wife’s character do you form from his words?
Answer - John Hallock was praying earth and heaven to avoid meeting of Helen and his wife. In this assay he was almost at the verge of divorce. He imagined that his wife would be fainted and traumatized in case of a sight of the spirit.
In reality Lavinia was a typical extra possessive and jealous of other women. She does not tolerate even a mouse to hurt this feeling .On meeting a phantom her reaction is supposed to be inexplicably negative.
g) Why does the narrator hesitate to be a partner to Laura Hinkle during Ouija Board party?
Answer - When Lavinia pleaded John Hallock to be a partner of Laura Hinkle ,John Hallock was in utter dilemma. He was prohibited and instructed not to have any kind or affinity with Ouiza board devices. In this in a fix situation, John Hallock was at the acme of hesitation and unwillingness.
h) What message does the ghost convey to the group that had assembled in the narrator’s house? What is their reaction to the message?
Answer - The ghost had plagued all the Ouija boards and tried to send forth the message to all that John Hallock was a traitor and the ghost exposed herself by the name of Helen.
At this all had been dubious over John Hallock and above all Lavinia had a morbid fear of an illicit relationship between the Helen of Troy and her husband John Hallock.
i) Do you agree with narrator calling the assembly of women ‘manipulators’? Give reasons.
Answer - In the perspective of John Hallock, he affirms that the assembly women are manipulators. It was those Ouija board handlers who reported John Hallock to be a traitor and for this john Hallock considered those Ouija board women to be conspirators.
j) Why is John’s wife angry? What does she decide to do?
Answer - John Hallock’s wife was at the peak of anger when she discovered in the Ouija board party that there was a lady named Helen(Helen of Troy according to Lavinia) had been trying to contact John, she could not hold her emotions doubting on her husband.
Out of anger provoked by emotional disposition, she decided to have a break up with her husband.
k) Why does John wish he were dead?
Answer - John Hallock had been in utter dire some state due to the paranormal interference into his life. His life had become a living Hell due to the spirit of Hellen and the doubts put him at such a perilous state that his wife Lavinia was about to leave him. According to him he would prefer to be dead at this very gruesome state.
l) When confronted by Lavinia about his flirtations over the Ouija Board, John insists that 'the affair was quite over-board, I assure you', Bring out the pun in this statement.
Answer - Lavinia being dubious about the activities of John Hallock and Helen of Troy over the Ouija board complained about John’s flirtations over the Ouija board. To clarify and confront Lavinia’s thought John stated that everything had been very casual matters over the Ouija board. In another way he meant the flirtation was more above than the board and serious.
m) John’s apprehensions about his wife’s reaction to her encounter with the ghost are unfounded. Justify.
Answer - John Hallock had a notion that if Lavinia gets to see the spirit than she might get fainted and might even be hysterical but when the incident really took place John Hallock was surprised to see his wife to be in the state of relief after seeing the ghost and did not faint. It shows women’s jealousy can over pass even the fear of ghost.
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