Page No 70:
What kind of a person was Evans?
Evans was a congenital kleptomaniac who was imprisoned in the Oxford Prison. He urged the prison authority to allow him to take the examination for O-level in German as it would help him gain some educational qualification. Although, a pleasant personality with no record of violence, he had managed to escape thrice from the prison.
His intelligent and conspiring mind is the focus of the story. He managed to dodge everyone with his foolproof plans. Even the Governor could not help appreciating his shrewd mind.
What were the precautions taken for the smooth conduct of the examination?
The Governor was suspicious of the true intentions of Evans in wanting to take the exams. Fearing his fourth escape, the exam was ordered to be conducted inside the prison cell which was installed with a microphone, to keep a check on this intelligent prisoner. His cell was properly scrutinized by the prison staff who took away anything which could pose a threat in the smooth conduct of the examination. On the day of exam, the prison staff was put on high alert and special care was taken to promptly lock all doors and gates. Stephens was ordered to keep an eye on the exam proceedings. Even the invigilator, a parson, was frisked thoroughly before the examination.
Should criminals in the prison be given the opportunity of learning and education?
No one should be denied the right to education. If the criminals in prison are provided with education and work skills, their life could turn towards a better and crime free future. Education may help them to become responsible citizens. Thus, efforts should be put in to provide opportunity of learning and education to even the criminals in prisons.
Page No 77:
Will the exam now go as scheduled?
Everything had been in order for the exam to start on its scheduled time, but the Governor, still apprehensive, ordered a last minute change in plan. As another precautionary measure, he ordered frisking the invigilator as well, before allowing him to carry out his assigned job. This wasted some time and the exam started at 9:25am, ten minutes later than the scheduled time.
Page No 81:
Did the Governor and his staff finally heave a sigh of relief?
Evans was a shrewd man who allowed only a momentary sigh of relief to the Governor and his staff. The exam was supposed to have ended peacefully, but when Stephens rechecked Evansâ€™s cell, he was stunned to see a profusely bleeding McLeery still in the cell. He concluded that the man he had escorted to the gate was actually Evans.
Measures were taken to recapture Evans with the help of the bleeding McLeery, who was later sent off to a hospital for treatment. However, soon it was exposed that this â€˜bleeding McLeeryâ€™ was the real Evans. Finally, when the Governor traced Evans and ordered him to be taken back to the prison with a prison officer in the official van, another conspiracy unfolded. Evans fled again, as the prison officer and the van were part of his back-up plan. His flawless plans left everyone perplexed and troubled.
Page No 84:
Will the injured McLeery be able to help the prison officers track Evans?
Injured McLeery, showcasing his knowledge of German, reveals the supposed plan of Evans through the superimposed question paper. He proposes to guide the officials to the whereabouts of Evans. However, this is later revealed to be a part of the Evans plan to flee to safety, as it was Evans himself who was disguised as the injured McLeery. It can be, thus, noticed that the disguised McLeeryâ€™s help to the officials was fake as it was just a part of Evansâ€™s escape plan.
Page No 85:
Will the clues left behind on the question paper, put Evans back in prison again?
Evans escaped from the prison with the help of a clever, infallible plan. Certain clues were left behind by the shrewd fugitive which was a â€œcarelessâ€ act according to the Governor. There was a superimposed question paper with directions to the supposed plan. However, it was soon seen that all of it was fake and part of the plan to misguide the officials.
But the little German the Governor knew and the ‘correction slip’ did help them to track him down.
Page No 86:
Where did Evans go?
After deceiving the police intelligently, Evans went to the hotel Golden Lion located in Chipping Norton.
Page No 92:
Reflecting on the story, what did you feel about Evansâ€™ having the last laugh?
Evans smartly devised and executed the plan of his escape. He managed to fool everyone till the end of the story. He left fake clues to misguide the officials chasing him. Even as the Governor heaved a sigh of relief after nabbing him in the Golden Lion hotel, Evans was secretly cooking and executing another path of escape. The prison officer and the van used by the Governor for transferring Evans back to the prison were forged. The Governor was happy that ultimately he was able to track him down using his intelligence and knowledge of German. However, Evans had planned a step ahead. With his successful escape, Evans definitely had a well earned last laugh.
When Stephens comes back to the cell he jumps to a conclusion and the whole machinery blindly goes by his assumption without even checking the identity of the injured â€˜McLeeryâ€™. Does this show how hasty conjectures can prevent one from seeing the obvious? How is the criminal able to predict such negligence?
On his return, Stephens saw McLerry bleeding profusely in the cell. Presuming the man he had escorted to the gate to be Evans and not McLeery, he raised an alarm. None of the official staff tried to verify whether this McLeery was the real one. As the bleeding McLeery offered to help the police to track Evans, nobody questioned how he knew the plan. Later, when the Governor nabbed Evans and sent him back to jail with the prison officers, he did not notice that this officer was unknown to him. It was soon unearthed that the officers were Evanâ€™s own men who helped him escape again. Thus, it is definite that the gullible officials made speculations in a jiffy which amounted to their subsequent negligence.
On the contrary, a plotting criminal makes a foolproof plan taking care of the intricacies and does not make hasty assumptions. He has back-up plans ready. Also, a criminal’s mind is observant enough to predict any possible negligence on the part of the officials. Evans too must have easily observed these during his stay in the prison, and planned accordingly.
What could the Governor have done to securely bring back Evans to the prison when he caught him at the Golden Lion? Does that final act of foolishness really prove that â€œhe was just another good-for-a-giggle, gullible governor, that was allâ€?
At the Golden Lion when the Governor arrested Evans, he should have been extra cautious in sending him back to the jail. If he knew the whereabouts of Evan, he should have taken along more police officials. Also, considering the fact that Evans had successfully fooled them earlier, he should not have taken chances by sending him in a van with just a couple of police officers whom, apparently, he did not know. As a result, Evans easily escaped once again. Ideally, the Governor should have escorted Evans himself. Thus, this final act of foolishness really proved that â€œhe was just another good-for-a-giggle, gullible governor, that was allâ€.
While we condemn the crime, we are sympathetic to the criminal. Is this the reason why prison staff often develops a soft corner for those in custody?
â€˜Crimeâ€™ and â€˜criminalsâ€™ are usually considered synonymous. However, our perception changes when we see a criminal suffering or serving his punishment. This is what happens with the prison staff. Noticing a criminal suffer in the prison, they unwittingly develop a soft corner for him in their hearts. They look at him as a human being and not as a mere criminal. They start noticing and appreciating their mental capabilities rather than just remembering their crime.
In the story, Jackson lets Evans keep his hat after knowing that he considered it to be his lucky charm. Evans knew of the emotional side of Jackson and so hit it directly through his talk about â€œlucky charmâ€, and managed to fool the stern and practical officer. Even the Governor could not help noticing his intelligence when he caught him in the hotel. Thus, he was not cruel or stern with Evans, and regrettably, took him leniently.
Do you agree that between crime and punishment it is mainly a battle of wits?
In every battle the stronger side wins; and this strength could be physical or mental. However, after reading the story we can conclude that between crime and punishment, it is mainly a battle of wits. The side which outsmarts the other wins. It is not always that a criminal gets punished. In the given story, although well trained, the police officials were easily fooled by the clever Evans, who managed to escape from right under their nose.
(The above answer is only a sample provided for students’ reference. It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer on their own.)
NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Chapters
- Chapter 1 – The Tiger King
- Chapter 2 – The Enemy
- Chapter 3 – Should Wizard Hit Mommy?
- Chapter 4 – On the Face of It
- Chapter 5 – Evans Tries an O-level
- Chapter 6 – Memories of Childhood
- Chapter 1 – The Last Lesson
- Chapter 2 – Lost Spring
- Chapter 3 – Deep Water
- Chapter 4 – The Rattrap
- Chapter 5 – Indigo
- Chapter 6 – Poets and Pancakes
- Chapter 7 – The Interview
- Chapter 8 – Going Places
- Chapter 9 – My Mother at Sixty-six
- Chapter 10 – An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum
- Chapter 11 – Keeping Quiet
- Chapter 12 – A Thing of Beauty
- Chapter 13 – A Roadside Stand
- Chapter 14 – Aunt Jennifer`s Tigers
NCERT Solutions for Class 12: