SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-5|The Snake And The Mirror

SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-5|The Snake And The MirrorNCERT/SCERT Class 9 English Beehive Question Answer to each chapter is provided in the list of SEBA ইংৰাজী Class 9 Question Answer so that you can easily browse through different chapters and select needs one. SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-5|The Snake And The MirrorQuestion Answer can be of great value to excel in the examination.


SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-5|The Snake And The Mirror

SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-5|The Snake And The Mirror Notes covers all the exercise questions in Assam Board SEBA Textbooks. The SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer|Chapter-5|The Snake And The Mirror provided here ensures a smooth and easy understanding of all the concepts. Understand the concepts behind every chapter and score well in the board exams.

About the author – Vaikom Muhammad Basheer

Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, a Malayalam fiction writer was born on 21 January 1908. He was a humanist, freedom fighter, novelist and short story writer. He had a very down-to-earth style of writing because of which his writings are read both by literary critics and the common man. He is among India’s leading writers and his works have been translated into other languages which have given him worldwide recognition. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1982. He is fondly remembered as the Beypore Sultan. He died on 5 July 1994.

Summary :

“The Snake and the Mirror” is a story told by a doctor explaining how when faced with a life threatening situation all seemingly important quests of beauty and the future pale before the desire to survive. The story is recounted with an ample dose of humour but at the same time the element of fear is kept intact.

The doctor is narrating a terrifying experience of his days of youth to a crowd of eager listeners. He was a young, handsome, unmarried and poor doctor who lived in a make-do room, infested with rats. One day when he returns home after dinner, and is busy preening himself before the mirror, making plans for a bright future, a large snake finds its way into his room and lands on his shoulder. In then coils around his left arm and spreads out its hood before his face. The doctor is turned to stone physically, but his mind races in prayer and in realisation that he is after all just a poor and foolish doctor, for he does not even have the medicine to treat himself with, if bitten by the snake.

The story takes a humorous turn when the next moment the snake sees its own reflection in the mirror, and finding that more attractive slides away towards it, giving the young doctor space to escape.

Various touches of humour add comedy to the story, like when the doctor imagines what the snake could be thinking as it views its reflection; or the reason the doctor gives for wanting a fat wife and how he actually gets a thin, racing wife; and how a thief steals all his belongings leaving behind the least wanted item.


• Thinking about the Text 

Discuss in pairs and answer each question below in a short paragraph (30-40 words).

1. “The sound was a familiar one.” What sound did the doctor hear? What did he think it was? How many times did he hear it? (Find the places in the text). When and why did the sounds stop? 

Ans. The doctor heard a noise from above him as he entered his house.

 He was accustomed to rats in his house and so he thought it was the usual sound of the rats moving to and from the beam. He heard the sound thrice.

We know from further reading that a snake had entered the room, so the rats must have all hidden in their holes on its arrival, and thus the sound of their scampering stopped.

2.what two “ important “ and “earth Shaking” decisions did the doctor take while he was looking into the mirror? 

Ans. The first “important” decision that the doctor took while looking into the mirror was that he would shave daily and grow a thin moustache to look more handsome; and the second “earth shaking” decision he took was that he would always keep his attractive smile on his face.

3. “I looked into the mirror and smiled,” says the doctor. A little later he says, “I forgot my danger and smiled feebly at myself.” What is the doctor’s opinion about himself when:

(i)  he first smiles?

Ans. When the doctor first smiles he appreciates his smile as being attractive and decides to wear it always. He thinks of himself as a young, unmarried and handsome doctor who needed to make his presence felt.

(ii) he smiles again?

Ans. When he smiles the second time he realises that he is after all a poor and foolish doctor since he did not have with him the proper medicines that he would require if the snake struck him.

(iii) In what way do his thoughts change in between, and why?

Ans. His thoughts change drastically in between because one moment everything seemed to be in his favour and he was admiring and appreciating himself; yet in the next moment he had a snake coiled around his arm, and noting that he did not have the needed medicines, he realised he was not so smart after all.

II. This story about a frightening incident is narrated in a humorous way. What makes it humorous? (Think of the contrasts it presents between dreams and reality. Some of them are listed below.)


  1.  The kind of person the doctor is (money, possessions) 
  2. The kind of person he wants to be (appearance, ambition)


  1.  The person he wants to marry
  2. The person he actually marries


  1.   His thoughts when he looks into the mirror 
  2. His thoughts when the snake is coiled around his arm

Write short paragraphs on each of these to get your answer. 


  1.  The kind of person the doctor is poor, meagre possessions.
  2. The kind of person he wants to be: attractive, handsome and married happily to a rich fat doctor


  1.  The person he wants to marry: a rich, lady doctor who had a good medical practice, and who would be so fat that she would not be able to catch him if he ever had to run after making a silly mistake. 
  2. The person he actually marries: a very thin woman, who could run very fast.


  1.  His thoughts when he looks into the mirror: that he is a very handsome man and a doctor so he should try his utmost to become even more handsome.
  2. His thoughts when the snake is coiled around his arm: that he was a poor, foolish doctor with no medicine in his room to save him if the snake happened to bite him.

SEBA Class 9 English Question Answer

Sl. NOChapters NamesLink
Chapter 1The Fun They HadClick Here
The Road Not TakenClick Here
Chapter 2The Sound Of Music
Part-IEvelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without Hearing ItClick Here
Part-IIThe Shehnai of Bismillah KhanClick Here
WindClick Here
Chapter 3The Little GirlClick Here
Rain on The RoofClick Here
Chapter 4A Truly Beautiful Mind Click Here
The Lake Isle Of InnisfreeClick Here
Chapter 5The Snake And The MirrorClick Here
A Legend Of the NorthlandClick Here
Chapter 6My ChildhoodClick Here
No Men Are ForeignClick Here
Chapter 7PackingClick Here
The Duck And the KangarooClick Here
Chapter 8Reach for the TopClick Here
Part-ISantosh YadavClick Here
Part-IIMaria SharapovaClick Here
On Killing A TreeClick Here
TreesClick Here
Chapter 9The Bond Of LoveClick Here
The Snake TryingClick Here
Green SnakeClick Here
Chapter 10KathmanduClick Here
A Slumber Did My Spirit SealClick Here
Fear No MoreClick Here
Chapter 11If I Were YouClick Here
Chapter 12A Visit to Kaziranga and SivasagarClick Here
Chapters no.Chapters NamesLink
Chapters 1The Lost ChildClick Here
Chapters 2The Adventures of TotoClick Here
Chapters 3Iswaran The StorytellerClick Here
Chapters 4In the Kingdom of FoolsClick Here
Chapters 5The Happy PrinceClick Here
Chapters 6Weathering the Storm in ErsamaClick Here
Chapters 7The Last LeafClick Here
Chapters 8A House Is Not A HomeClick Here
Chapters 9The Accidental Tourist Click Here
Chapters 10The BeggarClick Here


Answer the following questions:

1. What time was it when the doctor returned to his room? Where had he been?

Ans. It was around ten in the night when the doctor returned to his room. He had been out having his dinner at a nearby restaurant. 

2. What did the doctor do after entering his room?

Ans. After entering his room, the doctor took off his black coat, white shirt and not-so-white vest and hung them up. Next he opened the two windows in the room.

3. Which book did the doctor open? 

Ans. The doctor opened the book named ‘Materia Medica”.

4. Why did he decide to grow a moustache? 

Ans. While gloating over his looks, the doctor thought that having a moustache would make him appear even more attractive and so he decided to grow a moustache.

5. Why did he want his future wife to be fat? 

Ans. The doctor wanted his future wife to be fat so that she could not catch him if he ever made a silly mistake and had to run.

6. What did the doctor imagine the snake was thinking while looking at its reflection? 

Ans. The doctor, when he saw the snake looking at itself in the mirror, thought that it was trying to admire its beauty and just like him, was on the verge of making an important decision as to what would make it look more beautiful. The doctor imagined the snake was debating on whether it should grow a moustache or should begin using eye shadow or mascara or maybe even contemplating whether wearing a vermilion spot on its forehead would make it look better.

Reference to the context :

1. “I took a close look at my face in the mirror. I made an important decision” 

(a) Who is the speaker? 

Ans. The speaker of the above quoted sentence is the doctor in the prose piece “The snake and the mirror”. 

(b) What decision does he make? Why?

Ans. The doctor decides to shave daily and grow a thin moustache to appear more handsome

2. “Death lurked four inches away.”

(a) Who is the speaker? 

Ans. The speaker of the above quoted sentence is the doctor in the prose piece The snake and the mirror

(b) What form of ‘Death’ is the speaker referring to? 

Ans. The speaker is referring to ‘Death in the form of the snake coiled around his left arm, which was just inches away from his face and within easy striking distance of his face

3. “It was a snake which was taken with its own beauty.”

(a) What makes the speaker say that the snake was taken with its own beauty?

Ans. The speaker says that the snake was taken with its own beauty because when it saw its reflection in the mirror, it left the doctor’s arm to go and further admire itself in the mirror.

(b) Explain the phrase “taken with”. 

Ans. Taken with means to be attracted by

Multiple Choice Questions: 

1.Looking at himself in the mirror the doctor decided to

  1.  shave daily and keep a thin moustache 
  2.  cut off his thin moustache
  3. marry a thin attractive woman 
  4. become a doctor and look more handsome 

Ans.(a) shave daily and keep a thin moustache

2. The doctor wanted his future wife to be fat 

  1.  so that she could not catch him if he needed to run away
  2. so that she could protect him against snakes 
  3. so that he would look more handsome 
  4. because he could not find a thin girl

Ans. (a) so that she could not catch him if he needed to run away 

3. The word ‘meagre’ means

  1.  small in quantity 
  2. boastful
  3. in large quantity 
  4. happy

Ans. (a) small in quantity

4. Where was the snake before it climbed up the chair onto the doctor’s shoulder?

  1.  hunting rats overhead on the beam 
  2. hiding below his chair
  3. chasing rats below the doctor’s bed
  4. near the mirror on the table 

Ans. (a) hunting rats overhead on the beam

5. What did the doctor do when the snake moved on to the table?

  1.  slowly got up from the chair and went out of the room
  2. sat in his chair, watching the snake and too afraid to move
  3. prayed to God
  4. called out to his friends

Ans. (a) slowly got up from the chair and went out of the room

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