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“This was that part that wouldn’t permit me to believe what saw”. What part does the narrator mean? Aram refers to their poverty. They lived in extreme poverty and it was difficult to understand how they got food to satisfy their hunger. He frankly admits that every branch of the family was living in the most amazing and comical poverty in the world. 2. What conflicting thoughts passed through the narrator’s mind on seeing Mourad on a beautiful white horse early one morning? The narrator was surprised. He knew that his cousin Mourad couldn’t have bought the horse. He obviously must have stolen it. However, family pride came in the way. He refused to believe that Mourad was a thief. 3. How did Aram define stealing when he had to decide whether or not to ride the horse? It seemed to him that stealing a horse for a ride was not the same thing as stealing something else such as money. Since he and Mourad were quite crazy about horses it wasn’t stealing. He convinced himself with the thought that it would become stealing only when they offered to sell it. 4. What traits of the Garoghlanian family are highlighted in the story? The Garoghlanian family though now poor was famous for their honesty even when they were wealthy. They were proud first, honest next and after that they believed in right and wrong. None of them would take advantage of anybody in the world. They would not steal. No member of this family could be a thief. 5. Why could little Aram not believe his eyes when his cousin Mourad called him early one summer morning? Little Aram thought that he was dreaming when he saw his cousin Mourad sitting on a magnificent white horse. It was an unbelievable sight because they belonged to the poor families and buying such a beautiful horse was beyond their means. 6. What two character traits of Mourad are mentioned by the narrator in the initial part of the story? Mourad was considered crazy by everybody who knew him except the narrator. He was impulsive, daring and reckless. He followed his heart more than his mind. He was quite crazy about horses and had a way with animals. Secondly, he enjoyed being alive more than anybody else. 7. What were the peculiarities in uncle? Uncle Khosrove’s crazy streak was famous. He was a big man with a powerful head of black hair and very large moustache. He was quite furious in temper, very irritable and impatient. He would stop anyone from talking by roaring his pet phrase. “It is no harm; pay no attention to it”. 8. “I have a way with a horse”. How do you think had Mourad developed an understanding with the horse? Mourad had been quite sensitive, tender and affectionate towards the horse. He would put his arms around it, press his nose into the horse’s nose and pat it. It was not easy to tame a strange horse and get it to behave nicely. Even John Byro, the rightful owner admitted that the horse had become better tempered, stronger and well-mannered.
9. What do you think induced the voice to return the horse to its owner? The boys were impressed by John Byro’s attitude towards their parents and families. He knew their parents’ very well and so believed whatever the boys said. Secondly the fame of their family for honesty was well-known to him. The boys returned the horse to him for the sake of family's pride and dignity. Their conscience did not allow them to keep the horse any longer. They were afraid to lose a family reputation which was known for honesty and integrity. 10. Why had Mourad and Aram taken the horse? Why did they return it? They had taken the horse with the intention of riding it and also they were too poor to buy it. They loved riding but since they were not thieves, they had no desire to sell it. They returned the horse because they became conscious of their reputation of honesty and realised their mistake. 11. Do you think John Byro recognized his horse? Why did he not accuse the boys of stealing the horse? Yes, John Byro did recognize his horse. He examined his teeth and knew for sure that the horse was his own. He did not accuse the boys and indirectly told them that it was wrong to steal. He talked about the family’s reputation for honesty and said that he would never suspect them of stealing. 12. “We had been famous for our honesty for something like eleven centuries”. The narrator describes his family in these words. Do you think Mourad and Aram were honest too? Give examples to prove your point. Mourad and Aram were also very honest. They took the horse with the sole intention of riding it and could not afford to buy one of their own. Their intention was to return the horse. Mourad was only thirteen years old and was not mature enough to resist the temptation. The talk with John Byro and the need to safeguard the family's reputation made them return the horse. 13. Mourad had the ‘crazy streak’ of the family in him. What do you learn about him in the story? Mourad, a thirteen year old boy, fond of riding to the point of looking crazy- sang joyfully as he rode the stolen horse. He was considered the natural descendent of a crazy uncle Khosrove. He said he had a way with horses and farmers. 14. Which other characters of Mourad’s family had the crazy streak in them? Write briefly about their behaviour. Mourad and Uncle Khosrove both were crazy persons. Mourad was a young boy, fond of horses and riding while Uncle Khosrove was furious, impatient, and irritable. He would roar and stop everyone from talking and say “It is no harm, pay no attention to it”. When his son came and told them that the house was on fire, he silenced him by saying ‘enough’. It is no harm. 15. How can we say that Aram and Mourad were very fond of riding? Mourad had brought a horse which did not belong to him. He would wake up at 4:00 am and ride the horse when it was still very dark. He used to race the horse across the fields and vineyards. 16. What did John Byro say to the boys when he found them walking with it one morning? John Byro met the boys walking with the horse which they had stolen. He studied the horse carefully and examined its teeth and was certain that the horse was his own horse.
Yet he said that if he did not know their parents’ honesty, he would swear that it was his horse. He only called it his horse’s twin. 17. Why did John Byro visit Aram’s house in his surrey after getting his horse back? John Byro visited Aram’s house in his surrey to show that the stolen horse had been returned. He just wanted to tell them the horse was stronger and better tempered now. 18. Describe Mourad’s parting from the beautiful white horse? Mourad looked at the horse for some time as he had grown fond of him. When he had gone to return it, in John Byro’s vineyard, he had tried to put his arms around his neck, pressed his nose into the horse’s nose and patted him. The horse was stronger now and better behaved after being with Mourad for some days. 19. “What?” he roared. Are you inviting a member of the Garoghlanian family to steal? The horse must go back to its true owner. Who said these words and to whom? What do we learn about the speaker from these lines? Mourad said these words to Aram when Aram suggested that they should keep the horse for a year. Mourad was annoyed and said these words. This shows that he was honest and sincere enough to guard the family’s reputation of being honest. 20. What kind of a family did Aram and Mourad come from? Do you think they possessed the family’s special traits in their character? Aram and Mourad came from a family which was well-known for its honesty. Though they were very poor, they were proud, honest and believed in right and wrong. Yes, the boys possessed the family traits in their character because despite the temptation to steal the horse, they had the honesty to go and return it to its master, John Byro. 7 marks 21. Discuss the character sketch of Mourad. Mourad, the central character in the story ‘The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse’ is depicted as a young boy, who enjoyed being alive and having fun. He had a crazy streak in him which he had inherited from his family. He belonged to a tribe that was poor, had no money and lived in an acute form of poverty. As a young lad he upheld the family customs and traditions. He believed in all the values that his tribe and family had tried to inculcate in him. He could not resist the temptation to ride a horse and stole a horse from John Byro, hid it and then went for horse riding early in the morning at 4:00 am along with his nine year old cousin Aram. He justified his act by saying that it wasn’t stealing because they had no intention of selling it for money. Mourad was crazy and fun loving. While riding the horse, he sang loudly and joyfully. He was confident about his riding abilities and said that he had a way with a horse. It was only when John Byro touched his conscience when he declared that if he had not trusted the honesty of their tribe. He would have sworn that the horse belonged to him. Mourad realised his mistake. His conscience pricked him and he returned the horse. The fun loving boy had had his fun and then his honesty urged him to uphold his family values and traditions. 21. What message is conveyed through the story The Summer of the Beautiful Horse? The primary message of the story, The Summer of the Beautiful Horse, is that despite social or economic challenges, there are some truths which are absolute and should be practiced under and all conditioned. It is undeniable that the story is set within a family that is poor. Their poverty is not used as a crutch or something that limits the emotional
quotient of the boys or the people in the community. The boys' love for the horse is genuine and sincere, not motivated out of some ulterior motive of greed or economic want. Their love for the animal is quite authentic. When they return the horse, they have a genuine understanding that they need to return what is not theirs. They are not motivated by anything else other than the highly human reaction of wanting to make right what is wrong. The reaction of the horse's owner, John Byro, is also very real and valid. He knows very well the boys have taken the horse, but gives multiple opportunities for the boys to recognize the consequences of their action. Ironically enough, the owner shows a sense of charity and good will and this benefits him, as the horse is much more manageable and well conditioned as a result of the boys' work with the horse. In the final analysis, when we examine the encounter of the boys, the horse, and the owner, there is a trend that while economic hardships are a strong factor in how we behave, they are not a determinant one. There is a realm of human action that can lie outside the strictly causal world of economics. The setting of the story seems to be Depression time California, which makes the economic reading even more intriguing. 22. What is the religion and culture of Garoghlanian tribe in "The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse"? The Garoghlanian tribe is Armenian. The culture of these people, known for their honesty, is at the heart of the story. Hospitality is also an important function in the Armenian culture. Social gatherings revolve around large amounts of food. The religion of most Armenian people is Christianity, which is structured around forgiveness of sins and, in this story focuses on tolerance. So therefore, when the horse is returned, the farmer does not tell the Garoghlanian family that the two boys had the horse all along. 3 marks 23. Why did Aram find it hard to believe that Maurad had stolen the horse? Because their tribe Garoghlanian had an unshakeable reputation for honesty no member of their tribe could steal. • What traits of Garoghlanion are highlighted in this story? • What do you think induced the boys to return the horse to its owner? • What was Khosrove’s reaction when his house was on fire? • Did the boys return the horse because they were conscious stricken or because they were afraid. • How did little Aram define stealing when he had to decide whether or not to ride the horse? • Describe Mourad’s parting from the beautiful white horse. • Though Aram is younger than Mourad but considerate and understanding. Justify. • The narrator mentions “a crazy-streak” running in his family. Which characters showed this streak in their behaviour and words? Support your answer the examples from the text. •