Critical Short Questions From Bates's story "The Ox"


ANS: The bi-cycle is the symbol of sole companionship for Mrs. Thurlow . She dreams about it and cannot walk without it. The bi-cycle is an object that externalizes the sway of emotions that lie suppressed in her.

Q. what is the symbolic significance of Mrs. Thurlow's cottage?

Ans: The location of Mrs. Thurlow's house and the movement of seasons   are all symbolic of a symbolic image of the human condition of gloom, despair,isolation and suffering where someone like Mrs. Thurlow symbolizes a Sisyphus-like existentialist fortitude and stoicism which makes her go on amid all the misery.

Q. Do you find any symbolic meaning of Mr. Thurlow's silver plate?                                                                    
Ans: Mr. Thurlow's silver plate in the head is another sad emblem of a lost self-hood and it is the assertion of its material value that creates the self-sustaining fantasy for him. His last image in the story in that oversize shirt beautifully symbolizes his  flight.

Q. what is the central symbol used in the story, The Ox ?         
Ans:The central symbolism in Bates's story is implicit in the analogy between Mrs. Thurlow and the ox. Right from the title itself to all the details like her 'lumbering' movement, her bi-cycle as the cart, her upturned skirt as the bony tail of the ox, the story develops this symbolism.       
Q. How far the comparison between Mrs. Thurlow and the ox is unjustified? 
Ans:Mrs. Thurlow's impassivity, her apparently thoughtless resignation and her silent and selfless fortitude are the complex ways her character differs from an ox. She merely uses that instinctive and blank mind as a defense mechanism in situations of acute adversity where her husband is of no help and her children, for whom she does everything, do not care for her.

Q. comment on the ending of the story The Ox ?                                                               

 Ans: Mrs. Thurlow's brother was a rich man.   The children got attracted by the rich living there. So, after some time, when Mrs. Thurlow went there to take them back, they flatly refused to go back with her. They felt absolutely no love for her. This was the last unbearable shock for her. It was harder than the loss of money or the separation of her husband.   In the lives of poor people, poverty estranges children from parents and wives from husbands. 

Q. what was the sole entertainment for Mrs. Thurlow's?                                                                    
 Ans .Mrs.Thurlow was quite cut-off from the world. Her only entertainment was the old news    papers which she read in the evening. She was thick headed and unimaginative.
Her relentless hard word made her mechanical.

Q. what is the central theme of the story The Ox?                                                                            
 Ans. The ox by H. E Bates is a tale of uncomplaining suffering of a woman Mrs.Thurlow who  works day and night in a mechanical responsive manner in order to give her two sons a secured    future. It is also a tale of her shattered dreams when finally she lost all her money as well as love  from her sons.

Q. why is Mrs. Thurlow so adamant for relentless work in The Ox?  

Ans. The apples of Mrs. Thurlow's eyes are her two sons. She works as hard as she can  trekking up and down the hill between her home and the village to save money for her sons' future education.

Q. why did Mrs. Thurlow still work hard despite of the fact that her sons settled in their uncle's   home?

Ans.   When Mrs. Thurlow's sons turn their back on her and she has  no   need  to   keep working like an ox to keep providing for them, she still continues to carry on as before  because she knows of nothing else. Like Alice in The Mill, Mrs. Thurlow seems to have no  concept of what is going on around her, yet her story is still strangely moving.

Q.make a comment on the character Of Mrs.Thurlow In H.E.bates Short Story The Ox?

Ans.Mrs Thurlow is rather like an "ox"- patient, hardworking, determined and completely lacking in imagination. She has just one idea - to save money for her two sons. Like  an ox,   she plods    away at her work, and thinks of nothing else - even murder seems unimportant in comparison.   When the money is still no longer needed, she can't grasp that.

Q.How did the story,"The Ox" end ?                                                

Ans.  After the trial and execution, the boys of Mrs. Thurlow chose to stay with their uncle. Devastated, Mrs. Thurlow struggled up the hill to her home, with a flat tire in her bicycle and "an impression that she would never reach it."

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