About the author: John C Hill (1888-1943) is a famous British writer. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College and was eventually ordained as a priest.
Summary-:J.C Hill in ‘Good Manners’ adopts an intimate, friendly tone. The essay is a sermon on how fellow feelings can be brought back into the society that seems to have been overtaken by callous, selfish principles. Hill brings home his argument in favor of good manners by alluding to the young man’s weak physical condition, when he is suffering from influenza and how he wakes up to the awareness of the ill manners of the youth, in their treatment of the sick and aged members of society. Parents, teachers, and senior members of society nurture and protect young children in their tender years. But, the youth have forgotten the need for good manners, service and consideration for others. Good manners in effect from a part of human character. Clarity of thought and its expression in speech, making allowances for the weak and mentally challenged and humility in behavior are some points on which Hill focuses his attention.
Theme- Here, the writer has highlighted the importance of and the need for good manners in society and human life. He thinks that good manners are helpful in running our social life smoothly. We should cultivate feelings of compassion for others and know our limitations as human beings. We should be aware of the need of others. Good manners are relevant to both men and society. The old and weak must be treated or helped by the young and strong. Hence, the author wants that we should avoid ego and respect the view of others that’s what make a person civilised and well mannered.
Question and answers:-
Q1. What is the significance of the story of the young man at the beginning of the essay?
Ans:- Hill’s begins the essay with a story of a young man who was strong and healthy. He is so proud of himself and had no sympathy for the old and needy people and usually make fun of other people. So one day, he fell dangerously ill and got pneumonia and when he recovered he could only move slowly and get easily tired which makes his life difficult. So there are then, he realized the problem/pain of old people who are so tired and suffering from their oldage that can never go away. So, this realisation changed his perspective about old and needy people and he start helping them as whenever he used to travel in a train or bus, he help old and tired poeple whoever is standing besides him and gave up his seat to them as he started realising the pain of old and needy people who can never have their strength bavk again. So from this, the author wants to tell us the importance of thoughtfulness and courtesy, sympathy, love and care towards common people.
Q2. Why are good manners important?
Ans:- In everyone’s life good manner plays an important role always. Good manners consists lots of qualities and we should never ignore it. As JC Hill stresses on the importance of thougjtfulness and courtesy towards common people. Human life on this planet is not permanent. Hence one must try, as far as possible to behave politely and to help others as there’s only a one chance. Good manners are based on having sympathy for others and acknowledging one’s own limitations and a good mannered person is only loved by people that is why it is important in our life.
Q3:- What according to the author, is the common factor about all boys and girls?
Ans:- According to the author, one of the things all boys and girls are going to learn before very long is that they are fragile little things in a dangerous world. Our parents, teachers and all older people have had some severe blows already and we have no idea how tired they are at times. So, we have to make life easy for them as far as we can, so when it is our turn to suffer we will feel happier for having helped when we could.
Q4:- What is the difference between literal meaning and real meaning? Which one is to be considered to the author?
Ans:- Literal meaning is exactly as stated, that is read or understood without additional interpretation. Literal means whatever we see or heard we stated but real meaning is when we go through a real statement or existing in reality. It is not what we just saw and stated bt it is when we try to extract the real meaning in a given sentence. So Author JC Hill considered real meaning among the other as it is only stupid people who take remarks too literally and do not look for the real meaning in the statements people make. So we should understand people’s intentions rather than to make fun of them.
Q5:- What does the author say aboit speaking the truth? How does he support his statement?
Ans:- He says that the meaning of the statement that you want to say depends on the person who is listening to you. If he understands it in the way /sense you said, it is truth but if he fails to understand the sense it becomes false to him. In his words, Truth is never a one-sided game, it takes two to speak the truth i.e one to speak and another to hear and it would save a great deal of argument inlife if poeple paid attention to it.
LONG QUESTION & ANSWERS:-
Q1:- ‘It is not easy in company to speak frankly’. Why not?
Ans:- ‘It is not easy in company to speak frankly’ because when in a company one must watch out for certain signs in order to be labelled as a well- mannered person. They think that everyone is delighted by their company but in fact everyone, there would be exhausted and angry at their behaviour. Hence one should not do all the talking for himself, he should instead give equal opportunity to others to express their views and feelings. We should always give the person a full amd patient hearing. If they do noy speak, it means they do not want us to talk too and we should also stop the conversation there and then as other person is not interested.
Q2:- ‘It takes two to speak the truth- one to speak and another to hear? What does the writer wish to convey through this remark made by thoreau?
Ans:- The writer wants to convey that truth is never a one sided game. It takes two to speak the truth- one to speak and another to hear. One cannot speak the truth by saying what one thinks is truth. We have to express truth differently for different people. This is a very important saying and it would save a great deal of argument and annoyance in life if people paid attention to it.
For example:- To some poeple ‘socialism’ means taking money from those who have money and giving it to those who have none. To other poeple, socialism means state control of industry and commerce. To others, we cannot tell a man ‘the truth about socialism’ until you know what he understands by the term. So what we say is never absolute truth, it has different meanings for different people under different situations.
Q3:-‘Now here is one of the most surprising things in life…’ What is the most surprising? Why is it so?
Ans:- ‘Here is one of the most surprising things in life’: no man really understands himself. J.C Hill advices us to understand ourselves before teasing or talking ill about others. Many times we fail to understand ourselves. There is always a possibility of us being mistaken. People look at everything from their own perspective and we have to understand them. JC Hill sites an example- Some students were once shown a picture of a bull figjt and asked later to describe it from memory. One said, a bull’s tongue was out. Actually the bull,s mouth was closed, but because its head was turned to the side, its ear had looked like a tongue. So, whenever we argue with somebody about a point, think that always there is always a chance of us going wrong. Hemce we should take care of what we argue and speak. If we understand this truth, alot of argument and anger could be avoided.
Q4:-“The truth is too big for any of us to understand ‘. What is the truth? How is it related to good manners?
Ans:- “The truth is too big for any of us to understand “. The truth as we see is only one truth and part of a larger truth. We should always realise that we are humble, unimportant people on this earth and try to help the world as much as we can in our short time here. It is related to Good manners as Good manners come from having sympathy with others and from understanding our own limitations. So, we have to make sure, that we should help people and show them love, kindness, care, appreciation and sympathy in this shorter period of time as far as we can rather than judging or making fun of people.
IMPORTANT LARGE ANSWERS:-
Q1:- ‘No man really understands himself ‘. Explain?
Ans:- According to JC Hill who has written this piece of prose entitled with ‘Good manner’. This is the most surprising thing in life ‘no man really understand ourselves before teasing or talking ill about others. As many times we fail to understand ourselves and start judging others and neglecting their perspectives as people look everything from their own perspective and we have to understand them rather making fun or teasing them as there is always a possibility of us being mistaken. Hill sites an example:- some students were once shown a picture of a bull fight and asked later to describe it from memory. One said, a bull’s tongue was out. Actually the bull’s mouth was closed , but because its head was turned to the side , its ear had looked like a tongue. So, whenever we argue with someone about a point, remember that there is quite a good chance that you are wrong, however confident you feel about it. Hence we should take care of what we argue and speak. If we understand this truth and our own limitations a lot of argument and anger could be avoided.
Q2:-Why does one have to express truth differently to different people? Give reasons for your answer with suitable examples from the text.
Ans:- According to the Author, ‘JC Hill’ ‘one have to express truth differently to different poeple’ as truth differs from person to person. You cannot speak the truth by saying what you think is the truth. You have to express it differently to different people. For example:- socialism might be the state control of industry and commerce to some, but to some others, it might be robbing the rich and serving the poor. So, what we think to be true need not always be true for others. To others we cannot tell a man ‘the truth about socialism’ until you know what he understands by the term. So, we should not assume that we alone know the whole truth and the other person is always wrong as there is always a possibility that we are mistaken, However, confident we are in our statement, it always has a different meaning to different people ,so, one have to express truth differently to different poeple and hence the Author wants to conver from this, that everyone has their own perspective amd point of views that we should never let them wrong and make our perspective right , infact we should understand them.
Q3:- Bring out the significance of good manners in life with hill’s views in mind.
Ans:- JC Hill “Good manners” is an adaptation from his famous book “An introduction to citizenship”. In his essay “Good manners” the famous British writer john C Hill stresses on the importance of thoughtfulness and courtesy towards common people. He also advices that human life on this planet is not permanent. Hence we must try to behanve politely and to help others as far as possible in this shorter period of time. Good manners are based on having sympathy for others and acknowledging one’s own limitations. We should never make fun of people’s opinion and their ideas, infact we have to respect their perspective before judging them. We should strive to maintain cordial relations amongst the other. The Author advices us about a lot of manner which is most important in our life. He suggested us to help every old and needy people and talks about the perfect conversations in a company that we should give equal opportunity to others to express their views and feelings. We should never say unpleasant things about someone behind their back as tge remarks usually find their way to that person with our name attached. So, we should never feel bad or make evil for anybody. Hence, we can say if someone consist these types of manner he should be a perfect civilised person. So, Good manners plays a very important role in our life.