Charles

Category: Written by Nerella Bharat / 10:40 PM
1. Why did Laurie create the character of Charles? (Sept 89)
(Or) Why did Laurie tell stories about an imaginary Charles? (June 2002)
Laurie created Charles out of his imaginations. He created Charles partly out of fun. Laurie is an observant boy interested in the people around him, at home and school. At school, Laurie might have noticed some body who had the characteristics of Charles. He wanted to make his parents understand how a troublesome boy like Charles could be a headache both to teachers and parents. He gave a living to the imaginary cretion by adding appropriate colour and language to make Charles very intersting. He might have derived pleasure out of it.

2. In the story 'Charles' who was Charles? What did Laurie's mother want to do at the PTA meeting? Was she able to do that? Why?Charles is supposedly a boy in the kindergarten class, along with Laurie. At home Laurie relates Charle's mischievous and unacceptable behaviour to his parents. At the PTA meeting, Laurie's mother wanted to meet Charles parents and invite them over a cup of tea. But she discovers that there is no child in the class by that name and 'he' was totally, imaginary character created by Laurie. Though she did not discover an actual physical being named Charles, the mother was able to discover that by creating an anti - social character like Charles, her son Laurie was actually asserting his desire to be treated as a swaggering grown-up school boy, relishing in being noticed by his elders, instead of being treated as a baby. Charles, was an expression of Laurie's desire for individuality and his mother discovered 'Charles' when she realised her son's need.

3. Laurie usually adjusts very quickly, I said, 'I suppose this time its Charle's influence'. What was the reaction of the teacher to this remark?In the Story, 'Charles by Shirley Jackson, when Laurie's mother attends the first PTA meeting she expects to meet the parents of her son's classmate Charles. Charles has been described by her son Laurie as being the errant student in the class often checked and punished for misbehaviour. After the meeting when Laurie's mother begins to exchange notes on how Laurie was settling into his new class, the teacher remarked that Laurie had adjusted quickly to the school situation, barriing a few lapes. Laurie's mother commented that the lapses in her son's behaviour were probably due to the influence of 'Charle's on Laurie. On hearing the name Charles, the teacher was taken aback because there was no child in her kindergarten by that name.

4. Why did Laurie's parents never find out that their son was often punished by being made to stay back after class? (March 2000) Laurie's parents could never find out that their son was often punished by being made to stay back after class because explanations for coming in late were so plausible. Laurie had also created an imaginary pupil 'Charles,' and told his parents convincing stories about Charles' antics in class. The gullible parents. did not examine facts closely. As they were so confident about their son's good behaviour they did not check, by enquiring at the school.

5. What were the bad things Charles did in the School? (or) How did Laurie behaviour during his first two or three weeks at kindergarten? In Shirely Jackson's 'Charles,' she introduced 'Charles' as an imaginary character created by Laurie. Charles did some bad things in his first week in his kindergarten class. At first he hit the teacher. On the next day i.e., Wednesday he bounced a sea-saw on the head of a little girl and made her bleed. The following day i.e., Thursday, he had to stand in a corner of the class as he was pounding his feet on the floor. On Friday, the following day he was deprived of blackboard privileges because he threw chalk, In the next week on the first day i.e., on Monday Charles was given punishment to stay after school because he yelled loudly in the school . On Tuesday Charles kicked his teacher's friend wo did not allow Charles to do exercises. He repeated the same thing the following week.

6. Why should Laurie tell such a fake story? What does he get by doing so? As Laurie was an imaginative boy, he had created Charles out of his creative brain. He wanted to make fun of his parents. They were pleased to hear his fake story while they believed to be true. Laurie derived pleasure by telling that fake story to his parents.

7. Laurie's parents believed his story of Charles. How did Laurie make Charles so convincing? Laurie was an observant boy among the people, at home and at school. He must have observed a boy at his school who had his characteristics. He was quick enough to add colour and language to make Charles so convincing. So, Laurie's parents were interested in the story of Charles.

8. Why is the story entitled Charles and not Laurie? Who is the story about? Laurie was a highly imaginative boy. The story actually narrates the things that Laurie had done. Laurie had created a boy by name Charles out of his imagination. His parents did not know the fact that there was no boy by name Charles in the Kindergarten. But Laurie used to tell a fake story of Charles. He made Charles so convincing while telling his parents. They derived pleasure in hearing about Charles till the end. So, the story is entitled Charles. It is the story about Laurie.

9. Is Laurie a bad boy? Who is responsible for his falsehood, his parents? Teacher? His schoolmates? Why?Laurie is not a bad boy. Nobody is resposible for his falsehood because it may not be a fault of Laurie. He is very young and so he did not realise that it was bad to tell fake story. Laurie's mother was very much worried of his toughness and bad grammar. Her husband brushed aside her fears saying that there was no good running away from the bad.

10. What did Laurie do on the first day of his kindergaten? On the first day of his kindergarten Laurie gave up his coarse overalls with bibs and wore blue jeans and belt.

11.With whom did he go to school the first day? The first day he went to school along with an older girl of next door.

12. What did the teacher tell Laurie's mother about Laurie? The teacher told her that Laurie had given her little trouble adjusting during the first week. But he turned to be a fine little helper later but with a few lapses.

13. Why couldn't they hold a PTA meeting without Charle's mother? Charles had become a problem to all children and teachers. So they could not hold a meeting without Charle's mother.

14. Why did his mother think that an era of her life was ended? She thought that her sweet voiced nursery school kid had become a long trousered boy. His character has also changed. He forgot to say goodbye to her.

15. How did he behave when he returned home? He slammed open the front door and threw his cap on the floor and his voice also became harsh.
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