A Treasure Trove of Short Stories
A Treasure Trove of Short Stories is a wonderful collection of short stories for the ICSE Syllabus of 2011-2012. This collection contains stories of a variety of themes and includes authors from all over the world. The stories are gripping no doubt, nut studied properly they are also a great tool for learning the English language in all its grandeur and variety.
Target ICSE brings to you a complete online guidebook for A Treasure Trove of Short Stories. Each story is studied in a fresh approach. This includes summary, setting, title, characters and characterization, glossary, meanings of difficult words and phrases, ICSE pattern work book with solved and unsolved questions.
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Rikki-Tikki-Tavi - Rudyard KiplingRikki-Tikki-Taviis an all time popular short story in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling about the adventures of a brave young mongoose which kills a snake to save a little boy.Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a favourite of Kipling fans. The frightening and serious tone of the story is notable.
There are some epic features in this story such as heightened prosaic style, songs to the hero. It has often been anthologized and has also been published for a number of times as a short book in its own right.
An Astrologer's Day - R. K. NarayanThe Story - An Astrologer's Day is set in the fictional town of Malgudi, and tells the story of one of its inhabitants, an astrologer.
The story is set against the backdrop one evening as the main protagonist the astrologer prepares to leave for home. But this does not prove to be any ordinary day for this evening he meets a special customer. His interaction with the customer and the consequences of that form the action of the story.
It is at the same time a comic as well as a suspenseful story that is bound to impress upon the reader.
Dusk - Saki (H.H. Munro)Dusk is a wonderful short story with a perfect twist in the tale that leaves the reader not only amazed but also thoughtful.
The story is set against the backdrop of dusk- the hour when evening melts into darkness. The protagonist is Norman Gortsby, a rather pessimistic and cynical man. The story is narrated by an omniscient narrator who knows what is going on in Gortsby's mind. Thus dusk is portrayed as the hour of the defeated - mitigated as it is by the engulfing darkness. The incident of the story is small but is an enthralling one.
The Postmaster - Rabindranath TagoreThe Postmaster is a touching and wonderfully poignant story of human relationships. It narrates the plight of a young girl Ratan who becomes emotionally attached to the Postmaster whom she serves as a household help. This orphaned girl begins to look on him as an elder brother, but alas this bond proves tragical for her young heart.
When the postmaster resigns his job, unable to adjust his city bred self with the village surroundings, young Ratan is left to pine away. Set at a time when society was not prepared to accept relationships that had no conventional name or ties of kinship, the beautiful relationship of Ratan and her dadababu is destined to end abruptly. Nevertheless, the innocent love and affection of Ratan, and her heartrending loneliness cannot fail to touch a chord in every reader's mind.
How Much Land Does A Man Require? - Leo TolstoyThis story was written in 1905, the time when the Russian peasants had newly gained freedom and the right to buy land.
This is a story about a small farmer, Pakhom who lives a simple and uneventful life by tilling land and paying huge taxes for it because he is not a land owner. Once being provoked by the conversations of his wife and her sister (who lives in the city and thus has a comfortable life), he boasts that once he has enough land he would care for no one, not even the devil himself. The Devil decides to challenge him by giving him enough land and then taking it away from him. The story tells the tale of how Pakhom acquires more and more land until his greed for more leads to his tragic end.
The Tiger in the Tunnel - Ruskin BondThe Tiger in the Tunnelis a touching story of the extraordinary courage of ordinary men, who remain oblivious to the world despite their acts of heroism. It tells the story Baldeo, a signalman at a small station, who dies fighting with the deadly tiger. The same responsibility now falls on Tembu, the eight year old son of Baldeo. Tembu has little time to mourn his father's death for he had to earn a living for supporting his family. Thus life goes on, uninterrupted by the great tragedies that befall.
The Tiger in the Tunnelis a story of courage and responsibility. This is a story that knocks on the conscience of people who grumble about their life.
The Umbrella Man - Roald DahlThe Umbrella Manis a smart and witty story about a clever old man who earns his whiskey in a rather ingenious manner. The story is told from the point of view of a twelve year old girl who starts out by thinking greatly of her mother's judgmental qualities but is forced to re-think the same when her mother is out smarted by the clever old man.
The events stretch a short span of time on a certain rainy afternoon. Like a typical short story, there is a twist in the tale that leaves the narrator and her mother stunned and the reader amused.
Girls - Mrinal PandeGirls is a socially relevant and vocal short story that is centered on the theme of oppression of girls in certain sections of the Indian society. The story is narrated from the point of view of an unnamed girl who is unwilling to accept herself as a "trouble" or a "nuisance". She registers her protest by refusing to give in to the hypocrisy of the society which worships women as goddesses on the one hand, while demeaning and abusing them continually in real day to day life.
This story was first published in 1983 in Hindi in the journal Dharmyug. The present edited version was translated into English by Rama Baru.
The story is relevant in the present context of changing gender roles, attitudes and definitions. It reminds us that there are still many sections of society where the fight and the struggle for gender equality is still in its nascent stages.
The Sniper - Liam O'FlahertyThe Sniper is an extremely gripping and realistic story set against the backdrop of the civil war in Ireland in the early twentieth century. The story brings to light the sad irony of war wherein brothers become enemies, even to the point of killing each other.
The story is very tightly woven , focusing on the protagonist who is an IRA sniper. As the story unfolds what we see is how war reduces human beings to gun wielding machines. But what we also see is how the steely exterior of the sniper conceals a human earth. War is futile- that is the final message of the story.
The Gift of the Magi - O Henry“The Gift of the Magi” is one of the greatest short stories of O’ Henry. In this story O’ Henry tells the story of a young couple (Jim and Della) who sacrificed their best possessions to give each other Christmas presents.
They make the greatest sacrifice to offer the gifts to each other as tokens of love. The significance of giving gifts is the central theme of the story. In this story we find a beautiful blend of humour and pathos. Like a true short story, “The Gift of the Magi” is brief and it has unity of plot and action. The story has only three characters: Della, Jim, and Madame Sophronie. The beginning of the story is very dramatic and the ending is ironical. The writer has aptly chosen the symbolical title.
Marriage is a Private Affair - Chinua AchebeMarriage Is A Private Affair is the story of two young people who come from separate tribes — the Ibo and the Ibibio— and contrary to ancient tradition, who have fallen in love with each other. They have to overcome social pressures to get married and it is their children who bring the family together again.
Achebe here focuses on an issue which is constantly discussed in Indian society— inter-cultural marriages. In this story the author highlights the conflict of values in a colonial setting and how personal and private lives can be impacted by external factors.
A Fishy Story - Jerome K JeromeA Fishy Story is an amusing story, excerpted from Jerome K Jerome's novel Three Men in a Boat. The novel charts the adventurous journeysof three friends and their dog as they go from one strange place to another.
A Fishy Story narrates the incidents of one evening when three friends who go to a pub in the course of their travels and are taken for a ride by the local people. There is no malice here. There is no serious matter at stake. The centre of all activity and attention is a huge fish that the three friends marvel at. During this time a number of local people come in one after the other and as they see the amazed friends admiring the fish, they each claim to have caught it!
It is only at the end of the story that the truth of the matter is revealed.
The Monkey's Paw - W.W. JacobsThe Monkey's Paw is a grim and sombre story about the dangers of trying to interfere with one's fate. The story begins in a cozy domestic atmosphere with the White family enjoying a warm evening by their fire side, but things quickly change into the macabre with the entrance of the Sergeant and the monkey's paw he brings in. Mr. White has little idea of what all is to unfold when the Monkey's Paw is invoked. The story reiterates the age old idea that wishes come at a price, often too dear a one.
A Day's Wait - Ernest HemmingwayA Day’s Wait is a story of a father and his nine year old son, Schatz who falls ill. The story takes place in a course of a day and is narrated by the father, but it moves round the boy. The story has a simple theme - anxiety. Though the story is that of the baseless fears of a little boy and his realization about the unfounded panic he undergoes, it may be taken as a metaphor for all of humanity in general. All of us are given to such baseless fears at some point or other. The story wonderfully drives home the gratuitous nature of most human worries.
The Case for the Defence - Graham GreeneThe Case for the Defence is a story about providence or divine intervention.
Through this court room story we find that the author delivers the message that what cannot be judged by human courts, is often judged by divine intervention.
It is a gripping story with an open ending where the reader is free to choose his/her conclusion. The story is narrated from the point of view of a reporter and not an omniscient narrator. Thus, just as the narrator is left guessing at the end of the story, so are the readers.
This is one of the most gripping stories in the collection.