1. Who was Mr Oliver? What was his occupation?
Oliver was an Anglo-Indian teacher, who used to teach in a school, located 3
miles away from Shimla.
Oliver was a teacher by profession. He has been teaching in the school named
‘Eton of the East’ for several years.
2.What was the name of the school? Why was it called so?
school where Mr. Oliver was a teacher, was named as ‘Eton of the East’.
school had been running on an English public school line and the boys, most of
them were from wealthy Indian families and were supposed to wear blazers, caps
and ties. So, life magazine in a feature on India had declared the school as
Eton of the East.
3.Where does Oliver go every evening?
Oliver being a bachelor used to spend his evening usually strolling in the
town. He was a teacher in ‘Eton of the
East’. After teaching in the school he used to go to the Simla Bazar in the
evening and used to return in the night by taking a shortcut route, through the
pine forest with a torch in his hand.
4.Why does Oliver take a shortcut on his way back to school?
Oliver always used to take shortcuts on his way back to school at night. He
took the shortcut route because he was not a nervous or imaginative man who
would think that the forest has supernatural things. He was not frightened. He
always carried a torch with him.
5.Why do other people prefer the main road?
other people avoided the shortcut road and took the main road as the shortcut
road passed through the pine forest. There was something uneasy, at night the
wind seemed to howl and the leaves rustled which created a frightening
6.What did Oliver see in the forest? What does he think?
While walking back to school one night, in the flickering light of his torch,
he saw a boy wearing a school cap who was crying silently with his head hung
down, sitting on a rock.
Oliver wants to identify the miscreant as the students were forbidden from
venturing out after dark as per the school rules, and he thought it to be a
schoolboy by seeing the school cap.
7.Why does Oliver’s anger change to concern?
Oliver was worried about the boy, seeing the boy crying so strangely in the
dark all alone in the forest made him concerned. He asked the boy to look up
and tell him what was troubling him, he tried to enquire. The boy was not
responding to his questions at first but later he did.
8.What did Oliver encounter the very next? How did he react?
asking repeatedly, when the boy finally lifts up his face, Oliver’s light falls
on his face and he sees that the boy has no face, ears, eyes, or nose. He was
gets the shock of his life. The torch falls from his hands and he runs blindly
through the trees, calling for help.
9.What did he tell the watchman why was he so afraid?
Oliver told the watchman that he had seen a boy sitting in the forest and
crying and so he wanted to help him. He asked the boy to lift up his face and
tell him what was troubling him and when the boy looked up he was frightened.
He said that the boy had no eyes, ears, nose, or mouth, was featureless.
10. What was strange about the watchmen?
Oliver told the watchman what he saw in the forest, the watchman held the
lantern in front of his face and asked whether the boy he saw in the forest
looked like him. As the light fell on his face Oliver realized that the
watchman too was featureless, had no eyes, no nose, no mouth, etc.
11.Character sketch of Oliver.
Oliver is a man of knowledge and skills. He was a teacher in a school named
‘Eton of the East’. He was a bachelor and was staying alone on the premises of
the school. He was a courageous man and did not believe in supernatural
elements, he used to take a shortcut through the pine forest on his way back to
school. He was kind-hearted and helpful, he asked the boy to share his
difficulties with him.
12.Discuss the theme: Supernatural elements.
Ruskin Bond uses scary techniques in the story ‘A face in the dark’. It has all
the hues of the supernatural element. Oliver is described as a man who was not
given to nervousness and imagination. He had been walking through the forest
for ages but suddenly one night being lonely imagined a featureless boy and a
watchman, something like a ghost. The cap must have been on the rock which he
thought to be a boy. The story ends with a sense of ambiguity.
13. Discuss the meaning of the title ‘A face in the dark’ in
story can be read as a paranormal one with a faceless boy and a watchman,
haunting Oliver. Ruskin believes that no matter how rational a person is, there
is always a supernatural element in the back of mind. Though Oliver is
described not to be a nervous man he might be imagining strange things out
of fear, loneliness. All he needs is a company and gets a faceless boy. Oliver
might be looking for his friends, family, etc.
14.Is the title appropriate? Why so?
the title is apt.
the protagonist of the story, on his way back to school, encounters a boy
sitting in the dark and crying. He enquires him the reason for his
difficulties, but he didn’t respond. Later when the boy lifts up his face and
the torchlight falls on it, he sees that the boy has no eyes, nose, mouth, etc.
He ran for help and bumped to the watchmen. The watchman too was featureless
like the boy. The whole story takes place in a forest, in the dark.
15. Is the story a perfect spooky story? What do you think?
the story seems to be spooky somehow.
story has got various ghostly elements like the sound of the wind, the
flickering light of the torch, the weeping of the boy, all these creates a
frightening atmosphere. It has suspense, fear. The protagonist of the story
encounters a featureless boy and a watchman. The complete story takes place in
the dark, in a forest.