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A Chameleon


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Chameleon min


Superintendent-a police officer just above the rank of chief inspector , market square- an open are in the shape of the square in a city where market is held , sieve-a container with small holes, confiscated- officially taken away


1.Hryukin- a goldsmith whom a small puppy bit

2.Otchumyelov- the police superintendent

3.A red-haired policeman-a person who followed Otchumyelov

4.a small puppy-bit Hryukin


6.General Zhigalov

7.General’s brother-Vladimir Ivanitch

8.Prohor- The General’s cook


human injustice and hypocrisy.


Short Type Questions

1.Name the police superintendent.

Ans: The name of the police superintendent was Otchumylov.

2.What happened to Hryukin?

Ans: When Hryukin was talking about firewood to Mitry Mitrich , a small puppy bit his finger.

3.Who was Yeldrin? What did he carry with him?

Ans: Yeldrin was a red-haired policeman who was walking after his superintendent, Otchumyelov.

He carried a sieve full of gooseberries with him.

4.What did the police superintendent wear and carry?

Ans: The police superintendent wore a new overcoat and carried a parcel.

5.Where was Otchumyelov walking?

Ans: Otchumyelov was walking across the market square.

6.Who was General’s cook?

Ans: Prohor was General’s cook.

7.Who was Hryukin? What was his profession?

Ans: Hryukin was a person whom a small puppy bit.

He was a goldsmith.

8.Who was Zhigalov?

Ans: Zhigalov was is the name of the General.

9.How were the General’s dogs?

Ans: The General’s dogs were mostly setters.

10.When did Otchumyelov speak for Hryukin once again?

Ans: When Yeldrin told Otchumyelov comes that the dog did not belong to General Zhigalov, Otchumyelov started to speak for Hryukin once again.

11.What happened to Hryukin at the end of the story?

Ans: At the end of the story,the dog walked away with Prohor from the timber-yard.The crowd smiled at Hryukin. Otchumyelov warned Hryukin , “I’ll make you smart yet”,and covered himself in his greatcoat,went on his way across the market-square.

12.Who reveals  the  truth about the dog ?

Ans: Prohor reveals  the  truth about the dog.

13.When did Anton Chekov win the Pushkin prize?

Ans: Anton Chekov won the Pushkin prize in 1888.

14. “Lads, don’t let him go!”-Whom did the speaker not want to let go?

Ans: The speaker did not want a white borzoy puppy to let go.

15.Who was the culprit according to Hryukin? How did the culprit look?

Ans: A white borzoy puppy was the culprit. The puppy or the culprit had a sharp muzzle and a yellow spot on her back.He was sitting with her fore-paws outstretched in the middle of the crowd.He was trembling all over.He had an expression of trouble and fear in her tearful eyes.

16.Who was yelping?

Ans: A white borzoy puppy which bit Hrykin was yelping.

17.Who was General’s brother?

Ans: Vladimir Ivanitch was General’s brother.

18. What did Hryukin show to the crowd?

Ans: Hryukin showed his bleeding finger to the crowd.

19.What did Otchumyelov notice after striding towards the crowd?

Ans: After striding towards the crowd, Otchumyelov noticed a man in the unbuttoned waistcoat standing close by the gate of the timber-yard ,and holding his right hand he displayed  his bleeding finger to the crowd.

20.How did Hryukin seize the dog?

Ans: Hryukin ran after the dog, throwing his body fell down and seized the dog by her hind legs.

21.What was Hryukin doing when the puppy bit Hryukin’s finger?

Ans: Hryukin was talking with Mitry Mitrich about firewood when the puppy bit Hryukin’s finger.

22.Who was chasing the dog?

Ans: Hryukin was chasing the dog.

23.Whom did Otchumyelov see after striding toward the crowd?

Ans: After striding towards the crowd Otchumyelov saw Hryukin in the unbuttoned waistcoat standing close by the gate of the timber-yard .

Long Type Questions

1.What did Otchumyelov inquire pushing his way through the crowd? What did Hryukin reply to him? How did Otchumyelov react to Hryukin’s reply?

Ans: Otchumyelov wanted to know why Hryukin was there ,why was he waving his finger,and who shouted.

Hryukin replied to the police superintendent that he was walking along the market square without interfering anyone .Afterawhile he was talking  to  Mitry Mitritch about firewood when when a white borzoy puppy  bit him without any rhyme or reason. Coughing and raising his eyebrows Otchumyelov asked whose dog was it,and he warned that he wouldn’t let the matter pass.He said that the people of gentleman class would be looked after, if they wouldn’t obey the regulations. He also said that after taking fine from the dog owner he would teach him what it meant to keep dogs and such stray cattle. He ordered Yeldrin to find out the owner of the dog, and frame a report against the owner of the dog. He decided the dog must be strangled without delay.

2.Why did the police superintendent speak against Hryukin? How did he criticize Hryukin?

Ans: At the time someone in the crowd informed Otchumyelov that General Zhigalov is the owner of the dog, the police superintendent spoke against Hryukin.

He told Hryukin that he could not understand how the dog came to bite him. He also said the dog is little in size ,and Hryukin was a great hulking fellow,so the dog could not reach Hryukin’s finger. According to him, Hryukin must have scratched his finger with a nail, and then he got an idea of taking compensation for it. He called Hryukin as devils and said that he knew his sort.

3.Justify the title of the story ,”A Chameleon”.

Ans: The title of the story ,”A Chameleon” reloves around Otchumyelov who is the police superintendent, and changes his opinion along with attitude many times throughout the entire story like a chameleon changes its colour according to its surroundings. At the beginning of the story Otchumyelov stood by Hryukin and decided to teach a lesson to the class of the gentleman by strangling the puppy. Again when someone from crowd said that the puppy belonged to General Zhigalov, Otchumyelov changed his decision instantly and said that Hryukin had scratched his finger with his nail.He changed his decision and attitude both when there was a change in situation. In the story Otchumyelov changed his behavior and decision many times according to the need of the situation as a chameleon does. So the title ‘A Chameleon’ hints the entire content and theme of the story and it is appropriate.

4.Why was Hryukin waving his finger at the crowd? How did  the finger look like ?

Ans: Hryukin was waving his  finger at the crowd because a small puppy bit his finger , and it was bleeding so much. According to Hryukin,  he got injured on his finger of the right hand ,and he could not work for a period of time because of the injury the small puppy made .So he wanted the crowd to know how a small puppy bit his finger without reason , and how he deserved compensation for his bleeding finger.

Hryukin’s bleeding finger of his right hand looks like a flag of victory.

5.Describe  the character of Otchumyelov in  ‘A Chameleon’.

Ans: In the story ‘A Chameleon’, Otchumyelov is a self-centered person .He pretends to be an honest police Superintendent and philanthropic human being when Hryukin describes how a white borzoi puppy bit him without reason .Again he changes his decision when someone from crowd informs him that the puppy belongs to General Zhigalov as he  knows to act according to situation cleverly as a chameleon changes its colour to survive according to its surroundings.  Here we see Otchumyelov to behave in the different way on the same issue when situation changes. He gives more importance on social status  of a person than the reality of the fact and justice. He is corrupted and hypocritic person who orders Yeldrin to strangle the puppy ,but again he confirms that Hryukin had scratched his finger with a nail when he knows the puppy belongs to General Zhigalov. His decision is  depended on social rank of a person without considering what is wrong or right.

6. What is the theme of the story ,”A Chameleon”?

Ans: In the story, ‘A Chameleon’, Anton Chekov portrays the theme of human injustice and hypocricy through presenting a humorous incident. In this story Hryukin explained to Otchumyelov how a white borzoi puppy bit him and why he must get damages .After knowing about the incident Otchumyelov decided to strangle the puppy but he blamed Hryukin when someone revealed the puppy belonged to General Zhigalov. As a Superintendent Otchumyelov could not take decision on the basis of right and wrong of the incident, but he took action according to need of the situation. He changed his opinion about the same incident when there a change in the situation, and proves himself as a hypocritic person. He pretends to be a humanitarian but in reality there a big hollow in his ethics.  




A. Answer each of the following questions :

i)Whom did Hryukin talk to when the dog bit him?

ii)Why were Hryukin waving his finger?

iii)Who was trembling and why?

iv)Why did the crowd gather round the timber-yard?

v)Whom did Otchumyelov want to teach a lesson?

vi)Why did Otchumyelov blame Hryukin to have scratched his finger with a nail?

vii)Who was Vladimir Ivanitch?

viii)Whom did the crowd laugh at?

ix)What did Prohor reply to Otchumyelov?

x)Who was Mitry Mitrich?

xi)Who was Otchumyelov?

xii)What does the white pup in ‘A Chameleon’ symbolize?

xiii)Describe the appearance of Otchumyelov.

xiv)Name three of Anton Chekov’s acclaimed plays.

xv)Why did Hryukin want to have damages?

xvi)”He is a nonsensical fellow, your honour!”-Why was the person spoken of called ‘nonsensical’?

xvii)Whon did he call  Excellency in ‘A Chameleon’?

Textual Grammar

B. Do as directed:

i)A red-haired policeman strides after him with sieve full of confiscated gooseberries in his hands. (Split into two sentences)

ii) Prohor calls the dog and walks away from timber-yard with her. The crowd laughs at Hryukin. (Join into a complex sentence)

iii)Hryukin said, “I was talking about firewood to Mitry Mitritch, when this low brute for no rhyme or reason bit my finger.”(Change the narration)

iv) Otchumyelov said to Hryukin, “Surely it couldn’t reach your finger. It’s little dog and you are a great hulking fellow!” (Change the narration)

v)The open doors of the shops and taverns look out upon God’s world disconsolately, like hungry mouths. There is not even a beggar near them. (Join into a complex sentence)

vi)I shan’t able to use this finger for a week.(Correct the error)

vii)Otchumylov threatens him and wrapping himself in his great coat, goes on his way across the square. (Split into two sentences)