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PLAY NAME: “Oyster And The Pearl”
Q: Do you think it is right to allow Clay to believe that there is a pearl in the oyster?

Ans: Yes, It is right to let Clay cling to his hope. He is a poor boy whose father has left his home. Clay wants to give an advertisement in the newspaper and ask him to come home. He needs money for that advertisement. He hopes there is a pearl in oyster of 300 dollars worthy. It is the only hope for him. So it is right to keep him hopeful about the pearl. It would save him from frustration and depression.

Q: In your opinion, why is the writer willing to buy the pearl? What has he received in return? 

Ans:The writer knows that Clay needs money. His father has gone away after quarreling with his wife on family expenses. He wants to put an advertisement in the paper and ask his father to return home. So the writer buys the oyster to help Clay. He is not interested in any pearl. “As far as I am concerned, the whole thing’s is a pearl.” This means that purchase of oyster is the real thing for him and not the pearl.

Q: What has attracted Harry and other people to O.K. by the sea? Is it the kind of town that appeals to you?
 Do you think that it resembles an ideal town? Give reasons.

Ans: O.K-by-the-sea shows that the people of the town are (OK) happy with their life. They live together like a large family. This town is Utopian in its conception. It is an ideal town where everybody knows everybody. “there is not one rich man…And yet they are the richest I have ever known.” There   is no lust for money. The poor people here have got the wealth of contentment. The play elaborates: “If desires were horses, fools would ride them.” They are not slaves to their desires.

Q: Harry’s philosophy is Take-it-easy (Relax) kind. How does that philosophy appeal to you? Do you think that this philosophy works easier
 in small towns than in large cities? Explain.

Ans. Town life is slow and simple. Here needs are simple, problems small and solutions easy. In cities, life is fast. Man has to work like machine. Harry’s philosophy falls in city. Harry’s life is easy: “Two or three haircuts a day. A few laughs. A few surprises. The sea. The fishing. It’s a good life.” This philosophy has its own intrinsic value. Problems and worries are part and parcel of life. They test our mettle and we can win over them only if we take the bull the hom.

Q: In your opinion, does the play reveal the author’s view of life? If so, what is his view of life?

Ans: The author believes that the real beauty of life consists in feeling for others. When all feel for one and one feels for all, problems fall to gain roots. Clay is alone in his worries. This is called sympathy, where ‘sym means similar and ‘pathy’ feeling. He teaches hope because “Hope sustains the world.” Clay hopes for a pearl in the oyster and Harry supports him. Coin craze separates man from man and isolation creeps in. The unsociable life is unnatural to man. Aristotle says, “Man is a social animal.” Thus, the play reflects author’s views.


Q: What type of life do you foresee in the year 5000?

Ans: The way violence and warfare continue, I fear Third World War in the offing. The world, a pyramid-pile of gun powder, would blow up. If war is averted, the life in the year 5000 would be very mechanical. The values, cultures, customs and lifestyle would change amazingly. Awareness level would rise. Peace would become a universal religion and good manners the code of life. As far I can imagine the distant future, the earth would look like another planet and people aliens.

Q: Would you call this play one of action? Why or why not? How would you describe the play to a friend?

Ans: I will tell my friend that this play portrays a peaceful and loving life. There is no fight, no enmity and no evil. People may differ in opinion but they do not carry their difference of opinion too far. There is no fight, no aggression, no action almost. We cannot call it an action play. It is the story of simple, true people.

Q: Do you think that this would be a good play to produce? Why or why not?

Ans: In a one act play, stage  setting remains the same. Only characters change. This makes the play economical to produce. The theme of the play is interesting. It offers a sharp contrast to the introvert city life. “Change is the spice of life.  Change is only constant of life.” Therefore, this play will attract a lot of audience. The element of suspense continues ceaselessly. The concept of realism, optimism and wisdom keep interest alive. The story ends upholding poetic justice. Since it imparts an important lesson of life, It would be good to produce.

Q: What was Miss McCutcheon’s opinion about the oyster?

Ans: Miss McCutcheon hopes that there is no pearl in the oyster. She says that Clay should know and face the fact. She does not allow anybody to avoid or evade facts. She is a realist and, like all young people, is are easily hurt. We have to give them hope for the best in order to make them do the best. Realism dawns upon them as they advance in age. They are too tender to entertain and understand the stark realities of life.


Q: Portray the personality of Miss McCutcheon.

Ans: Miss McCutcheon is a young, pretty and fashionable teacher in the town. She is a realist and does not believe in false hopes. She is ready to teach the children who do not bother about their grades. She is a realist and does not let anybody raise false hopes. She fails to perceive the difference between young people and the grown ups. In contrast to Harry and the Writer, she does not know that young people are too tender to entertain and understand the stark realities of life.

Q: Draw the character sketch of Harry.

Ans: Harry is a barber. He has been living in the town for the last 24 years. He is simple, sympathetic, satisfied, jolly and optimistic. He gives Clay hope to make efforts for the return of his father. He shows mature understanding of the matters of life. He does not charge those people for Clark trusts him with money for his family. He plays a very decisive role in the sale of the oyster. He is the central figure and the whole play revolves around him. Harry is the mouthpiece of the writer.


Q: Write a note on Mrs. Spelding.

Ans: Mrs. Spelding is a simple woman. She is not interested in national or political matters. She welcomes Kreton as a guest. The  entry of Kreton disturbs her only because his saucer has ruined her garden. She is fond of gardening. She takes care of her family and house a lot. She sets the room upstairs for Kreton. She is amicable and hospitable.

Q: What kind of man the writer is?

Ans: The writer has got a curious eye. In OK by the Sea, there is a lot to write on. Here he finds the story of the pearl in the making. To him, saving a family from breaking is a matter of greater worth than a pearl. He proves sympathetic, caring and generous. He is not ready to buy a machine which may mar the business of barbers. He rejects the machine also because his children will feel ashamed of a hair cut given by a quack.

Q: What is comedy? Is this play a comedy?

Ans: Comedy is a humorous form of drama. This play is a comedy. For example, Miss McCutcheon tells Harry that she is new in the town. He says that she will be a brand new anywhere she goes. She says that she finds it difficult to teach the town children. He tells her to produce her own Miss McCutcheon, “Never whisper in Ok by the sea. People misunderstand.” Thus there is a lot of fun in the play.

Q: What do you know about the children of the town?

Ans: The children of the town are rude and rough. They have no interest in studies. “One week in this school has knocked me for a loop”, says Miss McCutcheon. The children do not bother whether they pass or fail. They go to the sea in order to collect things thrown ashore by the sea. “The only thing they seem to be interested in is games and the sea” says the teacher. They take their teacher no more than a pretty girl.


Q: What message does the play convey to the reader?

Ans: Clay yearns for something impossible and he is granted. Thus the story teaches a lesson of devoted struggle and infallible faith. Despite all criticism, Clay does not lose hope. This is very important to learn because, ‘Hope sustains the world’. In this play, Clay’s problem is everybody’s problem. This attitude is a caustic comment on the modern life of isolation and selfishness. A society based on sympathy and love leads to the formation of a global village. Miss McCutcheon’s decision to teach teaches commitment. The oyster may be empty. Yet the play is brimful with pearls of morals.

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