[The Magic Of Words] Look at a teacup [Questions & Answers]


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1. Explain "The cup is a detail, a small uncharred finger from the mid-century bonfire".
Ans. The second world war was so violent that every form of life was destroyed. The entire Czechoslovakian culture and tradition were destroyed during the war and hence the cup being compared to a burnt body which showed that the cup is a detail of a small uncharred finger from the mid-century bonfire.

2. What do you mean by "Many things fell that year"?
Ans. That year is referred to as the second world war (1939). During that year, almost the entirety of Europe was destroyed. Many lives were lost and many were homeless. The bombings by the planes were the main reason for it. The bombings destroyed every building and institution. Many women were brutally raped and murdered in their homes while their husbands were lying dead on the battlefield. Not even the children were spared. That year, many cultures, identities, and even traditions too were all lost after Czechoslovakia was captured by Germany. But mostly humanity was the main thing that fell that year.

1. Discovering the meaning of this essay depends on discovering a thread of associations. Discuss.
Ans. In the year 1939, the writer's mother purchased a cup from Czechoslovakia. Also, she got married to a Czech- American man. After a few months began the second world war. But just a few months before it, she gave birth to a baby girl to whom she later handed over a cup to that baby girl i.e her daughter as it would help her to understand the past &  the history. The daughter figures out the past and finds out all her answers with just the cup. Later on, after the end of World War 2, the entire Czech culture, tradition, and humanity were lost to the Germans. And the cup alone had the last few information about the culture and tradition. Hence the cup is used as the main subject to show how devastating the war was to the entire humanity.

2. What is the relationship between falling flowers and teacups, falling bodies and beds, and the falling of bombs onto women and falling countries?
Ans. Falling flowers and teacups shows the falling of entire Czechoslovakia into the hands of the Germans. It also refers to the falling of the teacup making tradition of the Czech people. Falling bodies and beds represent the falling of soldiers who were killed by the enemy fire. It refers to the soldiers injured and lay on the bed getting the treatment. The falling of bed and body also refers to the falling of husband and wife into a physical relationship. Falling of the bombs onto women refers to the bombs which the planes dropped over the women's and the children's killing them all. Falling countries refers to the fall of Czechoslovakia into the hands of Germany. Women were harassed, tortured, raped, and even murdered during the war.

3. How does Hampl see herself and her mother connected by the teacup?
Ans. Hampl herself has a thought for the modern way of life whereas her mother doesn't support modern-day life. Her daughter feels that marriage isn't important to have a physical relationship with which her mother disagrees with. But the teacup somehow connects both the mother and daughter in some way related to culture and thought.

4. How can writing sharpen an image that is only dimly recalled?
Ans. Writing can sharpen an image that is only dimly recalled since the writing has more information stored in it compared to a dimly recalled image.

5. What does this essay/ story tell us about marriage? About the mother-daughter relationship? About the importance of family about women?
Ans. This story has two different opinions related to marriage. One is from the mother's point of view where she claims that marriage is an important part of life and the people should only involve any physical relationships only after it. But the daughter disagrees with her mother's views and say's that marriage isn't necessary for someone to get into a physical relationship.

About the mother-daughter relationship, this essay tells us that both mother-daughter were both closely related but had different views on certain critical issues but again was related by the teacup. The story also tells us that keeping and having a great family is the main part of everyone's life. And about women's story tells us that the women must be brave enough to take care of their family while her husband is out for work.

6. What does the story tell us about being a woman?
Ans. From this story, we learn that being a woman is no child's play. They go through a lot of pressure a day from doing house works till keeping their family safe and happy. Overall being a woman isn't easy and it takes a lot of courage and effort to fulfill their duties.