Should Wizard Hit Mommy? by John Updike revolves around the conflicting views of a child and a parent on the child’s future. Parents express their own expectations. They desire that their children should grow up as per their expectations. However, children have their own ambitions and aspirations.
Important Question and Answer
Q. How was the skunk’s story different from the other stories narrated by Jack?
Ans. The skunk’s story was different from the other stories narrated by Jack because other stories ended on a happy note. The wizard always resolved the problem by the end of the story, which appealed a lot to Jo. However, Roger Skunk’s story had a twisted ending. In this story, the wizard was unable to help Roger Skunk because mother skunk interfered in the Previous Years’ CBSE Board Questions Answers process. Jo had not so much interrupted the narration earlier or challenged Jack’s authority. It was also the only story, the ending of which was unacceptable to Jo. But above all, unlike any of Jack’s stories, the ending of this story remained unresolved.
Q. Why did Roger Skunk go to see the old owl?
Ans. Roger Skunk went to see the old owl because he was upset that all the other animals refused to come near him or play with him because of his bad smell. Roger needed advice on how to get rid of his stink.
Q. How does Jo want the story to end?
Ans. Jo wants Roger Skunk to smell like roses and not have the skunk’s foul smell. She also wants the wizard to take revenge on the mother by hitting her.
Q. Why does Jack insist that it was the wizard that was hit and not the mother?
Ans. Jack insists that it was the wizard that was hit and not the mother because he wanted to teach a moral lesson to Jo that parents know what is best for their children. Jack also wanted, Jo to understand that one should be content with the way one is born and not change just because the society does not accept him/her the way he/she is.
Q. What did Jo want the wizard to do when Mommy Skunk approached him?
Ans. As the end of the story did not appeal to Jo, she wanted the wizard to hit Mommy Skunk and make Roger Skunk continue to smell like roses. It is evident that the story violated Jo’s sense of fairness for why should Roger Skunk not smell of roses and thus, have more friends.
Q Why does Jo insist that her father should tell her the story with a different ending? OR Why did Jo think Roger Skunk was better off with the new smell?
Ans. Jo was not convinced that the little animals eventually got used to the way the little skunk was and smelt. Moreover, Jo felt that Mommy Skunk was being unfair to Roger Skunk by not allowing wizard to make him smell like roses. She wanted Roger Skunk to be accepted by his peers and thus, be happy.
Q. How did the wizard help Roger Skunk?
Ans. Roger skunk was very unhappy because he smelt bad and had no friends. The wizard made his foul smell go away with the magic spell, gave him the beautiful smell of roses and helped him have many friends.
Q. What part of the story did Jack himself enjoy the most and why?
Ans. The part of the story, which Jack himself enjoyed the most was where Roger goes to the wizard’s house. Jack imitated the wizard’s voice. He felt being an old man suited him. He mixed his own childhood humiliations and experiences with the narration of the story. Jack enjoyed doing so because he liked seeing his daughter holding on to his words, liked seeing her apprehensive and expecting something unexpected. Jack enjoyed the fact that Jo loved the stories narrated by him.
Q. Why was Roger Skunk’s mommy angry with him? What did she finally tell him?
Ans. Roger Skunk’s mommy was angry with him because he had let the wizard change his original bad smell to that of fragrance of roses. Finally she told him that she found the smell of roses on him awful because skunks were supposed to smell the way they actually smell.
Q. How did Jo want the wizard to behave when Mommy Skunk approached him?
Ans. When Mommy Skunk approached the wizard, Jo wanted him to hit her back just as she had hit him on the head with her umbrella and not change Roger Skunk back.
Q. Which do you think is a better ending of Roger Skunk’s story, Jo’s or her father’s? Why?
Ans. In Jack’s version of the Roger Skunk story, the wizard uses reverse magic on Roger so as to give him back his original stink because mother Skunk hit him with her umbrella. From an adult’s perspective, Jack’s version of the story aims at teaching two important lessons acceptance of oneself and that parents are the best judge. However, Jo suggests an alternate ending to the story because she does not agree with Jack’s ending. Jo wants a happy ending. She feels sorry for Roger Skunk and wants him to smell like roses so that Roger Skunk can play with other animals. This shows that peer acceptance is quite important for children. It also shows that the sense of freedom of choice develops at an early age. Therefore, from a child’s perspective, Jo’s version of ending the Roger Skunk’s story is also relevant.
Q. How did Jo want the Roger Skunk story to end?
Ans. Jo wanted the story to have a happy ending i.e., Roger Skunk to smell like roses forever. Also, Jo wanted the wizard to hit mother skunk back because she had no right to interfere in the matter.
Q. Why did Roger Skunk go to the owl? What advice did he get?
Ans. Roger Skunk went to see the old owl as he was upset that all the other animals refused to come near him or play with him because of his bad smell. Roger needed advice on how to get rid of his stink. The wise Owl advised Roger Skunk to go the wizard to get his problem solved.
Q. Why does Jo call the Skunk’s Mommy stupid?
Ans. Jo calls the skunk’s mommy stupid because mommy had hit the wizard and made him give Roger Skunk his real stink back. Jo thought Mommy Skunk was so stupid that she did not understand Roger Skunk’s problem.
Q. How does the story, ‘Should Wizard Hit Mommy’ bear testimony to the fact that the frustrations faced by adults and their personal experiences often intrude upon their interaction with their children? Elaborate. OR At the end of the storytelling session, why does Jack consider himself ‘caught in an ugly middle position’?
Ans. Jack feels that he has been caught in an ugly middle position physically, emotionally as well as mentally. He was conscious of his duties as a father and as a husband. His efforts to make Jo fall asleep proved quite fatiguing. She kept on interrupting him, asking for clarifications, pointing errors and suggesting alternatives. Jo’s non-acceptance of the ending of the story is considered an act of defiance by Jack. He is quite taken aback by Jo’s behaviour and the things she said. On the other hand, learning that his pregnant wife, Clare, needs his help in the household chores, he is in a hurry to end the story. However, being a loving father, he gives into Jo’s demands and extends the story. The result of the extension to the story proves unfruitful and unpleasant for Jack and Clare. Being waiting for her husband to come down and help her with painting of the woodwork, Clare complains that he had told a long story. Jack feels utter weariness and trapped in a cage. He is overcome with a sense of detachment and frustration being caught in the ugly middle position.
Q. How did Jo want the Roger Skunk story to end? Why?
Ans. In Jack’s version of the story, Roger Skunk’s mommy hits the wizard on his head with her umbrella, and told him to cast a reverse spell on Roger skunk and give him his original smell back. However, Jo did not agree with this ending and suggested an alternate end for the story. According to her, the wizard should have hit mommy back and not change Roger Skunk. To Jo, the wizard was a good person who helps ‘Roger skunk’ when he was in trouble and seeking a way out. Witnessing Mommy Skunk’s actions, Jo felt that ‘stupid Mommy’ should have been punished for her unkind behaviour towards the kind wizard. She believed that Mommy Skunk was imposing her will both on Roger Skunk and the wizard without considering her son’s fear of not getting accepted by his peers. Jo also thought that Roger Skunk should be allowed to choose his own life even if it meant to get rid of the stink.
Q. In case of a difference of opinion it is generally the adult who has his way. Comment on how Jack justifies the mother skunk’s action?
Ans. It is evident from the story that in case of difference of opinion, it is generally adult who has his or her way. In Roger skunk’s story, Mommy skunk is furious at the wizard for making Roger smell of roses. She is not ready to consider that little Roger may not feel comfortable in his original smell. She marches off to the wizard and hits him hard on his head with her umbrella for changing the way Roger smelt. Jack justifies Mommy skunk’s action even though Jo disagrees with the story’s ending and wants to change it. She suggests that wizard should hit Mommy back, that would be a fair ending. However, Jack says that Mommy skunk is right on her part. In fact, parents are always right. Jack tries to reason with Jo by saying that Roger skunk’s mother really loved him and wanted to bring him up with real values. Mommy skunk knew what’s best for her son, unlike Roger who was too young to understand what is right or wrong for him. By justifying Mommy skunk’s action, Jackson wants to make Jo understand that adults are experienced therefore, children should respect and listen to their parents.