Q. ‘Have you come back?’ said the woman. ‘I thought that no one had come back.’ Does this statement give some clue about the story? If yes, what is it?
Ans. Yes, this statement gives some clue about the story. During the early part of the war Mrs Dorling had shifted the important belongings of her acquaintance Mrs S. from her house to 46, Marconi Street. These included table silver wares, antique plates and other nice things such as the iron anukkah candleholder, woollen table-cloth and green knitted cardigan with wooden buttons. Since Mrs S. had died during the war, Mrs Dorling did not expect anyone to come back and claim her costly belongings as she thought no one else knew her address.
The statement indicates the greedy and possessive nature of Mrs Dorling. She did not open the door to the daughter of her former acquaintance nor did she show any signs of recognition. She did not let the girl in. She refused to see her then saying it was not conveninent for her to do. The narrator had gone to this address with a specific purpose—to see her mother’s belongings.
Even when she told Mrs Dorling that only she had come back, the woman with a broad back did not soften a bit. Thus the clash of interests is hinted at by the aforesaid statement.
Q. The story is divided into pre-war and post-war times. What hardships do you think the girl underwent during these times?
Ans. During the pre-war times, the narrator lived in some other city far away from home and she visited her mother only for a few days. During the first half of the war the narrator’s mother was always afraid that they might have to leave the place and lose all valuable belongings. The narrator lived in the city in a small rented room. Its windows were covered with blackout paper. She could not see the beauty of nature outside her room. The threat of death loomed large.
After the liberation, everything became normal again. Bread was getting to be a lighter colour. She could sleep in her bed without any fear of death. She could glance out of the window of her room each day. One day, she was eager to see all the possessions of her mother, which she knew were stored at number 46, Marconi Street. She went to that address. She felt disappointed when Mrs Dorling neither recognised her nor let her in. She asked her to come again someday. It was evident she wanted to put her off. She was eager to see, touch and remember her mother’s possessions. So, she had to take the trouble of visiting the place again.
Q. Why did the narrator of the story want to forget the address?
Ans. The narrator remembered the address her mother had told her only once. It was number 46, Marconi Street. Her mother’s acquaintance Mrs Dorling lived there. She had stored the valuable belongings of the narrator’s mother there. After her mother’s death, the narrator had an urge to visit the place. She wanted to see those things, touch them and remember. She went to the given address twice. She was successful in her second attempt to enter the living room.
She found herself in the midst of things she wanted to see again. She felt oppressed in the strange atmosphere. Everything was arranged in a tasteless way. The ugly furniture and the muggy smell that hung there seemed quite unpleasant. These objects evoked the memory of the familiar life of former time. But they had lost their value since they had been separated from her mother and stored in strange surroundings. She no longer wanted to see, touch or remember these belongings. She resolved to forget the address. She wanted to leave the past behind and decided to move on.
Q. ‘The Address’ is a story of human predicament that follows war. Comment.
Ans. The war creates many difficult and unpleasant situations for human beings. Sometime it becomes difficult to know what to do. The human predicament that follows war is amply illustrated through the experience of the narrator. The war had caused many physical difficulties as well as emotional sufferings to her. She had lost her dear mother. She went to 46, Marconi Street to see her mother’s valuable possessions. How greedy and callous human beings can become is exemplified by the behaviour of Mrs Dorling. She had stored all the valuable belongings of the narrator’s mother, but she refused to recognise the narrator. She did not even let her in. The presence of her mother’s possessions in strange atmosphere pained her. Now these valuables had lost all their importance for her as they had been separated from her mother. She could get no solace or comfort from them.