Treasure Chest Workbook Answers Chapter 8 The Girl Who Can
The Girl Who Can Comprehension Questions Answers
Read the extracts and answer the following questions:
Passage – 1.
They say that I was born in Hasodzi; and it is a very big village in the Central Region of our country, Ghana. They also say that when all of Africa is not choking under a drought, Hasodzi lies in a very fertile low land in a district known for its good soil. May be that is why any time I don’t finish eating my food, Nana says, ‘You, Adjoa, you don’t know what life is about… you don’t know what problems there are in this life …
1. Where was the narrator born?
2. Where is Hasodzi?
3. Why is the district known for?
4. How is the village?
5. Who is Nana?
1. The narrator was born in Hasodzi.
2. Hasodzi is situated in the central Region of Ghana.
3. The district Hasodzi is known for good fertile soil.
4. The village Hasodzi lies in a very fertile low land of Ghana.
5. Nana is the name of Adoja’s grandmother the mother of her mother.
Passage – 2.
As far as I could see, there was only one problem. And it had nothing to do with what I knew Nana considered as ‘problems’, or what Maami thinks of as ‘the problem’. Maami is my mother. Nana is my mother’s mother. And they say I am seven years old. And my problem is that at this seven years of age, there are things I can think in my head, but which, may be, I do not have the proper language to speak them out with.
And that, I think, is a very serious problem. Because it is always difficult to decide whether to keep quiet and not say any of the things that come into my head, or say them and get laughed at. Not that it is easy to get any grown-up to listen to you even when you decide to take the risk and say something serious to them.
1. Who was Maami?
2. Who is Nana?
3. What is the problem?
4. What is the decision of Adjoa?
5. What is not easy?
1. Maami is called to Adjoa’s mother.
2. Nana is the grandmother of Adjoa. Actually she was the mother of her mother.
3. The problem is Adjoa’s mother and grandmother always discuss about the thin legs of Adjoa.
4. The discussion about Adjoa is that she has thin legs which are not fit for child bearing.
5. It is not easy for Adjoa to bear with the subject or to protest as that may create problem.
Passage – 3.
Take Nana. First, I have to struggle to catch her attention. Then I tell her something I had taken a long time to figure out. And then you know what always happens? She would once stop whatever she is doing and, mouth open, stare at me for a very long time. Then bending and turning her head slightly, so that one ear comes down towards me, shell say in that voice: ‘Adjoa, you say what?’ After I have repeated whatever I had said, she would either, still in that voice, ask ‘never, never, but NEVER to repeat ‘THAT’, or she would immediately burst out laughing.
1. What does Adjoa do to catch her Nana’s attention?
2. How does Adjoa tell her Nana something?
3. What happens after that?
4. How does Nana reply then?
5. Why she would burst out laughing?
1. Adjoa has to struggle much to catch her attention.
2. Adjoa tells her Nana something taking a long time to figure out.
3. Nana would once stop whatever she is doing mouth open to stare at her for a very long time.
4. Nana replies forbidding Adjoa to repeat her question.
5. She would burst out laughing until tears rundown her cheeks.
Passage – 4.
Like all this business to do with my legs. I have always wanted to tell them not to worry. I mean Nana and my mother. That it did not have to be an issue for my two favourite people to fight over. But I didn’t want either to be told not to repeat that or it to be considered so funny that anyone would laugh at me until they cried. After all, they were my legs.
When I think back on it now, those two, Nana and my mother, must have been discussing my legs from the day I was born. What I am sure of is that when I came out of the land of sweet, soft silence into the world of noise and comprehension, the first topic I met was my legs.
1. What is the subject of discussion?
2. What does Adjoa say them?
3. Who are her two favourite people?
4. How long are the discussing about her legs?
5. When do they become silent?
1. The subject of discussion of her Nana and Maami is about the thin legs of Adjoa.
2. Adjoa says them not to worry as she is satisfied with it.
3. Adjoa’s two favourite people are her Maami and Nana, her grandmother.
4. They are discussing about her legs just after her birth.
5. As soon as Adjoa enters the room or their discussion area they become silent.
Passage – 5.
‘But Adjoa has legs.’ Nana would insist; except that they are too thin. And also too long for a woman. Kaya, listen. Once in a while, but only once in a very long while, somebody decides nature, a child’s spirit mother, an accident happens, and somebody gets born without arms, or legs, or both sets of limbs. And then let me touch wood: it is a sad business. And you know, such things are not for talking about everyday. But if any female child decides to come into this world with legs, then they might as well be legs.
1. What would Nana insist?
2. Who is the child’s spirit mother?
3. What is an accident?
4. What does Adjoa say to them?
5. What is her final sayings?
1. Nana would insist that her legs are too thin for child bearing.
2. Nature is the spirit mother of a child.
3. It is an accident that a person is born with deformities in body.
4. Adjoa says to them that it is a sad business to discuss about her thin legs.
5. Adjoa’s final sayings are that if any female child decides to come into this world with legs then they might as well be legs.
Passage – 6.
And always at that point, I knew from her voice that my mother was weeping inside. Nana never heard such inside weeping, Not that it would have stopped Nana even if she had heard it. Which always surprised me. Because, about almost everything else apart from my legs, Nana is such a good grown-up. In any case, what do I know about good grown-ups and bad grown-ups? How could Nana be a good grown-up when she carried on so about my legs? All I want to say is that I really liked Nana except for that.
1. What does Adjoa hear?
2. Why is the narrator surprised?
3. How is her Nana?
4. What does she know?
5. How Adjoa loves her Nana?
1. Adjoa hears from the voice that her mother is weeping inside the room.
2. The narrator is surprised to know that her mother should be stopped by her Nana.
3. Adjoa’s Nana is all right except her comments about her thin legs.
4. She knows how the good grown ups and the bad grownups differ.
5. Adjoa really likes her Nana except her comments about her thin legs.
That’s how my mother would answer. Very, very quietly. And the discussion would end or they would move on to something else. Sometimes, Nana would pull in something about my father. How, ‘Looking at such a man, we have to be humble and admit that after all, God’s children are many…’How, ‘After one’s only daughter had insisted on marrying a man like that, you still have to thank your God that the biggest problem you got later was having a grand daughter with spindly legs that are too long for a woman, and too thin to be of any use.’
1. How Maami did react in the question of Nani?
2. What was the subject matter of next discussion?
3. Why did Nani rebuke Adjoa’s mother?
4. What was the biggest problem according to Nani?
5. Why did Nani think that Adoja’s legs are useless?
1. Adjoa’s mother was a lady of very soft nature. She requested Nani not to talk in such a manner about Adjoa’s thin legs.
2. The subject of next discussion was about Adjoa’s father.
3. Nani rebuked Adjoa’s mother as she married her father who deserted her.
4. According to Nani the biggest problem was that her daughter gave birth to her granddaughter who had thin legs.
5. Adjoa as a girl would not be able to bear child with her thin legs as a woman she must have a solid hips to be able to have children.
Passage – 8.
Running with our classmates on our small sports field and winning first place each time never seemed to me to be anything about which to tell anyone at home. This time it was different. I don’t know how the teachers decided to let me run for the junior section of our school in the district games.
But they did. When I went home to tell my mother and Nana, they had not believed it at first. So, Nana had taken it upon herself to go and ‘ask into it properly’. She came home to tell my mother that it was really true. I was one of my school’s runners.
1. How did Adjoa perform in the sports field?
2. What was her impression about the achievement?
3. What did the teachers decide?
4. What was the reaction of Nani and Maami after her selection?
5. What did Adjoa say to her home?
1. In the sports field Adjoa won first place in each time.
2. Becoming first in running events Adjoa never felt her performance extraordinary and so, she did not tell her success at home.
3. The teachers decided to let Adjoa run for the junior section of her school in the district games.
4. After her selection Nani and Maami did not believe and Nani decided to go to school to confirm if the selection was true.
5. Adjoa returned to home to tell her mother that her selection was really true as she was one of her school runners.
Passage – 9.
Wearing my school uniform this week has been very nice. At the parade the first afternoon, it caught the rays of the sun and shone brighter than everybody else’s uniform. I’m sure Nana saw; that too, and must have liked it. Yes, she has been coming into town with us every afternoon of this district sports week.
Each afternoon, she has pulled one set of fresh old clothes from the big brass bowl to wear. And those old clothes are always so stiffly starched, you can hear the cloth creak when she passes by. But she walks way behind us school children. As though she was on her own way to some place else.
1. What was very nice?
2. What did happen in the afternoon parade?
3. Where did Nana go every afternoon?
4. How did she prepare her dress?
5. Why did she walk behind?
1. That week during the district sports meet wearing her school uniform was a nice experience to Adjoa.
2. In the afternoon parade the school uniform dazzled in the sunrays and shone brighter than all other uniforms.
3. Every afternoon Nana went to the town with Adjoa to enjoy the district sports.
4. Nana every afternoon pulled one set of fresh old clothes from the big brass bowl to wear. The old clothes were stiffly starched.
5. She walked behind always to show that she was going elsewhere and not in the sports field.
Passage – 10.
I don’t know too much about such things. But that’s how I was feeling and thinking all along. That surely, one should be able to do other things with legs as well as have them because they can support hips that make babies. Except that I was afraid of saying that sort of thing aloud.
Because someone would have told me never, never but NEVER to repeat such words. Or else, they would have laughed so much at what I’d said, they would have cried. It’s much better this way. To have acted it out to show them, although I could not have planned it. As for my mother, she has been speechless as usual.
1. What were the such things?
2. What was the impression of Adjoa?
3. Why was the narrator afraid?
4. What was the way of protest?
5. How was Adjoa’s mother?
1. ‘Such things’ mentioned here were that the women with thin legs also could perform like the general man.
2. Adoja had the impression that it was better to act than to protest openly to show the capability.
3. The narrator was afraid to tell and protest loudly because someone would tell her not to say such things loudly.
4. The way of protest is not to say it loudly but to act and protest with activities.
5. Adjoa’s mother remained speechless as usual although her daughter was successful in her attempts to protest with activities and performance.
The Girl Who Can About the Story
In the story The Girl who can the writer Aidoo analyses African women’s struggle to find their proper place in society. In her stories the issues of choice and conflict/are raised. The story The Girl Who Can deals with the story of a girl who overcomes the pressures of social criticism. The story centres round about a girl of Africa who resides in a village in Ghana with her mother and grandmother.
Adjoa is a little African girl. Her struggle to find her rightful place in contemporary society. She had thin legs. She was constantly told her legs were not capable of supporting her hips meant for child bearing. Adjoa’s win proves that women have a greater role in the society than merely to be able to child bearing.
The Girl Who Can About the Author
Ama Ata Aidoo is a writer of Ghana, playwright and academic. She is the Minister of Education of Ghana in 1982. She began her writing career when she was an honours student under Ghana University. Her first play The Dillema of a Ghost was published in 1966.
She was the first African woman dramatist. In the year 1982 she became the Education Minister of Ghana. Her works of fiction deal with the tension between Western and African world views. The Girl who can and other stories is her collection of short stories that challenges patriarchal structures and dominance in African Society.
The Girl Who Can Brief Summary
Adjoa, a seven years village girl hails from Hasodzi in the central region of Ghana. She is conscious of her constraints of living is a patriarchal society. Her grandmother (mother’s mother) Nana is a dominating woman in contrast to her own mother. She is called Maami or Kaya. In this way she was placed between the two contrasting persons in the family-a dominating grandmother and a humble mother who has hardly any say in the family affairs. Her father probably abandoned his family for good.
Adjoa’s main problem is that her Nana says that Adjoa does not make out the real life. Her Nana is very authoritative and imposes her will on Adjoa. According to her women should be strong enough to bear healthy children. Adjoa is conscious about the fact but she does not protest openly for rebuke. Her physical problem of thin legs is the reason of her conflict with Nana.
So, her school going is a sheer waste of time according to Nana. Adjoa cannot make out how getting education can be a waste of time. Adjoa’s Nana and Maami keep on discussing about the thin legs of her. They say that a girl child must have strong legs to bear the child. Maami regrets Nana’s attitude and cries for Adjoa. Her Nana regrets that Adjoa’s mother had married a fellow who was good for nothing and so, he had given birth to a daughter with very thin legs.
Adjoa is hurt with such words of Nana. So, she wishes to survey legs of any woman who has brought up children. But being conservative the women wrap up their legs so, Adjoa cannot check their legs. Adjoa has seen the legs of her Nana, Maami and other girls all almost similar.
Adjoa’s school was about 5 kilometres away from her house. She thinks that walking this distance is nothing problematic for her. According to her Nana going to school for girl’s is useless and waste of time. But Maami wants her daugther to get the benifits of education.
Adjoa takes part in school games and each time wins. Her teachers select her to represent the school in district school games. Nana is still doubtful and goes to school to confirm her ability. Her Nana washes her school uniform completely and iron it several times to give it a shinning shape.
At the school parade Adjoa wears the shinning uniform. Her uniform shines better than other students. He wins the cup meant for best alround junior athlete. The Nana is excited and proud of Adjoa’s distinction. She shows the cup to kaya before returning it to the Headmaster.
At present Nana is a changed lady. She has no problem with Adjoa’s thin legs. She repeats that thin legs can also be useful. Adjoa does not openly say this as she thinks that it may cause annoyance to Nana. Adjoa’s mother remains speechless as usual.
1. Choking — gripping.
2. draught — period of dry weather.
3. fertile — Good crop producing land.
4. Figure — out to understand something.
5. Spindly — long and thin.
6. Screaming — high pitched tone cry out.
7. Splash — sprinkle.
8. Stiffly — hard/not easily foldable.
9. Gleaming — shinning brightly.
10. muttering — whispering / low tone speaking.
Plot : The plot of the story ‘The Girl who can’ can be divided into five phases-rising, action climax, falling action and its resolution. The central character Adjoa is a seven years old girl with thin legs. In the story we see other two characters like her dominating grandmother Nana and her humble mother Kaya (or Maami. Adjoa’s thin legs seem to be a big problem to Nana. According to Adjoa her elders do not pay heed to her and underestimate her for whatever she is doing. Thus, she is confused with their treatment.
The action of the story starts with Nana and Maami discussing about Adjoa’s legs and her insistence to go to school. Nana is doubtful if Adjoa will be able to bear child with her thin legs. Adjoa is uncomfortable in Nana’s mentality. So, she is determined to turn her adversity.
Gradually Adjoa realizes that she can run well like other students. She is selected to represent her school for the junior district games. She silences her opponents in the selection. Her Nana’s attitude changes when she is selected to represent her school Nana now gives her full support by washing and ironing her school uniform. She is proud of Adjoa’s achievement. Nana now realizes that her thin legs are capable to achieve something big, inspite of her physical problems. In the patriarchal society Adjoa’s enormous potential as a woman wins despite initial odds.
Theme : Adjoa is a seven years old girl athlete. In the male dominated society her interactions with her mother and grandmother creates a generational conflicts.
In the story we find that the author is exploring the theme of conflict, innocence, freedom, insecurity, connection and pride. The discussion between Nana and Maami deals with the thin legs of Adjoa and her father. Nana is of the belief that Adjoa will not be able to bear child for her thin legs. She also blames her daughter regarding her selection of husband and her daughter.
The dominating attitude of Nana creates the insecurity situation of Adjoa. But Adjoa is not all concerned for her thin legs and mother’s helplessness. Adjoa is only seven years old and she is trying to make out this complex world clash and dominance. Adjoa decides to take part in junior district games and her selection puts an end to Nana’s antagonism. She gains her freedom to make her own career and shows the world the proper place of women in the male dominated society.
The author points out the need of self expression through the narrator. The author is a feminist. She analyses the struggle of women to find the right place in the society. Adjoa’s win in the district athlete meet declares that the women are capable of grabbing the opportunites and achieve success in spite of many oddities.
The Girl Who Can Characters
Adjoa : Adoja is the central character of the story ‘The Girl who can’. She is only seven years old and has sweetness and innocence. She is surrounded by her dominating Nana and subdued mother she lays bare in her position. She is in a fix either to protest her Nana or to remain silent.
She is the representative of oppressed women of the society. She is a highly sensitive girl. She is aware of her situation with her passive mother and dominating Nana. She guesses with tears in eyes and silence of her mother that family condition is abnormal. It is amazing that Adjoa a seven years old girl is ahead of other girls of her age.
She thinks a lot about her own problems and of other girls around her. She can think a great deal and decides to find a solution to her thin legs. She does not suffer from any complex for her thin legs. She wins the race and shows that her handicappedness cannot stand in the way of the determined and positive thinking persons.
Nana : Nana is the authoritative matriarch of the house. She has the desire to silence the voice of others. She has her own views and she imposes that on others. She expects Adjoa to know a great deal of world affairs. Her remark-‘Adjoa, you don’t know what problems there are in this life.’
She warns Adjoa to refrain from making silly remarks. She is also critical to Maami for her choice of husband and of bearing Adjoa for her thin legs. Adjoa and Maami often differ in opposition to her views. She comes out to be a dynamic character.
She is transformed in her attitude only after learning that Adjoa has running skills to win a race. She feels proud of Adjoa’s win in the race and carries the shinning cup on her back. At the end of the story she realizes that a woman’s body has more to its existence than just birth to children. She seems to understand that a woman’s potential is enormous.
Maami : Maami (real name Kaya) is the mother of Adjoa, a seven years old girl. She occupies the least space in the story. She is the symbol of a hesitant and speechless women. Adjoa is placed in between she is a forward looking girl and tides her problems in her own grand way. Maama loves Adjoa, her daughter and supports her in her dreams to become an athlete.
She looks courage and words of protest for her daughter from the criticism of her mother. She is condemned by her mother always for her choice of husband who has deserted her. In this story Maami is the representative of oppressed women, who are unable to voice against customs and traditions of the society.
Title: The title of the story ‘The Girl who can’ is related to the vast capability of a 7 years old girl Adjoa in our traditional society. Adjoa is asked not to confront criticism and opposition of her grandmother Nana. Nana is of the opinion that Adoja is unable to bear children for her thin legs. Adjoa does not openly oppose her Nana’s views. Adjoa goes to school daily walking about five miles.
In spite of her thin legs she does not lag behind others. She is chosen as an athlete to take part in school games and she wins the race. She shows her potential to achieve something with her thin legs. Determination and strong will can accomplish great things and that is proved by Adjoa. In this way the title is suitable and appropriate to bring out the theme of an individual.
Setting : The setting of the story is in Ghana’s fertile district Hasodzi where the soil is suitable for good crop production. The story is told from the point of view of Adjoa, a seven years old girl. She has to find out the meaning of existence.
In the family she is surrounded by her dominating grandmother and her msierable speechless mother. In this setting the role of women in the society is discussed. In a traditional society the role of a woman has been reduced to only child bearing. Adoja, an advanced thinking girl can carve out their career and show the world that the potential of a woman does not be limited for being a mother of a wife.
Style: The story ‘The Girl Who Can’ is presented from the viewpoint of a 7 years old girl Adoja who has sensivity and analytical mind set. The author uses different techniques of contrast and satire to bring out the theme of feminism.
Adoja’s fertile soil village, Hasdzi remains flowering with crops. Adjoa the central character is shown to contrast the nature of her Nana that of her mother. The two constrasted characters highlight of the Patriarchal and matriarchal schools of thought. Nana’s persistent talk on Adoja’s thin legs is satirised as legs are meant for, carrying children only.
Adoja does not find logic in her Nana’s sentiment. In this story Adjoa is the spokes person of the author and she speaks out her inner feelings. The language used in the story is simple and without ornamentation as it can be the language of a 7 year’s old girl.
The Girl Who Can Critical Appreciation
The story brings out beautifully the role and the struggle of a woman in post colonial Africa. The story is about a seven year’s old girl who expects to grow up to fulfill the expectations of her family. The author a feminist uses the social background of a custom ridden traditional society in which the majority of the people think that a woman can be useful if she has a normal body.
The author dwells on the theme of conflict, freedom, innocence, insecurity and pride through the interaction of Adjoa with her Nana and Maami. The story is told in the eyes of a seven years old girl Adjoa. The first person narration gives authenticity to her views.
The language is simple but forceful. The author has used the technique of contrast, satire and symbolism to bring out the theme. In the story Nana is dominating, Maami is humble and oppressed. Adjoa is full of positivity.
The author had ridiculed the notion of the times that woman must have meat on their legs and have strong hips to bear children. Adjoa disapproves the notion. In spite of her thin legs she wins a district level race. It is a rebuff to the prevalent idea of the women’s role as if it is limited to only child bearing. Adjoa runs a race and it symbolises freedom of choice. She applies her will and takes the untrodden path of her Nani and Maami. She brokes the rigidity of the traditional society.
The Girl Who Can Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Adjoa is a girl of ……………
a. 7 years
b. 8 years
c. 9 years
d. 10 years
a. 7 years.
Adjoa hails from a ……………
c. a plateau
d. none of the above land
Adjoa’s Maami is ……………
d. humble and helpless.
d. humble and helpless.
Who was Kaya?
c. school teacher
d. none of the above
Adjoa is selected for her school in ……………
a. State games
b. national games
c. Junior district games
d. international games
c. Junior district games.
Adjoa was ……………
Adjoa loved to be an ……………
The distance of Adjoa’s school is about-
d. 6.6 kms
Adjoa runs for-
d. None of the above group
Nana looked after Adjoa’s win-
d. none of the above.
Nana carried the gleaming cup on her-
d. none of the above
Adoja’s mother remained-
d. none of the above.