Percival Wilde’s play ‘The Hour of Truth’ is an intense psychological study of the corrupting influence of money on people. The play explores greed from diverse angles. All individuals are tempted by money at one point or other in life. Here the author particularly shows how easily people forget their moral values and principles when they are tempted by money. But at the end of the play the reader realizes that money only brings with it isolation, punishment, deception, frustration and endless shame.
Notes on ‘The Hour of Truth’ by Percival Wilde
- Mr. John Gresham, who is under police custody, sends Robert Baldwin a message expressing his wish to meet Robert as early as possible. Complete the message.
The message begins like this:
I am going through the worst time of my life………………………………………………… (Score: 4
- John Gresham offered hundred thousand dollars to Robert Baldwin. But he rejected it. Later he told his family ‘I’ll go to my grave clean!’ What trait of Baldwin’s character is evident here? (Score: 1)
- On the eve of John’s arrest, Robert Baldwin sent him an e-mail persuading him to close down the bank. Draft the e-mail for Robert Baldwin. (Score: 5)
- Mr. Marshall arranged a function to honour Robert Baldwin who always stood by truth and honesty. On the occasion, Robert delivered a speech thanking Mr. Marshall and the staff of Third National. Write the probable speech. (Score: 6)
- Robert Baldwin decides to join Third National. He writes a letter to Mr. Marshall expressing his willingness to join Third National. Write the likely letter. (Score: 5)
- Read the excerpt from the play ‘The Hour of Truth.’
Evie: And Mr. Gresham hasn’t done anything really wrong.
John: It’s a technicality, that’s what it is. Nobody loses a cent. Nobody wants to see him punished.
Do you agree with Evie and John? Substantiate your views in a paragraph. (Score: 4)
- Evie and John Baldwin are the true representatives of the modern world where money moulds choices. In the light of the reading of ‘The Hour of Truth’ express your opinion on the above statement. (Score: 6)
- Donovan, an employee of John Gresham, writes a letter to Robert Baldwin expressing his shock over the unexpected bank crash. He concludes the letter asking for compensation. Prepare the letter for him. (Score: 5)
- The employees of John Gresham under the leadership of Donovan, the assistant cashier, decides to take all possible steps to put John Gresham behind the bars for the wrong he has done. On behalf of Donovan, draft a letter of complaint to the Chief of Police highlighting the need to curtail such illegal activities in future. (Score: 5)
- Mr. Tom, an incredibly accomplished and successful businessman, while addressing young professionals, once said:
“It’s absolutely essential to think freely. I’ve seen people very busy who never really seem to do anything.” If you think, you’ll realize that it’s impossible to concentrate on fifty different things at a time. It’s high time we take things seriously and make sure to give that activity your full attention. To be precise, you need to make money by doing something that has already been proven successful.
Replace the italicized portion choosing appropriate idiomatic expressions from the options given below.
(get down to business, smooth sailing, think out of box, in a nutshell, glimpse Into the future, in a beehive ) (Score: 4)
- Read the following lines of the poem ‘If’ by Kipling
If you can wait and not tired by waiting
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies ‘.
How far does the idea suggested by these lines match the character of Robert Baldwin? (Score: 6)
- The following are some of the key points noted down by a reporter who was assigned the task of reporting the John Gresham-bank crash case.
- Wrecking of the bank
- Mr. John Gresham found guilty
- Mr. Gresham arrested
- Robert Baldwin-only witness
- The trial begins in twenty four hours
- The bank closed down
Based on the points, prepare a report of the incident. Give a catchy title to the report. (Score: 8)
- Your school is staging the one act play ‘The Hour of Truth.’ As the director of the play, you are asked to introduce the play to the audience. Prepare the script for introduction.
(Hints: theme, message, relevance of the play in the present day world etc.) (Score: 4)
- Go through the excerpt taken from ‘The Hour of Truth’
John : They’re going to punish Gresham, aren’t they?
Baldwin : I’m afraid so.
John : What for?
Baldwin : For misappropriating the fund of the bank.
John : Oh, I know that. But what crime has he committed?
Report this conversation from Martha’s point of view. (Score: 5)
- When Mr. Marshall enters the scene and speaks about Gresham’s confession Martha, Robert’s wife feels extremely proud of her husband. She speaks volubly on the ideal qualities of Robert Baldwin.
Now, complete it for her.
(Hints: Principles Robert stood for, his self-confidence, uncompromising attitude, commitment towards the family etc.) (Score: 5)
- ‘Teach him not to put a price tag on his heart and soul’ is an extract from a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher. Illustrate how far Robert Baldwin satisfies the ideas conveyed by the line mentioned above. (Score: 3)
- “Look here. Governor, you’ve said nothing to the papers. If you say nothing more tomorrow, what does it amount to but sticking to your friend? It’s the square thing to do-he’d do as much for you” says John Baldwin
“Those three words would choke me if I tried to speak them. For some other man, perhaps, it would be easy. But for me? All of my past would rise up and strike me in the face.” says Robert Baldwin .
The above dialogues present the contrasting views of John Baldwin and Robert Baldwin. Now compare and contrast the characters of Robert Baldwin and John Gresham. (Score: 5)
- The play ‘The Hour of Truth’ by Percival Wilde has a dramatic ending. Prepare a write-up on the climax / ending of the play. (Score: 5)
- Imagine that you conducted a Group Discussion on the topic ‘Greed leads to Corruption’. What would be your likely arguments? (Score: 5)
- Given below is an excerpt from an interview you conducted with the famous writer R.K Narayan. Read it carefully. Imagine that your friend who is preparing a report on R.K Narayan to be published in the school magazine asks you about R.K Narayan’s responses to your questions. How would you report them?
Interviewer : You were trained as an economist. How did you come to writing?
R.K Narayan : I’d always written poetry. It isn’t very time-consuming. One can manage to do that while doing something else full-time.
“I’ve got only a few years to live, but I’ll live those as I’ve lived the rest of my life. I’ll go to my grave clean.”
- Who is addressed in these lines? (1)
- Who speaks these words? (1)
- What do these words suggest about the character of the person? (4)
- Comment on the expression “go to my grave clean.” (2)
- Character says it all. How far is this statement true with the character of Baldwin? Attempt a paragraph on the character of Baldwin. (5)
- Read the following excerpt from the play ‘The Hour of Truth’ and answer the questions that follow.
“Look here. Governor, you have said nothing to the papers. If you say nothing more tomorrow, what does it amount to but sticking to your friend? It’s the square thing to do–he’d do as much for you.”
- Who speaks these words? (1)
- Who is addressed as ‘Governor’? (1)
- What does the expression ‘square thing to do’ mean? (2)
- Read the following conversation taken from the play ‘The Hour of Truth.’
John : You can imagine: rotten things. And I couldn’t contradict them.
Baldwin : Why not, John?
John : Because I didn’t know.
Baldwin : Did you have to know? Wasn’t it enough that you knew your father?
Imagine that you are going to direct this segment of the play for the English festival to be held in your school. Being the director, you have to explain the conversation to the actors. Report the details of the conversation to your actors in about 60 words.
- Rohan, a trainee journalist has jotted down the following points when he went to cover the fraud in Gresham’s Bank.
- Financial fraud in the bank
- MD Gresham arrested
- Employees are clueless as to the real culprit
- Baldwin, the close associate of the MD is the only witness
- Depositors concerned
Now, help him to prepare a news report on the financial fraud exposed in Gresham’s Bank.
- The Hour of Truth shows how an upright man resists the temptation of bribe. Prepare a speech to be delivered in the school· assembly about the topic “Honesty in Public Life”.
- Just like a traffic jam slows down the traffic, corruption slows down a country’s development. Prepare the script for a speech to be delivered on Gandhi Jayanthi on the topic “Corruption: Ways to counter it”.
Martha: It doesn’t seem right to me to send an old friend to jail…
Do you agree with Martha, based on the situation in the play ‘The Hour of Truth’? State your opinion with reasons.
- Your school has decided to stage the play “The Hour of Truth” by Percival Wilde in your schoo1. You are asked to introduce the play to the audience. Prepare a script for the introduction including details like theme, duration, cast and credit etc. (50 words).
- Comment on the contrasting characters of Gresham and Baldwin in about 60 words.