Facing Death is a one-act play by the father of Modern Swedish Literature, Johan August Strindberg. Although Johan passed away at the young age of 63, his plays are renowned across the world including, Facing Death.
In this article, we’ve listed all the question answers as well as the summary of the Facing Death Exercise as part of class 12 English curriculum. Here is the table of contents:
- Facing Death Exercise: All Question and Answers For Class 12 English
- Facing Death Exercise: Reference To The Context For Class 12 English
- Facing Death Exercise: Reference Beyond The Text For Class 12 English
- Facing Death: Summary For Class 12 English
Facing Death Exercise: All Question and Answers For Class 12 English
Listed below are all the questions and answers for the Facing Death exercise for Class 12 English.
1. Where does the play take place?
The play, Facing Death, takes place in the dining room of Monsieur Durand, a former railroad worker, widower and pension owner who lives with his three daughters, Adele, Therese and Annette.
b. Why do the grocery, the bakery, and the butcher send their bills to the Durand household?
The grocery, the bakery and the butcher send their bills to the Durand household because the Durand household hasn’t paid its bills for a long time. To avoid further delays and unpaid invoices, they are unable to provide more services.
c. Why does Monsieur Durand spend money on candles when he doesn’t have money to buy even bread?
Monsieur Durand spends money on candles when he doesn’t have money to buy even bread because he wants to burn candles on the death anniversary of his late son, Rene who died in his childhood. Mr. Durand is grief-stricken due to his demise and still has the sense of affection towards the dead child. Durand’s another intention is to burn his house on fire and get the money of fire insurance to make the fortune of his daughters since they are battling the economic crisis.
d. Why did Monsieur sell his life insurance?
Durand sold life insurance because he had to repay someone’s debt / loan through the sale of life insurance because the debate intensified because he hadn’t paid the debt that was due.
e. Why has Monsieur Durand paid fire insurance?
Monsieur Durand paid fire insurance for the house by mortgaging his house. His intention is to get compensation from the fire insurance company by burning his house so that the money given as compensation benefits his daughters.
f. How did Durand and Mrs. Durand run out of their inheritances from both the sides?
Due to Mrs. Durand’s carelessness and foolish speculation, they lost paternal inheritance. Maternal inheritance was used in raising daughters. In this way, they ran out of their inheritances.
g. Why does Monsieur Durand tell a lie about his birthplace?
Monsieur Durand said that he was born in Switzerland although he was born in France. He tells a lie about his birthplace because of two reasons:
- not ruining his and his wife’s prestige
- it looked as if he fought against his own birth country during the war although he fought against the Germans.
h. What business is Mr. Durand running to make his living?
Mr. Durand is running a pension to make his living. He has converted his house into a lodge for the sake of earning money. He provides the guests with the services of lodging and fooding.
i. What plan does Monsieur Duran have to help his daughters with money?
Monsieur Duran has a plan to burn his house in a fire and get compensation from the fire insurance to help his daughters with money at the cost of his own life.
j. How does Monsieur Durand die?
Monsieur Durand dies by poisoning himself and burning his own house for the sake of compensation from the fire insurance to make a fortune for his penniless daughters.
Facing Death Exercise: Reference To The Context For Class 12 English
Listed below are the answers to the ‘Reference to the context’ part of Facing Death exercise.
a. Sketch the character of Monsieur Durand.
Monsieur Durand is a pension owner, former railroad worker, and widower who lives with his three unkind daughters. He is a loving, caring, and protective father. He sacrifices his own life for the sake of the betterment of his daughters who despise(hate) him. He keeps quiet throughout his life bearing injustice from his late wife who put all the blames of financial ruin on him. He is a loving husband too. He is a patriotic person who loves his birth country, France too although he is obliged to live in Switzerland. He is a tragic hero who faces financial hardships and ends his own life tragically.
b. How do we know that the Duran family has reached a dead end?
The Durand family is bankrupt. They have lost their paternal and maternal inheritances. There are piles of bills to be paid off. Due to economic hardship, they have converted their house into a pension. Daughters have been filled with negativity and despise towards their father by their late mother. They don’t even have bread to eat with coffee. Durand eats the rat’s bait due to hunger. Daughters think they have come to the verge of bankruptcy due to their father’s mistake.
c. ‘The mother, though already dead, seems to have had a great influence on the daughters, specially Theresa.’ Do you agree?
The mother has had a great influence on her daughters in this play. Due to mother’s teaching, all the daughters hate their father. They think that their father was the main cause behind their financial ruin. Especially, Theresa has had more impact from her mother. She snatches the matches away from her father when he is about to inhale tobacco with briar pipe. Similarly, she seizes the glass of milk from him. She is ruder than her other sisters.
Mr. Durand has been maltreated by his daughters. They don’t even let him drink a glass of milk. When all the doors of hope are closed, he is obliged to poison himself and burn the house in order to get compensation from the fire insurance to his daughters. Hence, all these evidences prove that the Durand family has reached a dead end.
d. Discuss the relationship between Monsieur Durand and his wife.
The relationship between Monsieur Durand and his wife was not good. She put all the blames on him though she herself ruined the inheritances. Because of her carelessness and foolish speculation, they ruined their paternal property. She used to spend money on lottery tickets. When she was scolded, she used to threaten by saying that she would be a prostitute for money. She called him a deserted soldier. She taught her daughters to dislike their father.
e. Monsieur Durand kills himself so that his daughters would get 5000 francs as the compensation from the insurance company. What does his plan tell us about him?
Mr. Durand is a tragic hero in the play who poisons himself and burns down his house for the sake of compensation from the insurance company to uplift his daughters’ financial condition. The Durand family is having a difficult time due to the economic crisis. He is being judged as an unsuccessful and irresponsible father by his three daughters. Hence, he plans to compensate his daughters for the fire insurance at the cost of his life than be called an unsuccessful father.
e. “Money determines the relationship between characters in this play.” Elaborate this statement with examples from the play.
Money is the first and the foremost thing valued in the play. Money is the root cause of all the problems in the play. The Durand family is starving due to a lack of money. Mr. Durand has been unable to fulfill the basic needs of his daughters due to the economic crisis. The relationship between Mr. Durand and Mrs. Durand is also ruined just because of the conflict regarding the loss of inheritances.
Daughters hate their father just because he can’t improve the family’s economic condition. They behave well with their father when he says “I am going away to get money for you”. They even give him loving kisses. They use the words of kindness and love. They ask for forgiveness for their rude behaviors. When the father is unable to bring bread, his daughters don’t even give him a glass of milk. They seize it from him. They snatch the matches from him while going to smoke tobacco. Thus, money determines the relationship between the characters in this play.
g. Discuss “Facing Death” as a modern tragedy.
Tragedy is a kind of drama that ends with death, separation, destruction, tears or failure of the protagonist. This play is a tragedy because it ends with the tragic death of the hero Durand. Modern tragedy deals with the realistic representation and common problems. Realism and naturalism are the main features of the modern play.
Modern tragedies deal with the problems of a modern man such as dysfunctional family relationship, socio-cultural problems, loneliness, etc. Characters become the victim of their socio-cultural environment, fate, economic class, gender, external environment and so on. Hence, in this play too, the protagonist has a dysfunctional relationship with his family members. He is an ordinary man and it deals with the financial hardship of a modern man. It realistically represents the modern world. Hence, it is a modern tragedy.
Facing Death Exercise: Reference Beyond The Text For Class 12 English
Listed below are the answers to the ‘Reference beyond the text’ part of Facing Death exercise.
a. Write a few paragraphs describing the role of the father in the family.
Fathers undoubtedly play an important role in the family. Fatherhood is a responsibility, not simply a position. A father, in my opinion, is someone who adopts or accepts the role of parenthood and behaves as a parent to another at any point in time. A father in the family is loaded with an unspecified amount of roles and responsibilities.
A father’s role in the family is critical to the psychological and physical well-being of his or her kid or children. When a child has a positive relationship with a loving father, he or she is more likely to have good psychological health and stronger relationships later in life.
The primary responsibility of the father in the family is to provide, to secure a home for the family, to supply necessities, to fund academics, health bills, and other expenses. The father is responsible for raising his children in accordance with moral and societal standards. It is the father’s responsibility to train his children so that they have a strong foundation for smoother stepping and rising stones. The father has a responsibility to uphold his own reputation and integrity. The father also plays an essential part in decision-making.
Certain judgments are better made with the father’s accent, both culturally and socioeconomically.
b. In his famous essay “The Experimental Novel,” Emile Zola says: This is what constitutes the experimental novel: to possess a knowledge of the mechanism of the phenomena inherent in man, to show the machinery of his intellectual and sensory manifestations, under the influences of heredity and environment, such as physiology shall give them to us, and then finally to exhibit man living in social conditions produced by himself, which he modifies daily, and in the heart of which he himself experiences a continual transformation. To what extent do you agree with Zola’s idea that human beings’ intellectual as well as emotional capacities are determined by their environment and heredity? Discuss with examples including Facing Death.
I definitely agree with Emile Zola’s idea that human beings’ intellectual as well as emotional capacities are determined by their environment and heredity.
In the play “Facing Death”, Monsieur Durand is portrayed as a widower, the owner of the lodge, and a former railway worker. He is a financially drained man with three daughters. They all reside in the lodge. Durand’s relationship with his daughters is fragile. In this play, we see him as a loving, caring, and protective parent. He is living a difficult life with his three daughters as a result of his bankruptcy.
His daughters despise him and frequently blame him. But he keeps worrying about his daughters’ well-being. He gives up his life for the sake of his daughters, who dislike him. He is a patient man who suffered injustice at the hands of his late wife and kept mute for the rest of his life, blaming her for his financial downfall. He is also a devoted husband. He, too, is a patriot who adores his beloved France, although he is compelled to reside in Switzerland. He is a sad hero who confronts financial hardships before tragically committing suicide for the sake of his three daughters.
Facing Death: Summary For Class 12 English
Here is the summary for Facing Death for class 12 English.
Mr. Durand is a former railroad worker, widow, and pensioner of collapse. He lives with three daughters, Adele (27), Annette (24) and Therese (24). The relationship between his father and his three daughters is dysfunctional (not good) and they are bankrupt.
Over the last decade, they have been hit by an economic crisis and have turned their homes into lodges to survive. Adele works in the kitchen and Durand does other chores such as servicing guests, cleaning, and doing errands himself.
Therese and Annette’s two daughters publicly draw the attention of others, sing and flirt. They do nothing to help their father. The Durands borrowed money from others. They have to pay everyone, for example. B. Go to a bakery, butcher, or grocery store. I have a pile of invoices that I have to pay. Her errand boy Pierre comes empty-handed when he goes to get bread. Rather, he only brings in unpaid invoices. Durand buys candles to burn on the anniversary of the death of his late son, Rene, who died at an early age. He still loves and misses him.
They have only one paid guest, Antonio, a lieutenant of the Italian army, as a guest of the house. Durand told Antonio that bankruptcy and lack of supplies made him unable to stay home. Antonio offers Durand a prepayment and asks if he can stay for another month, but Durand refuses. He also says that last spring they had no guests for three months, and finally an American family came and helped them. When Durand goes out for coffee, Therese flirts with guest Antonio and kisses him.
Mr. Durand appeared in the door and was surprised to see them kissing. Last time, Therese was found kissing an American guest. Angry, he drives Antonio out of the house. He also throws the money given by him. When Therese and Annette see this, they are not happy. They want guests to stay. They behave rudely to their father. They even confiscated a glass of his milk because he didn’t bring the bread. He is forced to drink only a glass of water. When he’s ready to light the thorny pipe, Therese grabs the match.
Durand has been hungry for a long time and is also eating rat food. Fortunately, it’s not poisoned. All three daughters blame their father for ruining the condition of their home. They claim that if the mother is alive, the condition of the house will not be compromised. When her mother was alive, she did not have a good relationship with her husband. Her daughter also stands by her mother and blames only her father. Her mother wasted money on her lottery and threatened to work as a prostitute when she was abused in her words.
When the wind blows, Durand tells his daughters to turn off the gas stove and keep their insurance records in place. He also says he brings them insurance. Now the daughters are starting to behave well.
Durand sees Therese’s misfortune and allows her to marry Lieutenant Antonio if she really loves her. Therese is happy to hear it and returns the match. He calls his eldest daughter, Adele, and asks if there are candles. He tells Adele to hide her fire insurance documents and she begins to reveal the secrets he kept. He was born in France. He fell in love with a woman before the draft era. They came to Switzerland and naturalized to be able to get married. During the last war, he joined the Swiss army and fought the French army. That means he was armed against his own country. To hide this shame, he lied that he was born in Switzerland.
Durand also told her daughter that due to her mother’s carelessness and stupid speculation, she lost her father’s property and her mother’s property was used to raise her daughter. I informed you. So they ran out of inheritance. Their mother taught the children to hate him, and the daughters believed what their mother said. She blamed her husband and taught her daughters to hate her father. He didn’t want her daughters to doubt his kindness to his mother, so he remained silent for the rest of his life.
Durand suggests that Adele take care of her sister and keep her insurance records organized. Eventually, he drinks poison from the bottle, and the house burns. In this way, he sets the house on fire and poisons himself, allowing his daughters to receive compensation of CHF5,000 from the fire insurance company.
Conclusion: Facing Death Exercise and Summary
That covers our article on ‘Facing Death Exercise: All Questions Answers and Summary For Class 12 English’. If you have any questions, please write to us in the comments below.