Summary of Should Wizard Hit Mommy? by John Updike Class 12 English Vistas

Summary of Should Wizard Hit Mommy? by John Updike Class 12 English Vistas

Notes for Should Wizard Hit Mommy?

  • Little children love to hear stories from their parents at bedtime. Such stories are mostly fables and have no logic behind them.
  • Many a time, parents make up stories out of their own head. Little children take them as literally true.
  • But as the child grows up, he becomes inquisitive. He begins to ask many questions.
  • He wants to know why and how certain things happen. He wants to know the reason behind things.
  • Sometimes parents take this questioning of the child as an affront. They try to discourage it.
  • They want the child to accept as true whatever is said to him. Is such an attitude desirable?
  • The story, 'Should Wizard Hit Mommy?', poses this very question.
  • Jo was Jack‘s four year old daughter. Every evening for Saturday‘s naps, Jack told his daughter a self-composed story.
  • The story always has a character Roger with other animal name & each new story is a slight variation of basic tale.
  • In one story Roger Skunk was having bad smell. No animals played with him. He changed his smell with the help of wizard.
  • The wizard was hit by Skunk‘s mother as he had changed is smell. Jo didn‘t like the end as she wanted that wizard should hit mommy.
  • She raises questions whenever she feels that the story is wrong.
  • The father feels himself caught in an ugly middle position. He does not know whether he should accept the child's version or stick to his own.
  • Thus the story raises a moral issue and leaves it to the reader to resolve it. 

Should Wizard Hit Mommy? Summary in English

Jack was the father of two little kids- Jo and Bobby. His wife Clare was carrying their third child. Jack would tell a story to his daughter Jo out of his head in the evenings and for Saturday naps. This custom of story-telling began when Jo was two–year-old and it was continuing for the last two years. Each new story only differed a bit from the basic tale. There always was a small creature, usually named Roger, for example, Roger Fish, Roger Squirrel, Roger Chipmunk etc. He always had some problem and he would go to the wise old owl. The owl would tell him to go to the Wizard, who would perform a magic
spell that solved the problem. The Wizard in turn would demand in payment a number of pennies greater than the number Roger creature had. But at the same time he would direct the animal to a place where the extra pennies could be found. Then Roger would become so happy that he played many games with other creatures. Roger then would go home to his mother just in time to hear the train whistle that brought his daddy home from Boston. Jack then would describe their supper, and the story was over.
Jack found this story-telling session especially tiring on Saturday, because Jo never fell asleep in naps any more. One Saturday Jack asked Jo about whom the story should be today. Roger Skunk, she said firmly. A new animal; they must talk about Skunk at nursery school. Jack started the story of the tiny creature Skunk, who lived in the dark deep woods. His name was Roger Skunk and he smelled very bad. He smelled so bad that other animals of the jungle would not play with him. They would run away and Roger Skunk would stand there all alone.
Roger Skunk went to the wise old owl and told his problem. The owl asked the Skunk why he did not see the Wizard. Then he went to the Wizard and told that he smelled very bad and all the little animals used to run away from him. The wise owl had told wizard that he could help in that manner. The Wizard took his magic wand and asked Roger Skunk what he wanted to smell like. Roger Skunk told him that he would like to smell like roses. The Wizard chanted and Roger Skunk started smelling like roses.
The Wizard asked Roger Skunk to pay seven pennies. Roger Skunk said that he had four pennies only and he began to cry. The Wizard directed Roger to go to the nearby magic well and he would find three pennies there. Roger Skunk took out three pennies from the well and gave them to the Wizard. Now all the other animals gathered around him because he smelled so good. They played various games and laughed. It began to get dark so they all ran home to their mummies. Jo thought that the story was all over.
When Roger Skunk went home his mummy said that the smell was awful. She asked who made him smell like that. Roger Skunk said that the Wizard did so. She said that they were going right back to that Wizard. He said that all the other animals would run away with his bad smell. But his mummy said she did not care. He should smell the way a little Skunk should have smelled. So she took Roger with her and went to the Wizard. When the wizard opened door, she hit him with her umbrella and explained how the wizard‘s magic infuriated her.
The wizard spelled another magic and Roger smelled as foul as he did earlier. But she was displeased with this new ending and wanted her father to make the wizard hit Roger‘s mommy. But Jack was not ready to make any change as he thought Joe should accept him without questioning. Jo protested but Jack said that it was daddy‘s story. He said then Roger Skunk and her mummy went home. They had supper and when Roger Skunk was in bed, Mommy Skunk came up and hugged him and said she loved him very much. He told her that the story ends there.
Jo asked her daddy if the other animals ran away from Roger Skunk. Jack said no, they finally got used to the way Roger Skunk was and did not mind it at all. Jo commented that she was a stupid mummy. He asked her to have a long nap as her brother Bobby was also sleeping. Jo told him that she wanted him to tell her the story the next day that Wizard took that magic wand and hit that mummy, right over the head. Jack said that it was not the story. The point is that the little Skunk loved his mummy more than he loved all the other little animals. Moreover, she knew what was right. But Jo insisted that tomorrow he should say that the Wizard hit that mummy. Jack said that he would see and asked her to sleep.
He closed the door and went downstairs. Clare was striking the chair rail with a dipped brush. Above him footsteps vibrated. These were Jo‘s footsteps. He threatened to beat her and then the footsteps slowed down.
Clare observed that it was a long story. He simply said- the poor kid! He watched his wife working hard on the wood-work. She was doing painting work. Thus the writer displays adult authority on one hand and the child‘s inquisitiveness on the other.

Summary of Should Wizard Hit Mommy? in Hindi

छोटे-छोटे बच्चे सोते समय अपने माता-पिता से कहानियां सुनना पसन्द करते हैं। इस तरह की कहानियां प्रायः मनगढन्त होती हैं तथा उनके पीछे कोई तर्क नहीं होता। अनेक बार माता-पिता अपने ही दिमाग़ से कहानियां गढ़ लेते हैं। छोटे-छोटे बच्चे उन्हें अक्षरशः सच मान लेते हैं । किन्तु जैसे-जैसे बच्चा बड़ा होता जाता है वह जिज्ञासु बन जाता है। वह अनेकों प्रश्न पूछने लगता है। वह चीज़ों के कारण जानना चाहता है। कई बार माता-पिता बच्चे के प्रश्न पूछने को एक अनादर मान लेते हैं। वे इसे हतोत्साहित करने की कोशिश करते हैं। वे चाहते हैं कि बच्चा हर उस बात को सच माने जो उससे कही जाए। क्या इस तरह का व्यवहार वांछनीय है? यह कहानी इसी प्रश्न को उठाती है। एक पिता अपनी बच्ची को अपने मन से ही बना कर एक कहानी सुनाता है। बच्ची उसे अनेक बार टोक देती है। वह प्रश्न पूछने लगती है जब भी वह ऐसा महसूस करती है कि कहानी ग़लत है। पिता स्वयं को एक भद्दी-सी मध्य की स्थिति में फंसा हुआ पाता है। उसे समझ नहीं आता कि वह बच्ची वाली बात को मान ले अथवा अपनी बात पर ही अटल रहे। इस प्रकार कहानी एक नैतिक प्रश्न उठाती है और इसका हल पाठक पर छोड़ देती है।
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