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Evans Tries An O Level by Colin Dexter Summary
“Evans Tries an O-Level” is a short story by British author J.B. Priestley. The story follows a man named Evans who is a factory worker and has never received any formal education. Despite this, he has a strong desire to improve himself and decides to take an O-Level exam, which is a type of secondary education examination in the UK.
Evans studies hard for the exam, but struggles with the material and feels discouraged. However, he is determined to pass and continues to study. On the day of the exam, he is nervous but confident. After the exam, he waits anxiously for the results. When they come, he finds out that he has passed with flying colors.
The story is about the power of determination and the importance of self-improvement. Evans is a determined and hardworking individual who wants to better himself, despite the obstacles he faces. He is an inspiration to the reader, showing that anyone can achieve their goals if they are willing to put in the effort. The story also highlights the theme of education and the importance of education for personal growth and development.
In conclusion, “Evans Tries an O-Level” by J.B. Priestley is a story that highlights the power of determination and the importance of self-improvement. It tells the story of a factory worker who, despite not having any formal education, is determined to better himself by taking an O-Level exam and passes with flying colors. The story also highlights the theme of education and its importance for personal growth and development.
Evans Tries An O Level Questions Answers
Q1: What kind of a person was Evans?
Ans: Evans was a young, clever prisoner. He had escaped thrice from the prison for which he was known ‘Evans the Break’. He was not a violent sort of a person. He was quite a pleasant person and was a star at the Christmas concert. He was a ‘Kleptomaniac’ and had broken jail thrice. He was a master planner and was very sociable. He knew how to keep intimate contacts with people. In the words of the Governor, he was a pleasant sort of chap with no record of violence
Q2: Why is Evans called ‘Evans the break’?
Ans: Evans was called ‘Evans the break’ by the prison offers because he had escaped from prison three times. His shrewd and clever nature has led to such a name.
Q3: Do you think Evan’s statement, ‘I may surprise everybody’ has some special significance?
Ans: Evan seems to be telling his teacher that he may surprise everybody by doing well in the exam, but in reality it is a forewarning that he is going to surprise everybody by his mastermind perfect escape plan.
Q4: The character of ‘McLeery’ has been a game changer in the story ‘Evans Tries An O Level’. Do you agree? Explain.
Ans: Yes, McLeery was definitely a game changer as he impersonated himself as the Parson invigilator but was Evan’s friend in real. He was very intelligent and confident. His acting skills were good as no prison officer could suspect him. He carried two pairs of spectacles, two fake beards, two coats and two collars carefully. When examination started, he sat Like a parson throughout the examination. Even at the end, it was his friend who disguised himself as prison van’s driver and helped Evan’s to escape for the fourth time.
Q5: What was the unusual request received from Oxford prison by the Secretary of Examinations?
Ans: One of the inmates of the prison wanted to appear for the German )-level examination so the governor requested the Secretary of Examinations to make the necessary arrangements.
Q6: What enquiry did the Secretary of the Examination Board make about Evans?
Ans: The Secretary of the Examination wanted necessary details about the examinee regarding his nautre. He wanted to know if Evans was a violent sort of a person. He was told that there was no record of violence.
Q7: What precautions were taken by the prison authorities to ensure that the German exam was conducted smoothly and also under strict security?
Ans: To ensure that the German exam was conducted smoothly and also under strict security. Evan’s razor and nail scissors were remove from the cell. The Reverend Stuart McLerry who was the invigilator was frisked on arrival. Police officer Stephens was deputed on duty. All the prison officials were also put on high alert. There were two locked doors between Evan’s cell and the yard. A microphone was installed in the cell as a precautionary measure through which the governor could listen to their talk by switching on the receiver. The senior officer, Jackson and officer Stephens had worked round the clock and made foolproof arrangements and taken the necessary precautions to ensure that exam was conducted smoothly.
Q8: Who met Evans on the eve of the examination? What does this brief interview reveal?
Ans: It was Evans German teacher who shook him by the hand at 8:30 pm on Monday, 7 June. They met in the heavily guarded Recreational Block, just across from D Wing. The teacher wished him good luck in German, which Evans failed to understand. The teacher observed that he had a remote chance of getting through. Evans remarked that he might surprise everybody. These remarks prove quite meaningful and prophetic.
Q9: What were the contents of the small brown suitcase that McLeery carried?
Ans: It had a sealed question paper envelope, a yellow investigation form, a special authentication card from the Examination board, a paper, a knife, a Bible, and a current copy of ‘The Church Times’. Except the last two articles, the rest were related to his morning duties invigilator.
Q10: What clues did the answer sheet of Evans provide to the Governor?
Ans: The index number 313 and the centre number 271 on the answer sheet proved to be the clues for the Governor. Putting the two together and with the help pf the Ordnance Survey Map for Oxfordshire, he managed to catch Evans in the hotel.
Q11: How did the Governor, who was litening-in, react to these numbers at that time and later on after the escape of Evans?
Ans: Initially, the Governor took them as routine information and did not pay much attention. Later on, when Evans had escaped, he confused the Ordnance Survey Map for Oxfordshire. He found that the six-figure reference 313/271 ponted to the middle of Chipping Norton-the place of hiding for run away Evans.
Q12: What did Stephens notice on looking through the peep-hole of Evans’ cell?
Ans: He found Evans sitting with his pen between his lips. He was staring straight in front of him towards the door. Opposite him sat McLeery. His hair was a mateurishly clipped pretty closely to the scalp. His eyes were fixed at ‘The Church Times’. His right index finger was hooked beneath the narrow clerical collar. The fingers of the left hand were slowly stroking the short black beard.
Q13: What did Stephens notice on coming back to the cell of Evans? What did he assume?
Ans: Stephens saw a man sprawling in Evans’ chair. The front of his closely cropped, irregularly tufted hair was covered with red blood. It had dripped already through the small black beard. It was now spreading over the white clerical collar and down into the black clerical front. He assumed that Evans had hit McLeery and left the prison impersonating McLeery.
Q14: What request did Evans make about half an hour before the end of the examination? How did McLeery and Stephens react to it?
Ans: Evans made a polite request if he could put a blanket round his shoulders as it was a bit chilly there. McLeery told Evans to be quick about it. A minute later, Stephens was surprised to see a grey draped round Evans’ shoulders.
Q15: How did the injured “McLeery” behave? What, do you think, did he achieve by this sort of behaviour?
Ans: The injured “McLeery” claimed to know where Evans was. He showed more interest in arrival of police than of ambulance. He drew the governor’s attention to the German question paper. The photocopied sheet in German contained the route of escape. He diverted the attention of the prison officers and the police to the person (Evans) who had already left the prison.
Q16: Do you agree that between crime and punishment it is mainly a battle of wits?
Ans: Yes, it is a battle of wits between crime and punishment. If the government and law enforcing officials are vigilant crime can be detected and criminals can be booked. But criminals like Evans can trick the authorities and escape punishment as long as the officials are slow and lack alertness and wit.