TWENTY MINUTES WITH MRS. OAKENTUBB” BY FRANK ARTHUR

01“TWENTY MINUTES WITH MRS. OAKENTUBB” BY FRANK ARTHUR

Question 01) Explain the importance of the label on Mrs. Oakentubb’s suitcase? Why does she hide it?

Ans)The label of Mrs. Oakentubb’s suitcase played a vital role in the structure of the plot of the drama. It is the source, which shows the identity of Mrs. Oakentubb, the murderer of the wife and the daughter of the male passenger. However, he does not let her know and keeps her in the dark till the climax of the play. Ignorantly, she hides it, as she knows that she will be in a fix and the male passenger will not spare her life.

Question 02) Write a brief character sketch of Mrs. Oakentubb.

Ans)Mrs. Oakentubb is a wicked woman who enjoys the gathering of bad people. She is habitual drunk. She often participates in cocktail parties and says bets to win some prizes by driving her car fast. In fact, once she kills two innocent people while driving, only for bet of five pounds and gets only slight punishment of eighteen months in jail. In short, she is mean, cunning and deceitful.

Question 03) What motive has the man for murdering her?

Ans)His obvious motive of the man for murdering Mrs. Oakentubb is to take revenge, which he calls an execute justice. The deceitful woman has murdered the wife and the daughter of the man in so-called accident due to her ruthless driving. She drives blindly for winning the bet of just five pounds and gets only slight punishment of eighteen months in jail as she uses her influence and money in the court.

Question 04) What was the view of Mrs. Oakentubb about the chance meeting we have with many people during the lifetime?

Ans)Mrs. Oakentubb had a view that they had chance meeting with people, thousand of them, in the course of a lifetime. People they passed in the street, stood behind in the bus-queues, sat next to in the theatre and so on. There they were living their own lives, and then, just for a brief space, they came into life only to disappear, and, for all they knew to die the next day. Their life touched another life for a minute, or for an hour, and then swung apart.

Question 05) What was the view of the stranger about the chance meeting and its effect on our life?

Ans)The stranger was against the view of Mrs. Oakentubb and believed that sometimes one of those brief, casual meetings might alter life. He told of two half –minute’s meetings which had had the most profound effect on his life. He described the incident when he was seriously wounded in the Korean War, had lost hope and desire to live. He had nothing to live for as his wife and little daughter had already been killed by a heartless woman in a road accident. However, he got a new hope, strength and will to survive as a result of chance meeting with a little Korean child. The brief and wordless meeting gave him a purpose in life. The purpose was vengeance. He wanted to live in order to find out the killer of his wife and daughter and take revenge from him.

Question 06) Write a brief character sketch of the male character.

Ans)In the play “Twenty Minutes with Mrs. Oakentubb” we encounter with a male character of slightly lower social order, i.e., a clerk or an artisan. His wife and daughter are killed in a so-called accident, and Mrs. Oakentubb is responsible for that. He is an emotional man who has become bitter after the loss of his wife and daughter. He is very intelligent and makes Mrs. Oakentubb confess her crime. He also keeps our interest alive by his witty remarks throughout the play.

Question 07) How did Mrs. Oakentubb kill the wife and daughter of the stranger?

Ans)Mrs. Oakentubb had been to a cocktail party and she was driving blindly at a speed of fifty miles an hour on a crowded road to win the bet of just five pounds. She tried to overtake a bus; she saw a lorry coming in her direction. She had two alternatives: either she could kill herself by colliding with the lorry or she could drive on pavement and kill a woman and a girl. She chose to take two innocents lives in order to save hers.

Question 08) How did Mrs. Oakentubb try to justify her position to the man whose wife and daughter were killed by her, due to her reckless driving?

Ans)Mrs. Oakentubb had to serve eighteen months imprisonment because of her crime. She referred to her days of imprisonment during which she thought only two innocent lives. Moreover she said she had not seen the before accident but afterwards she saw them and that picture would always haunt her. In addition, that was her real punishment. The mental torture, which she bore, was more painful than physical punishment. The reason was nothing but a drama of her wit. In fact, she appealed him to blot out the picture by killing her, which was also her cunning trick.

 

 

Question 09) Why, in your opinion, does the author make the porter a humorous character?

Ans)In great tragedies of melodrama, the writer introduces humorous character who relaxes tension by giving comic relief to the spectators. In the play “Twenty Minutes with Mrs. Oakentubb” the Porter fulfils that sort of comic relief. When the man tries to kill the woman, she becomes nervous and tries to scream. All of a sudden, the tension is relaxed when the Porter enters and informs about the late arrival of the train.

Question 10) Write a brief character sketch of the Porter.

Ans)In great tragedies of melodrama, the writer introduces humorous character who relaxes tension by giving comic relief to the spectators. In the play “Twenty Minutes with Mrs. Oakentubb” the Porter fulfils that sort of comic relief. He claims himself to be a shaggy dog as he is doing the job of it, which leads him to get soaked to the skin at the other end of the platform in this stormy night.

Question 11) At what point in the play do we become certain that the man knows that the woman in the waiting room is Mrs. Oakentubb?

Ans)The man came in briskly, wearing a trench coat and trilby hat. When he took off his hat, his glance fell on the label of the woman’s suitcase, which apparently meant nothing but he saw the name on that. When she remarked that she lived in Stainthrop, he was sure that she was the very woman whom he wanted to take revenge. He kept asking several questions, which puzzled Mrs. Oakentubb.

Question 12)Write the Main Theme of Play Mrs. Oakentubb?

Introduction of Author
The “Twenty minutes with Mrs. Oakentubb” is written by Frank Arthur, who is famous for his style. Simplicity and straight-forwardness are his hallmarks. In his play, he delivers the dialogue and action very energetically with straight-forwardness.

Main Theme of Play
“Twenty Minutes with Mrs. Oakentubb” is an effective, sensational and extremely absorbing little piece of melodrama, notable for its skillful manipulation of suspense and thrill. The flow of suspense is maintained by the author right from the beginning of the play to the end. The play has two major characters of a lady, Mrs. Judy Oakentubb and an ex-army man. The main theme of the poem is based on the idea of offence and revenge.

 “Revenge is a kind of wild justice” --- (Bacon)

Question 13)Summary
During her youth, Mrs. Oakentubb had been fond of talking bets and attending cocktail parties. She also fond of all the luxuries and pleasures of life.

“Selfishness and desire of worldly pleasure always leads to sin.”

Once she had a bet with one of her friends. In order to win it she drove the car criminally fast at neck-break speed and killed two pedestrians, a women and her daughter, on the way.

“Cruelty thy name is women.” [W.SHAKESPEARE]

The husband of killed women lost interest in life. Many years later, the gentleman was inspired to take his revenge after his very brief meeting with a Korean girl who reminded him of his daughter. The gentlemen met Mrs. Oakentubb in the waiting room of a country railway junction. When he entered the waiting room, his glance fell on the on the label of the lady’s suitcase where the name and address of Mrs. Judy Oakentubb was clearly written. The gentlemen broke the ice and inquired about Mrs. Oakentubb. The lady tried to curtain her identity. During the conversation her subsequent behavior and concealing of label made him quite sure that he had found his victim.

The gentleman took out his revolver to put her to death. When cunning lady realized the gravity of situation, she started play-acting. In a very convincing manner she made the man to believe that mental torture was far more painful and severe than capital punishment. She begged like a swilinder and shed crocodile tears. Her cunning piece of acting reminds the readers Shakespeare’s line:

“Treachery thy name is woman.” [W. SH

At first, the gentleman was taken in by her deception and dropped the idea of revenge and went out of the waiting room. As soon as he left the room, she came to her real-self. She expressed her hatred for the man who was observing from outside in the twinkling of an eye, the man reappeared and off-hand decided to give the devil his due and shot her dead.

“Often a clever culprit is caught by the trap of his own blunder”.
[SENICKA]

 

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