A Face in the Dark

Ruskin Bond

Answers to some extract based questions


  1. What is a lantern?

A lantern is a lamp which burns usually on kerosene and is used to shed light around it

  1. Who was Mr. Oliver? What was his usual activity during the evening?

Oliver was an Anglo-Indian teacher who taught at an English pubic school near Simla. Every evening, he would go for a stroll into the town and return by a short cut through the pine forests.

  1. What was called “the Eton of the East”? Why?

The public school near Simla where Mr. Oliver taught was called the “Eton of the East” by Life Magazine when they published a feature on India. Eton was a famous public school in England and the school at Simla used to be run like Eton. So, it was called the “Eton of the East”.

  1. What kind of weather was there on the night when Oliver was returning to his school? How does it add to the setting of the story?

It was a dark, windy night. The wind that blew through the pine trees in the forest though which Mr. Oliver had to go made sad eerie sounds. This setting prepares the reader for the bizarre things which happens in the story. In this background, the reader will possibly think the story really happened.

  1. What did Mr. Oliver encounter while coming back to school one night? What did he do after that?

On his way back to school one night, Mr Oliver encountered a boy, sitting on a rock in the forest path and he appeared to be crying. Surprised at this since the boys were not allowed out that late, and wanting to know why the boy was still out in the dark, Mr. Oliver approached him and asked a few questions.

  1. What kind of man was Oliver at the beginning of the story? How did he prove to be the opposite of this description?

Oliver was a not a nervous or imaginative man. He was rather courageous since he used to walk home by the forest path with trees making sad and eerie sounds in the wind. Later when he saw the boys face with no features on it, he didn’t wait to check it out but ran away crying for help. This was the opposite of what we were told about him earlier.