The Hundred Dresses Part 2

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The Hundred Dresses Part 2

The Hundred Dresses Part 2 is chapter 6 in CBSE class 10th NCERT English book- First Flight. It is taken from a book with a similar name – The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. It is a semi- autobiographical story that was inspired by the writer’s own experiences in school. So yes it is almost a real story or at least as close to reality as it can get. This chapter is available in the form of free pdfs online too for the readers to appreciate it without much problem.

Brief Summary of The Hundred Dress Part 2

Maddie is sad and feels guilty about being an accomplice in Peggy’s scheme of bullying their classmate, a girl named Wanda Petronski. Her difficult and different name with her poor background because of which she would wear the same faded blue dress everyday made her a butt of jokes. The story continues from the previous chapter where the girls, Maddie and Peggy are excited about the results of the drawing competition where Maddie is sure that Peggy would win since she is a better artist than the others in their class.  

 The chapter starts with their arrival in room number 13 which served as their class, the display of all the beautiful dresses which were showcased in the room. Turns out all these dresses were designed by Wanda but she had not been present in the class for the past few days. A letter from Wanda’s father reveals that they have moved to a “big city” and that the children would not be coming back to the school and hence would not be teased and bullied.

Credits: Simran Sahni

Maddie is distressed that she had been a coward and hurt Wanda even though it was not her intention to do so, by being a silent observer in the act of bullying. She along with Peggy try to go and meet Wanda at her house but the Petronskis have already left. They then try to write a letter to her telling about her win in the competition and asking how she was feeling about the new place and school. We are not told in the story whether the letter actually reached her or not. But around Christmas time Ms. Mason receives another letter. This letter is from Wanda where  she asks the teacher to give Peggy and Maddie two of her drawings of the hundred dresses claiming to have another hundred more in her closet all lined up. Turns out she had actually drawn Maddie with a beautiful blue dress and Peggy with an equally pretty green dress on the sheets which they had received. Maddie realizes this and tells Peggy about this too and her sad state is what we know about before the chapter draws to a close.

The Hundred Dresses Part 2: Character Sketches

Peggy

Peggy is the prettiest girl with curly hair and the most beautiful dresses. She is also the most famous girl of the school whose best friend is Maddie. She is described as a person who cared and helped younger helpless people and would feel sorry and cry at the plight of animals but she finds no problem in teasing and bullying Wanda because of her difference. It might be because she isn’t aware that her behavior is actually cruel and hurtful to the girl. She doesn’t seem much affected by Wanda’s absence and letter and says that Wanda liked her probably. But we are not made aware of her feelings much in the story.

Maddie

Maddie is the more sensitive girl in the Maddie – Peggy duo. She feels guilty about not standing up against her friend when she was hurting Wanda. She misses Wanda and is very distraught when she realizes that she had been an accomplice in bullying their classmate and hence hurting her feelings. She is the one who realizes that Wanda had drawn her and Peggy in her drawings of the dresses which are given to them by Ms. Mason when she is asked by Wanda to do so through a letter. She makes a decision of never being an accomplice and stands silently when a person was hurt ever again which proves that she has a strong moral compass that is guiding her at such a young age to do what’s right.

Wanda Petronski

Wanda is the girl who is at the center of the story but is absent from the scene where the story takes place. Her absence gives us a lot to think about and reminds us of her silence throughout the story when she was teased. She is absent from the class and the story because of all the bullying and harassing she has to face in the school. Being different from everyone else she regularly becomes a butt of jokes. Even after being through so much she turns out to be such a sweet and good soul that she gifts her drawings of Peggy and Maddie in beautiful dresses to them for Christmas. She is a very strong girl with a kind and gentle heart.

Important Questions and their Answers

What is the moral of the story “The hundred dresses part -2”?

 The hundred Dresses Part-2 is a sensitive story which deals with bullying and discrimination and how it is so prevalent in our society that people sometimes do not even realize that their behavior is hurtful and how it may affect the person being bullied. This story despite being written about 60 plus years ago still resonates with the current society due to its strong moral ground and how it teaches us to be better individuals in life by being sensitive to other people’s feelings. Wanda is bullied by her fellow students but is always silent in class. Maddie and Peggy are the main bullies who are described as the ones who are consistent to the point that they wait for her on the way to school just to tease this little innocent girl. The moral of the story is a very important lesson that we all can learn from this story that discrimination and bullying are the social evils which should be banished from our society and the children specially should be made aware of the consequences of it on the victim’s psyche so that it is something that they don’t follow themselves and stop it if they see it happen in front of them.   

 Did Wanda lie about the hundred dresses? Why did Wanda say that she had hundred dresses?

Wanda Petronski is the character the story revolves around. She is the victim of bullying by her classmates who are consistent in bullying her and wait specially to get a chance to tease and poke fun of her because of her different name, heritage and her faded blue dress which she wears everyday. This harassment turns out to be too much for the little girl and her family who decide to leave for the big city where they hopefully won’t have to go through similar situations. Wanda was a very quiet girl who wasn’t seen to be talking a lot except for when she claimed to have a “hundred dresses” in her closet all “lined up”.

We are not told why she says that but we can guess by the amount of bullying she has to go through that she probably said that to stop the harassment she had to go through on a regular basis or maybe because she was actually referring to the beautiful hundred dresses that she had designed. She later submits these dresses for the drawing competition and her prowess makes her the winner of the competition. So she may not actually have the resources to get beautiful dresses like Peggy but her talent in drawing hundred vivid and pretty dresses certainly speaks volumes and hence we cannot say it for sure that Wanda lied because she certainly owns the hundred dresses she drew herself.

Need more help with the lesson or with other lessons? Know how to get good marks in your exams with the help of Leverage Edu. Check out our blog on other chapters to get a better understanding of the English syllabus of class 10th or try other subjects on our blog for help. 

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