Chapter 5 – The New Dress.

16 Dec 2020 2:45 pm

Chapter 5, The New Dress, english, hsc,12th std, maharashtra board, ebhalbharathi, new edition,

Chapter 5: The New Dress.

1.Write in Column ‘B’ the description of the clothes you would choose to wear for the occasions given in Column ‘A’.

Column ‘A’Column ‘B’
A birthday party 
A prize distribution ceremony at school 
A picnic 
An entertainment show 


Column ‘A’Column ‘B’
A birthday partyA pair of jeans and a t-shirt/top
A prize distribution ceremony at schoolSchool uniform/formal shirt and a pair of trousers
A picnicDungaree/A pair of shorts with a t-shirt and a hooded jacket
An entertainment showAn evening dress/Shirt with a pair of trousers and a blazer

2.Discuss the criterion of the choice of your clothes with the help of the following points:

  1. Occasion
  2. Society (people you may meet at the venue)
  3. Availability
  4. Fashion
  5. Your wish/whim
  6. A suggestion or advice by someone (mother, sister, friend, etc.).
  7. Any other than the above mentioned reasons.



3. Availability

5. Your wish/whim

1.Divide the class into groups. Discuss the role of costumes in enhancing your personality.


Costumes or clothes play a very important role in our lives. The clothes that we wear say a lot about the kind of person that we are. People, who don’t know us, can get to know a lot about our personality by the clothes that we wear. Wearing clothes that make us look good, boosts our self-esteem. When we wear clothes that are comfortable, they help us to be at ease with respect to the environment as well as company. We may never notice this, but clothes also affect our mood. When we wear clothes that we don’t really like or find uncomfortable, it reflects in the way we conduct ourselves. We become more conscious and critical of ourselves. It is thus very important to choose the right costume for the right occasion because when we dress right, we feel comfortable and confident in our skin. This comfort and confidence then enhance our personality.

State whether you agree or disagree with the following statement and discuss the reason.

1.A simple dress makes one’s personality look dull.

  • Agree
  • Disagree

2.We should not judge ourselves from the comments we receive from others.

  • Agree
  • Disagree

3.A fashionable and costly dress makes you look rich, intelligent and beautiful.

  • Agree
  • Disagree

4.We should choose a dress according to the fashion rather than our choice.

  • Agree
  • Disagree

1.Narrate in your words the picture imagined by Mabel as she thinks herself in the party as a fly at the edge of the saucer.


Mabel told herself that she and everyone else were flies trying to crawl over the edge of a saucer. She could then picture a saucer of milk and flies trying to crawl out of the saucer with their wings stuck together. However, no matter how hard she tried, she could not picture the other people as flies. Even in her imagination, the other people appeared as beautiful insects, while she alone looked like a fly dragging herself out of the saucer.

2.There are a few other characters mentioned in the story. Discuss the way their reactions help us to understand the inferiority complex of Mabel.


  1. Mrs. Barnet:
    As soon as Mabel takes off her cloak, Mrs. Barnet tries to draw her attention towards the various appliances needed to tidy one’s hair, clothes, etc., Mabel panics and the first thought that comes to her mind is that her dress is awful, just as she suspected.
  2. Rose Shaw:
    She compliments Mabel by telling her that her dress looked perfectly charming. However, Mabel’s low self-worth makes her think that Rose is simply trying to mock her by sarcastically complimenting her dress.
  3. Robert Haydon:
    As Mabel thinks out loud that she looks like a dowdy, decrepit, dingy old fly, Robert stops to hear her. He thinks that Mabel is trying to reassure herself by saying this, so that she can feel that she is detached, witty and did not feel out of anything. He, therefore, says something quite polite to Mabel, which she misinterprets as insincere. She cannot comprehend that someone can actually say something genuinely nice to her and therefore she thinks of it as a lie.
  4. Miss Milan:
    Mabel’s low regard of self can be witnessed when one small comment from Miss Milan overwhelms her to the extent that she is moved to tears thinking about the patient and enduring side of the nature of humans.
  5. Charles Burt:
    Mabel is already vulnerable when she tells Charles that her dress is old-fashioned. Though she tries to cover up by saying that she was talking about the picture, Charles is already annoyed and announces that “Mabel’s got a new dress”. But to Mabel, who is already vulnerable, this feels as though she has been humiliated in front of everyone; as if she is the fly again and has been pushed back into the saucer. She depicts Charles in a negative light, almost as a villain, though that is not the case. Mabel’s insecurities have made her feel that everyone around her dislikes her and her dress.

1.Pick out the sentences from the story which describe the ambience of the party at Mrs. Dalloway’s place.


Sentences from the story which describe the ambience of the party at Mrs. Dalloway’s place are:

  1. … as she took her cloak off and Mrs. Barnet, while handing her the mirror and touching the brushes and thus drawing her attention, perhaps rather markedly, to all the appliances for tidying and improving hair, complexion, clothes, which existed on the dressing table…
  2. …as she greeted Clarissa Dalloway, she went straight to the far end of the room, to a shaded corner where a looking-glass hung and looked.
  3. …oh these men, oh these women, all were thinking…
  4. Rose herself being dressed in the height of the fashion, precisely like everybody else, always.
  5. …slouched across the room, positively slinking, as if she were a beaten mongrel, and looked at a picture, an engraving.
  6. “It’s so old-fashioned,” she said to Charles Burt, making him stop (which by itself he hated) on his way to talk to someone else.
  7. (“Rather ruffled?” he said and went on to laugh at her with some woman over there)
  8. Then Mrs. Holman, seeing her standing there, bore down upon her.
  9. …all the time she could see little bits of her yellow dress in the round looking-glass which made them all the size of boot-buttons or tadpoles…
  10. …if she had been dressed like Rose Shaw, in lovely, clinging green with a ruffle of swansdown, she would have deserved that…
  11. Mabel Waring, left alone on the blue sofa, punching the cushion in order to look occupied, for she would not join Charles Burt and Rose Shaw, chattering like magpies and perhaps laughing at her by the fireplace

2.Mabel is thinking too much of her dress. Propose five sentences supporting the above statement.


  1. She could not face the whole horror – the pale yellow, idiotically old fashioned silk dress with its long skirt and its high sleeves and its waist and all the things that looked so charming in the fashion book, but not on her, not among all these ordinary people.
  2. I feel like some dowdy, decrepit, horribly dingy old fly.
  3. She faced herself straight in the glass; she pecked at her left shoulder; she issued out into the room, as if spears were thrown at her yellow dress from all sides.
  4. It’s so old-fashioned.
  5. But in her yellow dress to-night she could not wring out one drop more; she wanted it all, all for herself
  6. It seemed to her that the yellow dress was a penance which she had deserved.

2.2Conchology means the scientific study or collection of mollusc shell. Refer to the dictionary and find out the meaning of Archaeology.



It is the scientific study of human life and activities of the past through the excavation of sites and analysis of the material remains.

3.Critically analyse Mabel’s weak economic conditions in the past as one of the reasons that led her to choose the old-fashioned dress.


Mabel came from a family of ten that never had enough money. As a child who did not have much in life, Mabel must have looked at the pretty women in the Paris fashion book and she must have mused dressing like them someday when she could afford that kind of money. Children are very impressionable and the glamorous pictures must have been imprinted in Mabel’s mind. In contrast to her family’s poor condition, the models might have looked like the epitome of beauty and elegance. In her desire to be elegant like those women in the fashion book, Mabel must have decided upon the old-fashioned dress. Another reason could have been Mabel’s current financial condition. We can see that Mabel does think about choosing a fashionable dress, but she knows that it cost her at least “thirty guineas”. Knowing well enough that she won’t be able to afford that kind of money, Mabel must have decided to go with the “old is gold” approach.

4.The cause of Miss Mabel’s disappointment is not only her poor background in the past but her too much bookishness also. Substantiate


From the second that Mabel arrives at the party, she obsesses over her dress and drives herself crazy thinking that everyone at the party is talking about her. Though her inferiority complex stems from the fact that she comes from a poor background, it cannot be denied that her bookishness, too, had a role to play in her disappointment. The first instance is when Mabel sleeps after reading Borrow or Scoot and wakes up at night battling with the intensity that people were commenting on the hideousness of her dress. We can also see, on multiple occasions, that Mabel keeps repeating tags and phrases from Shakespeare and lines from books that she had read long ago, to overcome the agony she feels due to her dowdy dress. Her “flies trying to get out of the saucer” theory is another way of escaping reality by imagining everyone as flies or insects. Whether it is imagining Rose Shaw as Boadicea or thinking that a party makes things much more real or much less real, her beliefs come from the books that she has read. Reading gives her pleasure and the moments that she spends reading are divine for her. Even at the end, when she decides to transform herself, she thinks of reading books to achieve that goal. Thus, it can be concluded that Mabel’s disappointment was not just the result of her poor background, but also her tendency to remain in the world of imagination, thereby making it difficult for her to come to terms with reality.

5.Do you appreciate Mabel’s tendency of deciding her own value from the comments given by others? Explain your views.


No, I do not appreciate Mabel’s tendency of deciding her own value from the comments given by others. Mabel has a very low opinion of herself and that is the reason why she seeks validation from others around her. She holds everyone, but herself, in high regard. However, Mabel is unable to take a compliment when she is given one, because of her over-analytical nature. She is so low on confidence that she thinks people are disguising their insults as compliments and lying to her. Instead Mabel should have risen above what other people think of her and she should have been comfortable in her own skin. We should never judge our self-worth by other people’s opinions of us. This will only make us more critical of ourselves and in turn make us lose confidence is our abilities.

Write the synonyms for the word ‘dress’ by filling appropriate letters in the blank.

1.__ t t __ r __


a t t i r e

2.Write the synonyms for the word ‘dress’ by filling appropriate letters in the blank. 

__ __ r __ __


a r r a y

3.Write the synonyms for the word ‘dress’ by filling appropriate letters in the blank.

__ __  __ t __ __ e


c o s t u m e/ c o u t u r e

4.Write the synonyms for the word ‘dress’ by filling appropriate letters in the blank.

__ __ r __ __  __ t


g a r m e n t

5.Write the synonyms for the word ‘dress’ by filling appropriate letters in the blank. 

__ __ t __  __ t


o u t f i t

1.Conchology means the scientific study or collection of mollusc shell. Refer to the dictionary and find out the meaning of Etymology.



It is the study of the origin of words and the development in their meanings throughout history.

Use the correct tense form of the verb given in the bracket and rewrite the sentence.

1.She ________ that old fashion book of her mother a few months back.

  • take
  • takes
  • took
  • had taken

2.She ________ at her left shoulder for quite some time.

  • pecking
  • pecks
  • pecked

3.One human should _______ this for another always.

  • done
  • doing
  • be doing

4.All this ________ destroyed in a few years.

  • will be
  • is
  • have been

5.She ______ like a dressmaker’s dummy standing there.

  • feels
  • felt
  • will be feeling

Do as directed.

1.Lata will sing tonight.  (Make it less certain)


Lata may/might sing tonight.

2.You should wear your uniform.  (Show ability)


You can/could wear your uniform.

3.Sandeep may study to clear the examination. (Make it obligatory/compulsory) 


Sandeep ought to study to clear the examination.

4.I can do it.  (Make a sentence seeking permission)


May I do it?

1.Frame three rules for the students of your college.


  1. Students must not use mobile phones in the college premises.
  2. Students must wear their ID cards while inside the college.
  3. Students must adhere to the dress code of the college.

2.Frame three sentences giving advice to your younger brother.


  1. You should inform us if you plan to stay out late.
  2. You should always say ‘Thank you’ when someone helps you.
  3. You should ensure that others don’t get hurt because of your words or actions.

Fill in the blank with appropriate modal auxiliaries according to the situation given in the following sentence.

1.Take an umbrella. It _______ rain later.


Take an umbrella. It may rain later.

2.People _______ walk on the grass.


People should not walk on the grass.

3._______ I ask you a question?


May I ask you a question?

4.The signal has turned red. You _______ wait.


The signal has turned red. You must wait.

5.I am going to the library. I _______ find my friend there.


I am going to the library. I might find my friend there.

1.Read the sentence ‘we are all like flies….’. The paragraph describes the dejected thoughts that Miss Mabel carries in her mind. All the earlier paragraphs are in a continuity of a storyline. The next paragraph begins with, ‘I feel like….’ again resumes to a story. The author has moved in the mind of the character and out of it very smoothly without any intimation or change in the language or tense. Similarly, she has moved in the past years of Miss Mabel’s life. This is called ‘stream of consciousness’ technique.


Do it yourself.

2.Read the sentence from the text  What a hideous new dress!

This is an exclamation. It can be written as a simple sentence ‘The new dress is very hideous.’

Find out few more exclamatory sentences from the passage and transform them into assertive sentences.


1. What a fright she looks!

Ans: She looks like such a fright.

2. How dull!

Ans: It is so dull.

3.Virginia Woolf has created many characters other than Miss Mabel with great skill. Write a character sketch of any one of them.


Mrs. Dalloway, a novel by Virginia Woolf, was first published in 1925. Clarissa Dalloway, who has been introduced in this chapter as the woman who hosted the party that Mabel attended, is the protagonist of Mrs. Dalloway. This novel by Woolf also follows the stream of consciousness narrative.

Character Sketch of Mrs. Dalloway

Clarissa Dalloway is a pale and delicate upper-class lady in her fifties. She is a smart, loving, compassionate, and vibrant woman, who likes to host parties and thinks of her parties as a ‘gift’ to the society. As a woman with high social standing, she conducts herself in a way that is expected of her. Though she seems superficial, Clarissa is actually quite thoughtful and appreciates the little joys of life. She is sceptical and full of melancholy as she lives each day being fully aware of death and the darkness that surrounds her life. Married to a politician, Richard Dalloway, she questions whether she made the right choice all those years ago, when she rejected Peter Walsh to marry Richard, so that she could enjoy the perks of the high society, something that Peter could have never offered her. She even thinks about her attraction towards her friend Sally Seton thirty years ago. She lives her life dwelling on the past and thinks about how her decisions have shaped her life. This constant obsession with her history in regards to Peter and Sally overshadows her happy memories. In her youth, she was a lively and free-spirited girl, but with age she has become restrained and conventional. A complicated woman, who treasures her independence and loves her relationships, Clarissa Dalloway is the perfect example of ‘still waters run deep’

4.‘Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.’ Expand the idea in your own words.


Clothing is one of the basic necessities for humans all around the world. With a variety of fabrics, colours, textures, prints, patterns, and designs, our clothes speak volumes about our personality. They go a long way in creating a good first impression. However, clothes, in all their abundance, mean nothing until owned or worn by someone. Clothes that make a person feel lively and comfortable serve their purpose, because clothes are not just about what’s on the outside, but also about what’s on the inside. A sad or depressed mood leads us towards dark colours; and similarly, a good mood, steers us towards bright colours. Clothes are a medium of communication that needs no words. Thus, clothes that don’t make us feel in our element are not the right kind of clothes. After all, it is the person that adds meaning to the clothes and not the other way around.

Go to library and read the following book:

1.‘A Haunted House’ by Virginia Woolf


Do it yourself.

2.‘Mrs. Dalloway’ by Virginia Woolf


Do it yourself.

1.Find out information about career opportunities in the following field:

Fashion designing


Fashion designing:

The fashion industry is one of the most lucrative industries. With a variety of undergraduate and diploma courses available in fashion designing, one can choose to become a fashion designer, a retail buyer, a retail manager, a stylist, a personal shopper or a fashion blogger. The institutes offering fashion design courses in Mumbai are  ISDI School of Design and Innovation, National Institute of Fashion Technology, International Institute of Fashion Design, among others.

2.Find out information about career opportunities in the following field:

Dress designing


Dress designing:

Dress designing or costume designing is a part of fashion designing and involves researching fashion trends and creating patterns and introducing fabrics into the market. Pattern making, draping, tailoring, etc. are some of the areas that a dress designer needs to master. There are a lot of courses available for this specific branch under fashion designing, which teach the principles and processes of the fashion industry, computer programs used for dress design, the knowledge of materials, workforce leadership and the understanding of industrial equipment. Institutes offering fashion designing courses also provide dress or textile design courses.

3.Find out information about career opportunities in the following field:

Textile industry


Textile industry:

Textile industry is divided into Spinning, Weaving or Knitting, Weaving or Knitting. One needs to take a degree or diploma in textile engineering to enter this industry. The more artistic ones can joins as Textile Designers, however nowadays one needs to be more apt with computer-aided designing to enter this line. Graduates with textile chemistry find careers in dyeing and finishing, technical services, research and development, quality control, product development, polymer science and environmental control. Most graduates of the textile management program initially enter management trainee programs which can ultimately lead to plant or corporate management. Other career options include technical sales, industrial engineering, product development, marketing, customer relations, human resources, and cost and inventory control. So one who has a degree in Textile Engineering can work as: Process engineer, Quality control supervisor, Technical Services/Sales Manager, Operations Trainee, Process Improvement Engineer, Medical Textiles Engineer.

4.Find out information about career opportunities in the following field:

Garment industry


Garment industry:

The apparel industry is one of the most important sectors of the economy with regard to investment, revenue, and trade and employment generation all over the world. The apparel industry in India has substantially diversified on the basis of fashion, climate, region, culture, and fiscal factors. Indian textile is witnessing great growth and development in the industrial sector in India as well as abroad. The important segments covered in the apparel industry include home decor and furnishings along with clothing and fashion accessories for kids, women, and men. This sector needs skilled people as Pattern Masters, Cutters, Supervisors, Quality Controllers, the high-end job is for Merchandiserswho have to deal with the buyers and keep track of the deliveries. 

5.Find out information about career opportunities in the following field:

Image consultancy


Do it yourself.

6.Find out information about career opportunities in the following field:

Psychology and Psychiatry


Do it yourself.



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