Short Stories The Five Boons of life Mark Twain Interactive English First Year Intermediate Study Material With Answers

Short Stories

2. The Five Boons of life (Mark Twain)

Meanings For References

1. warycautious, careful
2. mockedlaughed at somebody in an unkind way
3. coffinthe box in which a dead body is buried or cremate
4. communedtalked
5. desolationmisery combined with a feeling of being lonely
6. treacherousintending to betray somebody
7. curseto say offensive words about somebody in an angry way
8. solitarywithout company, being alone
9. detractiona state of having lower value
10. Calumnya false statement about somebody made to damage his/her
11. PersecutionA state of being treated cruel
12. derisioncontemptuous laughter
13. contemptlack of respect
14. compassionpity for the sufferings of other
15. despairto stop having any hope at all
16. squanderto waste something foolishly or carelessly
17. dazzleimpress somebody greatly
18. despiserspersons who treated one with contempt
19. deferenceyielding to the views, wishes of others
because of respect
20. esteemhigh regard
21. garreta small, dark, unpleasant room
22. gauntmade exceptionally thin by suffering or
hunger (also means ‘old’)
23. wanpale and tired
24. gnawingbiting
25. crustthe hard, outer surface of bread
26. glidedcoated with gold ,false
27. inestimabletoo great to calculate, priceless
28. wearyvery tired
29. wantonexcessive

3. Answer ANY TWO of the following in 100 Words each. [2x 4 =8M]

A) The young man feels that the five boons are not gifts but`
merely lending justify his opinion with reference to his experiences

B) every time the youth chooses a gift the fairy expresses her
dissatisfaction with her gestures comment

C) The years have taught you wisdom surely it must be so
remarks the fairy is she right? Explain

D) what are the thoughts in the mind of the youth when he
chooses wealth? what is the result?

The story “The Five Boons of Life” is written by Samuel Langhorne Clemens is popularly known by his pen name Mark Twain.

Mark Twain was an American writer, humorist, and lecturer, he is rightly called the Father of American Literature among his notable works, “The Adventures of Toms Sawyer” and “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn”.

The Five Boons of life portrays the downfall of a wretched and self-conceited young man. When a fairy offers the young man one of her five gifts among Fame, Love, Riches, Pleasure, and Death, he chooses pleasure first. Pleasure makes him disappointed his next choice is Love. The second time, when the youth chooses love, tears rose in the fairy’s eyes. This showed how unhappy she was with his choice. He has spent his life loving people who leave this world one by one leaving him in grief.

The next time when he goes for the Fame, the fairy went her way sighing, she was sad that he had chosen the wrong gift again. The young man perceives it to be something magnificent. But, in reality, it brings him to shame, on having chosen to wealth. He imagined, that the mockers and despisers would crawl in the dirt before him and he would fill his angry heart with their envy, later he ended up in poverty, and he becomes a pauper .

Finally, he realizes that Death is the only gift that soothes him and pleads with the fairy to grant him that invaluable gift but in vain. The fairy has already given Death to an innocent child.

Thus, the man ends up seeing what he thought are great gifts are actually lending. Thus the story points that the importance of the right choices in life and distinguisher the short-lived, pleasurer, and long-lived values.


The story The Five Boons of Life is written by Samuel Langhorne Clemens is popularly known by his pen name Mark Twain.

A fairy offers a young man one of her five gifts: Fame, Love, Riches, Pleasure and Death. The fairy tells him that only one of these gifts is valuable, so he should choose wisely. But each time he seems to make the wrong choice. The first four choices he makes are Pleasure, Love, Fame and Wealth. None of these is found to be valuable. Pleasure is followed by pain, Love by grief, Fame by envy and decay, and Wealth by poverty. He seeks for Death last of all realizing that he has nothing to live for. But the fairy gives her gift of Death to a child leaving the man in a miserable state.

The story conveys the pessimistic message of the writer that there is nothing pure in life and every good thing one experiences is shadowed by its reverse

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