The Hoop Summary Notes

The Hoop About the Author

Feodor Kuzmich Sologub (1863-1927) is a prolific Russian author, dramatist, essayist and poet of the Symbologist movement, his undoubted masterpiece being The Petty Demon (1907). Feodor Kuzmich Tetenikov was bom on 17 February, 1863, in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was later to adopt the pseudonym Sologub.

In 1882, after training at the St. Petersburg Teacher’s Training Institute, Sologub was appointed teacher Narvskoe municipal school and began his career, mainly teaching math, with the Russian Ministry of Public Education.

A significant date for Sologub was the 28th of January, 1884, when his poem Fox and Hedgehog was published in the magazine Vesna, his first literary success. Much ofhis ensuing poetry dealt laconically with morbi themes and death in a beautifully simplistic way, unencumbered by heavy metaphor.

The Hoop Summary

The short – story ‘The Hoop’ is by Feodor Kuzmich Sologub (1863-1927). He was a prolific Russian author, dramatist, essayist and poet of the Symbologist Movement. ‘The Hoop’ is the story of an old man who is captivated by the sight of a young child playing with a hoop. The image embeds itself in his psyche and from it, right at the end of his life, he finally learns how to live in the moment.

The story begins on a lonely suburban street, somewhere in Russia. A woman and her four year old son are walking down the street. The women is young and stylishly dressed, she looked happy and was glancing at her little son affectionately. The little boy’s red cheeks beamed with happiness. He was bowling a large, new, bright yellow hoop and was enjoying it as he was laughing loudly with joy. He had never and a hoop before and he had never been on the streets in early morning.

An old man in a shabby attire was standing at the comer of the street to cross the road. He was watching the boy bowling the hoop, and enjoying it. It seemed strange to him and he could not quite understand how his mother did not scold the boy for running along the street trailing the hoop. All along his long life he had come to understand that children were mischievous and needed to be scolded for playing. He felt that the mother and son were affluent people, used to warmth and comfort. Compared to their life, he had led a dog’s life in his childhood days.

He remembered that in his younger days the family had an impoverished and miserable life. There wasn’t a moment of joy in his childhood days, though he wasn’t leading a rich life in his old age, life was better in his adulthood. He no longer feared being thrashed and had enough to eat. He smiled at the boy although he envied him.

In his old age, he felt that pumping a hoop was a silly game but still he envied the boy. The old man worked in a factory, a place he had worked from his childhood and grown old. He thought of the boy even at work. The picture of the boy happily bowling the hoop was embedded in his mind. He even dreamt of the boy that night.

The thoughts of the happy boy also lingered in the old man’s mind at work, the next day also. These thoughts directed his mind away from the monotonous work at the factory. The old man imagined himself as a little boy. He imagined his mother to be a gentlewoman, who didn’t scold him for bowling the hoop. He imagined he was dressed in a white costume, his little legs were plump similar the happy boy he had seen on the street the day before. His day dreams continued for many days even when he was working at the factory.

One evening, when the old man was going back home from work he spied a rusted hoop of an old barrel lying in the street. The old man trembled with happiness and joyful tears rolled down from his dull old eyes. He looked around cautiously and picked it up with trembling hands and smiling shamefacedly carried it home with him. He was glad that no one noticed or asked why he was carrying an old, rusted hoop.

It seemed that no one cared to ask why the old man was carrying the rusted hoop. Yet he carried it cautiously afraid people would ridicule him. He couldn’t understand or explain why he had picked up the hoop, but it was similar to the little boy’s hoop.

The old man had never played with a hoop in his childhood days nor even played at all. He had been working at the factory since his childhood days and there wasn’t any time left to play. Now he could look at and touch a hoop. It would make him forget the dull monotonous work at the factory.

The old man hid the hoop under his bed. Often he would take it out and look at it, and felt soothed at the thought of the happy little boy, he had seen on the street, playing with a hoop. Looking at the hoop the old man would start day-dreaming and it would make him forget the daily drudgery at the factory.

One morning the old man rose early in the morning. It was a beautiful warm day and the birds were chirping happily in the wasted trees of the city. The old man got up early in the morning and went to the nearby woods. He cut a branch from one of the trees in the woods and hung his hoop upon it. He reached a clearing (open space) in the wood and started bowling the hoop over the green grass in the clearing.

He ran after the hoop laughing like the little boy, he had seen on the street. He appeared very cheerful. He imitated the little boy’s every movement while playing with the hoop. He felt as if he was a little boy, loved by all and happy in life. He felt that he was being loved by his mother, who was following him behind and smiling, similar to the little boy’s mother. He felt refreshed.

His goat-like, dust- grey beard which matched with his sallow face trembled as he laughed in happiness, and it sounded loud and harsh mingling with his cough. It seemed like the old man had regained his lost childhood, because he didn’t have an opportunity to be a little boy in his child-hood.

He was afraid that his morning activities would be discovered and people might laugh at him. He felt ashamed at the thought of being discovered while bowling the hoop. He would look around him in fright but thankfully nobody had seen or heard him playing with the hoop. After he had played with the hoop to his hearts content he would go back to the city and to work in the factory.

The old man played peacefully for several days and one very cold morning he caught a cold. He returned home and lay on his bed and soon died. He appeared lo be smiling because he had now experienced childhood. A little boy is all that the old man could not be in his childhood. But then he had enjoyed all the things he hadn’t enjoyed in his childhood. He is content at death because of this game.

The Hoop Glossary

  • Suburban : connected with a suburb, outskirts of a city.
  • Hoop : a large ring of plastic, wood or iron.
  • Uproariously : loudly
  • Din : noise
  • Reproach : rebuking, scolding
  • Drubbing : a situation where one team easily beats another.
  • Torment : extreme suffering
  • Reverie : dream.
  • Clatter : hard objects knock together to make a loud noise.
  • Phantom : ghost
  • Incessant : never stopping.
  • Gnarled : bent and twisted
  • Opalescent: changing colours like opal, a precious stone almost white.
  • Sallow : having a slightly yellow colour that does not look healthy.
  • Scamper : to move quickly with short light steps

The Hoop Questions and Answers

I. Short Answer Questions

Question 1.
What was the boy doing at the lonely suburban street?
Answer:
The little boy was blowing a large, new, bright yellow hoop.

Question 2.
What caught the atention of the old man at the street crossing?
Answer:
The little boy running, laughing, stamping his feet, blowing the hoop caught the attention of the old man.

Question 3.
How did the old man appear outwardly?
Answer:
The old man had a goat – like, dust grey beard, that harmonized with his sallow face. He was dressed in shabby clothes. His hands appeared coarse and it could be understood that he was a Labourer He had lost all his teeth.

Question 4.
How did the mother deal with her son?
Answer:
The mother was casting affecionate glance at her son. She uttered no reproach or made any fuss nor did she scold her son for playing on the street with the hoop.

Question 5.
What fancy haunted the old man after that day?
Answer:
The old man simply could not get the happy little boy playing with the hoop, out of his mind. He saw him running, laughing, stamping his feet, bowling the hoop. He dreamt of the boy playing on the street. The old man’s fancy was at work – he had become a little boy for the moment, his harsh mother, was a gentlewoman and he had his hoop and stick. He imagined he was playing, driving the hoop on the street. He wanted to be a little boy that he could not be in his childhood.

Question 6.
The old man’s childhood was similar to the boy’s. True / False.
Answer:
False.

Question 7.
What had the old man been doing for most part of his life?
Answer:
The old man had been working at a factory for most part of his life.

Question 8.
What did the old man find one day while returning from work?
Answer:
One day, while returning from work, the old – man saw the hoop of an old barrel lying in the street. It was a rough, dirty object.

Question 9.
Where did the old man go everyday to play with his hoop?
Answer:
The old man went to the woods to play with hoop, everyday.

II. Paragraph Answer Questions

Question 1.
There is repetition of words like ‘plump’, ‘din’, ‘reverie’, ‘ttothless smile’. Why?
Answer:
The repetition of words like ‘plump’, ‘din’, ‘reverie’, ‘toothless smile’ is to lay emphasis on the difference in the life of the little boy and the oldman.

The little boy was plump, rosy cheeked, young and happy. White the old – man was weak with age and unhappy. Moeover the old – man had been working in a factory for most of his life and he hadn’t experienced childhood and it joys. But after seeing the little child happily bowling the big, yellow hoop, the old man dreamt of playing with hoop even while working in the factory, in the middle of all the noise (din). In spite of the din at the factory the old man was able to fanatize about playing with the hoop. ‘Plump’ and ‘toothless smile’ lay emphasis on the physical condition of the little boy and the oldman and also imply the difference of age between them.

Question 2.
What is the importance of the little boy’s mother in the old man’s fancy?
Answer:
The old – man’s mother was a harsh lady. She used to treat children as mishief – makers and play as mischief. She thought children were to be pulled about by hair, reproached for playing and scolded for not working. We can imagine that she was a cold old women, frustrated by life’s hardship. He did not enjoy being a little child as he was sent to work in a factory at a very young age;

But the little boy’s mother was young and smart and she was smiling brightly. She was casting affectionate glances at her son (the little boy). She uttered no reproach, made no fuss and did not scold her little son for playing with the hoop. The little boy’s mother’ was smart and bright and seemd dto be accoustmed to warmth and comfort.

Her warm and cheerful nature was of great importance in the old man’s fancy because his onw mother was a harsh lady and evershine a little boy he had lived a dog’s life.

Question 3.
How did the old man realise his dream?
Answer:
One morning the1 old man rose early in the morning. It was a beautiful warm day and the birds were chirping happily in the wasted trees of the city. The old man got up early in the morning and went to the nearby woods. He cut a branch from one of the trees in the woods and hung his hoop upon it. He reached a clearing (open space) in the wood and started bowling the hoop over the green grass in the clearing. He ran after the hoop laughing like the little boy, he had seen on the street. He appeared very cheerful.

He imitated the little boy’s every movement while playing with the hoop. He felt as if he was a little boy, loved by all and happy in life. He felt that he was being loved by his mother, who was following him behind and smiling, similar to the little boy’s mother. He felt refreshed.

His goat-like, dust- grey beard which matched with his sallow face trembled as he laughed in happiness, and it sounded loud and harsh mingling with his cough. It seemed like the old man had regained his lost childhood, because he didn’t have an opportunity to be a little boy in his child-hood.

Question 4.
Describe a day of the old man’s work at the factory.
Answer:
The old man worked in a factory from childhood, where he had grown old. He got up early and went to the factory and worked till evening amid the din of the factory wheels. The machines clattered, the labour was monotonous and automatic. The hands of the old man were always busy but accoustomed to their tasks. The air in factory was thick with dust, and under the high ceiling strap after strap, with hissing sound, glided quickly from wheel to wheel, endless in number. One could not hear any body’s voice because of the continuous din of the machines.

Question 5.
How did the hoop of an old barrel change the course of life of the old man?
Answer:
One evening, when the old man was going back home from work he spied a rusted hoop of an old barrel lying in the street. The old man trembled with happiness and joyful tears rolled down from his dull old eyes. He looked around cautiously and picked it up with trembling hands and smiling shamefacedly carried it home with him. He was glad that no one noticed or asked why he was carrying an old, rusted hoop.

It seemed that no one cared to ask why the old man was carrying the rusted hoop. Yet he carried it cautiously afraid people would ridicule him. He couldn’t understand or explain why he had picked up the hoop, but it was similar to the little boy’s hoop.

The old man had never played with a hoop in his childhood days nor even played at all. He had been working at the factory since his childhood days and there wasn’t any time left to play. Now he could look at and touch a hoop. It would make him forget the dull monotonous work at the factory.

The old man hid the hoop under his bed. Often he would take it out and look at it, and felt soothed at the thought of the happy little boy, he had seen on the street, playing with a hoop. Looking at the hoop the old man would start day-dreaming and it would make him forget the daily drudgery at the factory.

Question 6.
Describe the morning hour of the old man in the woods with the hoop.
Answer:
One morning the old man rose early in the morning. It was a beautiful warm day and the birds were chirping happily in the wasted trees of the city. The old man got up early in the morning and went to the nearby woods. He cut a branch from one of the trees in the woods and hung his hoop upon it. He reached a clearing (open space) in the wood and started bowling the hoop over the green grass in the clearing.

He ran after the hoop laughing like the little boy, he had seen on the street. He appeared very cheerful. He imitated the little boy’s every movement while playing with the hoop. He felt as if he was a little boy, loved by all and happy in life. He felt that he was being loved by his mother, who was following him behind and smiling, similar to the little boy’s mother.

He felt refreshed. His goat-like, dust- grey beard which matched with his sallow face trembled as he laughed in happiness, and it sounded loud and harsh mingling with his w cough. It seemed like the old man had regained his lost childhood, because he didn’t have an opportunity to be a little boy in his childhood.

Question 7.
Bring out the constrast in the old man’s childhood and the boy’s childhood.
Answer:
The little boy was four years old. He appeared healthy and energetic. He had plump little legs and dressed in a smart white dress. His red cheeks beamed with happiness. He had a very affectionate mother, who did not reproach him for playing with the hoop.

His mother cast afectionate glances at him. His cheeks beamed with happiness. He was laughing uproariously while trailing the hoop. N Even though the boy was playing on the street, his mother did not reproach nor did she pull his hair in anger. The family seemed to be used to warmth and comfort.

On the other hand, when the old man was a boy he lived a dog’s life. There was nothing particularly rosy in his life. During his younger days the family had to often go hungry. His parents would beat him “’ often. The old man could not recall even a single joy in his younger days. He worked in a factory from childhood and had no time to
play.

III. Essay Answer Questions

Question 1.
A little boy is all that the old man could not be in his childhood. Elaborate.
Answer:
When the old man was a boy he lived a dog’s life. There was nothing particularly rosy in his life. During his younger days the family had to often go hungry. His parents would beat him often. The old man could not recall even a single joy in his youner days. He worked in a factory from childhood and had no time to play.

The old man worked in a factory from childhood, where he had grown old. He got up early and went to the factory and worked till evening amid the din of the factory wheels. The machines clattered, the labour was monotonous and automatic. The hands of the old man were always busy but accoustomed to their tasks. The air in factory was thick with dust, and under the high ceiling strap after strap, with hissing sound, glided quickly from wheel to wheel, endless in number. One could not hear anybody’s voice because of the continuous din of the machines.

The old – man’s mother was a harsh lady. She used to treat children as mishief – makers and play as mischief. She thought children were to be pulled about by hair, reproached for playing and scolded for not working. We can imagine that she was a cold old women, fraustrated by life’s hardship. He did not enjoy being a little child as he was sent to work in a factory at a very young age.

Question 2.
‘Living in the moment’ was a thing the old man learnt very late in his life. Elucidate.
Answer:
One day an old man was walking to work early in the morning. Somewhere on a street in Russia. He saw a women and her four year old son walking happily down the street. The little boy was bowling a hoop. The mother was glancing at her son affectionately and he was laughing with joy and traing with hoop.

An old man in shabby attire was standing at the corner and observing the mother and child. An old man in a shabby attire was standing at the comer of the street to cross the road. He was watching the boy bowling the hoop, and enjoying it. It seemed strange to him and he could not quite understand how his mother did not scold the boy for running along the street trailing the hoop.

All along his long life he had come to understand that children were mischievous and needed to be scolded for playing. He felt that the mother and son were affluent people, used to warmth and comfort. Compared to their life, he had led a dog’s life in his childhood days.

He remembered that in his younger days the family had an impoverished and miserable life. There wasn’t a moment of joy in his childhood days, though he wasn’t leading a rich life in his old age, life was better in his adulthood. He no longer feared being thrashed and had enough to eat. He smiled at the boy although he envied him. In his old age, he felt that pumping a hoop was a silly game but still he envied the boy.

The old man worked in a factory, a place he had worked from his childhood and grown old. He thought of the boy even at work. The picture of the boy happily bowling the hoop was embedded in his mind. He even dreamt of the boy that night.

The thoughts of the happy boy also lingered in the old man’s mind at work, the next day also. These thoughts directed his mind away from the monotonous work at the factory. The old man imagined himself as a little boy. He imagined his mother to be a gentlewoman, who didn’t scold him for bowling the hoop. He imagined he was dressed in a white costume, his little legs were plump similar the happy boy he had seen on the street the day before. His day dreams continued for many days even when he was working at the factory.

One evening, when the old man was going back home from work he spied a rusted hoop of an old barrel lying in the street. The old man trembled with happiness and joyful tears rolled down from his dull old eyes. He looked around cautiously and picked it up with trembling hands and smiling shamefacedly carried it home with him. He was glad that no one noticed or asked why he was carrying an old, rusted hoop.

It seemed that no one cared to ask why the old man was carrying the rusted hoop. Yet he carried it cautiously afraid people would ridicule him. He couldn’t understand or explain why he had picked up the hoop, but it was similar to the little boy’s hoop.

The old man had never played with a hoop in his childhood days nor even played at all. He had been working at the factory since his childhood days and there wasn’t any time left to play. Now he could look at and touch a hoop. It would make him forget the dull monotonous work at the factory.

The old man hid the hoop under his bed. Often he would take it out and look at it, and felt soothed at the thought of the happy little boy, he had seen on the street, playing with a hoop. Looking at the hoop the old man would start day-dreaming and it would make him forget the daily drudgery at the factory.

One morning the old man rose early in the morning. It was a beautiful warm day and the birds were chirping happily in the wasted trees of the city. The old man got up early in the morning and went to the nearby woods. He cut a branch from one of the trees in the woods and hung his hoop upon it. He reached a clearing (open space) in-the wood and started bowling the hoop over the green grass in the clearing.

He ran after the hoop laughing like the little boy, he had seen on the street. He appeared very cheerful. He imitated the little boy’s every movement while playing with the hoop. He felt as if he was a little boy, loved by all and happy in life. He felt that he was being loved by his mother, who was following him behind and smiling, similar to the little boy’s mother.

He felt refreshed. His goat-like, dust- grey beard which matched with his sallow face trembled as he laughed in happiness, and it sounded loud and harsh mingling with his cough. It seemed like the old man had regained his lost childhood, because he didn’t have an opportunity to be a little boy in his child-hood.

He was afraid that his morning activities would be discovered and people might laugh at him. He felt ashamed at the thought of being discovered while bowling the hoop. He would look around him in fright but thankfully nobody had seen or heard him playing with the hoop. After he had played with the hoop to his hearts content he would go back to the city and to work in the factory.

The old man played peacefully for several days and one very cold morning he caught a cold. He returned home and lay on his bed and soon died. He appeared to be smiling because he had now experienced childhood. A little boy is all that the old man could not be in his childhood. But then he had enjoyed all the things he hadn’t enjoyed in his childhood. He is content at death because of this game.

Question 3.
The last days of the old man were lived to the fullest.
Answer:
In his old age, he felt that pumping a hoop was a silly game but still he envied the boy. The old man worked in a factory, a place he had worked from his childhood and grown old. He thought of the boy even at work. The picture of the boy happily bowling the hoop was embedded in his mind. He even dreamt of the boy that night.

The thoughts of the happy boy also lingered in the old man’s mind at work, the next day also. These thoughts directed his mind away from the monotonous work at the factory. The old man imagined himself as a little boy. He imagined his mother to be a gentlewoman, who didn’t scold him for bowling the hoop. He imagined he was dressed in a white costume, his little legs were plump similar the happy boy he had seen on the street the day before. His day dreams continued for many days even when he was working at the factory.

One evening, when the old man was going back home from work he spied a rusted hoop of an old barrel lying in the street. The old man trembled with happiness and joyful tears rolled down from his dull old eyes. He looked around cautiously and picked it up with trembling hands and smiling shamefacedly carried it home with him.

He was glad that no one noticed or asked why he was carrying an old, rusted hoop. It seemed that no one cared to ask why the old man was carrying the rusted hoop. Yet he carried it cautiously afraid people would ridicule him. He couldn’t understand or explain why he had picked up the hoop, but it was similar to the little boy’s hoop.

The old man had never played with a hoop in his childhood days nor even played at all. He had been working at the factory since his childhood days and there wasn’t any time left to play. Now he could look at and touch a hoop. It would make him forget the dull monotonous work at the factory.

The old man hid the hoop under his bed. Often he would take it out and look at it, and felt soothed at the thought of the happy little boy, he had seen on the street, playing with a hoop. Looking at the hoop the old man would start day-dreaming and it would make him forget the daily drudgery at the factory.

Question 4.
Dreams are nothing but unfulfilled wishes. Explain.
Answer:
One morning the old man rose early in the morning. It was a beautiful warm day and the birds were chirping happily in the wasted trees of the city. The old man got up early in the morning and went to the nearby woods. He cut a branch from one of the trees in the woods and hung his hoop upon it. He reached a clearing (open space) in the wood and started bowling the hoop over the green grass in the clearing.

He ran after the hoop laughing like the little boy, he had seen on the street. He appeared very cheerful. He imitated the little boy’s every movement while playing with the hoop. He felt as if he was a little boy, loved by all and happy in life. He felt that he was being loved by his mother, who was following him behind and smiling, similar to the little boy’s mother. He felt refreshed.

His goat-like, dust- grey beard which matched with his sallow face trembled as he laughed in happiness, and it sounded loud and harsh mingling with his cough. It seemed like the old man had regained his lost childhood, because he didn’t have an opportunity to be a little boy in his child-hood.

He was afraid that his morning activities would be discovered and people might laugh at him. He felt ashamed at the thought of being discovered while bowling the hoop. He would look around him in fright but thankfully nobody had seen or heard him playing with the hoop. After he had played with the hoop to his hearts content he would go back to the city and to work in the factory.

The old man played peacefully for several days and one very cold morning he caught a cold. He returned home and lay on his bed and soon died. He appeared lo be smiling because he had now experienced childhood. A little boy is all that the old man could not be in his childhood. But then he had enjoyed all the things he hadn’t enjoyed in his childhood. He is content at death because of this game.

English Summary

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