ISC English literature –The Chinese Statue by Sir Jeffry Archer — summary

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15 Responses

  1. prakrit says:

    Can you please provide the critical appreciation? Our exams are starting in a month and it would be really helpul if you could provide critical reviews for all prose and poems in ISC. Please….i have really high hopes from this site and this is by far the best I’ve come across as yet.

    • Satya Prakash says:

      Prakrit, I don’t know if I am competent to write analyses of prose and poems. My experize is very limited. Nevertheless, I will give it a shot, but don’t bank on me fully.

  2. Sanskar Dugar says:

    How does the story, ‘ chinese statue’ explore the theme of appearence versus reality. Isc . 400 words. Urgent. Thanks

  3. Pratham Damani says:

    Decribe the character of sir alexander heathcote. ( ISC 400 words)

    • Satya Prakash says:

      21st 9pm

    • Satya Prakash says:

      How does the story, ‘Chinese Statue’ explore the theme of appearance versus reality?
      To understand the plot, one must learn something about its author Sir Jefferey Archer. Jeffrey Howard Archer (born 15 April 1940) is a British literary figure well known for his erudition and intense knowledge of Oriental history and culture. He is a bit of a maverick, and often has quoted controversy needlessly. Despite the fact that he was incarcerated twice, jumping bail once, he has managed to have a large fan following because of his lively and witty novels and short stories.
      Sir Alexander Heathcote, the main character of this story, in many ways resembles the eccentricities of Archer. Heathcote loved collecting artefacts. He had a particular fascination for Chinese antic items, and went to ridiculous lengths to collect them. But, he was a bit naïve too. He got carried away by his passion and didn’t realize that extreme love for anything can have unpleasant consequences at times. His position as the British Ambassador to China offered him a great career opportunity to advance his hobby. The clout he enjoyed during his forays into the countryside possibly proved to be his undoing. It encouraged the cunning artisan he met to quickly judge that the visitor was moneyed, eccentric, and probably a good target for chicanery. He went for the kill. With grand show, he supplicated him to Heathcote, and offered him a worthless statuette as an antic of the Ming era. Heathcote, with all the wherewithal at his command, could have gone for a scientific evaluation of the statuette, but he allowed his fancy to overpower his rational sense. Quite likely, his minion was a party to the deception plot, and could have got a good share of the money paid by Heathcote from his hard-earned savings. A carbon dating procedure could have exposed the plot, but Heathcote was too overjoyed to even think of it. He was fortunate that the mystery remained a mystery for two generation, otherwise, he would have been heart-broken to discover the reality. Diplomats are generally wise, discerning, and very careful in their decisions. Heathcote had probably all these virtues, but he was so mystified by seeing the fake statuette that cunning artisan could have the audacity to pass off the real (fake) as the coveted antique one.
      We all fall prey to such deceit in our lives. In fact, there is an organized industrial eco-system that turns out fake paintings, diamonds, fashion items, engineering goods. So, while buying any high-value items, we need to be very cautious, so that we are not taken for a ride.

    • Satya Prakash says:

      Describe the character of Sir Alexander Heathcote.
      Answer .. Sir Alexander Heathcote was Queen Victoria’s diplomatic representative in China. He was competent, meticulous, and quite knowledgeable. Representing Britain in China is no ordinary job. It calls for scholarship, astuteness, profound understanding of Chinese history and culture, and most importantly, a keen eye for detail. For the impulsive, callous, and superfluous, this is certainly not the job. So, we can reasonably assume that Sir Heathcote must be a sagacious and calculative person., difficult to sway, and difficult to influence.
      However, it baffles the readers to find that a person occupying such an exalted position was tricked to part with a major portion of his life’s savings for a virtually worthless statuette that would be worth not more than 10 pounds.
      Sir Alexander Heathcote was fascinated by China’s intriguing and long history with its layers and layers of influence left by many kings and emperors. China saw prosperity, stability, and of course, great wars under the Ming Dynasty. Heathcote was an antic collector with an abiding interest in anything from the Ming Dynasty period. As a person, he didn’t lack tact, or common sense, nor was he unaware of fakes flooding the market. However, on that fateful day, he lowered his guard and allowed himself to be swayed by an ordinary, but extremely cunning Chinese artisan. This defies logic. As a family man, he did consult his wife, but it seems his effusive enthusiasm to possess a relic of the Ming Dynasty number his wife to silence. Even his reference to books in his library to get some idea about the cost of the 6-inch statuette couldn’t forewarn him about the fraud.
      In hindsight, we can conclude that Sir Heathcote was a bit naïve, and impulsive person. He was posted in China and ought to have realized that the country is infamous for its counterfeiters. Again, a relic of the ancient Ming Empire is supposed to be extremely valuable collector’s item. It can’t be found in a wayside artisan’s inventory. Heathcote chose to throw all these common sense to the wind and willingly fell a prey to the chicanery of an ordinary man. This is both inexplicable and sad. But then, in the midst of the sea of wisdom, islands of stupidity do exist.

  4. Sanskar Dugar says:

    Thank you sir for providing such wonderful answers

  5. Anad says:

    Discuss about the irony of the conclusion in the story The chiness statue

  6. Meraj alam says:

    I have a question why do you help us by consuming so much of your time and energy……???
    You are really a great person

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