CBSE Class 12 English - Should Wizard Hit Mommy
About the Author: John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short story. writer, art critic, and literary critic. Updike published more than twenty novels, more than a dozen-story collection, as well as poetry, art, and literary criticism and children’s books during his career.
The theme of the story:
The story emphasizes the role of parenting and authority. It also focuses on the interrogative nature of the children and how important it is to tell them the right thing and the just and righteous moral of the stories in order to guide them in the right direction.
- Jack and Clare’s four-year-old daughter
- Curious by Nature
- Very Interrogative
- Empathic as she relates to Roger Skunk’s desire to be accepted by other animals.
- A Too innocent and young therefore believes that Roger Skunk’s mother is the villain of the story. dedicated surgeon
- VII. Jo’s suggestion that the wizard should hit Roger’s mother for her misbehavior implies that jo has picked up on the unhappy ( and potentially violent) nature of her parent’s marriage
- Jo’s father and Clare’s husband.
- Does not like women contradicting him and fears that his daughter would also begin contradicting him like his wife.
- Much like Roger Skunk the character in his story in his real life.
- Was bullied at school when he was a child just like Roger Skunk was disliked for his bad smell.
- Dutiful and responsible towards his family; we can infer this when he justifies Roger’s willingness to return to his original smell that represents his sense of duty and his priority of his family over others. This mirrors Jack’s own responsibilities to his own family that he accepts even though he feels caged with them.
- Smart and Manipulative as he cleverly changes the plot to regain Jo’s attention and also chooses the twist to make Jo understand the meaning of compromise.
- Jo’s mother and Jack’s wife.
- She is only heard in the story when she moves the furniture under Jo’s room in the living room
- She is six months pregnant.
- Dignified and graceful
- Though she is physically absent from the story Jack sees her growing in his daughter Jo as even she acts like her mother or contradicts him which he certainly dislikes.
- A constant or fixed character in Jack’s bedtime stories.
- Gives solution to Roger’s problems in the story.
- Performs magic spells.
- Changes Roger Skunk foul smell to that of scented roses and later reverses the spell as demanded by Roger Skunk’s mother.
Roger Skunk’s Mother:
- Refuses to allow Roger skunk to smell scented.
- Asks the wizard to undo the spell cast on her son.
- She is a symbol of familial obligation over the freedom to follow one’s own will without regards to others.
- The ultimate villain of the story told by her father for Jo
On every evening and before nap-time Jack narrates a bedtime story to his daughter Jo. This storytelling tradition began when Jo was two years old (now four) but as she is growing up she does not fall asleep hearing the stories anymore and Jack is falling short of new ideas for stories.
Jack followed the same pattern of reciting the story that is there has to be a different animal every time but with the same name Roger who always had a problem and to fix it, he went to the wise owl who always suggested the animal visit the wizard. The wizard cures the problem and asks for payment from Roger the animal and because Roger does not have money the wizard even tells him where to find the extra money.
At the end of the story, Roger pays to the wizard and goes to play with other animals until it’s time for his father to come home. One day when Jack begins the Saturday story he explains that this time Roger ‘the skunk’ is the hero of the story. Inspired by Jo’s suggestion and by his own memories of being bullied as a child Jack cooks up a story about Roger Skunk who smelled very bad that no one wanted to play with him.
Jo was aware of the pattern that her father followed while narrating the story and she becomes more intent on controlling the direction of the narrative. Jack wished to finish his story so that he could help his six-month pregnant wife Clare downstairs painting the room who should not be doing manual work or heavy lifting. Jack asks Jo to stop interrupting and trying to control the plot and fall asleep.
He explains that Roger Skunk goes to Owl who further sends him to a wizard who performs a magic spell. Jo questions in between if magic spells are real. Jack does not have a suitable answer for this and he continues with the story that the wizard performs a spell on Roger Skunk to make him smell like roses.
Jack feels that Jo is losing interest in the story since her face looked the way like his wife does when she is pretending to be interested in his cocktail party discussion. Jo grows impatient as the story ibis about to come to an end and because Jack dislikes this behavior he changes the structure of the story to have her interest back to the story.
He tells Jo that when Roger Skunk returned back to his home his mother was very angry or furious because of the way he smelled. She wanted the wizard to turn the spell back. Jo did not expect this twist and she could not understand why the mother wanted her son to be someone that made other animals run away from him.
She refuses to accept this change in the plot and wants the wizard to refuse to change Roger back and hit his ‘stupid mommy’ over the head with his wand. Jack explained to her that because Roger skunk loved his mother more than the company of any other animal he was better off with his old smell.
After completing the story he asked Jo to go to sleep but Jo asks her father to tell him another story tomorrow where the wizard must hit Roger Skunk mother over the head with his wand.
Jack goes down without answering her and sat on a chair and watched his wife repaint the room. He sees the molding in their house as a cage surrounding him and his wife and he does not feel the desire to help her.