A Face in the Dark Summary in English by Ruskin Bond

A Face in the Dark Story Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. A Face in the Dark is written by Ruskin Bond.

A Face in the Dark Story Summary in English by Ruskin Bond

A Face in the Dark Story Summary
A Face in the Dark Story Summary

A Face in the Dark About the Author

Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli (H.P.) on 19th May, 1934. He was born in a military hospital as his father worked in the Royal Air Force from 1939 to 1944. When Bond was eight years old, his mother separated from his father and married a Punjabi Hindu, Hari.

Bond spent his early childhood in Jamnagar (Gujarat) and Shimla. At the age of ten, Ruskin went to live at his grandmother’s house in Dehradun after his father’s death that year from jaundice.’ Ruskin was raised by his mother and stepfather. He did his schooling from Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, from where he graduated in 1950 after winning several writing competitions in the school including the Irwin Divinity Prize and the Hailey Literature Prize. He wrote one of his first short stories, “Untouchable”, at the age of sixteen in 1951.

Most of his works are influenced by life in the hill stations at the foothills of the Himalayas, where he spent his childhood. His first novel, The Room on the Roof, was written when he was 17 and published when he was 21. It was partly based on his experiences at Dehradun, in his small rented room on the roof, and his friends. His earlier works were written without being meant for any particular readership.

His first children’s book, The Angry River in the 1970s (second being The Blue Umbrella), had its writing toned down on a publisher’s request for a children’s story. On writing for children, he said, “I had a pretty lonely childhood and it helps me to understand a child better.” Bond’s work reflects his Anglo-Indian experiences and the changing political, social and cultural aspects of India.

A Face in the Dark About the Story

All about the Story A Face in the Dark:
The Story ‘A Face in the Dark’ is set in a pine forest outside Simla (now Shimla). It revolves around Mr Oliver, an Anglo-Indian teacher. The writer makes the supernatural look natural by his artistic skill. Mr Oliver has a strange experience while passing through a pine forest at night.

The story ‘A Face in the Dark’ revolves around an Anglo-Indian teacher named Mr Oliver. It is set in a pine forest outside Simla (now Shimla), a famous hill resort of Himachal Pradesh. Mr Oliver was returning to his school, late one night, on the outskirts of the hill-station of Simla. The Simla Bazaar was about three miles from his school. He took a shortcut and was returning through the pine forest. He carried a torch with him. There he saw the figure of a boy in the light of the torch.

He found him sitting alone on a rock. He stopped there. He went closer to the boy in order to recognize him and said, “What are you doing out here, boy ?” The boy appeared to be crying. His head hung down and he held his face in his hands and his body shook convulsively. It was a strange soundless weeping. Mr Oliver felt uneasy. He asked the boy to tell him his trouble and look up. The boy looked up and took his hands from his face and looked up at his teacher. The light from Mr Oliver’s torch fell on the boy’s face. It had no eyes, ears, nose or mouth. It was just a round smooth head – with a school cap on top of it !

He got frightened and the torch fell from his trembling hand. He turned and ran towards the school building and called for help. He stumbled up to the watchman gasping for breath. He told the watchman that he had seen something horrible – a boy weeping in the forest, and he had no face. He had no eyes, nose, mouth – nothing. The watchman raised the lamp to his own face. The watchman had no eyes, no ears, no features at all – not even an eyebrow. And that’s when the wind blew the lamp out.

It is a supernatural story and Ruskin Bond makes the supernatural look natural.

Mr Oliver may have fancied that the boy has no eyes, ears, nose or mouth. He gets frightened and runs towards the school building. His mind is gripped with fear when he sees the watchman. The watchmen has no eyes, no ears, no features at all – not even an eyebrow. All this makes the story mysterious, supernatural and strange.

A Face in the Dark Summary in English

Mr Oliver, a teacher in a school
The story ‘A Face in the Dark’, that revolves around an Anglo-Indian teacher named Mr Oliver, contains elements of mystery, strangeness and supernaturalism. Mr Oliver was returning to his school late one night, on the outskirts of the hill-station of Simla. He had been teaching in a school in Simla that had been run on English Public School lines. The Simla Bazaar, with its cinemas and restaurants, was about three miles from his school. Mr Oliver, a bachelor, usually strolled into the town in the evening. He would return after dark and take a shortcut through the pine forest.

A boy sitting on the rock
When there was a strong wind, the pine trees made sad, eerie sounds that kept most people to the main road. But Mr Oliver was not a nervous or imaginative man. He was moving down the narrow forest path. He carried a torch and its gleam – the batteries were running down – moved fitfully down the.path. There he saw the figure of a boy in the light of the torch. He found him sitting alone on a rock. He stopped there. He thought that boys were not supposed to be out after dark.

Mr Oliver approaches the child
Mr Oliver moved closer to the figure in order to recognize the miscreant and said, “What are you doing out here, boy ?” He sensed that something was wrong. The boy appeared to be crying. His head hung down and he held his face in his hands and his body shook convulsively. It was a strange, soundless weeping, and Mr Oliver felt uneasy. “Well, what’s the matter ?” he asked, his anger giving way to concern, ‘What are you crying for ?” The boy neither answered nor looked up, but continued sobbing.

He told the boy that he should not be out there at that time. He said, “Tell me the trouble. Look up.” The boy looked up. He took his hands from his face and looked up at the teacher. The light from Mr Oliver’s torch fell on the boy’s face – if you could call it a face. It had no eyes, ears, nose or mouth. It was just a round, smooth head – with a school cap on top of it!

A boy without face
The torch fell from his trembling hand. He turned and scrambled down the path, running blindly through the trees and calling for help. He was still running towards the school building when he saw a lantern swinging in the middle of the path. Mr Oliver stumbled up to the watchman gasping for breath. “What is it, Sahib ?” asked the watchman. “Has there been an accident ? Why are you running ?”
“I saw something – something horrible – a boy weeping in the forest – and he had no face !”
“No face, Sahib ?”
“No eyes, nose, mouth – nothing !”
“Do you mean it was like this, Sahib ?” asked the watchman, and raised the lamp to his own face, The watchman had no eyes, no ears, no features at all – not even an eyebrow ! And that’s when the wind blew the lamp out.

A Face in the Dark Word Notes and Explanations

outskirts : parts of the town away from the centre
strolled : walked in a relaxed manner
eerie : strange, mysterious, frightening
nervous : anxious about something
miscreant : a person who has done something wrong
distinctly : clearly
scrambled : moved quickly
stumbled : tripped
gasping : breathing in a fast way
horrible : terrible

A Face in the Dark Theme

The story ‘A Face in the Dark’ contains elements of mystery, strangeness and supernaturalism. But the writer makes the supernatural look natural by his artistic skill. It is set in the pine forest outside Simla, a hill resort of Himachal Pradesh. It revolves around an Anglo-Indian teacher named Mr Oliver.

Mr Oliver has a strange experience while he is passing through a pine forest at night. He sees the figure of a boy in the light of a torch. He stops because he thinks that boys are not supposed to be out after dark. He moves closer to the figure in order to recognize him. The boy appears to be crying. It is a strange soundless weeping. Mr Oliver feels uneasy. He becomes tense and gets upset. He asks him why he is crying. The boy neither answers nor looks up.

Mr Oliver again asks him to look up. When he looks up, Mr Oliver sees that the boy has no eyes, ears, nose or mouth. It is just a round, smooth head – with a school cap on top of it. He gets frightened and runs towards the school building. His mind is gripped with fear. Everything there appears to be strange, mysterious and supernatural. Mr Oliver stumbles up to the watchman gasping for breath. He is frightened when he finds that the watchman has also no eyes, no ears, no features at all – not even an eyebrow. All this makes the story mysterious, strange and supernatural. But Ruskin Bond’s supernatural is neither frightening nor horrifying.

A Face in the Dark Title

The title of the story ‘A Face in the Dark’ is apt because the story revolves around Mr Oliver and the face of the boy in the dark. Mr Oliver has a strange experience while he is passing through a pine forest at night. He sees the figure of a boy sitting alone on a rock. He goes closer to recognize the face of the boy.

The boy appears to be crying. Mr Oliver asks him to look up. When he looks up, Mr Oliver is surprised to find that it has no eyes, ears, nose or mouth. It is just a round, smooth head – with a school cap on top of it. He gets frightened and the torch falls from his trembling hand. He runs towards the school building and cries for help. He is gripped with fear. So it is the face of the boy in the dark that frightens Mr Oliver. So the title ‘A Face in the Dark’ is very apt.

A Face in the Dark Message

In this story ‘A Face in the Dark’, the writer creates an atmosphere of mystery, strangeness and supematuralism. But the writer makes the supernatural look natural by his artistic skill. The story is set in a pine forest outside Simla. Mr Oliver, an Anglo-Indian teacher, dares to walk through the pine forest on his way back to the school after an evening at Simla Bazaar. He carries a torch with him. While walking through the narrow forest path, he comes across a weeping boy who lifts his face which is not a face but a flat something without eyes, nose or mouth.

He gets frightened and the torch falls from his hand. He turns and runs towards the school building. He cries for help. He stumbles up to the watchman gasping for breath. He tells the watchman that he has seen something horrible — a boy weeping in the forest, and he has no face. He has no eyes, no ears, no features at all. He is gripped with fear when he finds that the watchman has no eyes, no ears, no features at all — not even an eyebrow. All this makes the atmosphere supernatural.

The addition of the words, like ‘sad, eerie sounds’, ‘shook convulsively’, ‘reached with silent sobbing’ creates a strange and supernatural atmosphere.

A Face in the Dark Character Sketch

MR OLIVER

  • an Anglo-Indian teacher near Simla
  • a bachelor
  • takes a shortcut through the pine forest
  • carries a torch with him
  • gets frightened
  • fancies that the boy has no eyes, ears, nose or mouth
  • gripped with fear
  • torch falls from his trembling hand
  • strange and mysterious atmosphere makes him tense
  • perhaps perhaps fancies that the watchman has no eyes, no ears, no features at all

Mr Oliver is an Anglo-Indian teacher in a school near Simla. He has been teaching in the school for several years. He is a bachelor and usually strolls in the Simla Bazaar in the evening. While returning after dark, he takes a shortcut through the pine forest. He carries a torch with him.

He gets frightened when he sees a boy sitting on a rock in the narrow forest path. The boy has no eyes, ears, nose or mouth. It’s just a round smooth head with a school cap on top of it. His mind is gripped with fear. The torch falls from his trembling hand and he runs towards the school building. He cries for help.

This strange and mysterious experience in the forest makes him tense. He is puzzled and stumbles up to the watchman. He is gripped with fear. He is horried to see that the watchman has also no eyes, no ears, no features at all – not even an eyebrow. The wind blows the lamp out in his hand. We wonder if what he sees is real or imaginary.

A Face in the Dark Critical Appreciation

Supematuralism
The story ‘A Face in the Dark’ contains elements of mystery, strangeness and supernaturalism. The story is set in a pine forest outside Simla, a hill resort of Himachal Pradesh.

Mr Oliver, an Anglo-Indian teacher, walks through the pine forest on his way back to school after an evening at Simla Bazaar. While walking through the forest path, he comes across a weeping boy who lifts his face which is not a face but a flat something without eyes, nose or mouth. He gets frightened and the torch falls from his hand. He turns and runs towards the school building. He stumbles up to the watchman and tells him that he saw something horrible – a boy weeping in the forest and he had no face. He is gripped with fear when he finds that the watchman has no eyes, no ears, no features at all – not even an eyebrow. All this makes the story supernatural.

Atmosphere of Strangeness
In order to create an atmosphere of strangeness, the writer uses the most appropriate and suggestive words in the story. The words in the line ‘when there was a strong wind, the pine trees made sad, eerie sounds that kept most people to the main road,’ create an atmosphere of strangeness. The boy sitting alone on a rock in the forest at night looks strange and mysterious. The description ‘It [the figure of a boy] had no eyes, ears, nose or mouth. It was just a round smooth head – with a school cap on top of it,’ creates a strange, frightening, mysterious and supernatural atmosphere.

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