Should Wizard hit Mommy Vistas English class 12 NCERT Summary and Question answers

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Should Wizard hit Mommy (John Updike)


This story is about the worldview of a little child, and the difficult moral question she raises during the story session with her father.

The story revolves around a family. Jack who is father has two kids , Bobby and Jo and Clare, wife of Jack and mother of Jo and Bobby. She was bearing the third child of the couple. The main focus of story is on two characters a father and her daughter. The chapter captures a very sensitive reaction of a small girl to an important aspect of the story that her father narrates to her. The story completely highlights the worldview of a little child to a difficult moral question that shows her mental or psychological richness. 

Every evening before going to bed, Jack would tell Jo a story from his imagination, and on Saturday afternoons during her nap time, he would do the same. Since Jo was 2 years old, Jack used to tell her a story every evening before going to bed and on Saturday afternoons during her nap time, so that she can fall asleep faster. He still maintained this tradition and told stories to her daughter during her bedtime. When the tradition of storytelling began, his daughter was two years old, and she is now four years old.

Jack also makes different stories all the time and his daughter loves it. Despite the difference in stories, every time Jack uses the name Roger for a small character. It is either Roger The Fish.

Now, the problem was that he had been telling her stories for so long that he had run out of decent story ideas. Even Jo is little grown up now and was no longer sleeping during the narrative sessions. So every time he told her a story, the core storyline remained the same — the story revolved around Roger, an animal who changed every day. When Roger had difficulty, he would go to the wise owl for assistance, who would then refer him to the wizard.

Roger’s problem would be solved by the wizard, but he would be asked for more pennies than he had, as well as a solution to go get the pennies from a certain location. Then Roger would go to that location, collect the pennies, and happily goes to other creatures to play. Roger would return home before it became dark, after having a good day with his pals, and wait for his father’s return from Boston. Then Jack would end the story by describing what Roger and his family had for supper.

On one particular Saturday afternoon sleep, Jack asked as to which creature she would want to hear a story about, to which she replied, “Skunk.” So Jack began the story with Roger the skunk, a pretty stinky creature. His friends didn’t want to play with him which makes him very sad . One day he went to the wise owl and told his problem. The wise owl suggested him to pay a visit to the wizard. The skunk then went to the magician and told him about his dilemma. The magician then assisted him in resolving his issue and inquired as to how he desired to smell. Roger skunk responded by saying he wanted to smell like roses. He began to smell like roses as a result of the wizard’s spell.

He then ran out of pennies to pay the wizard, so the wizard advised him to go to the magic well, turn three times, and he would discover three pennies there, which he could fetch and present to the wizard. The skunk performed everything as instructed and delivered the wizard’s pennies. Later, he walked outside and all the other animals flocked around him because he smelled so good, but when he returned home, his mother did not enjoy the stench and demanded to know who had made him smell so bad. Roger skunk told his mother the full thing, and she said she liked his smell earlier and that he smelt like a small skunk should smell.

The skunk then told his mother that the other animals had fled from him due to his bad odour, but his mother stated she didn’t mind. She returned him to the wizard, and as soon as the wizard opened the door, she blew his head with her umbrella, causing the skunk’s fragrance to alter, and he began to smell rotten once more. The skunk heard the train approaching while returning. That train was carrying his father. They shared a meal. When the skunk was about to go to sleep, his mother approached him and informed him that he was perfect the way he was and that he didn’t need to change. That was the end of the discussion.

After that, Jo asked her father if the animals fled from the skunk, to which he answered, “no.” They’d all become accustomed to the way he smelled. Jo despised the way the skunk’s mother pushed him and made him stink once more. The next day, she requested her father to tell her another story in which the wizard slaps mommy and refuses to change the skunk’s stench. Then Jack said he’d see, and the story’s primary point was that the skunk loved his mother more than any other animal in the woods and that mommy always knew what was best for him. He then told her to go to sleep because her baby brother was asleep as well. He then walked downstairs, closing the door behind him.

His wife was in the process of painting the chair rail. He chastised Jo after hearing footsteps above him. The footsteps fade away. Clare then questioned whether it was a long story, to which he answered, “the poor kid.” Then he stood there watching his wife paint and labour, but he was too exhausted to assist her.

Should Wizard hit Mommy Imp Question and answers

What is the moral issue that the story raises?

The story is based on different perspective based on one’s maturity level. It goes into great detail about the child-parent relationship issue as well, the issue of a generation gap and perspective towards world between a father and her small daughter. An adult’s perspective on life and a young child’s perspective on the world have stark contrast. On one hand Jo wanted Roger Skunk to get the smell of rose forever and could play with his friends and she didn’t want his mommy to hit wizard and forced him to get the foul smell back for her child. But Jack as a parent thinks that only parents can think whatever is good or bad for their children so he supports the decision of Skunk’s mother to get the foul smell back to her child.
The story also raises a question that whether children should always obey their parents without questioning them. In Jack’s story Roger Skunk supports his mother’s position because he values her beyond all other creatures. Additionally, it demonstrates the level of faith Roger had in her mother. In order for Jo to see how important this lesson was for her in the future, Jack need her to have this level of faith in him. 

How does Jo want the story to end and why?

It’s very clear that little Jo wasn’t satisfied by the way her father concluded the story. So, she told her father to come again tomorrow with the story in the way she wanted and she up with her version of story where the wizard using his magic wand to strike the mother skunk in the head because she thinks that mother skunk has done wrong to Roger skunk.

Why does Jack insist that it was the wizard that was hit and not the mother?

Jack being a father, a parent, had a notion that whatever the parents always think good for their children. So to support this point he argued that the magician and not the mother had been struck. There was also the difference of maturity level between them so he was unable to understand her daughter’s point of view.

What makes Jack feel caught in an ugly middle position?

Jack feels caught himself in an ugly middle position as he wanted to take care of his pregnant wife as she was painting the living room all alone and also wanted to make his daughter sleep. Jack was a responsible father and husband, he was conscious of his duties of both roles. He first went to his daughter to make her sleep by telling her a story. But the task of making her daughter sleep was quite fatiguing as she wanted lots of clarification, pointing errors and suggesting alternatives. When Jack enters the downstairs, she adds, “That was a long story.” Jack is made to feel bad by her explanation because he was unable to assist his wife in a timely manner. On the other hand, he has failed in all of his attempts to put Jo to sleep. Additionally, he failed to convince Jo that Mommy Skunk was truly acting in Roger’s best interests.

What is your stance regarding the two endings to the Roger Skunk story?

Both of the endings seem a little implausible. Jo will undoubtedly pick up knowledge from whatever she hears and sees at this age. Jo’s selection for the visual style of the story is, nonetheless, really lovely. If Jack’s interpretation of how the narrative ends, Jo will never be able to challenge anything she believes to be incorrect in life because this conclusion highlights that older people are always right no matter what they say or do. However, I concur with Jack’s choice of ending. This is so that we can see how Jack’s mother supported him and adds a human touch to the narrative. It turns into a lesson-filled tale where Jo observes Jack’s behavior to determine how much he loves his mother.

Why is an adult’s perspective on life different from that of a child’s?

Adult’s perspective on life is always different from children because there is always a age gap and difference in maturity level. The adults are well grownup with much more experience in life than a child. While children are very genuine, uncomplicated, and free of deceit or double-think and they mostly live in their own imaginary world as in the story innocent Jo believes in the existence of wizards. Therefore, an adult’s perspective and a child’s perspective are never the same.

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