Tasks to the short story "Mrs Bixby and the Colonel's Coat" by Roald Dahl.
- Why had the Colonel given Mrs Bixby a mink coat?
- Why did Mrs Bixby have to come up with a plan?
- Why do you think Mr Bixby says he will be working late?
- What did Mrs Bixby realise when she saw Miss Pulteney with the coat?
Write a summary or retell the story paying attention to:
- Mrs Bixby's monthly visits to Bristol
- the parting gift she got and the problem it represented
- how she intended to get around this problem
- what she told her husband about the pawn ticket
- what her husband decided they should do about it
- the arrangement made by Mr Bixby after he had been to the pawnbroker
- how it finally dawned upon Mrs Bixby what her husband was up to
Act It Out
Sit in pairs and act out the following scenes from the text
- At the railway station: Mrs Bixby and Wilkins.
- At the pawnbroker's: Mrs Bixby and the pawnbroker.
- At home: Mr and Mrs Bixby.
- At the office: Mr and Mrs Bixby.
After having rehearsed in pairs, perform the scenes in class.
- What do you think of Mrs Bixby's plan to fool her husband? Do you see any alternatives to going to the pawnbroker?
- How would you characterise the relationship, based on the dialogue in the Bixby home? What is said between the lines?
- Do you think Mrs Bixby gets what she deserves?
- Today a fur coat is considered a controversial gift. Why?
- Describe Mr and Mrs Bixby.
- Who, if any, is the reader meant to sympathise with?
- The fact that everything seemingly goes according to plan, contributes to a gradual increase in tension. What does this say about the expectations of the reader?
Writing/Make a Poster
- There is an idiom in English which says: “'If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas”. This means that if you become involved with bad company, there will be negative consequences. Write a text using this idiom as a starting point or make a poster where you visualise the idiom.
- You are working for an anti-fur organization. As a part of your organization's campaign, you are asked to make a poster. Make the poster with slogans and pictures that support your message. You decide the organisation's name.