The Fun They Had Overview
The Fun They Had summary will help Class 9 students learn about this chapter in English Literature with great ease. The Fun They Had throws light on an interesting aspect of the technological world we will have in the future. Consequently, it is set in the future where two children discuss the way things functioned in the earlier days. Further, they talk about the ‘books’ which comprise of paper instead of the telebooks they have now. It is rather interesting to read about the conversation between the little kids. They get fascinated by the concept of ‘school’ which prevailed in the days of their grandparents. Moreover, they also talk about how those days were much more fun. The Fun They Had does show us the reality of technology taking over in the near future.
The Fun they Had Summary
The story begins with two children named, Margie and Tommy. It takes place in the world of the future where computers dominate everything. Moreover, it also shows how the concept of schools and classrooms has transformed completely.
It’s the year 2157, and Margie is writing in her diary about how Tommy found a book. This book was of Tommy’s grandfather when he was a little kid. Margie learns about how they use to print all the stories on paper back then.
Further, they read the book themselves and find the feeling of turning pages over rather funny. It was funny because they were not in the habit of reading still words, only ones in motion that too on a screen. We learn that in the future, there are no books, only telebooks. They store them in TV sets and computers.
After that, it takes an interesting turn when they discuss school. Margie learns that schools were very different back then. They had actual persons who were teachers. It is surprising because she has only robots which teach her.
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Moreover, she does not like school because of a lot of reasons. The school she studies does not have any classmates. In fact, it doesn’t even have recess or playground.
Margie and Tommy study in a virtual classroom. They have robots as teachers. Most importantly, her ‘school’ is next to her bedroom only. It is a room full of electronics, robots, and gadgets. The computer software teaches her everything.
When Margie attends her school after learning about the earlier ones, she starts wondering. When she starts studying, she cannot help but think about the earlier days.
Margie wonders about the fun her grandparents would indulge in. She imagined kids from different neighbourhoods coming together merrily to attend school.
The Fun They Had Question Answer
1. How old are Margie and Tommy?
Ans:- Margie was eleven years old and Tommy was thirteen years old.
2. What did Margie write on her diary?
Ans:- In her diary, Margie wrote that Tommy had found a real book on that day.
3. Had Margie ever seen a book before?
Ans:- No, Margie had never seen a real book before.
4. What things about the book did she find strange?
Ans:- Margie found two strange things about the book. Firstly, the words stood still on the pages instead of moving, as they did on a computer screen. Secondly, when they turned back to the page before, it always had the same words on it that it had the first time they read it.
5. What do you think a tele-book is?
Ans:- A tele-book is a digitalized book that can be read on the television or computer screen.
6. Where was Margie’s school? Did she have any classmates?
Ans:- Margie’s school was at her home.
No, Margie did not have any classmates.
7. What subjects did Margie and Tommy learn?
Ans:- Margie and Tommy learnt different subjects like Arithmetic, Geography, History and English.
Answer the following with reference to the story 'The Fun They Had'
1. ‘I wouldn’t throw it away.’
i. Who says these words?
Ans:- Tommy said these words.
ii. What does ‘it’ refer to?
Ans:- ‘It’ refers to Tommy’s television screen.
iii. What is it being compared with by the speaker?
Ans:- Tommy compares the television screen with its millions of e-books to the paper book he held in his hand.
2. “Sure they had a teacher, but it wasn’t a regular teacher. It was a man”
i. Who does ‘they’ refer to?
Ans:- ‘They’ refers to the children of our present time, who go to school and are taught by human teachers.
ii. What does ‘regular’ mean here?
Ans:- ‘Regular’ is a reference to the common mechanical teacher who the children, Tommy and Margie were very used to, having seen and being taught by them regularly.
iii. What is ‘it’ contrasted with?
Ans:- ‘It’, i.e. human teacher of today is contrasted with the mechanical robotic teachers that are the order of the day during Tommy and Margie’s time in the year 2157.
Answer each of the questions in a short paragraph
1. What kind of teachers did Margie and Tommy have?
Ans:- Margie and Tommy had mechanical teachers that were programmed specifically according to their mental capabilities. They had screens that displayed lessons and the teachers also give them homework. The teacher taught subjects like Arithmetic, Geography, History and English.
2. Why did Margie’s mother send for the County Inspector?
Ans:- Margie’s mechanical teacher had been giving her test after test in geography and she had been performing poorly in them. So to check the reason of her such poor performance, Margie’s mother sent for the County Inspector.
3. What did he do?
Ans:- The County Inspector smiled at Margie and gave her an apple. Then using his tool-box, he took Margie’s teacher apart, adjusted the settings for the geography sector, and put them together again.
4. Why was Margie doing badly in geography? What did the County Inspector do to help her?
Ans:- The geography sector of her teacher was programmed faster and more advanced setting than Margie’s mental age level. SO he was giving her tough tests continuously. As a result, she was doing badly in geography.
5. What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher?
Ans:- Tommy’s teacher had once suffered from some kind of possible programming error and the entire history section had blanked out. So the mechanical teacher was taken away for a whole month and repairs were made on him.
6. Did Margie have regular days and hours for school? If so, why?
Ans:- Yes, Margie had regular days and hours for schools because her mother believed that little girls like Margie learnt better if they studied at regular hours.
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7. How does Tommy describe the old kind of school?
Ans:- Tommy describes the old kind of school as one existing centuries ago, where children from different houses are got together in a building called ‘school’ to be taught by a man, who gave them homework and asked questions. For Margie and Tommy this was different from what they were used to and they find it very strange.
8. How does he describes the old kind of teachers?
Ans:- Tommy describes the old kind of teachers as not regular teachers. For him a regular teacher was a mechanical robot. He thus finds it abnormal that the old teachers were humans. He explains to Margie that they were men who taught the boys and girls, asked questions and also gave homework.
Answer each of the questions in a paragraph
1. What are the main features of the mechanical teachers and the schoolrooms that Margie and Tommy have in the story?
Ans:- The main features of mechanical teachers and schoolrooms that Margie and Tommy have in the story are:-
Firstly, the schoolrooms were not actual schools unlike in the present day, but just a room in the house which was meant for the purpose of study only.
Secondly, each child studied separately in his/her own home and each had his/her own personal teacher.
Thirdly, the teachers were not human but rather robots, who were adjusted specifically to meet the intellectual needs of the child.
Lastly, the mechanical teachers both taught and evaluated their student’s performance.
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2. Why did Margie hate school? Why did she think the old kind of school must have been fun?
Ans:- Margie hated school because like most children she thought it was worthless and studying was of no use to her. She did not like studying or having to do homework on a regular basis. Moreover, her teacher had been testing her geography knowledge every day and she had been securing very poor grades. This made Margie hate school.
Margie thought that the old kind of schools were fun because, being taught by a man seemed more fun than her own mechanical robotic teacher. Moreover, Tommy had told her that in the old kind of school, children from different houses got together in a building called the ‘school’ to study. This seemed like a fascinating idea for her especially the probability of playing with those children, sitting together in the classroom, learning the same things together and more importantly, having someone to share the burden of homework. The thought of getting to spend the whole day with other children made Margie to think that the old kind of school must have been fun.
3. Do you agree with Margie that schools today are more fun than the school in the story?
Ans:- Yes, I agree with Margie. Schools today are more fun than the school in the story because unlike Margie who studies in a room of her house itself, we got to travel everyday as we come to school. Also unlike the school in the story, our present day schools give us an opportunity to take part in various extracurricular activities and do different things. We get to play games, visit the library, take part in competitions, act in various school plays etc. Moreover, we also get to meet other children and make lots of friends. And most importantly, I believe a mechanical teacher can never replace a human teacher, because it will lack the love, understanding, compassion and overall human touch that is displayed by our teachers of the present day.