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Chapter 7- Evans Tries an O-level Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 :
Reflecting on the story, what did you feel about Evans having the last laugh?

Answer 1 :

In this story, James Roderick Evans, a young criminal, manipulated a situation to outsmart a team of officers, headed by the Governor of HM Prison, Oxford. His ingenuity impresses the readers. One views him as a law breaker; he was a kleptomaniac, not a ferocious criminal.There was no record against him for any violence. On the contrary, he was praised by the Governor as a pleasant and amusing person. He was one of the stars at the Christmas concert and was good at imitation.

He was called “Evans the Break” by the prison officers as he had escaped three times from prison. His ability to outsmart the officers is viewed as more of a battle of wits, than a serious offence. One marvels at his cleverness—his plea to keep the hat on, impersonating the invigilator and having his friend pose as a tutor, and above all hoodwinking the police into escorting him out. One cannot but help admire him for his never-say- die attitude.

Question 2 :
When Stephens comes back to the cell he jumps to a conclusion and the whole machinery blindly goes by his assumption, without even checking the identity of the injured ‘McLeery’.

Answer 2 :

 Does this show how hasty conjectures prevent one from seeing the obvious? How is the criminal able to predict such negligence?

Answer

When Stephens walked beside ‘McLeery’, he noticed that his Scots accent was more pronounced and he looked slimmer. He was happily ruminating on the fact that the Governor had asked him, and not Jackson, to see McLeery off the premises. But much to his horror, when he decided to take just one last look at Evans, he saw the injured ‘McLeery’ instead and raised an alarm. McLeery, who was actually Evans in disguise, managed to have himself escorted to the hospital from where he escaped.

Though the police had seen Evans day in and day out, yet he had managed to give them the slip. Negligence to corroborate evidence and to fall for the general frenzy, outwitted the officers and the governor. The criminal, on the other hand, observed the people around him and plotted to take advantage of their complacence and weakness. Jackson and Stephens were so anxious to outdo one another that they were taken on a ride by the criminal.

Question 3 :
While we condemn the crime we are sympathetic to the criminal. Is this the reason why the prison guards develop a soft corner for those in custody?

Answer 3 :

The reason why the prison guards develop a soft comer for those in custody is that constant interaction brings people closer. There is increased understanding between them. With the passage of time they grow to empathise with the criminal. As ordinary individuals, we too identify with the characters in a book or a film, we can identify with their pain and suffering. The prison guards tend to form their personal favourites and alleviate their suffering by the little compassion they can, within legal boundaries. In this story, Evans knew of Jackson’s compassionate nature which he took advantage of, to stage his escape. Jackson let Evans keep on his tattered hat and spared him the discovery of his new haircut, facilitating his escape.

Question 4 :
Do you agree that between crime and punishment it is mainly a battle of wits?

Answer 4 :

Between crime and punishment, it is mainly a battle of wits. Courts have become battlegrounds of sophistry, hyperbole, and obfuscation. This is the reason why seasoned criminals, taking advantage of the situation, go unpunished. There is a relationship between intelligence and crime. As in the story, Evans was a kleptomaniac but managed to outsmart the entire team of police officers. So much so that he was escorted out of the prison by the men in uniform, arrested and he managed to escape again in the wake of a confession.

His plan was brilliant and his tactics ingenious, such as getting his friends to masquerade as a German teacher and as the invigilator, concealing blood in a rubber ring, getting directions through the means of a question paper, and the correction of the paper. He manages to outwit the entire police force.

Question 5 :
Who was Evans? Why were precautions taken for the smooth conduct of the examination?

Answer 5 :

Evans was a young prisoner in the Oxford Prison who wished to appear for his O-level German exam. He was notorious for breaking out of prison, having tried it thrice. The prison officers called him “Evans the Break”. Hence, precautions were taken to guard against any of his ploys to escape.

Question 6 :
Why had Evans been imprisoned?

Answer 6 :

James Roderick Evans had no record of violence. In fact, he was reputed to be a pleasant fellow, and was well known for his performances at the Christmas concert. However he was a habitual kleptomaniac—he stole things.

Question 7 :
What reason did Evans give for wearing a hat? Why did he do so?

Answer 7 :

When the senior prison guard, Mr Jackson, asked Evan to take his filthy hat off, Evans begged to keep it on as it was his lucky charm. In reality, the hat was a device to hide his closely cropped hair that he would consequently use to pull off a disguise.

Question 8 :
Who was Stuart McLeery? What did he look like?

Answer 8 :

Reverend Stuart McLeery was a priest who was called in to invigilate the exam Evans was to take. He wore a long black overcoat and a shallow-crowned clerical hat to protect himself from the steady drizzle. He wore spectacles that had thick lenses, in his right hand he carried a small brown suitcase, which contained all that he would need for his morning duties, including a sealed question paper envelope, a yellow invigilation form, a special “authentication” card from the Examinations Board, a paper knife, a Bible and a current copy of The Church Times. However, the author only provides the readers with a description of the impostor dressed as McLeery.

Question 9 :
What were the Governor’s fears?

Answer 9 :

The Governor had made secure arrangements to guard against any possible plans for Evans to escape. He was suddenly apprehensive because Evans, he thought, could take advantage of McLeeiy. He could get him to smuggle in a chisel or a rope ladder. He was worried if McLeery had, unwittingly, brought in something— like a jack-knife, Evans could hold him hostage with such a weapon.

Question 10 :
What was the one thing about McLeery that puzzled Jackson? How did McLeery explain this?

Answer 10 :

Jackson lightly frisked McLeery’s clothes, and came upon his reading glasses, in the spectacle case. One of the objects puzzled him sorely. It was a smallish semi-inflated rubber ring. McLeery explained that he suffered from haemorrhoids, and it served him to sit comfortably.


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Chapter 7- Evans Tries an O-level Contributors

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