IGNITE ENGLISH PLUS

Learn English Language skills through our AI based learning portal with the support of our Academic Experts!

Learn more

Theory:

     I was just thirty-seven when my Uncle Philip died. A week before that event he sent for me; and here let me say that I had never set eyes on him. He hated my mother, but I do not know why. She told me long before his last illness that I need expect nothing from my father’s brother. He was an inventor, an able and ingenious mechanical engineer, and had much money by his improvement in turbine-wheels. He was a bachelor; lived alone, cooked his own meals, and collected precious stones, especially rubies and pearls. From the time he made his first money he had this mania. As he grew richer, the desire to possess rare and costly gems became stronger. When he bought a new stone, he carried it in his pocket for a month and now and then took it out and looked at it. Then it was added to the collection in his safe at the trust company.
Explanation:
 
The lesson "A Dilemma" was written by Silas Weir Mitchell. The lesson opens with Tom the narrator, stating that his uncle Philip died when he was thirty-seven years old. The narrator had received a message from his uncle a week before his death. He had never seen him earlier. The narrator's uncle disliked his mother for unknown reasons. The narrator's mother told him long before his last illness not to expect much from Uncle Philip (the narrator's father's sibling).

The narrator then describes the character of Uncle Philip. He was a wealthy mechanical engineer and inventor. By developing turbine wheels, he made a lot of money. Here, "turbine wheels" refer to a wheel or disc with blades or vanes that spin in response to a fluid flow passing over or across the vanes.

water-wheel-gc45300a41_1920.jpg
Turbine wheel

Uncle Philip was an unmarried man. He lived alone and prepared his meals. He was fascinated with precious stones, particularly rubies and pearls. When Uncle Philip began to make money, he developed the habit of collecting expensive stones and diamonds. His collection of valuable stones and rubies grew as he became more prosperous.
 
diamond-g26f003ae4_1280.jpg
Diamonds
 
Uncle Philip used to keep a new stone in his pocket for a month after he bought it. He liked to pull it out and gaze at it now and then. It demonstrates the narrator's curiosity and enthusiasm for gem collecting. Later, he'd store the diamonds he'd acquired in his trust company's safe.
 
Meaning of difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meanings
1
PearlA hard, lustrous spherical mass, typically white or bluish-grey, formed within the shell of a pearl oyster or other bivalve mollusc and is highly prized as a gem
2
HateTo dislike someone or something very much
3
Expect To think or believe something will happen, or someone will arrive
4
Illness A disease or period of sickness affecting the body or mind
5
Ingenious Of a person, very intelligent and skilful, or of a thing skilfully made or planned and involving new ideas and methods
6
Improvement An occasion when something gets better or when you make it better
7
ManiaIs a strong interest in something that fills a person's mind or uses up all their time
8
Precious Of great value because of being rare, expensive, or important
9
BachelorA man who is not married
10
Rare Not common or frequent; very unusual
11
GemA precious stone, especially when cut into a regular shape; jewel 
12
RubyA transparent, dark red precious stone, often used in jewellery
Reference:
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2018). Term-1 English Standard-10. A Dilemma - Silas Weir Mitchell (pp. 205-211). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.