A smart boy in the front row replied, “Each will get one.”
“Right,” the teacher said. “Now, similarly, if 1,000 bananas are distributed among 1,000 boys, each will get one, isn’t that so?”
While the teacher was explaining, a boy sitting in one corner raised his hand and stood up. The teacher stopped and waited for the boy to speak.
“Sir,” the boy asked, “If no banana is distributed among no one, will everyone still get one banana?” There was a roar of laughter in the class. What a silly question to ask!
When the teacher asks the class how one can divide three bananas amongst three people equally, a smart boy in the class immediately answers that if three bananas are equally divided amongst three people, then each one should get one banana. This proves to be the right answer, as any person in the group receiving two bananas or the whole bunch of three bananas would leave the rest with no bananas or lesser bananas. That would not be an equal distribution.
The boy's question
The teacher uses a small number to make the students understand the concept of division. She then goes on to use a bigger number like \(1000\) to prove that no matter how bigger the number gets, the concept remains the same. Even if one divides 1000 bananas amongst 1000 people, each person receives one each to make it an equal distribution.
As soon as the concept is explained, a boy raises his hand, indicating that he has a doubt. The teacher who encourages doubts in students, pauses to clarify the student's doubt. Doubts are signs that the concept has reached the student. The student asks if no banana is distributed, then will everyone receive one banana each. For example, if there are 3 bananas and three people, and no banana is distributed, will all the three people receive one banana each. The students laugh at the question as the question contradicts itself, as it states clearly that no banana is distributed. So the students wonder how a person can get one banana each when there is no bananas is distributed in reality. They laugh at the boy, thinking it is a silly question.
The Students are surprised and laughed at the boy
Words with Difficult Meaning:
|Silly||Foolish, Not having logic|
|Roar of laughter||A term used to show that one is laughing hard|
|Pause||Stop for a brief moment|
|Contradict||To mean the Opposite|
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-2 English Standard-9. From Zero to Infinity (pp. 81-93). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.