The Great Stone Face –I: Class 8th NCERT English

The Great Stone Face –I



One afternoon, a mother with her son, Ernest, was at the door of their cottage. They were talking about the great stone face. It was clearly visible in the bright sunshine. Thousands of people lived there. Everybody there, was familiar with the great stone face. It was the work of the nature. One day the great stone face smiled on Ernest and looked kindly. He wished to hear its pleasant voice. He longed to see a man with such a face in order to love him dearly. There was a man called gather gold he had left his native many years ago he had became quite rich man there. He decided to return to his native valley. There was a rumour that Gathergold looked like the great stone face. Gathergold had the face of an old man with yellow skin. The people considered him the image of the great stone face Ernest gazed up the valley. The great stone face seemed to reject Gathergold as its likeness.

Ernest had grown up to be a young man. Every day, he would go off by himself and gaze upon the great stone face. He wondered why its likeness was delaying its appearance. By his time Gathergold had become poor and died without establishing his likeness with the stone face. After son of the valley had joined the army as a soldier many years before. He had become a general by then and came to be known as blood and thunder on the battled. In his old age, he desired to return to his valley. The people considered him as the likeness of the great stone face. On his return, he was welcomed warmly. The gathering mistook him as the greatest man of all time. Ernest failed to recognise any likeness between Blood and thunder and the great stone face. His heart assured him that the real face had still to come.


Textual Questions and Exercises

Q1. Write ‘True’ or ‘False’ against each of the following statements.


  1. a. The Great Stone Face stood near where Ernest and his mother lived.  False
  2. One would clearly distinguish the features of the Stone Face only from a distance. True
  3. Ernest loved his mother and helped her in her work. True
  4. Though not very rich, Gathergold was a skilful merchant. False
  5. Gathergold died in poverty and neglect. True
  6. The Great Stone Face seemed to suggest that Ernest should not fear the general. False


Q2. What was the Great Stone Face?

 Ans. The Great Stone Face was a work of nature. It was formed on the side of a mountain by some huge rocks. They had been thrown together in such a position so that, when viewed from some distance, they resembled the face of a human face. If the spectator approached too near, the outline of the face would disappear into a heap of gigantic rocks. It was the belief of many people that the valley owed much of its fertility to the kind face of the Great Stone that was continually looking over it.

Q3. What did young Ernest wish when he gazed at it?

Ans. Young Ernest gazed at the Great Stone Face. It smiled to him. Ernest wished that it could speak because it looked very kindly. He thought its voice must be pleasant. He would love the man dearly whoever bore such face.

Q4. What was the story attributed to the Stone Face?

Ans. The story that was attributed to the Stone Face was that at some future day, a child would be born near there, and he would be destined to become the greatest and noblest person of his time. His face, in manhood, would bear an exact resemblance to the Great Stone Face.

Q5. What gave the people of the valley the idea that the prophecy was about to come true for the first time?

Ans.There was a rumor in the valley that the great man, who would look like the Great Stone Face, had appeared at last. a young man, named Gathergold had left the valley. He had grown a rich merchant by the time he became old. He had decided to return to his native valley. He had the living likeness of the Great Stone Face. It made the people of the valley think that the prophecy was about to come true for the first time.

Q6. Did Ernest see in Gathergold the likeness of the Stone Face?

 Ans. No, Ernest did not see the likeness of the Great Stone Face in Gathergold.


Q7. Who did he confide in and how was he proved right?

 Ans. Ernest confided in his own heart that the Gathergold was not the right person he was waiting for. He was proved right because Gathergold died after sometime. He was then a poor man. All the people, then, said that he had no likeness with the stone face.

Q8. What made people believe General Blood-and-Thunder was their man?

 Ans. General Blood-and-Thunder rose to his present position in defence from a soldier. He desired to return to his native valley. The residents of the valley said that he bore the likeness of the Great Stone Face. His childhood friends also said that the General had always looked like the Great Stone Face. It made people believe ‘General Blood-and-Thunder’ was their man.

Q9. Ernest compared the man’s face with the Stone Face. What did he conclude?

Ans. Ernest compared the face of Blood-and-thunder with the Great Stone Face. He could not recognize any similarity between them. His heart assured him that the General was not the right person he was waiting for. So Ernest concluded that the greatest and the noblest man of his time bearing the resemblance to the Great Stone Face had yet to come.

Working with Language

Q1. Write the noun forms of the following words by adding -ness or -ity to them appropriately. Check the spelling of the new words.


(i) lofty
(ii) able

(iii) happy

(iv) near
(v) noble
(vi) enormous
(vii) pleasant
(viii) dense
(ix) great
(x) stable


(i) loftiness
(ii) ability
(iii) happiness
(iv) nearness
(v) nobility
(vi) enormity
(vii) pleasantly
(viii) density
(ix) greatness
(x) stability


Q2. Add -ly to each of the following adjectives, then use them to fill in the blanks.

Ans. (i) Why didn’t you turn up at the meeting? We all were eagerlywaiting for you.

(ii) Kindly write your name and address in capital letters.

(iii) I was pleasantly surprised to see him at the railway station. I thought he was not coming.

(iv) It is perfectly believable that I am not responsible for this mess.

(v) He fell over the step and nearly broke his arm.


Q3. Complete each sentence below using the appropriate forms of the verbs in brackets.

Ans. (i) I will phone you when I will get home from school.

(ii) Hurry up! Madam will be annoyed if we are late.

(iii) If it rains today, we will not go to the play.

(iv) When you see Mandal again, you will not recognize him. He is growing a beard.

(v) We are off today. We will write to you after we are back.

Q4. Imagine you are Ernest. Narrate the story that his mother told him.

 Ans. My mother and I were sitting at the door of our cottage. We were looking at the Great Stone Face. I asked her if she had ever seen anyone who looked like the Stone Face. Then she told me that there is a belief that one day a child bearing exact resemblance to the Great Stone Face, in manhood, would take birth nearby and would be destined to be the noblest and the greatest person of his time. Some people believe in the old prophecy and others take it as an idle tale.


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