Read the following passage from the story Vanka and answer the questions that follow:

Grandfather would drag the tree to the big house, and they would start decorating it.. Miss Olga Ignatyevna, Vanka’s favourite, was the busiest of all. While Pelageya, Vanka’s mother, was alive and in service at the big house, Olga Ignatyevna used to give Vanka sweets, and amuse herself by teaching him to read, write and count to a hundred, and even to dance the quadrille. But when Pelageya died, the orphaned Vanka was sent down to the back kitchen to his grandfather, and from there to Moscow, to Alyakhin the shoemaker…’come to me dear Grandad,’ continued Vanka. ‘I beg you for Christ’s sake take me away from here. Pity me unhappy orphan, they beat me all the time and I am always hungry and I am so miserable here, I can’t tell you. I cry all the time. And one day the master hit me over the head with a last and I fell down and I thought I would never get up again. I have such a miserable life, worse than a dog’s. And I send my love to Alyona, one-eyed Yegor and the coachman and don’t give my concertina to anyone. I remain your grandson Ivan Zhukov. Dear Grandad do come.’

1. What kind of miseries did Vanka suffer at his master’s house? 

2. Do you think Olga was Vanka’s favourite? Why? 

3. What was Vanka’s life like after his mother’s demise? 


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