Should Wizard Hit Mommy? is the fifth chapter of the Class 12 book Vistas, which has been authored by John Updike. This chapter is about the bedtime story ritual that was started by the author to help her daughter, Jo to go to sleep. This article includes a detailed summary of Should Wizard Hit Mommy? with the most important word meanings. After you have completed the summary do test your knowledge with MCQ quiz questions at the end.
The lesson highlights the moral issue arising due to the difference in the worldview of a child and an adult. By the end of the summary, you will be able to answer “Should Wizard Hit Mommy?
Writer– John Updike
“It is easy to love people in memory; the hard thing is to love them when they are there in front of you.”
Should Wizard hit Mommy? is written by John Updike who was an American novelist, poet, short-story writer, art critic, and a Pulitzer prize winner. The main theme of the chapter is –
Children are naturally very curious and sensitive. they ask hundreds of questions to their parents and teachers about their surroundings. They form long-lasting opinions about the world they live in based on these answers. Hence it is very important to examine these questions with patience and answer them with love and kindness.
In today’s world, it is not easy to raise a child as most people are constantly stressed and have to work for long hours to support their families. Even though parents try to do their best in raising a child but sometimes they may take the easy way out.
The title “Should Wizard hit Mommy ” is quite appropriate as it is the underlying moral question of the whole chapter. The main question is that should children be free to form their own opinions or should they constantly follow their parents?
Should Wizard hit Mommy? Summary
John began to tell her daughter Jo stories when she was two years old. The stories were to help the daughter fall asleep. Now she was four years old, and the ritual seemed useless. As she had grown up and started learning new things about her environment, she had started to ask difficult questions. John gets irritated by these questions as they disrupt the flow of his story. It had been two years since the ritual began, and John had been telling her stories almost every day, he had run out of original ideas. So nowadays, the bedtime story seems to be just a slight variation of a basic plot.
- The main character of every story was a small animal. Whose name started with Roger(Roger Fish, Roger Chipmunk, Roger Squirrel).
- Roger would feel very sad because of some problem in his life.
- To resolve this problem, he would seek guidance from the wise owl.
- The owl advised roger to go to the old wizard.
- The old wizard would solve his problem by performing a magic spell.
- Now for his fee, the wizard would demand pennies, that were more than roger had with him.
- The wizard would also guide roger to the location where he could get the missing pennies.
- Now, roger’s problem got solved, and he would celebrate by playing with other animals.
- Roger would go home and hear the train whistle that, bought his dad from Boston.
- Roger would have dinner with his daddy mommy, and the story had a happy ending.
The Tale of Roger Skunk
Roger Skunk is the protagonist of the story. Skunks are known for their smell. Roger skunk was also facing this problem and, other animals would never play with him.
Jo suggests that today’s story must be about roger skunk. this excites Jack as he had a new protagonist for his story.
Roger felt very lonely and sad. One day roger was walking in the forest, and he came across a giant tree. An old owl was sitting on top of that tree.
Jo asks her dad if Roger Skunk would see the wise Owl?
Roger skunk described his problem to the owl. Owl thought for a while and then advised him to see the old wizard. The owl told Roger to-
- go through the forest then
- under the apple trees
- into the swamp
- then over a little crick(river).
There he would find the wizard’s house. Roger followed The owl’s advice and soon came across a little white house. Roger knocked at the door, and a little old man with a white beard and pointy blue hat came out.
Jo asks her “if the old wizard would die?“
Roger described his problem to the wizard and the wizard asked him to come inside the house. Inside the house, there were large heaps of magical things. After intensely searching for some time, the wizard found his magic wand. Roger always wanted to smell like roses. The wizard waived his wand and chanted a spell.
Jo interrupts Jack by asking “if magic spells were real?”
Suddenly, Roger started to smell like fresh roses. The wizard asked for seven pennies for his fee. Roger began to cry as he had only four pennies with him.
Jo corrects Jack when he calls Roger Skunk by Roger Fish.
Now the wizard told Roger to go to the end of the lane and turn around three times. Then he asked Roger to look down the magic well. Roger followed these instructions and found the three missing pennies in the magic well. Finally, Roger paid seven pennies to the old wizard and ran into the woods.
Now, all the little animals gathered around Roger Skunk as he smelled like fresh roses. They played games like –
- pick up sticks
Jo begins to lose interest in the story as the rest of it was predictable. Jack notices it and decides to add a twist to the story.
After playing for a long time, they all went home after sunset. Roger expected his mother to like his new smell. Her mother got angry when she found out that her son smelt different.
This change in the story seemed to work. Jo sat up straight and she was fully interested and attentive.
Roger told him that the old wizard had made him smell like roses and, he liked it this way. He explained to her that now everyone accepted him and played with him. According to her, a skunk should smell like a skunk only and, Roger must accept himself the way he is. Now Roger’s mommy took him to the old wizard.
She hit the wizard on the head with an umbrella. Now the wizard turned Roger back into smelling bad. He didn’t smell like roses anymore.
Jo insists that the wizard should hit back “Mommy” and not make Roger smell bad again.
Now roger and mommy went back to their home, and they heard the train whistle. It meant that daddy skunk had come from Boston. For supper(dinner) they had
Mashed Potatoes and
Mommy skunk hugged Roger and told him that he smelled like her little baby skunk again.
The Alternate Ending
The difference in opinions of Jo and Jack is clearly depicted by the way Jo wanted the story to end. Jo wants the wizard to hit Mommy on the head and deny turning roger back. But jack doesn’t like this ending as he thinks that children should obey their parents and not judge their decisions. Jack thinks that parents would always make the best decisions for their children as they have their best interests at heart.
Should Wizard Hit Mommy? Summary
The story raises a moral question it depicts the difference in perspective of a child from an adult. the question it raises is “should we try to mold our children’s perspective according to our will. or should they be given the freedom to think the way they want to.
Now throughout the story, we can see that jack was constantly interrupted by Jo. this irritated him a lot and he warns her multiple times not to do so. Jack wanted to get over the story as soon as possible. But Jo’s questions made him lose his patience.
But It all can’t be blamed on him as he is caught in an ugly situation. On one side he has to make sure that his daughter goes to sleep on time. and on the other hand, he doesn’t want his pregnant wife to do hefty work. He seems to be stuck in between the imaginative land of his stories and the harsh reality.
The author of “Should Wizard Hit Mommy?” is John Updike.
Jo’s reasoning was developing as she was growing up. She began to ask tricky questions during the stories. These questions would irritate Jack as he believed that children shouldn’t question their parents’ authority.
Bobby is Jo’s younger brother and is two years old.
Jo doesn’t want Roger Skunk to smell again. So she wanted the wizard to hit Mommy on the head instead.
Should Wizard Hit Mommy? Summary-Word Meanings
- Wand – a thin stick that people hold while doing magic
- Rummaged – searched
- Heap – a large collection of things
- Jumbled – mixed up in a confused way
- Faintly – slightly
- Forefinger – the finger that is next to the thumb
- Roughened – harch
- Tug – to pull something quickly
- Relapsed – to be placed again
- Tiptop – the highest point
- Enormous – very big
- Sly – seeming to know a secret
- Curtly – in a brief and rude way
- Swamp – an area of very soft and wet land
- Crick – a small river
- Rapped – to hit a a hard surface several times quickly
- Sill – a shelf at the bottom of a window
- Clenched – to hold tightly
- Infantile – like children
- Whatzis? – What is?
- Whatcher want? – What do you want?
- Scrunching – squeeze something
- Whining – crying
- Rheumy – watery
- Can – Tin
- Maternity – During the time of pregnancy
- Smock – A loose shirt
- Stroking – to move your hand gently over something
- Spank – To beat
- Weariness – Tiredness
- Moldings – curved strips used for decoration
- Tan – Leather
- Ivory – a color
- Dessert – A sweet dish
- Tiptoed – To walk on your toes so that you don’t make any noise
- Pretense – An action that makes people believe something that is not true
- Crouching – To sit
- Gingerly – In a careful manner
- Plump – fat
- Chopped – To cut
- Heave – To move somthing heavy in a single effort
- Agitation – To situation in which people argue in order to change something
- Lima beans – A type of beans
- Celery – A vegetable
- Smugly – In a confident way
- Gaze – To look at someone for a long time
- Rapt – To give full attention to something
- Feigning – Pretending
- Cocktail – Beverage
- Cranky – Strange
- Rumbled – To make a deep and heavy sound
- Tag – A playground game
- Lacrosse – Sport
- Pick up sticks – Game
- Fuss – To be worried about small things
- Apprehensive – Doubtful
- Dabbling –
- Skittered off – to move vey quickly
- Nap – sleeping for a small duration
- Custom – ritual
- Drooped – to hang down
- Zest – enjoyment
- Solemnly – Seriously
- Skunk – a cat sized animal that smells very bad
- Infant – Baby
- Sifting – to examine something carefully
- Futile – Useless
- Rite – ritual
- Fatiguing – tiring
- Supper – the last meal of day
- Pennies – Coins
- Chipmunk – a small animal that looks like squirrel
- Wizard – a person who is believed to have magic powers