What Can A Dollar and Eleven Cents Do? Lesson Summary Notes and Explanation in English Class 6th


‘What Can A Dollar And Eleven Cents Do?’ is a short, heart-warming story. It sheds light on what a true miracle is and on what occasion they take place by detailing on Tess, a young eight-year-old girl’s life. 

About the Author:

Information about the author is unknown. 


The theme of this short story is kindness and love. Both of these traits are seen to be exhibited by Tess herself and the doctor, forming the crux of the story.


Sick Andrew:

The story begins with Tess, an eight-year-old girl, overhearing her parents talking about her brother Andrew, who was ill. She understands that they were facing difficulty because of the piling medical expenses and were forced to move to a smaller house. Even then, with no one ready to loan them, they found it impossible to afford a surgery to save Andrew’s life. Tess hears them say they need a ‘miracle’ to save their son’s life.

The Miracle:

Tess decides to take matters into her own hands. With her meagre savings in hand, she went over to the medical store and asked how much a ‘miracle’ costed. The chemist understood her plight but could not offer any kind of help to her. A well-dressed man, indicating that he must be quite well off, bent to ask her what kind of miracle that she needs. Tearfully, Tess replies that she needs an operation that saves her sick brother and offers to may him the eleven dollars and ten cents that she has saved up.

Smiling, the doctor states that that was the exact price of the miracle required to save her brother. He was none other than Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a famous neurosurgeon! He operated on Andrew, saving his life free of cost. The story ends with her mother in awe over the miracle and Tess smiling at how much it had cost. 


This is a short story that some love and kindness can save lives in this world. In an atmosphere where money rules, small acts of kindness does exist here and there to spread joy and happiness in people’s lives.