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SHORT STORY NOTES

PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE ANALYSIS PART OF THE SHORT STORY INVOLVING THE THEMES AND THE TECHNIQUES INVOLVED IN THE STORIES. THIS PART HAS USEFUL QUOTATIONS THAT YOU OUGHT TO MEMORIZE.

SUMMARY This short story is about a white American woman's encounter with a black man on the street of an unnamed island in the Caribbean. The story opens with the young lady waiting at a bus stop on the night of a blackout. She encounters a young man who approaches her and politely asks for a light (for his cigarette). She explains that she does not have a light, but he points out that she is smoking a cigarette. She grudgingly acquiesces to give him a light from her cigarette. She holds her arm out for him to take her cigarette and light his, but instead, as is the case with many smokers, he bends over the offered arm and lights his cigarette. He looks up to thank her and realizes that she has discarded her cigarette. An ongoing internal monologue occurs, where it is revealed that the white woman is racist. The black male proceeds to educate her on the differences in race relations in the Caribbean versus America. The situation remains unresolved as the woman boards the bus and goes on her way and the man remains at the bus stop, where he picks her half smoked cigarette out of the gutter. SETTING

An unnamed island in the Caribbean. The story occurred around the time of World War II.

CHARACTERS American Woman (White)


Took pride in the fact that she was an American young woman who did not scare easily. Considered herself to be superior to the young man.

Caribbean Man (Black)


Had a sense of pride about being black. Did not consider himself to be inferior to the American woman.

THEME Racism This is a strong theme in this short story. The simple act of asking for a light becomes a tension filled moment in time where two individual's honestly confront each other about their beliefs. The fact that the woman feels that she is superior to the man, based on race, is highlighted when she expresses the following views: 1. 'She could snub him quietly, the way she should have properly done from the start" (Mais, p.10) 2. 'In America they lynched them for less than that' (Mais, p.10) 3. 'Do you really think that all men are created equal?' (Mais p.10) The young man's reaction to her rejection of him is to be quietly contemptuous, a reaction that she categorizes as insolence, proving that she believes herself to be superior to him. Her reaction implies that he should be accepting of whatever she 'dishes out' to him. She boards her bus, shaken, but still holding on to her beliefs, as seen in her refusal to take a last look at him.

However, the young black males show of strength is, ironically, lessened by the fact that he picks her cigarette out of the gutter.

Shabine - Literature Notes


SUMMARY 'Shabine' is the story of Justene, a mixed race woman who is constantly mocked for being poor, of mixed heritage, and presumably promiscuous. She was taunted with the words jamette and shabine (half white, or of mixed heritage) on the streets. The story opens with the narrator explaining that she had a fiery temper, which she unleashed on her tormentors when provoked. Her two sons, Gold and Silver, were subjected to similar taunts, with Silver reacting in the same way as his mother, while Gold tried to do damage control. The reader then learns that Justene had lived with her mother, who was a maid in Justene's father's house. It is implied, by the narrator, that her mother invited white sailors surreptitiously into her house to sleep with Justene. The rest of the story is filled with the narrator's regret for what could have existed between him and Justene. SETTING

The name of the Caribbean island is not mentioned. The story is set around the time of WWII, when American troops were prevalent in the Caribbean.

MAJOR CHARACTERS Justene (Shabine)


She is described as having 'pale, reddish skin colour, the mass of coarsish red hair that resembled the wool of sheep, the grey eyes ... the chocolate freckles.' (Simmonds-McDonald, p.14). She is very coy and provocative, as can be seen in her response to the narrator. She does not fear her taunters, but boldly defends herself. She is fiercely protective of her children, as can be seen when she defends them. She is a proud woman who does not want her children to stoop to the level of their taunters.

Narrator

He is male. He seems to be completely enthralled by Justene, as is seen with the token of fruit, paradise plum, that he ritualistically left for her on the gate post. He mourns the loss of the possibility of a future that he might have had with Justene.

MINOR CHARACTERS Gold - Justene's son. He had thick wooly red curls, red bushy eyebrows, a freckled face and grey eyes. Silver - Justene's son. He was sort of blond, he had straight close cropped, sun bleached white hair and he was fearless. Mr. Cazaubon - Justene's mother's employer. He is also Justene's father, but he does not acknowledge her. Mrs. Cazaubon - Wife to Mr. Cazaubon. She is aware of Justene's parentage, and treats mother and child in a

contemptuous manner. Shabine's mother - Mrs. Cazaubon's maid. It is rumoured that she died from 'too much rum and grief because Misie Cazaubon had never kept his promise to her to acknowledge Justene as his daughter and to send her to Convent School.' (Simmonds-McDonald, p.13). THEMES Love and Family Relationship This theme is brought out by Justene and her two children. She protects them by dispersing her children's tormentors in a hail of her own words and stones. She then told them that they should not respond to their tormentors because they would become like them. This is the hallmark of a loving mother. She defends and protects her children, yet teaches them the value of maintaining their pride. This is in contrast with the very vague details surrounding the relationship with her mother. Whereas the reader sees Justene hugging and comforting her children, there is only the implication that Justene's mother allowed white sailors to 'visit' her home, implying that Justene might have been the lure, or the mother herself. The narrator also implies that he had good intentions towards Justene through his shy, patient and consistent courting, however, Justene's mother discourages this: 'Justene's mother had come to complain about his giving of paradise plums and putting ideas in Justene's head and upsetting her life' (SimmondsMcDonald, p.14 ). The narrator implies that she robbed her daughter of a future that was close to 'paradise' as Justene would have gotten. She is not a totally bad mother, however, because she stands up for her child when Mrs. Cazaubon attempted to treat her like a servant. Women in Society This short story highlights the fact that women, in general, have very few choices. Justene's mother has a child by her employer and remains under his roof. Many people would argue that she had a choice to leave with her child, but that is easier said than done. Raising a child takes a village, so it is difficult for anyone to decide to leave a space of financial security. The argument is the same for Mrs. Cazaubon. She stays with a man who has fathered a child, in her own home, with their maid. What is even worse is that the maid and the child, the evidence of her husband's indiscretion, remains in her home. Her impotence, concerning the situation and her life, is seen in her treatment of Justene and her mother, as well as her quarrels, or rather, abusive monologues, with Mr. Cazaubon. Both women are tied to this man based on the fact that he provides financial security in a world that can be even more cruel to women who lack this. The severe hypocrasy in the society, as it concerns the sexual indiscretions between men and women, is also highlighted in this short story. Justene and Mr. Cazaubon are treated very differently for their sexual indiscretions. Mr. Cazaubon remains a respected gentleman, despite fathering a child with the maid, and having them reside under the same roof with his wife, while Justene is stoned and castigated in the streets for keeping company with white sailors, as implied by the narrator. Society appears to have different rules for women and men in the sexual arena. SYMBOL Paradise Plums Paradise plums represent the alternate life that Justene could have had. The fact that this fruit was used to court Justene in such a shy, innocent and consistent manner, implies that her life with the narrator could have been

very pleasant and healthy.

Emma - Literature Notes


SUMMARY This short story is told from the first person perspective of a little girl called Dorian York. The focus of her thoughts is her mother; the games that they play together, and the games that she plays with her friend, that revolve around her mother. The first person perspective of the narrative gives the reader an intimate view of how the little girl sees her mother, as well as how she feels about her. We are also able to garner information about the people around her from her innocent narrative, innocent because the little girl does not understand many of the things that she reports. The audience learns that Emma and Mr. York have a volatile relationship that is seemingly caused by his infidelity. This infidelity is initially implied by Emmas constant watching of the clock and waiting for her husband to return home, as well as the fight that Dorian reported. Grandfathers visit brings a happy atmosphere to the family unit because daddy starts to do things with the family, and they seem more like a conventional happy family. The audience is given the impression that things go back to normal after grandfather leaves, however, due to the spectral presence of the lady at the train station, as well as Mrs. Robinsons pointed discussion about Mr. Yorks status as a player. The narrative climaxes with the death of Emma at the train station. She saw her husband with the mysterious lady and runs away, followed closely by Dorian and Jack. Unfortunately, when Jack caught her by the arm, she ran into the path of an oncoming vehicle and was killed. Jack and Mrs. Robinson then get romantically involved, and they send both Maria and Dorian to St. Agnus, a boarding school, in the country. SETTING

The story occurs in three places; the York residence, an unnamed mall and the old train station. The mood of the story fluctuates from happiness to sadness.

CHARACTERS Jack York (Daddy)


He is Dorans father and Emmas husband. He is characterized as a player by Mrs. Robinson. He is not faithful to his wife. He was not ready for the arrival of his daughter, Dorian, and does not seem to have a close relationship with her.

Emma York

She is Dorians mother and Jacks wife. She is a good mother who plays with her child and treats her well. She is a good wife who loves her husband (as seen in how she greets him when he gets home) and is considerate of his feelings; as seen in her reasons for not having another baby. She is a very smart and polished lady who can handle herself with people who are coy and critical of her; as seen in her argument with Mrs. Robinson in the mall.

Dorian York

A very innocent little girl who is the first person narrator of the story. She is younger than her friend Maria, who is nine (9) years old. She adores her mother and her grandfather. She is often puzzled by the content of adult discussion.

Grandaddy

Emmas father. Brought joy into the family because daddy stayed home, came home early, and spent quality time with the family, due to grandaddy's implied interference. Loved her grandfather because he seemed to do what her dad didnt spent time with her and her first person perspective of him reflected her love.

Ruby Robinson

She is Emmas friend and Marias mother. She is not a good friend to Emma because she is both critical and jealous of her. She gets romantically involved with Jack after Emma dies. Shes very impatient with both girls. She sends Maria and Dorian to boarding school in order to enact her plan to keep the player.

Maria Robinson

She is the nine (9) year old daughter of Ruby Robinson. She is Dorians playmate. She filters and explains a lot of the adult conversations that Dorian does not understand.

THEMES Innocence This theme is epitomized by Dorian York. The story is told from her perspective, therefore, the reader gets a firsthand view of the innocence behind her misunderstanding of adult conversation and situations. She senses emotions, but misses a lot of the innuendo, as is seen when she tells the audience about the fight that her parents had. Her innocence is also seen in her expectation that her mother would come home after the accident, but instead, she finds Mrs. Robinson in her mot hers bed. Her growth, or advancement into maturity, is highlighted in the end of the short story when Dorian reassures Maria that everything will be ok, they will play adult games better. Love and family relationship There are two types of families in this short story, the nuclear family and the single family unit. Dorians family is the nuclear family, consisting of mother, father and child. This family is a troubled one because the father is seemingly more absent than present due to an implied other woman, who is later confirmed as very real. He also seems uncomfortable around his only child, as is confirmed by Emma, who decides to forgoe having another child because Jack wasnt ready for Dori (Cole, p.53). Emma, on the other hand, seems to live to please both her child and husband. She is very affectionate with Dorian, and this love is returned ten fold, as seen in the adoration that imbues the tone of the narrator. She is the same with her husband, but the reception is less enthusiastic. It would be unfair to say that the family is dysfunctional, because one parent is at least invested in the emotional happiness of the child, but the family has issues because the head of the households concentration lies elsewhere.

Mrs. Robinson is a single mother, parenting her only child; Maria. She does not appear to be particularly liked by both girls because no-one wants to play at being her. She aggravates her child constantly and appears to be unhappy with her life. This family structure can be seen as dysfunctional because the parent does not seem to devote her energies toward making her child feel loved and comfortable, which is one of the primary aims of any family structure. Friendship There are two contrasting friendships in this short story. There is the friendship between Dorian and Maria, which is characterized by play, conversations and support of each other. Then there is the friendship between the adults, Emma and Mrs. Robinson, which is contrastingly characterized by cattiness and jealousy; mostly on Mrs. Robinsons part. MOTIF Play The motif of play appears to be a strong one in this short story, perhaps due to the fact that the narrator is a young child. The children play at being adults, immitating and fighting over their favourite adult. They also literally see the life of adults as play. Dorian confirms this at the end of the story when she reassures Maria that I learned a lot about this game. When its our turn to play, well play smarter. (Cole, p.58). SYMBOL Deck of cards The deck of cards that Emma carries around in her purse is a powerful symbol for life. In any card game that is being played, every-one has a chance at success, or failure, depending on how they play the game. Mrs. Robinson gives Emma an alternate way to play the game of life, with success being the joy of keeping her player husband. Emma, however, chooses to play the game in an another way, one in which she attempts to satisfy the needs of both Dorian and Jack. Emma is the loser in the game, however, because she dies with the joker in her hand. This signifies that her future could have gone in any direction because the joker introduces the element of chance to the game; it can be a bonus, a penalty, or both, depending on how it is used in the game. In the game of life, Emma lost because she chose to take a chance with pleasing both members of her family, instead of concentrating solel y on her husband, as Mrs. Robinson suggested. The game of life gives every-one chances however, just like a card game, and Mrs. Robinson was given a chance to bag her rich man with Emmas exit from the game.

The Man of the House - Literature Notes


SUMMARY This short story is about a little boy called Dooley who has a sick mother. Dooley is initially unconcerned about his mothers illness, and mildly pleased, because he got to stay home and play at being the man of the house. However, his initial delight changes to concern on the second day due to his fear that his mother has pneumonia. The second night and the third day are even more frightening because he had to fetch the doctor and travel to the North Dispensary to get her medication. At the dispensary he meets a young girl who tricks him into drinking, and sharing the medicine, with the result being an empty bottle to take home to his mother. Dooley suffers extreme guilt as a result of this and goes home crying. His mother consoles him and forgives his childish misdemeanor. SETTING

A town called Cork, in England.

CHARACTERS Dooly (Sullivan)


A very responsible little boy. Enjoys playing at being a man by taking care of his mother and the household chores.

Mother

A sickly lady. She feels guilty that her son has to display such maturity by taking care of her. Displays what a loving mother she is by understanding that Dooley is an innocent boy that succumbed to peer pressure. She also takes excellent care of her son when she is able to do so.

Minni Ryan

She is a family friend who advises Dooly during the course of his mothers illness. A middle aged woman who is very knowledgeable. Very pious and gossipy; according to Dooly.

Doctor

He was a fat, loud voiced man. He was the cleverest doctor in Cork.

THEME Love & family relationship This is shown in the relationship between the mother and her son. Dooly is frightened that his mother will die of pneumonia, so, despite his fear, he enters a public house (pub) in order to ensure that she gets her home-made remedy, and travels to an unsavory neighbourhood in order to get her medicine. The mother is equally devoted to her son, as seen in her guilt over the fact that he has to take care of her. She is also very understanding when he succumbs to the peer pressure of drinking her medicine. She understands that one cannot expect a child to be a man, no matter how well he does at playing at being a man. Her love for her child is also manifested in the pride she feels when he displays the level of maturity akin to an adult. Innocence The fact that Dooly does not recognize that his new friend is using him for a taste of his cough syrup proves that he is still an innocent young man, at least in relation to the ways of the world. Despite playing at being a man, he is still an innocent child. His reaction, after realizing that he was used, also points to his innocence. He reacts in the manner that any child would, he ran home crying.

Septimus - Literature Notes


SUMMARY The short story 'Septimus' is set in Barbados. It is told from the perspective of an adult and opens in the present. Mama is crying over a letter that she has received from Septimus. The last sentence of the letter makes Mama cry at last I can have a whole apple for Christmas. A flashback occurs at this point. Septimus family resides in the Gap and the reader learns that the seven children have claimed the place and its residents. The story really begins one Christmas Eve when Mama sent the girls on an errand to Aunt Bless house. She had recently returned from shopping in town and Septimus saw three shiny apples on the top of the shopping bag. He ran off with one because he wanted it for himself. He was told that this was impossible because the three apples had to be shared among the nine members of the family. Septimus was not pleased, but he was appeased by Aunt Bless, who later gave him an apple for himself. When he returned home, he sliced the apple in nine pieces and offered it to his mother. SETTING The story is set in Barbados. CHARACTERS Mama:

Gentle and caring. Strict with her children, for example, the girls thought that Septimus would get in trouble for accepting the apple.

Septimus:

The seventh child out of six. The only boy and the youngest child. 6 years old at the beginning of the story with a childish selfishness. Performs a caring and beautiful thing by sharing his apple.

Aunt Bless:

Real name is Letitia. Given the nick name by Septimus because of her habit to greet people with a blessing. Loves all the children. Septimus is her favourite of the seven children.

Old Bostic:

A watch maker. A very grumpy man who tolerates the children.

THEMES Poverty: The family is very poor, as seen in the description of where they live, the Christmas gifts that Mama bought and the sharing of three apples among nine people. The narrator herself confirms that the family is poor, the

principle had to be established that what we had which was not much had to be shared p. 107. Happiness: Despite their physical state of being poor, the seven children were very happy. A major part of this happiness was their ownership of the Gap and the people in it, they had a sense of belonging. Innocence: Septimus defines this through his youth, as well as his actions based on his youth. He is perturbed by the concept of sharing, initially, but once he got pass this feeling, he embraced the concept with the vivacity of innocence and youth. SYMBOL Apple: The apple represent knowledge and a loss of innocence because a six year old child is forced to face the reality of being poor. He cannot have a whole apple for himself. The child is no longer innocent after he is faced with this reality because he learns that life is not fair because he cannot always get what he wants. The apple also represents growth as well because Septimus is able to accept his situation by voluntarily sharing his apple.

Literature Notes The Day the World Almost Came To An End


SUMMARY This short story was told from the perspective of an adult and chronicles the events behind a childs (the adult narrator) belief that the world was about to end. The story is set on a plantation in Louisiana in 1936, where the church was the axis around which plantation life revolved. Despite this fact, the narrator was holding on to being a sinner because she believed that she could not live upright. One day, while she was playing, her cousin Rena informed her that the world was coming to an end. This was based on a conversation that Rena overheard, and misunderstood, about the eclipse. The hellfire sermons in church did not help to stem the narrators mounting panic and she worried herself into a frazzle as a result. She had a conversation with her father about this issue and he tried to quell her fears, but unfortunately, he only managed to increase it with his statement that the world could come to an end at any time. The narrator spent the night conjuring images of dooms day, which led to her overreaction to hearing the rumblings of an old airplane. She ran out of her house screaming that the world was coming to an end. Her father caught her on the road and calmed her down. She appreciated life a lot more after that and lived her life to the fullest. SETTING The story occurs on a plantation in Louisiana in 1936. CHARACTERS Daddy:

Understanding Has a good relationship with his daughter

1st person narrator:


Imaginative Bold Naive

Rena:

Naive

THEMES Religion: This is the central theme in this short story. Plantation life was centered on religion to the extent that even the narrators father was a deacon. Religious fervor, in the form of hellfire preaching, is also the fuel for the panic that overtakes the narrator/protagonist in this short story. Love & Family Relationship: The love and trust between father and daughter is glaring. When the narrator/protagonist was worried about the world coming to an end, the first person that she thought to consult on this issue was her father. His response to her childish fears, in turn, highlights the easy relationship between the two. Daddy's care in covering his daughter after her mad dash through the turnrow is also an indication of the love that he has for his child.

'The Day the World Almost Came to an End'


Beryl Clarke, Contributor It has been three weeks now that we have not looked at the short story on which we were working earlier. This week we will return to it. Let us deal with those questions that I had given you and which you have had ample time to answer. 1. Is the speaker describing something that has happened or something that is happening? How do we know this? You will agree with me that the speaker in 'The Day the World Almost Came to an End' is telling us about something that had already taken place. We know this because she uses the past tense and informs us that she guesses that she 'got some good out of it too'. While she does not seem sure of this, there is the suggestion that she has had time since the incident to reflect on the impact it had on her. Notice she says that the event, to which she refers as a calamity, 'befell' her 'back in 1936'. If she had been describing something that was happening at the time, she would not have used the word 'back' in addition to the past tense. 2. What is the relationship between the church and its members? The church, in this short narrative, is influential. The pastor is described as a hell-fire preacher, one who scared people with his description of the devil and hell. He would have kept his congregation, that is, those members who took the Bible literally, in a state of fear. I want you to notice that although the speaker's father is a deacon and church council member, he is not as easily frightened as other members. The church was more than that. It meant a great deal to those who lived on that Louisiana plantation. Everything on that plantation revolved around the church. People worked in partnership with it. "...the Mother to whom the folks took their problems, the Teacher who taught them how the Lord wanted them to live, the Chastiser who threatened them with hell." It is clear that the church was powerful, whether that power was in the hands of the pastor or the church council is not important here. What is, however, is the control that the church would have been able to exercise over these people as it found solutions to their troubles, interpreted the Bible and the mind of God, and doled out punishment. 3. What does Rena mean when she tells her cousin to 'get some religion'? Do you think Rena understood what she was telling her cousin to do? I have my doubts. This was a phrase, it appears, that she had heard her elders using. It is likely, though, that she believed that it had something to do with saving one from going to hell but the specifics do not seem to be clear to either girl. If they are, they do not come out in the story. Miss Daya throws some light on the situation when she says: 'Lord bless you down there on your knees, baby! Pray to the Lord 'cause it's praying time!' She continues with the question of whether both girls 'had got religion', thereby establishing a link between prayer and getting religion. 4. What convinces the speaker that the world was coming to an end? She had probably heard the pastor deliver several hell-fire sermons, the information in the Book of Revelation terrified her, and the warnings from Rena and Miss Daya made her jittery, but it was the rolling, terrible rolling sound (of the plane) that convinced her that the world was coming to an end.

5. What do we learn about those persons who interpreted the occurrence of an eclipse as the end of the world? Those persons who interpreted the occurrence of an eclipse as the end of the world obviously lacked knowledge of this phenomenon. It showed their limited education. Mark you, the garbled explanation that Rena gave may not have been the one that the ladies shared. 6. What is Daddy's role in this story? Daddy was the anchor in his daughter's life. She trusted him. He was an active Christian, husband and father, seemingly hard-working and sensible. He is presented as a level- headed character in our story; and although a member of the church, he does not accept or seem to be bothered by the pastor's scare tactics. He has explained to his daughter that: 'Nobody knows anything about Revelation...' 'Ain't never been nobody born smart enough to figure out Revelation since that Mr John wrote it. He's just going to have to come back and explain it himself. It is Daddy who gave a rational explanation about the end of the world. He informed her that only God knows when the world will end and, therefore, she was not to be alarmed by prophecies. He comforted her and informed her of the source of the noise that had frightened her so very badly. His laughter at her reaction to the passing airplane must have calmed and reassured her. Instead of being worried or judgemental about her behaviour when he caught her, he made a joke of the situation. Daddy was the only adult in the story with a sound and balanced view. Every time I read Pearl Crayton's story The Day The World Almost Came To An End, I laugh. What about you? What do you find amusing in it? Our storyteller is also our major character. She is reflecting on a childhood incident. She was 12 and still involved in childish pastimes. When we meet her she is playing in the mud and she is comfortable in her own company. She is, however, old enough to recognise that she is a sinner and that there is a way to escape punishment for her sins. Like many human beings she has decided to continue enjoying her 'sinful' ways for as long as possible. You see, it was her belief that when she is old, it would be time enough to get religion. (Do you know anyone who thinks this way?) I wonder if you remember the sins of which she accuses herself. We are told that she had 'saved' her neighbour's ripe plums and peaches from going to waste, 'neglecting to get the owner's permission'; 'the fights' she 'had with the sassy little Catherine'; 'the domino games' she 'had played for penny stakes'; the lies she had told as well as 'other not so holy acts'. These, she believed, would earn her a place in the burning fires of hell. It strikes me as strange that although the church or rather the teachings of the denomination she attended, yes attended, perhaps, very regularly, for she was a church-going sinner, warned her, she did not stop doing what she considered to be wrong. She finds her sins too sweet, 'delicious' she call them, to give up. It is obvious, though, that she knows right from wrong. Her unwillingness to 'get religion' in her childhood is something that makes our story very realistic, for to a child death would have seemed far away, and associated with old age. After all, many 12-year-olds are not particularly interested in their salvation. Realism is maintained through several other means. The incident is set in 1936, reference is made to a real person, Ralph Waldo Emerson - American lecturer and essayist and poet, Rena warns her of the impending end of the world on a Friday, there is talk of an eclipse although the information is garbled, and a real airplane does fly over the area.

As is customary in a story of this length, there are few characters and of these only two are developed. These, as you are aware, are our narrator and her father. Pearl Crayton has created two likable characters in them. Our child storyteller is honest in talking about herself and her actions and her attitudes to others. We are able to learn that she loves her father dearly and seems to have a closer relationship with him than with her mother. Daddy plays the crucial role of being her support. She trusts his knowledge and outlook. He listens to her concerns, explains matters that she does not understand, such as the sections of the book of Revelation that she has read; he is the breadwinner of the family and an officer in their church. This suggests that he was an exemplary member of the community. Her skeptical position is clearly the result of her preferring to accept what her father says above what others say. I began this week by asking if you too find humour in this story and I think that would have alerted you to the fact that it is one aspect of the work on which you should reflect. How does the writer make her story humorous? I would like you identify the methods that are used. Let me start you off! The very first sentence is not only humorous, due to its surprising information, but it arouses the interest of the readers. The following sentence is also funny, made so through exaggeration, a technique that is employed again as the story develops. Did you laugh out loud when you read the explanation that was given for an eclipse? Some readers did. I can easily visualise the little girl in her long nightgown running and hollering loudly that the world was coming to an end. What a spectacle! Part of this humour is because the storyteller makes fun of herself - but wait a moment, what I am doing? You spot the rest. I cannot close without pointing out how the writer creates tension in our narrator. She does not get the news until Friday afternoon that the world would end on Sunday; soon after Miss Daya, who is passing, tells them that the Lord is coming soon, (the time must have seemed very short in which to 'get religion') her father on whom she depends for reassurance takes longer to come than he usually does, then he tells her that the world could end that night and, to top it off, it was a moonless night on which this was to occur!

Literature Notes The Boy Who Loved Ice Cream


SUMMARY This short story is about a little boy's obsession with ice-cream. Benjy is a little boy who lives in rural Jamaica. His family is extremely poor and the most important, and festive, day for them is the Harvest Festival. It is an even more important event for Benjy because this is the only place that he can access the coveted ice cream. Benjy has never tasted ice-cream, but he relishes the very thought of it through the second hand description that is passed on to him by his sister. The story opens with the family's preparations to attend the festival and their scenic journey down the hill. Benjy's obsession with ice-cream becomes evident at this point because he cannot enjoy himself due to his anxiety surrounding when the ice-cream will be forthcoming. This mirrors his father's obsession with scouting out the man whom he believes to be his wife's lover and Benjy's father. The obsessions collide when Benjy finally gets his ice cream and it falls out of his hand because his father sees a male talking to his wife and drags Benjy along to confront him. The story, therefore, ends in disappointment for Benjy. SETTING

The story occurs in the small town of Springville in rural Jamaica. The family is from an even smaller town called One Eye, located in the mountains of Springville.

CHARACTERS Benjy

The second youngest child. He is a really intense child in terms of achieving his desires.

Elsa

Benjy's older sister. She takes care of Benjy when his mother is busy. She introduces Benjy to the foggy concept of ice cream.

Mother

She was very progressive and forward thinking. She was a very sociable and friendly person. Always eager to go or do something different.

Papa

He was a farmer. The short story reveals that he was wedded to the soil. He did not like to go out. He preferred a predictable lifestyle. He was very jealous.

THEME Jealousy: Papa is irrationally jealous about his wife's activities. It is revealed that he believes that she cheated on him when she spent three weeks away from him in Springville, where she was attending to her dying mother. He watches her like a hawk at the Harvest Festival, thereby getting very little enjoyment out of the fair. This jealousy has serious implications for his relationship with his son Benjy. He does not believe that Benjy is his biological child, but a product of his wife's 'affair' in Springville. Benjy, therefore, is not treated well by his father, but viewed with suspicion and slight contempt. The narrator tells us that Benjy is in a state of constant suspense in terms of what his father's response to him will be. SYMBOL Ice cream: Ice cream, in this short story, is the symbol for anything that is intensely desired, anything that is anticipated to bring great pleasure.

Berry - Literature Notes


SUMMARY Berry is about a young black man called Millberry Jones who is employee at Dr. Renfield's Home for Crippled Children. He was reluctantly employed by Mrs. Osborn, the housekeeper, because the Scandinavian kitchen boy had left without notice, leaving her no choice in hiring Berry. Her reluctance to hire Berry stemmed from his race, initiating questions like where he would sleep? How would the other servants react to the presence of a Negro? She had a meeting with Dr. Renfield and they decided to hire Millberry on a reduced salary. He was overworked and underpaid, but took solace in the children, whom he loved. An unfortunate incident occurred, however, where a child fell from his wheel chair while in the care of Berry. The result was that Berry was fired and given no salary for the week that he had worked. SETTING

Dr. Renfiled's Home for Crippled Children New Jersey coast

CHARACTERS Millbury Jones (Berry)


A Black male, approximately 20 years old. Described as good natured and strong. Poor and uneducated. Very observant and intuitive about people and places. Very good with children due to his gentleness.

Mrs. Osborn

The housekeeper at the children's home. Rumoured to be in love with Dr. Renfield. Very high handed with her staff, but docile with Dr. Renfield. Displays racist characteristics in subtle forms.

Dr. Renfield

Rumoured to have romantic affairs with his female staff. Berry observes that the Home is 'Doc Renfield's own private gyp game' (Hughes, p. 162), meaning that he runs his establishment for his own profit, instead of a desire to take genuine care of the children. He is blatantly racist.

THEMES Racism This theme is apparent when Berry was being considered for employment at the Home. Mrs. Osborn was concerned about where Berry would sleep, implying that he could not sleep with the white servants because he

was considered to be beneath them. His salary was also cut due to his race, and he was overworked, with no discussions of days off, 'everybody was imposing on him in that taken-for-granted way white folks do with Negro help.' (Hughes, 162). Even more importantly, when the unfortunate accident occurred with the child, there was no attempt at discerning what had occurred that led to the incident, but blame was laid on the obvious person - Berry. As a result, he was relieved of his job a hail of racist slurs.

Mom Luby and the Social Worker - Literature Notes


SUMMARY This short story is about an elderly woman, fondly called Mom Luby, who fosters two small children. The story opens with her visit to the Social Welfare office, in order to obtain monetary assistance in taking care of the children. She then returns home to find people waiting to get let in to the speakeasy that she runs in her back room. There is a knock on the door, but instead of the police - coming to collect money - it is a social worker. The social worker, Miss Rushmore, visits in order to investigate the living conditions of the children. She is skeptical about some of the answers that Mom Luby gives, but gives her information about the many forms, along with lengthy directions, regarding the acquisition of clothes and shoes for the children. Mom Luby is astonished, yet slightly amused, about the length of time it could take to obtain clothes and shoes for the children. She responds by stating that she simply did not have enough time because she had a long list of chores to attend to. Miss. Rushmore volunteers to go along with Mom Luby, expressing her disbelief that she could accomplish so much in such a short time. They both return from completing the chores, with Miss Rushmore looking very bedraggled. She states that Mom Luby does not need her help because she got more things done in two hours, than Miss Rushmore has managed to complete in two years. The great irony of the situation is revealed when Mom Luby comments that the Social Welfare office should consider hiring her, but Miss Rushmore comments that that is not possible because Mom Luby is not qualified. SETTING

The United States of America. Between 1920-1933, the time of the Prohibition in the United States.

CHARACTERS Mom Luby


An elderly woman who is as strong as any young woman. She has white hair and false teeth. She runs a speakeasy in the back room of her house. She fosters two young children. She is a midwife, herb doctor and ordained minister of the Gospel. She's a very productive woman who helps the people in her community. She is very proud.

Miss Rushmore

She works at the Department of Child Welfare, Bureau of Family Assistance. She is very thorough in her investigation of Mom Luby. She is awed by Mom Luby's productivity.

Elijah (narrator) & Puddin' - The two young children that Mom Luby fosters. THEME Love and Family Relationship

The love that Mom Luby has for her two young charges is apparent by her simple act of fostering them. She is a poor, older woman who runs a speakeasy to survive, this is not the profile of someone who should be willing to take care of two young children, as well as a whole community. The act of visiting the Social Security Office is a testament to her commitment to taking care of the two children. The great irony in this short story is that a poor, older lady, is able to take better care of two little children than the State agency that is assigned to do so. This is because she can get more accomplished in two hours, to benefit them, than the agency can accomplish in two years with their most motivated agent.

To Dah-Duh in Memoriam - Literature Notes


SUMMARY This short story is about a young girl's visit, from New York, to the island of Barbados. The protagonist, along with her sister and mother, visit Dah-Duh. The visit is an interesting one in which Dah-Duh and the protagonist develop a caring, yet competitive, relationship. Dah-Duh introduces her to the riches of Barbados (nature), while the protagonist introduces her grandmother to the steel and concrete world of New York (industrialism). There is a competitive edge to their conversations because they each try to outdo each other on the merits of their separate homes. Dah-Duh, however, is dealt a blow when she learns of the existence of the Empire State building, which was many stories taller than the highest thing she had ever laid her eyes on Bissex Hill. She lost a little bit of her spark that day and was not given a chance to rebound because the protagonist left for New York shortly after. The story progresses with the death of Dah-Duh during the famous 37 strike. She had refused to leave her home and was later found dead, on a Berbice chair, by her window. The protagonist spent a brief period in penance, living as an artist and painting landscapes that were reminiscent of Barbados. SETTING

The story is set in Barbados, in the 1930's.

CHARACTERS Dah-Duh:

A small and purposeful old woman. Had a painfully erect figure. Over eighty (80) years old. She moved quickly at all times. She had a very unattractive face, which was stark and fleshless as a death mask (Marshall, p.178). Her eyes were alive with life. Competitive spirit. Had a special relationship with the protagonist.

Protagonist:

A thin little girl. Nine (9) years old. A strong personality. Competitive in nature. Had a special relationship with Dah-Duh.

THEMES Race: This theme is apparent when Dah-Duh and the protagonist discuss the fact that she beat up a white girl in her class. Dah-Duh is quiet shocked at this and exclaims that the world has changed so much that she cannot recognize it. This highlights their contrasting experiences of race. Dah-Duhs experience of race relations is viewing the white massa as superior, as well as viewing all things white as best. This is corroborated at the

beginning of the story when it was revealed that Dah-Duh liked her grandchildren to be white, and in fact had grandchildren from the illegitimate children of white estate managers. Therefore, a white person was some-one to be respected, while for the protagonist, white people were an integral part of her world, and she viewed herself as their equal. Love and family relationship: This story highlights the strong familial ties that exists among people of the Caribbean, both in the islands and abroad (diaspora). The fact that the persona and her family left New York to visit the matriarch of the family, in Barbados, highlights this tie. The respect accorded to Dah-Duh by the mother also shows her place, or status, in the family. The protagonist states that in the presence of Dah-Duh, her formidable mother became a child again.

Gender Issues: This is a minor theme in this short story. It is highlighted when it is mentioned that Dah-Duh liked her grandchildren to be boys. This is ironic because the qualities that are stereotypically found in boys - assertive, strong willed, competitive - are found in her grand daughter. An example of this is the manner in which the protagonist / narrator was able to win the staring match when she first met Dah-Duh, this proved her dominance and strength. SYMBOL Empire State Building This building represents power and progress. It is in the midst of the cold glass and steel of New York city and, therefore, deforms Dah-Duhs symbol of power; Bissex Hill. It is not by accident that the knowledge of this building shakes Dah-Duhs confidence. Steel and iron, the symbol of progress, is what shakes the nature loving Dah-Duh. It can, therefore, be said that her response to the knowledge of the existence of the Empire State Building defeat is a foreshadowing of her death. This is the case because it is metal, in the form of the planes, that rattled her trees and flatten[ed] the young canes in her field. (Marshall. p.186). This is a physical echo of her emotional response to the knowledge of the existence of the Empire State building. The fact that she is found dead after this incident is not a surprise to the reader.

sample essay
Shabine and Blackout are both short stories written by West Indian writers. They share other similarities as well, such as social interaction between the two sexes and races. Social interaction between men and women are common, inevitable and they occur for different reasons. In Blackout, a white female tourist finds herself at a lonely bus stop during a black out in a Caribbean island (possibly Jamaica). She is met by a local who is in need of a light for his unlit cigarette. As she is the only one around and has a lit cigarette, he assumes she can be of some assistance to him. This sparks a conversation on equality, race and gender. On the other hand, the man in Shabine never speaks to Justine. Here, a young man recounts his fascination with the Shabine, the red haired woman whom society rejects. Years after he is still fascinated by her. His interaction with Justine is limited to the paradise plums he leaves on the wall for her. Despite several warnings from his grandmother, the boy, though too coward to speak to or profess his love to Justine, a girl of mixed race and frowned upon by society, uses the paradise plums to show his affection for her. Her acceptance of the paradise plum is her acceptance of his affection towards her. And also her showing her resentment towards society and how they treat her. She sees it as him going against society, his resentment of society and how they treat her; but he is too much of a coward. He accepts the boundaries placed on him when he refuses to cross the wall. The interaction (lack of conversation) highlights the stark difference with how society sees her and how the young man sees her. At the same time, the lack of conversation cements the distance that exists between them. We learn a lot about Justine through the boy/mans visit to his grandmother. We learn of her love for her children when he observes her shouting profanities at the neighbourhood boys and hugging her children. We learn of her history from the narrator. And also, we learn of her finally giving in to society when the boy refuses to come rescue her; she walks back, shoulders drooping. If not for the boy, we may not have been able to see Justine as human instead of a shabine, a thing to be lusted and teased, to be shunned and secluded. Similarly, in Blackout we learn more about the woman than the man. The writer puts more focus on the womans thoughts as she seems the more complicated of the two. The man appears to speak his mind, unlike the tourist who tries to use tact unsuccessfully to hide her true thoughts. The local, however, reads her up quite easily and exposes her for what she is, prejudiced. She not only finds the man demeaning because of the colour of his skin, but also she feels, like the stories she has heard, he may want to take advantage of her sexually. The man tries to put her mind to rest, assuring her that she is not his type and tries to educate her of the culture of the place she is in. He tries to preach equality to her, to bring her out of the darkness, out of ignorance. Her refusal to look back at him from the bus suggest she is not totally changed. But the fact that she wanted to, suggests that he has placed a seed of question in her mind and had given her something to think about. Also, in Blackout, the themes are exposed through the interaction between the two. Her hesitation at first highlights the social tension she is used to while the ease with which he requests a light from her shows how he views her as an equal. Though at first

she appears to be smart, the dark figure turned out to offer a form of enlightenment to the woman. He addresses her thoughts about her prejudices. The writer uses simple language and sentences to highlight the fact that a simple situation is being dealt with, its just a man and a woman conversing. This makes the conversation more universal. Even the narrative point of view employed aides in the development of the theme as we may not have known the ladys true intentions had we not been able to hear her views on the man. When she leaves, he bends and takes the discarded cigarette from the gutter exposing him as a lower class than her, but enlightenment comes from anywhere and the message delivers is of no less importance; which is probably why the writer does not allow her to see this act. Racism is also the theme in Shabine. The boy is prohibited from speaking to the girl because of the stigma attached to her because of her mixed race. Sleeping with the white man is her mothers way of having Justine climb up the social ladder. She is confined to the two room adjoining the Cazabauns house. We never hear of her leaving the confines of the yard. Unlike the view of blacks in blackout, the blacks in Shabine verbally and physically abuse those of the lighter complexion. The boys refusal to follow the instructions of his grandmother shows his refusal to conform to societys views. Like the man in Blackout, the boy accepts her as an equal despite the colour of her skin or the class she is associated with. The paradise plum is a means of escape for them both but he is not brave enough to make a stand for his beliefs. He lives in regrets, just like her. Through social interaction much can be discovered about the characters involved. The two stories explored share similar themes though the circumstances vary greatly. Both authors try to encourage the notion of equality, though the conflicts are not fully resolved we are left with a small spark of hope for the characters as each has resolved to accept things as they are. Justine walks back to her two room apartment, the boy walks back over to his grandmothers, the man picks up the ladys discarded cigarette and returns to the darkness and the lady drives off in the lit bus refusing to look back lest the passengers thinks negatively of her.

note the introduction sets up the reader for what is to come. note the use of transitional phrases and sentences: similarly, also, unlike in ..., another example etc. each paragraph seems to flow into the next all points are backed up with references to the stories. the mandate of comparing and contrasting is maintained throughout. conclusions sum up the gist of the essay, and in this case explores another point that stems from the points discussed previously.

NOTES ON POETRY
PLEASE BE REMINDED THAT YOU MUST QUOTE PROPERLY FROM EACH POEM. IT ENHANCES YOUR ESSAYS AND MAKES IT SEEM AS THOUGH YOU KNOW YOUR WORK.

A Contemplation Upon Flowers - Literature Notes


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide original layout in the text. with the views of others. Brave flowers, 1.that I could 5.gallant it like you, and be as little vain; You come abroad and make a 6.harmless show, And to your beds of earth again; You are not proud, you know your birth, For your embroidered garments are from earth. LITERAL MEANING The persona wishes that he could be as brave as the flowers, who know who they owe their life to - the earth. They know their place and obey the order, or cycle, of life and death. The persona wishes that he could be this way because he is the opposite, he wants to live forever. The persona wants the flowers to teach him NOT to fear death, but to accept it.

You do obey your months and times, but I would have it ever spring; My fate would know no winter, never die, nor think of such a thing; Oh that I could 2.my bed of earth but view, 1.and smile and look as LITERARY DEVICES 1. SIMILE cheerfully as you. Stanza 1, line: The persona is wishing that he could be as brave as the flower. This implies that the persona does not Oh teach me to see death and not to fear, think that he is brave, but a coward in the face of death. But rather to take truce; 3.How often have I seen you at a 6.bier, And there look fresh and spruce; You fragrant flowers then 7.teach me that my breath like yours may sweeten and perfume my death. Berry, J. 'A Contemplation Upon Flowers' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005.

Stanza 2, line 14: This is another comparison between the persona and the plant. The persona wishes that he could look death in the face and be cheerful, like the plant. Again, this emphasizes that he lacks. 2. EUPHEMISM This phrase is a replacement for the word death. It softens death and makes it appear welcoming and pleasant. 3. IRONY It is ironic that the flowers look so fresh and alive when it is facing its very mortality, on the top of a casket. Death is a sad affair, and the flowers are at their best when ushering people back to the earth. 4. PERSONIFICATION The persona is speaking directly to flowers and giving them human qualities, therefore, the whole poem is an example of the use of personification at it's best. He even goes as far as to ask the flower to teach him things that will make him be like it. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 5. 'galant' This word literally means brave or heroic. The word, however, also brings to mind adjectives such as charming and attentive, like a knight would be in olden days. So the plants are not simply brave in their acceptance of death, but they are also gracious. 6. 'harmless show' The word harmless sticks out in this phrase because it implies that the flowers are demure and quiet in their beauty. 7. 'bier'

This is a movable frame on which a coffin or a corpse is placed before burial or cremation, or on which they are carried to the grave. 8. 'teach me that my breath like yours may sweeten and perfume my death' This implies that if death is not feared, then the person will go into deaths arms joyfully, without any sorrow, remorse or bitterness.

TONE: The tone of the poem is admiration, because the persona literally admires the flowers for its accepting attitude towards death. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE: The mood, or atmosphere of the poem is a pensive one. The persona is thinking about death, how he relates to it versus how others relate to it. CONTRAST: A contrast in this poem is the persona's fear of death, versus the flowers'acceptance of it. THEMATIC CATEGORY: Death, nature,

Once Upon A Time - Literature Notes


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide original layout in the text. with the views of others. 3.Once upon a time, son, they used to laugh with their hearts and laugh with their eyes; but now 4.they only laugh with their teeth, while 1.their ice-block eyes 5.search behind my shadow. There was a time indeed they used to 6.shake hands with their hearts; but that's gone, son. Now they shake hands without hearts while their left 7.hands search my empty pockets. 'Feel at home'! 'Come again' ; they say, and when I come again and feel at home, once, twice there will be no thrice for then I find doors shut on me. So I have learnt many things, son. 2.I have learnt to wear many faces like dresses - homeface, officeface, streetface, hostface cocktail face, with all their 2.conforming smiles like a fixed portrait smile. And I have learned, too. to laugh with only my teeth and shake hands without my heart LITERAL MEANING A father is talking to his son and telling him how things used to be. The father tells his son that people used to be sincere, but are now superficial and seek only to take from people. The persona tells his son that he has learnt to be just like these people, but he does not want to be. He wants to be as sincere as his son.

LITERARY DEVICES 1. METAPHOR The people's eyes are as cold as ice. This means that there is no warmth or real feeling in the words that they say, or how they behave.This metaphor literally allows you to visualize a block of ice, cold and unwelcoming. 2. SIMILE

Stanza 4, lines 20-21 emphasizes how constantly changing the persona's face is. If you think of how often a woman changes her dress, then that is how often the persona adjusts his personality to suit the people around him. The list of faces that follow this line emphasizes this point. Stanza 4, lines 23-24 compares peoples faces to smiles in a portrait. If you think about a portrait, it is usually very formal and stiff, even uncomfortable. Therefore, the implication is that the smiles are actually fake and stiff. They are conforming, or trying to fit into, a preconceived mold that is set up by societal expectations.

I have also learnt to say, 'Goodbye', when I mean 'Good-riddance' ; to say 'Glad to meet you', without being glad; and to say 'It's been nice talking to you', after being bored. But believe me, son. I want to be what I used to be when I was like you. I want 8.unlearn all these muting things. Most of all, I want to relearn how to laugh, for 2.my laugh in the mirror shows only my teeth like a snake's bare fangs! So show me, son, how to laugh; show me how I used to laugh and smile 3.once upon a time when I was like you. Okara, G. 'Once Upon A Time' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005.

Stanza 6, lines 38-40 compares the persona's laugh to a snakes. When you think of a snake, words such as sneaky and deceitful come to mind. Therefore, the implication is that the persona is fake, just like the people he despises. 3. REPETITION This phrase is repeated at the beginning and the end of the poem. This usually signals the beginning of a fairy tale. Therefore, it is implied that the persona is nostalgic about the past. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 4.'they only laugh with their teeth' This emphasizes the insincerity of the people around the persona. To laugh with your teeth means that only the bottom half of your face is engaged, the laugh does not reach the eyes. 5. 'shake hands with their heart' To shake hands with your heart implies a strong handshake that is sincere, this is the opposite of what now occurs between people. 6. 'search behind my shadow' This implies that the person cannot look the persona in the eye, they are looking everywhere but there. Looking someone in the eye during a conversation implies that one is sincerely interested in what you have to say. Not being able to do so implies shiftiness. 7. 'hands search my empty pockets' People are only 'seemingly' nice to get something from you. So, they smile with you, but it is not sincere, they are seeking to get something from you. 8. 'unlearn all these muting things' The word mute means silence, think of what happens when you press the mute button on the TV remote. Therefore, there is an implication that the insincere actions that the persona describes are muting, they block, or silence, good intentions. Hence, the persona wants to unlearn these habits. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is nostalgic. The persona is remembering how things used to be when he was young and innocent, like his son. TONE The tone of the poem is sad. The poet's response to his nostalgia is sadness.

THEMATIC CATEGORIZATION Death, childhood experiences, hypocrasy, loss of innocence, desire/dreams. * It is IRONIC that the persona is behaving in the exact way that he despises, however, and there is an implication that things cannot go back to what he remembers, due to the influence of societal expectations.

Forgive My Guilt - Literature Notes

The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide original layout in the text. Not always sure what things called sins may be, I am sure of one sin I have done. It was years ago, and I was a boy, I lay in the 1.frost flowers with a gun, 2.the air ran blue as the flowers; I held my breath, 2.two birds on golden legs slim as dream things 2.ran like quick silver on the 1.golden sand, my gun went off, they ran with broken wings into the sea, I ran to fetch them in, but they swam with their heads high out to sea, They cried like two sorrowful high flutes, With 1.jagged ivory bones where wings should be. For days I heard them when I walked that headland, crying out to their kind 4.in the blue, The other plovers were going over south on silver wings leaving these broken two. The cries went out one day; but I still hear them over all the sounds of sorrow 5.in war or peace I ever have heard, time cannot 6.drown them, 1.Those slender flutes of sorrow never cease, 3.Two airy things forever denied the air! I never knew how their lives at last were split, but I have hoped for years all that is wild, Airy, and beautiful will forgive my guilt. Coffin, R.P.T. 'Forgive My Guilt' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. with the views of others. LITERAL MEANING An adult is reminiscing about a traumatic childhood experience. The persona went hunting and shot two birds, plovers. He suffers extreme guilt about this action in adulthood. The poem describes the event, the actions of the bird, how he reacts, and, by the last line, asks the birds to forgive his guilt.

LITERARY DEVICES 1.METAPHOR

Line 4: The nature of frost is that it covers everything in its path, therefore, when the flowers are compared to frost, it implies that there were a lot of flowers, enough to hide the boy from the birds.

Line 8: The sand is being compared to gold, the colour. It is emphasizing how beautiful the setting was.

Line 12: This metaphor emphasizes the injuries that the birds sustained. The bones are compared to jagged ivory, which is a direct contrast to the smooth feathers that existed before the injury. Lines 20-21: The birds are compared to a flute, an instrument that plays beautiful music. This emphasizes the sadness that is related to their death. 2. SIMILE

Line 5: The air and the flowers are being compared, both are blue. Lines 6-7: This simile offers a beautiful visual image of the birds. Dreams are beautiful, and the birds are compared to this. Line 7: The speed of the birds is being highlighted, while also maintaining that beautiful visual imagery.

3. PUN The pun is between the words 'airy' and 'air'. 'Airy' means light and beautiful, while 'air' refers to the sky and flying. The poet is lamenting that these light and beautiful things can no longer fly and feel the pleasure of air rushing past them. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 4. 'the blue'

This literally translates to the sky. The birds were crying out to the other birds that were flying away. 5. 'in war or peace' This phrase highlights the fact that the persona feels extremely guilty about killing the birds, so much so that he thinks about it all the time. Their cries went out for literally one day, but he thinks about the birds all the time. 6. 'drown' It is important that the poet chooses to use the word drown, because it means death. He cannot get rid of the sounds of sorrow that the birds made while they were dying. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE: The mood of the poem is nostalgia and guilt. TONE: The tone of the poem is sad. The poet's response to his guilt is sadness. THEMATIC CATEGORY: Death, childhood experiences, nature, guilt, loss of innocence, desire/dreams.

DULCE ET DECORUM EST This is a poem which derives all of its power from the literal truth it denotes. The most potent poetic device is simply imagery. The images of this poem put forth the real horrors of the first `modern war'* in which England took part more intensely, probably, than video even now would be able, precisely because the images are filtered through a human consciousness. Literary allusion-to a very famous apothegm from one of Horace's Carmina-- is the other dominant device. The images sandwich the motto, `dulce et decorum est... pro patria mori' (sweet and proper it is, for the fatherland to die...) to create an very bitter irony. I suppose it is otherwise worth nothing that the poem is in written in seven ABAB rhymed quatrains of iambic pentameter, so rhyme and metre are two more poetic devices. DEVICES Obviously you can find ubiquitous devices like alliteration too-- on b: `bent double, like old beggars...', on m: `men marched asleep,' etc. The word `guttering' in probably onomatopoeia for choking noises. And so on. Bent double, like old beggars under sacks is the use of a simile to tell us just how extreme the situation is when young, otherwise healthy men, are like the old beggars on the street. The simile on the second line coughing like hags. The personification used, Jaws of death, and Mouth of hell cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, cannon in front of them,repetition onomatopoeia trudge and sludge He uses the simile As under a green sea because a green sea is usually seen to be unclean. "coughing like hags" This is a very effective simile because it shows us that these young men have aged long before their time, and that their health has really deteriorated since fighting in the war Men marched asleepalliteration The oxymoron (a form of paradox, where two words, placed together, seem to contradict one another) marched asleep further shows the mens exhaustion, and they can only continue their march whilst cursing. Their senses are dulled, and they are described as being lame, blind, drunk and deaf; most of these words are used metaphorically (figuratively, or non-literally), to suggest the mens lack of feeling

West Indies, U.S.A - Literature Notes


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others. original layout in the text. Cruising at thirty thousand feet above the endless green 1.the island seems like dice tossed on a casino's baize, some come up lucky, others not. Puerto Rico takes the pot, 2.the Dallas of the West Indies, 2.silver linings on the clouds as we descend are hallmarked, 1.San Juan glitters like a maverick's gold ring. All across the Caribbean we'd collected terminals - 1.airports are like calling cards, cultural fingerprints; the hand written signs at Port-au-Prince, Piarco's sleazy tourist art, the lethargic contempt of the baggage boys at 'Vere Bird' in St. Johns .... And now for 4.plush San Juan. But the pilot's bland you're safe in my hands drawl crackles as we land, 'US regulations demand all passengers not disembarking at San Juan stay on the plane, I repeat, stay on the plane.' 3.Subtle Uncle Sam, afraid too many 5.desperate blacks might re-enslave this Island of the free, might jump the barbed electric fence around 6.'America's back yard' and claim that vaunted sanctuary ..... 3. 'give me your poor .....' Through toughened, tinted glass 7.the contrasts tantalise; US patrol cars glide across the shimmering tarmac, containered baggage trucks unload with 8.fierce efficiency. So soon we're climbing, low above the pulsing city streets; galvanized shanties overseen by condominiums polished Cadillacs shimmying with pushcarts and as we climb, San-Juan's 9.foolsglitter calls to mind the shattered innards of a TV set that's fallen off the back of a lorry, all painted valves and circuits 1.the road like twisted wires, the bright cars, micro-chips. 10.It's sharp and jagged and dangerous, and belonged to some-one else. Brown, S. 'West Indies, U.S.A' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. LITERAL MEANING The persona is travelling in a plane, looking down at San Juan, Puerto Rico as the plane descends. He is saying that this island is the wealthiest in the Caribbean because it has won the jackpot, it has come up lucky. He then points out that he, and others, had travelled to many Caribbean islands and received a hint of the flavour of each island through it's calling card, - its airport - all of which fail when compared to plush San Juan. As they land, they are instructed to stay on the plane if their destination is not San Juan. The persona takes offence and states that America does not want blacks in San Juan, implying that they might be a disruptive force. He notes the efficiency with which things flow, enabling them to take to the skies once more. During the ascent, the persona notes the contrast between the influences of the Caribbean and America. He likens San-Juan to a broken TV, it Iooks good on the outside, but broken on the inside.

LITERARY DEVICES 1. SIMILE

Line 2: Puerto Rico is compared to dice that is tossed on a casino's baize, it can either come up with winning numbers, or losing numbers. Puerto Rico comes up with winning numbers in the game of chance, as reflected in its wealthy exterior, which is supported by America.

Lines 7-8: San Juan's glitter is compared to a maverick's gold ring. The word maverick implies non-conformist, an individualist. This implies that San Juan, Puerto Rico is in the Caribbean, but not a part of the Caribbean. It belongs to America. Lines 10-11: Airports are compared to calling cards. This means that, like a calling card, the quality of the airport gives you an idea of the island's status economically. The airport is also compared to a cultural fingerprint. A fingerprint is an individual thing, therefore the airport gives the traveler an idea of the island's cultural landscape.

Line 39: The road is compared to twisted wires. This means that the roads, from above, look both plentiful and curvy. This does not carry a positive connotation, but implies confusion. 2. ALLUSION

Line 5: Dallas is an oil rich state in America. Therefore, many of its inhabitants are wealthy, and the state itself, is wealthy. By stating that San Juan is the Dallas of the West Indies, it implies that it is a wealthy island in the West Indies. Lines 5-7: An allusion is being made to the well known cliche; 'every cloud has a silver lining'. It means that behind everything that is seemingly bad, there is good. In the context of this poem, it means that the good, the silver lining, has a mark, or stamp, that authenticates its good quality; it is hallmarked. this implies that it will always have its silver lining showing. 3. SARCASM

Line 20: This statement means the exact opposite of what is stated. The persona is disgusted that Uncle Sam (America) would have such a regulation. This regulation bars anyone from stepping a toe on Puerto Rican soil, if it is not your intended destination. You just have to remain in the air craft, no matter the waiting period, until it is time for takeoff. The persona believes that the Americans are being blatantly discriminatory, and are attempting to camouflage it through the use of regulations. He does not believe that they have achieved their goal of subtlety.

Line 26: The persona implies that America is all talk and no action. They really do not want the poor because they bar them from entering and expediently sends them on their way when they enter their airport. The statement is sarcastic because it is loaded with an alternate meaning, due to the contrast in statement and action. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 4. 'plush' This word implies soft, like a teddy bear. It also implies luxury. So San Juan is all of these things. 5.'desperate blacks might re-enslave this Island of the free' These 'desperate blacks' to whom the persona is referring are the poor people of the Caribbean. If they converge on the glistening San Juan, sucking up its resources, then it might become re-enslaved by poverty. 6.'America's back yard' A backyard means one of two things for people. It is a haven where you relax, therefore you decorate it and invest time and money in it. Or, you ignore it and spend all your time indoors, not investing any time, energy or money in it. America viewed Puerto Rico as the latter, a prize in which it saw value. Therefore, when the persona uses this phrase,heis implying that while it is valued, it is still at the back. Slight sarcasm is being used here. 7.'the contrasts tantalise' When something, or someone, is tantalising, it implies that it is intriguing. The persona, by using this phrase, is trying to draw the readers attention to to the jarring contrasts by stating that he finds them intriguing. 8.'fierce efficiency' The word fierce, used to describe the level of efficiency with which the people worked to get the plane off the ground, shows the extent to which they were not wanted on the island. 9.'fools-glitter' This implies that the flashiness of San Juan was not authentic.10.'It's sharp and jagged and dangerous, and belonged to some-one else.' This implies that San Juan is not safe. The cultures are not melding, but jarring against each other. The reason for this is because it belongs to someone else. CONTRAST The contrast in this poem is found in stanza 5. The American cars etc, against the pushcarts. The American culture versus the Puerto Rican culture. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is sarcastic. TONE The tone of the poem is slightly bitter, which is fueled by the sarcastic atmosphere. THEMATIC CATEGORIZATION Discrimination, oppression, places, culture.

Literature Notes Sonnet Composed Upon A Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide original layout in the text. Earth has not anything to show more 4.fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its 5.majesty: 1.This City now doth, like a garment, wear The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples Lie open upon the fields, and to the sky; All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. 2.Never did sun more beautifully 6.steep In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill; Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! 3.The river glideth at his own steep will: Dear God! 4.the very houses seem asleep; And all that mighty heart is lying still! Wordsworth, W. 'Sonnet Composed Upon A Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. LITERARY DEVICES 1. SIMILE The persona compares the manner in which the beauty of the morning settles over the city, to that of a garment on a body. This emphasizes the perfection of the beauty of the morning, just as a garment flows smoothly over a body. 2. PERSONIFICATION with the views of others. LITERAL MEANING The persona in this poem is reflecting on the perfection of the city. He believes that there is nothing on Earth so beautiful as the city in the morning. Only a dull person would not appreciate such a majestic sight. He is awed by the calm of the city.

Lines 9-10: The sun is referred to as a male who rises sharply and beautifully. This emphasizes the beauty of the city in the morning. The use of this personification also helps the reader to personalize this beauty. Line 12: Like the sun, the river is personalized as well. This allows the reader to see the river as real, instead of a thing. It comes alive and we can visualize it's movement, gliding, as beautiful. Line 13: When some-one is asleep, they are peaceful. Therefore, when the persona describes the houses as sleeping, he is emphasizing the peace that exists in the city in the morning. The inhabitants of the houses are asleep, therefore the houses are quiet and peaceful. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 4. 'fair' The word fair, in this context, literally means beautiful. The persona is setting the stage for the reader, introducing the fact that the city is beautiful. 5. 'majesty' This word implies that the city is regal in it's splendour. Therefore, it is beyond beautiful and has become stately. 6. 'steep'

This word describes the way in which the sun ascends into the sky, it is stressed that it does so in beautiful manner. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is pensive, or thoughtful. The persona is expressing his thoughts, and reaction to, the city in the morning. TONE The tone of the poem is one of awe. THEMATIC CATEGORIZATION Nature, places.

Orchids - Literature Notes


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide original layout in the text. I leave this house 3.box pieces of the five week life I've gathered. I'll send them on to fill spaces in my future life. One thing is left a spray of orchid someone gave 4.from bouquet one who makes a ritual of flower-giving sent. The orchids have no fragrance but purple petals draw you to look at the 2.purple heart. I watered them once when 1.the blossoms were full blown like polished poems. I was sure they'd wilt and I would toss them out with the five week litter. They were stubborn. I starved them. They would not die. This morning the bud at the stalk's tip 5.unfurled. I think I'll pluck the 6.full-blown blooms press them between 7.pages of memory. Perhaps in their thin dried transparency I'll discover their 8.peculiar poetry. Simmonds-McDonald, H. 'Orchids' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. 2. PUN The purple heart literally refers to the splash of color in the center of the orchid's bloom, but it could also refer to the bravery of the flower. This is so because a purple heart, in the army, is a medal that a soldier receives for bravery on the battle field. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 3. 'box pieces' This phrase implies that the persona's life is literally in boxes, all her belongings are stored and ready to be moved. LITERARY DEVICES 1. SIMILE The orchid's full blown blossoms are being compared to a polished poem. The word polished in this comparison implies perfection, shiny and pleasant to read. with the views of others. LITERAL MEANING The persona is moving from a house that she has lived in for five weeks. She has sent her belongings to her future home, but one item remains in her old space, an orchid. The persona clarifies that she was gifted the orchid, but implies that it holds no value because the gifting of orchids is habitual for the person who gave her. She describes the flower as odourless, but attractive to see. She watered the orchid once, expecting it to die, but it survived. It not only survived, but bloomed. The persona contemplates plucking the bloom and pressing it between the pages of a book. The purpose of this is to allow her to appreciate the flower.

4. 'from a bouquet one who makes a ritual of flower-giving sent.' This phrase implies that the persona places no value in the orchid because it's giver gifted it without any sentiment attached. 5. 'unfurled' This word literally means to open. Therefore, despite the persona's attempts at killing the orchid, through starvation, it not only survived, but flourished. 6. 'full-blown blooms' These full-blown blooms represent the flower at its peak, where it is most full of life, as well as where it is most usually appreciated. 7. 'pages of memory' This refers to the practice of placing a flower between the pages of a book, thereby drying, or killing the flower. The purpose of this act is to keep the flower for nostalgic reasons. 8. 'peculiar poetry' This phrase highlights the persona's desire to discover the value in the flower. It is very IRONIC, however, that she would choose to kill it in order to achieve this goal. Usually people place value in a living flower that can give pleasure through its beauty. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is pensive, or thoughtful. The persona is thinking about the lack of value that she places in the orchid. TONE The tone of the poem is one of almost bored musing. THEMATIC CATEGORY Death, nature, survival, desire/ dreams.

Literature Notes The Woman Speaks to the Man Who Has Employed Her Son
The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text. Her son was first known to her as a sense of unease, 5.a need to cry for little reasons and a metallic tide rising in her mouth each morning. Such signs made her know that she was not alone in her body. She carried him 6.full term 7.tight up under her heart. 1.She carried him like the poor carry hope, hope you get a break or a visa, hope one child go through and remember you. He had no father. The man she made him with had more like him, 2.he was fair-minded he treated all his children with equal and unbiased indifference. She raised him twice, once as mother then as father, 8.set no ceiling on what he could be doctor earth healer, pilot take wings. But now he tells her is working for you, 3.that you value him so much you give him one whole submachine gun for him alone. He says 1.you are like a father to him she is wondering what kind of father would 4.give a son hot and exploding death, when he asks him for bread. She went downtown and bought three and one-third yard of black cloth and a deep crowned and veiled hat for the day he draw 9.his bloody salary. She has no power over you and this at 10.the level of earth, what she has are prayers and a mother's tears and at 11.knee city she uses them. This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others. LITERAL MEANING The persona in this poem is telling the story of a mother who loved her son. The mother became aware of the child's presence when she experienced morning sickness. She placed all her hopes in the child and raised him as a single parent because his father was indifferent to the child's existence. The mother had set no barriers on what the child could become, but is told that he has an employer who values him so much that he is given his own submarine gun. The son tells his mother that his employer is like a father to him, but the mother wonders at the father figure who purposefully endangers his child. She prepares for her son's death by going downtown to buy funeral apparel. The mother feels powerless, so she prays for her child and says protective psalms for him. On the other hand, she reads psalms of retribution for the employer and weeps for her son. Her situation does not look good and is likened to a partner system in which she draws both the first and the last hand.

LITERARY DEVICES 1. SIMILE

Lines 1-2: The persona emphasizes that the mother placed all her hopes in her son. When you are poor, generally, you have no prospects, you only dream and hope. Therefore, the persona uses this metaphor to drive home the mother's dependence on her son's success. Line 17: The employer is being compared to a father figure. This implies that this person fills a gap in the son's life.

4.She says psalms for him she reads psalms for you she weeps for his soul her 12.eyewater covers you. She is throwing a 13.partner with 4.Judas Iscariot's mother the thief on the left hand side of the cross, his mother is the 14.banker, 15.her draw though is first and last for she still throwing two hands as mother and father. She is prepared, she is done.4.Absalom. Goodison, L. 'The Woman Speaks to the Man Who Has Employed Her Son' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005 2. SARCASM The persona appears to praise the child's father by referring to him as 'fair-minded'. She is, however, chastising him for not only ignoring his son, but all of his other children. 3. IRONY (situational) The son innocently tells his mother that his employer values him so much that he gave him a whole submachine gun for himself. The irony in this situation is that if you really care about someone, you do NOT give them a gun due to the negative results that are bound to occur. 4. ALLUSION (biblical)

Lines 28-29: This line alludes to a particular verse in the Christian Bible, Luke 11 vs 11. The verse questions what the actions of a good father should be. Lines 38-39: Psalms is a particular chapter in the Christian Bible. In this chapter there are verses for protection, the mother uses those for her son, as well as verses for retribution and rebuking. It is implied that the mother chooses those for the employer. Lines 43-45: In the Christian Bible, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus. Therefore, it does not bode well for the mother if she is in a 'partnership' with this person because she might also be betrayed. The banker in the 'partnership' also happens to be the thief on the left hand side of the cross' mother. This also does not bode well for the mother if the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Line 49: Absalom is the son of David, in the Christian Bible. Absalom betrayed his father, which implies that the mother feels betrayed by her son because she has placed all her hopes in him. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 5. 'a need to cry for little reasons and a metallic tide rising in her mouth each morning.' These two symptoms are early signs of pregnancy. The metallic tide refers to vomiting. These signs usually occur in the first trimester of pregnancy. 6. 'full term' This means that the mother carried her son for the full nine months that a pregnancy should last. 7. 'tight up under her heart' This hints at the love that the mother harbours for her child. He was not simply 'close to heart', but 'tight up' under it. It implies that the son holds a special place in her heart. 8. 'set no ceiling' A ceiling is something that blocks you in, you cannot get past it. The mother set no limits on her son, he could be anything he wanted to be. 9. 'his bloody salary' This implies that the mother believes that the result of the son's 'job' will be death. 10. 'the level of earth' The mother has no power to change her son's situation. Earth is used to emphasize her powerlessness on this level, the realm of

'reality'. 11. 'knee city' This refers to the fact that the mother constantly prayed for her child. 12. 'eye water covers you' This implies that the mother cried constantly for the plight of her son. The fact that it 'covers her' speaks to the high quantity of tears that were shed. 13. 'partner' This is an informal saving scheme set up with a specific number of individuals for the duration of a specific time span. Each person agrees to pay a designated figure on a monthly basis. The 'draws' are decided, meaning who gets the money first, second, third etc, on a monthly basis.The banker then collects the money and gives the monthly pool to the person who is to receive their 'draw'. Therefore, a 'partnership' is dependent upon the honesty of the banker, who could abscond with the money, as well as the honesty of the members of the savings scheme, who could decide NOT to pay after they have received their draw. 14. 'banker' The banker, or financial controller, of this partnership is the mother of a thief. This does not bode well for the mother if the thief on the cross learnt it from his mother. 15. 'her draw though is first and last for she still throwing two hands as mother and father'. This statement implies that though the mother has the advantage of first draw as mother, she loses that advantage because she also has the role of father. Mothers cannot father sons. The fact that the son has found a father figure proves this to be true. Therefore, she has the last draw, which carries with it the disadvantage of not receiving a full 'draw'. The longer one waits for a draw is the most likely that dishonesty will come into play on the part of the participants.

MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is reflective. The persona is thinking about a mother's response to her son's life choices. TONE The tone of the poem is pragmatic and pessimistic. The persona is telling the tale as it is, with no positive energy. THEMATIC CATEGORY Death, love, survival, desires/ dreams, childhood experiences.

It is the Constant Image of your Face - Literature Notes


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text. It is the 3.constant image of your face framed in my hands as you knelt before my chair the 4.grave attention of 1.your eyes surveying me amid my 5.world of knives that stays with me, 1.perennially accuses and convicts me of 2.heart's-treachery: and neither you nor I can plead excuses for you, you know, can claim no loyalty my land takes precedence of all my loves. Yet I beg mitigation, pleading guilty for you, my dear, accomplice of my heart This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others. LITERAL MEANING The persona reflects on the image of some-one he cares for. This love interest accused him, with their eyes, of breaking their heart. The persona admits that both of them (he and the love interest) can make no excuses for his behaviour because the love interest does not take precedence over his land, or country. Despite this fact, the persona begs for mercy, pleading guilty for being seduced by his love interest's beauty. This person protects him dearly and he admits that, as a result of this, he has committed treason against his country. He hopes that his country, his other dearest love, will pardon him because he loves both his country and his love interest.

made, without words, 6.such blackmail with your beauty and proffered me such dear protectiveness that I confess without remorse or shame my still-fresh treason to1.my country and hope that she, my other, dearest love will pardon freely, not attaching blame being your mistress (or your match) in tenderness. Brutus, D. 'It is the Constant Image of your Face' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. LITERARY DEVICES 1. PERSONIFICATION

Lines 4, 6-7: The love interest's eyes constantly accuses and convicts the persona. This device highlights the extent to which the persona has hurt this person. Lines 18-20: The persona hopes that his country, his other dearest love, will forgive him for the treasonous act of loving another. This highlights the patriotism that defines the persona's relationship to his country. 2. OXYMORON The term heart's-treachery implies that the heart, something so vital and indicative of love, has committed a terrible crime. It highlights the heartbreak that the persona has caused his love interest. IMPORTANT WORD/ PHRASES 3. 'constant image' This implies that the persona constantly, or always, remembers his love interest's face. It emphasizes the guilt he feels in relation to this person. 4. 'grave attention' The love interest's eyes display grave attention. The word grave implies intensely serious, so this person is truly hurt. 5. 'world of knives' A knife inflicts pain and destroys. The persona, therefore, is identifying his world with causing pain. 6. 'such blackmail with your beauty' To blackmail someone is to have something over them that puts their will in your control. The love interest's beauty has captivated the persona in such a way that he betrays his country with this person. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is reflective. The persona is thinking about his two loves and how he is torn between the two. TONE The tone of the poem is sadness and guilt. The persona is guilt ridden over this love triangle and sadness permeates the words that he uses to describe it. THEMATIC CATEGORY Love, guilt, patriotism, places, desires/ dreams

God's Grandeur - Literature Notes


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others.

text. The world is 7.charged with the 8.grandeur of God. 1.It will flame out, like shining from shook foil: 1.It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. 2.Why do men then now not reck 3.his rod? 4.Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; 9.And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; 5.And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil is bare now, 10.nor can foot feel, being shod. And for all this, nature is never spent; 5.There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, 5.at the brown brink eastward, springs Because the 11.Holy Ghost over the bent 6.World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. Hopkins, G.M 'God's Grandeur' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. 2. RHETORICAL QUESTION The persona questions why men do not care about God's wrath. He implies that this wrath is sure because the Earth is charged, or commanded with the grandeur of God. 3. ALLUSION (biblical) This 'rod' refers to the rod of correction that is found in the Christian Bible. See 2 Samuel 7:14. This line implies that God will punish man for being reckless with the world. 4. REPETITION This device highlights the damage that man has done to the world. Trodding implies that one walks, or tramples, in order to crush or injure. 5. ALLITERATION LITERAL MEANING The poet expresses that the world is full of God's glory and greatness. This greatness, however, will burn out in a dramatic manner because of man who smears, smudges and pollutes everything without consciousness. Nature is resilient, however, and will persevere from deep in the earth and burst forth, counteracting all of man's ill.

LITERARY DEVICES 1. SIMILE

Line 3: This line indicates that the world will burn out in a brilliant way. Think of how shiny and reflective foil can be, that is the brilliance with which the earth will temporarily burn out. Line 4: Think of the manner in which oil slowly spreads across water, eventually taking over as much of the surface as possible. That is the way in which the world gathers to a greatness.

Lines 10-11: This device emphasizes the impact that man has had on his environment. He has impacted every crevice of the world in some negative way, as implied by words such as 'smudge'. Lines 14-15: This device clarifies that the Earth is resilient, no matter what man does to harm it, it will bounce back. Lines 18-19: This device simply re-iterates the resilience of the Earth, we can actually visualize the sun rising.

6. PERSONIFICATION When one broods, they are pondering on something. Therefore, the world ponders, but in a positive way, with warm breasts. This implies that it feels good because it has persevered despite of man's interference.

IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 7. 'charged' This word implies intensity, impassioned. Therefore, the world has been gifted with intensity of the greatness of God. 8. 'grandeur' This implies that something is awesome, or awe inspiring. Therefore, the world is infused with the 'greatness' of God. 9. 'And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; Everything in the world is tainted and influenced by man's presence. 10. 'nor can foot feel, being shod' This means that man is blind to the damage that he has caused. If one is wearing shoes, it protects them from stones etc, therefore, man's consciousness is deadened by his inability to see the damage that he has caused. 11. 'Holy Ghost over the bent' This can be interpreted to mean that salvation is on its way, it also implies that salvation is sure because when one is bent on something, it implies a strong determination. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is pensive because the persona is reflecting on man's influence on the world. TONE The tone of the poem is one of confidence and formality. THEMATIC CATEGORY Nature, religion

A Stone's Throw - Literature Notes


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text. 5.We shouted out 'We've got her! Here she is! It's her all right '. We caught her. There she was 1.A decent-looking woman, you'd have said, (6.They often are) Beautiful, but 7.dead scared, 8.Tousled - we roughed her up A little, 9.nothing much And not the first time By any means She'd felt men's hands Greedy over her body 10.But ours were virtuous, Of course. And if our fingers bruised Her shuddering skin, These were love-bites, compared To the 2.hail of kisses of stone, The last assault And 11.battery, frigid rape, 3.To come 12.Of right. For justice must be done Specially when It 13.tastes so good. And then - 14.this guru, Preacher, God-merchant, God-knows-what Spoilt the whole thing, Speaking to her 15.(Should never speak to them) Squatting on the ground - her level, Writing in the dust Something we couldn't read. 16.And saw in her Something we couldn't see At least until 17.He turned his eyes on us, Her eyes on us, This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others. LITERAL MEANING A crowd, of which the persona forms a part, has caught a woman. The persona implies to the reader that the woman is not decent. She was beautiful, but scared because she had gotten 'roughed up' a little by the crowd. The persona states that she has experienced men's hands on her body before, but this crowd's hands were virtuous. He also makes a proviso that if this crowd bruises her, it cannot be compared to what she has experienced before. He also speaks about a last assault and battery to come. He justifies this last assault by calling it justice, and it is justice that feels not only right, but good. The crowd's 'justice' is placed on hold by the interruption of a preacher, who stops to talk to the lady. He squats on the ground and writes something that the crowd cannot see. Essentially, the preacher judges them, thereby allowing the lady to also judge the crowd, leading to the crowd inevitably judging itself. The crowd walks away from the lady, still holding stones [which can be seen as a metaphor for judgments] that can be thrown another day.

LITERARY DEVICES 1. SARCASM The persona is making the point that the lady was in fact NOT decent looking. 2. PERSONIFICATION This device is particularly effective because the word 'kisses' is used. Kiss implies something pleasant, but it is actually utilized to emphasize something painful that has happened to the lady; she was stoned. 3. PUN

Title: The title of the poem is itself a pun. A stone's throw is used by many people in the Caribbean to describe a close distance. eg. "She lives a stone's throw away". The other use of the title is to highlight the content of the poem. It is a figurative stoning, or judging, of a woman.

Our eyes upon ourselves. 18.We walked away Still holding stones That we may throw Another day Given the urge. Mitchel, E. 'A Stone's Throw' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005.

Line 23: There is a play on the word 'come'. The persona is telling us that the crowd is planning to rape the lady, this act is to come, or occur, in the near future. Come, in this context, also means to ejaculate, the culmination of the act of sex. The rapists in the crowd also plan to 'come'. 4. ALLUSION (biblical) The content of the poem alludes to the story of Mary Magdalene in the Christian Bible. See John 8 v 5-7. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 5. 'we' This immediately tells the reader that the persona is in a crowd, which highlights to us that the mob mentality exists in this context. The crowd acts as one entity. 6. 'they' The use of this word immediately alienates the lady and places her in the scornful realm of the 'other'. 7. 'dead scared' The use of the term 'dead' to describe the lady's emotional state of fearfulness implies that she is extremely frightened, it is beyond regular fear. 8. 'tousled' This words mean to be handled roughly and, as a result, to look disorderly and disheveled. It is the perfect word to use in this context because it adds to the sexual innuendo that exists throughout the poem. 9. 'nothing much' The persona disregards the damage that they have done to the lady. He admits to the rough treatment, but tries to make himself, and the crowd, look good despite their wrong doing. 10. 'But ours were virtuous, Of course' This is almost like a tongue in cheek admittance that their touch was actually the opposite of virtuous. The use of the term 'of course' highlights this interpretation. 11. 'battery' In the Caribbean context, battery refers to the slang term for the rape of an individual, conducted by several people in succession. Therefore, the persona is pointing out the intent of the crowd, or some people in the crowd. 12. 'Of right' This is a clear indication from the persona that he believes that he and the mob are in the right. 13. 'tastes so good' 'Taste', to a lot of individuals, is one of the higher senses. Therefore, when the persona uses this word, he is highlighting the intense pleasure that he anticipates from meting out this 'justice'. 14. 'this guru, Preacher, God-merchant, God-knows-what' The persona's annoyance at this individual for disrupting his fun comes out in this statement. The persona is deliberately being disrespectful. 15. '(Should never speak to them)' This particular line speaks to the alienation that the lady faces. She is grouped scornfully as 'them'. 16. 'And saw in her something we couldn't see' The intruder saw value in the lady, something that the crowd did not see. 17. 'He turned his eyes on us, Her eyes on us, Her eyes upon ourselves.'

This speaks to the fact that the preacher and the lady judge the crowd, and, more importantly, the crowd judges itself. The preacher's act of kindness sheds light on the cruelty that is inflicted on the lady by the crowd. 18. 'We walked away Still holding stones' This implies that the crowd still plans to keep judging, and acting on their judgments, as they see fit. TONE The tone of the poem is mixed. At times it is almost braggadocious, then it becomes sarcastic, moving to scornful. THEMATIC CATEGORY Discrimination, religion, survival, hypocrasy, oppression, alienation.

Test Match Sabina Park - Literature Notes


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text. Proudly wearing the 4.rosette of my skin I 5.strut into Sabina 3.England boycotting excitement bravely, 6.something badly amiss. Cricket. Not the game they play at Lords, the crowd - 1.whoever saw a crowd at a cricket match? - are caged 7.vociferous partisans, quick to take offence. 8.England sixty eight for none at lunch. 1.'What sort o battin dat man? dem kaaan play cricket again, praps dem should-a-borrow 2.Lawrence Rowe!' And on it goes, 9.the wicket slow as the batting and the crowd restless. 1.'Eh white bwoy, how you brudders dem does sen we sleep so? Me a pay monies fe watch dis foolishness? Cho! So I try to explain in my Hampshire drawl about conditions in Kent, about 10.sticky wickets and muggy days and the monsoon season in Manchester but fail to convince even myself. The crowd's 11.loud 'busin drives me out 12.skulking behind a tarnished rosette somewhat frayed now but unable, quite, to conceal a 13.blushing nationality. Brown, S. 'Test Match Sabina Park' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others. The persona, a white man, proudly enters Sabina Park to watch a cricket match between England and the West Indies. The persona notices that the game is slow and that the crowd is not reacting well. He is, in fact, initially shocked that there is a crowd at all because this is usually not the case at Lords. By lunch, England is sixty eight for none, and the crowd gets abusive. They even state that maybe they should borrow Lawrence Rowe. The persona tries to explain the reason behind the slow pace of the British side, but fails to convince even himself. His embarrassment at England's performance has him skulking out of the venue.

LITERARY DEVICES 1. RHETORICAL QUESTION

Stanza 2, lines 6-7: This question reveals that, despite the fact that cricket is a popular sport in England, the venues for the matches are not crowded. This question could also point to the fact that Sabina Park was very crowded.

Stanza 3, line 10: This question represents the general frustration of the West Indians in the crowd. They are annoyed that the cricket match is progressing so slowly, hence their annoyance. Stanza 4, lines 16-18: These questions imply that the West Indian crowd's level of frustration has escalated.

2. ALLUSION The allusion to Lawrence Rowe, a very colourful and successful West Indian cricketer, emphasizes the fact that the match is slow and boring.

3. SARCASM To 'boycott' is to abstain, or to stop, from doing something. Therefore, the persona is being sarcastic because excitement is a good thing, people usually boycott for something negative. Therefore, the persona is, again, highlighting the slow and boring pace of the cricket match. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 4.'rosette of my skin' Rosette implies a reddish colour, or tint, to the skin, that sometimes resembles a rose. This description immediately identifies the race of the persona as white. The persona is proud of his race, as he enters Sabina Park. 5.'strut 'This word means to walk proudly. It emphasizes the fact that the persona is proudly walking into Sabina Park. 6.'something badly amiss' The persona is jolted by the fact that the match is going slowly. The word 'amiss' implies wrong, the game should not be going so slowly. 7.'vociferous partisans' Vociferous means to be very noisy and clamorous and patisan is a person who shows biased, emotional allegiance. Therefore, the West Indian crowd was extremely noisy in their support of their team. They were also very unappreciative of the slow pace of the match. 8.'England sixty eight for none at lunch' While this is a good score, it never-the-less highlights the slowness of the match, hence the fact that the experience, for the crowd, was far from exciting. 9.'the wicket slow' The purpose of the wicket is to 'out' the opposing side. Therefore, no 'outing' is occurring, the wickets are standing. Everything about the match is going slowly. 10.'sticky wickets' This implies a sticky, or awkward situation. It highlights England's situation. 11.'loud 'busin' The English team was being loudly abused. 12.'skulking behind a tarnished rosette' Skulking implies hiding in shame, and tarnished means tainted. Therefore, the proud Englishman is now embarrassed, and the rosette of his skin is making him stand out. Initially this was a very good thing, but now it is a disadvantage. 13.'blushing nationality'. At this point, the Englishman admits to being embarrassed for his team, as well as himself. *There is a distinct CONTRAST between the beginning of the poem when the persona is proud, and 'struts'. However, by the end of the poem, he is embarrassed and 'skulking' VOICES There are two distinct voices in this poem. The English man and the West Indian. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is tense. TONE The tone of the poem is one of frustration THEMATIC CATEGORIZATION Discrimination, places, culture and sports

Theme For English B - Literature Notes


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text. The instructor said, Go home and write a page tonight. And let that page come out of you Then it will be true. 1.I wonder if it's that simple? I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem. 3.I went to school there, then Durham, then here to this college on the hill above Harlem. I am the only colored student in the class. The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem, through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas, Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y, the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator up to my room, sit down, and write this page: It's not easy to know what is true for you or me at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what I feel and see and hear, Harlem, 2.I hear you: hear you, hear me - we too - you, me, talk on this page. (I hear New York, too.) 1.Me - who? Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love. I like to work, read, learn, and understand life. I like a pipe for a Christmas present, or records - Bessie, bop, or Bach. I guess being colored doesn't make me not like the same things other folks like who are other races. 1.So will my page be colored that I write? Being me, it will not be white. 4.But it will be a part of you, instructor. You are white yet a part of me, as I am a part of you. That's American. Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me. Nor do I often want to be a part of you. But we are, that's true! 5.As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me although you're older - and white and somewhat more free. This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others. LITERAL MEANING The persona's lecturer gave him an assignment to write a page that reflects 'him', or who he is. The persona wonders if this is a simple task, and begins to think about his life. Things like his age, place of birth, race and place of residence. Based on these musings, he surmises that he is confused due to his youth. He guesses that he is what he feels, sees and hears, which is Harlem, New York. He continues his musing about what he likes, and concludes that he likes the same things that people of other races do. On this basis, he questions whether or not his page will be influenced by race. He concludes that it will not be white. He admits that his instructor, as well as the fact that this instructor is white, will have some influence on his page. He states that they both influence each other, that is what being American is about. He believes that both of them might not want to influence each other, but it cannot be helped. He concludes that both of them will learn from each other, despite the fact that the instructor has the double advantage of being older, white and more free. All of these musings and conclusions become his page for English B.

LITERARY DEVICES 1.RHETORICAL QUESTION

Stanza 2, line 6: The persona ponders the ease of what he is asked to do. This question, in turn, actually highlights the difficult nature of the task. Stanza 3, line24: This question highlights the persona's confusion as to who he is. He is unsure. Stanza 4, line 32: The persona is wondering whether his race will affect what he writes on the page, despite the fact that he concludes that race does not hinder people, in general, liking the same things.

This is my page for English B. Hughs, L. 'Theme For English B' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. 2. REPETITION This repetition emphasizes the profound impact that Harlem, New York, has had on the personality of the persona. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 4.'But it will be a part of you, instructor. You are white - yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.That's American.' This statement reveals the fact that America is viewed as a melting pot by the persona. He believes that different races and cultures influence each other, thereby forming the term 'American' 5.As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me - although you're older - and white - and somewhat more free. This statement, by the persona, repeats his belief that the American society is a melting pot. It also, however, states that not every-one is equal within this society. * It is interesting to note that the persona's 'page for English B' becomes a journey of self discovery that actually does not end. He forms no conclusion as to who he is because his personality is still 'in process' MOOD/ ATMOSPHEREThe mood of the poem is reflective. TONE The tone of the poem is also reflective. THEMATIC CATEGORIZATION Racism, places

Dreaming Black Boy - Literature Notes

The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide original layout in the text. 1.I wish my teacher's eyes wouldn't go past me today. Wish he'd know it's okay to hug me when I kick a goal.1.Wish I myself wouldn't hold back when an answer comes. 2.I'm no woodchopper now like all ancestor's. 1.I wish I could be educated to the best of tune up, and earn good money and 3.not sink to lick boots.1.I wish I could go on every crisscross way of the globe and no persons or powers or hotel keepers would make it a waste. 1.I wish life wouldn't spend me out opposing.1.Wish same way creation would have me stand it would have me stretch, and hold high, 2.my voice Paul Robeson's, my 4.inside eye a sun. Nobody wants to say hello to nasty answers. 1.I wish 2.torch throwers of night would burn lights for decent times. 1.Wish 2.plotters in pyjamas would pray for themselves. Wish people wouldn't talk as if I dropped from Mars 1.I wish only boys were scared behind bravados, for I could suffer. I could suffer a big big lot. 1.I wish nobody would want to earn the terrible burden I can suffer. King, H. 'Dreaming Black Boy' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmond-McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. with the views of others. LITERAL MEANING The poem is about a black boy who wishes that he could have the regular things in life. Things such as a congratulatory hug, to be educated to the highest level and to travel without harassment. The persona yearns to stop fighting for the basic right to be successful, to rise above societal expectations.

LITERARY DEVICES 1. REPETITION: The constant repetition of the phrase 'I wish' points to a yearning, a desperation even, for the basic things that life has to offer. The repetition gives credence to the idea that the persona might believe that his wishes are actually dreams that might not come true. 2. ALLUSION:

Stanza 1, lines 6 and 7, alludes to slavery, the state of lacking control over one's own life and destiny. The fact that reference is made to this hints to how the persona feels about his life. He does not feel as if he has control over it.

Stanza 3, lines 19 to 20, alludes to Paul Robeson, a black intellectual, who attained success despite difficult circumstances. The persona yearns to be like this person. He wants room to stretch intellectually.

Stanza 4, lines 22 to 25, alludes to the klu klux klan. Burning lights refers to the burning crosses and the pyjamas alludes to their white outfits that look like pyjamas. The persona wants them to leave him alone, find something else to do other than make his life difficult, as well as contributing to his wishes remaining a dream. IMPORTANT WORDS / PHRASE 3.'not sink to lick boots' This refers to the concept of being subservient. To have no choice but to kowtow to people in order to get ahead. 4. 'Inside eye a sun' This refers to the persona's mind. He wants to show how intelligent he is without fear. He wants his mind to be a sun. Sun represents brightness and light, that is how he wants his intelligence to shine. TONE: The tone/mood of the poem is one of sadness. The persona is thinking about how he is treated and he reacts to this in a sad way. He keeps wishing that things were different. THEMATIC CATEGORY: Racism, survival, oppression, desire/dreams.

O'l Higue - Literature Notes


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text. You think I like this 5.stupidness! 6.gallivanting all night without skin, 1.burning myself out like cane-fire 2.to frighten the foolish? 2.And for what? A few drops of baby blood? 2.You think I wouldn't rather take my blood seasoned in fat black-pudding, like everyone else? And don't even talk 'bout the pain of salt and having to bend these old bones down to count a thousand grains of rice! If only babies didn't smell so nice! And if I could only stop hearing 3.the soft, soft call of that 7.pure blood running in new veins, 4.singing the sweet song of life tempting an old, dry-up woman who been 8.holding her final note for years and years, afraid of the dying hum ... Then again, if I didn't fly and come to that 9.fresh pulse in the middle of the night, 2.how would you, mother, name your ancient dread? 2.And who to blame for the murder inside your head ...? Believe me As long as it have women giving birth a poor ol' higue like me can never dead. This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others. LITERAL MEANING In this poem, the Ol' Higue / soucouyant tells of her frustration with her lifestyle. She does not like the fact that she sometimes has to parade around, in the form of a fireball, without her skin at night. She explains that she has to do this in order to scare people, as well as to acquire baby blood. She explains that she would rather acquire this blood via cooked food, like every-one else. Her worst complaint is the pain of salt, as well as having to count rice grains. She exhibits some regret for her lifestyle but implies that she cannot resist a baby's smell, as well as it's pure blood. The 'newness' of the baby tempts the Ol' Higue, and she cannot resist because she is an old woman who fears death, which can only be avoided by consuming the baby's blood. She affirms her usefulness in the scheme of things, however, by claiming that she provides mothers with a name for their fears (this being the death of a child), as well as some-one to blame when the evil that they wish for their child, in moments of tired frustration, comes true. She implies that she will never die, so long as women keep having babies.

McWatt, M. 'Ol' Higue' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. LITERARY DEVICES 1. SIMILE Cane-fire has a very distinct quality. It burns very quickly and its presence is felt through it's pungent smell. Therefore, when the Ol' Higue compares herself to cane fire in her fireball state, it implies that she uses a lot of energy quickly, and is very visible. 2. RHETORICAL QUESTION

Stanza 1,line 4: This rhetorical question highlights the scant regard that the Higue has for the average person. She is thoroughly annoyed that she has to literally waste her energy on them. Stanza 1, line 5: This highlights the fact that, again, she is annoyed that she has to expend so much energy to obtain a few drops of baby blood. Stanza 1, lines 6-8: The Ol' Higue is emphasizing the fat that regular people ingest blood too, just in a more palatable manner. She would not mind if she could ingest it in the same manner as well. Stanza 3, lines 22-23: At this point, the Ol' Higue is making excuses for her presence, claiming that she serves an actual purpose in the scheme of life. If a child dies of unknown causes, she can be scapegoated for it. Stanza 3, lines 24-25: 'The murder inside your head' refers to the moments, when out of pure frustration and tiredness, a mother might wish ill on her child. The Ol' Higue is implying that, again, she can be used as a scapegoat if something unfortunate happens to the child. The mother is relieved of bearing the burden of guilt. 3. REPETITION The repetition of the word 'soft' emphasizes the fact that the call of the child's blood has captured and beguiled the Ol' Higue'. She implies that she cannot resist that call. 4. ALLITERATION This device emphasizes the Ol' Higue's dependence, even addiction, to the sweet blood of the baby. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 5. 'stupidness!' This is a distinctly Caribbean phrase that highlights frustration or scorn. Therefore, it highlights the Ol' Higue's frustration with her lack of self control. 6. 'gallivanting' This term refers to some one 'playing around', having fun. The Ol' Higue is being sarcastic at this point. She is expressing displeasure at having to fly around to seek prey. 7. 'pure blood running in new veins' Babies are often associated with purity, this is what is emphasized here. The Ol' Higue simply cannot resist the lure of new and pure blood. 8. 'holding her final note for years and years, afraid of the dying hum ...' This tells us that the Ol'Higue has been living this desperate existence for a long time. It also implies that she will keep hanging on, despite her frustration. The final line confirms this point: 'As long as it have women giving birth a poor Ol' Higue like me can never dead' MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is reflective. TONE The tone of the poem is slightly bitter and resigned. She accepts that the cycle of her life cannot change. THEMATIC CATEGORIZATION Supernatural

Le Loupgarou - Literature Notes


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text. A 5.curious 1.tale that threaded through town Through greying women sewing under eaves, Was how his greed had brought old Le Brun down, 1.greeted by slowly shutting jalouses When he approached them in 6.white linen-linen suit, Pink glasses, cork hat and 2.tap-tapping cane, 3.A dying man licensed to sell sick fruit, Ruined by fiends with whom he'd made a bargain. It seems one night, these 4.Christian witches said, He changed himself into an 7.Alsatian hound, A slathering lycenthrope, hot on a scent, 1.But his own watchman dealt the thing a wound Which howled and lugged its entrails, trailing wet With blood back to its doorstep, almost dead. Walcott, D. 'Le Loupgarou' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. LITERARY DEVICES 1. ALLITERATION This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others. LITERAL MEANING This poem tells the tale of old LeBrun, a man that was rumoured by the townspeople to be a loupgarou. Old women would relax under eaves and gossip about Le Brun, while literally shutting him out of their lives with their closing windows. The prevailing gossip, in this poem, is that he transformed into a hound one night, but was dealt a wound by his own watchman. He then lugged his entrails back to his doorstep, almost dead.

Lines 1-3: This alliteration gives the reader a visual imagery of the manner in which the gossip about Le Brun spread. A thread is thin and fine and can weave itself in any crevice, sometimes in a very non-linear and sinuous manner. This describes the way in which the gossip spread. It managed to touch the whole village in an almost insiduous, and complete, manner.

Line 5: This literary device speaks to the results of the gossip. Le Brun is alienated from the people of the town. Their fascination with him, however, is evident by the fact that they slowly shut their jalouses/windows. The lack of speed implies that they are watching him, while also alienating him.

Lines 17-21: This alliteration highlights the severity of the loupgarou's injuries. You can almost see and hear the wetness of the blood, as well as see the entrails trailing wet through the use of this device. 2. ONOMATOPOEIA The tap-tapping cane is a part of Le Brun's physical description. He appears to stand out, in terms of his physical appearance, down to the use of his cane. 3. PARADOX This statement appears nonsensical at first, but actually makes sense in the long run. The loupgarou is, in fact, a man who is leading a half life as man and beast, so he is not really 'living'. The fact that he can pass on the 'gift' of becoming a werewolf clarifies the fact that Le Brun is actually 'licensed to sell sick fruit', or pass on his sick 'gift'. 4. OXYMORON The words 'Christian' and 'witches', placed together, emphasizes the dual nature of the women in the village. They are good Christian women who mean no harm, but their fear of the 'difference' that they sense in Le Brun (contributed by his mode of dress), leads them to react in an unchristian manner, like witches, in dealing with him.

* IRONY It is ironic that Le Brun's own watchman dealt him a lethal blow. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 5.curious This word emphasizes the strangeness of the story that is circulated about Le Brun. 6.white linen-linen suit, pink glasses, cork hat (and cane) This outfit would let anyone be seen in a crowd, or other wise. It emphasizes Le Brun's difference , hence, one of the reasons that he would be the focus of gossip. Imagine an individual dressed in the combination below:

7.Alsatian hound, a slathering lycenthrope This description of Le Brun displays the distaste that is felt towards him in his animal form. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is reflective. TONE The tone of the poem is calm and reflective. The persona is simply recounting a piece of gossip. THEMATIC CATEGORIZATION Supernatural

NOTES ON OLD STORY TIME

Trevor Rhones Old Story Time


Trevor Rhones play Old Story Time portrays a Jamaican storytelling situation in two acts with one and six scenes, respectively. Pa Ben, who is the narrator as well as a character in the play, tells the story of the Tomlinson family. Using flashbacks, Rhone stages events in a time span of around thirty years, beginning with Len Tomlinsons boyhood. Miss Aggy, Lens mother, puts him through school with rigid pressure and is obsessed with the idea that he should marry Margaret, the ministers light-skinned daughter, in order to advance his social status. While abroad on a scholarship, Len keeps only scarce contact with his mother. When she finally learns that he has married Lois, a black woman, she is absolutely infuriated and convinced that Lois could have worked this only with a spell. Len returns home as a successful banker and sets out to ruin the business of George McFarlane, a light-skinned upper-class former schoolmate now involved in dubious financial dealings. When Miss Aggy speaks up on behalf of George, whose family she still holds in high regard, this results in a serious confrontation between mother and son. Miss Aggy again blames Lois for using magic to alienate her son from her and decides to employ a fatal obeah spell against her daughter-in-law. The climactic final scene of the play reveals the real reason for Lens hatred against George: in school Len had once written a love letter to Margaret, which she and her boyfriend George considered an impudence of a black, ugly, little big-lipped (83) boy. They set Len up to be thrashed and utterly humiliated by George and his friends. Miss Aggy also learns that it was Loiss family who took care of Len right after this traumatic experience, which finally makes her accept her sons wife and realize her own wrongs. In a happy ending, Lens family comes together in a cathartic night of repentance, forgiveness, exorcism, and love(Stone 46). Looking at contrasts in Setting, Costumes, and Roles in Old Story Time The simple setting (Rhone 4) of Old Story Timeis represented by a stage divided into three frames. Of these three frames, two show the interior and exterior of Miss Aggys house in the beginning of the play, while the third suggests Pa Bens old house (4) with its raised veranda. While this third section remains unchanged throughout the play, the stage directions mention that during the first act, the scenery of Miss Aggys house is changed to represent the interior of Lens house, while Pa Ben fittingly sings a song titled Change the House Round (4). This change of the setting reveals a creation of seemingly difference on multiple levels. While a picture of Jesus hangs on the wall in Miss Aggys house, after its reversal during the song it reveal[s] Lens college diploma (4). In this case, the setting opens up the contrasts of (religious) tradition and (secular) progress. Another opposition, namely rich versus poor, is created by the

reversal of the panels that suggest the peeling wattle-and-daub walls(4) of Miss Aggys house. After being turned around, these panels reveal the marble finish (4) of the walls in Lens house and, in that, give an air of wealth as opposed to the rather poor ambience in the house of Lens mother. The establishment of this contrast is further emphasized by an old curtain hung in the centre of the frame [that] reflects Mamas poverty (4), as stated in the introduction of Old Story Time. Removal of the curtain during Change the House Round revealsbooks, candle-holders, a vase, etc.(4) to show the different conditions Miss Aggy and Len live in. Furthermore, the two frames representing Lens house are later in the play also used as Georges office in the bank and described asfreely interchangeable (5), creating yet another contrast: the public (working) sphere and the private sphere. In Old Story Time, the setting therefore represents one instance in which contrast is staged in Old Story Time. In the change from Miss Aggys house to Lens house, contrasts are constructed and show distinct differences. The contrast of wealth and poverty is portrayed again in the description of the costumes in Old Story Time. While some characters, including Margaret, Lois, the Real Estate Developer, and George are dressed in expensive clothes, the others wear old and worn-out clothes reflecting their economically-bad situation. Whereas most characters are constantly wearing the same kind of clothing throughout the different events spanning around thirty years, there are two changes in that respect: Len, who begins the play dress[ing] in the style of thirty-odd years ago, but later dresses in the mode of the successful banker in todays world, and Pearl, who in the beginning of the play is a teenager in well worn clothes and goes from an even more tattereddress to being literally dressed in rags (6). The description of the costumes becomes relevant when Rhone writes that [a]ll the characters are black, except George, a high brown man, and Margaret, a fair-skinned girl (7). In this sense, the dramatis personae of Old Story Time and the different meanings of their respective costumes work against solid and identical ideas of culture. Here, difference is portrayed on two levels: first, there is the difference between the group of black characters and the two non-black characters. Secondly, within the group of Afro-Caribbean characters, difference is created in terms of wealth and poverty. By incorporating black and non-black characters in his play and bringing up the contrast of wealth and poverty again, Rhone portrays Caribbean society as diverse and assorted. Within the upper class segment of the characters, George and Len constantly fight for money, power, and the chance for revenge; in the lower class segment, Miss Aggy is plagued by internalized racism and regards Pearl, who is struggling for survival throughout the play, with shame. Within the group of Afro-Caribbean characters, there is no unity either, as conflicts between Len and his mother as

well as between Miss Aggy and Pearl destroy any illusions of discourses of racial and/or cultural purity.

Language in Old Story Time In Old Story Time, deviations from standard English occur right from the beginning of the play. When Pa Ben enters the auditorium and addresses the audience, he does so in nation language, which he uses throughout the play: PA BEN: An mi father would wax warm, him mind pon the story anone eye pon the young gal them. Ah, boy, those were the days. Yes, A can still hear the bamboo clarinet, and the fife a whistle, and the drum a lick, an A can still see miself dress up in all mi finery stepping into the dance yard. (9) It is obvious that Pa Ben uses a form of dialect3here, as do, to some degree, most of the other characters in the play. The written forms mi (instead of my),pon (instead of upon),an (instead of and),gal (instead of girls),or A (instead of I),for example, indicate different pronunciations and/or intonations of the Caribbean dialect in comparison to standard English. The use ofhim (instead of the possessive pronoun his)and them (at the end of the first sentence in the above quotation) points to different grammatical structures, or different uses of the language. Furthermore, differences in the language between the standard variety of English and the Caribbean vernacular used in Old Story Time can be seen in the plays glossary, where some of the different lexical items are explained (xix-xx). Overall, the dialogue of Old Story Time is largely written in a Caribbean dialect of English (cf. Stone 41), orusing Brathwaites terminologyin nation language. This use of the dialect means that it is regarded as real yet inferior.The only characters that avoid using dialect forms on a frequent basis are Lois, George, and Lenthe latter, however, does so only after his return from studying abroad. This can be ascribed to their wish to distance themselves from the Afro-Caribbean culture that they perceive as inferior throughout the majority of the play. Storytelling In the beginning of Old Story Time, Pa Ben enters the auditorium singing and addressing the audience: Make yourselves comfortable on them nice chairs. You people lucky, years ago when A was a boy and A use to go listen to story, it was never in no fancy place like this, with all them pretty fandangles, pretty lights and whatnot. No, sir. (8)

In this very moment at the beginning of the play, his role as narrative voice is established and he reveals himself as the storyteller. Pa Ben himself outlines the tradition of storytelling for the audience while the actors who later play the different characters gather around him, representing the villagers: On an evening in the district, we would gather at the village square, everybody gather round the shop piazza, some sit pon old drum, others pon the old crocus bags filled with salt, everybody chatting, some meddling in peoples business, others giving remembrance to who dead the week before, who saw the ghost and what not, and my father was the chief Storyteller when him feel in the mood. (8) Here, it becomes clear that storytelling is not only about educatingin the sense of passing on the history and culture of a communitybut that it also has an entertaining function. Old Story Time portrays story-telling as a major avenue of reconnection for the audience with their past and also the present (249). Moreover, in Pa Bens explanation of the storytelling tradition, its importance as a communal action that supports the formation of a close-knit community is highlighted by the description of people gathering to talk to each other, to give advice, and to mourn the dead. Storytelling is portrayed as an important tradition in non-literate communities where history was preserved by the story-teller who held a privileged place central to the maintenance and sustenance of the groups culture (126)indicating that the tradition dates back to pre-slavery times. In Old Story Time, there are indeed instances in which Pa Ben, in his role as storyteller, assumes a function of resistance to traditional Western views. In the prologue, he openly admits that certain facts are unknown to him: What A dont know as a fact, A will make up as A go along, and if A cant do it by miself, mi friend here will help me. [Indicating his rum bottle.] (10). By that, he blurs the boundaries between fiction and history and indicates that the one is not to be entirely separated from the other. This notion is further emphasized in the beginning of act II, scene one, when Pa Ben appears as the storyteller again. The frame-tale from the prologue is picked up again as the actors once more portray the listeningand commentingvillagers gathered around Pa Ben: ACTOR WHO PLAYS GEORGE: What secret Mongoose carrying for Miss Lois? PA BEN: Miself want to know. ALL THE ACTORS/VILLAGERS: You know, man, you know. ACTOR WHO PLAYS LEN: Yes, him know.

PA BEN: I dont know, honest, would I tell a lie? ALL THE ACTORS/VILLAGERS: Yes. (48) Here, the notion of truth is once more put into question. Pa Ben again admits that he does not know every detail of the story he is telling to the villagers. When they do not believe him, he poses the ironical rhetorical question if he would lie to his audiencewhich is promptly answered in the affirmative. The audience grants full narrative authority to Pa Ben and wants the story to be continued, while readily accepting the fact that Pa Ben could (and has already been proven to) lie to them. The fact that Pa Ben appears in Old Story Time not only in his role as the storyteller, but also as a character within the fictional world of the play itself, necessitates a distinction between these two roles. When Pa Ben takes the role of a character within the fictional world of the play (that is, the story he is telling) and interacts with the other figures, we see that by performing both as the storyteller and as a character taking part in the story he is telling, Pa Ben can be seen as having a two-fold function, since it is difficult to completely separate the two roles he takes in the play. This becomes evident in two exemplary instances quoted and analyzed below, in which Pa Ben switches between his two roles: PA BEN: [Speaking directly to the audience] If A had mi wits about me, A would save the boy a licking that evening. A should tell him mother that is me send him out. A have to find him before she catch up with him. Lennie! [As he goes off calling, MAMAcan also be heard calling off stage, Lennard!] (12) Speaking towards the auditorium, Pa Ben offers his thoughts. Here, it is difficult to determine whether he is speaking to the audience as the storytelling voice or whether he addresses it in the form of a monologue in the role of his character. When he eventually goes off calling for Len, Pa Ben leaves that space of undecidability between the two roles he takes in the play and returns to the world of fictitious characters. Another instance in which the hybrid nature of Pa Bens character is portrayed is the following: PA BEN: [Coming through the door of his little house] A year go by, and not a word pass between us. One piece a malice she keep up on me. A try to talk to her. [He walks over to her space.] Morning, Miss Aggy. [MAMAs head flashes around only to flash back again. She does not return the greeting. PA BENreturns to the audience.] It hurt mi soul case how she was going on. [MAMA changes her scarf again.] After all, she was mi best friend. A had to keep trying, for me is not one to keep up malice. [He goes across to her space again.] Evening, Miss Aggy. (24) Here, Pa Ben unquestioningly talks to the audience in the role of the plays storyteller. This becomes clear by him taking a mediating function and telling what has (or, rather, has not) been

happening between him and Miss Aggy over the course of a year. Pa Ben then spontaneously switches to his role as a character in the play when he walks over to Miss Aggys house and greets her. Thereafter, he switches back to his role as storyteller and, in the end of the quotation, reassumes his role as a character within the fictional world of the play again. These two instances illustrate the complexity of the character Pa Ben. This blurring of the boundaries between him as the storyteller (being the mediating system of communication) and him as the character (participating in the dramatic situation) cannot easily be dissolved, which makes it seem reasonable to speak of a hybrid function which Pa Ben carries in Trevor Rhones play. This two-fold function that Pa Ben carries is also important in creating a fusion of genre in Old Story Time. As shown, the setting and circumstances as well as the language of Old Story Time bear a distinctively Caribbean mark which portray the fusion of Caribbean culture. From a strictly formal point of view, Trevor Rhones play can be categorized as an incorporation of a narrative voice, music, and dance, among others, into the drama (cf. Cuddon 273-74). Rhones use of the storytelling device, however, manages to introduce a specifically Caribbean element into this form of epic theatre. This Caribbeanizationof the play is also evident by the integration of Caribbean folk songs, as in the very beginning of the play when Pa Ben enters the auditorium singing Old Story Time . . . Old Story Time (8) to the tunes of the music. In traditional plays, storytelling was not considered part of the format of constructing a play but in Old Story Time, there is the inclusion of Caribbean music and storytelling and acting which makes it new and different. In this role, Pa Ben is actually more than just a narrative voice. He appears as the focal point of the play, because without a storyteller there would be no story toldand in extension, no play. However, he appears in this role only in parts of the play. The strong presence of the storytelling voice in some parts of the play, in combination with the complete lack of it in others, leads to a blurring of the genre boundaries. While Old Story Time is without any doubt a form of drama in the most encompassing sense of the term, it does not seem sensible to list it under the genre of a traditional drama, because it has so many new qualities of Caribbean influence through the character of Pa Ben. From this point of view, it seems more fitting to call Old Story Timea storytelling dramathan to categorize it as an epic drama, as this draws attention to the fact that a fusion of drama has emerged from the Caribbean and European elements in this case. Anything Black Nuh Good:Internalized Racism, Familial Conflict and Hybrid Identities in Old Story Time The central theme in Old Story Timeis the familial conflict developing between single mother Miss Aggy and her son Len and the final solution of this in the last scene of act II. The figure of Miss Aggy

is especially interesting in this respect, due to the fact that her internalization of racist stereotypes fuels the conflict immensely. Internalized racism can be seen as one of the effects of having been a colonised country. This means the black person feels racial self-hatred and considers himself/ herself as inferior and powerless in the colonial situation . Miss Aggy is already characterized in her social status when Rhone describes the setting and costumes of the play: we learn that the figure of Miss Aggy is black (7) and lives in a rather poor house. After the prologue of the play, Miss Aggy is the first figure to appear in the fictional world of the play when she is looking for Len4, who is not at home even though she wanted him to stay in the house an study him book (10). Her authoritarian style of education becomes clear in the following dialogue with her neighbor Pa Ben: MAMA: If him cant hear him mus feel. [As she is going off] Is you help spoil him. PA BEN: Lawd! Harass the poor boy so! MAMA: [As she is leaving she sees a switch on the lower level] Ah, see it here. Wait till A catch up with him, A going to scour his behind for him this evening. (12) When she finally catches up with him as he is playing with Pearl, she stops her son from running away by the threat: If you run A murder you tonight (13). Even though these words are not likely to be serious, it becomes clear that Miss Aggy does not accept any objections and does not hesitate to use physical punishment if her son violates the rules she has set. The motivation of Miss Aggys harsh style of education is shown in the dialogue with her son, which also reveals much about her psyche: MAMA: Miss Esmeralda frowsy-tail, jiggerfoot, jersey ears, board head gal is your friend? Where is yuh ambition? You dont have any ambition? After A struggle out mi soul case to send you to big shot high school, you come home come mix up with that little dry-head gal? How much time A must tell you, dont mix up with the little dutty black gal dem in the district? How much time A must tell you, anything black nuh good? She is no advancement. It look like A will have to beat it into you. (14) Here, Miss Aggy reveals one of her most predominant traits of character: she despises anything that is black. This hatred towards black people and, in extension, towards herself, is emphasized even further when Pa Ben in his role as storyteller explains her behavior to the audience: You have to understand Miss Aggy. She wouldnt even have a black chicken in her yard. One chop, off with the head (14). Even though this is very likely to be an overstatement, it serves to show how deeprunning Miss Aggys despise of blackness actually is. Judy Stone also emphasizes how the workings of the colour bias that not so long ago was upheld within the West Indian society even by its victims(46) are represented in the dramatic figure of Miss Aggy.

While Miss Aggys intentions in the strict upbringing of Len are based on the misguided premises of her internalized racism, they ultimately prove to be good. She tells her son that she only wants what is best for him, and explains to him that life is hard when you black, but with a little education you still have a chance (14). Grace Owen describes the figure of Miss Aggy as a woman of courage, relentless in her efforts to assist the next generation, her son, to rise above poverty through education (72). While this observation holds true, it is still questionable if the advancement that Miss Aggy wants her son to achieve can be accomplished by education alone. Furthermore, Miss Aggys notions of ambition and advancement are highly problematic, as both actually aim at gaining an idealized whiteness: When time come for you to have girlfriend, A have a nice girl pick out for you. Miss Margaret, Reverend Greaves daughter, a nice brown girl with tall hair down to her back. She is advancement, you hear me (14). Pa Ben telling the audience thatMiss Margaret was like an obsession with [Miss Aggy] (14) reinforces the notion that the figure of the reverends daughter is a personification of the advancement towards whiteness, which is the driving force behind Miss Aggys actions throughout the play. Judy Stone identifies this constant pressure that the endearing but obsessively feudal Miss Aggie put[s] on her young son to advance himself towards whiteness(45-46) as one of the problematic points in the relationship of the Tomlinson family. Miss Aggys internalized racism and obsession with advancement become even more of a problem after Lens return from studying abroad. When she learns from a letter that her son has indeed married, she is shocked and embarrassed to learn that instead of Miss Margaretor any other white or brown woman for that matterLen has chosen a black woman. In a dialogue with Pa Ben, her feelings of disgust for her sons wife surface for the first time: MAMA: Me nuh care what she name. Me nuh want her beside mi son. [She tears the photograph in two, throwing the part with LOISon the floor.] PA BEN: Shame on you, Miss Aggy. Before you happy for the boy, you come with yuh nonsense. [Picking up the torn photograph.] MAMA: Nonsense. Shut yuh mouth. A know what A talking about. After I drum it into him head that anything black nuh good, I know is no way him could pick up thatof him own free will. [Pointing to the torn photograph in PA BENs hand.] (23) She cannot accept the fact that her son has betrayed her ideals, and therefore suspects his wife Lois of obeah, which is used in Jamaica to denote witchcraft, evil magic or sorcery by which supernatural power is invoked to achieve personal protection or the destruction of enemies (Senior 355). Miss Aggy, believing that any black woman is bound to intentionally destroy Lens future and his advancementtowards whiteness, projects all her racial self-hatred onto Lois when Len finally returns to the village with his wife andon Pa Bens biddingmakes peace with his mother.

Despite the reunion of mother and son, Miss Aggy is not able to accept Lens decision to marry a black woman. This becomes evident in the very first meeting between Miss Aggy and her son in years, when Len brings a gifta pretty frock (27)and she is initially very glad: MAMA: It really nice. You pick it out for Mama? LEN: No, Lois did. MAMA: Oh! A dont think it going to fit me. [She tosses it aside, not too carefully.] (28) Miss Aggy cannot even accept a present that has been selected by Lois. This serves once more to show her systematic hatred towards her sons wife. While Miss Margaret served as a personification of the positivenamely the advancement towards whitenessfor Miss Aggy, Lois is evil personified a black woman trying to bring Len down. The first time that a direct encounter between Miss Aggy and Lois is staged in the play, the audience becomes aware of the level of confrontation between those two characters: MAMA: [From off] Hold dog! . . . LOIS: I wish you would impress upon your mother that we do not have a dog. LEN: Lois. LEN: Unless of course she is referring to me, which in fact she is. (32) By referring to Lois as dog,Miss Aggy in fact replicates the racist claim that people of African descent were not only inferior, but in fact subhuman. Lois, however, reacts cynically and does nothing to deescalate the situation: Now you must excuse me as I have to clean the shit out of the doghouse(33). Miss Aggy, who promised her son to keep the peace, in reaction makes it clear that nevertheless she never promised to be nice to [Lois] (33). Miss Aggys internalized racism furthermore leads to her being financially cheated by the corrupt banker George, whom she trusts mainly because he is not black, but a high brown man (7): MAMA: Only say that right now him in a little financial difficulty, but give him a little time and everything will be all right, but I explain to him that he dont have to worry bout my couple pennies, just straighten out his own business first. Since I know is Missa Mac in charge, I know my money safe. (58) In this passage, Miss Aggy reveals her feelings of racial inferiority by blindly believing George and by acknowledging that his financial problems are more important than her own, for which, ironically, George is responsible.

In a confrontation with Len, during which he threatens to hit his mother with a chair, Miss Aggy is pushed to the brink and is convinced that her son is under the spell of obeah by Lois. In this situation, internalized racism and religious fervor drive Miss Aggy, as she decides to no longer accept the evilness thatin her point of viewhas befallen her son, and to help him: Len, Len, son, listen to me, son. Your soul is in bondage! A have to release you! A have to set you free! (6061). She decides to take matters in her own hand and destroy Lois through obeah. The figure of Miss Aggy swings between two main characteristics: the loving and caring mother on the one hand, and the uneducated poor woman on the other, whose sense of self is warped (Owen 72) as she has internalized the stereotypes and attitudes of the colonial times towards black people and so now considers black people and their culture as inferior- even all the while forgetting that she is black. However, the familial conflict that thus evolves within Old Story Time dissolves into a happy ending, however. When it becomes clear to Len that he cannot protect Lois from his mothers determination to obeah her, he decides to forgive his mother and to throw overboard once and for all his monolithic views of her as a traitor to the race. He hopes that she can eventually do the same when she learns the story of Lens humiliation and how Lois and her father helped him back then. Pa Ben, who throughout the play has the role of negotiator between mother and son, brings Miss Aggy to Lens house, where the final scene takes place. Before the story of Lens humiliation is staged, Miss Aggy is again discomforted upon seeing Lois. She realizes the consequences of her drumbeat[ing] Miss Margaret so much in him head (82). Miss Aggy learns that Reverend Greaveswhom she had valued so highlywas overtly racist, expect[ing] those [black] people to know their place (83), and that his daughter theadvancement she sought for her sonwasone of [Lens] principal tormentors (Stone 46). Finally beginning to understand her son, she urges forward to kill George and begs for Lens forgiveness: MAMA: I have to kill him! [They take away the handbag.] No, dont make me go to mi grave with mi soul in torment, Lawd, mi spirit in bondage. I have to atone for mi sins. I have to cleanse mi soul. Oh Len, how I going to sleep tonight? How I will sleep ever again? Oh Len, Len, forgive me, please, forgive me. (85) When Len finally tells his mother that the good Samaritan and his daughter (85) who took care of him after his humiliation were Lois and her father, her eyes are opened and she realizes what her internalized racism has caused. Ashamed of herself, she tries to escape and to save Lois from the consequences of obeah by sacrificing herself. She is finally able to accept Lois and embraces her, calling her daughter (86). She recognizes that she has been a foolish old woman (86) because she was not able to leave her racial self-hatred behind her before it was too late.

However, Len, Lois, and Pa Ben do not let her go. Len tells his mother: We need you, Mama (86), even though Miss Aggy warns them that they are in danger if they try to hold her back and to break the spell of obeah that is bound to destroy her. Pa Ben, Len, and Lois all sing the twenty-third psalm and at times speak the African words Omia n Twi. Mia Kuru. Omia n ani (87). They succeed in freeing Miss Aggy from the evil spirits and she hugs Len and Lois and calls them both her children. Pa Ben sums up the night of exorcism: All night long we pray. We pray for strength in this the vigil of the long night. We bind ourselves together with strength and trust and confidence, and there was no doubt between us, no enmity in our hearts, for we knew that the one force that could counteract all evil was there, and that force was love. (87) Here, the acceptance of the mixed nature (black and light brown, racist and non-racist) of the family (extended by Pa Ben) is shown, as the entire group of figures present in this scene realizes that love is what matters most. They bind themselves together, without doubt and enmity, showing clearly that they have realized the danger of views of the world. The (re)union of the family is successful because in the end of the play, the three of them together (87) accept their identities. The familial conflict between Miss Aggy and her son can be read as an symbol of the society of Jamaica, or the West Indies in general. Miss Aggy embodies (amongst others) the racist Eurocentric attitude, which is portrayed as destructive to the family, and therefore, on another level, to Caribbean society. The acceptance of the fusion of identities by Len and his mother in what Judy Stone has called a cathartic night of repentance, forgiveness, exorcism, and love(46) and the subsequent happiness in the life of the family is the ultimate call for the acceptance of the Caribbeans history. With the happy ending for the family, who is [a]ll well (87) in the end of the play, Old Story Time can be read as calling for West Indian society to accept its fusion and to rid itself of racist discourses of purity that have, for hundreds of years, plagued the area. Conclusion Contrast is staged in Trevor Rhones Old Story Time on many levels such as description of setting and costumes and by revealing the living conditions of the plays main characters. The incorporation of the storytelling device by Rhone enable[d] him to make a smooth transition from present to past and vice versa . Pa Ben, the storyteller, is himself a figure with a two-fold function, meaning that epic (traditional story-telling) and dramatic ( as an actor) elements in the play are intertwined. This two-fold function and the central role the Caribbean tradition of storytelling plays in Old Story Time as storytelling drama instead of categorizing it as a traditional drama. On the level of figures in the fictional world of the play, Miss Aggy can be regarded as an embodiment of Eurocentric negative attitudes. In the final scene of the play, however, these negative attiudes based on old colonial history are dissolved in a cathartic night of

repentance, forgiveness, exorcism, and love (46). Miss Aggy realizes that her views of the world threaten to destroy herself and her beloved son, and she begins to accept the new face of her family.

NOTES ON WINE OF ASTONISHMENT

The Wine of Astonishment - LITERATURE NOTES


ABOUT EARL LOVELACE

Born in Toco, Trinidad Born in 1935 Spent most of his early years with his maternal grandparents in Tobago He was an avid reader He currently lives in Trinidad and Tobago His passions in life are cricket and football

EARL LOVELACES NOVELS

While Gods are Falling, 1964 The Schoolmaster, 1968 The Dragon Cant Dance, 1978 The Wine of Astonishment, 1982 Jestinas Calypso and Other Stories, 1984 Growing in the Dark, 2003 Is Just a Movie, due for publication in August 2010 on

SUMMARY The book is about Eva and Bee Dorcas, members of the Spiritual Baptist Church. It is about their experiences of being persecuted for their religious affiliation and the faith that they have in Ivan Morton to change their situation. The character Bolo is also at the forefront of this story because he embodies the result of not being able to be a man in a society that does not view being Black as valuable. SETTING Time / Place:

The story is set over a 20 year time period, 1932 1951

Set in a small, remote village in Trinidad called Bonasse Political structure:


Trinidad was still a colony under the British Empire Trinidad was ruled under the Crown Colony system Head of State in England governed the island via the Governor, who was his or her representative Political power, therefore, lay in the governor, assisted by a Council Universal adult suffrage (right of all adults to vote) did not occur to Trinidad until 1946.

Power still lay in the hands of those who owned plantations and these people, in turn, controlled the instruments of power; the legislature, the courts and the police. Economy:

The economy was still predominantly agricultural; sugar, cocoa, coffee, coconuts and citrus. The petroleum industry was just beginning to make an impact. Subsistence farming (production of foodstuff for domestic use) was the norm World War II led to the establishment of American bases, which introduced opportunity to earn money

WW II also introduced a consumer attitude to life in Bonasse Social structure:


Trinidad boasted a very diverse Creole society populated by a variety of ethnic groups (Indian, Black, Chinese, White), each with its own cultural and religious practices.

Trinidad was still a series of small villages connected by a network of tiny roads, hence, travel between villages was infrequent Religion:

The protagonists in the novel are Spiritual Baptists/ Shouter Baptists This religion arose out of a fusion of Protestant Christianity and African Orisha elements

The religion was outlawed in 1917 on the grounds that they disturbed the peace with their bell ringing, loud singing and highly expressive behavior during worship. See video clip of Spiritual Baptist in Grenada at the bottom of this page.

MAJOR CHARACTERS Eva Dorcas:

The wife of Bee Dorcas and mother to 5 children She is the emotional support for her husband She is a strong Christian The story is told through her eyes (1st person narrator)

She is patient and long suffering Bee Dorcas:


Bolo: Evas husband and father of her 5 children Pastor of the Shouter Baptist church in the text He is a strong Christian He is considered to be the pillar of the community He is very wise, patient and long suffering He is very persistent, as seen in his lobbying for Ivan Morton Shoulders his responsibilities well and does not view them as a burden Local stick fighting champion Initially beloved and admired by the community, seen as a hero/warrior figure Was imprisoned for 3 years for defending his mother, and the church, during a police raid of the Shouter Baptist church Later becomes the terror of the community because of how he bullied every-one after his return from prison

A brave, yet simple character that was crushed by the realities of life as a black man in Trinidad Ivan Morton:
Local boy who was considered to be the pride of the community because he was bright Failed his college Exhibition examination twice He eventually became a teacher within the community He married a light skinned girl from Tunapuna, and abandoned Eulalie and their illegitimate baby The community chose him to represent them on the Council and he became a true politician; talk without action

MINOR CHARACTERS Clyde:

Ivan Mortons driver A lot of second hand information about Ivan is gleaned from this character, via Joyce

Eventually marries Joyce Mr. Buntin:


Mitchel: Black owner of the local shop He believed in Black empowerment He was not a good businessman; a lot of people owed him and his shop was virtually empty by the end of the book He enjoyed the company of his patrons Carpenter on the American Base


Clem:

Money-lender and contact man Owner of the local shop that eventually competes with Buntins shop An example of some-one who has profited from the American presence in Trinidad Bolo destroys his establishment He campaigns for Ivan Morton during his bid for re-election to the council The polar opposite of Bolo Calm and able to go with the flow A musician who eventual leaves Bonasse to become the successful Lord Trafalgar He got along with everyone The most attractive girl in Bonasse Widely believed that she would eventually marry Bolo She dated Ivan Morton instead She became pregnant by Ivan and was abandoned by him


Eulalie:

She eventually went to live in the United States Corporal Prince:


Primus: He was tall and stocky Enforced the law at all costs Arrested and brutally beat Bolo, 1st time Raided the Shouter Baptist church He was unsympathetic to the Shouter Baptists Quiet and gentle resident of Bonasse He tried to be friendly with every-one

Bolo kidnapped his two daughters Winston:


Taffy: Oldest of the Dorcas children 19 years old at the beginning of the story Leaves Bonasse to become a police 16 years old at the beginning of the story The most troubled of the Dorcas children He got in trouble with the law and had to flee to Port of Spain Also the most charming of the children 15 years old at the beginning of the story Reader gets all the second hand news about Ivan Morton from her, via Clyde Dated, then eventually got married to Clyde At the end of the book, she is pregnant with her first child 8 years at the beginning of the text A very intelligent young man Preparing to take the college Exhibition exam in the middle of the text Gets caught up with talk of black empowerment at Buntins shop gains a place in high school on his own initiative, at the beginning of the text


Joyce:


Reggie:


Gem:

4 years old Youngest child Playful and very bright

CHAPTER SUMMARIES Chapter 1: The readers are introduced to the narrator, Eva, and her husband Bee, along with three of their children: Joyce, Gem and Reggie. Reggie has failed his examination and the couple debates whether or not to ask Ivan Morton for help. It becomes apparent that the hope of the community rests on this young politicians shoulders. He disappoints the community, however, when he does not support the Shouter Baptists. The reader is introduced to the budding relationship between Joyce and Clyde, as well as Bolos disappointment in the churchs apathy. The chapter ends with Reggie being placed in a high school after previously applying without his parents knowledge. Chapter 2: This chapter charts the changes in Bonasse and how it affects Bolo and Clem. Clem accepted and went with the flow, while Bolo just could not accept change and became disruptive. The banning of carnival, hence stick fighting, became a reality, and the change that Americans had on the cultural identity of the people was emphasized throughout this chapter. Chapter 3: The church plays a vital role in this chapter. The pride that is felt about its existence and perseverance is expressed by Eva. However, a law is passed that makes the church illegal, thereby forcing the members to plot to keep the church alive. The formulated a plan to be quiet in the way they worship and to try to put a man in the Council. Other things that occur in the chapter are: the tragic tale of Eulalie/Ivan/Bolo, Bolo losing his temper and its tragic results, and the coming of Prince. In the end, Bee decides to break the law because the church is slowly dying. Chapter 4: In this chapter, the reader learns about Bees children, as well as their response to his talk of breaking the law. Winston wants to become a police and Taffy wants to leave Trinidad. Bolo sits in church as a question mark and eventually leaves, while Bee finally breaks the law. Chapter 5: Bee breaks the law continuously until the church is raided. Everyone is dragged to jail, but Bolo intercedes on behalf of his mother. He is beaten and subsequently imprisoned for three years with hard labour. Bee was left with no choice but to sell his cow to avoid going to jail. Buntins shop becomes black empowerment central, attracting all the youngsters, including Reggie, to join the discussions. Taffy stabs a boy and runs off to stay with his uncle in Port of Spain, while the Winston leaves Bonasse in order to become a police. Chapter 6: This chapter is all about the campaign trail and how diligently Bee worked to get Ivan elected. An air of freedom and joy pervades this chapter. It ends, however, with Evas observation of the changes that Ivan makes in his life, in accordance with his new position, as well as her views on the implications behind Ivan Mortons procurement of the house on the hill. Chapter 7: This is a very dramatic chapter that highlights Bolos release from jail and the extent to which things had changed during his incarceration. He tried to get land and did not succeed, he tried to stick fight and faced cowards. The chapter ends with the destruction that he wrought on the drums in order to express his anger and frustration. Chapter 8: This chronicles Bolos descent into a mode of destructive behavior: (a) obtaining a job and (b) extorting products from the market vendors, rum shop and gambling shop. Bolos fame extends outside Bonasse in this chapter, thereby highlighting the severity of his anger. Chapter 9: Joyce, the Dorcas only daughter, gets married, while Bolo kidnaps Primus two daughters. Bee tries to get men to challenge' Bolo,

since that is what he wants, but he barely succeeds at this. The police intercede and Bolo, as well as Primus youngest daughter, gets killed. Chapter 10: Election time and Ivan is on the trail. The reader is not made aware of whether or not he is re-elected, but what is known is that the Shouter Baptists were legalized. The irony at the end of the book, however, is that on the cusp of their great victory, the spirit left the church. Despite this tragedy, Eva hears it in the music that the boys play on the steel pan. THEMES Racism Women in society Religion Education vs. religion Change Power and authority Violence

Wine Of Astonishment

In Earl Lovelace's book The Wine of Astonishment two main characters arise Bee and Bolo. Bolo's character is a warrior and he directs the people to the path of empowerment by way of the warrior for that is what he knows and who he is. Bee's character is a man of faith, patience, and a man of his people. Bee also chooses a path of empowerment for the people of the village that is defined by his character, he guides the people to the path of faith. The journey in the book has both men put their characters and paths of empowerment to the test. Who succeeds? Patience, a man of faith, and a man of the people are how I describe Bee's character in this book. Bee demonstrates his patience when it is tested against Corporal Price. Prince comes to the village to enforce the law against the Spiritual Baptist. Bee decides it is best to practice in the manners of the Catholics and Anglican until he one day starts preaching in the original manner of the Spiritual Baptist. After that vitalizing sermon he continues till Corporal Price raids the church. Bee realizes that for the benefit of his people they, he must wait, be patient till this injustice is lifted to preach again in the Spiritual Baptist way. Bee is truly a man of the people. In the incident when Corporal Prince raids the church Bee's first thoughts were for the people. Bee tells them Brethren, please don't run. Please don't give them the excuse to brutalize you. He knew how the police would act toward the congregation and he wanted to protect his people. Bee puts the people of the village first for he is a man of the people. Bee is a man of faith. He puts his faith in the Spirit, and the people to stay strong. In continuing with the occurrence of the raid from Corporal Prince you can see Bee's faith. The faith Bee has for the Spirit and the people when the congregation is walked though the village after being arrested and Bee joins in the hymn started by Sister Isabel which the whole congregation then joins. The hymn goes I never get weary yet, I never get weary yet, Forty long years I work in the field, And I never get weary yet. Saying they have done this a long time now and they have still stayed strong. Here Bee puts his faith in the people and the Spirit together from the uniting of the congregation in the song of the Spirit. Bee is a man of faith, his people, and of patience, with these examples you can understand why I characterize Bee in this manner. The first descriptive words you read about Bolo are rising like a spear out of the back row, with the rest of the congregation, to sing the first hymn was Bolo. With a new kind of toughness about him, a warrior still. I would character Bolo as a warrior defiantly. He is a soldier for his people in this time of oppression. Bolo started as a warrior in the beginning and ended as warrior. When he began as a warrior with stickfighting as the book describes Bolo was in Bonasse, the champion stickfighter, the king, leading the village in battles down the length and breadth of the island. Bolo fought in pride for the warrior inside during those times of stickfighting. Bolo's warrior disposition continued when Corporal Price was transporting the congregation (including Bolo's mother) to the police station for breaking the law of worshiping in the Spiritual Baptist manner. Bolo made a stand for the people he was their soldier willing to fight even being out numbered. The book refers to how Bolo headbutted Price till he went down. At same time Prince was going down the 9 other police office jumped Bolo. He continued to fight and fight till his head was split open by a police officer. Bolo was a warrior no matter the odds he had to face. The last demonstration of Bolo's warrior character was when he stood on the porch with Primus's 2 girls that he had taken earlier. He waited for the people to retrieve these girls. He was not going to let them

go until the people made their stand to him and showed him they are warriors. He was a warrior and should be faced as a warrior by warriors. A few people of the village showed and the police. The police knew Bolo would not cooperate with them and ended up shooting him. The warrior thrived in Bolo even to the end of his life. Bee's path for empowerment is faith, have faith and it will show you the way. The book starts Bee's path of faith in the church. He peaches his powerful sermons to the congregation guiding them to put faith in the Spirit. At a time when Spiritual Baptist practice is outlawed they would still come together and place their faith is the Spirit as a congregation. A good example of this is how they were forced to move their church to the out skirts of town to continue to practice this religion. Instead of converting to one of the accepted religions they choose to relocate. Bee and the congregation placed their faith in the Spirit to help them through this time of relocation. Bee focused his faith and the faith of the people to the government. He felt that if the people have faith in the government they could work at making changes to the village and what better way to do that than elect a man from your own village, Ivan Morton to the Council. Bee put his trust in Ivan and guided the people to do the same. Bee said Who we want in the Council is a man that qualify. What we want is a man with education just as the people in Britain. And we have that man here, This is the man! Born right here, a man of knowledge and understanding to represent the people: Ivan Morton! to tell the people that Ivan is a man of the village and they should support him and put their faith in Ivan. That began their faith in the government by having a man from the village on the Council to support them. Bee guided the people to put their faith in Spirit and the government as his choice to empowering the people. Bolo is a warrior at heart. He believes the direction to guide the village to empowerment is to develop the people into warriors. He attempted to do this by example, by urging and by force. An attempt at Bolo trying to lead by example is when he alone stands up against Corporal Prince and the police. The book tells us he is the only one who fights against the police and while his is doing this he affects only one person in the village, Taffy. He tries to join the fight Bolo is baring alone and is held back. Taffy says all o' you stand up there and watch them beat him. And he was fighting for all you along the walk home. Bolo was showing people how to be a warrior and stand up for their beliefs. Bolo continues to impel the people of the village towards being warriors. When stickfighting returns Bolo gets the opportunity to fight, and to show the people how to fight I believe. Bolo gets in the ring with Innocent a fellow stickfighter. They move around each like a dance. Bolo proceeds to make the first blow and Innocent puts his stick down. Bolo urges him to fight to be a warrior. He say Crow crow jumbie-bird crow Jumbie-bird wouldn't crow calling him a coward to persuade Innocent to fight with no success. Bolo then brings the call to anyone saying So nobody going to come in the ring? So nobody ain't fighting? Still no one is willing to fight. With the rage from no response from the people he made one last attempt that night to stickfight by crushing and destroying the drums and saying Who don't like it come and beat me. Come and beat me. Bolo urged the people of the village onto the warrior's path without success. After this is when Bolo decided he would force the village to become warriors. He would force this on them as individuals by harassing and provoking the people. Bolo pressed the people of the village to stand up for themselves and be warriors. His last extreme effort was when he stood on the porch with Primus's 2 girls that he had just taken because he wanted to the book states. He was not giving the village a choice but forcing them to stand up and be a warriors now. Bolo wanted the people to retrieve these girls and not the police. He was not

going to let them go until the people made their stand to him and showed him they are warriors. The police ended up shooting him. The few people who showed were the only ones to face Bolo as warriors and recover the girls. With Bolo using extreme force he did succeed with a few people of the village showing they have warriors in them. The path Bolo selected to empower the people though the warrior did not reach the whole of the people nevertheless it did reach a few. Bee and Bolo two different characters who chose two different paths to empower the people of Bonasse. Bolo chose a warrior's path of empowerment which represented his character. Bee's character showed his faith and he used his faith for his path of empowerment. In the end keeping faith prevailed, the ban on the religion of the Spiritual Baptist was lifted. And this is the goal Bee was after. There are always many solutions to a problem you have to decide what is the best for you way to answer it. It will define your character and your path of life.