The curse

By
Lee Su Ann

The curse

ABOUT THE NOVEL
In “The Curse” by Lee Su Ann, Azreen takes time off from her studies in London, UK, to return to her village in one of the legendary islands of Langkawi. She returns to mourn the loss of her older sister, Madhuri. However, she finds out via rumours and loud whispers that Madhuri was murdered. At her village Azreen has to contend with a coldhearted father and support an Alzheimer stricken mother.

ABOUT THE NOVEL
Azreen is subjected to negative comments and suspicion from her neighbours. She finds consolation in the company of the Old Lady, an outcast of the village. Although the grand Old Lady is educated and knowledgeable, the villagers shun her because she had murdered her abusive husband.

ABOUT THE NOVEL
Azreen has to confront the mystery that shrouds her sister's sudden death under suspicious circumstances. Bit by bit, the mysterious death of Madhuri is revealed to Azreen.

Plot Summary
 Chapter 1:

The news of the death of Madhuri.  Chapter 2:  Flashback of Azreen’s early days with Madhuri.  Chapter 3:  Azreen’s arrival & Rumours about the death of Madhuri.  Chapter 4:  Madhuri’s Funeral.

(cont..)
 Chapter 5:

The meeting with Mohd Asraf (Azreen enquires about her sister’s death)  Awang, (the Bomoh) and Encik Mohan’s chicken farm fiasco.  Chapter 6:  The murder cover up.  Puan Fatihah’s recollection of her husband’s infatuation with Madhuri.  The incident that had caused Azreen’s mother to become paralysed.

(cont..)  Chapter 7:

Mohd Asraf struggles with Nek’s deteriorating health.  The discovery of Madhuri’s letter.
  Chapter 8:

The death of Azreen’s mother.  Mohd Asraf’s visit to the Old Lady’s house.

(cont..)  Chapter 9:

The mob at Mohd Asraf’s house  Nek’s health recovery.
  Chapter 10:

The death of Nek.  The avengance of Nek’s death  The fire at the Old Lady’s house  Mohd Asraf’s confession about his affair.  The disclosure of Madhuri’s secret by Awang.

(cont..)  Chapter 11:

The truth behind Madhuri’s death  The death of Saleh
  Chapter 12:

Azreen’s final respect at the burial site.

PLOT STRUCTURE

EXPOSITION – Azreen takes time off her studies to attend Madhuri’s funeral only to discover rumours shrouding her sister’s death. Everyone believes that Madhuri’s death will cast a curse upon them. CONFLICT/ RISING ACTION- Strange things occurred on Azreen. CLIMAX – Suspicions are fuelled by superstition.

Cont…
 FALLING

ACTION- Mohd Asraf admits about his affair with Madhuri and confesses about their plan to leave Langkawi. Azreen found out the truth behind Madhuri’s death.

 RESOLUTION-

CHARACTERS
Main Characters
 Azreen Bomoh (Awang)  Madhuri Fatihah  Mohd Asraf  Saleh Abdullah  Haji Ghani  Siti  Puan Normala  Old Lady  Datin Sharifah & Datuk Zulkifli

SETTINGS
LONDON  Azreen furthers her studies in London. A VILLAGE ON A SMALL ISLAND OFF LANGKAWI.  Some of the places mentioned in the story.

SETTINGS
Azreen’s house  Azreen lives with her father, mother and Madhuri.
The rubber plantation  The scene where Madhuri’s body is found.

SETTINGS
Madhuri’s room  Azreen finds Madhuri’s photos are all torn in three parts. The room is also burnt down. Nek’s house  Mohd Mohd. Asraf lives with his grandmother.

SETTINGS
The farm  Awang leaves the gate open and Mohd. Asraf gets the blame when the bull escapes. The forest  The Old Lady runs to the forest and settles in an abandoned wooden house after the villagers outcast her.

SETTINGS
The school  The school where Azreen studied during her secondary years. This is also where she gets acquainted with Mohd. Asraf. Paddy field  Salleh Abdullah finds Madhuri as a baby in the makeshift bed of rags and leaves. The cemetery  Madhuri and her mother are laid to rest here.

THEMES

    

LOVE: Parental, Forbidden & Unrequited Love
FORGIVENESS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN GENDER STEREOTYPING BELIEF IN SUPERNATURAL FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN

VALUES
 


      

CARING STANDING UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN RESPONSIBILITY DILIGENCE CONCERN BRAVERY LOYALTY PERSISTENT THOUGHTFULNESS HELPFUL

LITERARY DEVICES
       

SYMBOL IMAGERY- VISUAL, SOUND PERSONIFICATION METAPHOR SIMILE TONE, MOOD, ATMOSPHERE ONOMATOPOEIA HYPERBOLES

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES
ACTIVITY ONE  Get the message Duration: 40 minutes Aim: To identify and analyze the themes in the novel. Material: Worksheet 8 Steps: 1. Distribute worksheet 8. 2. Match the evidence with the theme. 3. The students may refer to the novel using the page reference.

ACTIVITY TWO  That says it all Duration: 80 minutes Aim: To identify the themes in the novel based on the plot Material: Worksheet 9 Steps: 1. Organize students in groups of 3-4 2. Distribute worksheet to the students. Students write down the information required in the boxes. 3. Check the answers.

ACTIVITY THREE
The good, the bad and the ugly Duration: 40 minutes

Aims:  To analyse the events that help Azreen transform into a better person.  To write about Azreen’s transformation. Material: a)Worksheet 11 b) Coloured Pens Steps: 1. Discuss with students the kind of spiritual journey that the character Azreen took while making the actual journey

Cont..  2. Give each pair of students the graphic organizer (worksheet 11)  3. In the boxes, students list events that reflect the different values shown.  4. Ask students to display their worksheet on the class notice board. Notes:  For low proficient students, teacher may provide the events and students will match them to the correct suitcase.

ACTIVITY FOUR
Imagery  Duration: 80 minutes  Aim: To allow students to explore ways in which figurative language is used in the story.  Material: Worksheet 14 Steps: 1. Elicits different literary devices that students are familiar with. 2. Discuss the meaning of the literary devices identified by the students.

Cont..
3. Introduce an example of a simile and gives its definition and evidence from the text. 4. Distribute Worksheet 14. 5. Ask students to work in groups or pairs to find textual evidence from the text for each of the literary devices.
Notes: For Low English Proficient students, they may be given the pages of the text to help them. Alternatively, they can also be paired with higher proficient students to promote peer teaching/learning.

ACTIVITY FIVE Prove me right  Duration: 80 minutes  Aims:  To explore character traits in the novel.  To give description.  To provide evidence.  Material: Worksheet 5 Steps: 1. Call out a student at random and introduce him to the class.

Cont..
2. Ask students to describe his character traits. 3. Ask students to pick characters they like from the novel and describe them. 4. Distribute Worksheet 5. 5. Ask students to read and understand the character traits given in the handout. 6.Instruct students to show textual evidence from the novel. 7.Ask students to write down the evidence in the column provided by quoting it from the novel.

Thank You
- Good Luck -

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