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Novel: Family and Stella

Essay Topic:

Practice 1 – one story you like the best & what lessons you have learned from the story The novel Step by Wicked Step by Anne Fine which I have studied, all the stories are special in their own way but the one that strikes a chord with me is Claudia’s Stories: The Green Pyjamas. The story is about Claudia’s slow but sure acceptance of her stepmother, Stella. In the beginning, she is depicted as young girl who struggles to accept the changes in her life.

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Her parents have decided to separate ways as their marriage fails with the emergence of Stella, the new woman in her father’s life.

Claudia finds it difficult to accept Stella at first but despite Stella’s effort to be friendly to her. However, one eventful incident changes their relationship. The dinner party to celebrate her father’s birthday breaks the ice between Stella and Claudia. Claudia goes out of her way to make the guests realize how rude they have been to Stella. There are many lessons I have learned from this story. First, Claudia is a mature and sensible girl. At the dinner party, she shows that she can put aside her ego and pride by making the guests treat Stella politely.

She purposely shows off the green pyjamas given by Stella. The guests act like Stella is invisible and Claudia is angry because Stella is actually a very nice person. This shows her good nature despite her young age. Second, the message in the story is acceptance and tolerance. Learning to cope with her stepmother for Claudia is challenging. It takes a lot of patience and understanding from both sides. This event certainly triggers the beginning of a better relationship between Claudia and Stella.

Clearly sometimes in life, we do not have a choice but to accept the circumstances. Practice 2 – one character that you admire/like/ taught you important lessons/attract your attention Important lessons: we should be responsible towards our family and friends. I choose the novel Step by Wicked Step written by Anne Fine. The character that I admire the most/attract my attention is Claudia. There are many reasons why I admire her very much. Firstly, Claudia is a very kind girl. During her father’s birthday party, Claudia wears her green pyjamas given by her stepmother, Stella.

She put aside her ego and pride because she feels that the guests in the party are rude when they refuse to talk with Stella and does not compliment Stella on her cooking. They act like Stella is invisible and Claudia feels angry because Stella is actually a very nice person. Apart from that, Claudia is a very responsible daughter to her mother. She knows the fact that her mother hates the fact that her father is happy with a new women in his life so she pretends that she is unhappy when she has to go to her father’s house. Claudia also refuses to accept Stella’s kindness because she is a loyal daughter to her mother.

In addition, I really admire Claudia because she is a fair and sensible person. She does not blame Stella for her parents’ break-up. At the dinner party, she thinks that the guests are rude for not appreciating Stella’s hard work. She realizes that ignoring Stella would not help solving matters between her parents. Feeling sorry for Stella who is being ignored by the guests, she decides to help her get accepted by showing off the green pyjamas which Stella gave her. In a nutshell, the character that I like the most is Claudia because she is very kind, loyal, fair and sensible person. I think I can learn a lot from her character.

Practice 3 – one theme you like. Give evidences. I choose the novel Step by Wicked Step by Anne Fine. One of the themes in the novel is family love. This is seen in some characters in the story. After Richard leaves home, his mother and sister never stop looking for him. They wait desperately for his return. His mother uses up the family funds to find him. In doing so, she suffers her husband’s wrath. Not surprisingly, she soon dies of heartbreak. Charlotte is a caring and loving sister to Richard. Unlike him, she makes an effort to get along with her stepfather as she wants a happy and peaceful home life.

She tries to mediate between her brother and stepfather. After her mother’s death, charlotte marries at sixteen to a man she does not love in order to enable her to continue looking for her brother, Richard. As a last attempt, she leaves a sad letter in the tower room for him, telling Kim what has happened in his absence. Colin loves his stepfather, Jack, like his own as his real father has left his mother and him when he is just a baby. He and Jack do all the things a father and son would do. Jack too loves him as his own son. After his mother leaves Jack, Colin misses him very much.

He spends his hours daydreaming of the times they have spent together. He goes to the skating rink not to skate but to listen to their favourite song, The Bluebird of Happiness. He never gives up hope of finding Jack and is saving money to do so once he is old enough. Practice 4 – memorable event I choose novel Step by Wicked Step written by Anne Fine, an interesting event is the death of Richard’s father. This event/ incident is memorable because it changed Richard’s life and in the end, his whole family. The first change that Richard had to face is his mother’s marriage to Reverend Coldstone.

Richard hated his stepfather because he enforced strict rules and made Richard feel that his house was like a prison. He also sent Richard away to Mordanger School for four years. Another change is betrayal. Richard felt that his mother had betrayed when she allowed Reverend Coldstone to treat him badly. He also felt betrayed when Charlotte persuaded him not to hate his stepfather. Finally, Richard decided to run away and vanish. His departure caused financial ruin and heartbreak to his mother and sister. His mother spent a lot of money to search for him.

Charlotte married a man she did not love to continue the search after their mother died. The death of Richard’s father brought about a lot of changes in Richard’s family. Most of them are sorrowful. From this incident, we must remember that we should be courageous in difficult times. Practice 5 – moral values I choose novel Step by Wicked Step written by Anne Fine. An important moral value that I have learnt from the novel is love and devotion. The first character who showed love and devotion is Richard’s mother. She spent a lot of money seeking for Richard although she had to suffer Reverend Coldstone’s anger and disapproval.

Another character who demonstrated love and devotion is Charlotte. She continued her mother’s search for her brother, Richard. She did not have any money, she married a rich man she did not love at sixteen in order to continue the searching of Richard. Apart from that, Colin also showed love and devotion. He kept his dad’s tobacco tin and hummed their favourite song. He does three paper rounds to earn money to search for his dad when he is old enough. These characters have greatly showed their love and devotion. They proved that people will do anything for the ones they love.

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