Instructions: Read the following stories in ‘A Sense of Belonging’ and write a response to the question(s) related to each story. The Test Who has a stronger personality? Marian or Mrs Ericson? Give evidence from the text to support your answer. Marian has a stronger personality in this story.
From the very beginning we can see that within Marian is persistence and perseverance – despite failing once, she still goes ahead and tries for the test again, and despite knowing that she failed the previous time because of the examiner’s prejudice against her, she still tries again.
In addition, when Mrs Ericson suggests that she “slips them a little something”, she refuses, showing that she’d rather fail with integrity than attempt to bribe the examiners – which may or may not work against her. We see that Mrs Ericson constantly attempts to look at the brighter side of things – constantly telling Marian that she will do fine, not seeming to look at possible other reasons why Marian failed the first time – even when Marian pointed out to her about the ‘mistakes’. During the test, Marian’s tolerance is tested – the inspector constantly jibes at her, stereotyping her by her ethnicity.
When he asks for her age, he mentions that she was ‘old enough to have a flock of pickaninnies’. ‘Pickaninnies’ referred to children of black descent, and the usage of ‘flock’ shows that he was trying to prove black people as an inferior race, as he uses ‘flock’, which is usually used with cattle. Despite knowing that she was getting insulted as an inferior race, she kept quiet, and this can be seen as an attempt to keep one’s cool, to stay in control so that no further trouble would be caused.
He also jibes at the fact that she ‘ain’t Southern’, and even the fact that she’s supposed to be unable to read – all because of her race, and Marian puts up with it well, only showing a small sign of anger, as seen at “Her voice was not quite steady. ” To be able to put up with all the racial insults as much as possible shows her strong personality, to be able to accept reality also shows a strength of her personality, as accepting reality makes her attempt the driving test again. | A Sense of Belonging Write a response to the following statements.
The story follows a straightforward chronological order, has simple plot, style, characterisation and setting, uses no flashbacks or twists, and is making a very obvious point. A simple incident, simply told, can be very effective. Despite its faults, this story is successful. The story follows a chronological order, however, it starts off with a few flashbacks to introduce characters and personalities. For example, the introduction of Sharon and Pari’s friendship was introduced through a flashback, and the introduction of how Mr Morley made Pari ‘feel different’ was also made through a flashback.
The story is told simply, about Pari’s struggle as a Maori to feel the sense of belonging that she needed, and instead of going through a hysterical amount of events to feel at home, it was only a simple incident – A customer refused her service because she was Maori, and everyone stands up for her, and thus she feels as part of the team. Despite its fault, the story is definitely successful as the effect is achieved. | A Sound of Thunder Read the story again, looking specifically for ‘seeds’ or clues to later events and list them down in note form with brief comments.
The first ‘seed’ is planted when the author brings in the sign outside of Time Safari. This sign would later be revisited at the end of the story, with many spelling mistakes, showing the changes that had occurred. Another seed was planted when the current president was mentioned, as at the end, the ‘current’ president had changed as well. However, the main ‘seed’ that was planted was the idea that there would be a chain reaction – kill one being of the past and many changes would occur. It was explained that killing one mouse could possibly kill an entire nation or an entire race, due to the chain reaction.
Later on, Eckels steps off the pathway and kills a butterfly – inadvertently causing the future to change, and causing a different president to be elected with the chain reaction. | ————————————————- Comment on the relative importance of each of the basic five elements (theme, plot, character, setting and style) in the story. The theme of the story is the importance of all actions made by people – direct interventions that could cause major impacts in the future.
In the story, we see a direct intervention made to the past – Eckels killed a butterfly by accident, which triggered a chain effect and caused a different president to be elected. This is an important aspect as the story follows on this theme closely. The plot was simple, yet revolved around a complex concept of changing time and history. This is also rather important as it aided in the understanding of the paradox involved if time and history was altered by a person’s direct intervention. It allows an easier understanding of the butterfly effect and the domino effect. The characters in the story were each essential.
Firstly, the bumbling Eckels served as a crucial aspect of the story, as the main character of the story. He is somewhat of a daredevil, yet he is afraid of challenges. His reckless attitude with his fear caused the entire trip back in time to go haywire as he steps off the pathway in panic and triggers the chain reaction. He is also somewhat childish, naive even, when he asks if it was possible to bring the butterfly back and bring it back to life. Travis serves as a more level headed character, much knowledgeable and wise, yet cruelly rash, contrasting to Eckels’ childish behaviour.
Lesperance often tells Travis to calm down, which is rather essential as without Lesperance, Travis probably could have left Eckels back in time and changed a lot more than needed. The story was set in 2055, when time travel was apparently possible. This would open the readers to assume a lot more possibilities, as to why Eckels behaved in such a reckless and childish manner, and to the possibilities of overriding a paradox as explained by Lesperance. The story was written with many descriptions, and ideas were embedded in the reader’s minds near the beginning.
We are introduced to the concept of the domino effect early in the story, and the concept of a paradox, alongside the concept of the impossibility of it. Later this idea grows when – firstly, Eckels steps off the path and kills a butterfly, resulting in a dramatic change in the future, secondly, the inability to change things back to normal, as explained earlier in the story – Time does not allow one man to meet himself, and thus, even if the team travels back, they are unable to meet themselves, or stop the damage. This leads to the end, where Travis shoots Eckels rashly to pay for his ‘minor’ mistake. |