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The soft voice of the serpent

The Luncheon by William Somerset Maugham

Manhood by John Wain

Relatives by Chris van Wyk

The sisters by Pauline Smith

The secret life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber

The secret life of Walter Misty – James Thurber

The secret life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber

The Dube Train by Themba Can

The Dube Train by Can Themba

The coffee-cart girl by Es’kia Mphahlele

Important summary of the NOVEL:



Important to remember!

The Setting:
This is the background of where and when the story takes place.
It may be in one time and place or change through the story.
The setting is important to understand the theme and the characters.

This is what happens in the story (sequence of events)
Some novels have a lot of action in the story line BUT some are very “slow” and nothing seems to happen. All the action is then “inside” the characters’ hearts and minds.

This is the main message that the writer wishes to get across to the reader.
A novel may have more than one theme.
Themes are often linked.
Certain characters are linked to certain themes.
Common themes are: love, hate, family struggles, politics and social comments, childhood memories and justice.

May have a large number of characters – depending on the length of novel.
Always one or a few MAJOR (main) characters – most important to the development of the story.
Always a few minor (smaller) characters in a novel – linked to the main characters.
Characters usually develop/change through the story.
Round characters: -are characters that grow and develop during the course of the novel. What makes them change? 1) Interaction with other characters and 2) Things that happen in the plot.
Flat characters: - do not really develop or change throughout the novel. These characters are usually very predictable and they don’t really surprise the reader, because you know what they are going to do or how they are going to react.
How do we get to know the characters? 1) Their words 2) What they think and how they feel 3) What they do and 4) What other characters say about them or how they react to them.

Example: “Joan was a very brave woman”
The writer of the story has to decide how the story will be told and by whom narrator)
First person narrator (I/we): One of the characters tells the story and we have phrases like: “I drove far to find the deserted house.” (Writer can’t always be present in ALL actions in story)
Third person narrator: the writer tells the story and refers to each character as “she”, “he” or “they”. The writer is always present and knows what goes on in every character’s life = omniscient author.
Persona writing: where the story is told by a first person narrator who really exists, like a famous movie star or politician. The person also makes comments about him- or herself.

Structure: (how plot is organized)
Linear: Novel develops in “order” from beginning to the end.
Circular: Novel starts almost at the end of the story, then goes back to the beginning. The whole story is told until it reaches the end again (conclusion).
Flashbacks: Novel moves backwards and forwards in time throughout the book.
Looks into the future: Somewhere in the story, characters may have a look into the future by either what they see, dream or wish.

Most story lines are built around CONFLICT between two characters or even amongst many characters. The ending of the story usually is a conclusion of this conflict and a resolution (solving) of the problem(s).
A story may be open-ended= no proper ending and the reader must decide on its ending

Important summary of the DRAMA:

The DRAMA genre refers to all kinds of plays. You have to remember that plays are written to be acted and not only for reading in class. While reading a play, you should always imagine the play being performed on stage. When studying a drama, we have to look at factors like lighting, stage directions, costumes, setting and not only at the plot, characters and theme.

Hints: The following questions should be asked when studying a drama: ➢ Who is the playwright (writer) of the play? What is his background? ➢ What is the TITLE of the play? Does the TITLE mean something important in relation to the play? ➢ What is the SETTING of the play – where and when does it take place? ➢ What is the THEME of the play? (What is it about?) ➢ What is the STRUCTURE of the play? (Arrangement of Acts and Scenes) ➢ What is the PLOT of the play? (Main events) ➢ What kinds of CONFLICT happen in the play? ➢ Who are the CHARACTERS in the play? (Characteristics, roles they play, relationships between characters) ➢ Your PERSONAL RESPONSE to the play. (How do you feel?)

*Serpent – reference to Garden of Eden. With its soft voice it reminded the man of the reality of his situation. Serpent was there to remind him that life is complex and a struggle an that more difficulties lay ahead.

*Young man – has difficulty accepting loss of left leg.
Empathy with locust ends up irritable.
*Young woman – clumsy and defensive, gentle and supportive, cares lovingly for her husband, is compassionate.
*Locust – has lost front left leg, instils fear in humans, fails in effort to walk, but is able to fly away.

Background & Setting:
*in a young couple’s garden over a period of time
*The garden is surrounded by strongly scented fir trees, roses and colourful flowers.
*Setting is central to story because the man has a ‘curious’ faith in the garden.
*It is like the Garden of Eden, a kind of paradise.

*Allegory – deeper meaning, with surprise ending
*A nameless man struggles to come to terms with his disability. He forces himself to read rather than face up to what has happened to him. His wife is clumsy with his wheelchair and she is the one who injures the locust. It is also her fault that the locust flies away.

*Third person narrator (omniscient)
*Descriptive language emphasising movement contrasts sharply with young man’s inability to walk.
*Metaphors (‘slack, furled sail of himself”) create vivid images.

*Confronting challenges head-on
Human beings’ inner conflict and struggle – He struggles to come to terms with the loss of his leg. He hopes that he will eventually simply ‘feel as if he had always been like that’. By the end of the story, through his connection with the locust, he has been forced to confront what has happened to him.
*Confronting change
Shows how individuals struggle to confront /change the conditions in which they live.
*Accepting yourself

*Narrator (protagonist) – a poor young writer
*The woman – about 40, talkative, greedy, self-centred, manipulative, obese when they meet again.
*The waiter – encourages the woman to eat more

Background & Setting:
*A lunch ate one Thursday, 20 years earlier in Foyot’s, a very expensive restaurant in Paris.
*The period is the first half of the 20th century.
*Interval during a play

In the opening 3 paragraphs, the writer is speaking in the present tense. He then takes the reader back to an experience that he had 20 years before. In the final paragraph of the story he returns to the present and surprises us with what he discovers.
There is an ironic twist in the final sentence of the story. Now 20 years later, the man has his revenge: her gluttony has made her obese an she weighs 21 stone (133,4kg)

*First person narrator
*Flashback – the narrator remembers an awkward, potentially embarrassing luncheon 20 years previously.
*Sarcasm and irony are use to satirise (poke fun at) polite society.

*Vanity and pride
* Self-deception
* Truth and lies
This story questions truth and lies. The woman says things that are obviously untrue, yet she seems to believe that she’s telling the truth.
The writer has not got the courage to be honest to her and admit that he cannot afford to pay for the expensive meal. Twenty years later, it is clear that she never confronted the truth about herself – that she was greedy and over-ate!

*Rob Willison – 13 going on 14 years old, is not particularly strong, or good at sports, or ambitious, wants his father’s approval (wants to be pleased), is passive, pretends he is in the boxing team.
*Mr Willison – Rob’s father, is plump, of average height and flat-chested, lacks self-esteem, inferiority complex, obsessed with masculinity.
Grace Willison – Rob’s mother, disagrees with her husband regarding Rob’s upbringing, is protective of Rob, is concerned about his health and well-being.

Background & Setting:
*The story is set in a rural part of England an in the Willison home.
*The events take place over 12 to 18 months

*Third person narrator (omniscient)
*Dialogue reveals the characters, their thoughts, feelings, an reasons for acting the way they do.
*Colloquial language helps the reader identify with the characters. (“To hell with Baroness Summerskill!”, “All right”)

*The plot revolves around Mr Willison’s obsession with developing Rob’s physique an masculinity. He trains Rob for the boxing tournament. The story builds to a climax as the readers along with Mr Willison, believe Rob is training for the tournament.

*Father-son relationships
*Identity development
*The effect of low self-esteem
*Masculinity and society’s expectations of men
The main theme, as the title indicates, is masculinity. The story shows the length to which people can be driven to live up to what they think the standard of being a man should be. The consequences of Mr Willison’s obsession with “manliness” are serious. Rob resorts to dishonesty an the family becomes seriously divided.

Background & Setting:
*Actual story set on return train journey from Hutchison Station to Johannesburg.
*Story within the story set on journey from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

*Chris van Wyk – aspirant writer at 21
*Two unfriendly brothers – “delinquents’, threatening, vengeful, gangsters, turn out to be distant family of the narrator.
*Three friendly men on train – draw him out with stories

*Narrator’s notebook – he wrote some of the family sagas and made notes for this story.
*The train itself – this symbolises a journey in the narrator’s life in terms of an experience that made him think about life and provided material for his novel and for this story.
*The graves of the three brothers symbolise the tragedy of gangsterism and the waste of young lives.

Most of the story is structure around the narrator’s train journey from Cape Town to Johannesburg. There is a very short story within the main story.
The plot has two ‘twists’. The first occurs when the narrator’s three friendly travelling companions get off the train and he is left alone with the two delinquents.

*First person narrator – author/protagonist speaks of own experiences which adds authenticity.
*Style of writing is lively, personal and chatty.
*Writer uses long sentences and short sentences for particular effects.
*Language fits characters (Marina, a nurse, tells him to come and see her in the morning, as if speaking to a patient).
*Personal touch in use of Afrikaans words like “oupa”.

*Family bonds
Coincidences of life
*Fears, real and imaginary
*The importance of family ties – the writer devotes quite a bit of attention to family and roots.
*The tragedy of gangsterism – comes through strongly towards end of story. Ends story on note of sadness that is was a waste of young lives.

*Sukey de Jager - Marta’s younger sister; fearless, loyal, loving, loses faith in God, is very perceptive
*Marta Magdalena de Jager – 16 when mother dies; sold in marriage to Jan; submits to her fate, loves her sister; not judgemental, is willing to sacrifice self for family; dies
*Burgert de Jager – owns Zeekoegatt, envies Jan, greedy, weak, values material things, sells marta to save farm
*Jan Redlinghuis – owns Bitterwater, greedy, cruel, har-hearted, vengeful vindictive, ruthless, a bit mad

Background & Setting:
*Little Karoo, near Oudtshoorn, neighbouring farms, Bitterwater and Zeekoegatt in vicinity of Platkops.
*The water rights from the Ghamka River.
*Over 100 years ago.

*Furrow symbolises the terrible bargain de Jager made with Redlinghuis to keep his water rights and sell Marta to Redlinghuis.
*Jan Redlinghuis’s new tent-cart symbolises his greed and obsessive pride in his possessions.

*The conflict at the heart of the plot is Sukey’s unwillingness to have Marta married off to Jan Redlinghuis.
*She tries everything to stop this marriage going ahead.
*Her conflict is with her father and his obsessive greed to keep his lands and water rights.
*The story ends with Marta’s death but there is an ironic twist as well.
*Jan Redlinghuis’s remorse over his treatment of Marta comes as a surprise. His character has not prepared us for this and for his suicide.
*Burget de Jager also expresses remorse for “selling” Marta and for her consequent death.
*To show his remorse, he closes up the furrow that had been leading water from the river onto his lands.

*The style of narration is simple and old- fashioned.
*suggests events in story took place some time ago & community in which they took place consisted of simple farming people.
*Story seems to be translated from Afrikaans

*Greed and how it affects people’s lives – Burgert de Jager’s obsessive greed to keep his lands & to have water to irrigate them blinds him to the effect of his actions on his daughters. Jan Redlinghuis’s greed to possess Marta de Jager & to display her around the district in the end killed both her and him.
*Madness and obsession – this theme is linked to greed. Burgert de Jager’s obsession with keeping his lands and water rights is overwhelming.
*The narrator mentions more than once that Jan Relinghuis goes “at times a little man in his head”. He parades Marta around the district, boasting that her father had sold her in exchange for his lands.
*Powerlessness of women – The powerlessness of women an how they suffer as a result of the greed and power of men is shown in the way that Burgert de Jager uses his daughter, Marta, as a pawn in his battle to keep his lands. She has no power over her fate, and is married off to Jan Redlinghuis. Sukey tries to reason with her father but he is deaf to her pleas. Sukey tries to offer herself to Jan Redlinghuis. He laughs at her. When they are married, Marta has no power to stop Jan Redlinghuis from parading her around the district and boasting to everyone that her father had sold her to him, even though she is becoming more and more ill and weak.
*The power of love between sisters – is shown in the way that Sukey is prepared to sacrifice herself to Jan Redlinghuis in order to save her weaker sister from marriage to him. Marta tries to comfort and reassure Sukey that she,Marta, is ready to accept her fate. Marta on her deathbed again comforts Sukey by saying that it has all worked out for the best.

*Walter – old, inadequate & hen-pecked, forgetful, his life is mundane, lives in fantasy world.
*Walter’s wife – bossy, self-absorbed & nagging, overprotective & demanding, controlling and condescending, also forgetful, ignores Walter’s needs, humiliates him

Background & Setting:
*Story is set on a snowy day in an American town, Waterbury
*Much of the action takes place in a car, but we also follow the main character, Walter Mitty, as he makes his way around town.

*Language is colloquial and idiomatic.
*Onomatopoeia – “pocketa-pocketa-pocketa” and “rat-tat-tatting”
* Vocabulary
• Auprès de Ma Blonde: romantic song
• Hydroplane: a plane that can take off and land on water
• Liberty;
• Von Richtman’s circus;von Richtman was a German commander
• Webley-Vickers 50.80: gun
• Overshoes: rubber shoes that you wear over ordinary shoes to keep your feet dry
• Waterbury trial:
• Saulier: place in France
• Dugout: a trench for soldiers

*A mix of fantasy and reality
*The plot moves between Walter’s fantasy world and the real one.
*Walter has five fantasties:
Fantasy 1: Mitty imagines himself as the Commander of a Navy seaplane going through a storm. In real life he is driving a car, taking his wife to the hairdresser, and she is shouting at him for going too fast.
Fantasy 2: This is the fantasy of himself as a great surgeon.
Fantasy 3: The newspaper vendor announcing the Waterbury trial (p.271) sparks off Mitty s fantasy of himself as an accused murdere‟s fantasy of himself as an accused murderer Fantasy 4: Waiting for his wife in the hotel Mitty reads an article about Germany‟s air power (remember that this is during the Second World War). This sets off his fantasy of himself as the Captain of a bomber about to go on a mission to take out an ammunition dump.
Fantasy 5: Waiting for his wife outside the chemist („drugstore‟ is the American term) he has a cigarette (p.273). This makes him imagine himself as the condemned man having his final cigarette before he faces execution by firing squad.

*Appearance versus reality
*Hero versus victim In Walter’s real life he is anything but a hero. He is the victim of his wife’s ridicule and criticism. However, we are taken into Walter’s secret life – his fantasy world. Here he is admired. Clever and courageous. It seems that the only way Walter can manage his real life is to withdraw from it into his fantasies.
*Success and failure
*Fantasy and imagination

Background & Setting:
*Apartheid in the 1950s
*Third-class carriage on a train.
*Train is making its way from Dube Station to Johannesburg on a Monday morning.
*During apartheid, black people could not travel first or second class, only allowed to travel on third-class carriages.

*Narrator: observer, doesn’t get Involved
*Huge man
*Township girl
*The angry woman
*The tsotsi

*the knife symbolises the dangerous life le by the tsotsi
*third-class carriage reminder of apartheid era

*Similes and metaphors are effectively used to capture a sense of place and character in story.
*Even though the subject matter is serious, story is written with humour. Helps to keep writer detached from the action.

*At beginning of story, one would think the narrator is going to write a descriptive piece of a typical Monday morning train ride-cold, unpleasant and predictable.
*However, it is the plot, which describes a violent episode on the train, that is central to this story.

*Violence and abuse – key in story. The tsotsi threatens the girl & verbally abuses the woman who has insulted the men on the train for being “poltroons” or cowards. The tsotsi stabs the big man in his throat but the big man throws the tsotsi out of the train. Most of the passengers, in particular the women, are helpless in the face of this violence.
*Courage and respect – explore in story. As one woman says: “If there were real men here, they’d pull his pants off an give him such a leathering he’d never sit down for a week.” The narrator does not seem surprised by what happens. It just becomes another episode to talk about that day.

Background & Setting:
*In the business area of a big city, probably Johannesburg The first part of story takes Place during a strike in a downtown area of the city. Strike turns violent & there is a clash with police. Later, many of the workers lose their jobs. Ruben continues to visit Zodwa At her cart. When he earns money from a new job, he takes

*China (Ruben): mixture of love and violence, jealous
*Pinkie (Zodwa): vulnerable, innocent, generous
*Mr Nadoo: cheapjack, finds Pinkie attractive & enjoys her company, shares funny stories with her.

*Coffee-cart symbolises the beginning and the end of the relationship between Pinkie & China.
*China’s knife symbolises both his violent past and the violent side of his character.

*Story explores relationship between Pinkie & China.
*Narrated in the third person by an omniscient narrator.
*Scene is set for the development of the relationship during a violent strike. The relationship is explored and develop through dialogue and description. Relationship seems to flower when China gets a new job and buys Pinkie presents.
*Crisis ins tory is when Pinkie’s acceptance of Naidoo’s gift sparks China’s violent jealousy & he threatens her with a knife.
*Anticlimas/reversal- China decides to go and ask Pinkie’s forgiveness & develop their intimacy further. However, this never happens because all the coffee-cart traders have been removed from the city.
*The story ends with a suggestion that he has lost Pinkie.

*Writer uses dialogue frequently in order to tell story & explore relationship between Pinkie & China. Makes story like a play or film. It makes it more vivid and alive for the reader.
*Writer uses a lot of description in story and makes frequent use of figures of speech in his descriptions, especially main characters. Find examples of metaphors and similes.
*Writer uses strong, vivid language to describe city scenes.
*When writer describes the stirrings of attraction and love in both Pinkie 7 China he uses violent language to show both how strong the attraction is an how frightened both people are of these feelings.

*The effect of political events on people and their relationships Zodwa/Pinkie & Ruben/China feel a strong attraction to each other. However, each is afraid to show it. Things come to a head when China is overcome with violent jealousy of Naidoo’s attentions to Pinkie. Because China is a product of a violent apartheid society he reacts in a violent way and threatens Zodwa with a knife. Both Pinkie and China lead insecure lives. China has lost his job as a result of the strike and could lose his new job at any time. One day police clear coffee-cart traders from the city and Pinkie loses her livelihood.…...

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...was aimed at favoring the Republican candidate. The conflict heightened and the Florida Supreme Court took the matter as required by the legislative laws of the state. The court argued that the democrats had enough reasons to warrant a recount of votes. The reasons for the recount, as stated by the democrats were that the Republicans worked with the state governor to deny Democratic Party followers a chance to vote. According to the court, the agents at certain precincts did not allow some ethnic minorities to vote or required too many documents such as passports against the elections laws of the state of Florida. In addition, the case was argued that some of the officials left the polling stations early leaving out some voters. Upon hearing the complaints from all parties, the Florida Supreme court ordered afresh recount of votes all over the state of Florida by a 4-3 vote. Consequently, multiple court proceedings arose on the same issue of elections. He US supreme court took over the matter and decided on a 5-4 vote to halt the vote recount in the state of Florida. However, the Supreme Court decision was not popular since the justices were divided and were thus unable to reach a unanimous decision. Five judges concurred with halting the recount while four were dissenting. This meant that George Bush was confirmed as the winner of Presidency in the state of Florida. Criticisms were levied on this decision with many scholars doubting the authenticity and accuracy of the......

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...election. On December 8th of 2000, a local court in the state of Florida forced the city of Palm Beach to manually recount almost 10,000 ballots. This recount was imposed because the voters in Florida had problems with the state’s electronic voting machines. This problem was amplified because the ballots were not properly punched, a large number of ballots did not reveal who the voter intended to vote for. The reason for the manual recount was the result of malfunctioning ballot machines and the suspicion that some of the members of the ballot counting committee were not being honest in their attempts to tally the votes. After losing the state of Florida and ultimately the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore petitioned that the ballots be recounted in a formal case, filed before the Circuit Court of Florida. After this filing, he won, and a manual recount was enacted. But then, the Bush team filed for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court on the basis that the Florida court’s opinion was contrary to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court reasoned that state of Florida violated the 14th Amendment by enacting a recounting procedure. Procedural History: Originally Gore won his case and the ballots were manually recounted; however, George W. Bush explained that the manual recount undermined the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Issue: Did the recount violated the 14th Amendment? Did it violated the American presidential election system? Or did it violated the......

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...follow and learn from Him.  Jesus healed many people. As Jesus teaches the gospel, crowds follow Him. He appoints the twelve disciples. Jesus uses many parables to teach the gospel. Jesus predicts He will be killed, and then rise three days later. In chapter nine, Mark tells of the transfiguration of Jesus. Mark describes the Last Supper and Jesus predicting Peter’s denial of Him. Jesus prays at Gethsemane. Jesus is arrested and taken before the Sanhedrin. There Peter denies Jesus, just as predicted. Jesus is taken before Pilate. Jesus is made to carry His cross to the site of his crucifixion after He has been beaten. Jesus dies, is buried and then resurrected. Acts The Book of Acts is of narrative and gospel genre. The book begins with a recount of Jesus’ life right before and right after His crucifixion. Through prayer, Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as a disciple. The day of the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled the apostles. Peter addresses the crowd, and they devoted themselves to the teachings of the apostles. Peter heals a crippled beggar and then speaks to the onlookers regarding The God of Abraham. While speaking, Peter and John were arrested for their disturbance. The next day, Peter and John went before the Sanhedrin. They were warned not to keep teaching, but let them go. They go back to their own people who then pray and share their possessions, so no one is need. The apostles heal many people, but are persecuted by others. The apostles chose seven men to......

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Nursing Accountability Related to Informed Consent

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Sandra Day O'Conner

...with no question on how the voter intended to vote. The vote for 2000 Presidential Candidate was up for debate. The parties of the current President George Bush and Al Gore were at odds. The largest county in Florida had to recount and verify each and every vote cast in the election. There were numerous hours and thousands of dollars spent to come to an agreeable conclusion. To solve this election question, there were several suits brought before the Court system, one being Bush v. Gore due to the interpretation of the Florida election law. Something needed to be decided to stop the recounts. Ballots had to be electronically recounted and manually recounted. Mrs. O’Connor along with fellow justices found that the manual recounts of the votes taken were not covered under the Fourteenth Amendment Clause for Equal Protection. After all recounts and the Supreme Court decisions, George W. Bush was named the 43rd President of the United States. This would also be President Bush’s second term in office. I agree with the Courts decision that manual recounts were essentially not legal. However, I also believe the initial count is what should have been used in the final verdict. In my opinion there was not a need to waste money and time for the recounts. There were a number of votes given for each Presidential candidate and Florida should have stood by it. Sandra Day O’Connor also took a stance on women’s rights and abortion. Mrs. O’Connor’s position on abortion was......

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The Society Was Built on Lie How Does the Funder Uncover the Truth

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2000 Election

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