NOVEL - STEP BY WICKED STEP
(a) a difficult situation faced by one of the characters
(b) how the character managed to resolve the problems in that situation
Based on the Form 5 novel 'Step by Wicked Step' by Anne Fine, a character that faced a difficult situation is Claudia from the story 'Green Pyjamas'.
Claudia's difficult situation stemmed from the dissolution of her parents' marriage. Her father then moved out to live with his mother and later, he got a new girlfriend named Stella. Although Claudia knew very well that Stella did not play a part in her parents' divorce, she could not help feeling a sense of loyalty and faithfulness towards her mother. Hence, she rejected all of Stella's warm advances and ignored Stella. She also pretended to hate all the time she spent at her father's place although she knew that her actions would hurt Stella's feelings.
At a dinner party hosted by her father and Stella, Claudia rudely rejected Stella's invitation for her to join them. However, fueled by her curiosity, she sneaked down and eavesdropped on the guests. To her surprise, she noticed that her father's friends were all ignoring Stella - probably out of loyalty to Claudia's mother whom they had been friends with too. From an outsider's point of view, Claudia realized how unfair they had all been to Stella. All the guests left Stella out of their conversations, leaving her in an awkward state of silence. They did not even seem to appreciate the food that Stella laboured over.
At that very moment, Claudia decided to resolve the problem that had been plaguing her. She decided to make things right. She changed into the pair of green pyjamas Stella got her, and ran down surprising both Stella and her father's friends. Claudia then exclaimed how much she loved the pyjamas - a simple act but with profound impact - and instantly, her fathers' friends began to warm towards Stella. From that day onwards, Stella and Claudia maintained a warm relationship.
In a nutshell, Claudia faced a difficult situation in feeling torn between both her parents. In a divorce, it is often hard for a child to accept that his or her parents are not a single entity any longer. However, in the end, Claudia resolved the problem by doing what was right. She understood that it was very mean and unfair to treat someone badly for something that was not their fault. It is something that all of us should take note of in our lives. Our actions might seem minute but the consequences could mean the world to someone else.
NATURE by H.D. Carberry
1. Which word in the poem shows that the poet enjoys the sun?
2. Write down the line which describes what happens to the canefields after they are harvested.
And the reaped canefields lie bare and fallow in the sun.
3. What does the poet compare the buttercups with?
4. In your own words
(a) what do you consider beautiful in nature?
I find the setting sun to be very beautiful.
(b) why is it important to look after nature?
If we do not look after nature, we will lose our beautiful environment, for example, the
green trees and the flowing rivers.
5. What kind of weather does the poet's country have?
Hot and wet
6. Write down the phrases that reflect the noises heard in this country.
the rain beats like bullets
the swish of water in the gullies
the sound of bees
7. Where is the place that is described in this poem?
8. Write down two lines which describe the weather in this place?
When the gold sun shines on the lush green canefields
The days when the rain beats like bullets on the roofs
9. What do you think are the feelings of the poet for this place? Using your own words, give a reason
to support your answer.
He is proud of his country. I can feel his sense of pride in the beautiful descriptions that he
gives of his homeland.
10. "We have neither Summer nor Winter"
To whom does We in the poem refer?
The people of Jamaica / Jamaicans
ARE YOU STILL PLAYING YOUR FLUTE?
by Zurinah Hassan
1. Write down two things that trouble the poet.
Her younger brothers are unemployed (they have no work).
His friend was killed mercilessly.
2. What is the state of mind of the poet?
She feels disturbed / troubled.
3. How does the poet feel about the world? Do you agree with her? Give a reason to support your answer.
The poet feels that the world has many problems and is in a bad state. I think she is right
because we have many problems in the world today, for example, wars and rising crime rates.
4. Why has the village become quiet and deserted?
It is quite likely that many of the young people in the village have left to go to the towns and
cities, in search of jobs.
5. Name two things that the persona considers a luxury.
(a) Spending time watching the falling rain
(b) Enjoying the sweet smell of flowers
6. Without using examples from the poem, suggest two things you would consider as luxuries in your life.
(a) Going for a movie
(b) Spending time window shopping
7. What two reasons does the persona give for not wanting the flute to be played?
(a) She has no time to think about love.
(b) She feels guilty for wanting to hear her beloved play his flute.
8. What does the persona feel about the music produced by her beloved? How do you know?
She thinks that the music is pleasing to the ears because she calls him "an artist", that is, he
excels in what he does.
HE HAD SUCH QUIET EYES
1. What do women find attractive in this man?
His quiet eyes
2. What advice should the girl in the poem have followed?
Never compromise with men who are only looking for pleasure.
3. What advice does the poet give to young girls?
Be sure that the man you fall in love with is really nice, that is, he is really sincere.
4. (a) What kind of partner would you like to meet?
Someone who is responsible.
(b) Why is that quality important?
So that my partner will take care of my family and me.
5. What does the poet wish the girl had done?
He wishes that the girl had listened to advice not to compromise with men who were only
looking for pleasure.
6. In your opinion, what should young girls do to look after themselves?
They should make friends with only boys/men who are sincere. They should get to know a person
better before they jump into a relationship.
7. How has the man in the poem charmed the lady into believing him?
His eyes seemed so sincere.
8. What do you think the word paradise in the first stanza refer to?
A state of bliss/happiness
9. Which expression tells you that the lady is probably filled with regrets over the relationship?
10. Which expression tells you that falling in love is a gamble?
Losing at dice
11. Do you think that the lady sincerely loves the man? Give a reason for your answer.
No, because she is merely feeling sorry for him.
Yes, because she gave herself physically to the man.
IN THE MIDST OF HARDSHIP
by Latiff Mohidin
1. What does the poet mean by the line "brave the horrendous flood"?
The people had to struggle in the horrifying floods.
2. Which word describes the feelings of the people in the poem?
3. What kind of lives did these people have?
They have had hard lives.
4. How did the people in the poem deal with problems?
(alternative question: Describe the attitude of the couple towards hardship)
They accepted problems (hardship) as part and parcel of life, so they did not complain when they
encountered problems (hardship).
5. How has the couple spent the last twenty-four hours?
Looking for their son's albino buffalo
6. "At dawn they returned home"
To whom does the word they refer?
A couple in a village. / A husband and wife in a village
7. Describe the mood at the beginning of the first stanza
Bleak / despair
8. Do you think the people looking for the buffalo are foolishly wasting their time? Give a reason for your
Yes, because it is impossible to find the albino in the horrendous flood.
No, they want to try their best to look for the buffalo because they love their son.