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Intermediate 2 English Literature: Prose ‘A Warm Golden Brown’

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1 Intermediate 2 English Literature: Prose ‘A Warm Golden Brown’
By Alexander Reid Intermediate 2 English Literature: Prose

2 You will study several pieces of literature this year.
You will be required to write about two of these texts in the Exam. The text you are about to read is an example of a short story. You will write about it using a‘Prose’ question in the exam paper. You will be required to understand all aspects of the short story in order to answer a wide range of possible questions in your exam so you should take detailed notes throughout this unit’s work.

3 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Task 1: Thinking About Genre Paired Discussion
Write down two ways in which a short story is different from a novel. (For example, ‘Of Mice and Men.’) Task 2: Thinking About Racism What is a racist incident? Why are people racist? What is racist bullying? Is racist bullying a problem in schools? What can we do to prevent racism?

4 Task 3: Revising Prose Techniques
Match the technical terms from the left-hand column on the next page with the correct definition from the right-hand column. You should record your answers in your notes for later reference.

5 Techniques Definitions Plot
Who tells the story; whether the story is told in the first or third person Characters Where an object or detail in the story takes on a deeper significance related to the themes of the text Setting The issues dealt with in the story; the message being communicated by the author Style Where the story occurs in terms of place, time and culture Symbolism What happens in the story and why; the story-line, which is usually driven by a problem or conflict Themes The people appearing in the text Narrator The writer’s use of language

6 Task 4: Thinking About How Stories Work
The key questions ‘Who?’ ‘What?’ ‘When & Where?’ ‘How?’ and ‘Why’ are very useful when studying a short story. Your teacher will discuss the headings below with you. Then, copy the headings into your notes. Who? What? When & Where? How? Why? characters plot Setting Style narrator genre* theme purpose*

7 Reading the Story... Remember to think about your headings as you read. You will have a few minutes to complete these once your teacher has read through ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ with you.

8 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Task 5: Plot
Using bullet points, summarise key events in the story in about 4-7 sentences. Task 6: Understanding and Evaluation Complete the following questions in your notes. © FCB ‘06

9 Understanding and Evaluation Questions
The first part of the story deals with the friendship between Ben and ‘the brown girl’, Daisy. What brings them together, and what keeps them apart? What do we find out about Ben’s character after Daisy gets upset? At what point does Ben’s mother appear in the story?

10 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ What do you think of Mrs Preedy’s remarks to her son? And what kind of person does she turn out to be – in your view? Quote words and phrases to support your opinion. In the last key incident, in the bedroom, mother and son have a brief argument about Daisy. Discuss the two different sides taken up in this argument. The final paragraph gives us a ‘close-up’ of Mrs Preedy, alone. Explain what she is doing, saying what her actions tell us about her. Comment, in particular, on the last seven words.

11 Analysis Questions Explain the title. In what way is it suitable to the story? What is the predominant element in the story- plot, theme, character or setting? What sort of conflict confronts the leading character? Explain if this conflict is external or internal. Who tells the story? What point of view is used? E.g. first person / third person How much time does the story cover? How does the story get started? What is the initial incident? Briefly describe the rising action of the story.

12 8. What is the high point, or climax, of the story?
9. Discuss the falling action, or close, of the story. 10. Is this story unrealistic or true to life? Explain your answer. What is the general theme of the story? What is the underlying theme? Did you identify with any of the characters? Find an example of figurative language used in the short story and explain why it is effective. What is the moral of the story? Why was the writer writing it?

13 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ REVISION NOTE: IRONY Irony is to do with opposites. Someone is being ironic if they are saying the opposite of what they actually think or mean, often for the purpose of being critical. An event or situation is ironic if it is the opposite of what you would expect. Mrs Preedy’s actions at the ending of the story are ironic and reveal that she is a shallow hypocrite. Explain why.

14 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Task 7: Character Make up a spider diagram or mind map about each main character, saying what they are like – that is, their personalities. Try to use quotations also to provide evidence.

15 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Task 8: Textual Analysis Complete the following questions in your notes.

16 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ From the first paragraph, write down two expressions that show Daisy is eager to speak to Ben. Write down three further quotations, from this page, which show that Ben is reluctant to speak with Daisy or is reluctant to be seen speaking with Daisy Read from ‘The brown girl did not answer…’ to ‘…over her kneecaps.’ What do you notice about the length of this sentence? Why might the writer have structured it in this way?

17 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Ben is said to speak ‘uneasily.’ What does this word choice tell us about him? ‘The brown girl pouted.’ Comment on the length and impact of this sentence. ‘I could help…’; ‘I could carry’; ‘I’ll get…’ What do these expressions tell us about Daisy’s personality?

18 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ ‘That’s an idea!’ How does the writer’s punctuation in this sentence show Ben’s enthusiasm? ‘But Ben’s face had clouded.’ What is unusual about how this sentence starts? Why is this effective? Which type of comparison is used in this sentence? ‘He sprang to his feet and timidly touched her thin brown arm.’ Pick two words from this quotation and comment on what they reveal about Ben’s changed attitude towards Daisy.

19 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Pick out five words from the physical description of Mrs Preedy on page 13, which highlight her lack of colour. ‘Come into this house at one.’ This sentence is an example of: a statement a command a question, or an exclamation. Find another example of Mrs Preedy using the above type of sentence. Write down two metaphors Mrs Preedy uses to refer to Daisy.

20 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ TECHNIQUES TO REVISE
Word choice – the deliberate selection of a word to put across a certain meaning, idea, feeling, image, etc. Sentence structure – lengths of sentence; patterns within sentences; types of sentence; punctuation within sentences. Figures of speech – especially simile; metaphor; personification; alliteration; onomatopoeia.

21 Racism ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ THEMES:
The issues dealt with in the story; the message being communicated by the author

22 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ The main theme in ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ is racism. We are going to analyse the representation of racism in the short story through an examination of Reid’s characterisation. Task 9 Allocate a page in your jotter to each of Ben, Daisy and Mrs Preedy Cut out the key quotes and stick them on the appropriate page at the left hand side leaving space on the right so we can later write in our analysis.

You are required to write a Critical Essay, of at least 400 words, on Alexander Reid’s short story, ‘A Warm Golden Brown.’ You should refer to such elements as theme, setting, key incident(s), plot, characterisation, structure, narrative technique, language and symbolism in your answer. This task will test: Your understanding of the text and its themes; Your analysis of the author’s techniques; Your evaluation of the text (personal respose); Your ability to express yourself accurately and relevantly (spelling, punctuation, grammar, handwriting).

24 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Critical Essay Question:
Choose a novel or short story which has as one of its central concerns a personal, social or religious issue. Show how the writer’s portrayal of the issues affects you and explain what you have learned.

25 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Section 1 - INTRODUCTION
This paragraph should be short and general in its approach. You should include: Title, author, genre Words from the task Positive phrases Techniques to which you’ll refer. Tip: to make your introduction interesting try to begin with an interesting statement.

26 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Section 1 - EXAMPLE Racism is, unfortunately, a important social issue that many people are still affected by today. I have recently read the excellent short story ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ by Alexander Reid. Through the way the writer used characters, key incidents, language and symbolism, I was made to think about the theme of racism.

27 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Section 2 - SUMMARY
This paragraph should include a short summary of the text. Briefly: Mention that the story is told in the third person Summarise the plot List the themes or issues raised by the text

28 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Section 2 - EXAMPLE The story has a third person narrator and focuses mainly on Ben and Daisy, two young children who are kept apart by Ben’s racist mother. The story raises issues such as prejudice and the power that parents can have over their children.

29 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Section 3-5 – MAIN SECTIONS
Devote a section each to Ben, Daisy and Mrs Preedy. Make sure you say how racism affects, or is shown through, each character. You will be given opening sentences from your teacher. Use the PEE chain (or point-quote-comment) to help you write each paragraph.

30 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Section EXAMPLE The effects of racism are firstly shown through Ben, who lives in fear of his mother catching him playing with any of his coloured neighbours. He would like to play with Daisy, but we can tell something is holding him back: ‘answered Ben in a muffled voice and without looking up.’ This shows that Ben is not willing to speak clearly. We do not know at this point what the obstacle is, but he seems uncomfortable. In fact, he is on edge: ‘He flung another glance at the windows… “I’ll catch it for letting you in.” ’ The word ‘glance’ shows that Ben takes a quick look. He is afraid that his mum will find him with Daisy. The dialogue “I’ll catch it” shows that there will be consequences for Ben if caught. In my opinion, his mother’s racism is affecting his childhood in a negative way.

31 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Section 6 - CONCLUSION
This paragraph is your conclusion. It should include the same elements as paragraph 1, expressed differently. It should also be final, pulling together the main threads of your essay by explaining what this short story tells us about racism. And be sure to end on a very personal note, stating clearly a positive response to the text, and stating what you have gained from studying this story closely.

32 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Section 6 - EXAMPLE Overall, I believe that ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ makes the reader think about many different aspects of racism. The excellent characters and the way the story is written show me that racism is shallow and unnecessary. Sadly though, many people still face prejudice every day.

33 ‘A Warm Golden Brown’ Before you hand in your work for grading, ask yourself the following questions: Have I gone into enough detail? Can the marker understand the story from what I have written about it? Have I used a clear topic (introductory) sentence in each paragraph? Is each paragraph relevant to the task I was set? Have I supported my points with evidence from the story? Have I set out quotes properly? Have I included personal responses to the story throughout? Does my essay have a clear introduction and conclusion? Have I used sentences and paragraphs appropriately? Have I checked my spelling carefully? Have I used punctuation properly at all times? Is this my best work? Now use the self-edit check-list to ensure your work is your best.

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