Saturday, July 14, 2012 26 comments

How I Met Myself - A character that shows determination

Sample question: PMR Paper 2 - Section B (novel section)


The following are the novels studied in the literature component in English Language.


The Railway Children - Edith Nesbit
Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne
How I Met Myself - David A. Hill


Based on one of the above novels, write about a character that shows determination. (or perseverance/persistence)

Give reasons why you think the incident is important.

Support your answer with evidence from the novel.

[12 marks]

How to begin your answer?
Refer to the question again. I encourage my students to write the answer using past tense.

Based on one of the above novels, write about a character that shows determination

Copy the highlighted words to begin your answer. This will be your first paragraph.


Paragraph 1:
          Based on "How I Met Myself" by David A. Hill, a character that showed determination was John Taylor.

Paragraph 2:
Give the FIRST reason as to why you say that John Taylor is a determined person.

FIRST reason: He was determined to find the man who ran into him at 7 Felka utca because the man looked like him.

SUPPORTING answer - evidence from the text (refer to the particular chapter and page to elaborate your answer:
  • followed the man to Zsolt’s café in Gergely utca (chapter 3, page 4)
  • looked for the man in the cafe (chapter 3, page 5)
  • asked the café owner if anyone came in before him (chapter 3, page 5)
  • checked the toilet (chapter 3, page 5)
  • went to Felka utca after work every day, hoping to meet the man again (chapter 4, page 8, 9)
  • checked all the names beside the doorbells for each flat at Felka utca (chapter 4, page 9)
  • asked the housekeeper who lived in Felka utca about a man who looked like him (chapter 6, page 15)

Paragraph 3:
Give the SECOND reason as to why you say that John Taylor is a determined person.

SECOND reason: He was determined to find out more about the man that he met at 7 Felka utca and why he had a recurring dream about the incident.

SUPPORTING answer - evidence from the text (refer to the particular chapter and page to elaborate your answer:
  • did lots of reading about life after death - learnt that the man who looked like him was his doppelganger (chapter 7, page 19)
  • kept a diary to write down what happened in his life each day - found out that 18 January was the date he met his doppelganger (chapter 9, page 26)
  • went to 7 Felka utca with Andrea on the second 18 January; John met the same man again but Andrea did not see anything; (chapter 10, page 31)
  • went to the Budapest City Library and read many old newspapers -learnt about a mother named Mrs Szabo and her child who died in an explosion in Gergely utca on 18 January 1945 (chapter 11, page 33, 34, 35)

Paragraph 4:
Give the THIRD reason as to why you say that John Taylor is a determined person.

THIRD reason: He was determined to find out more about the Szabo family who lived in 1945. He thought that the Szabo family might relate to his doppelganger.

SUPPORTING answer - evidence from the text (refer to the particular chapter and page to elaborate your answer:
  • went to see the housekeeper in Gergely utca to ask about  a Szabo family (chapter 12, page 37)
  • met with Mrs Kovacs who lived on the second floor of the flat in Gergely utca (chapter 12, page 37)
  • went to see the housekeeper in Felka utca to ask about  a Szabo family Szabo (chapter 12, page 37)
  • met with a man named Mr Szabo who lived on the third floor of the flat in Felka utca (chapter 12, page 37, 38)
  • met with Mrs Fischer who lived on the fourth floor of the flat in Felka utca - learnt about a man named Janos Szabo. Janos’s wife and daughter died in an explosion in a Gergely utca cellar shop (chapter 12, page 40, 41)
  • discovered that he shared the same name with his doppelganger, Janos Szabo. “Janos Szabo” was the Hungarian name for “John Taylor” (chapter 15, page 46)
  • visited Mrs Fischer for the second time. she told John that John looked exactly like Janos. She also told John that Janos’s wife and daughter were called Andrea and Kati. (chapter 15, page 46, 47)
  • went to the Public Records Office - discovered that John and Janos were born on 23 October (chapter 15, page 48)

Paragraph 5 - Conclusion:
In a nutshell, John’s determination had not only helped him uncover the mysteries of his doppelganger but had also saved Andrea and Kati from a terrible accident that might cost their lives. 

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Monday, July 2, 2012 26 comments

A Fighter's Lines - Understanding the meaning of the poem

About the poet
Marzuki Ali(Source: http://sundaypeople.nst.com.my/article/Features/20090328170723/Article/index_html)Marzuki Ali was born in 1945 in Terengganu, Malaysia. He was brought up in Kemaman and later Sabah. He has been writing poems since the 1960's. His poems mostly deal with issues regarding his hometown, environment and patriotism. A lot of his poems have been published in the Utusan Malaysia, Berita Minggu, Dewan Sastera and Dewan Budaya
Synopsis of the poemThe persona in the poem is an old soldier. He is tired as he is old and weak. He and his people suffered in the past in their fight for freedom of their country and they made many sacrifices. People lost their lives and some remain nameless or unknown.
The persona, who believes that he will be in the wheelchair for the rest his life says he can only watch the happenings around him. Physically, he is helpless and he has no energy left. He was either seriously injured when he was a soldier or is very ill. He finds that times have changed and being a crippled man, it is too challenging for him to fight the injustice he sees around him. He is troubled by many lies being told everywhere.
Being highly spirited, he calls on the younger generation to wake up and fight on. They have to realise that they have to form lines or ranks irrespective of racial, religious and social differences to fight courageously for justice. He wants the young people who inherited the country's freedom to be united and denounce lies which may threaten the country.
The persona feels helpless that he is not heard. He urges the younger generation to fight or speak up for what is right because it is now their turn to do so.
The SettingThe poem is set after indenpence. The persona feels that the independence he has struggled for is now threatened by subversive elements.
Tone and moodIn the first stanza, the tone indicates that the persona is sad and weary because he is old and weak. The persona is also melancholic, reflecting on his past sacrifices he made for the country's independence.
In the second stanza, the persona voices his helplessness, anger and contempt because his country is facing threats.
The tone used in the third stanza is serious and demanding. The persona urges the present generation to form a united front to uphold the freedom that he and many others has fought for.
The persona ends by insisting that the younger generation continues to fight against injustice because he can no longer do so. 
Themes1. PatriotismPatriotism is one of the themes of this poem. The people in this country have made a lot of sacrifices to fight for their freedom. They have achieved independence but now there are other threats such as deceit. This affects the country's safety. The persona calls on the younger generation to fight for justice and to speak up against deceit.
2. Being courageousAnother theme is being courageous. In the past, people made many sacrifices and fought bravely with the country's enemies for their freedom. Now, the persona urges the younger generation to be brave and fight against other threats in the country. He tells them to stand up and speak with courage.
3. UnityIn the past, people were united when they fought for independence. Now, the persona emphasises that the younger generation who has inherited a free country should unite to preserve their freedom. They should stand united by building a wall of people or forming ranks irrespective of racial, religious and other social differences. The "lines" in the poem, A Fighter's Lines refer to the persona's lines and the lines or ranks formed for unity. We have to be united and strong as in the saying, "United we stand, divided we fall".
Values1. We must be brave to uphold justice.The persona urges the younger generation to stand up against the widespread lies which are rampant in society today. This 'net of deceit' worries his as it can destroy the solidarity of the people. Therefore, he urges them to stand united and uphold justice to preserve the freedom and safety of the country.
2. We must be willing to make sacrifices to preserve our independence.In the fight for independence, the persona and other soldiers sacrificed and risked their lives when they fought for independence. Now, he is wheelchair-bound because he was either crippled in the war or is now old and sick. Now, he wants the younger generation to make sacrifices too to preserve their freedom.
3. We must be united to preserve our freedom.The persona wants the younger generation to stand united regardless of their differences to ensure their freedom.
* The above notes are courtesy of Curriculum Development Division, Ministry of Education Malaysia 2011** All these notes are updated on 26 July 2012.
A fighter’s lines
 
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