Friday, 23 September 2011

Notes On Short Stories

Short Story---- pg99, 100, 70 Eng B
Short Story
Short ; short work of fiction
 Narrative which appeals to feelings
Selects small aspects of life  or personality and develops it
Usually flat characters
Few characters, few traits for good focus
Limited time, plot, character/s and setting unlike the novel
Attempts to achieve a connection to readers swiftly
Economy of words like poetry but with maximum power
Has unity , economy and singleness of effect

Short story:--
Realistic                                                                               Impressionist

Realistic--- narrative of action or event
Usually has unexpected twist of events
Conflict and characterization are very important to development
Conflict is normally physically
Characterizations leads to the revelation of  theme
Structure usually follows the structure---
Deals with feeling, mood or thought
Psychological, concerned with revealing qualities of people and places
Point of view critical to understanding of the story
Events often loosely plotted more focus on characters  growth in self –realization
Insight into characters, mood or human behavior
Analysis of Short Story
Use the 5 W’s
What happens ?   (This asks about Plot? Structure)
To Whom does it happen?  (This asks about Characterization)
Why does it happen?---(This asks about theme/concerns)….
Plot—is it loosely or tightly plotted?
 The initial situation; complication; climax?
Qualities of character/ character changes
Setting and its influence on theme, action; character
Point of view
What does the title contribute to understanding?
Which element is dominant?
About the overall impact of the story?
POINT OF VIEW_/NARRATIVE FORM/VOICE  pg. 29    Beka__Who tells the story
Why is point of view important?
Three narrative voices, either  1st  person singular; or third person limited; or omniscent
Involved teller—protagonist
Outside looking in--- limited  1st person
Third –distance
Omniscient or limited
Know terms—narrator, protagonist, antagonist
Introduction format:_-See  BEKA LAMB pg 56; 30
Make a comment about the story/play
Theme of overall work
Writer’s intent, setting , character, conflict
Incorporate comment on the actual question pieces
Eg.the issues, characters and story telling features of OLD STORY TIME (OST) make it appealing to the readers…it inculcates the imageries…
Write your response in essay format.
2  Watching Ms. Aggy’s story unfold involves being torn between admiration and condemnation.
A)     Why do we admire Ms Aggy?
B)      Why do we condemn her?
C)      What is your final opinion of Ms Aggy? Justify your answer.
D)     How is Rhone able to influence this feeling?
Themes In English B:----
Love/family relationships
Women in society
Attitudes to power and authority ( how do those who exercise authority do it?)
Dreams and aspirations
Heroism (courageous deeds), freedom (rights and liberties) and the individual and the environment
Themes in Poetry:-
All of the above in addition to
The supernatural                             poverty                                colonialism
Nature                  injustice              discrimination      parental expectation
Human cruelty                  loss of innocence                            childhood experiences
Deception                           faith in God                        death                    warfare                greed

Questions on Prose:-
(Can be used for any story)
1         Briefly outline the plot of the short story given.
2         Classify the type of conflict shown.
3         What was the conflict/
4         How was the character viewed by the other characters in the story?
(refer to       i) the children   ii) the adults in the story)
5         Is  there a difference between “Berry “ and Berry? Explain.
6         What were the main themes in this story?
7         How did the writer develop these theme
8         Account for the difference in the children and the adult’s attitude to Berry?
9         From whose point of view is the story told?
10     Write a character sketch of Berry?
11     How was the main character/protagonist presented
12     Explain the difference between the protagonist and the antagonist
13     What is meant by anticlimax, complications?

A "shabine" is a light-skinned, black person. Basically someone of Negro roots who has light/white skin. However not to be mistaken with an albino.

A connotation is a commonly understood subjective cultural and/or emotional association that some word or phrase carries, in addition to the word or phrase's explicit or literal meaning, which is its denotation.

Both connotation and denotation are important for your understanding of literature. One book defines connotation this way:
The cluster of implications that words or phrases may carry with them, as distinguished from their denotative meanings. Connotations may be (1) private and personal, the result of individual experiences (2) group (national, linguistic, racial) or (3) general or universal, held by all or most men [sic]. The scientist and philosopher attempt to hold words to their denotative meaning; the literary artist relies on connotations to carry his [sic] deepest meanings.
So does the advertiser or the propagandist. In fact, we all use connotations all the time.
However, the scientist and the philosopher try to control the use of connotations as much as possible because connotations can vary and be difficult to make explicit or to agree upon. Denotations, on the other hand, can be made exact. When we think denotatively, words can seem to be made to mean no more and no less than what we define them to mean. People turn to dictionaries to discover the agreed upon denotative meaning or they construct their own quite bounded meanings that they agree on. When reason is the strategy, neutral or clearly defined terms are preferred.
But when writers use words that have associations and emotional overtones that are harder to pin down or agree upon, they use them primarily to convey and create auras of contexts and emotional force.
The connotation of a word can be thought of as its aura or aroma, a kind of smell the word has. If you can tell the associational company the word keeps, then, that smell is meant to rub off on the words around it or the subject the word is aimed at. A word might connote guy talk, for example, if it is the word guys sometimes use. It then might connote a male or masculine world.
The denotative meaning of the word, dog, is a four legged, carnivorous, domesticated mammal known to biologists as canis familiaris. However, the connotative meaning would depend on the context of usage and the experiences of the interpreter. No one would call another person’s mother a "dog," unless they wanted a fight, because the connotation is one of insult. Names for animals frequently have connotative associations, and not all negative. Think about teams, for example, that are named for animals—strictly because of the connotations of the animal’s name: Bears, Rams, Jaguars. Think of some impossible team names, again because of the connotations: caterpillars, spiders, gnats, anthrax. Just think: "Bear down Chicago Gnats!"
If you search for connotations and denotations on, you will find hundreds of pages from the simple to the complex that will define Connotation and Denotation for you. Some involve exercises. If you work with these pages, you will gradually develop strategies for investigating the tone of a literary text through an examination of the connotations of its language. That is our goal--to work with literature. However, literature is not the only discourse that makes extensive use of the connotative capacity of language. Persuasion, propaganda, advertising are obvious users of connotations.

  • Bedford/St. Martin's tutorial on poetry defines connotation and denotation and provides some exercises for help as well. Go there and work with the connotations in Elizabeth Bishop's The Fish.
  • Check out these definitions from Bob's Byway: Connotation and Denotation (While you are on these two pages, check out his definitions of ambiguity and pun.)
  • And here is the UVic site: connotation and denotation <>
  • The Literacy Education Online page <> from St Cloud State suggests three categories for connoative words: favorable, neutral, unfavorable. Look at their table for examples.
  • Finally, here is the most extensive explanation of all: Daniel Chamber's Semiotics for Beginners page on these two. We will return to his site for explanations of figures of speech as well.
All the above definitions are pretty consistent with one another. On the surface they seem easy. The test comes in working with language to detect and describe connotation. If we assume denotative meanings are more arbitrated by dictionaries, it would seem we can simply look those up. But what if one is asked to analyze the connotations? How can one get a handle on that?
My solution is this. First we must think in terms of what difference is made when a poet or any writer choses one word out of a pool of synonyms that could be used? What shades of difference happen? But I am aiming for you to get a sense of it with these exercises:
Exercise 1 : Playing with triplets
Go to a little self-test quiz on connotative terms to see if you can pick the term that seems (to me at least) to leave the most favorable impression on a listener regarding the subject of the sentence.
Sentence: My mother thinks of herself as a ___.
a. home-maker
b. house-wife
c. stay-at-home wife
If the above were your choices for this sentence, you would choose the first term, home-maker, since the overtones of "home" are much more appealing for your mother than "house," and "making" a home sounds much more active and responsible. Notice, I did not make it easy by including really negative synonyms for her such as "ball and chain" or "old lady" or ridiculously positive ones like "domestic engineer."


Themes of Old Story Time

One of the themes that is conveyed in Old Story Time is race and class consciousness. This is evident in Ms. Aggy's desire for Len to marry Magaret, a woman she considers of superior standing because of her lighter skin and straight hair. Ms. Aggy believes that by Len marrying Magaret, he will automatically become elevated in society.
In contrast, Ms. Aggy believes if Len should marry Lois, a local woman of very dark skin, that he will be regressing in social status. Thus, she tries very hard to discourage this relationship and when she realises that Len is indeed married to Lois, tries her utmost to criticize and denigrate her daughter-in-law. She even resorts to obeah to try to destroy the relationship.

Another theme that evolves is that of the importance of Education to gain upward mobility both economically and socially. Ms. Aggy works hard in the market and sacrifices modern amenities so that she can afford to educate Len in England. She believes he is doing medicine, the international profession that connotates success and and social importance. When she learns that his doctorate is in Finance, she is disappointed but realises that there is much importance to his job and her pride heightens.

The theme of love and family relationship also plays a part in this play. Ms.Aggy's love for her son is demonstrated in her ambition for him, however sometimes misguided. She wants him to have a home and allows George to encourage her to invest in his "real estate" scheme. She just wants the best for her son or what she perceives to be the best and unfortunately becomes a target for George's scheme. However, her misguided notion of what she believes is best for Len blinds her to accepting his wife as the person he loves. Steeped in the mental slavery of her past and the notion that white is superior and black is derogatory, she sees Lois as a setback to her son. Only when Ms.Aggy learns of Lois's role in protecting and caring for Len when he was young and a victim of George and Magaret's taunts, does she realise her mistake and begins to make amends.
Friendship also is explored in the relationship between Pa Ben ad Ms. Aggy. Even though it was tried and shaken up when Ms. Aggy learns that Pa Ben knew of Lois and Len's marriage before her, it was able to stand the test and after some time of discord, the two resolved their conflict.

Miss Aggy is a Mother to Lenn but her attitude is one of ignorance because even though she is a black woman she tries to grow her son up on the belief that "Anything Black Nuh Good" And when she trys to make him grow up with an education like she never had.
Rhone's most popular play, Old Story Time (1979), in which ‘Pa Ben’, the old story-teller, recounts forty years of Jamaican life, reveals the playwright's comic vision at its most luminous. Rhone's realistic comedies about Jamaican life all combine serious social criticism with buoyant humour, and are acutely sensitive to a wide variety of dialects and modes of speech. If: A Tragedy of the Ruled (1983) and Hopes of the Living Dead (1988) are both historical allegories set in turn-of-the-century Nigeria. He also co-authored and produced the internationally successful film The Harder They Come (1972).

Read more:
Trevor Rhone Biography - (1940– ), The Gadget, Old Story Time and Other Plays, Smile Orange, School's Out
Trevor Rhone   bornMarch 24, 1940 in Kingston, Jamaica

diedSeptember 15, 2009



about this author

Trevor Rhone was a Jamaican writer and playwright.

He began his theatre career as a teacher after a three year stint at Rose Bruford College, an English drama school. He was part of the renaissance of Jamaican theater in the early 1970's. Rhone participated in a group called Theatre '77, which established The Barn, a small theater in Kingston, Jamaica to stage local performances. The vision of the group that came together in 1965 was that in 12 years, by 1977, there would be professional theatre in Jamaica.

Among his works is the script to The Harder They Come, a 1972 crime film, which was instrumental in popularizing reggae in the US. He also wrote the script for the 2003 romance One Love.

Trevor Rhone's Old Story Time Today's Jamaica seems overly preoccupied with the issues of class and colour. In Old Story Time Trevor Rhone mirrors a Jamaica struggling with the same subject in the Mid Twentieth century. Discuss these concerns of the play in detail making comparisons/contrasts to the current Jamaican and Caribbean societies.

In Old Story Time Trevor Rhone mirrors a Jamaica struggling with similar subjects in the mid century. Concerns that are brought out in Old Story Time are still evident in the Jamaican society today. The issues of class and colour that are presented within the play are still issues in Jamaica today. In the effort to rise to a European standard of beauty, blacks are still slaves to this mentality. This European standard of beauty (aquiline nose, l...
[to view the full essay now, purchase below]
This book tells of a traditional story in a rural community. The tradition of the story telling idea originated from Africa.
This book tells about a mother who was enslaved by her past. She grew up in a society, which she was taught, "any thing that was black wasn't good" and also that black signifies failure and hard ship, while white signifies prosperity and advancement. This belief was passed down as a result of slavery and has followed her through out her life.
The story tells of a single mother by the name of Miss Aggy also called mama, who lived alone with her son Len and beside her lived her best friend Pa Ben. Mama would normally beat her son Len for associating with the black persons in the community; especially girls of his age group. She would tell her son what is it that she wanted for him and what is best for him; also that if he does as she said, and then he wouldn't have a problem.
As the years go by Len had left home to study overseas and his mother was getting really worried about him but after writing her she felt much better. In one of the letters that she received from him he told her that he was married and sent a picture of his wife who was a black woman; and this got mama very agitated. She also thought that Len's wife Lois was turning her son against her. Pa Ben who was secretly keeping in contact with Len told mama that it was nothing of that sort, but mama thought that she had to do something about it.
One day Len came to the house; and they were very surprised and happy to see him, mama hugged, kissed and welcomed her son home. While talking him she would of course passed her remarks about his wife, which he did not like to hear. While he was away mama paid down on a house for him at the bank and George also known, as Mr. Mac was her financial advisor and also one of Len's old enemies.
When Len came back to Jamaica with his wife to stay, mama gave him the papers about the house since he was an economist and had a knowledge of banking. While they were living there, mama would pass their remarks about Lois, whenever she went to visit them.
George, who wanted to talk about the house with Len, went to his house and because of the rumors that Len heard about George he did his own check on him; and found out that George was a very sly and cunning fellow. He was known to be a trickster. He would go around and trick persons and he would use the money that those people would invest in the bank. Due to Len's experience in the banking system George tried to convince him to invest in his bank and Len choose not to.
Mama hated that Lois; so she told George that Lois was the one who told Len not to invest. George was upset and because he head some secrets for Lois he thought he could black mail her and Len. Lois who was a teller at his bank had borrowed some money to help George in acquiring his education, and so George wanted her to sleep with him and also to convince Len to help his business, she refused to and left the room and ran right into Lens arms who had over heard every thing. Len was very upset but that was the least of his problem for his was concentrating on protecting his wife from the obeah that his mother placed on her. Len too went to an obeah woman to protect her but that woman was a fraud and this caused him to panic. He sent Pa Ben for his mother while he talked to George telling him that he cant possibly tell the police about Lois, for then he Len would tell the court about George's actions and he can be charged for conspiracy to defraud. George started to beg Len not to do so and Len told him that he would have to tell mama what he did to him when he was younger and also how he tricked her.
After George told mama that him and his friends ganged Len, when he wrote a love letter to Margaret; and how he lied to her about her money for the house, mama wanted to kill him but he ran away. After Len told mama that he had to go to Lois's house to stay until his wounds healed, she apologized to her and asked her for her forgiveness. Then because the obeah boomeranged they had to pray for mama all night until the spirits came out of her. She hugged them both and called them her children, and they became a family.
By : A.D

Sample of stuents resume

This needs editing. What will you fix?Name: Sherwyn leedonis
                             Address: Paradise Heights, Morvant
                                                   Date of Birth: 21st October 1993
                             Telephone: (868) 6236147/ 7270321

Career Objectives:
To work for a organization and fully develop my goals.

      July 19th 2007 – May 26th 2008
      First Citizens Bank Limited
        Park Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad
·        Payroll Clerk 

Education: Belmont Secondary School – September 2008– To present
                       Belmont Junior Secondary school- September 2005- 2008
                    University of the West Indies – 2007 to present

C.X.C ‘O’ Levels    ( Awaiting CSEC Results)
·        English language
·        English Literature
·        Integrated Science
·        History
·        Spanish
·        Mathematics

Achievements: Certificate in Computer Literacy (2008 – 2009)
                            Certificate in Food and Nutrition (2006 – 2007)
                             Most outstanding student (2008)

 Interest/ Activities
·        Track and Field
·        Football
·        Meeting new people
·        Swimming
·        Computer
·        Cricket

Volunteer Experiences
·         Member of the Saint John’s Church Choir, Cascade
·         Contribute clothes to the Salvation Army

References: Available upon request


Poems ----"Voices in the River"and "The Mission"

"Voices in the River"  

Birdsongs awake, I
Thrill to chirped crescendo of
Winged blessings sky high

But voices intrude
The long line of river.

Bring d curry n d 3 ringburner by Ayoung

From Cunapo to Aripo,
It flows beyond
The bend end of time

Fus time you comin?
You jokin, right
Fire one for dat
Take d ting
For all the time you missing

From the rivers of Babylon
Zion’s praisesongs echo
Rhythms to wash,
Wash clothes, wash burdens
Love secrets, all
All de unlovely scents of fear,
Colours of oppression
From the cold blue gaze,
From the terrors of old,
From the oppressive heat,
A watery chariot of peace.

Place of the ancestors,
Of beauty, of struggle, of love
Friendship amidst
Cow dung goat itch

Way all you reach now

Yard fowl and duck does be real hard
It go take some good
Good woodfire

Eshu sits on the bedrock
Right left of Mary Jesus mother God
Ram, Jah Shiva-Ram
Allah, Jehovah, witnesses
Of styrofoam garlands
And rum-incense ethers of drunken libations
Mix with duck-bone fish
Bone cork offerings

Is de sweetest lime in de World.
This part of the river curve
Like stomach full, real nice.
A God moment of creation,
Bamboo green palms over head
Shading de river side and de fire
Real nice, de water springs better
Than Blue Mountain and Zephyrhills.
Here on de flat just right for de cookup
Watch there
It burrows deeper down
As it turn
Is there we does bathe
ole-talk, listen music
And when Santos bring he steelpan
And kwame he cuatro
Dancing and singing for so
Fire in de place

But way Ayoung, he still missing?

Don’t forget fishing
Day or night
Wabine, Cascarub

Taeta swim further up
Parlor hops ready
Or just enjoy
The breeze and de quiet

Look bring allyou …here now and doh spoil de… lime

Since washin machine mash
Up that river wash gossip
Them fraaaid fresh water now
Dem like salt,
Half de time is jus we men

The Spirit dwellers stop
To watch the antics of this comic lot
Ahji and Beta present
Pillars of salt
Absent in absurd words
Clouded unseeing eyes
Pass Rannie overseeing
Sonny Boy, Sookdeo and
Manko’s entire family

Ahji don’t pass they.

The Maroon mother frowns
Too many wrong perceptions
Of river woman and sea.

Yeah borrow that knife
The dasheen ain’t reach yet.
Take one nah
Only by the river we does meet
How ahji going?

She good, she over dey in de flat.

What all you cooking by all yuh side?
Fish broth.
That good to coat the stomach.
Throw it, the water go carry it
Doh litter de place

With no biodegradable excuse for laziness

Why we didn’t cook a pelau?
What wrong with what we makin?
All you quarrelling over the food to cook and all?
Ah fed up ah this set ah blasted curry
Is curry emancipation, Chinee holiday and Christmas!
All way you turn green pink and glitters
Give de thing a rest nah

Pseudo racist!

But ah stifling!
When I go have some real space
My privileged race?
That’s a white myth
Doors hiding far
Far from this skin stain
Rain more than sun
All de time

The Maroon Nanny sees the tone of need
Rhythms agonized by hurts
Knife sharp slices in an open wound.

Is that ole talk?

Yeah it does go high and low
A good drink go change de flow
Here ain’t for fighting

What is a flag doing there?

Them Baptist and Hindu like
To pray here too, don’t
Meddle with it you never know
What they put it they for

I move.
The first-timer unveiled third eye

Catches the end transformation.
He walks in the spirit.

What’s in the tree above?

Some animal either a bird
Or squirrel
What spirit?
Way all you get he from?
Rum spirit dancing in your eye
It take over your whole head.

Along the long line of the river
Voices float giddily while 
A humming bird flutters
Like laughter in still air.
Unprepared a Samsung
Double door no frost
In the water
An obscene sound
Uttered in innocent prayer
Upsetting the smooth clear surface
And the crayfish’s calm glide.

Habits form by slow degrees
Like fridges in the river

Floral petitions to the Gods
Forcing them to wander down
Another path

And I wonder
When the three in the Trinity
Will turn to unity
Will become one
When the essence of the garlic
Flavours every pot pelau fishbroth or duck
Will make a new equation to reach on land
To carry curry duck dasheen and fish broth
In one answer.

I wonder when
Understanding will come
That the river lime
More than pot-last,
More than Warrior game-play
More than river seconds of unity

That river time can be
All time
Like streams into rivers into seas
Change the end
Before the beginning
Into a seamless mesh running through time and land

Way Ayoung, he not coming?

A burst of garlic fragrant
The air with its searing sound
Curry and dasheen reach
Down the long line of the river
The lime start.

FOR MY GRANDMA ("The Mission")
Birdsongs awake, I
Thrill to the chirped crescendo of
Winged blessings in the vast sky,
On the wind, grandma’s mantra echoes:
Kill them with kindness no matter what
An unforgettable reminder to my heart to
Forgive all;
An unforgettable memory of my unsung
Hero whose life was too short,
A legacy to honour devotions of ancestors
 Long, long enrolled in the bluish high
A reminder that mind, heart and art
Must burn like thanksgiving incense
And incessant litanies, murmured in unknown tongues
To bridge beginning ends in a seamless
Mesh, out of dimension, out of time
Transposing the dreams of one generation
           Onto another.
My voice must sound the glories and miseries
Of all seasons and for all seasons
In the wind change of time, like the enduring
Immortelles anchored deep, even in uncertain soil
A healing balm of life, heart and art,
Transcending  barriers of race and hate filled relations
From the far reaches of my woman’s soul,
I must for her sculpt, touch and transform lives
(I have a mission to fulfil).
The blacksongbird3  (Lynore V Greaves)

 My sons and my daughters, to you I plead
Watch don’t get no horrors, but please, tahe heed
I know you don’t want noo sermon
But my admonition
Is to guard you against all the evisl of life
Walk cautiously, children, be alert
Because you have an enemy , that’s roaming ;the earth
But you don’t have to be careless
You see sober thinking , leads on to righteousness
To Happiness, spiritual bliss
That’s why I tell you this
Watch out my children
Watch out my children
It have a feller, call Lucifer
With a bag of white powder
And he don’t want to powder  your face
But to bring shame, and disgrace
To he human race
Won’t you say it me
(Chorus repeated)
I give you my counsel
Because I want to see
All you young people
Live righteously
What you feed your mind with
Forms your characteristic
And shape the path that you must walk tomorrow
Darkness or glow, joy of sorrow
That’s why I am concerned ………so
Watch out my children
Quidado mis hijos, (To my Spanish children)
Quidado mis hijos, Hay un hombre que se llama
Lucifer, con una bolsa de palvo blanco
Y el no quiere empolvar tu cara
Pero,para, traer pena y disgacia
Para la raza humana
And to my French children:
Attention mes enfants, attention mes enfants
Il y a quelqu’un qui s’appelle Lucifer
Avec un sachet de poudre blanc
Il ne veux par le renverser sur ton visage
Mais apporter haunte et destresse a la race humaine
And to all my chutney children
Dey ko mera bacha logo
Dey ko mera bacha logo
Ake insane jaisa shaitan hai
Ooskapas hai tiler powder nahi
Lagata hai, manoshata kanam
Paryaha ake badnoma dabha hai
Watch out my children
Watch out.