Saturday, February 1, 2014

Epitaph and Dreaming Black Boy (essay)

Adam Campbell
5 pl 4
English Literature
28/1/14
Ms. Atkins

HW//

 Select two poems from those you have studied which focus on the cruelty that human beings are capable of:
a) Outline the situation in each poem in which cruelty takes place
b) Show how poetic devices in each poem affects the reader's response
c) Giving reason, say which of the two you find more shocking


     Poems are used as a means to 'teach' the reader on a topic the poet sees fit. In the poems 'Epitaph' and 'Dreaming Black Boy ' the poet tries to educate the reader on the effects of human cruelty. In many parts of the world racism is considered a form of human cruelty and is very prominent.
     Human cruelty is known as any behavior that is downgrading or disrespectful to the rights of a human being. In 'Dreaming Black Boy' the persona goes under explicit disrespect and racism from both his teacher and fellow students. This happens in the choice of teams for sports where he is always picked last. While the form of human cruelty in 'Epitaph' is taken to another disciple of human cruelty which is murder. In 'Epitaph' images are given to the reader of a black man being hung as well as the people who've hung him showing that they don't see it as a problem. Both forms of cruelty presented show that both 'offenders' are unaware of what they are doing with respect to cruelty.
     Both poets make use of literary devices to aid their message. They use these devices to allow the message to be delivered in a more subtle and intelligent way. In 'Dreaming Black Boy' the poet uses many literary devices but ultimately only one is able to catch the complete and true essence of human cruelty and this is the imagery created by lines 15 - 16 "I wish life wouldn't spend me out opposing." This line creates an image of the persona being discriminated, left out and disregarded. It proves to show the effects of racism and discrimination towards the persona. This form of human cruelty is not one that everyone is keen towards, it ,with aid of the literary device,  is affecting the mentality of the persona, who states explicitly in the poem that he will not be able to continue to undergo this treatment for the rest of his life. This shows the mental indentations these people have put onto the young man. On the other hand in 'Epitaph' the post uses a particular literary device that the poem is known for. This literary device is the metaphor in line 3 " ... a black apostrophe to pain." This metaphor plays a vital role in the poem because it is the centre of events in 'Epitaph'. The black apostrophe is comparing the black slave being hung over the people to an apostrophe in a word. This apostrophe created is a constant reminder to the people who had to walk below him. It was a symbol of the cruelty that slaves went through before abolition. The black apostrophe makes reference to the 'Epitaph' because an apostrophe is a piece of writing about a person who is absent or dead. It is a very gruesome image that is created by merely two words. Though this is evident to readers the hangers are still unaware that this act of cruelty is not only affecting the people in its time but people to come.
     Both poems present a shocking form of cruelty in each poet's way, but in my opinion 'Epitaph' left me more flabbergasted than 'Dreaming Black Boy'. When I think of human cruelty I think of killing and unnecessary treatment towards a person or persons; and for me 'Epitaph' captured all of those aspects within one stanza. The underlining reason for my decision lays with the fact that the cruelty demonstrated in'Epitaph' affects not only the man go was hung or the slaves who were killed, but the rest of people of that colour. The effects it has me the state that black people are subjected too because of one cruel act.
     Cruelty is found in all places of the world and at times are unbearable, but these poems, 'Dreaming Black Boy' and 'Epitaph', show us the reader that we have to move past the cruelty that is there after we do everything we can to correct it.

The Playwright and background information about the play

Trevor Rhone
  • Born in Kingston(March 1940) – grew up in St. Catherine – Bellas Gate
  • He was involved in acting/performances from a child – decided on his profession at the age of nine.
  • Attended Beckford and Smith’s School – Now St. Jago High School
  • Was actively involved in Pantomime – The Little Theatre Movement
  • Studied theatre at the Rose Burford College in England (1960-63)
  • Became a teacher – after lack of fulfillment went officially into acting and theatre. Writing and directing plays.
  • Known mainly for his work on ‘The Harder They Come.’
  • Other works include Old Story Time and Smile Orange

Background of text
  • Social
ü  Set in the 1970s –
ü  Colour prejudice  - education the only means of social mobility for blacks, little job opportunity
ü  The lighter the complexion of the skin the greater chance of being noted or recognized socially, esteemed professions - (any work at a bank) eg. teller, pastor, etc.
ü  Esteemed education was only found in England.
ü  Obeah and spirituality high – African background – nearer to slavery than now – hence African ancestry stronger.
ü  The church had a strong influence in the governance of the lives of the people.
  • Economical and Political
ü  Farming the main source of economic livelihood – hence the market and its significance
ü  Pre – independence – hence the crown ruled the country- laws were based on those of the monarchy
ü   

Features of Modern Drama
ü  Heavy reliance on stage conventions
ü  Elaborate stage directions
ü  Line of demarcation between types of plays not as visible
ü  Then  -  Comedy, tragedy, romance and history
ü  Now – tragicomedy, historical –romance etc.

The oral Tradition – folklore
ü  Story telling -  main source of entertainment for society
ü  Used as a unifying agent – community members remain close based on the interaction that takes place during this time also the witty comments enhance the relationship among members.
ü  Used as an avenue to make comments on social, political and economic conditions. This comes in the form of satire, ridicule and allegories etc.
ü  This is demonstrated in all aspect of society –eg.  entertainment – music, plays,  our social life – how we communicate – things are done in a dramatic sense – elaborate and exaggerated – hence a narrative.
ü  Our language (patois) – struggle for it to be accepted in print  - hence making it official

ü  It is appreciated verbally.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Wine of Astonishment - Chapters 8-10


 ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’

Edmund Burke – English Philosopher


Chapter 8 – The Beginning of Bolo’s Reign of Terror
  • Bolo terrorizes men women and the authorities
  • He makes an attempt to fit back into society – he uses brute force
  • Moves about with a sense of emptiness – engaging in activities to try and fill the gap
  • Targets Mitchell (pg. 106-107) – saw him as part of the problem why the community is not what he expected (going back to the time of the Americans).
  • Charleau (pg. 110-112) and Cap (pg. 112-113) – Symbolic characters – they demonstrate what is needed to bring Bolo down – somebody who is willing to stand up for what is right regardless of the consequences.
  • Tales of Bolo spread like wild fire – Bolo becomes a Legend pg. 114-115.
  • The echoing of the collective responsibility for  Bolo’s action
ü  Eva admits that he is going crazy but that the craziness had too much sense in it. pg.106
ü  Cap – asking if everybody isn’t responsible pg. 114
ü  Eva asks “What we do to make a man like Bolo what he turn out to be” pg. 115
  • It is ironic that Bolo is still known and feared – moved from famous to infamous.
  • Premonition – some ‘calamity’ had to happen to stop Bolo – Eva hints at this. Although the reader is already aware of this from chapter 1 when Eva said it was the last time they saw Bolo in church.

Chapter 9  The Calamity – Bolo’s Demise

  • Eva fills the audience in about her family and the lapse in time
ü  Joyce getting married – traditions upheld – Clyde asks Bee’s permission
ü  Taffy basically abandons the family
ü  Ivan still not doing anything to help the church – Bee could not conduct the wedding in his church – illegal.
  • Bolo’s reasons for his actions explained – His frustration with the passive and cowardice nature of his people – their inability to fight for their community drove him over the edge. Pg. 123 ‘The Yankees do as they please…’ and pg. 124 ‘ want to be a man…’
  • Bolo’s final attempt – Kidnapping
  • Bee demonstrates his ‘manness’ – ‘We have to kill him…’ pg.125 ironically this premeditation puts him on the same level with Bolo – this is arguable.
  • Bolo is shot by the authorities – His death is symbolic – how he died as well as what he died for.
  • Pathetic Fallacy – nature weeping at Bolo’s death and funeral – the heavy rain. Pg 133 &137.
  • Ironic that his death brought more sorrow than the havoc that he caused.
  • Bolo’s final act was what put the community of Bonasse in the public’s eye – ironic
  • Ivan and Bolo are presented as failed leaders.
  • Bolo’s death may be seen as a pyrrhic victory – the price or cost too heavy – he is dead but what have they lost.

Chapter 10   Free at Last
  • Social problems continue to plague the community pg. 138-139
  • Heavy use of suspense – Reggie brought the news to his mother – Eva told Bee pg. 147-148
  • Bolo’s spirit lives on pg. 142
  • Pathetic Fallacy – nature rejoices with the people in their victory – pg. 149
  • The spirit of the church, village is reincarnated into something else – there is hope for the resurrection of the culture of the Bonasse people. Pg 152.
  • Freedom to worship a pyrrhic victory – took too long the spirit gone. Pg. 151 Victory came at too great a cost.
  • An anticlimactic ending.


Wine of Astonishment essays courtesy of Jordon Hayles

  1. ‘Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment’. (Psalms 60:3)
The Wine of Astonishment depicts a society in crisis. With reference to the novel:

    1. Discuss the hardships the people of Bonasse experienced during that time.    (7 marks)
    2. Explain Eva’s role in the community during that time of challenge.                    (10 marks)
    3. Discuss the effectiveness of the choice of Eva as narrator.                                   (8 marks)

The novel The Wine of Astonishment by Earl Lovelace is narrated by Eva Dorcas, wife of Bee Dorcas and mother of five children. Eva tells the readers of all that is happening in that time, which is the Second World War and afterwards. In the novel, the theme strength, hardships and hope as well as others can be seen, strength can be seen with Bolo and the warriors, also, with the people of Bonasse themselves, especially the Baptists, as even though they are constantly being opposed, harassed and oppressed, they still fight, and continue hope that things will get better.  The title is very effective, as it is an excerpt from the Bible, which shows not only that the people are going through hard times or struggles, but that the book and them also centre or revolve around religion, and most of the problems or trials they face are ones because of their religious practices.
As stated before, many people face hardships in the novel, these hardships gives the reader a greater understanding about the characters and how they deal with their problems and it also helps the novel to progress, and makes the books title more effective. The first chapter opens up the reader to a hardship that is seen throughout all or most of the novel; the hardships the Spiritual Baptists face as they are being persecuted. In the novel, the Spiritual Baptists are seen to go through many hard times/challenges. They are not allowed to do certain practices which separate their denomination from others, like ringing the church bell while worshipping, clapping too loudly or even ‘catching the Spirit’. The church people were so harassed and targeted by the police, they had to move their church far away as to not get disturbed, but still the police would find them and harass them, especially once when they caught them breaking the law and brought them to the police station. In those days, only Catholic and Anglican people were respected, and so, only they would advance in the world. No matter what level education you have, it you weren’t Catholic or Anglican, you would not be able to succeed; Ivan Morton’s mother had realised this after Ivan Morton had sit his exams multiple times, and although he was smart enough, he did not advance until his mother had converted them to the accepted Catholic faith.
  Also, the community and the people of Bonasse had to face hardships when they were forced to not follow their traditions or ‘roots’. All things they were used to doing, all the practices were used to like having carnivals and their well-known stick-fights were banned by the government due to the Second World War. Because they weren’t allowed to follow their traditions, some people went astray, picking up new habits/lifestyles, especially since there were Americans on the island. The people who decided to stay in the old mind-set, those who clung to the old lifestyle were even more the more opposed; also, due to there being many American soldiers on the island protecting it, there results in a greater abundance of currency, resulting in a more materialistic and ‘everyman for himself’ as opposed to the former community living. And another hardship the people experienced was that they were still facing hardships, even though they had one of their own on the Council. They believed Ivan Morton would be a gateway leading them out of this time of hardships, leading them to freedom, but they realized that Ivan Morton did no such thing once he was placed inside the council.
As said earlier, Eva is the narrator of the novel The Wine of Astonishment. In the novel, it can be seen that Eva has multiple roles in the community. One of her first roles is being the wife to Bee Dorcas, which means to be able to understand him and his ways and to support him. Eva is seen in the novel as being the person Bee confides in the most. Eva can see and notice when her husband is not well, stressed or unhappy. She knows how to cheer him up and how to deal with that situation. Also, from that point, two roles can also be seen; one being that she is the mother of her children, and the other being that, since she is the wife of the pastor, that makes her the mother of the church, which can be seen as a symbol of the village, so Eva is a wife, mother and church/village mother. The novel shows that she plays the role of mother when it tells us she worries about her children, this can be seen when she tells us that she is wondering about her son Taffy, and if he is still okay and why he doesn’t write. It also shows this when she is their strength and gives them explanations when their father was not doing as he said he was going to do, which was break the law. She also shows her motherliness when takes care of the children, guides and encourages them and when she bridges the gap between the children’s expectations and that of the father, seen in the time when Bee did not break the law, and Eva kept reassuring Reggie that Bee was still a man, and that he will do as he said and break the law. She is seen as the church/community mother when people from the church or community go to her to confide in her and ask for her help, seen when the father of the two females that Bolo had taken went to Bee for help and advice, but since Bee was not there, or since Bee was not present, he trusted Eva enough to explain to her what was happening. Also, she is seen as the church mother  when she offers support for the people in the church family, and when she assists her husband in church doing church activities.
Earl Lovelace made an excellent choice in making Eva the narrator. This is so because, as she is a mother as well, she would also have hardships of her own, hardships that only mothers will have. Also, Eva is very close to the situation, and although it may have some bias, the information presented is in detail, not only exactly as it happened very vivid with all the uses of literary devices; information was also intimate and personal as she had a personal relationship with all the characters. Also, Eva knows the history of each character, and hence tells only the important parts related to what is happening, but gives the reader enough information to understand what is happening and why it is happening. And finally, Eva gives information about everybody, but it is only certain characters she gives personal information about, and she considers herself one of these characters. Another is Bee, and also Bolo and how he felt and why he felt and did the things he did. She gave us enough information behind what happened to Bolo earlier that made him turn out the way he did and do the things he did. Also, in the novel, Eva had a lot of free time, so she would have enough free time to tell us the story.
In conclusion, it can be seen that Eva is a very good choice for the narrator. She was able to capture all the hardships the people of Bonasse had to face and was able to present it to the reader in a very fine way. Also, it can be seen that Eva’s roles in the community help to get the information that make up the story through people telling her stories, and this is very helpful as she, or women in those times, weren’t allowed in certain places and so she had to rely on second hand source to know what happened.
                                    -Jordon Hayles  (5Pool4 Literature)

2) According to Eva in The Wine of Astonishment, ‘the sickness for money was the disease taking over everybody.
a) Explain the reason for the sudden influx of money in society.                 (7marks)
b) Identify a character who embraces and one who rejects this new lifestyle that has been driven by money and     explain how all of this is shown.                                                                          (10 marks)
c) Say whether or not this change is a positive one. Explain your answer. (8 marks)


The Wine of Astonishment, by Earl Lovelace, is narrated by a female, Eva Dorcas. She is the wife to Bee Dorcas, the pastor of the Shouter Baptist Church, and together, they have five children. Throughout the novel, change has been introduced; change to views, culture and morale. It is told to us by Eva that some people do not readily accept this change, and that some reject it, some even fight against it.
In the novel, Eva tells us how people would change, so that they can easily earn the American money which is the more popular. This is so, because of World War II. Because of World War II, American soldiers were dispatched to Trinidad to protect it, they had even set up a Base. With them, the Americans brought along their own currency, the American currency, which had a higher rate than their own Trinidadian currency. With the Americans being all over the small country, their currency was gained, and circulated a lot in Trinidad, resulting in an influx of money. Money was also easily earned and given away; doing little to no work on the Base had made a man from Bonasse, Mitchell, far better off than he was before the Americans. Americans, or anyone who had enough money and wanted their needs satisfied, would easily give money up to girls, which, in the end, resulted in prostitution.
Throughout the story, the theme of change is presented to the readers. In Bonasse, everyone was one, they were family, and happily and firmly followed culture and tradition, some more firmly than others, for example, Mitchell. Mitchell, as mentioned before, easily discards his old lifestyle for a new one that would increase his wealth. He went to work for the Americans on the Base just to make a lot of money easily, and when his work time had ended, he did not revert to his old living styles or mannerisms, he had embraced the Americans’, flashing his wealth about, and inappropriately touched girls because he thought he had money enough. One character who greatly contrasts Mitchell is Bolo. Bolo, even when there was a great abundance of money he could easily earn more, stuck to his simple lifestyle, climbing coconut trees for a meagre pay compared to that of the ones he would have gotten if he worked for the Americans. Also, he still believed in a sense of community and oneness, eventhough, because of money, most people had gone into an all for themselves attitude.
The change shown in the story is both positive, and negative. From an economic end, this change is very positive and advantageous. With the influx of money, the Trinidadian economy must have been thriving and growing, but, it is also negative as, it shows that money can be seen as an evil force, causing family and close friends to resent each other, hatred in a community or society, seen when Bolo had returned from jail and showed his long time hatred towards Mitchell by ruining his snackette’s business. Money had also caused many females to degrade themselves to make money to survive in a society run by it. It also puts people out of jobs, as the market vendors that sells ground provision would have less to sell. Hence, it is more negative than positive.
In conclusion, it can be seen that one reason for great change in Eva’s society was money; the need to earn it and then to spend it. It can be seen that money changed people, but some people remained the same, holding on strongly to beliefs that were waning, also, that although this money has positive effects on the society, it is mostly negative, as many views were analysed and seen as negative.
-Jordon Hayles

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sonnet Composed Upon Westminster Bridge

check out this site

http://www.bulbsoup.com/p-sonnet-composed--bridge.html

West Indies, U.S.A.

LITERAL MEANING
The persona is travelling in a plane, looking down at San Juan, Puerto Rico, as the plane descends. He is saying that this island is the wealthiest in the Caribbean because it has won the jackpot, it has come up lucky. He then points out that he, and others, had travelled to many Caribbean islands and received a hint of the flavour of each island through it's calling card, - its airport - all of which fail when compared to plush San Juan. As they land, they are instructed to stay on the plane if their destination is not San Juan. The persona takes offence and states that America does not want blacks in San Juan, implying that they might be a disruptive force. He notes the efficiency with which things flow, enabling them to take to the skies once more. During the ascent, the persona notes the contrast between the influences of the Caribbean and America. He likens San-Juan to a broken TV, it Iooks good on the outside, but broken on the inside.


The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text.

Cruising at thirty thousand feet above the endless green
1.the island seems like dice tossed on a casino's baize, some come up lucky, others not. Puerto Rico takes the pot, 2.the Dallas of the West Indies, 2.silver linings on the clouds as we descend are hall-marked, 1.San Juan glitters like a maverick's gold ring.
                                  All across the Caribbean we'd collected terminals - 
1.airports are like calling cards, cultural fingerprints; the hand written signs at Port-au-Prince, Piarco's sleazy tourist art, the lethargic contempt of the baggage boys at 'Vere Bird' in St. Johns ....
And now for 
5.plush San Juan.
                                  But the pilot's bland you're safe in my hands drawl crackles as we land, 'US regulations demand all passengers not disembarking at San Juan stay on the plane, I repeat, stay on the plane.' 
3.Subtle Uncle Sam, afraid too many 6.desperate blacks might re-enslave 4.this Island of the free, might jump the barbed
                                  electric fence around 
7.'America's back yard' and claim that vaunted sanctuary ..... 3. 'give me your poor .....' Through toughened, tinted glass 8.the contrasts tantalise; US patrol cars glide across the shimmering tarmac, containered baggage trucks unload with 9.fierce efficiency. So soon we're climbing,  
                                   low above the pulsing city streets; galvanized shanties overseen by condominiums polished Cadillacs shimmying with pushcarts and as we climb, San-Juan's 
10.fools-glitter calls to mind the shattered innards of a TV set that's fallen off the back of a lorry, all painted valves and circuits 1.the road like twisted wires,
                                    the bright cars, micro-chips. 
11.It's sharp and jagged and dangerous, and belonged to some-one else.

Brown, S. 'West Indies, U.S.A' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005.
LITERARY DEVICES
1. SIMILE

  • Line 2: Puerto Rico is compared to dice that is tossed on a casino's baize, it can either come up with winning numbers, or losing numbers. Puerto Rico comes up with winning numbers in the game of chance, as reflected in its wealthy exterior, which is supported by America.
  • Lines 7-8: San Juan's glitter is compared to a maverick's gold ring. The word maverick implies non-conformist, an individualist. This implies that San Juan, Puerto Rico is in the Caribbean, but not a part of the Caribbean. It belongs to America.
  • Lines 10-11: Airports are compared to calling cards. This means that, like a calling card, the quality of the airport gives you an idea of the island's economic status. The airport is also compared to a cultural fingerprint. A fingerprint is an individual thing, therefore the airport gives the traveler an idea of the island's cultural landscape. 
  • Line 39: The road is compared to twisted wires. This means that the roads, from above, look both plentiful and curvy. This does not carry a positive connotation, but implies confusion. 
2. ALLUSION

  • Line 5: Dallas is an oil rich state in America. Therefore, many of its inhabitants are wealthy, and the state itself, is wealthy. By stating that San Juan is the Dallas of the West Indies, it implies that it is a wealthy island in the West Indies.
  • Lines 5-7: An allusion is being made to the well known cliche; 'every cloud has a silver lining'. It means that behind everything that is seemingly bad, there is good. In the context of this poem, it means that the good, the silver lining, has a mark, or stamp, that authenticates its good quality; it is hallmarked. This implies that it will always have its silver lining showing.
3. SARCASM

  • Line 20: This statement means the exact opposite of what is stated. The persona is disgusted that Uncle Sam (America) would have such a regulation. This regulation bars anyone from stepping a toe on Puerto Rican soil, if it is not your intended destination. You just have to remain in the air craft, no matter the waiting period, until it is time for takeoff. The persona believes that the Americans are being blatantly discriminatory, and are attempting to camouflage it through the use of regulations. He does not believe that they have achieved their goal of subtlety. 
  • Line 20: The statement, 'give me your poor...' is particularly sarcastic because it is a direct quote from the New Collossus, which rests on a plaque on the statue of liberty, and signifies that the disenfranchised of the world are welcome. The persona, as a member of the 'disenfranchised' masses, clearly feels unwelcomed.                                                                             
http://www.bulbsoup.com/uploads/6/0/8/4/6084140/780441.jpg
http://www.bulbsoup.com/uploads/6/0/8/4/6084140/5863403.jpg
  • Line 26: The persona implies that America is all talk and no action. They really do not want the poor because they bar them from entering and expediently sends them on their way when they enter their airport. The statement is sarcastic because it is loaded with an alternate meaning, due to the contrast in statement and action.

4. PUN
Line 17-18: The pun is placed on 'land of the free', it becomes 'Island of the free'. This pun emphasizes how isolated Puerto Rico is from the rest of the Caribbean islands. It belongs to the U.S.A. This state of belonging to, or being owned by the US is asserted through it's insertion into the Star Spangled Banner.

IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES
5. 'plush'
This word implies soft, like a teddy bear. It also implies luxury. So San Juan is all of these things.
6.'desperate blacks might re-enslave this Island of the free' 
These 'desperate blacks' to whom the persona is referring are the poor people of the Caribbean. If they converge on the glistening San Juan, sucking up its resources, then it might become re-enslaved by poverty.
7.'America's back yard'
A backyard means one of two things for people. It is a haven where you relax, therefore you decorate it and invest time and money in it. Or, you ignore it and spend all your time indoors, not investing any time, energy or money in it. America viewed Puerto Rico as the latter, a prize in which it saw value. Therefore, when the persona uses this phrase, he is implying that while it is valued, it is still at the back. Slight sarcasm is being used here.
8.'the contrasts tantalise'
When something, or someone, is tantalising, it implies that it is intriguing. The persona, by using this phrase, is trying to draw the readers attention to to the jarring contrasts by stating that he finds them intriguing.
9.'fierce efficiency'
The word fierce, used to describe the level of efficiency with which the people worked to get the plane off the ground, shows the extent to which they were not wanted on the island.
10.'fools-glitter'
This implies that the flashiness of San Juan was not authentic.
11.'It's sharp and jagged and dangerous, and belonged to some-one else.'
This implies that San Juan is not safe. The cultures are not melding, but jarring against each other. The reason for this is because it belongs to someone else.

CONTRAST
The contrast in this poem is found in stanza 5. The American cars etc, against the pushcarts. The American culture versus the Puerto Rican culture.

MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE
The mood of the poem is sarcastic.

TONE
The tone of the poem is slightly bitter, which is fueled by the sarcastic atmosphere.

THEMATIC CATEGORIZATION
Discrimination, oppression, places, culture.


 ***taken from bulbsoup.com***

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Wine of Astonishment - Chapters 5-7


Sample question

Characterization and thematic concerns are usually the main vehicles writers use to explore the social life/world of a text. In the examination of The Wine of Astonishment discuss the extent to which this is true by:
a)      Identifying a theme and explaining how the social life of the text is highlighted
b)     Identifying a character and explain how the social life of the text is brought out.
c)      Identifying one other element and explaining how the social life of the text is explored.

Chapter 5
  • The Shouter group faces the consequences for breaking the law
  • The church is attacked in the climax of a worship session
  • Prince’s character fully materialized – Eva has been hinting at his insensitive and callous nature.
  • Bolo’s heroism is both challenged and demonstrated – brave enough to challenge the state and well as he was defeated
  • Bolo’s last attempt to salvage what’s left of his people, his culture, his community – in his eyes a dying society.
  • Taffy questions his father’s inaction, the state’s action and the possibility of change or hope.
  • The deterioration of society and its values and morals – evident in Buntin’s shop – run down. Not playing the role it use to in the lives of the community members – Mitchels rise is therefore imminent and inevitable.
Chapter 6
  • Eva takes us further back to the period before Ivan goes into power.
  • Explanation as to why Ivan was the most suitable candidate for the position is given.
  • This allows the reader to further understand and appreciate the disappointment and betrayal the people feel towards and about Ivan.
  • Bee and his church members demonstrated a willingness to compromise and wait on Ivan to usher in the change for them – they are still waiting – hence the frustration.

Chapter 7 – Bolo Returns
  • The book returns to the present. Back to the end of chapter one
  • Bolo returns to find that things have deteriorated – he now has very little hope – he feels useless in a society that has moved pass valuing what he has to contribute.
  • He moves about trying to find a sense of purpose and to fit in – uses brute force to get his way – this however is the only thing he knows. He refuses to accept the change that has taken over the village.
  • Bolo gets the opportunity to demonstrate his prowess in stick fighting – this turn sour as he is the only one who is taking serious – and who is willing to fight in the true sense of the word.
  • Bolo is allowed by the community members to carry on with his bad acts – without him being challenged – this is done out of fear, sympathy as well as guilt.
  • The reader is now prepared for the Bad John he becomes in chapter 8

Numbers
17 – how long Prince is in the Police force
16 – Taffy’s age – hence his disapproval of his father’s action
3 – number of years Bolo was sentenced – time it took for further breakdown in society
19 – number of persons Prince arrested
7 – frog vex for 7 years – comparison to the magistrate and his appearance – another of Eva’s striking images
10 – Ten pounds – court charge
21  - days in jail if money cannot be paid

2 – the two men who bought the cow