Tanjung Rhu by Minfong Ho

To all my students of 4 Anthurium 2016. This is for your semester break. I hope you enjoy reading the story.

Synopsis

Simple yet profound story.  This short story is about a successful man who forgets his roots as a kampong boy in Tanjung Rhu and realises the importance and how much he misses it after his mother’s death. The relationship between Mr T.W Li, a rich businessman and Ah Ma, his mother. Mr Li has his office at Shenton Way and is modern in ways and ideas. Ah ma is traditional with strong religious beliefs and practices ancestor worship. The day after Ah Ma’s funeral, Mr Li recalls the day he told his mother about using binoculars or see far glasses. The strory also looks at the conflict, struggle and tension between modern and traditional society in Singapore through the realtionship between Mr. T.W Li and his mother.Based on this short story Tanjung Rhu Form 4 Literature, Mr Li feels some degree of regret for the way he treats Ah ma after this mother falls ill and later passes away. He never pays much attention to this mother’s stories about the past and realizes a little too late that most of his questions remained unanswered. Mr Li promises to fulfil her last wish but is unable to find the key.

Moral Value

1) Although we live in modern world, we must not forget our traditional values
2) We must learn to appreciate people while we can
3) Money cannot buy everything
4) Learn to respect and tolerate each other
5) We should consider and accept changes in our lives and progress with the time
6) We should always voice out our feelings especially if we want to express feelings of love for a family member especially an old parent.

Exercise

Read the extract from the short story Tanjung Rhu. Then answer the questions.

  1. ‘Edward’, she said, crossing her legs, ‘come and join us?’

He refused, and was just turning away, when she noticed the binoculars he was holding,

And asked what they were.

‘Oh, these,’ he said. ‘I bought theme today. For the children’. He could not think of anything better to say. (p.20)

a.Who does the pronoun ‘us’ refer to?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

b.Why do you think Edward or Mr Li refuses to join them?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

c. In your opinion, why didn’t Edward tell the truth about the binoculars he

bought for his mother?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

d.What does this incident reveal about the relationship of these two characters?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

2.   There was one drawer which would not open. The joss sticks, he thought, must be in there, with all the things that were most important to her. He pulled again at that drawer, harder this time, but it stayed shut. And then he realized that she always kept it locked. And he did not know where she hid the key. (p.35)

a) Where is Mr Li?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

b) Why is he looking for joss sticks?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

HOTS c) What does the locked drawer symbolise?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

HOTS d) If you were Mr Li, what would you do in this situation?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Poison Tree by William Blake

My dear students (5AN,AS,AM). Wish you the best of time for this sem break. This is for you and the rest of you readers. Have fun holidaying!!

A Poison Tree – William Blake

I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night.
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.

And into my garden stole,
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see;
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

MEANING OF DIFFICULT WORDS

  1. Wrath – strong, stern, or fierce anger; deeply resentful indignation; ire.
  2. Deceit – distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; duplicity; fraud; cheating
  3. Wiles – Trick, trap
  4. Veiled – conceal, lacking clarity or distinctness

POETIC/LITERARY DEVICES

  1. Personification

–       Waters the wrath with fear

–        I told my wrath, my wrath did end

  1. Metaphor 

-The tree is considered as a wrath/anger

-“Till it bore an apple bright”, the apple is a metaphor for the “fruit” of his grudge.

  1. Alliteration 

-sunned and smiles

-friend and foe

-bore and bright

  1. Imagery

– Throughout the poem

  1. Irony

-the foe beneath the tree of hatred

  1. Repetition

-“I was angry with my friend… I was angry with my foe”

  1. Allusion

-“Garden.. apple…tree” alludes to Adam & Eve, the Garden of Eden.

STANZA BY STANZA ANALYSIS

Stanza 1: The persona speaks of someone, his friend and his foe, whom he is angry with. When he says ‘I told my wrath, my wrath did end’ after he said he was angry with his friend, he is saying he was able to get over being angry with his friend and forgot about it. Although, it is quite the opposite when he mentions’ I told it not, and my wrath did grow’. The persona is saying that with his enemy, he allows himself to get angry, and therefore, his wrath does grow.

Stanza 2: In this stanza, the persona begins to make his anger grow and he takes pleasure in it, comparing his anger with something, in this case, a tree or plant. The speaker says he ‘sunned it with smiles’ and ‘and with soft, deceitful wiles’. This means he is creating an illusion with his enemy saying he is pretending to be friendly to seduce and bring him closer.

Stanza 3: ‘And it grew both day and night’ and ‘til it bore an apple bright’ are meaning that his illusion with his enemy is growing and growing until it became a strong and tempting thing. His illusion has a metaphor and it is an apple. After, his foe believes it shines, which means he thinks it’s true and means something, and takes the persona’s illusion seriously. ‘And he knew it was mine’ suggests that he really thinks the persona is his friend.

Stanza 4: Being the last stanza, the persona needed to come up with a conclusion. He has used the two lines ‘in the morning glad I see’ and ‘my foe outstretched beneath the tree’ to say that his foe finally fell to his tempting illusion and metaphorically, consumed his poison apple and died. So, obviously, his malicious intentions were hidden behind illusion and he prevailed over his enemy.

CRITICAL APPRECIATION

In the first stanza, the consequence of allowing anger to continue instead of stopping it as it begins is shown. This consequence is simply that it will continue to grow. However, as the poem progresses, it is seen that this continued growth of anger can yield harmful results as the enemy, or foe, is lured toward the tree and eats of its fruit, the poison apple. This kills his foe, as he is seen outstretched beneath the tree, a sight the speaker is glad to see the next morning. These final two lines explain one of the main themes of the poem, which is that anger leads to self-destruction. The speaker’s anger grows and eventually becomes so powerful that it has changes from simple anger with another person, to desire to see them dead. One of the subjects of the persona’s work was the underworld, or Hell, and knowing this, it can be seen that the destruction which results from anger is not physical, but spiritual. In addition, the death of the foe, which the speaker is glad to see, does not spiritually affect the foe as the speaker is affected, but only physically harms the foe.

Exercise

1. Why did the persona’s wrath end when he told his friend about it?

2. What happened when he did not tell his foe?

3. How did the persona nurture his wrath?

4. Why is ‘and’ repeated three times in stanza 2?

5. What type of literary device is used in ‘soft deceitful wiles’? Why?

6. What does the poem’s title suggest about the content?

7. In your opinion, what is the persona really doing in stanza 2?

 

Captain Nobody – Important events

Captain Nobody

Captain Nobody foils a robbery.

  • JJ gives Newt an emergency call on the walkie-talkie. She is upset about the spelling mistakes on the signs outside Sullivan’s Jewelry Store. She insists that Captain Nobody (Newt) talk to Mr & Mrs Sullivan about this.
  • Captain Nobody enters the store when a robber is actually pointing a hidden gun at the Sullivans. This creates a distraction which gives Mrs Sullivan the chance to press the alarm and alert the police.
  • The robber flees. The news is widely reported on television. Everyone wants to know more about Captain Nobody, but Newt is not hungry for publicity.

Captain Nobody prevents an air crash

  • Newt and his friends are taking the mascot – Ferocious the Ferret – to Newt’s home. On the way, they are confronted by Ricky Ratner and his seventh-grade gang. In the struggle between the two groups, the door of the cage springs open and the ferret springs out.
  • Newt and his friend chase after it to get it back. The ferret runs across the freeway and back several times with Newt chasing it. All traffic comes to a standstill.
  • By coincidence, a small airplane with passengers has engine failure and needs a clear track for an emergency landing. The pilot sees the cleared freeway and manages to make a safe landing. All lives are saved. Again the news is widely reported and the public interest in the mysterious Captain Nobody grows to an intense level.

Captain Nobody ‘rescues’ Reggie Ratner

  • There is a city-wide public alarm that Reggie Ratner has climbed the Appleton Water Tower to jump to his death. Captain Nobody climbs to the top of the tower to tell Reggie that he knows the truth – that it is not Reggie who has collided with Chris.
  • Newt learns that Reggie’s purpose in climbing the tower is not to commit suicide. He helps to free Reggie’s foot which is stuck in a hole on the rooftop.
  • Both make the descent in full view of the crowd below. Newt lands first, followed by 280-pound Reggie who lands on him, causing him to break his leg and two rib bones. Newt is place in the hospital with Chris, his brother who is still in a coma.

Captain Nobody – Chapter Summary

CAPTAIN NOBODY – SYNOPSIS BY CHAPTER

CHAPTER 1 : NOBODY EATS BREAKFAST

It is the last Friday in October, everybody in Appleton is excited for the derby of an American football game between the Ferocious Ferrets of Fillmore High School and the Chargers of Merrimac High School – also known as the Big Game.
Newton Newman (Newt) has a big brother, Chris Newman (Chris),who is a local football star, who plays for the Ferocious Ferrets after an electrifying debut two years back.
Newt is preparing breakfast for his family when he comes across an article of his brother in the Sports section of the local newspaper.
At first, Newt is eager to show the article to Dad but he is held down when the phone rings.
On the other hand, Mom is also busy receiving a call from their neighbour.
Newt gets frustrated as both of his parents have not touched their breakfast.
To make himself feel useful, Newt goes upstairs to woke his brother up.
Annoyed with Newt’s bellow, Chris throws a pillow at him but ends up hitting the floor hard.

CHAPTER 2 : HALLOWEEN PLANS ARE MADE – SORT OF

Appleton Elementary is packed with different kinds of kids and actions.
At times, he tries to be friendly and greets his classmates but often, they just stare back fiercely and ignore him.
Before the classes start, Newt finds a quiet place for him to settle down.
He takes out one of his Secret Superhero Sketchbooks and starts playing with his imagination.
Newt has never shown his sketching of the superhero characters to anyone else except to his two best friends, Cecil and JJ, who have utmost admiration towards Newt’s creativity.
Cecil alerts them of the coming Halloween and suggests that they celebrate it as usual.
Talking about celebrating Halloween, the three of them are bored with their own costumes as they have been wearing the same outfits for years.
Eventually, Cecil suggests that each of them needs to come out with an outstanding Halloween costume based on their ‘inner other’ that will catch everybody’s attention.

CHAPTER 3 : I SEARCH FOR SOMEBODY I AM NOT
During social studies class, Newt is still searching for an idea for his Halloween costume.
He imagines himself as Zeus, the god of lightning according to the Greek myth, but soon realises that he does not fit in the descriptions shown by his subject teacher.
Not giving up, he raises his hand asking Mrs. Young what the American pioneers wore when they built the country.
Although Newt is ridiculed by his classmate, the answer given by his teacher is more than enough for him to rule out the possibility of having such costume for Halloween.
The school ends early so the students and locals can watch the Big Game Pep Parade on the street.
Newton is ecstatic to attend his brother’s last game of the season. On the other hand, Cecil and JJ are more incline to their Halloween costumes.
That has put Newt back in dilemma as he is having hard time thinking about his own Halloween costume.
Newt falls asleep while figuring out the design of his costume only to wake up after he has a terrible dream.
It is time for the Big Game as his parents are getting ready for it and with heavy heart, Newt has to put aside his coming Halloween celebration and shift his focus on the final game.

CHAPTER 4 : FOOTBALL IS PLAYED AND MISTAKES ARE MADE

Newt stops thinking about Halloween when he recalls the moment Chris mentions Reggie Ratner, an opponent from Merrimac High, who has always been holding grudges against his brother.
To make it worst, during the Big Game, the crowd play sentiment on both Chris and Reggie.
Newt, who is now away from his bleacher, is shown his way out after he fails to present his seat ticket to the person in charge.
When the final quarter starts, both teams are level and unfortunately, Newt is forced to watch the game from outside the wire fence surrounding Fillmore Field.
He can see that the Home team, especially his brother, is playing their hearts out until the game reaches its last 45 seconds – the Away team is leading by two points.
Without giving up, the Big Game is getting more intense during the last seven seconds.
The Ferrets show high determination and Chris manages to get a last minute touchdown.
There are mixed feelings on the ground as the opponents bow down to their defeat and the home crowd is jubilant with the winning streak.

CHAPTER 5 : THE BAD DREAMS BEGIN

Chris is unconscious as the result of the winning touchdown.
The whole ground is in complete silence when Chris is being attended and brought to the hospital.
Chris’ test results come out and fortunately he is not suffering from any broken parts, he is just in coma.
Back in his room, Newt still cannot forget what happened during the winning touchdown as he describes it as the thunderous crash.
He tries to revert his concentration to Halloween as the Big Game incident keeps rewinding in his mind.
The next day, Newt answers various callers trying to get some news about Chris.
Cecil and JJ drop by at Newt’s house to give a few things to cheer him up.
The local community is talking about the touchdown incident and starts calling it the Big Tackle.
Cecil also tells Newt that some of the Ferrets get some revenge on Reggie, the Chargers’ defensive back who is accused of causing Chris to get into his coma.
As the Newt recalls the Big Tackle, JJ tries to divert his attention by asking about their Halloween plan.
Speechless, Newt tries to avoid Halloween by saying that he has lots of chores to settle.
Both Cecil and JJ are not convinced and they decide to meet the next day at 6.00 p.m for Halloween.

CHAPTER 6 : I GET A TERRIBLE IDEA

Newt is frantically searching for idea as he is running out of time to come out with his Halloween costume and falls asleep soon after.
By noon, Newt is still clueless about his costume and he decides not to celebrate Halloween.
He then falls asleep when sketching his latest fantasy superhero character.
Mom is already home when Newt wakes up.
After peeping at Mom holding his brother’s sweatshirt, Newt asks if there is anything he can do to cheer her up.
But Newt is told that he could do nothing for the moment.
Taken aback by Mom’s words, he decides to prove that he is useful in such stressful situation.
Just before he can cheer Mom up by wearing his brother’s football jersey, she has already left home for the hospital.
In the meantime, Cecil and JJ arrive at Newt’s doorstep.
Newt clumsily opens the door only to find that he is in awe of his two friends.
Cecil disguises himself as the famous musician, Mozart whereas JJ is dressed up as Splendida, a fictional character from her favourite book.
Lastly, the big and important question pops out, ‘What is Newton Newman going to be for Halloween?’

CHAPTER 7 : I HIDE – AND FIND MYSELF

Newt is out of words when is asked to explain about his outfit as he is wearing his brother’s pieces of clothing.
JJ asks Newt if there is something wrong with his brother.
Newt replies that his brother is doing fine.
He does not want to let his best friends down so he insists that both of them should continue celebrating Halloween without him.
Newt finally confesses that he does not have a costume for himself and he immediately explains everything that he did in search for a suitable costume before Cecil and JJ can respond to the confession.
After a long silence, Cecil and JJ decide to transform Newt’s outfit on the spot.
Both of them alter the pieces of clothing that Newt is wearing and eventually they manage to produce an outstanding costume.
They reach the ultimate transformation when JJ cuts two small holes on the sweatband that Newt is wearing o his forehead and change it into a mask.
Newt himself feels rejuvenated after looking at himself in the mirror.
The three of them feel ecstatic as they finally manage to celebrate the Halloween together.

CHAPTER 8 : I RAISE MY VOICE

When they arrive at the first stop, the lady and her husband living in the house are rejoiced when they look at Cecil, JJ and Newt.
The lady has perfectly guessed Cecil’s and JJ’s Halloween costumes.
Then, the couple turns their attention to Newt, who is still searching for an identity of his own as he has not named his alter ego yet.
The lady’s husband notices C.N. on the middle of Newt’s forehead and he directly asks them about those initials.
Surprised by the question, Newton is tongue-tied at first while both Cecil and JJ are quick enough to throw some hints when they see Newton first reaction after being asked by the man.
Eventually, Newt manages to overcome his own fear and he reveals himself as Captain Nobody, C.N.

CHAPTER 9 : I PRACTISE MY NEW NAME

After they leave the first house, Cecil and JJ really like the idea of ‘Captain Nobody’
JJ gets a bit emotional as she can see that Newt seems to forget about his brother’s critical condition after being enthusiastic of becoming Captain Nobody.
This time around, it is Newt who breaks the awkward moment and urges his two best friends to focus on celebrating Halloween.
On that night, people show great interest into the three of them.
The attention that they get has been joyful especially for Newton.
He feels more confident being Captain Nobody than being Newton Newman.
Cecil and JJ are also aware of Newt’s change of attitude when they are counting their trick-or-treat collection under the street lights.
When Newt arrives at his house, his mother has already hit the sack.
He is a little bit disappointed because he wants to show his Halloween costume to her.
Just before he falls asleep, Newt reassures himself by saying that he is not supposed to be anybody, he is Captain Nobody.

CHAPTER 10 : I MAKE A WILD WARDROBE CHOICE

Newt, who has always been positive about his brother, cannot stop ruling out the worst outcome of his brother’s condition and he feels uneasy about it.
Then, he quickly realises that he needs to get ready for school.
He tries to look for his school outfit and after he fails to find an appropriate one, he goes to school with the Captain Nobody’s costume.
There are mixed reactions from his classmates; some make fun of him wearing the outfit but Cecil and JJ show support for his wild wardrobe choice.
Mrs. Young successfully manages the situation in the class from going haywire as all eyes are set on Captain Nobody and a few kids start mocking him.
In the Principal’s office, a discussion is going on between Principal Toomey and Mrs. Young while Captain Nobody waits outside.
On a serious note, Mrs. Young jumps into a conclusion that Newt is having a hard time coping with his brother’s latest condition and she reports that Newt insists of being called Captain Nobody.
After that, a more heated discussion is going on after the school counsellor and nurse join in and later on, the principal tells Newt that Captain Nobody is welcomed in the school.
During lunch break, Cecil and JJ insist of becoming Captain Nobody’s sidekicks and tell Newt to continue becoming Captain Nobody because people start to notice them ever since.

CHAPTER 11 : CAPTAIN NOBODY FACES A FEAR

Newt runs home after he realises that his parents still do not know about Captain Nobody and he does not want to get weird reaction from them.
As he is running, Cecil summons for Captain Nobody and thinking he is joking, Newt just ignores it.
Although feeling reluctant, Newt decides to respond to the call and meet Cecil at the corner of Wareen and Kander streets.
Cecil leads their way, together with a wagon, passing by Dumpsters and garbage cans until they stop at one point.
There is a big bass drum which has been thrown away, sitting on the of the Dumpster that catches Cecil’s attention.
Feeling determined to own the drum, Cecil is feeling hopeful that Captain Nobody will lend his hands to get it down from the top of he Dumpster.
Newt is afraid of heights. So, he suggests Cecil to be the one who should climb the Dumpster.
After Cecil makes it clear that the job is meant for the fearless Captain Nobody, Newt changes his mind.
Captain Nobody climbs on and carefully passes the drum to his sidekick, Cecil who is waiting with open arms on the ground.
As Captain Nobody is about to settle down, he screams his lungs out when a hand suddenly comes out from the pile of cardboard boxes and grabs him by his ankle.

CHAPTER 12 : CAPTAIN NOBODY FIRST COMES TO THE RESCUE

Surprised by the incident, Cecil shouts at the old man who is holding Captain Nobody’s ankle and the old man quickly releases his hand off.
Captain Nobody recognises the familiar face of the old man, Mr. Clay, who used to be a locksmith, because his mother has used some of his services when she was in trouble.
Cecil is still skeptical about Mr. Clay and tries to warn Captain Nobody that the old man might be dangerous to them.
Captain Nobody claims that the old man is not harmful to them, it is just that he is suffering from a diseases, Alzheimer.
Mr. Clay drops his plastic medicine bottle into Captain Nobody’s hand which immediately explains the old man’s situation.
After introducing himself as Captain Nobody, he and Cecil walk Mr. Clay home.
Captain Nobody knows where the old man lives as he always parks his cherry red van in front of his house.
Mrs. Clay is relieved when she sees her husband standing at the front door of their house.
Mr. Clay explains that he is rescued by Captain Nobody.

CHAPTER 13 : DAD MEETS CAPTAIN NOBODY

Newt heads home and gets excited when he sees his father’s car in the driveway.
In the kitchen, Dad meets Captain Nobody for the first time.
A moment after that, Dad starts to apologise to Newt because he has received several calls from the school.
After the meeting in the Principal’s office, the people from school think that Captain Nobody appears in school because he is so upset about his brother’s condition.
Newt tries his very best to reason with Dad about being Captain Nobody outside the house.
Dad feels relieved after Newt manages to assure him that he is still being himself and his alter ago is just some sort of confidence booster.
Dad even takes a photo of Captain Nobody and sends it to Mom.
Suddenly, the walkie-talkie squeals in the middle of their conversation.
Cecil makes contact just to ask a silly favour from Captain Nobody and Newt, who is in disbelief, starts to make a weird sound through the walkie-talkie as if the device is running out of battery.
As Newt is about to sleep, Dad tells him that Mom is having a good laugh about Captain Nobody and she starts showing the image to everybody in the hospital.
Dad explains about the current situation and hospital procedures that they need to follow and he assures Newt will be the first one to visit if the situation improves.

CHAPTER 14 : CERTAIN THREATS ARE MADE

The next morning, nobody is making fun at Newt disguising as Captain Nobody and even Mrs. Young addresses him accordingly.
Later on, after Cecil explains to JJ how to operate her walkie-talkie, the three of them decide to test their new mode of alternative communication.
As Newt is about to respond on the walkie-talkie, a football hit at the back of his head.
It comes from the students in the seventh grade and one particular kid named Ricky Ratner approaches Newt in a non-friendly manner.
Ricky, who happens to be Reggie’s cousin, wants Newt to make everyone know that Reggie is not the culprit of the Big Tackle that leads to Chris’s critical condition.
Things are about to get uglier during the heated conversation between Ricky and Newt when suddenly all of the fourth graders stand up for Newt, Cecil and JJ.
Before the crowd disperses, the confrontation ends with a threat from Ricky for Newt.
Cecil makes a point that the vibes coming from Captain Nobody make everyone in the fourth grade becomes more courageous.
After what had happened, Newt has to carefully sneak out from the school.
He is shocked the moment JJ calls for Captain Nobody’s help through the walkie-talkie.
Captain Nobody dashes to the Sullivan’s Jewelry Store after their conversation ends with JJ screaming at the other end of the line.

CHAPTER 15 : BAD SPELLING LEADS TO SOMETHING WORSE

Captain Nobody is almost out of breath when he arrives at the curb in front of Sullivan’s Jewelry store.
JJ cannot get herself over with the spelling and grammar mistakes found on the cardboard signs in the jewelry store.
She has tried talking to the Sullivan but she is ignored by the couple.
JJ insists that Captain Nobody can make a difference if he goes in and talk to the owners.
Feeling obliged to the duty of a superhero, Captain Nobody steps into the store where he can clearly see Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan at the far end with their only customer.
Afraid that he is interrupting their business, Captain Nobody wants to leave the store but the couple insists that they will be hearing anything from him.
Captain Nobody cannot believe his eyes as he stares at the customer’s sweatshirt because he is holding a gun inside of the pocket.
The situation becomes more chaotic when Mr. Sullivan manages to sound the alarm in the store.
Before the robber flees the scene, he threatens Captain Nobody not to report the incident to the authority or something bad will happen to him.
After being warned, Captain Nobody immediately walks out the store and wants to leave the scene.
JJ tries to convince Captain Nobody to talk to the police about the robbery.
Both of them run away when Captain Nobody explains about the threat he has received from the robber.

CHAPTER 16 : I DON’T APPEAR ON THE FIVE O’CLOCK NEWS

Newt reaches home late after the robbery.
Although terrified with the incident, he is able to sense something is not going well after hearing Mom’s response.
The conversation is halted when the phone rings for Mom.
Newt helps himself in the kitchen and watches the television.
To his surprise, the news is reporting on the robbery in the Sullivan’s Jewelry Store.
He is quite annoyed with the news report as Captain Nobody is referred as ‘the little guy’, ‘a midget’ and even as ‘a leprechaun’.
JJ phones Newt to talk about the news report and he reminds JJ not to spread a word about the incident.
That night, Newt to talk about the news report and he reminds JJ not to spread a word about the incident.
That night, Newt is having dinner with Mom and both of them seem to have secrets that they do not wish to reveal to one another.
Before he goes to bed, he reflects all the bad and good incidents that Captain Nobody has gone through.
He dreams about his brother again, but this time Chris addresses him as ‘Captain’ and Newt feels proud to be acknowledged by his brother.
The next morning, he comes to a huge relief after hearing the first news because the robber has been arrested.
The second news, however, is not that promising. He finds a crumpled paper in the trash bin.
He is now aware that Chris will be in more serious trouble if he does not wake up after 6 days.
He realises that his parents are heavily distracted because of the bad news and he is determined to make the situation becomes better.

CHAPTER 17 : I CHEAT DEATH

Darryl and Colby are on a special tour to show supports to Chris Newman after the Big Tackle incident by bringing along the team ambassador, Ferocious the Ferret.
A lucky student will get the chance to bring Ferocious home for one day.
Newt gets to babysit the animal and he is unhappy about it since he has a plan to visit his brother after school.
As the three of them are walking home, Ricky Ratner and six of his friends are blocking their way.
Unlike before, this time around, Ricky is angrier as his cousin, Reggie, is still being hassled by Chris’s friends.
Ricky notices the ferret and he signals his friends to scramble the animal’s cage.
Suddenly, the cage door opens and Ferocious jumps out and gets away.
Captain Nobody, Cecil and JJ chase the animal off until they reach the highway.
Captain Nobody needs to come at the rescue for once again and this time, he dodges the incoming traffic light just to get Ferocious back.
Being overwhelmed by the dangerous situation, Captain Nobody waves frantically, hoping for the vehicles to stop.
As soon as the traffic stops, just about in the nick of time, a small aeroplane carrying passengers makes an emergency landing on the highway!
Everybody who is at the scene cannot believe their own eyes and when the word seems to stop for a moment, Ferocious sits on Captain Nobody’s ankle and he scoops the ferret up safely.

CHAPTER 18 : I LEARN AN UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH

After Ferocious the Ferret has been caught, they leave the place as they need to gather their things that they have left by the roadside.
At Newt’s house, the news about the aeroplane landing has become a sensation.
Every person who is interviewed in the news gives their thoughts about the incident, also mentioning what Captain Nobody has done in stopping the busy traffic.
The reporter concludes that it is undecided either Captain Nobody is good or evil.
Cecil and JJ insist that they should go back to the highway and explain about the whole situation.
Captain Nobody, on the other hand, feels that he should revert himself by becoming Newton Newman after what he has been through.
By the time Cecil and JJ leave the house, it is already too late for Newt to visit his brother.
Around dinner time, Dad calls to inform that he is going to stay over at the hospital with Mom.
Newt also informs that his days as Captain Nobody are already over.
That night, he dreams about the highway incident which then suddenly the Big Tackle incident starts to rewind.
At the end of the dream, Newt learns that it is Darryl Peeps who had clashed his helmet against his brother’s.

CHAPTER 19 : REGGIE RATNER DECIDES TO END IT ALL

The next morning starts off with Newt having breakfast with Mom.
Newt mentions that he knows about Chris only has 6 days to wake up and he suprises Mom by announcing that he is going to visit Chris later on that day.
Although he pledges that he will not be wearing the costume again, he stuffs the outfit into his backpack and heads for school.
He realises that he feels so lonely and ignored after returning to school as Newton Newman.
When Newt is heading for his lunch break, he notices a lot of teachers rushing into the faculty lounge and gather around the television.
There is news on the television reporting about Reggie Ratner wants to jump off the Appleton water tower after feeling depressed since the Big Tackle incident.
Newt is in dilemma as he claims that he is the only one who knows the truth about the Big Tackle incident.

CHAPTER 20 : I CLIMB UP TO THE SKY

As JJ trying to lift Captain Nobody to get a good trip on the second rung of the ladder, a policeman approaches them.
Cecil feels dutiful as Captain Nobody’s sidekick and he tries to shift the officer’s attention and it works.
Although the water tower supportive structures, including the ladder, are not as strong as it used to be, Captain Nobody manages to slither his way to reach Reggie Ratner despites the other challenges that he had to face.
On top of the tower, they both talk to each other about the Big Game and the series of event that has been happening after the incident.
Captain Nobody learns that Reggie climbs the tower to vandalise the water tank.
The truth is actually Reggie’s left foot is stuck and he needs Captain Nobody to untie his shoelace of which Captain Nobody manages to help Reggie and it is broadcasted through the news channels in the country.
Then, when they reach at a critical point, Reggie becomes unconvinced since Captain Nobody needs to climb the ladder down first.
As Captain Nobody is counting every step down, he is surprised to see Reggie is also getting his hands on the ladder.
Trying to find his balance with his feet dangling on the air, Captain Nobody loses his grip and falls down.

CHAPTER 21 : I FINISH FALLING

Captain Nobody feels time is passing by rapidly and everything seems to fall into pieces at the same time.
Fortunately, a huge, inflated rubber mattress catches him from hitting the hard ground.
Captain Nobody is about to celebrate his safe touch on the ground when he suddenly sees a massive figure falling to his landing spot.
Captain Nobody swoons himself as the result of the impact by the huge Reggie Ratner.

CHAPTER 22 : I FINALLY GET TO THE HOSPITAL

Newt does not realise that he is in the hospital until Mom explains that he suffers from a broken ankle and ribs.
From his bed, he sees Cecil on the television responding to the media on behalf of Captain Nobody.
Mom and Dad begins to tell what had really happened after Captain Nobody passes out and they cannot stop worrying about him since the live broadcast appears on the television.
Suddenly, Reggie shows up and visits Newt with a lot of reporters waiting eagerly behind the sliding door of the recovery room.
Watching at his parents feeling a bit bitter towards Reggie, Newt begins to reveal that it was actually Darryl Peeps who knocks Chris out during the Big Tackle.
From the recovery room, Newt is transferred into the same room where his brother has been lying motionlessly.
Although finally he has the chance to meet his brother in the hospital, he feels useless as he cannot help his brother to wake up. He wishes to tell his brother about Captain Nobody.
While he is thinking to himself and rewinding the memory that he has in the morning of the Big Game, Newt lets out a scream, ‘HIT THE SHOWERS!’ without realising it.
The nurses rush in and as he is about to explain to them, Chris throws a pillow at his head, just like what he will do at home.
Chris is finally awake!

CHAPTER 23 : I WAKE UP IN THE NEWS

It seems the happiest celebration in the hospital the moment Chris wakes up from his coma.
Newt, too, is getting the attention that he has never experienced before.
He wants to be the first to talk to Chris but the shot given by the nurse earlier makes him fall into his sleep.
Newt wakes up in the next morning and finds himself at his own house .
Cecil and JJ are also in the house and they start talking about the media coverage that they get after the water tower incident.
On the other hand, Chris is nowhere to be seen in the house as he is attending a local television morning show.
The hostess and Chris talk excitedly about what had happened and at the end of the show, Chris shocks everyone who is watching.
Chris insists that the victory parade should be led by the real hero, Captain Nobody, instead of the winner of the Big Game.
That night, although Newt cannot get rid of the pain, he refuses to take the painkiller because he wants to wait for Chris instead of falling asleep.
When Chris arrives home, they set their eyes for good since the Big Game incident and miraculously, Newt can feel the pain fading away.

CHAPTER 24 : A LITTLE OLD LADY MAKES ME LAUGH

The parade is one of the memorable moments for Appleton because for the first time, the Fillmore High School band is joined by Merrimac’s marching band.
Darryl Peeps is not blamed for the Big Tackle and even Reggie gets backs his peaceful life.
To reward their special contributions to the society, Newt, Cecil and JJ receive a token of appreciation from the Sullivan couple, the pilot and passengers of the small aeroplane and MR. Clay the locksmith respectively.
When they reach home, the normal routines get back on track, with Mom asking Newt where she has misplaced most of her belongings and Dad gets himself busy with his phone and beeper.
But, it is not the same story for Newton Newman since all the exposure that he has after becoming Captain Nobody.
Newt is now as popular as his brother, Chris, and event at one point, Chris tells Newt about a weird incident during the parade.
A little old lady from outside town claims that she did know that Newton Newman has an older brother and that has made Newt laugh heartily.
The ending comes to a point when Chris jokingly says that there is a monster under Newt’s bed just before he switches off the light.

 

In the Midst of Hardship – Latiff Mohidin

images

albino buffalo

 

In the Midst of Hardship by Latiff Mohidin

At dawn they returned home

their soaky clothes torn

and approached the stove

their limbs marked by scratches

their legs full of wounds

but on their brows

there was not a sign of despair


The whole day and night just passed

they had to brave the horrendous flood

in the water all the time

between bloated carcasses

and tiny chips of tree barks

desperately looking for their son’s

albino buffalo that was never found


They were born amidst hardship

and grew up without a sigh or a complaint

now they are in the kitchen, making

jokes while rolling their ciggarete leaves

SYNOPSIS

This poem is about a family who faces  hardship whereby their son’s albino buffalo is nowhere to be found. A flood occurs and they go out to find the buffalo. They reach home early in the morning without the buffalo and yet there is no  sign of despair in them. Meanwhile, they can still crack jokes and roll the cigarettes.

Figurative meaning by stanza

STANZA 1

They returned home at day break and headed for the stove. This is probably because they were hungry. However, I have also received some feedbacks saying that they went straight to the stove to dry themselves as they were drenched with the flood water. Their clothes were soaking wet and tattered. Their bodies were covered with scratches and wounds. Yet, they did not display any signs of being worried.

STANZA 2

They were out in the flood the whole day and night. They were surrounded by dead animals and parts of trees that had been destroyed by the flood. We know that the animals were already dead because of the phrase ‘bloated carcasses’. They searched desperately for their son’s albino buffalo but were unable to find it.

STANZA 3

They were born into poverty and difficulty, but they do not complain about their suffer. Instead, they sit in the kitchen, cracking jokes while smoking cigarettes. This shows that they face difficulties all the time and this time there is no different. They have inner strength that makes them strong to face any hardship poses to them.

SETTING

The setting of the poem is in the house.

THEMES

Being resilience when facing hardship

Family love

Acceptance of way of life

MORAL VALUES

  1. We should learn to accept problems in life with a positive outlook.
  2. We must attempt to face and solve problem.
  3. Facing hardship is part and parcel of life.
  4. If we face a problem, do not feel despair.

TONE, MOOD, ATMOSPHERE

  • Understanding and sympathetic
  • Acceptance of situation

POINT OF VIEW

Third person pint of view.

LANGUAGE & STYLE

Language is simple and easy to understand.

The style is simple with no rhyming scheme.

POETIC DEVICES

Imagery – Gives picture of poet’s thoughts e.g ‘soaky clothes torn’ and ‘legs full of wounds’

Alliteration – e.g. ‘but on their brows’

Symbols – e.g. ‘horrendous flood’ and ‘bloating carcasses’

Diction – e.g. ‘stove’ and ‘brows

Execise

32. a. Which phrase in stanza 1 shows that the people are injured? (1 mark)

b. Give the meaning of the following words:

(i) ‘soaky’ (1 mark)

(ii) ‘limbs’ (1 mark)

(c) Do you admire the actions of the people? Give a reason for your answer. (2 marks)

32 a.When did the family go back home?

b.Why do you think some family members approached the stove?

c. The word ‘horrendous’ means …………………………………………………………………….

d. In your opinion, how should people react to difficult times?  (2 marks)

32 a. Which lines indicate the suffering that the people endure while out in the rain?

b. How long did the heavy downpour occur??

c. The word ‘horrendous’ means ……………………………………………………………………

d. In your opinion, why did the boy love the albino buffalo so much? (2 marks)

Exercise  1 (phrases)

Quotation from the poem – Which line means

1. not feeling gloomy?                                             …………………………………………………………………

2. their clothes were drenched and torn?                …………………………………………………………………

3. their hands and legs had cuts all over?               …………………………………………………………………

4. had to put up with the dreadful flood?                 …………………………………………………………………

5. born in suffering?                                                …………………………………………………………………

6. accepted their life without complaining?              …………………………………………………………………

Tips to answer SPM 1119

1.Paper 1 

Section A – 35 marks.

Tips for Directed Writing SPM

 *Count how many points are already given.

Set how many more points you must come up with to get the total maximum marks of content

  • Details ; elaboration, examples, suggestions (depends on the requirement of the question)
  • If you are not proficient in English, write short but varied sentence structures  (passive,active,simple, compound etc.)
  • Use sequence and sentence connectors appropriately

You must spend 45 minutes or less because you need to spend time planning and writing your 2nd composition.

–  Write around 1 ½ pages only unless you have anough time to spare.

 Writing – the most important is your sentences must be correct. Subject verb agreement MUST be correct!! Check your plural & singular nouns, your tenses. Passive & active voice sentences, spelling & punctuation.

Section B – 50 marks

Tips

    • Correct sentences and variety of sentences determine your grade. You must write correct sentences before anything else.
    • Use correct punctuation, spelling and accurate choice of words.
    • Sophisticated sentences warrant merit before vocabulary.

If you are well read, choose factual essays. Good command of the language. If you are not sure, choose to write story. Make sure it is 350 words or more (does not apply to section A). Avoid answering one word question. if you want to use that as a name. (Colours. – I have a cat. Its name is Colours). Be as original as you can because this is creative writing. Make the setting local and believeable.

2. Paper 2 – questions 16-25 must answer with specific answers, correct puntuation,spelling & grammatically correct.

– questions 26 -30 (comprehension) answer according to paragraphs – which word means the question only want 1 word (no

need to write in a sentence.

– question 31 (summary) no marks for total lifting of continuous sentences – pick n choose wisely. Your summary must be in 130 words or less ( 125-130) *count each word. i.e Kuala Lumpur =2 words , UM=2 words, proper noun is counted word by word. Use sequence/sentence connectors – however, therefore,next, later, furthermore……

– poem – answer based on the excerpt given – which line/phrase – rewrite the line/phrase (quote it).

– if ask for opinion, Yes/no with reason..without it =0

– novel – you must state the title of the novel – include character, events, lesson learn/the importance – express your opinion

– must be written in paragraphs = the best 4 or more. ( no word limit) must be backed by evidence from the novel.

Poetic devices

Term Meaning Example
alliteration repetition of the initial consonant sounds terrible truths and lullaby lies
assonance repetition of vowel sound mystery disguised within
consonance repetition of consonant sounds, but not vowel sounds gloomy woman
imagery language that evokes sensory images drip of ruby teardrops (aural/sound)
to wake up where the green grass grows (visual/sight)
lips like cool sweet tea (oral/taste)
streaming through a velvet sky (tactile/touch)
the stench of the underworld (olfactory/smell)
internal rhyme rhyming that occurs within the line
(rather than at the end)
piece of me emerges
metaphor comparison of unlike things
(made without using like or as)
am the “Lone Star”
onomatopoeia a word that imitates the sound it represents Boo! Who?
personification giving human qualities or characteristics
to animals or objects
tears of amber fall from my soul
rhyme a pattern of words that contains similar sounds
at the end of the line
life for me
is wild and free
rhyme scheme a repeated pattern of rhymed words
at the end of the line
lusty eyes (A)
passionate cries (A)
rich blood, (B)
bitter sweat (C)
she/he loves (D)
and dies (A)
simile a comparison using like or as notes dance across the page like stars twinkle in the night sky
stanza a group of poetic lines (also called a verse) Like glistening sun
and moon like day and gloomy night
like pure earth and gentle clouds
transformation – life and death
symbol an object or action that means more
than its literal meaning
always open like a rosebud about to bloom
(a young girl)