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LITERATURE COMPONENT FOR FORM 4

Short Story

Leaving
By M.G. Vassanji

Table of Contents
Introduction
The Writer
Synopsis
Elements
Activities
Beyond The Text
Assessment
Answer Key
Glossary
Panel of Writers
LEAVING

Introduction

WHAT IS A SHORT STORY?


A short story :
- A short narrative work of fiction written in prose
- Usually centres around one or two main characters
- Like the novel, it has a plot and both main and minor characters.
- It has a less complicated plot and fewer characters than a novel
- Covers a limited time frame
- Its length can vary from a paragraph to thirty pages or more
- The author also uses literary devices to enhance its presentation

ELEMENTS OF A SHORT STORY


When reading and discussing a short story, a teacher has to bring the readers attention to the
following elements of the story :

Author
Person who wrote the story.

Setting
The setting of a story is the time and place the story happens. The atmosphere suggested by the
setting is very important. It creates the mood or reveals the values, ideas and attitudes of a character
connected to a place.

Theme
A theme is the main idea of a story. It is the central focus or idea presented by the author concerning
a view or a theory about life. Sometimes, a story may have several themes.

Characterisation
A short story usually has only a few characters. These characters tell us about themselves through
their words and actions or we may learn about them from what other characters say about them.

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Point of view
The writer tells a story from a particular point of view. The story may be told in the first person point
of view, where the narrator is one of the characters in the story and relates the story as I. The writer
may also use the third person or omniscient point of view, where the narrator tells the story objectively
and uses pronouns such as he, she, it or they.

Plot
Plot is the sequence of events in a story. An interesting sequence of events keeps the story moving
and maintains the readers interest. The events usually follow the structure below :

CLIMAX
The most exciting part
of the story

CONFLICT FALLING
Build-up the story ACTION
How the events resolve

EXPOSITION
Introduction of RESOLUTION
characters, setting and How the story finally
background of the story end

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Literary Devices
When discussing language and style, the teacher should also highlight where possible the use of
literary devices such as flashback, diction, repetition, imagery, personification, similes, metaphors,
symbolism, etc.

Symbolism Things such as an object, a person, a situation or an action that is used to


represent something else.
Foreshadowing A technique used by the writers to hint at what will happen later in the story.
Flashback A technique used to show or explain certain events that have happened earlier in
the lives of the characters.
Irony It is a situation where the result of an action contradicts the desired effect.
Conflict Conflict occurs when there is a struggle, a clash of actions or intentions between
characters, between a character and an external force or within the character
himself.
Simile A direct comparison between two objects or ideas with the use of the words like or
as.
Repetition Stating something more than once to highlight the matter or for dramatic effect.
Personification An object or animal that is given human qualities or personalities.

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LEAVING

The Writer

M.G. Vassanji

M.G. Vassanji was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1950 and raised in Tanzania. His parents were a part
of a wave of Indians who immigrated to Africa. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and the University of Pennsylvania, where he specialized in nuclear physics, before
moving to Canada as a postdoctoral fellow in 1978.

M.G. Vassanji is one of Canada's most acclaimed writers. He has published six novels, two
collections of short stories, a memoir of his travels in India, and a biography of Mordecai Richler. His
work has appeared in various countries and several languages. He is a member of the Order of
Canada and has been awarded several honorary doctorates.
(From Wikipedia.org)

Now I know more


about the writer.

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LEAVING

Synopsis

Leaving is a story about a young Indian boy, Aloo, who leaves home to
further his studies in America. The story is told by his elder sibling, a local university
student. Aloo and his elder sibling are the youngest in their family. They live with
their mother in a quiet town called Upanga, Tanzania. Their two older sisters,
Mehroon and Razia, and an older brother, Firoz have already left home.
With most of her children leaving home, their mother turns her attention to
them with high hopes. She wants them to study hard, instead of helping her out in
their store, which she later sells. Aloo, a clever student, is suddenly inspired to
continue his study in America, after hanging out with a former teacher Mr. Datoo,
who now resides there. Motivated, Aloo finds out more about scholarships and
universities in America, and starts to apply to all of the universities he can find.
At first, his mother does not take his plan seriously. However, after knowing
that Aloo has received an offer from a famous college in America, the California
Institute of Technology, complete with a scholarship, she gets angry, thinking Aloo
wants to leave them, and does not allow him to go. Aloo becomes upset, but he
relents. He gets himself ready to study agriculture, even though he rather be
studying medicine.
Feeling bad for keeping Aloo from his dream, his mother suggests that all of
them go see Mr. Velji, a school officer for advice. Mr. Velji approves of the university
and he agrees that Aloo should go, but warns his mother that she will lose him. Back
at home, they look again at the prospectus. Finally with a heavy heart, Aloos mother
decides to let him go. The story ends with Aloo describing his experience on the
plane, Mr. Velji understanding Aloos mothers situation, and his mother thinking of
the future.

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LEAVING

Elements

Setting
The Setting of Place

Uhuru Street, Tanzania Where Mother and her five children live. It is a busy, bustling street
filled with cars, buses and bicycles.

Upanga After her three eldest children leave home, Mother moves to
Upanga, a lonely and quiet town, with her two youngest children.
When they first moved, there were only a few houses in the
neighbourhood. Behind the housing area was wild, undeveloped
land with tall trees. At night, the family could hear nothing but the
sound of insects and small animals. In this house where most if
conversations takes place.

Tanga A town on the coast north of Dar es Salaam, Tanzanias capital


city, where Razia lives.

Mr Veljis office Where Mother seeks for advice.

America Where Mr Datoo lives and where Aloo wants to study.

London Where Aloo writes a letter home.

The Setting of Time

- Present day.

- The story begins with an introduction to the family and their lives over the years. The main
story takes place over several months from the time Aloo starts thinking of studying in
America until when he writes a letter home from London.

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Themes
1. Separation.
The story deals with the theme of separation between Mother and her children.
And why do you want to go away, so far from us? What kind of son are you? You
want to leave me and go away to a foreign place? Wont you miss us? Ae we so
unimportant to you? If something happens (page 34)
But if you send him, you will lose your son It is a far place, America. (page 37)

Mother is sad having her children leave home.


My two sisters got married, and Mother was sad to see them leave home. (page 31)

Mother finally lets Aloo go to America with a heavy heart after a lot of thinking.
If you go away to the moon, my son, what will happen to me? Mother asked,
smiling. (page 38)
Promise me promise me that if I let you go, you will not marry a white woman.
(page 40)
And promise me that you will not smoke or drink. (page 40)

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2. Ambitiousness.
Aloo wants to study medicine instead of studying agriculture.
He wanted to study medicine, but they gave him a place to study agriculture. Aloo
was not interested in farming; he wanted to live and work in the city. (page 33)
Agriculture? He laughed. They can forget it! (page 33)
Mother was not made of stone. She knew how Aloo felt about studying
agriculture. (page 36)

Aloo considers studying abroad instead of just studying in a local university.


All through the rest of that year he wrote to universities in America, finding their
names in books. (page 32)

Aloo still wants to further his education in America even though he has no money.
Of course, it was expensive, but could he perhaps win a scholarship to pay for it?
(page 32)
Aloos hopes began to look unreal. She was right; he would need much more
money than that. (page 34)
Cant we borrow some money? he asked. Ill work in America. Yes, Ill work in a
restaurant or something I know students can do that. Ill send the money back!
(page 34)

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3. The importance of education.
The story revolves around studying and continuing education.
Firoz, my older brother, did not finish his last year at school, and no one
was surprised at that. He was working in the office of a big shop. (page
31)
By now I was at university, living there during the week and coming home
at weekends. (page 32)
All through the rest of that year he wrote to universities in America,
finding their names in books. (page 32)

Mother wants her youngest two children study hard instead working early.
Mothers hopes were now on the youngest two of us, Aloo and me. She
wanted us to study hard and not spend time working in our store. (page
31)

Aloo is excited at the prospect of continuing his studies in America.


Could he perhaps get into an American university? (page 32)
All through the rest of that year he wrote to universities in America,
finding their names in books. (page 32)
Could he get there? Was he good enough? (page 33)
Aloo could not believe it at first. He read the letter again and again.
Then he asked me to read it. When he was sure there was no mistake, he
was so happy. (page 33)
Its something, isnt it? whispered Aloo. He could not hide the
excitement in his voice. They teach everything there, he said. They
send rockets to the moon (page 38)

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4. Selflessness.
Mother rather works alone by herself at the store without the help of her two remaining
children.
She wanted us to study hard and not to spend time working in our store.
(page 31).

Mother does not remarry so that her children can be under her care.
In the years after his death several men asked her to marry them, but she
always refused to marry again, because of us. Children of a first marriage
cannot stay with their mother in a second marriage; they are sent to a
childrens home. (page 38)

Mother finally lets Aloo study abroad even though she wants him by her side.
Promise me promise me that if I let you go, you will not marry a white woman.
(page 40)

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5. Fear of the unknown.
Mother and Mr. Velji fears that Aloo will not return once he goes to study in
America.
If you go away to the moon, my son, what will happen to me? Mother asked,
smiling. (page 38)
Promise me promise me that if I let you go, you will not marry a white woman.
(page 40)
But if you send him, you will lose your son It is a far place, America. (page
37)

Mother worries that Aloo will pick up bad habits while being in America.
And promise me that you will not smoke or drink. (page 40)

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Values
It is important to seize opportunities given to us
In the story, Aloo studies very hard and does well in his exams. He also applies to many universities in
America in the hope to further his studies there. His hard work is not in vain as he receives an offer to
study at the prestigious California Institute of Technology on scholarship. Knowing how precious
the opportunity is, he tries his best to convince his mother to let him go. He knows that this is an
opportunity that he must not pass up.

We must respect our elders.


When Mother first objects his decision to study in America, Aloo does not pursue the matter further
and seems resigned to study agriculture at the local university. Out of respect, he does not rebel
against his mothers decision and only speak of the matter again after she asks him about it.
Both the narrator and Aloos respect for Mr Velji is apparent when they stand up as he enters the
room.

We must be grateful to our parents


In the story, there is a point when the narrator has a new awareness of the hardships that Mother
must have gone through as a single mother and how that must have changed her as a person. This
teaches us to think about the sacrifices our parents have made for us too.

We must give support to family members and help them achieve their ambition.
When we need information for whatever we are interested in, we must take the initiative to do
something about it.
It is good to be ambitious.
One must be courageous and have the strength to stand up to what one believes in.
If one is determined and not waver from ones goal, one will be successful.
It is good to want to keep family members around forever, but sometimes we need to let go for
them to live their own life.
Now experiences and exposure to different cultures and ways of life would enrich our lives.
We must not be afraid to get out of the known to learn about the unknown.
Parents are always willing to sacrifice for the good and happiness of their children.

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Characters and Character Traits
Aloo

The youngest child in the family-doing his final year in school.(P31)


A good student who does well in school examinations, straight As.(P32737)
An obedient son- willing to accept his mothers decision. He does not speak about
overseas education and prepares to study agriculture locally.(P36)
Loves to read.(P36)
Offered a place in the local university to study agriculture.(P33)
Diligent- Writes to universities to get necessary information for further studies (P32)
An ambitious and determined boy who wants to study medicine in America.(P33)
Spirited & courageous- He is willing to do part-time work while studying(P34)
Receives a scholarship to study at the California Institute of Technology.(P33)
Curious and excited to hear about the world outside in his native country.(P33)
Could not suppress his excitement when his mother finally allows him to go
overseas(P39&40)
Seeks a better education and a better life.(P33)
Writes from London to mother(P40)

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Mother

A single mother with five children-her husband died when she was thirty-three.(P38)
Once a beauty in her younger days and wore pretty clothes.(P38)
Now a plump woman with a worried, unsmiling face, thinning hair and coarse voice as a
result of having to raise her five children without a husband (P38).
Selfless and always puts her children first- Refused to marry after death of her husband
for fear that the next husband would ask her to take her children to a childrens
Home(P38)
She thinks of the childrens future and willing to sacrifice for them. She closes down the
store and moves family to a quieter part of town just to provide better environment for
studying.(Moves from Uhuru Street to Upanga)(P31&32)
Determined to raise her children alone.(P38)
Sad that one by one, her children are leaving her.(P31)
Has hope and ambition especially on her two youngest children.She wants them to do
well(P31)
Feels attached to her son, Aloo, and finds it difficult to let him go so far away.(P34)
Afraid that Aloo will pick up the negative habits abroad and never return home.P34&40)
Compassionate toward her son and finally allows him to go to America after seeing how
sad he is.(P38 &40)
After receiving letter from Aloo, she feels unsure that Aloo will return to hometown in
Tanzania(P40)

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The narrator (Aloos sibling)
The second youngest child of the family .(P31)
Name or gender are not mentioned in the story
Studies at the local university and comes home only at weekends(P32)
Perceptive to the surrounding(P33,34 &38)
Empathetic towards both Mother and Aloo.(P33-36,38-40)
Seems like an obedient child.(P31,32 &38)
Supportive of and understands Aloos needs to study overseas and not in local university
P33)
Understanding towards Mothers suffering.(P8&40)
Loving and caring of mother and understands mothers refusal to allow Aloo to study
overseas(P34,37 &38-40)

Mehroon
The oldest of the siblings(P31)
Lives with her husband in town(P31)

Razia
The second sister(P31)
A rich housewife in Tanga(P31)

Firoz
The third sibling and the eldest son in the family(P31)
Did not complete his last year of school(P31)
Works in the office of a big shop(P31)

Mr. Velji
One of the school officers(P36)
A small, clever-looking man with a large head and wears big, black glasses(P36)
A respected man in the community whose advice in valued.(P36)
He gives an objective comment about Aloos studies overseas(P37)
Knows that Aloo will get a good education but fears mother may lose a son(P37)
Someone that Mother trusts.(P36)

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Mr Datoo

A former teacher in Aloos school. He came back from America for a visit (P32)
It was his visit that inspired Aloo to think about his future (P32)

QUALITY OF THE CHARACTERS HIGHLIGHTED

Both Aloo and Mother portray these qualities.


Determined
Mother wants both her youngest children to study hard, to the
and
point of selling her business and moving to a quieter part of
persistent
town where it is more conducive to study.

Aloo wants to study in America so he applies to every


university he could find.

When he finds out that his family may not be able to afford the
necessary expenses, he does not give up but suggests other
ideas to solve the problem.

Loving and Mother has great love for the children and are willing to make
selfless sacrifices for their sake. After having lost her husband at a
young age, she did not remarry for fear that her children would
be sent to a childrens home. Thus, she raised her five children
on her own.

She feels sad when her children leave home to start their own
lives.

Despite being unhappy that Aloo will be far away, she gives
him her permission to study in America as it is what he aspires
to do.

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Aloo does not bring up the matter of going to America again
when he sees how upset Mother has becomes. In fact, he
Obedient
prepared to study agriculture at the local university.
and filial
Before leaving, he promises his mother that he would never
drink or smoke, or marry a white woman, which shows that he is
an obedient and filial son

Ambitious Mother has great ambition for her two youngest children. She
wants them to study hard and get a good education, and is
even willing to close her shop and relocate to enable her
children to concentrate on their studies.

Aloo shares his characteristic. He aspires to go to an America


university instead of studying agriculture at home. He is
excited to see the world beyond his native county.

Perceptive The narrator is a perceptive person who sees both the


viewpoint of Mother and Aloo.

At one point in the story, the narrator suddenly gets an insight


into Mothers life and the sacrifices she had to make, and
begins to have a deeper understanding of her as a person.

The narrator also understands Aloos desire to study in


America.

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Plot
PLOT SUMMARY

Move to Upanga

Mother and her five children live in Uhuru Street and run a family store.

After her daughters got married and her eldest son got a job, they left home.

Mother wants her two youngest children concentrate on study so she decided to
move to Upanga, a very quiet town.

There, the narrator studies at university and Aloo is in his final year in school.

Aloo writes to universities in America

Mr Datoo, a former teacher of their school come back from America and visits the
boys at school.

Aloo become attracted to study at an American university and started to do research


about them. He finally writes application to many of the universities.

Mother just smile and did not take him seriously until he got an offer from one of the
universities that he applied.

The discussion and argument

Aloo is excited and talks to mother and narrator about it over tea. They discussed
the cost and Aloo realized that he still need much money for expenses even he gets
the scholarship.

Finally, Aloo asks mother whether they can borrow money and mother become angry
as he is willing to go far and never come back.

Aloo is crying angrily to his mother for giving him hope and they had a heated
argument.

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Aloo become quiet after the argument and prepare himself to a local college. Mother
knew Aloo is disappointed.

The decision

Mother suggests that they ask the advice from Mr. Velji, one of the schools officers.

Mr velji is impressed with Aloos result and confirmed that the offer is very good for
Aloo. However, he also stated that mother will lose him as it is very far.

Aloo is angry with the remarks from Mr. Velji that he will not come back.

That night, mother asks Aloo to show her and the narrator the prospectus of the
university. Aloo gets all excited and explain that they can learn everything there.

After that, mother is deep in thought. It was the first time the narrator sees her mother
as a person. He knew that their mother really love them and always put them first.

In the end mother give permission to Aloo, asking him to promise that he would never
marry a white woman, drink and smoke.

Aloo leaves for America

After a week since Aloo leaves for America, his first letter arrives home.

He is stopping in London to visit an old friend and excitedly talks about all the great
things of the city.

On the contrary of the excitement and joy of her sons with his new freedom, mother
stares ahead silently, knowing that her son will not return.

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Language and Style
The language used here is simple and straight to the point

It is easy to understand as it follows a chronological order from when Aloo writes to different
universities to get information, then he get a reply with an offer of a scholarship to when his
mother agrees to let him leave for further studies overseas

The story is written in the 1st person point of view-I, We

The story is told through the eyes of the narrator who is part of the family. However, it is not
mentioned whether the narrator is a male or female character.

The plot is told in a linear form, with some past events mentioned in the recollection of the
narrator.

The climax of the story occurs when Mother finally allows Aloo to go to America

The ending is a vague one, as it is not clear whether Aloo will indeed return or if he will forget
about his native country.

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Literary Devices in the Story
Irony The use words to The mother wants Aloo to be happy and to have a
suggest the opposite bright future but she is afraid to let him go and achieve
of what they literally it. She is so sure she will lose him. When Aloo writes
mean letters to some universities in America about courses
and possibilities of scholarships, his mother teases him
about having unclesin America who will pay for him to
attend college there. Ironically, Uncle Sam (Or
America) does help him when he was offered a
scholarship.

Flashback A point in the story The narrator recalls mothers outburst of love
when a past incidentis
described or referred
to by the characters

Symbolism The use of symbols to The big shiny prospectuses is a symbol of the bright
represent abstract future or prospects that Aloo hopes to acquire by
things studying overseas. Aloos mother is a symbol of the old
way of thinking that local education is as good as
overseas education and that will ensure thechildren stay
close to home.
A bird flying high and free..is a symbol of Aloo in the
plane high in the air and free to follow his dreams

Rhetoric A question posed But could he get there?Was he good enough?


question without expectation of How can I describe what I saw from the plane?
an answer but merely as
a way of making a point

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Comparison a consideration or Aloos new and happy freedom compares with his
estimate of the mothers sadness about the uncertainty of the future
similarities or not knowing whether she will still get to see her son
dissimilarities between
two things or people.

Simile Comparing two things his head..which looked like an egghe walked in like a
using words like and soldier
as

Personification As expression giving a little wind came inthe wind is personified as walking
human qualities to in through the open door
inanimate objects

Figurative The metaphorical, mother was not made of stone


expression idiomatic, or ironic the letter was full of excitement
sense of a word
or expression, in
contrast to its
literal meaning.

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LEAVING ACTIVITY SS1

(Setting)

Aim

To understand and identify the setting of a story. 40 minutes

Materials

Short story (Leaving), worksheet, a matrix

Steps

Introduce the term setting and highlight the


importance of it when reading literary texts as it Notes
can influence characters and what they do. The social

environment
Get students to identify the main physical
settings in a story. encompasses
the social /

Let students to identify social setting and finally


the time/period when the story took place. economic
standing,

Asks students to locate the main events that


occurred at each physical setting and its effect education
on the character. level, cultural
influences and
religious
beliefs.

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LEAVING ACTIVITY SS1

(Setting)

Aim

To identify the setting where specified events take place. 40 minutes

Materials

Short story (Leaving), sketch paper

Steps

Get students to work in group and list out all


the settings in the short story of Leaving Notes
Alternatively,

Then, for each setting, the students have to


- State the events that take place the teacher
- Put the events in the correct order for could provide
each setting the events and
settings. Get

Students portray the settings using illustrations


the students
to read the

Share their findings and drawing with the class.


Compare their answers. short story
and match the
events to the
settings.

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EXERCISE ON SETTING (SAMPLE)
1) Match the setting with the evidence.

Uhuru Street, Where Mother seeks for advice.


Tanzania

Upanga Where Aloo writes a letter home.

Tanga Where Mr Datoo lives and where Aloo wants to


study.

Mr Veljis office A town on the coast north of Dar es Salaam,


Tanzanias capital city, where Razia lives.

America Where Mother and her five children live. It is a


busy, bustling street filled with cars, buses and
bicycles.

London After lonely and quiet town. When they first


moved, there were only a few houses in the
neighbourhood. Behind the housing area was
wild, undeveloped land with tall trees.

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2) Complete the statement below with a reason or an appropriate expression from the list
provided below.

began to look unreal


studying agriculture made of stone
perhaps get into an American
university?
lonely frightening place
nobody could change the list
full of excitement - London

1. Their new home in Upanga had only a few houses and there were no streetlights. It was a
__________________________with wild land and tall trees behind the houses.

2. When Aloo wrote his first letter back home, the letter was
________________________ with descriptions of what he saw from the plane and
comments about the size of __________.

3. Mother knew how Aloo felt about ______________________ in their own university
and she arranged to get advice on the offer from an American college. She was after all
not ____________________.

4. Aloo was very sure what he wanted to do for his future. He was not interested in farming
as he wanted to live and work in a city. He was set on this and
___________________________.

5. When Mr Datoo returned for a visit from America, Aloo began to think of what he
wanted for his future. He wondered about a few things. One of this was could he
___________________________? He wrote letters to get answers to his doubts.

6. Aloo was very happy about the offer of a place and scholarship from the California
college. However, there were the problems of having enough money and convincing
mother. The narrator felt that Aloos hopes ___________________________.

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LEAVING ACTIVITY SS1

(Moral Values)

Aim

To talk about the moral lessons exemplified in the novel 40 minutes

Materials

Short story (Leaving)

Steps

Get students to list out some of the moral


values, for example kindness, gratefulness, Notes
honesty, etc. No human being

Ask students to share some of the lessons that is perfect;


they have learnt in their lives both bitter and therefore, we are
sweet. all bound to

Suggest some points of discussion based on make mistake.


the short story. Example: What can you learn
from each of the character? What values do
they portray?

Find evidence to support their answers. Share


their views with the class.

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LEAVING ACTIVITY SS1

(Moral Values)

Aim

To identify and relate the moral values in the story. 40 minutes

Materials

Worksheet / a matrix

Steps

Ask students to choose one event they like.


Notes
For students

Get students to think about what value the


author is trying to give them as readers based with limited
on the event they have chosen. proficiency
provide a list of

In group of four, get students to discuss one or


two pieces of advice that they can take back lessons and get
from reading the story. students to tick
their choices.

Each group presents their good advice and


students listen and complete the matrix.

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EXERCISE ON MORAL VALUES (SAMPLE)
1) Write the evidence of each moral value below.

It is important to seize opportunities


given to us

We must respect our elders.

We must be grateful to our parents

2) Write the suitable moral value for each situation below.

1. Cant we borrow some money? he asked. Ill work in America. Yes, Ill work in a
restaurant or something I know students can do that. Ill send the money back!

_________________________________________________________________

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2. A few days later, on Sunday morning, she looked up from sewing machine and said to the
two of us: Lets go and show this letter to Mr Velji. He understands things like these.
Lets take his advice.

________________________________________________________________

3. Mothers hopes were now on the youngest two of us, Aloo and me. She wanted us to
study hard and not to spend time working in our store.

_________________________________________________________________

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LEAVING ACTIVITY SS1

Character

Aim

40 minutes
To analyse characters in the story

Materials

Worksheet 1 & Short Story (Leaving)

Steps

Brainstorming session on the characters in the


short story & their characteristics. Notes

Provide Worksheet 1 for each student. The


students are asked to discuss and tick Teacher may
character traits that are relevant add the list of

Find evidences in the text to support their characteristics


answer based on the

Class discussion class discussion

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LEAVING ACTIVITY SS2

Character

Aim

40 minutes
To analyse characters in the story

Materials

Worksheet 2/3 & Short Story (Leaving)

Steps

characteristics.
Brainstorming session on the characters in the short story & their
Notes
Teacher may
in group of 4-5. Each group will get different character.
Provide Worksheet 2/3 for each student. The students are asked to work
need to
provide

The students are asked to discuss and complete the worksheet given.
example or
guidelines to

Find evidences in the text to support their answer


the weak
students.
e.g..give the
pages of the
descriptions of
the characters

33
LEAVING ACTIVITY SS1

Timeline

Aim

40 minutes
To analyze the development of the story

Materials

worksheet 1

Steps

Provide Worksheet 1 for each student


Notes

Divide students in groups of four


Ask students to

Get students to sequence the important event note page


provided. references for
each event
Teacher asks for feedback from all the groups.

34
LEAVING ACTIVITY SS1

(Plot Diagram)

Aim

To present a graphic representation of the plot 40 minutes

Materials

Worksheet 1

Steps


Place students in pairs
Notes
Make sure that

Distribute Worksheet 1 and get the students to
write the various events of the plot in the the students
corresponding boxes. already read the
whole story
before proceed

Groups present their findings to the class
with the activity


Correct the groups findings where necessary.

35
Worksheet 1

Fill in the boxes with the appropiate information based on the short story

Climax

Rising Action Falling action

PLOT

Exposition Resolution

36
Answer Key

37
SETTING (1)

Uhuru Street, Where Mother seeks for advice.


Tanzania

Upanga Where Aloo writes a letter home.

Tanga Where Mr Datoo lives and where Aloo wants to


study.

Mr Veljis office A town on the coast north of Dar es Salaam,


Tanzanias capital city, where Razia lives.

America Where Mother and her five children live. It is a


busy, bustling street filled with cars, buses and
bicycles.

London After lonely and quiet town. When they first


moved, there were only a few houses in the
neighbourhood. Behind the housing area was
wild, undeveloped land with tall trees.

SETTING (2)
1. lonely frightening place
2. full of excitement - London
3. studying agriculture made of stone
4. nobody could change the list
5. perhaps get into an American university?
6. began to look unreal

38
MORAL VALUES (1)
It is important to seize opportunities In the story, Aloo studies very hard and does well
given to us in his exams. He also applies to many universities
in America in the hope to further his studies
there. His hard work is not in vain as he receives
an offer to study at the prestigious California
Institute of Technology on scholarship. Knowing
how precious the opportunity is, he tries his best
to convince his mother to let him go. He knows
that this is an opportunity that he must not pass
up.

We must respect our elders. When Mother first objects his decision to study
in America, Aloo does not pursue the matter
further and seems resigned to study agriculture at
the local university. Out of respect, he does not
rebel against his mothers decision and only speak
of the matter again after she asks him about it.

We must be grateful to our parents In the story, there is a point when the narrator has
a new awareness of the hardships that Mother
must have gone through as a single mother and
how that must have changed her as a person.
This teaches us to think about the sacrifices our
parents have made for us too.

MORAL VALUES (2)


1) If one is determined and not waver from ones goal, one will be successful.

2) When we need information for whatever we are interested in, we must take the initiative to
do something about it.

3) Parents are always willing to sacrifice for the good and happiness of their children.

39
Worksheet 1
The following is a character sheet of the major and minor characters. Tick (/) the appropriate
trait for each other.

Traits Aloo Mother The Mr Velji


narrator
Ambitious / /
Obedient / /
Selfless /
Determine /
Compassionate /
Empathetic / /
Understanding /
Persistent / /
Loving /
Respected /
Perceptive /
Bright / / /

40
Says: Feelings:
Narrator- he was a -wants to study
clever student..(p32) medicine(p33)
..get a place at a college -not interested in farms
with a scholarship(p33) or farming(p33)
-All the rich kids go every -excited to study in
year and they are not America (p32)
lost(p37) -wants to work & live in
-Promise not to marry a Aloo a city(p33)
white woman(p40)
-promise will not smoke or
drink(p40)

Actions:
-wrote to universities to
get information(p32)
- talk to mother about
going to a famous college
in America( p 33 & 34)
Shouting & crying when
his mother refused to let Appearance
him go to America (p34) - No description
-read novels(p36) - Only a
-waiting for college to student(p32)
begin (agriculture)(p36)

41
WORKSHEET I STUDY IN

HIGHER EDUCATION ENROLLMENT FORM


NAME Mohamad Zaqwan bin Mohd Badli.

PREVIOUS SMK Penarek.


SCHOOL
GRADES 13As.

FORM SUBMISSION February 28th, 2015.


DATE
UNIVERSITY OF Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
CHOICE
COURSES (1) Linguistics and Philosophy.
(2) Global Studies and Languages.
(3) Literature.
REASONS I wanted to study in Linguistic and Philosophy course because I
am interested to learn English language in depth and have
philosophy class open my minds on various issues. The structure
of English language is very interesting to me, and I can think
about many things regarding philosophy.

I wish I can study Global Studies and Languages as I am


interested in what has happened and is happening around the
world. I am also keen on learning many languages, because I
think by learning them, I can communicate with everyone
everywhere in the world easily.

I wanted to study in literature because I feel like literature tells


stories in a rich way that have values which I can learn.
Besides, studying literature makes me excited, as I am learning
about stories from the past. I can also learn how to write, which
I can use to look for lucrative jobs.

42
WORKSHEET LETTER TO MOTHER

The underlined sentences can be omitted to make the letter into


a fill-in-the-blank exercise for lower proficiency students.

Dear mother,
How are you in Upanga, Mother? I hope everything is great.
I am doing fine here. Right now I have to memorize some parts of
the human body for the upcoming exam. I will come home next
month! It has been so long. Do sisters and brothers come to visit
you? I hope you are not feeling lonely.
It has been a while, but I remembered the time when I got
the offer to study here in California. You did not want to let me
go, but in the end, you did. I thought, it was very selfless of you to
do so. In the final year of school, after Razia got married, you
wanted us to study hard, and you forbade us to help with the
store. Of course, that meant you have to work a lot. I felt bad,
and to ease that guilt, I studied hard in school, and I thought of
you when I felt lazy.
Not to mention, you did not get married because of us. It
must be hard to have taken that burden of raising us without a
man by your side. You could have gotten married, but you did
not. Obviously if you did, elder sibling and I would end up in a
childrens home, and I would never be able to be here now. It was
your gentle care and firm motivation that kept me working hard
in school.
Last but not least, you made the biggest decision for me you
let me go. You let me study in America. I still remember that
night when you finally gave your blessing. You asked me not to
marry a white girl, not to smoke and drink. And I honor my
promise to you Mother I am only friends with girls here, I do
not smoke and I do not drink. So please do not worry okay?
I have to stop here if I am to memorize all these body parts. I
look forward to next month, when I will be able to come home
and see you again. Please take care of yourself Mother. I love
you, and you are always on my mind.
From your son,
Aloo.

43
1. C
2. D
3. A
4. B
5. B

6. enroll
7. joking

8. Aloo wanted to study in America because he was motivated by Mr. Datoos stories
about the things he can learn there (any reasonable answer is accepted).

9. Decision: Yes.
Reason : I want to learn about the culture in America/I want to see the world/I want to
pursue in studies that are not offered locally (any other reasonable reason is
accepted).
Decision: No.
Reason : I do not want to be far away from family/I do not have the money/I want to
study in local universities (any other reasonablereason is accepted).

10. Mother, I want to tell you that I have applied to study in America, and I have been
accepted. I hope that you will let me continue my studies there. I wanted to study
abroad because the course I wanted to study in is not offered in local universities. I
wanted to delve into advanced linguistic and literature, and that is not offered here.
They only have Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) courses here, and I
am not interested to become a teacher I just wanted to learn languages and literature
in depth. Another reason is I am fascinated with Americas culture, and I want to
learn them. I know that there are big differences between their culture and ours. It
would be interesting to see what those are.Lastly, I wanted to learn how to be
independent. Yes, I can do that here, but I wanted to challenge myself more and see
how I can adapt living in a foreign country and assimilating myself. I hope you will
let me go.

44
LEAVING

Glossary

1 Agriculture The science of farming (keeping animals and growing plants for
food)
2 Balcony A platform on the outside wall of a building, where you can stand or
sit
3medicine The science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment,and prevention
of disease
4 foreign Different country, belonging to different culture
5 college A place where people study after they have left school
6 document An official paper with important information on it
7 rustling Asoft crackling sound similar to the movement of leaves
8 whispered Speaking in quiet voice,without vibration of the vocal cords
9 excitement Being excited, emotionally aroused
10 grand Large size
11 lined (of skin on the face)having lines or folds because of age
12 prospectus A book that gives information about a school, college, etc
13 scholarship Money given to good students to help them to continue studying
14 sewing machine A machine used for making things made of cloth
15 visa An official document needed to enter certain countries

45
LEAVING

References

1) Jennifer Bassett (2014), Literature Component For Secondary Schools -


Changing Their Skies : Zirwan Sdn. Bhd.
2) Curriculum Development Division, Ministry of Education Malaysia(2011)
Teachers Resource Book-English Literature Component
3) Christine Tan(2015), Selected Poems, Short Stories and Drama: Penerbitan
Pelangi Sdn. Bhd.
4) Stella Appuduray(2015), A Quick Guide to Literature-A Collection of Poems,
Short Stories and Drama: Ilmu Bakti
5) Wikipedia.org

6) http://canadianwriters.athabascau.ca/english/writers/mgvassanji/mgvassanji.pp

46
SHORT STORY

Panel of Writers

NAHAZIRA NASIR SMK TENGKU IBRAHIM

Mohamad Zaqwan bin Mohd Badli SMK Penarek

Nor Irma Rina Mohamed SMK Tengku Ibrahim

Syahida Mohamad Sanusi SMK Pelong

47