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Transcript of Family Affair
The conflict in this story is external. It is an external conflict because it involves all of the characters having to overcome something in the story. Melinda is being held hostage by a wanted criminal that has recently broken out of prison. The family has to save Melinda from the criminal. The criminal has to keep the family from saying or signaling anything to anyone on the road while he is trying to flee the country.
The story takes place in a car with a boat attached to it. I can infer that this story takes place in the summer because of the immense heat that the author is describing is putting Tom Carlton on edge and is making him stressed.
The mood that the author sets for the story is intense. I think that the mood set by Richard Hardwick is intense because until the end of the story Melinda has a knife help up against by an escapee. While Melinda is being help hostage the rest of the family is trying to find a way to communicate with others while Joe Whitlock is watching carefully.
In the story
Richard Hardwick uses similes. In the flashback to when him and his family are in the car and Tom agrees with his son about being hungry and Tom replies with…
Character Analysis Continued
"`I'm with Tommy. Hungry as a bear.`" (1).
In this story Richard Hardwick also uses metaphors. He utilizes a metaphor to explain the hair of a cop and also the way Joe Whitlock eats.
"There was a brief glimpse of a lone cop sitting at the wheel, mopping with a handkerchief at his forehead beneath a thatch of flaming red hair." (3).
Joe Whitlock is described as a young man that is about 25 years old. He is dirty and unshaven and in slightly taller than Melinda. In this story he is considered as the antagonist because he is wanted by the police and is holding a knife up against Melinda in attempts to flee the country. Since he is wanted by the police, this puts Joe on edge and makes him very cautious. He is intimidating because he is armed.
"He wolfed a sandwich." (2).
Tommy Carlton is the main protagonist in this story. Tommy is shown to be clever and courageous. Tommy proves himself to be caring:
"Mr. Whitlock…would you hold that knife against me instead of Melinda?" (3).
Tommy is willing to put his life on the line instead of his sister, that proves that he is both, courageous and caring. Tommy is the son of Tom and Sally Carlton. Tommy is 12 years old and the younger brother of Melinda.
Tom Carlton is the father of Tommy and Melinda. Tom is another protagonist, but does not play a big role like Tommy. He is trying to think of ways to save his daughter from being murdered which makes him a protagonist on some level. Tom is a man who is very stressed out because of the extreme heat (before Joe shows himself) and also because his family is being threatened. It is evident that he is stressed out because he clenches his sweaty hands on the wheel.
Melinda Carlton is a 16 year old girl that has a slim waist a blue eyes. Melinda is the daughter of Tom and Sally Carlton. Melinda becomes very scared when Joe Whitlock takes her as hostage and holds a knife up against her.
The author is using a flashback structure. The characters involved are the unknown criminal, Tom, Tommy, Melinda and Sally Carlton. It takes place on a highway. It is a hot and sunny day, every few miles there is a sign that tells them that they will be fined if caught littering.
When the story goes back to how it all starts, the family is pulling over somewhere to get food from their boat that is attached to their car. Melinda is the one who decided to get the food, but then she screams. The family rushes to her only to see that a man is holding a knife up against Melinda's throat.
The turning point of this story is when the Carlton's and Joe Whitlock (name of the criminal) are driving along the highway and see a cop that is parked in a black and white sedan at an exit ramp. The Carlton's cannot signal to the police man when they are passing by because Whitlock threatens Melinda's life. So they continue driving until, the police begin to do searches of people's cars for Japanese beetle epidemic and claims that children are the ones that bring them in and proceeds to tell Tommy to exit the car. When Tommy exits the car the policeman hops into the car and disarms Joe and gets him out of the car and onto the ground.
The theme of this story is that you should do everything in your power to save or help your loved ones. I am saying that this is the theme because throughout the whole story Tom, Tommy and Sally are trying to find a way to save Melinda from Joe Whitlock who is in danger:
"Carlton could feel Sally's pleading thoughts. Do something! For God's sake, help my baby!" (3).
At this point in the story, Sally is thinking of any way to save her child. Sally is desperate like the rest of her family and would do anything to save Melinda.
After this happens, the cops that was parked near the exit ramps confronts them and tells them that he saw someone litter on the highway and thought it was strange to do that in front of a cop. As a result he confesses that the Japanese beetle epidemic was staged.
After Joe Whitlock gets arrested, the cop tells the family that Tommy is the one responsible for saving his sister because while the windows are open Tommy slips something out the window. Nobody sees this happen because there is a boat that keeps anyone else inside the car from seeing this happen.