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Transcript of At Hiruharama
About the Author:
-Born 17 December 1916 , into a well-educated middle class family
-Attended Wycombe Abbey and Somerville College, Oxford
-Worked for BBC during WW2
-Married an Irish soldier in 1941, and had three children
-Taught at the Italia Conti Adacemy and Queen's Gate School
-Has written many novels, many connecting with her own experiences
-Enjoyed writing short stories and has a collection called The Means Of Escape
-Won the Booker Prize in 1979 for her novel Offshore
The Custody of the Pumpkin:
misunderstanding between Brinkman and the Tanner family, as Brinkman refuses to leave without food showing stubborness and acts as a pest
"...Well don't ask me if it's going to be twins." (page 409)
"Tanner came out of the bedroom covered with blood, something like a butcher." (page 412)
Situational Irony (2):
"...Often by the time that I arrive I'm not needed."(page 409)
"...I'm going to look after the afterbirth. The father put it out with the waste." (page 412)
At Hiruharama revolves around a couple of two servants , Mr Tanner and Kitty, that met at a young age and live in an isolated countryside area- a place called 'Hiruharama' where the only civilization who is their 'neighbour' Brinkman lives miles away. After two years of living together, Kitty announces that she is expecting which makes it difficult for the two as it is hard to find any information that they need on the subject. Mr Tanner consults the doctor and borrows two racing pigeons for contacting the doctor in case of an emergency. However, at the climax of the story when Kitty goes into labour, Brinkman comes over for yearly dinner and instead of helping, complains about the lack of food in the house. Tanner sends out the pidgeons for help and the Doctor arrives as soon as Tanner delivers the baby. Handling the afterbirth, he realises it's a twin baby, and the baby grows up to be more succesful than the 1st child, bringing lawyers into the Tanner family. This leads to Tanner hanging up a sign on the wall 'Throw Nothing Away' which is an important lesson they learned from this experience.
Penelope Fitzgerald introduces us to three main themes.
Don't throw anything away. (Tanner throws the "good" baby away)
Expect the unexpected. (Tanner and Kitty weren't expecting a child and after Tanner found out he had a shock)
From small beginnings come great things. (The baby they threw away ended up being more successful than the other baby)
-Servant in New Zealand
-Meets Kitty (his wife) at work
-When Kitty announces pregnancy, Tanner starts being nervous and stressed trying to get things done quickly
-Tries to do the best for the family
-Met husband while working as a servant
-Persuade Tanner to learn to read and write so he could start a proper life
-Quiet and calm during pregnancy
-Tanner's and Kitty's neighbor
-Eats dinner with them twice a year
-Visits on the day Kitty goes into labor
-Complains about not getting food because of the baby and doesn't want to leave
-Almost no business (low illness rates)
-Never wastes time~concise
-Realizes a baby was thrown away and saves it
-Loves pigeon racing
-Lends two pigeons to Tanner to contact the doctor
Hiruharama, which is situated at the north of Auckland in New Zealand
Late 1920s/ early 1930s
Small isolated towns, very limited transport and communication facilities, rural area