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A Sunrise on the Veld

Short story Elements

Sundus Mahdi

on 25 November 2012

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Transcript of A Sunrise on the Veld

By Sundus Mahdi Short Story Analysis Summary A Sunrise on the Veld In this story a young 15 year old boy woke up feeling he has control over the world.
At half past four he gets ready to hunt for breakfast. He readies his gun and dogs then sets out to the veld.
The boy walked through the land feeling powerful and full of life as if he can walk for miles and miles but never tire.
Shortly, the boy got overbuilt with confidence that he started running with the joy of youth, life, and power.
The boy ignorantly sped through the veld thinking nothing could ever stop him until he is interrupted by the sound of an animal suffering.
The boy fearfully stopped to investigate and soon found a buck getting eaten alive by thousands of ants. As the buck lays there screaming, the boy felt terror and pity for the small animal and realized there is nothing he could do to help, the ants need to eat, this was nothing but simply the cycle of life.
The boy understood that the buck was once young and strong like he was, but now the once proud and surefooted buck became nothing but bones.
The young boy walked homeward with a new moral and no breakfast. Protagonist and Antagonist The protagonist of this story is the young boy because he is the main character and the "hero" of the short story. The story revolves around him and he is the character that experiences all the events and hardships.

In this story, there is not definite antagonist but the dieing buck acts as an antagonist because it influences the protagonist's ideas.
The dieing buck acted as the problem in the story and influences the ending, with out it there wouldn't be a story. This proves the buck could be the antagonist.
The antagonist is most likely life, more specifically fate, because the fate of death also influences his opinion and choices, death reminds the boy that he is not all that powerful and that anything can push him in a different direction. Types of Characters The young boy is the main character and also a Dynamic Character. In the beginning of the story he ignorantly thinks he has power and control over everything, but after the encounter with a dieing buck, a buck who is supposed to roam the land strong and free, he realized that he doesn't have control over the world and anything can stop him from his current state of power.

The buck is a Static Character because it is used to symbolize freedom because it's speedy, usually fast animals symbolize freedom and power because nothing can ever catch up to them or their greatness. In the story the death of the buck by small ants symbolizes the death of something great and powerful by small pints of useless ants. The ants are also Static Characters because in society they are looked at as small weak creatures that are most of the time forgotten. In A Sunrise on the Veld the plot is internal (Man vs. Self) because the boy starts out thinking life was easy and fun but later has to face the truth of death. He had to forget about things he used to believed and change his way of life. Which can be very difficult and is known as a plot.

Point of View- Partly omniscient third person. The story is told by an unanimous narrator, the thoughts of the boy are relieved to the readers but the thoughts of other characters are kept unknown.

Symbols- The buck is a symbol of strength and power but mostly freedom because it is so lightweight and fast, it is unbeatable and is looked up at as a higher rank animal.

The ants symbolize weak unimportant creatures mostly because of their size, sometimes they represent teamwork, dedication, and hard work but that's not the case in this story, here they are known as a low status animal, perhaps the weakest.

Together, small, puny ants feasting on a strong and free buck can either symbolize the strength of teamwork or unexpected fate, that a strong buck can be taken down so easily no matter how powerful it is. The dogs that accompany the boy when he goes hunting are Flat Characters, they are only used to enhance the story by making it seem more realistic.
The dogs are minor characters that only have one use and do not undergo any change they are only mentioned in the beginning of the story and near the plot.

The parents are Static Characters, they are only mentioned in the beginning and are later forgotten. They are only mentioned to make the story more realistic and set a mood for the audience. they do not develop any change. Theme The theme to this story is to not take life for granted or be ignorant and think you are the superior because you can easily fall and crumble from something as small as ants. The boy realized this when he is interrupted by a dieing buck.
What makes this more important is that the buck was not dieing because of age, it was dieing before it's time. The boy thought so too when he imagined the buck standing strong and free the day before, unaware of it's tragic fate.
The moral of the story is that you wont live forever and you can never be the strongest. Figurative Language Arms and legs and fingers waiting like soldiers for a word of command. The author compared the boy's arms, legs, and fingers to a soldier to create a mood of how much power and preciseness the boy thinks he has.

Alert as an animal. Animals are always alert because of their sharp sense of danger, the mood the author is trying to create is the perfection of his abilities.

He began to run, not carefully, as he had before, but madly like a wild thing. This sentence is used to create an image of the boy's actions. Since nothing natural can be extremely wild, the author used an unreal character, a "wild thing" to emphasize the madness.

Walking like kings and conquerors it had moved through this free-held bush. This simile was used to describe the life of the buck before its fate. The words "kings and conquerors" are used because they are symbolized as powerful just like the buck was.

Then he sprung out, like a fish leaping from water. this is also a simile that describes the annoyance of having to leave the comfort of your bed to attend to your daily life. It emits a familiar feel to the audience and gives the impression of a cold morning.

Small rosy clouds floated in a lake of gold. This is both a metaphor and personification. The author used "river of gold" to describe the bright and yellow shaded sky of a sunrise, this sentence was used to describe the time and display imagery for a better understanding of the story.

Both "Around him the grass was whispering and alive" and "the sound of the rustling whispering ants" are personifications to describe the noise around the boy. Not only is it used to make an image but also to describe the setting a little more.

The trees were showering a faint silvery rain. This sentence is an example of personification. it describes how the trees were dripping water probably from a previous rainstorm. it provides the feel of the climate early in the morning and creates an image of a tree filled setting.

I could walk a hundred miles on feet like these. This is an example of a hyperbole. the boy thinks this when he felt full of
power before encountering the buck.

This story also uses irony. As the boy was howling with life and happiness he is interrupted by the exact opposite which is a scream of pain and fatality from a buck. the boy's thoughts and feelings swich from 100% to zero.
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