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Butterflies by Patricia Grace

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by

Johanne Strømme

on 1 December 2014

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Transcript of Butterflies by Patricia Grace

Analysis
Setting
Important Ideas
Language Features
Patricia Grace
Background
Quick facts:
Date of birth: 17th August, 1937
Place of birth: Wellington, New Zealand
Current place of residence: Plimmerton, New Zealand
Ethnicity: Maori
Writes: Childrens books, short stories and novels.
First published work: Waiariki, a collection of short stories
Awards: Companion of the Queen's service order (1988)
Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2007)
Neustadt International Prize for Literature (2008)


Full list of works
Mutuwhenua: The Moon Sleeps, (Longman Paul, 1978; Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1986; Women's Press Livewire, 1988; Cambridge University Press, 1991).
Potiki, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1986; Women's Press Ltd. [Great Britain], 1987); translated into Finnish, (Kaantopiiri Helsinki, 1990); German, (Unionsverlag Zurich, 1993); French, (Arlea, 1993); Dutch, (De Geus, 1994); UHP Hawaii, 1995.
Cousins, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1992); German translation, (Unionsverlag Zurich, 1997).
Baby No-eyes (1998).
Dogside Story (2001).
Tu (2004).
Ned and Katina, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 2009).
Short story collections[edit source | editbeta]
Waiariki, (Longman Paul, 1975; Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd, 1986); first collection of short stories by a Maori woman writer.
The Dream Sleepers, (Longman Paul, 1980; Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1986).
Electric City and Other Stories (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1987)
Selected Stories (Penguin [NZ] Ltd., 1991).
The Sky People (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1994; Women's Press Ltd. Great Britain).
Small Holes in the Silence (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 2006).
Collected Stories, (Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd., 1984); first three short story volumes.
Text for Wahine Toa, a book of paintings by Robyn Kahuikiwa, stories with women in Maori mythology (William Collins, 1984; Penguin Books [NZ] Ltd.; Viking Pacific, 1991).
Children's books[edit source | editbeta]
The Kuia and the Spider/ Te Kuia me te Pungawerewere (1981).
Watercress Tuna and the Children of Champion Street/ Te Tuna Watakirihi me Nga Tamariki o te Tiriti o Toa (1984).
The geranium (1993).
Areta & the Kahawai/ Ko Areta me Nga Kahawai (1994).
Maraea and the Albatrosses/ Ko Maraea me Nga Toroa (2008).
A background to Butterflies
The short story we will be reading today is called Butterflies by Patricia Grace. It was published in the collection Electric City and other short stories in 1987. It is about life as a Maori and having contrasting views on things to a
Pakeha
. This a theme that is common to many Patricia Grace stories.
In the text there is no particular narrator as it is all in third person but it is quite clearly from the point of the grandparents, who are farmers.

The main audience appears to be slightly more mature readers, not because it is inappropriate but because some of the themes are more difficult for younger readers to comprehend. For example about the fact that the teacher buys cabbages from the supermarket and the significance of this in the text.

The characters who are introduced are: the grandmother, the grandfather, the granddaughter, the neighbour and the teacher.
Butterflies
What did you learn today?
The short story is set at the home of the grandparents who are farmers. The setting is important in the short story, because we see it from the grandparents’ point of view. They are poor, they grow their own food and have little or no education, which you can tell by how proud they are that their granddaughter is attending school: “And clever,” the grandfather said [about his granddaughter]. “Writes every day in her book.”
The main idea would be the contrast between the white and rich teacher and the poor Maori family who grows their own food. When the granddaughter writes the story about killing butterflies, most people, especially in the western world, would think of this as a terrible and cruel thing to do, and the teacher is amongst those who possess this point of view. The Maori, who grow their own food, on the other hand, know how the butterflies can destroy their crop. They have experienced it themselves, and therefore don’t see butterflies as beautiful creatures, as the teacher claims them to be. She has never faced problems with the butterflies, because she buys her cabbage.


Dialogue is a language feature that is used to well because it shows the different perspectives on a common topic like butterflies. It shows two definite points of view.


Before your read;
What associations do you get when you hear the word butterfly?
Pakeha
is a reference to non-indigenous
New Zealanders.
Consider
Setting
Characters
Narrator
Important themes
Language features
Write down
two
things you have
learned in class today (
individually
). Then compare it with a classmate.
Kompetansemål
Innlede, holde i gang og avslutte
samtaler og diskusjoner om allmenne emner

Vurdere og bruke egnede lytte- og talestrategier tilpasset formål og situasjon

Forstå hovedinnhold og detaljer i tekster av varierende omfang om forskjellige emner

Bruke egne notater for å skrive tekster

Drøfte ulike typer engelskspråklige litterære tekster fra ulike deler av verden

Drøfte tekster av og om urfolk i engelskspråklige land
The Maori People
Maori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, and their story is both long and intriguing. On the basis of oral records, archaeological finds and genetic analyses, historical treatises place the arrival of Maori in New Zealand in the thirteenth century AD.

The origin of Maori has been reliably traced to the islands of Eastern Polynesia, and their journey to New Zealand occurred in a number of epic waka (canoe) voyages over a significant period of time. These journeys established Maori as daring and resourceful adventurers, and as one of the greatest navigating peoples of all time.
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