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The Man From The South-Roald Dahl

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Cameron Dobbins

on 23 October 2013

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Transcript of The Man From The South-Roald Dahl

The Man From The South
by Roald Dahl

Summary

Plot
The story is about an innocent young naval cadet and a sinister old man from Jamaica; The cadet is challenged that he can't strike his trusty lighter 10 times in a row, If he does so successfully, he gets the mans Cadillac. If he fails, the man cuts off the cadets little finger. The bet is accepted and they go up to the man's room, and the cadet starts to flick the lighter on and off and he gets up to eight. Suspense is high as they all think he is going to lose his finger, but a woman bursts in and ends the deceit.
Tone
The tone throughout the story was one of suspense. The old man was a strange but interesting character and his proposal to the sailor was very unusual. The most suspensful moment was when the sailor was flicking the lighter and he got up to the eighth flick and then.........
Setting
The story is based in Jamaica around the 1950's. Throughout the story you can see how the 50's vibe plays a roll in the story. There was a lot of words and items that seem to be from that time period: bathers, a wick in the lighter, buckskin shoes, and crocodile case.
It is also summertime and the author creates a relaxed, tropical scene in the beginning.
"No, no. I make you very good bet. I am rich man and I am sporting man also. Listen to me. Outside de hotel iss my car. Iss very fine car. American car from your country. Cadillac-"


Theme
A recurring theme I see is mistrust. The old man doesn't like the sailors. The narrator comes to not trust the old man. The old man's lady friend realizes she cannot trust to leave him alone.
One lesson in the story is that
people have a hard time resisting a challenge even for a worthless reward. The other lesson is that impressing girls sometimes leads to stupid decisions.
Irony
Situational Irony: When the sailor was flicking the lighter, the reader thought he was going to make it all the way up to ten but the woman comes rushing in and she reveals the mans plot for the boy.

Foreshadowing
When the jamaican man asked the sailor to take the bet of a finger verses a Cadillac, you can tell that the young man is thinking about doing it even though he knows it s a bad iidea..
"He was sitting there very still, and it was obvious that a small tension was beginning to build up inside him. Then he started shifting about in his seat, and rubbing his chest, and stroking the back of his neck, and finally he placed both hands on his knees and began tapping his fingers against his knee-caps. Soon he was tapping with one of his feet as well." (Dahl 5)

When they arrive at the hotel room, it appears that a woman/ wife is involved in the situation. adn she may appear later in the story.
"There was a woman's dressing gown lying across the beds." (Dahl 6)

Characterization
The Jamaican man is a wealthy cheat who tricks people into playing a game where they can lose.a finger.
"I couldn't tell if the accent were Italian or Spanish, but I felt fairly sure he was some sort of a South American. And old too, when you saw him close. Probably around sixty-eight or seventy."

The naval cadet is a nineteen year old American who is on leave from his training.
""Of course dey are Americans. Who else in de world is going to make as much noise as dat? You are not American, no?"



"He was sitting there very still, and it was obvious that a small tension was beginning to build up inside him. Then he started shifting about in his seat, and rubbing his chest, and stroking the back of his neck, and finally he placed both hands on his knees and began tapping his fingers against his knee-caps. Soon he was tapping with one of his feet as well." (Dahl 5)
Conflict
Man verses Self: When the sailor was offered the bet on his finger and the car, he was hesataint on accepting, but in the end accepted it.
Man verses Man: The man paused and examined his cigar, and I must say I didn't much like the way he was behaving. It seemed he was already trying to make something out of this, and to embarrass the boy, and at the same time I had the feeling he was relishing a private little secret all his own.

He looked up again at the boy and said slowly, "I like to bet, too. Why we don't have a good bet on dis ting? A good big bet? (Dahl 3)


Figurative Language
Simile: "He became a faint, misty, quickly moving outline, like the spokes of a turning wheel." (Dahl 10)
Simile: "The wind was blowing strongly through the tops of the palm trees making the leaves hiss and crackle as though they were on fire." (Dahl 1)
Hyperbole:"Some small ting you can afford to give away, and if you did happen to lose it you would not feel too bad. Right?
"Such as, perhaps, de little finger of your left hand." (Dahl 4)


This is a short story about an old Hispanic or Jamaican man apparently named Carlos, who offers a boastful american boy his Cadillac if the boy can strike his lighter ten times in a row- the boy had been bragging that his lighter always lit. The catch is that if he cannot light it, his left pinky finger will be cut off. The sailor takes the bet, However, by the the eighth light, a woman comes in the room and throws Carlos to the bed, claiming that he is mentally disturbed. Apparently, he has collected forty-seven fingers from various people and has lost eleven cars. She also mentions that she has won everything of his a long time ago and he has no Cadillac to lose. She reaches for her Cadillac keys and the narrator sees she only has two fingers left on her hand. (website: roalddahl.wikia.com)
Full transcript