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A Matter of Balance
Transcript of A Matter of Balance
Large cedars pressed close to the path, blocking out the light.
The ground was a tangle of sword fern, salal, and Oregon grape.
In a bit of open space, an arbutus twisted toward the sun.
Its bark, deep earth-red, hung in shreds. Here and there, the new pale green bark was visible.
· Cloudy weather
A Matter of Balance
Themes With Naman
Past trauma = Future dilemmas
- Harold was bullied
- His wife was murdered
- Sparks his uneasiness.
- Influences his daily actions
Need of Power
- In the forest (symbol of wild).
- Needs to care for his
- Knows the law and requires himself to decide what right.
- Knows how to survive in the wild.
- No one is around
- Helpless wife (broken nails).
- Helpless without weapon.
- Harold never wants be feel powerless again
- Power in groups.
- Power change after the slip (bikers).
Reality Check with Yaseen
In A Matter of Balance, the protagonist Harold finds himself in a position where he decides the fate of the two bikers. He has the choice to either show mercy or sentence them to their death.
In Dallas, USA, a store clerk was held at gunpoint in an attempted robbery by two gunmen. The store clerk got into a gun fight with them and killed one.
How does this story relate to
'A Matter of Balance'?
If the store clerk decides to cooperate
He enables the thugs to do harm to him, possibly killing him
They can stalk the store clerk, they know where he works and can find where he lives, putting his family at risk
They will not receive justice from the law, as they will make a successful getaway
The thugs will be free to come back and rob his store and other people again
But if they kill/allow them to die..
Vigilante justice is served
They are safe from the thugs/bikers
The thugs/bikers will not be able to do any harm to anyone else
Harold and the store clerk both find themselves in similar situations. Where they must decide if they will become victims or serve justice. The decision is clear and both men choose to serve the thugs vigilante justice to survive and prevent any potential harm that can be caused to them or the people around them.
We can see the similarities...
Harold and the store clerk had two decisions. Allow them to carry on with their crime or serve them justice.
If Harold decides to pull save them from their death
He enables the bikers to do harm to him, possibly killing him
They can stalk Harold's life, putting his family at risk
They will not receive justice from the law, by turning the story against Harold
The bikers will be free to do this to other people
Harold is the main character through whose perspective the story is told through. He seems to have a strong belief in justice happening to keep balance in people, which can be observed through his actions toward the bikers. He also seems to have a lot of baggage due from his wife's death, which made him go into depression untill he finally find peace in the wild. We learn about his motive and life events through flashbacks revealed by the author. Through the story he remains a static character though it is determinable that in the past a change must have occured.
Blond and Dark-haired biker:
The bikers are peripheral characters who contribute to the story by following Harold and at the end giving him a sense of justice being fulfilled when they fall. Harold is able to feel his wife’s death is balanced out through their demise. They can be seen as static because a change isn't seen. Though another important part is that these character might just be a figment of Harold's imagination, which he uses to feel justice is being administered. Making them represent all the evil that opposes him in life and has caused problems in his life.
Conklin is a peripheral character that remains static. His role is a Harold’s physiatrist who Harold shares all his secrets with. He is also not seen through the story
Harold’s wife is dead due to some event, her death leaves Harold In a depressed state and her death leaves him in a state of imbalance. She is also a peripheral character that is static.
They are what Harold uses as his drive for his actions. For example: when he chased he remembers his children being left behind which motivates his escape. They are peripheral characters that remain static.
Who is the author of the short story?
A. W.D Valgardson
B. Thomas Raddall
C. Maureen Hynes
D. Tayeb Salih
What is the name of the Main Character?
The Main Character is chased by who?
What is the Main Character doing on the hiking trail?
A. Panning in the river
D. Illegally looking for garbage in the river
Who is the only other person that knows of the Main Characters activities?
B. His Children
D. The trail Warden
Why do the Cops chase the Main Character?
A. For Money
B. Cause he was doing something illegal
C. This never happens
D. Gold panning
Why do the Bikers chase the Main Character ?
A. This never happens
B. For Money
C. For thrills
D. The Reason is never discovered
What happens to the pursers of the main character at the end?
A. They fall off a cliff/hill
B. They are caught by the Police
C. They caught the main character
D. They give up
At the beginning of the story the main character is sitting on what?
A. A chair
B. A Bench
C. On the ground
D. A Log
What action does the Blond Biker do towards Harold at the beginning ?
A. Points at him with a finger gun
B. Throws a rock
C. Shows his knife
D. Does Nothing
In this short story, author used the settings to set off what is going on next.
"Even at noon, the light was filtered to a pale grey."
From the cloudy weather and the light color, we can see author is using this color to refect some bad things are going to happen.
“The trees were shagged with wind-blown moss and deadfall was everwhere.”
This setting shows, the main character is falling a situation, those two guys are going after him, and kill him.
So, the settings in the story or novel, can always set off something that is going to happen.
Also, setting can detail the information and give some image to the readers, make readers feel like they are in the story.
A Presentation By Naman, Arman, Jas,
Balance of Justice
- Injustice served to Harold.
- Harold serves justice to let the bikers die.
- Gave justice to his childern by staying alive.
- Relief of past.
Plot Summary with Arman
Rising Action #1
Rising Action #2
Rising Action #2
Falling Action #2
"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere" - Martin Luther King
We see the protagonist introduced who is by himself sitting on a cedar log inside a recreational/ national park. Later introduced as Harold, he notices two bikers standing on the narrow bridge above the waterfall. Harold is annoyed as Wednesday is his only free day that gives time to himself. We get insight into Harold’s opinion on the bikers, as he describes the biker’s typical appearance and how they are only a “momentary annoyance”. Harold feels the bikers’ (one dark haired/ one blond haired) presence is dangerous, and is especially unsettled when the biker pretends to shoot a toy pistol with his hands.
As he is unsettled, Harold decides to leave: he does not want to go across the bridge where the bikers were, due to his experience with sidewalk bullies. These bullies blocked the sidewalk when he was a kid, and often beat him up. As he traveled, his experience throughout the national park is revealed. He keeps progressing throughout the hiking path, and he realizes he doesn’t have time as he has to get home for his children. This is because his wife died. He then reaches a cliff, and climbs down in attempt to get away from the bikers, who are getting closer to him.
Bikers’ true intent is revealed when the blond haired biker takes out a knife. Harold questions their motives, but bikers just laugh.
Harold is still a good distance away from the biker, and the cliff is very difficult to move up or down on. As Harold is experienced so he is able to set a good distance between himself and the bikers on the cliff. The bikers then attempt to advance across the cliff towards Harold, but their inexperience is clearly shown.
First the dark haired biker slips and slides towards the edges of the cliff, and then the blond haired biker also slips but saves himself by stabbing into a opening with his knife. Both bikers request Harold’s help.
The bikers keep request Harold’s help and at one point scream for his assistance. Instead Harold makes his way up away from the cliff’s edge. He then remembers the death of his wife in the midst of the bikers’ begging for help , who was also in need of assistance during the time of her death but did not receive it.
Due to the biker’s previous actions, which was trying to harm Harold, and Harold’s flashback of his wife’s death Harold decides to leave the bikers to essentially die at the end of the cliff. He also decides to leave them to the complications that would arise if he decided to save them, such as living in fear or being afraid for his children.
By Jasman Sahi