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The Storyteller (short story presentation)

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Emily Chiara

on 22 September 2012

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Transcript of The Storyteller (short story presentation)

The Storyteller Hector Hugh Munro, goes by the pseudonym "Saki"
Born in Myanmar, a country formerly known as Burma
Influenced by his childhood experiences (i.e. his mother's death, his upbringing etc) INTRODUCTION Two girls, a boy (Cyril), their aunt and an unknown bachelor sit together in a train carriage going to Templecombe
In their curiosity, the children continuously ask questions, irritating their aunt, who cannot give them the proper answers. INCITING INCIDENT In an attempt to control the kids, the aunt tells them a boring story of girl who is saved for being good RISING ACTION The bachelor becomes increasingly irritated by the aunt's lack of control over her kids
Crisis: In an attempt to quiet the kids, he tells them another version of the aunt's tale
In his story, the main character, Bertha is so "horribly good" she has three medals for her conduct. Tales of her goodness are spread throughout the country and she is invited to walk through the prince's park. However, as she does so, a wolf appears, looking for its supper. She runs to the myrtle bushes, looking for a place to hide CLIMAX The wolf, unable to find her, is on the verge of leaving when he is alerted to her location by the clinking of her medals. Rather than escape, the heroine in the bachelor's story is unexpectedly eaten by the wolf FALLING ACTION The children express their delight in the story, calling it "beautiful"
The aunt scolds the bachelor for undermining years of training with his tale RESOLUTION The bachelor arrives at his destination, happy knowing that the children will now be asking their aunt to hear more "improper" stories Types of Conflict: Person vs Person Person vs Society -The tense relationship between the children and the aunt -The bachelor disagreeing with the aunt's tale -The children are restrained by the expectations that their society places upon them POINT OF VIEW Third- Person Omniscient Literary Devices Metaphor: "reminding one of the attention's of a housefly that refused to be discouraged" (pg 160)
reflects on the strained relationship between the aunt and the kids Allusion: A famous poem called "On the road to Mandalay"(160-161)
Speaks of a soldier longing for the exoticism of the East Suez
May allude to the author's feelings when he was a soldier (Mandalay is the capital city of Burma, his birthplace) ABOUT THE AUTHOR: PLOT GRAPH Oxymoron "Horribly good" (162)
A new concept to the kids in the story, who have never before heard a negative connotation with the word "good" Irony Bertha is caught due to the clinking of her good conduct medals (164)
emphasizes the possibility of those who are good meeting the same fate as those who are bad THEMES Innocence to Experience for the first time, the kids are being exposed to the truths of the world, and not sheltered by the fantasy of nothing bad happening to good people The Importance
of Humility Bertha is so proud of her medals that she chooses to wear them everywhere she goes
This proves to be her hubris, as it is the clinking of her medals that alerts the wolf to her presence and leads to her downfall The Different Ways in which Adults can Interact with Kids The importance of knowing the difference between protecting a child and keeping them in the dark
The aunt believes children should not be told of the darker aspects of nature while the bachelor shows no such restrictions in telling his story Archetypes The Prince's garden is an archetype of the Garden of Eden - meant to symbolize peace and harmony
The bachelor is the trickster - identified as someone who is "clever and amusing", he is able to say what more serious people cannot (example: the aunt) and teach them a lesson
The Prince is the ruler or leader- he is associated with power and wealth SYMBOLS The Children -Represent society and their belief
that all good will be rewarded The Wolf Represents misfortune - the opposite to Bertha's symbolism of "good"
Symbolizes the possibility of bad things happening even to those who are good Bertha/The Medals Symbolizes exceptional goodness Represents the idea that extreme virtue can be met with both rewards and consequences Pigs Symbolize mediocrity
Would have been eaten if something exceptional (i.e. Bertha) had not come along "It was exactly the question the bachelor had wanted to ask" (161)
The narrator sees and knows all, is not limited to personal viewpoints or objective observations Analysis Through a
Cultural Lens "“A most improper story to tell to young children! You have undermined years of careful teaching.” - Aunt During the late Victorian era and Edwardian era (approx. 1870-1910) = idealization of children - model of innocence that need to be protected & adored
Kids were prepared for their position in life from a young age
Aunt's reaction is a reflection of English society at the time
Child labour halted Discussion
Question #4 Whose "parenting" style do you agree with? The aunt's or the bachelor's ? Explain your opinion. • The Bachelor's
• It is impossible to shelter kids forever
• There is a way of teaching kids about the
darker aspects of life and human nature
without traumatizing them
• They need to understand that they will,
at one point, face:
-death Our Answer: Discussion Question #1 Was it the bachelor's place to tell the kids the story? Our Answer: • No
• They are not his children nor his responsibility
• It undermines the aunts authority and parenting style At the end of the bachelor's story, Bertha is caught and eaten by a wolf.
What do you think is the moral of the story? In your opinion would it be a good story to tell to kids? Why or why not? Discussion Question #2 Our Answer: • Bad things happen to good people
• Yes, it is a good story to tell children because:
-it allows for children to start adjusting to the idea that life can be unfair
-However, it does depends on the children’s age and maturity level Discussion Question #3 2. Which (if any) morals do you think can be taught through a story and which do you think must be taught first hand, by experience? Explain.

Honest Integrity
Compassion Courage
Sacrifice Self Control
Fairness Cooperation
Keeping Promises Pride
Responsibility Empathy
Respect Patience
Forgiving Our Answer... We believe that some morals, such as honesty and fairness are easy to instill through stories. Everyone has heard the story of the boy who cried wolf, and, as a result, we are careful to live by that lesson. Nevertheless, not all morals make the same impression on you, and, in some cases, although a story may make you aware of an ideal or value, it sticks only when you make a mistake and learn from it. Discussion Question #5 The story ends with the words:
"unhappy woman...for the next six months or so those children will assail her in public with demands for an improper story" (165) Explain what is meant by the bachelor. What do you think his intentions were in telling the story? • The bachelor is saying that the kids will now want to hear more stories like the one he told, which, rather than simply teaching a moral, contains excitement and suspense. Although his actions can be explained simply as wanting to entertain the kids and poke fun at society's need to instill positive morals through stories, it is possible that he also did it out of spite for the woman he views to be incapable of properly controlling the children. From the very beginning, he makes no effort to hide his contempt for her parenting style, scowling at her attempts to satisfy their curiosity and outright challenging her abilities as a storyteller. Nevertheless, it is best shown at the end of the novel, when he leaves the train, seemingly happy at the thought of having put the woman in a situation where the children will be asking for improper stories and her judgement as a caretaker will be put into question. Our Answer: Thank you for listening!
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