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Journey- Patricia Grace (1980)

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Savannah Sherman

on 24 September 2015

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Transcript of Journey- Patricia Grace (1980)

Journey- Patricia Grace (1980)
Patricia Grace Biography
Author's Purpose
The purpose of this short story is to represent the lack of respect that the government has for the Native Maoris in New Zealand.
Characteristics of the genre
Maori Fiction (Realistic Fiction)

Maori - the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand
Plot Summary
An elderly man from New Zealand sets out on a "journey" one day to speak with an official about his land. It starts out with the old man hailing a taxi and talking with the driver, whom he calls "young fulla", about his life, children, and wife. He arrives at the train station 30 minutes early, and interacts with an unpleasant man in the ticket booth and refers to him as "sourpuss". While on the train, he notes how times have changed. He describes how the water where his generation used to find "pipi", a small edible shelled animal, has been paved by the government to make new space for railway cars. He explains how the pakehas, which means foreign Europeans in Maori, deem this change to be "spectacular", and how they can go through land as if it is nothing.
Later on the train ride, he points out the place where the pakehas bulldozed a Maori burial groud, promising to "tastefully" place all of the headstones back, even though they disregarded whoever was beneath them.
After leaving the train, he speaks to a man about preserving his family's land, which is scheduled to be subdivided by the government for off-street parking. The man does nothing to help him except promise him "equivalent" land elsewhere. The old man grows exasperated, kicks and cracks the man's desk, and leaves.
He goes to drive home in the taxi, and he and the taxi driver talk about their days, leaving out the information about the land. Once home, elderly man instructs his family to have him cremated, not buried, one he dies. He says that he doesn't want anyone to disturb the land he is in, as the government does now.
Form, Language, and Structure
Historical Context
Character Analysis
Point of View
Significant Quotes
Figurative Devices
The story takes place in New Zealand during the 1980s. Immigration flourished during this time and the country became very ethnically diverse. By 2002, the native Maori only held about 14% of the country's population. The amount of immigrants during this time was so high that the government had to place laws and limits on who came into the country. Many Maori people left and went to Australia, but soon limits were placed on that aswell because it caused economic damage to the Australian government with too many people on welfare.
Generational differences
Unwanted change and sacrifice
The point of view of this story is
third person

because the narrator delivers the thoughts and feelings of
the protagonist using the pronoun
to describe the old man instead of I. We, as readers, are only given the opinions of one character, until we read the dialogue. When the Old Man speaks to people it switches to
first person
, we then see how attached the old man is to tradition.
The narrator's tone is negative and aggravated, which reflects the way the protagonist feels about his situation.
"How's the wife?
Still growing old man.
What about the kids?
Costing me money."
"Coming up the steps on to the platform he could feel the quick huffs of his breathing and that annoyed him, he wanted to swipe at the huffs with his hand. Steam engines went out years ago."
"A man feels like a screwball yelling through that little hole in the glass and then trying to pick up the change that sourpuss has scattered all over the place. Feels like giving sourpuss the finger, yes."
Family's property:
Represents the Native's efforts to protect their heritage and a lack of power over it.
Strip of artificial land:
Represents what the government has taken away from the Maori and how they have glorified this to be "spectacular."
Old man's garden:
Represnts the Maori's culture and admiration of nature. The taxi driver, who belongs to a later generation, admits to not having gardening skills like the old man does. This symbolizes the loss of respect for the land through the generations.
Throughout the story, there are various blocks of dialogue between the old man and different people that he encounters during his "journey." The speaking is not indicated by quotation marks; rather it is up to the reader to determine where there are conversations.
Depending on the character with whom the man is speaking, different things are represented. When he speaks to the vendor in the ticket booth, the reader is shown how resentful the man feels towards the younger generation and their way of acting. However, when he speaks with George, who holds an admiration and respect for nature that the rest of his genration is lacking, he is much more kind and patient. This shows the side of his pesonality that is masked to the rest of the world by his aggrivation towards the government and pakehas.
-DOB: August 17, 1937 in Wellington, New Zealand (Age 78)
-Maori Father
-Writes Maori novels, short stories, and children’s books
-Foundational figure in the development of Maori fiction
-Other short stories: The Dream Sleeper (1980) and The Sky People (1991)

Form & Structure
-Short and multiple paragraphs
-Very detailed
-Dialogue not separated
-Compare and Contrast
-Names stay anonymous

(p. 323) -a maori traditional art of carving in wood, stone, or bone
(p. 323)– a white New Zealander, opposed to a maori
(p. 322) –relative; kin
(p. 322) - ‘moon’

Old Man-
71 year old native Maori; very sarcastic, and grumpy; takes a ‘journey’ or figuratively a description of life's journey in progress, the land is progressing and modernized with technology of the railways.

Young Fulla-
the taxi driver the old man speaks with while in the taxi

Business Man-
tries to buy the Old Man’s native land which ‘has been his since birth.’
George -
the Old Man's nephew he speaks about and speaks with in the end of the story

Nieces and Nephews-
have their homes taken by the government for more development of the land

New Zealand

Native Land
Train & Train Station
Business Man’s Office
Old Man’s Home


“Then the rain’ll come and the cuts will bleed for miles and the valleys will drown in blood, but the pakeha will find a way of mopping it up no problem.” p.323

“Not a journey, not what you would really call a journey.” (p.320)
This quote foreshadows the novel, the old man isn't going on an amazing journey. His journey he is going on a ‘journey’ to see the progression of modernization on the land he has lived on his whole life.

“They’d rather stare at the weather on television and talk about a this and a that coming over because there’s nothing else to believe in. “ (p.322)
This quote shows the difference between the natives and the pakehas, the natives appreciate the land and cherish it. While the pakehas don’t care anymore, they modernized, and technology has taken over.

And probably the whole life was like that, sitting in the dark watching and waiting. Sometimes it happened and you came into the light, but mostly it only happened in tunnels. Like now. (p.323)
This quote helps us see into the views of the Old Man, we see how he is losing hope in change. The light is what the land used to be but now their in a ‘tunnel’ and all there is now is destruction of the land and all of this development is taking away all the nature, and technology and new developments are going in.

“And then coming out of the second tunnel that’s when you really had to hold your breath, that’s when you really had to hand it to the pakeha, because there was a sight.” (p. 323)
This quotes shows the Old Man’s sarcasm towards the topic, everything that is going on to the land bothers him and he disagrees with the acts that take place. The pakehas made a ‘sight’ but to the Old Man its not a sight he wanted to see.

“Yes, he knows this place like his own big toe…” (p.324)
This quote shows the love and care that the Ola Man has for his native land. Through out the changes going on he remembers the way it used to be and the way he preferred it to be. The author used a simile to compare the two to show just how familiar the Ola Man was with the land.

“Yes yes I want you to understand, that’s why I came. This here, its only paper and you can change it. There’s room for all the things you’ve got on your paper, and room for what we want too, we want only what we’ve got already, it’s what we’ve been trying to say.”(p.326)

“It’s what we want, we want nothing more than what is ours already.” (p. 327)

“…is to say put on what is left of what has been ours since before we were born.” (p. 327)

All of these quotes show how the government and businesses just see money and don’t care about who’s land they take. The government treats the natives of New Zealand poorly and with inequality, they just want to take their land because its fertile and better but its been theirs from before they were born.

Discussion Questions
Why did the old man stare at his hands at the end of the story?

Did the Old Man’s nieces and nephews ever get real homes?

Do you think their were any laws protecting the natives land?

Do you agree that the Old Man’s land really should have belonged to him?

"The 1980s." <i>Overview -</i>. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.
"New Zealand: The Politicization of Immigration." <i>Migrationpolicy.org</i>. N.p., 01 Jan. 2003. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.
"Maori - Delta Pens." <i>Maori - Delta Pens</i>. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.
Nordquist, Richard. "Third-person Point of View - Definition and Examples in Fiction and Nonfiction." N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.
"Portraits of New Zealand Writers by Maja Moritz - Booknotes Unbound." Booknotes Unbound. N.p., 05 June 2014. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.
Unidentified Maori Male sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries
"Niue - Self-governing in Free Association with New Zealand." Niue - Self-governing in Free Association with New Zealand. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.
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