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Ha'penny - by Alan Paton

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Gwendyllyn Jane

on 4 April 2016

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Transcript of Ha'penny - by Alan Paton

Synopsis
Ha'penny, written by Alan Paton, centers around the need for love/loneliness. The story is based in South Africa in the 1960s during the time of the apartheid system. This effected the way of life of many black Africans. The story starts out, in the exposition, with the narrator, who works at a reformatory. He befriends a twelve year old orphan named Ha'penny in the beginning of the initiating incident. In the initiating incident, the narrator becomes attached to Ha'penny through the stories he tells. The narrator discovers that the stories he is sharing are not true, so asks Ha'penny about them. This begins the rising action. The narrator soon finds that Ha'penny has struggled with physical and mental health issues. He confronts him and dicovers things about Ha'penny, this is the climax. In the end of Ha'penny, the falling action, the narrator learns how to appropriately approach and teach children.
Setting
Ha'penny is set South Africa during the 1960s. During the time, and in the book, the apartheid system was in affect. This made life difficult for many people like the ones in the story. Happens on a Sunday afternoon at the reformatory gate of reformatory Bloemfontein.
Conflict
Throughout the book, the narrator befriends a boy named Ha'penny. The child is generous with his storytelling. Soon the narrator finds some holes in Ha'penny's adventures. So he does some investigating and discovers that the stories were just tales, and the relationships Ha'penny thought he had never existed. The narrator confronts the boy and discovers he has been through a lot of mental and physical trauma.
Theme
The theme I would choose for Ha'penny is loneliness. This is because Ha'penny , the character the story is based on, is very lonely. He feels he needs love and chooses to believe a certain family is his own. He needs familial love: "...that he was ashamed of being without a family and had invented them all, so that no one might discover that he was fatherless and motherless and that no one in the world cared that he was alive or dead."
Point of View
The short story Ha'penny is written in first person and told by an unnamed narrator. Evidence of being in first person: "He watched
me
with concealed apprehension, and
I
came to the conclusion that this waif of Bloemfontein was a clever boy, who had told
me
a story that was all imagination, and had changed one single letter of it to make it safe from any question."
Another Example: "But I knew that my authority was thus
confirmed and strengthened."
Ha'penny - by Alan Paton
Characters
The Narrator
: His name is never mentioned, but the narrator is the main protagonist in Ha'penny. He is a round character.
Ha'penny
: He is a boy at the reformatory who eventually dies of tuberculosis. He is a main character and the story is based around him and his need for familial love. Ha'penny is a complex character.
Mrs. Betty
: She is the woman who Ha'penny calls his mother. She loves her children and eventually adopts Ha'penny before he dies of tuberculosis. She is a symbolic character.
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