CSEC English

Stabroek News Sunday - - GAMES -

Hello there! We hope you are en­joy­ing Wal­cott’s Ti-Jean and His Broth­ers. It’s a great play, isn’t it? And we also hope our English A ex­er­cises are help­ing you. We want you to en­joy your CSEC page. Read on now.

ENGLISH B—Ti-Jean and His Broth­ers.

Now that we’ve looked at the plot or story line of this play, and we’ve ex­am­ined the var­i­ous char­ac­ters and their roles, we turn to Wal­cott’s rich use of dra­matic de­vices. What do we mean by that term, ‘dra­matic de­vices’? It refers to all the tools that a play­wright (drama­tist) can use so that the play will make a grand im­pact on the au­di­ence. Dra­matic de­vices af­fect what the au­di­ence will SEE and what they will HEAR. These de­vices in­clude cos­tumes, scenery, props, light­ing ef­fects, and sound ef­fects such as mu­sic or thun­der or for­est noises. We will ex­am­ine some of the de­vices in this play, and com­ment on their ef­fec­tive­ness (the im­pact they will have on the au­di­ence).

Set­ting and scenery. Imag­ine you are watch­ing the play be­ing acted on stage. What set­ting and scenery will you SEE? And what will you FEEL and THINK as you see those things? You’ll see the poverty-stricken cot­tage of the Mother and her sons, AND you may see (in the dis­tance) the great plan­ta­tion house be­long­ing to the Planter/Devil. The con­trast will make you aware of the in­jus­tice of the plan­ta­tion sys­tem, and will prob­a­bly make you an­gry.

Cos­tumes. You’ll see the ragged cloth­ing of the Mother and her sons, and the smart clothes of the Planter/Devil, so you’ll be made aware of the in­jus­tice of colo­nial­ism. You’ll see the for­est crea­tures in ap­pro­pri­ate cos­tumes, and the pres­ence of these talk­ing an­i­mals will give you a sense that some­thing mag­i­cal is go­ing to hap­pen—and in­deed it is, be­cause Ti-Jean, the rev­o­lu­tion­ary, is go­ing to out­wit the Devil/Planter. You’ll also see the fan­tas­tic out­fits of the var­i­ous devils, made in such a way that they will seem ter­ri­fy­ing.

Masks. The masks and dis­guises worn by the Devil are very im­por­tant. He ap­pears some­times as the Devil (use your imag­i­na­tion to think how he would be dressed!) but he also ap­pears in dis­guise as Papa Bois and as the Planter. He even lets us see him chang­ing his dis­guise and re­mov­ing his mask. The ef­fect is to make us un­der­stand that the in­tel­li­gent, rea­son­able-seem­ing Planter is ac­tu­ally the em­bod­i­ment of evil, and so is the seem­ingly help­ful Old Man of the woods. The mask­ing and dis­guis­ing have this ef­fect on us: they let us UN­DER­STAND how de­vi­ous and cun­ning the Devil is, and how easy it is to be de­ceived by ap­pear­ances. The mask­ing also makes us FEEL a shud­der of fear to know the dan­ger that Ti-Jean is in.

Props. Some of the props are the bare ta­ble with its empty bowls out­side the Mother’s hut, Mi-Jean’s fish­ing rod and book (show­ing us that his book learn­ing has only man­aged to make him use­less as a provider) and the cow-foot and stiff tail of Papa Bois (show­ing that he is the Devil in dis­guise, so Ti-Jean must be very care­ful not to be fooled by him). The two crosses on the graves of Gros-Jean and Mi-Jean, along with the hu­man bone that the Devil is gnaw­ing, are im­por­tant props that sug­gest (in a semi-comic way) the ruth­less­ness of the slave trade and the plan­ta­tion sys­tem. We are shocked at how non­cha­lantly the Devil en­joys his break­fast, and we feel the grief of Ti-Jean as he re­al­izes that his broth­ers have both died.

Light­ing and sound ef­fects. Pay at­ten­tion to the stage di­rec­tions as you read to dis­cover how much use Wal­cott makes of sound and light­ing in the play. Mu­sic cre­ates dif­fer­ent MOODS. It makes us feel sad (sad flute) when the Mother tells of her tri­als, amused when Gros-Jean goes march­ing off, a lit­tle scared (weird mu­sic) when the Bolom ap­pears, and amused (merry mu­sic) when the goat breaks free and ca­vorts around the stage. There are also loud clash­ing cym­bals, ex­plo sions and thun­der when the Devils ap­pear—and these sounds, along with lights flash­ing and drums beat­ing, create a very scary at­mos­phere. The stage di­rec­tions call for a ‘red cur­tain of flame’ to sug­gest the Hell that Ti-Jean’s broth­ers now en­dure, and a blaze (a blaze light­ens the wood) of fire to sug­gest the burn­ing of the canes. These con­trast with the white light shin­ing on the Mother (sug­gest­ing her piety and pu­rity) as she prays in her hum­ble hut.

Move­ments and group­ing of ac­tors. No­tice the stage di­rec­tions telling ac­tors how to move: the Bolom’s en­er­getic ac­ro­bat­ics, the wild danc­ing of the Devil’s as­sis­tants, the con­fi­dent march­ing of Gros-Jean, the fear­ful re­treat of the for­est an­i­mals. No­tice, too, the var­i­ous group­ings—the way the for­est crea­tures run from Papa Bois, but group around Ti-Jean. How will these move­ments and group ings af­fect the au­di­ence?

SPELL­ING

Here are 15 words that are fre­quently mis­spelt. Ask some­one to test you and see if you can spell all of them cor­rectly. Write out any words that you couldn’t spell, and make sure they will never catch you again!

Restau­rant, chauf­feur, ven­omous, ec­cen­tric, as­sas­si­nate, ha­rass­ment, em­bar­rass ment, as­sess­ment, chaotic, sim­i­larly, oc­cu­pa­tion, oc­ca­sion, sen­si­tive, X-ray, casu alty. ARE YOU A GOOD ED­I­TOR? See if you can spot the er­rors in these sen­tences. If you can, try to pro­vide the cor­rec­tion. 1. Open­ing the door care­fully, a really funny sight con­fronted him. 2. De­spite he couldn’t swim well, Ravi jumped into the pool to help the girl. 3. She said she rather ear­rings than a gold chain, but I didn’t able to af­ford it. 4. When you are fin­ished with the nail clip­pers, please re­turn it back to the draw er. 5. My un­cle has a lot of old books all bounded in leather on events that took place while Queen Vic­to­ria was rein­ing in Eng­land. 6 Dogs make ex­cel­lent pets as they are friendly. While cats are too in­de­pen­dent

to make good pets. 7. I will be great­ful if you could as­sist me in this mat­ter. 8. Her arm was bro­ken in the ac­ci­dent, she had to keep it in a sling. 9. There were quite a lot of peo­ple at the con­cert, but cer­tainly less than last year. 10. We don’t want too much guests at the party, so ad­mis­sion will be by in­vi­ta­tion

only.

PRAC­TICE WITH THE PAS­SIVE

Look at these two sen­tences:

Why did some­one leave this tap on? Why was this tap left on?

Re­write all of the fol­low­ing sen­tences, fol­low­ing the pat­tern you find in B.

1. Why did some­one de­stroy the ev­i­dence? 2. Why did some­one take away the ta­ble? 3. Why did some­one spend the money on rub­bish? 4. Why did some­one cut that piece of cloth? 5. Why did some­one for­get that in­for­ma­tion? 6. Why did some­one steal the bi­cy­cle? 7. Why did some­one hold the sus­pect? 8. Why didn’t some­one pre­pare the meal? 9. Why didn’t some­one wash the dishes? 10. Why didn’t some­one bind the books?

PUNC­TU­A­TION PRAC­TICE

Re­place the as­ter­isks in the fol­low­ing pas­sage with the ap­pro­pri­ate punc­tu­a­tion. In some in­stances, no punc­tu­a­tion at all is needed. Check the bot­tom of the page for our an­swers.

My brother is a lot of fun* my sis­ter* though* is more se­ri­ous* you can tell the type of per­son my brother is from the things in his room* box­ing gloves* a skate­board* a hockey stick and a stereo sys­tem* my sis­ter*s room also tells it*s own story* a story about a really nerdish in­di­vid­ual* all the shelves are full of books* and in­stead of sport*s equip­ment* there is a com­puter on which she does her work* the other day my sis­ter promised to play ten­nis with me* in­stead* she spent the evening on some Maths prob­lem* what a pain* how did I man­age to get a bor­ing sis­ter like that*

AN­SWERS

Are You a Good Ed­i­tor? 1. Open­ing the door care­fully, he was con­fronted by a really funny sight. 2. De­spite not be­ing able to swim well, Ravi jumped into the pool to help the girl. 3. She said she would rather have ear­rings than a gold chain, but I wasn’t able

to af­ford them. 4. When you have fin­ished with the nail clip­pers, please re­turn them to the draw

er. 5. My un­cle has a lot of old books all bound in leather on events that took place

while Queen Vic­to­ria was reign­ing in Eng­land. 6. Dogs make ex­cel­lent pets as they are friendly, while cats are too in­de­pen­dent

to make good pets. 7. I would be grate­ful if you could as­sist me in this mat­ter. 8. Her arm was bro­ken in the ac­ci­dent, so she had to keep it in a sling. 9. There were quite a lot of peo­ple at the con­cert, but cer­tainly fewer than last

year. 10. We don’t want too many guests at the party, so ad­mis­sion will be by in­vi­ta­tion

only.

Prac­tice with the Pas­sive

Why was the ev­i­dence de­stroyed? Why was the ta­ble taken away? Why was the money spent on rub­bish? Why was that piece of cloth cut? Why was that in­for­ma­tion for­got­ten? Why was the bi­cy­cle stolen? Why was the sus­pect held? Why wasn’t the meal pre­pared? Why weren’t the dishes washed? Why weren’t the books

bound?

Punc­tu­a­tion Prac­tice

My brother is a lot of fun. My sis­ter, though, is more se­ri­ous. You can tell the type of per­son my brother is from the things in his room: box­ing gloves, a skate­board, a hockey stick and a stereo sys­tem. My sis­ter’s room also tells its own story—a story about a really nerdish in­di­vid­ual! All the shelves are full of books, and in­stead of sports equip­ment, there is a com­puter on which she does her work. The other day my sis­ter promised to play ten­nis with me; in­stead, she spent the evening on some Maths prob­lem. What a pain! How did I man­age to get a bor­ing sis­ter like that?

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