Synopsis Dawan lives in a village with her family and attends the village school with her brother Kwai. They sit for a special examination which offers the best student a scholarship to study in a City school. They feel and know that with better education they can help to improve the way of life in rural Thailand. Dawan wins the scholarship and Kwai comes in second. She is excited and determined to take up the offer. However, her father being gender biased is not in favor of her going to the city. Her attempts to get outside help – cousin Noi and the chief monk – to convince her father fail. Grandmother and flower seller, Bao are her biggest supporters. Eventually, father comes around and allows Dawan to study in the city. Dawan goes on her journey with confidence and understanding the responsibilities it entails
Setting Place Village where Dawan and family lives Village school Old wooden bridge over the river Marketplace Time Present day Plot Explosition At the break of dawn, Dawan and Kwai watch the sunrise from the wooden bridge. They talk about the scholarship and improving the life of the villagers, the rights of the landlords and tax. Dawan is doubtful of getting the scholarship because of the practice of gender bias in the village. Conflict In school, the class teachers talks of responsibilities that come with winning the scholarship and Kwai is upset. Father expresses disbelief that Kwai is not the winner and refuses to allow Dawan to study in the city. Cousin Noi discouraged Dawan from going to the city. Climax Kwai announces that he is the second place winner and Dawan appeals that she cannot give up her chance of going to the City school. Dawan insists on getting a definite rply from Father but he refuses to do so. He assers in no uncertain words that he favours Kwai over Dawan going to the City school. Falling action Dawan attempts to get the chief monk of the temple to talk to her father but the chief monk dissuades her from going to the
city. Bao encourages her to move on with her mission against gender inequality. At the marketplace, Dawan gets into an argument with Kwai and injures her ankle. They come to an understanding and Kwai gives his full support to Dawan. Resolution Father knows that Kwai is second place winner. Kwai gallantly withdraws and Father, is convinced by Dawan relents and allow her to go for further education. Dawan leaves the village with a heavy but excited heart. Grandmother gives her a lotus in a jar and Kwai sings her song as he bids farewell from the bridge. Characters Main characters Dawan Attends the village school and wins a scholarship to study in City school Loving, caring and obedient – close-knit relationship with family especially Kwai, her brother Convinces Father to allow her to study in the city – strong resolution to do well and return to help the villagers. Responsible, determined and far-sighted about the future. Kwai Keen to study in the city and comes in as second place winner of the scholarship Supportive of Dawan going to the city but disappointed he cannot make it Far-sighted about future of villagers and rural life Good and intelligent student - well-liked by teacher Themes Close family ties - support and love
Gender inequality Ideals Question on Sing to the Dawn 1.
Based on the novel, Sing to the Dawn, how does the main character’s family reflect the traditional beliefs of rural Thailand? Give examples with close reference to the text. 2.
Based on the novel, Sing to the Dawn, write about what you enjoy about the story and explain why you would or would not recommend the story to your friends. 3.
‘A faint heart never won a fair lady’ Explain the meaning of the saying above. Based on the novel, Sing to the Dawn, explain how far the statement is true of the text? Support your answer with close reference to the text.