A Drink in the Passage Alan Paton A Drink in the Passage Unit 15 W arming up B ackground T ext Analysis R einforcement A Drink in the Passage Unit 15 Questions/Activities Check-on Preview Objectives Warming up Warming up Questions / Activities Retell the story from van Rensburg’s point of view. Warming up Check-on Preview Give the implied meaning of the following sentences. …boys, I’m a sculptor, not a demonstrator. (para. 4) You know it’s by one of your own boys, don’t you? (para. 12) She knows it won’t be an easy life. (para. 14) Well honestly I didn’t feel like a drink at that time of night…” (para. 16) 5. I said unwillingly, “Yes.” (para. 27) 6. Our land is beautiful. But it breaks my heart. (para. 44) 1. 2. 3. 4. Warming up Objectives 1. Content: • • • Know briefly South Africa’s apartheid history. Learn about the plight of the blacks under apartheid laws and policies. Understand the tragic psychological effect of racial segregation on both races. 2. Language: • • Understand the use of symbols. Appreciate the beauty of simple, unadorned language style. A Drink in the Passage Unit 15 Author Background History Setting Background Author • A science teacher in high school. His Life • Principal of a reform school. • Drawn into the political arena, first president of the Liberal Party of South Africa. Alan Paton (1903-1988) Background Author His Works • First novel: Cry, the Beloved Country (1948), a success, leading him to become a professional writer. • Second novel: Too Late the Phalarope (1953). • The present story is selected from Tales from a Troubled Land (1961, a collection of his short stories). His Achievements Background Author • An important South African novelist and political activist. • Received numerous awards and honorary degrees, accepted as an authoritative and objective interpreter of South Africa. • Cry, the Beloved Country has become an international classic. Background Setting The story is set against the background of apartheid South Africa. apartheid: apartness, referring to the racial segregation implemented in South African history Background History A Brief History of South Africa • Local people: Bantu-speaking tribes. • European settlers (1652): the Dutch, known as Boers or Afrikaners, speaking Afrikaans. • British settlers (1820): discovery of gold and diamond → the Anglo-Boer wars. • Victory of the British → the establishment of the Union of South Africa (1910), dominated by the British. • The Afrikaners National Party gained majority in the government (1940s) → implemented Apartheid. Background History • In 1961, the Afrikaners gained final victory → founded the Republic of South Africa, withdrawing from the Common Wealth. • Toward the end of the1980s, De Klerk’s reform, lifting the ban on ANC, releasing Nelson Mandela. • In 1994, Mandela was elected President → Apartheid came to an end. A Drink in the Passage Unit 15 Theme Text Analysis Structure Detailed Analysis Text Analysis Theme Questions for thinking: • Why a drink? • Why in the passage? • What does that show? • Why couldn’t they touch each other? Text Analysis Structure I. Introduction: the issue at the sculpture competition and how the drink of cognac reminded the sculptor of his story (paras. 1-6) II. A drink in the passage and how both Simelane and van Rensburg found it hard for blacks and whites to touch each other (paras. 7-76) A. (paras. 7-36): Simelane’s meeting with van Rensburg and his acceptance of van Rensburg’s invitation to a drink B. (paras. 37-65): A drink in the passage C. (paras. 66-76): Simelane’s departure and how they both felt about not being able to touch each other Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part I: Discussion 1. What made Simelane’s sculpture such a great success? What’s about it that appealed not only to the blacks but to the whites as well? 2. How come such an important honor was given to a black sculptor in a country notorious for racial prejudice? How was the decision received? What does this incident reveal about the situation in the 1960s in South African society? Pick up clues provided in the story. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part I: Discussion 3. What would have happened if Simelane had attended the ceremony personally? How was the crisis averted? He said, “boys, I’m a sculptor, not a demonstrator.” Does that mean that he was too coward or unconscious of the plight of the blacks under the apartheid policies? 4. What do you think is the relationship between the narrator and Simelane? Describe the occasion when Simelane related the story to the narrator. Why did he say that it was the first time he had had such a glass? What was so special about the glass? Why did he say that it was also the first time he had drunk cognac so slowly? Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Different Wineglasses cognac champagn wine martini Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part I: Words & Expressions (1) sensation (para. 1) • produce/cause/create sensation The moon landing in 1969 caused a worldwide sensation. Other meanings: One sign of a heart attack is a tingling sensation in the left arm. Caroline had the sensation that she was being watched. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part I: Words & Expressions (2) oversight (para. 2) • Cf. mistake, error, blunder, slip, lapse, oversight Your essay was not marked due to my oversight. Other meaning: He has general oversight of all training courses. reprimand (para. 2) • Cf. criticize, blame, scold, condemn, denounce, reprimand Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part I: Words & Expressions (3) condition (para. 2) • condition for They set/laid down strict conditions for using their information. • condition of The allies insisted on free elections as a condition of their continued support. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part I: Words & Expressions (4) personage (para. 2) • Cf. person, personage, personnel, personality bring…to a close (para. 2) • Similar expressions: draw/come to a close; draw/call sth to a close The event occurred at the time when the Stone Age was drawing to a close. It’s time to call this meeting to a close. At last I drew my visit to a close. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part I: Words & Expressions (5) quarters (para. 3) • from quarters Offers of financial help came from the most unexpected quarters. • in (some) quarters Concern has been expressed in some quarters about this policy. departure from (para. 3) This approach represents a radical departure from the previous policy. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part I: Exercise Translation 1. 他的意外出现在小镇上引起了很大的轰动。（sensation） His unexpected appearance created a great sensation in the town. 2. 由于令人遗憾的疏忽，完整的说明书没有随产品同来。 （oversight） By an unfortunate oversight, full instructions do not come with the product. 3. 我们发现这里明显地背离了宣言的精神和条文。 （departure） Here we find a decided departure from the spirit and the letter of the Declaration. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (A): Discussion 1. How did the bookshop exhibit Simelane’s sculpture? How do you understand his words “with a white velvet backdrop, if there is anything called white velvet…”? 2. Why do you think van Rensburg would like to invite Simelane for a drink? 3. Was Simelane happy about the invitation? Why? What made him accept the invitation? 4. Why did they have all the discussion about language? Why didn’t they speak Afrikaans in the first place? Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (A): Discussion 5. Simelane said, “We didn’t exactly walk abreast, but he didn’t exactly walk in front of me.” Is there anything that he wanted to convey by describing how they walked? 6. Why was van Rengsburg interested in Simelane’s educational background? Did Simelane tell him the truth? Why did he say that he was a fool to leave the question open? 7. Was Simelane disappointed to find that van Rensburg’s building was not one of those luxurious places? Describe how each of them felt at the moment. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (A): Words & Expressions (1) indulge (para. 9) • vt. indulge sb She did not believe in indulging the children with presents. • vi. indulge in Eva had never been one to indulge in self-pity. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (A): Words & Expressions (2) just round the corner (para. 18) They lived in Chestnut Street round the corner. The kids go to school just round the corner. other meaning: The fortune-teller told Jane that there was an adventure for her just round the corner. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (A): Words & Expressions (3) at ease (para. 34) • feel/look at (one’s) ease • put/set sb at his/her ease The joke that the interviewer cracked instantly put me at ease. • feel/look ill at ease You always look ill at ease in a suit. • Cf. with ease Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (A): Exercise Translation 1. 这笔遗产使他能够尽情投入他热爱的艺术中。（indulge） The inheritance enabled him to indulge his passion for art. 2. 经济复苏很快就会到来。（just round the corner） Economic recovery is just round the corner. 3. 她在陌生的环境中感到不大自在。（at ease） She didn’t feel completely at (her) ease in strange surroundings. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (B): Discussion 1. How did Simelane feel when he realized that they were going to drink in the passage? Was he afraid to drink in the passage? Why (not)? Why did he say that anger could have saved him from the whole embarrassing situation? 2. Simelane was afraid of breaking the liquor laws of the country, what do you think the laws stipulated? Why do you think there were such laws? Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (B): Discussion 3. How did van Rensburg and his family treat their guest on the whole? Why did they keep him in the passage instead of bringing him into their apartment? (If you invite someone to your place, would you keep them in the passage?) 4. Why did he have so much difficulty in choosing a proper expression to address the white woman? 5. What did van Rensburg mean by “Our land is beautiful. But it breaks my heart.”? Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (B): Discussion 6. Why did Simelane say “the whole thing was mad, and getting beyond me”? (para.51) 7. Why did Simelane keep referring to the “impersonal doors”? What does it mean? He said he was waiting for the opening of one of those impersonal doors. Was he no longer afraid of being seen in a “white” building, breaking the liquor laws? 8. How would you describe Simelane’s feelings while drinking in the passage? Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Sceneries of South Africa Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (B): Words & Expressions out of nowhere (para. 44) Mr. Jones was driving too fast on the expressway when a police patrol car appeared out of nowhere and stopped him. Houses had sprung up out of nowhere on the hills. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (C): Discussion 1. When they drove up Eloff Street, van Rensburge said, “Did you know what I meant?” What was he referring to? Did Simelane know what he was referring to? 2. How do you interpret Simelane’s words in para. 70, “his eyes had been blinded by years in the dark”? Why is it that “if men never touch each other, they’ll hurt each other one day”? And why is it that “black men don’t touch white men any more”? Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (C): Discussion 3. Why was Simelane inarticulate at the end of the story? 4. Why did Simelane say that van Rensburg “was like a man trying to run a race in iron shoes, and not understanding why he cannot move”? 5. Why did Simelane’s wife weep when she heard the story? 6. Examine the role of liquor in the story and discuss its function as a symbol. Text Analysis Detailed Analysis Part II (C): Words & Expressions weep (para. 75) • Cf. cry, blubber, sob, wail, whimper A Drink in the Passage Unit 15 Summary Reinforcement Discussion Reinforcement Summary Literary Techniques 1. The use of symbols: items being symbolized—the sculpture, white velvet, the way they walked, the drink, the blindness 2. Simile and metaphor: his eyes had been blinded by years in the dark he was like a man trying to run a race in iron shoes 3. Simple language: unadorned, with an exotic flavor of African language and Afrikanns Reinforcement Discussion 1. Is it easy to detect the existence of racial (or religious) prejudice? Why or why not? 2. Does racism only involve governments and politicians? Do you find any racial or ethnic or regional prejudice in the people around you? 3. What are the consequences of prejudice and discrimination?