Thursday, September 15, 2011
The Curse - Lee Su Ann Esay Collection
1. The following are the novels studied on the literature component in English Language.
Catch Us If You Can by Catherine Macphail
Step by Wicked Step
Using the details from the novels above that you have studied:
-describe a character you like
-explain why you like him or her
In the novel The Curse, the character I like is the old lady who lived in the forest away from the village. The villagers thought of her as an evil witch. They thought she killed her husband when she could not take the abuse anymore. When she was discharged by the authorities, she went and lived in the forest away from the prying eyes of the villagers.
The Old Lady showed a positive side of her character and I find this interesting. She understood te wariness of the villagers and she accepted her circumstances, As she put it “ there is nothing liberating than in receiving forgiveness and to give it”.With forgiveness, one is free and can move on. Before the incident, she had been accepted by the local community and was very involved in their activities, She had helped many of the mothers with their children’s illness. Yet she was now regarded as husband killer and an outcast. She did not blame them for their misgivings.
I like the way she advised Azreen, she emphatized with her who seemed to be neglected by her parents and rejected and distanced by the villagers. She asked Azreen to tell the truth about the incident of the bull and the motorcycle so that the parents would understand she was not responsible for her mother’s accident.
The old lady was willing the risk facing the wrath of the villagers when she ventured into the village and prepared traditional medicine for Mohd Asraf’s grandmother. Unfortunately his grandmother died. Mohd Asraf and a few man hounded the Old Lady, resulting her house being burnt and she died. This was a pity.
The Old lady is interesting for her philosophies of life and her advice to Azreen.
2. The following are the novels studied on the literature component in English Language.
Using the details from the novels above that you have studied write about the difficult decision made by one of the characters. With close reference to the text, do you think this was the right decision?
The novel The Curse is about Azreen who returned home from studies in London to mourn the loss of her sister whose death was shrouded in mystery. During her school days, Azreen befriended Mohd Asraf and had a crush on him. They became good friend and on one occasion Azreen had to make a difficult decision to help Mohd Asraf.
Mohd Asraf was doing some part tine work at Encik Mohan’s farm. When Azreen went to see him one evening, there was a commotion. The farmer and his sons were threatening Mohd Asraf. He was blamed for not closing the gate and letting the bull escape from the farm. There and then Azreen had to make difficult decision. She took the gate for leaving the gate open. She told them off boldly that they should check things carefully before making accusations without evidence.
I feel that Azreen had made the wrong decision here. Helping a friend does not mean that she should take the blame for a wrongdoing so that he would not be punished. He may or may not be in the wrong but to take the blame was a wrong decision for Azreen. Probably she thought this could put her in a good light with Mohd Asraf. But if he was innocent, he would not feel thankful to her.If she had suggested Encik Mohan investigate the situation properly, this would be a better decision.
Making a decision to take the blame for letting the bull escape caused her parent’s distrust and displeasure. The bull had crashed into her father’s motorcycle causing her mother to lose the use of a leg. Her father was furious with her, thinking that it was really her fault that the bull had escaped from the farm. Her relation with her father went from bad to worse and they became estranged.
Making decisions which are helpful to a general good is right move but to help somebody’s skin is not a good decision.
3. The following are the novels studied on the literature component in English Language.
Using the details from the novels above that you have studied, write about the social issue in the story.
The novel The Curse is about the reaction of the local community to circumstances surrounding the death of a local girl, Madhuri. There were speculations about the cause of her death and some even thought she died under unusual circumstances, in that it was a curse on the community. Someothers knew that she had been murdered but nobody took responsibility for it. The social issue in the story is neighbourliness.
When Azreen returned home from London to mourn the loss of Madhuri, she was disgusted to hear the speculations and rumours that went round the grapevine. The spirit of good neighbourliness seemed to be absent. Instead, even when they were in the deceased’s house, paying their last respects, there was hissings and whisperings about the dead and the living members of the family.
The lack of spirit of neighbourliness was obvious from the way the community treated the Old Lady who lived in the forest. She was made as an outcast by the community who considered her as a wicked witch. As long as she kept her distance, they left her alone. When she came out to help Mohd Asraf’s grandmother with some traditional medication, they avoided her like a plague. Even Mohd Asraf, a school teacher was narrow-minded enough to put the blame on the Old Lady for his grandmother’s death.
A small community of villagers would normally be neighbourly and caring of each other. In the story, the spirit of good neighbourliness is not apparent.
4. The following are the novels studied on the literature component in English Language.
The Curse by Lee Su Ann
Using the details from the novels above that you have studied write about ：
-describe the plot of the story and
- explain how he or she handled the problems
The novel The Curse is about Azreen who returned home from her studies to mourn the loss of her sister whose death was shrouded in mystery. Back home with her parents, Azreen showed good character traits in her approach to her parents and the Old Lady.
Azreen’s mother was wheelchair-bound due to an accident and she also had Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes she became confused, thinking that Azreen was Madhuri and forgetting that Madhuri was not around anymore. Sometimes she was lucid and even told Azreen to warn Madhuri of the danger she was in. Throughout all this, Azreen was patient with her mother. Though she felt her parents favoured Madhuri more than her, she did not waver in her love for them. She was caring even when her father gave her the silent treatment.
Azreen showed that friendship was important and should be cherished and nurtured. She proved to be a good friend to Mohd Asraf although the latter didn’t return her feelings. He was more interested in Madhuri. Azreen helped Mohd Asraf out of a sticky situation when he was accused of wrongdoing by a farmer.
The Old Lady in the forest brought oit Azreen’s caring and respectful traits. Azreen befriended the Old Lady and they became good friends. She would visit the Old lady as often as she could. She entertained her with stories. She respected the Old lady and often listened to her advice.
Azreen was hot tempered and impatient with people who are insincere and gossipy. But , deep down she was a caring, loving,respectful and patient,especially towards those who cared for her.
5. The following are the novels studied on the literature component in English Language.
Using the details from the novels above that you have studied write about the moral values which you have learnt that family relationship should be nurtured , not taken for granted.
The novel The Curse is about Azreen who returned home from her studies in London to mourn the loss of her sister whose death was shrouded in mystery. Azreen was met in the airport by her uncleand aunt. They were not willing to tell her the circumstances surrounding Madhuri’s death. Azreen noticed the womenfolks talking suspiciously of what had happened. Salleh Abdullay looked visibly upsetwhile her mother was lost in the world of her own. She kept confusing Azreen with Madhuri and a times was lucid enough to tell Azreen to warn Madhuri of danger.
Madhuri’s body was hurriedly laid to rest. Azreen recalled the happy times she spent as a rebellious teenager with her sister. Her meeting with Mohd Asraf also made her recall her schooling days and past relationship. In the midst of it all was the stabilizing factor in Azreen’s life – the Old lady. The latter provided a shoulder for her to voice her thoughts and feelings of the past and the present.
A shodow of fear and pall seemed to hanf over the village. Some felt that the village was cursed. Darting in and out of sight was a shadowy figure of a woman who looked more ghostly than human. Bomoh Awang had his spiritual way of dealing with the trying situation. To make matter worse, there were four more deaths. On the fifth day, Azreen’s mother past away peacefully. This was followed by Mohd Asraf’s grandmother who passed away peacefully too while the Old Lady died when her house caught fire.Salleh Abdullah died of a heart attack. The suspense and mystery behind Madhuri’s death solved.
The plot attempts to run in chronological order, but most of the time is interspersed with flashbacks as the characters think back to past events. The story is not easy to follow as the ready has to be aware that there are flashbacks. These flashbacks are based on events that happened too far back so they tend to confuse the readers. Element of suspense, withcraft and a bit of a comedy are intertwined in the plot and this tends to make the story shallow in certain parts. All in all, the story has interesting plot.
6. The following are the novels studied on the literature component in English Language.
Using the details from the novels above that you have studied write about the setting for the story. Explain why you think the setting enhances or does not enhance the plot.
The setting for the story The Curse is a small island speck in the archipelago a distance to the south of the island of Langkawi. It was covered with green hills which fell behind a length of rocky beaches. There were a few kampongs or village. A village behind those hills provided the setting for the story. The story is set in the present time.
The local community lived in the village where every event or incident was of concern of every villager. Most of the residents lived in the centre of the village and the houses were near each other while some especially with secrets, lived far in the jungle. There were farms around the village and the main mode of transport was the motorcycle.
The story begins with Azreen who was in London for her studies prepared to take a flight back to Malaysia. She had received news of her sister’s death and was coming back to mourn the loss of Madhuri. When she returned she could sense the mystery shrouding the circumstances of her sister’s death. There were rumours of a murder and the local community felt they had been cursed. In a duration of a few days, there were four other deaths which included Azreen’s mother and father.
The setting enhances the plot by providing the atmosphere of mystery and fear. The womenfolks especially were afraid and kept insisting they were cursed. The Old Lady who lived in the forest added to the mood and tone of the story. The setting also adds to the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Madhuri.
(Sample essays do not belong to me. They are copied from the "I-don't-remember- which" websites. Credits should be given to them )