Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Curse by Lee Su Ann Sample Essay Part 3




The novel that I have chosen is The Curse by Lee Su Ann.  In this novel there are a few strong characters.  Among these characters, the character that I think has strongly influenced the others in a negative way is Puan Normala.
 Puan Normala, one of the villagers, is described by Siti as a “slimy cobra with a three-forked tongue.”  Nobody likes the gossips that she spreads.  Branded as a rumour-monger, I find that she easily influences the narrow minded people of her village.   As a “news broadcaster” of the village, everything that happens there does not escape her eyes and ears.  Immediately, it becomes a topic for her to talk about.  Her idle talks are capable of ruining the reputations of the person concern.  Most of the villagers, who fail to think rationally, are easily influenced by her tales which causes a negative impact on the village.
 After Madhuri’s body is recovered, she talks about Madhuri’s death so frequently that her daughter carries the gossips to school too.  She tells her classmates that Madhuri is murdered.  In another incident, she also talks about Madhuri’s marriage to Haji Ghani, the village headman and how their young, handsome teacher is affected by it.  This is a strong negative influence that Noor has acquired from Puan Normala as it is bad for Noor to talk about matters that are not related to her.
The next incident is when Puan Normala admits that she has seen Madhuri’s dead body and that her body was bleeding white blood.  Being superstitious, she spreads the rumour that the village is cursed with Madhuri’s death.  She states that since the village is cursed, many bad things will happen and the village will soon experience disaster.  She waves the villagers’ hearts and spoils the harmony of the village.  This is a clear evident that shows how influent she can be in a negative way.
 In another incident where we can witness her negative influence on the villagers is when she blames the old lady’s visit to Asraf’s house as the reason for the continuous rain. Furthermore, she is also a mean and malicious person. For example, her influence on the villagers caused them to provoke Mohd Asraf to confront the old lady by accusing the old lady as the reason why Asraf’s grandmother’s dies. Because of that instigation, Asraf’s anger is the main cause for the fire that causes the old lady to die.
 Apart from the above evident, there are many other incidents where she tries to influence the others such as her own daughter and also Siti, her neighbour’s daughter.  Noor, her daughter is exactly like her and can be branded “Like mother like daughter.  In her class, she plays the role that she inherited from her mother.  This is a very clear evident that shows Puan Normala’s negative influence on her daughter.
 In conclusion, based on the above reasons and evident, I find that Puan Normala is the one and only character that can influence the others in the negative way.  We should not be like Puan Normala as what we may say, may harm others.  Therefore it is necessary for us to stay wise to create a more peaceful world.



The novel that I have read is The Curse by Lee Su Ann.  In this novel I find that Azreen has made a few difficult decisions.    One of the decisions is when she took the blame for leaving Mr. Mohan’s farm gate open which caused the bull to escape.
During the school days, Azreen was a good friend of Asraf and she also had a crush on him.  Asraf worked part time on Mr. Mohan’s farm.  One evening, when Azreen went to visit Asraf on the farm, there was a commotion.  As Azreen approached the group, she was shocked to hear Mr. Mohan and his sons, threatening Asraf.  Asraf was being blamed for leaving the farm gate open and letting the bull from the farm.  At that very moment, Azreen’s instinct told her to protect the person she loves.  She made a difficult decision by taking up the blame for leaving the gate open.  She boldly told off Mr. Mohan and his sons that they should not make accusations without looking into the matter first.  In general, it is not easy to take a blame for something that one has not done.  It takes a lot of guts and I find that Azreen has that quality.
However, was her decision right?  I feel that the decision to take up the blame was wrong.  A friend in need is a friend indeed but not in this situation.  Helping a friend does not mean that one should take up the blame for someone else’s wrong doings just to protect the friend from being punish.  In this case, I feel Azreen took the blame just to prove to Asraf her feelings for him.  But was that appropriate?  If Asraf was innocent, then he should have voiced out and stopped Azreen from taking the blame.  Furthermore, Azreen should have requested Mr. Mohan to investigate the situation first and that would have been a better decision.
Moverover, it was the wrong decision because the escaped bull also cost her mother to lose the ability to walk.  Since Azreen took the blame for the bull’s escape, she was indirectly responsible for the accident.  The bull had crashed into her father’s motorcycle causing her mother to lose the use of her leg.  From that day onwards her father was cold and distant with her as he was furious that it was really her fault that the bull escaped.  I find that the decision that she made was her biggest mistake as she did not win Asraf’s heart after all but her relationship with her father went from bad to worse.  They became estranged until the end.
            Based on the above reasoning, I find that making a decision to help someone in need is a right move but saving someone who may be in wrong or guilty is not a good decision.  In this situation, I feel that the decision Azreen made was definitely wrong as it cost her to lose her parents’ trust and love.









Based on the novel that you have read, write about an interesting event and the lessons that you have learnt.  Give reasons to support your answer.

The novel that I have read is The Curse by Lee Su Ann.  In this novel the interesting event that I find teaches me numerous lessons is the outbreak of the fire which results in the Old Lady’s death. 
When the neighbours visit Asraf, when Asraf’s grandmother has passed away suddenly, they convince him that the Old Lady had poisoned her. Fuelled with anger and loss, he and the mob of people go over to the Old Lady’s place with lit torches. Azreen tries to stop him but his torch falls and sets the house on fire. Azreen runs inside to try to save the Old Lady who is trapped under a pillar. Her last words to Azreen are just to learn to forgive. Then Azreen is pulled away by her father before the house collapses. This event creates a domino effect on a number of other events which in turn helps Azreen to finally solve the mystery behind her sister’s murder. She finds out that Asrat and Madhuri who is not her biological sister, had been lovers.  The final clue was that her father kills Madhuri upon discovering about their affair and plans to elope. 
The most important lesson I learnt from this event is not to be prejudiced so much as to cause the death of innocent people. The Old Lady was cast out from the village after the villagers found out that she had killed her husband. They are so prejudiced that they cannot see her kindness and good heart.  Secondly, we should not let superstition influence us to the point of being irrational. We see how easily the villagers commit a crime because they are willing to do anything, including planning an attack on the innocent and harmless Old Lady just because of superstition. Under the instigation of Puan Normala, the villagers are convinced to believe that the Old Lady possesses a special power to turn people into rats and squirrels, so the latter is accused to be an evil witch who brings all the misfortunes and had omen to the village. In fact, when the rain continues to pour for more than four days, causing the town to be flooded, the Old Lady is blamed to have put the curse on the village. 
From this event, we can see how gullible the villagers are to believe the vicious rumours spread by the village gossip, Puan Normala. She does not seem to care about the destruction she causes. Her irrational behaviour thus destroys the reputation of the victims such as the Old Lady even in the eyes of children.  Thus just as it is important not to spread rumours that can harm others, we should not listen and be influenced by vicious gossip and superstition. 
Finally, I learnt the meaning of love and forgiveness from the Old Lady’s actions. In this event, we see the purity of the Old Lady’s heart. Despite being ostracized by the villagers, the Old Lady bears no grudges against them and is still willing to help people like Asraf’s Nek. More importantly, at the point of her death before the burning house collapses on her, she reminds Azreen to forgive all the villagers who have wronged her. Azreen follows her advice and forgives her father and Asraf when she finally finds out the truth about Madhuri and her death.
Based on the above textual evidence, I definitely find that this tragic event is interesting as it is a link to the mystery behind Mahduri’s death.  The lessons that are learnt from this event are very meaningful and can guide us to a better future as well as strengthening our relationship with people we know and care 







Based on the novel that you have read, write about one character that touches your heart.  Give reasons to support your answer.
The novel that I have chosen is The Curse by Lee Su Ann.  In this novel there are a few characters that are admirable.  However I find that Azreen is an admirable character who touches my heart. She portrays remarkable courage and open-heartedness when she realises that her close friend Asraf has been in love with her dead sister instead of her. 
             She returns from London for her elder sister’s funeral.  However, she cannot accept that Madhuri has died of natural causes – she thinks she was murdered and wants to find the truth.  We see that Azreen did not have a happy childhood but is a filial daughter. She is caned often by her father as a child but still remains obedient and loyal to him, even though she is an adult now. Described as aggressive, self-opinionated, spiteful, hot-tempered and ‘ganas’ by others, her real strength of character is revealed when she finds herself let down by both her father and Asraf. Furthermore, she goes against the other villagers to befriend the Old Lady who has been ostracized by the villagers.  It is the Old Lady who advises her to forgive and forget.
Azreen is determined to find the truth behind Madhuri’s death.  Finally, when she finds out that it was her father who had killed her, she does not feel anger or resentment towards him. She only feels lost and betrayed. She shows that she is a kind, caring, loving and filial daughter when she forgives him. Her open-heartedness here touches my heart. She also shows open-heartedness and magnanimity when she accepts Asraf’s confession of love for her sister, though she is shocked and hurt. She finds out more truths – Madhuri was not her real sister but had been adopted when her mother had gone mad.
Her father Salleh had seen Madhuri with a man (Asraf) who was not her husband and had killed her in anger. Azreen realises that Saleh was the killer after he saves her from Madhuri ‘s vengeful mother and she sees the latex on his parang.
She has to be commended for her sacrifice and readiness to forgive all those who hurt and disappoint her finally. Her capacity for love and forgiveness for her father’s and Asraf’s actions is what 











                Based on the novel The Curse by Lee Sue Ann, the character that I consider exemplary is Azreen because she is courageous and brave. She shows resilience and she always fight for what she believes in.
Firstly, the reason I think that she is exemplary because I find that Azreen who does not believe the villagers tales about The Old Lady is being brave by accepting her friend’s challenge to firstly knocking on the door of The Old lady and then meet her in person.  . Subsequently, she befriends The Old Lady and makes her, her precious confidante and counsellor.
In addition, Azreen as an exemplary is courageous by confronting Puan Normala’s mob outside Mohd Asraf’’s house when Nek once again has fallen ill but dies, in order to stop the Old Lady from entering Nek’s house. Although she is outnumbered, she dares to face Puan Normala’s horde to protect Nek’s house from them.  Moreover, she confronts a group of men led by Asraf who goes to the Old lady’s house to seek revenge after Nek dies as they believe the Old lady has poisoned Nek.
It is a dog-eat-dog world out there so we must be brave and courageous to overcome our daily obstacles and stand for our own rights. We should not be intimidated by our fear and we must be like Azreen, my exemplary from the novel, in order to survive in this world.
The second exemplary quality of Azreen is that she portrays resilience throughout the story and she constantly fights for what she believes in. This can be seen when Azreen does not give up and is determined and resilient to seek the truth of Madhuri’s death even though others do not want to tell her the truth. She asks Asraf and The Old Lady about Madhuri’s death and slowly gathers evidences. Finally she knows the truth about Madhuri’s death.
In her village, a woman should be conservative and well mannered but Azreen is a contrast to that and thus she is hated but she ignores the villagers’ perception of her, as she believes that women have their own rights. This can be seen as she befriends Asraf and joins the boys’ hockey team and similarly makes The Old Lady her best friend.  These are the qualities that have attracted me to Azreen and I definitely will make her my exemplary.
In this cruel world, we must stand for our own right and fight for what we believe in. We must follow Azreen’s resilience to make this world a better place.  Therefore based on all the above reasons and evidence, my choice, Azreen makes the best exemplary.


The novel that I have read is “The Curse” by Lee Su Ann.  I find the story The Curse very enjoyable. The plot is exciting and full of suspense. I also find the characters interesting as they are portrayed with their strengths and weaknesses.  Finally, there are good lessons we can learn from the many things that happen in The Curse.
The plot of the story grabs my attention from the very beginning. It begins with Azreen’s return home for the funeral of her sister, Madhuri. The cause of Madhuri’s death is a mystery. This creates suspense and as the plot develops, we hear that it is murder. Azreen’s confusion becomes the readers’ confusion. Lee Su Ann keeps the identity of the murderer a mystery until the very end of the story. Fatihah, Asraf, Haji Ghani also seem suspicious and when we find out it is Madhuri’s father who is the culprit, we are taken by surprise by the twist. The exciting plot therefore keeps readers involved from start to finish.
The characters in The Curse are also interesting people. The writer has presented them so vividly that we either like or dislike them. The likeable people are Azreen, Siti, Puan Kamisah, Datin Sharifah and Datuk Zulkifli, the Old Lady and of course Mahduri. In sharp contrast Fatihah, Normala and to an extent Bomoh Awang, are characters that we are wary of. The writer uses apt metaphors like ‘the leaky-mouthed neighbour’ and ‘slimy cobra with a three-forked tongue’ to describe the rumour-mongerNormala. Such metaphors give us a vivid image of the despicable Normala. The varied characters in the story add flavour and interest to The Curse.
There are many lessons we can learn from The Curse. We can learn from Azreen, a young girl who copes with serious problems in a mature way. Despite feeling that she always fails to measure up to her elder sister Madhuri’s ‘perfection’, she finds her own way to cope and largely remains true to herself. She shows patience and eventually forgiveness for father who treated her unfairly. In the end, she only feels pity for him.
Based on the above reasons and evidence, I like reading The Curse because the plot is captivating, the characters interesting and because of the good values it teaches.

In the novel ‘The Curse’ by Lee Su Ann, an unforgettable event is when Puan Fatihah fainted out of shock when she sees a silhouette of a Pontianak that looks like Madhuri appearing from behind a pile of tree trunks.
Firstly, this is an unforgettable event because it makes me sympathise Puan Fatihah. I find it sad that Puan Fatihah is a victim of her own belief in the supernatural. Prior to the encounter with the Pontianak, she has gone to seek out the bomoh to get a charm to win back her husband’s affections. She is superstitious enough to resort to such a desperate act. It is her superstition that makes her believe what she sees as a ‘ghost’ and that is why she faints from utter shock. What is so ironic is that she has thrown away the first charm which is a small piece of paper with written incantation into the river. The result is her husband has taken the younger woman, Madhuri as his second wife and she has only herself to blame. Now that his younger wife is dead, she must win back her husband’s affections with the help of Awang, the bomoh.
Secondly, I feel sorry for Puan Fatihah because she is so pathetic. She cannot bear her husband a child and always feels insecure as she has no power to keep him all to herself. I can understand her pain of insecurity as she looks at the mirror each day and sees her aging face. She is haunted by “the deepening lines, the crow’s feet, the sagging skin and double chin.” Which man can still stay in love with a face like that? Her insensitive husband has spurned her and laughs at her insecurities. Her declining beauty has caused her to feel envy towards Madhuri and to be angry at her husband. This is really pathetic.
Thirdly, I find this incident memorable / unforgettable because it reminds me of how fragile a woman can be. Puan Fatihah has tried to be strong and put up a great pretence of liking the second wife, Madhuri. She has actually succeeded in deceiving everyone in the village and even Madhuri herself. Madhuri, in her last letter to Azreen has told her sister that Puan Fatihah is such a kind and understanding lady whom she looks up to as an elder sister. Madhuri sees her as “such a dear sweet woman” and is not sure whether she can emulate her goodness as a person and a wife. Poor Fatihah! She has suppressed her emotions and has to endure the fights she and her husband have been having lately over trivial matters. She cannot get his attention when Madhuri was alive and she still cannot get his attention after she was dead. She was so emotionally fragile that it was not surprising she fainted when she came face to face with a ‘ghostly figure’ who has reached out her hands to touch her.
I would not forget this incident as it has taught me not to believe in superstitions nor resort to solving problems by using supernatural methods. All of us have problems and we must not let them overwhelm us. 







The novel that I have read is The Curse by Lee Su Ann.  In this novel there are a few admirable characters that I like.  Among these characters, the character that I like the best is the Old Lady of the forest.   There are a few reasons why I like her.
        The first reason why I like the Old Lady is because she is an educated person who has a rich knowledge of herbal medicine.  She is willing to help to cure Asraf’s grandmother despite being outcast by the people of that village.  With her medicine, Asraf’s grandmother got cure but she did not live for long. 
        The second reason why I like the Old Lady compared to the others is because she has a pure heart and a clear conscience.  Although she is alienated by the villagers, she does not blame them or complains about her situation.  Instead she believes that there is nothing more liberating than receiving or giving forgiveness so then one is free and can move on.
        Lastly, I like her because she is a good person who has empathy for others.  When Azreen comes to her for advice, the Old Lady advises her to be honest and truthful.  When Azreen feels she is being neglected by her parents, distanced and rejected by the villagers, the Old Lady shows her empathy towards Azreen.  She also teaches Azreen the importance of forgiving and moving on with life.
        Based on the above reasons and evidence, the Old Lady is definitely the character that I like as I find her to be an honest, trustworthy and helpful especially towards the end before she perishes in the fire.



The novel that I have chosen is The Curse by Lee Su Ann.  In this novel there are a few strong characters.  Among these characters, the character that I think has strongly influenced the others in a negative way is Puan Normala.
 Puan Normala, one of the villagers, is described by Siti as a “slimy cobra with a three-forked tongue.”  Nobody likes the gossips that she spreads.  Branded as a rumour-monger, I find that she easily influences the narrow minded people of her village.   As a “news broadcaster” of the village, everything that happens there does not escape her eyes and ears.  Immediately, it becomes a topic for her to talk about.  Her idle talks are capable of ruining the reputations of the person concern.  Most of the villagers, who fail to think rationally, are easily influenced by her tales which causes a negative impact on the village.
 After Madhuri’s body is recovered, she talks about Madhuri’s death so frequently that her daughter carries the gossips to school too.  She tells her classmates that Madhuri is murdered.  In another incident, she also talks about Madhuri’s marriage to Haji Ghani, the village headman and how their young, handsome teacher is affected by it.  This is a strong negative influence that Noor has acquired from Puan Normala as it is bad for Noor to talk about matters that are not related to her.
The next incident is when Puan Normala admits that she has seen Madhuri’s dead body and that her body was bleeding white blood.  Being superstitious, she spreads the rumour that the village is cursed with Madhuri’s death.  She states that since the village is cursed, many bad things will happen and the village will soon experience disaster.  She waves the villagers’ hearts and spoils the harmony of the village.  This is a clear evident that shows how influent she can be in a negative way.
 In another incident where we can witness her negative influence on the villagers is when she blames the old lady’s visit to Asraf’s house as the reason for the continuous rain. Furthermore, she is also a mean and malicious person. For example, her influence on the villagers caused them to provoke Mohd Asraf to confront the old lady by accusing the old lady as the reason why Asraf’s grandmother’s dies. Because of that instigation, Asraf’s anger is the main cause for the fire that causes the old lady to die.
 Apart from the above evident, there are many other incidents where she tries to influence the others such as her own daughter and also Siti, her neighbour’s daughter.  Noor, her daughter is exactly like her and can be branded “Like mother like daughter.  In her class, she plays the role that she inherited from her mother.  This is a very clear evident that shows Puan Normala’s negative influence on her daughter.
 In conclusion, based on the above reasons and evident, I find that Puan Normala is the one and only character that can influence the others in the negative way.  We should not be like Puan Normala as what we may say, may harm others.  Therefore it is necessary for us to stay wise to create a more peaceful world.


No comments: