1 / 35

More Than Just The Disease

More Than Just The Disease. Written by Bernard MacLaverty. The Big Picture. I will read “More Than Just The Disease” I will be able to understand character, setting and theme I will be able to learn how to write responses to critical essays I will be able to evaluate my work.

Télécharger la présentation

More Than Just The Disease

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author. Content is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only. Download presentation by click this link. While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server. During download, if you can't get a presentation, the file might be deleted by the publisher.


Presentation Transcript

  1. More Than Just The Disease Written by Bernard MacLaverty

  2. The Big Picture • I will read “More Than Just The Disease” • I will be able to understand character, setting and theme • I will be able to learn how to write responses to critical essays • I will be able to evaluate my work

  3. Possible Essay Questions • Write about a short story in which the turning point is significant to the text as a whole • Choose a novel/short story in which the writer’s use of setting has a significant part to play in your appreciation of the text as a whole

  4. Who was Bernard MacLaverty? • Born in Belfast on 14th September 1942 • He was once an English teacher • Now a fiction writer • Currently lives in Glasgow

  5. Setting of “More Than Just The Disease” • The short story is based in the Eastcoast of Scotland • In one vital part of the story, the characters are on a beach on the coast of Scotland

  6. Introduction to Themes • Two of the main themes are: • Over-influential protective parenting • Awkwardness of adolescence

  7. Areas which will be explored • Themes: over influential parenting, awkwardness of adolescence • Setting: beach, caravan, Michael’s house • Characterisation: protagonist, Mrs Wan etc. • Turning point / epiphany: Neil realises his disease is not as bad as his mother had made him believe

  8. Character List • Neil Fry - protagonist • Neil’s mum • Mrs Wan • Anne (Michael’s sister) • Michael Middleton • Mr & Mrs Middleton

  9. Plot • Neil Fry, a shy self-effacing teenage boy has psoriasis. He is encouraged unwillingly by his mother to stay at his friend (Michael's) house. Neil goes, however he finds himself longing to be back beside his over bearing mother. The story builds up to a climax as the weather gets increasingly hotter, Neil worries more and more about whether his friend will discover his skin rash; and perhaps think less of him therefore he conceals it. Michael continually asks Neil to go swimming. Neil refuses, consequently they argue. The protagonist thenfinds himself alone on the beach, abandoned by his best friend and finds a kitten. He returns it to Mrs Wan, an unconventional who lends a compassionate ear to the boy. He has an epiphany when talking to Mrs Wan and realises that “in the sunlight, it didn’t look so red”. HenceNeil changes an anxious adolescent to a confident individual.

  10. Turning Point - Analysis of text

  11. Setting in MTJTD

  12. Setting • A) The Holiday Home • B) The Beach • C) Mrs Wan’s Home • Finally - The various comparisons/contrasts we can make with Neil’s home and the other settings. • We will look at how McLaverty uses the setting to help explore themes: • (overprotective parenting – his mother, the awkwardness of adolescence and dealing with a chronic skin condition) • And the development of Neil’s character (characterisation).

  13. Setting • A) The Holiday Home

  14. Setting - Analysis of text “More than Just the Disease” begins with Neil who is situated in his friend’s (Michael’s) holiday home – the initial setting. As Neil has not got the comfort or guidance of his mother he is extremely agitated. ‘Everything in it seemed of an unusual design’ The house appears to be “strange” and of an “unusual design”, thus already provoking sympathyfor him as the reader learns he is psychologically alone. However, the setting of the Michael Middleton’s holiday home is warm and inviting. “They were all sitting in the growing darkness of the large front room, Michael drinking hot chocolate, Anne his sister with her legs flopped over the arm of the chair...” MacLaverty’s use of the words such as “growing darkness” and “flopped” both have connotations of laziness and tranquillity, therefore the reader can clearly seethat the Middleton family are welcoming and that they would fully understand – and respect – Neil’s skin disease which is “crawling” over his chest.

  15. Setting - Analysis of text Despite the laidback ambience he still feels uptight and uneasy as he is in an alien environment. The informal mood of Michael’s holiday home is present in every room, including the kitchen. Neil finds this to be bizarre because he has strict, regimented rules in his own home “Here people just arrived and poured themselves cornflakes and went off to various parts of the room, or even the house, to eat them.” Through MacLaverty’s repetition of the conjunction “and” he emphasizes the hectic lifestyle and breakfast routine of the Middleton. “Or even the house” is isolated by dashes in parenthesis to accentuate the spontaneity in deciding where to eat. The setting of this short story plays a very important part in my appreciation of the text as a whole.

  16. Setting • B) The Beach

  17. Setting - Analysis of text It is in the second setting of the beach where the tension between the two boys rises and the story builds up to a climax. Michael asks Neil to go swimming with him, but is unaware of why he constantly refuses – therefore they argue and their relationship begins to deteriorate. The weather mirrors the rising temperature. “The next day was scorching hot...heat corrugating the air...Neil’s thighs were sticking to the plastic of his chair.” The author’s use of word choice such as “scorching hot”, “corrugating” and “sticking” suggest Neil is desperate to accompany his friend for a swim but is still too self-conscious. As the unbearable heat increases, pathetic fallacy comes into focus; just as the heat rises, so too does the tension and bitterness between the friends, until an argument occurs: “Useless bloody Mama’s boy’ said Michael. He got up flinging a handful of sand at Neil and ran down to the water. Some of the sand went into Neil’s eyes, making him cry.” The expletive “bloody” spoken by Michael indicates his frustration and perhaps lack of understanding towards Neil. In my opinion, Michael’s actions were incorrect and I feel great sympathy for the apprehensive protagonist. Even the fact that Michael ran off to “the water” is imperative because he knows Neil cannot follow him.

  18. Setting • C) Mrs Wan’s Caravan • Also Turning Point.

  19. Setting - Analysis of text When the young boy is marginalised on the beach he discovers Mrs Wan’s “frail kitten” and decides to return it. The setting of Mrs Wan’s caravan is crucial because it becomes a catalyst for Neil to have an epiphanic experience and it dramatically influences his thoughts. In this third, and final, setting Neil feels comfortable and safe “Nothing was clean...tins of kit-e-Kat opened...fork encrusted with the stuff...everything was untidy.” MacLaverty’s word choice is vital to the setting as “encrusted” and “untidy” convey this disgustingly unkempt caravan where the eccentric, old Mrs Wan dwells. It is ironic though, that Neil should feel at ease here because it is the complete antithesis to his own meticulous domestic abode. The untidiness and randomness of the caravan’s contents manage to provoke a new, positive personality to form within Neil. He even explains his problems to the inquisitive Mrs Wan. “‘A thing – on my chest’ In the sunlight it didn’t look so red.” Neil Fry finally realises his psoriasis is not as hideous as his opinionated mother had led him to believe. MacLaverty’s use of the noun “sunlight” is effective because just as the “sunlight” brings in a new dawn so too is the adolescent on the threshold of a new beginning. I am extremely pleased for Neil and I feel a surge of appreciation for Mar Wan’s bohemian environment because without it he would not have became the confident individual he is now.

  20. Model Intro • Bernard MacLaverty’s “More than Just the Disease” is a short storyin which the setting helps the reader to appreciate the text as a whole.The setting also plays a vital part in the change of character – Neil Fry – who is thirteen years old yet he must continually deal with numerous difficulties: his overprotective mother, the awkwardness of adolescence and his chronic skin condition – psoriasis.The story falls naturally into three settings which leads up to a climax then descend into a dénouement (resolution of plot). Through MacLaverty’s use of characterisation and setting Neil Fry transforms into a self-assured young man.

  21. Model Conclusion • In conclusion, the setting of “More than Just the Disease” does, in fact, play a significant part in my appreciation of the text as a whole. The three key settings: house, beach and caravan, are imperative for the healthy transformation of the young boy. This finely sculpted short story finishes on an optimistic note as the reader is left feeling delighted that the protagonist had managed to overcome the negative influences which he was subjected to every day. Any anxious adolescent reading “More than Just the Disease” will now realise they are not alone in brooding over any appearance concerns which they may have.

  22. Approaching a turning point style question

  23. Turning Point Question Structure • 1) Intro • 2) Turning Point – Epiphany, setting, irony, anecdote about lepers, feels at ease with the stranger who will disappear from life, sharing secret and unbuttoning of shirt • 3) The Holiday Home (How Neil’s character is revealed to us – Influence of mother, contrast of holiday home with his own routine, awkwardness, self conscious description of psoriasis is a must). • 4) The Beach – Pathetic Fallacy, building tension, anxiety of Neil parallels weather, leads to embarrassing revelation, reaction , deterioration of relationship between Michael and Neil, ‘Mama’s boy’ comment. • 5) Final Para/Ending – Change, compromise, confidence demonstrated, water symbolic of purification, not ready to stay long in the breakers.

  24. 1) The Introduction • Introduction – a useful structure to use when writing an introduction is TAGLS. • T – text/title • A – author/poet • G – genre • L – link to task + key points of essay • S - Summary of what the text is trying to do – LINK TO THEME • P.S Remember to use the wording of the question in the opening line.

  25. Bernard MacLaverty’s “More than just the Disease” is a short story in which there is a vital turning point stemming from the theme of parental influence, which is explored through the main protagonist, Neil Fry, a young boy suffering from psoriasis. The reader is aware that Mrs. Fry, Neil’s mother, has a tremendous effect on her son, causing him to be awkward and ashamed of his disease. However, the pivotal turning point of Neil meeting the eccentric Duchess, Mrs. Wan, gives the young boy an opportunity to steer towards independence.Moreover, MacLaverty’s skilful use of characterisation and language convey the power of the short story in today’s society, where one often conceals aspects of one’s life to avoid embarrassment. Hence, this shows why the turning point is crucial in the development of Neil.

  26. 2) Turning Point • Epiphany, setting, irony, anecdote about lepers, feels at ease with the stranger who will disappear from life, sharing secret and unbuttoning of shirt

  27. At the outset of the story, Neil is portrayed as a timid child, very much suppressed by his mother’s teachings of how to conduct oneself in “good society”, which in her opinion, is Neil’s friend, Michael’s family, with whom he is holidaying. Whilst on this trip, Neil’s life changes for the better due to his encounter with Mrs. Wan, a peculiar stranger, who provides Neil with an understanding ear. This is seen as the catalyst for Neil’s paranoia to diminish. Neil manages to be very open with Mrs. Wan as she is an inquisitive stranger, and is very much sympathetic, which gives Neil a sense of security. Neil is “amazed” to find himself revealing his disease to Mrs. Wan, and in doing so his insecurities are lessened: • “In the sunlight it didn’t look so red” • This short, but effective sentence demonstrates clearly that Neil is viewing his disease differently. The “sunlight” is imperative in this example, as it portrays a new day in which Neil is able to become more confident and independent. MacLaverty’s use of “it didn’t look so red” emphasises Neil’s newfound confidence, as he believes that his disease is visually less disgusting. After days of keeping his psoriasis a secret, Michael is finally made aware of the disease, when he interrupts Mrs. Wan and Neil: • ‘Mrs. Wan, Mum says could you tell her where. ‘his voice tailed off seeing Neil ‘s chest, ‘.. the cheese grater is?” • The use of the ellipsis indicates that Michael has noticed Neil’s psoriasis and is startled, hence, pauses, however, he starts speaking immediately, to avoid further embarrassment. This moment is seen as the epiphany of the story, as now, Neil has nothing to hide. Michael has a quiet understanding of the situation shown through, “ Neither boy said a word..”

  28. Turning Point - Analysis of text

  29. 3) The Holiday Home Section • (How Neil’s character is revealed to us – Influence of mother, contrast of holiday home with his own routine, awkwardness, self conscious description of psoriasis is a must).

  30. Key Sentence to demonstrate you will now link back! • For example: ‘In order to fully appreciate the significance of the turning point, it is imperative to examine the character of Neil prior to the event’.

  31. Holiday Home - Analysis of text It is evident to the reader that Neil’s actions and behaviour are determined by his mother’s influence, exhibited by the fact that she “insisted” that he goes on holiday with the “doctor’s family”. Therefore, it is ironic when Neil finds the holiday home to be “a strange house”, with a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, much different from Neil’s home life. However, MacLaverty’s use of italics shows Neil’s mother’s voice slyly commenting in his head. These opinions have such great impact on Neil that they influence his feelings: The negative word of “vulgar” shows that Neil’s mother believes the house decor to be distasteful, connoting her rude and opinionated nature. The typography MacLaverty uses not only imprints Neil’s mother’s effect on the page by visually captivating the reader, but also imprints her influence in Neil’s head. Neil’s mother has a judgemental and patronising tone, conveying her dislikeable personality. Hence, the reader is able to regard the turning point as critical as Neil can finally remove himself from his mother and develop into a more independent young man. The reader is able to detect that Neil is not accustom to the differences of Doctor Middleton’s holiday home. For example, the Middleton’s routine is differs completely from Neil’s. In Neil’s strict home, he sits with his mother for breakfast, whereas in the doctor’s home, the family do not eat together and it is completely informal. This is shown through: “Here people just arrived and poured themselves cornflakes and went off to various parts of the room, or even the house, to eat them.” Even though Neil feels relaxed in the blasé atmosphere of the holiday home, he still hides his psoriasis from the family.

  32. Holiday Home- Analysis of text Neil is self-conscious and awkward due to his disease and wishes for it to “miraculously disappear”. Neil thinks of it as some vile creature invading his skin, which is emphasised by the word “crawling”. However, MacLaverty uses a powerful image to describe how revolting Neil’s psoriasis has become: “a redness with an edge as irregular as a map and the skin flaking and scumming off the top.” This ghastly image portrays how Neil’s psoriasis affects him physically, however, through use of disgusting language, the reader can observe that it affects him mentally as well. The use of the simile “as irregular as a map” shows that just as the countries on a map have misshapen coastlines, so Neil’s psoriasis mirrors this and has distorted outlines. The use of the word “scumming” connotes a sense of filth and grime, hence portraying Neil to be unclean. Furthermore, the word “flaking” suggests that Neil’s skin is peeling, conveying intense pain. Therefore, it is clear that meeting with Mrs. Wan is essential in Neil’s life as he is able to look at his disease from another perspective.

  33. 4) The Beach Section • 4) The Beach – Pathetic Fallacy, building tension, anxiety of Neil parallels weather, leads to embarrassing revelation, reaction, deterioration of relationship between Michael and Neil, ‘Mama’s boy’ comment.

  34. The Beach - Analysis of text The weather in MacLaverty’s work mirrors the feelings of the central character, Neil. This skilful technique of pathetic fallacy engages the reader and effectively describes Neil’s distress. As the temperature increases so does Neil’s anxiety, as he feel obliged to go swimming. However, this is not possible without Neil revealing his psoriasis, which is unthinkable. This leads to Neil tying to conceal the truth by inventing a ludicrous excuse. Neil explains that he has his “period”, displaying his immaturity, as this is impossible. The reader finds this quite humorous. The family react in very different ways, however, none of them make Neil feel uncomfortable or idiotic. Mrs. Middleton takes on a motherly persona and informs Neil that he is “quite safe” and no one will “force” him to swim

  35. The Beach - Analysis of text Neil’s relationship with Michael begins to deteriorate because he will not tell him why he refuses to swim. Michael become infuriated with Neil: ‘Useless bloody Mama hoy, ‘said Michael. He gol up flinging a handful of sand al Neil and ran down to the water.” The reader can see clearly that Michael is angered, shown through the mild expletive of “bloody”. The word “Useless” conveys a notion that Michael is worthless and hopeless; hence, this shows deterioration in the friendship. Furthermore, this deterioration is emphasised by the word “flinging”, suggesting that Michael is acting violently towards Neil. The reader is saddened by this disintegration in the friendship of Neil and Michael; however, the turning point in the story offers a way in which this can be resolved.

More Related