• Submitted By: elisemacadam
  • Date Submitted: 08/12/2008 6:25 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 447
  • Page: 2
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• TOPIC: Describe an event(s) that was surprising in a short story you have studied in class. Explain why these events were a surprise.

INTRODUC-TION Restate essay question in your own words
In the story Motu, by Patricia Grace there are a number of surprising events.

Targeted answer to the essay question

In Motu, the most surprising event is that Motu’s teacher is critical and insensitive toward her student when he uses informal language in the classroom.

(point 1) Statement: In Motu a particularly surprising event is that Miss McKewen, Motu’s teacher, humiliates a Maori boy in her class.
Explanation: In the story, Motu uses diction that he has learnt from his home environment. Although his language is informal, his words are not offensive, but despite this, his teacher does not approve of Motu’s vocabulary and tells Motu not to use these expressions in her classroom.
Example: “I don’t’ want to hear any of you using those expressions that Motu just used.”
Explanation continued: She thinks she is improving his education but she just leaves him feeling awkward and embarrassed.
Example continued: “He looked about bewildered.”
Your comment or whY: This story depicts a time in New Zealand when Maori culture was not valued; fortunately we live in a more enlightened society where situations such as this rarely arise. It is surprising that even educated people, like teachers, did not value Maori culture in days gone by.

(point 2) Statement: Another surprising event in Motu is that Miss McKewen cannot pronounce Motu’s name correctly.
Explanation: Miss McKewen, the teacher, is correcting Motu for inappropriate language use, yet her inability to pronounce his name correctly indicates that she is also prone to making language mistakes. Motu’s mistake is in using language that is too casual, Miss McKewen’s mistake is one of poor pronunciation of a Maori name.
Example: “She called him ‘Mow-to’...