The WheelersJewelBub BridgerEnglish 1.1: Show understanding of specified aspect(s) of studiedwritten text(s), using supporting evidence
The Oxford Companion to New Zealand LiteratureBridger, Bub (1924–2009), poet and short story writer, was born inNapier of Irish and Ngäti Kahungunu descent, and lived in Wellingtonfor many years before moving to Westport.Leaving school at 14, Bridger worked in a number of factory and officejobs and did not begin writing until 1974 when she attended a writer’sworkshop. Best known as a poet, though some of her short stories havealso been anthologised, her work is characterised by its eroticexuberance, comic fantasy and underlying melancholy.Bub Bridger
“When Topaz found she was pregnant she went straightdown to the pie-cart and told Mr Wheeler.”1. What is the link between the title and the first line?2. What do you think this story will be about?Pre reading (prediction)
A gemstone/jewel.The topaz has been known for at least 2000 years and is oneof the gemstones which form the foundations of the twelvegates to the Holy City of the New Jerusalem. These so-called apocalyptic stones are intended to serve in protectionagainst enemies and as a symbol of beauty and splendour.What is Topaz?
“When Topaz found she was pregnant she went straight down tothe pie-cart and told Mr Wheeler. „Mr Wheeler,‟ she said, „you‟ve knocked me up!‟ “1. First impressions, what is your first impression of Topaz?2. Why did you think this?3. Did you like her, why/why not?4. What other quotes in the beginning of the story reinforce this impression?5. Why does Topaz call Bob Mr Wheeler?Topaz
“She flopped on the bed and began to cry again. In themiddle of her tears she saw the new love comic she hadbought on the way to the doctor‟s surgery. She stoppedcrying and reached for it.”1. Does this quote change how you feel about Topaz? How so?2. What more does this say about her?3. Do we now have empathy for her, why/why not?Topaz
“„I‟m not innarested in anyya that, Mr Wheeler. You beenafter me since I started at that pie-cart! Well, you got menow – right in the shit! An‟ you can get me out!‟ Topazdidn‟t really think he could.”1. What does the way Topaz speak tell us about her?2. Is it fair to judge her by her use of language, why/why not?Topaz
Frog Meanings and SymbolismWhen the frog jumps into your life it may indicate now is atime to find opportunities in transition. We see animalsymbolism of transition with the frog in its unique growthcycle. The frog undergoes incredible transformations toreach the destination of full adulthood, and so do we ashumansThe Frog
“Panic jumped about inside him like a mad frog…The frogin his chest dived into his belly and leapt about in the tea hehad gulped.”1. Why did Bridger use a frog when describing how Mr Wheeler was feeling?2. What does the frog symbolise in the story?3. What technique is it when Bridger uses the frog to show us how Mr Wheeler was feeling?4. Why was this symbol so effective?Bob Wheeler
“He began to rock back and forth, making small moaningsounds.„Shut up!‟ said Phyllis sharply. “You sound like a dog.‟ Heshut up. But he clutched his stomach tighter and rockedharder”1. What do we learn about Mr Wheeler in this quote?2. What type of man is he?3. What image does it give you when you read that he rocked “back and forth”?Bob Wheeler
“You‟ll have to move into the back room. I want that bigsunny one for her. „My bedroom? he choked.”1. What sort of relationship do Mr and Mrs Wheeler have?2. Who has the power in the relationship?Bob Wheeler
„I‟ll have to go Topaz,‟ he said. „I swear I‟ll talk to Phyllisas soon as I get home. Phyllis‟ll know what to do.‟1. Mr Wheelers first instinct was to get his wife to tell him what to do, why?2. What does this tell the reader about what type of person Phyllis is?3. Why would Phyllis, “know what to do”?Phyllis Wheeler
“„I couldn‟t get pregnant in 16 years. She manages it inthree months. It‟s a funny world Arn, a bloody funnyworld…‟”1. Phyllis never could get pregnant, how do you think this effected her reaction to Topaz’s pregnancy?2. Do you think her reaction was reasonable?3. What doe this tell you about Phyllis?Phyllis Wheeler
• In the long mirror by the bed she looked at herself, running her hands down her breasts and smoothing her flat little belly.• Panic jumped about inside him like a mad frog.• She watched him thoughtfully, probing her tongue under her bottom dentures• looks peaches and cream but she’s a bunch of razor blades.• in the bath trying to ease the pain and stiffness of nine hours on the kitchen vinyl• She was bustling into the big room, intent on removing all traces of him, singing like a bird.Match the quote to thecharacter
Characters Themes • What do you think Bridger• The story is written from was trying to teach the the view point of every reader? character, we get to know • Was there a message in this how they think and feel. story, what was it? How was this effective in • Does this story relate to you telling the story? in anyway?• The relationships in the • Are you able to connect story overlap yet some what you have learned from people are closer than this story to any other text others. Who have the closest you have studied in high relationships? school, is so how?• Why is Topaz The Wheeler’Ideas
• Metaphor• Short sentences• Language choice: Vernacular / Colloquial / Phonetic spelling• Narrative Point of View (POV): 3rd person• Symbols: Topaz / Pearl / FrogLanguage Techniques
How is this story structured?• Three act structure Phyllis telling Topaz saying Phyllis meeting Bob that Topaz she is pregnant Topaz is moving in• Character narrativesParagraph 1: TOPAZParagraph 2: MR WHEELER (BOB)Paragraph 3: PHYLLISetc…Structure
• Why is it important to read NZ texts?• How is this a uniquely NZ text?• Does the fact that it is a NZ text make it more enjoyable/relatable?• What links are there in the story to NZ?A New Zealand story
You are expected to write a response paragraph describingONE aspect of the story (handout)Aspects include: character (individuals orrelationships), main ideas, use of languagetechnique/s, structure, POV etc…• IDEA+ response structureResponse Writing(formative assessment)
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