OVERVIEW OF TEXT
• Section B (Fiction) of anthology.
• Set in France in the 1940’s, occupied by Germans during the
second World War.
• Charlotte Gray = A long novel, deals with the themes of memory
• The extract describes the waiting and struggle that the boys and
adults suffered when waiting for transportation to their final
destination. The situation is described and a tense atmosphere is
created for the reader.
• It is “THE LAST NIGHT” before they go to the concentration camp
where they will face death, although they may not all realize this
at this moment.
• The reader is filled with fear and dread for the people.
• This short introduction explains that the two young
boys are about to be transported to the concentration
camp. From our own general knowledge we know
what is likely to happen there!
CHARACTERS & ROLES
How many main groups of people are there in the story
and what role does each group play in the story?
• Copy out and complete the table on the next slide to help
you to understand the roles of the characters in the story.
CHARACTERS KEY QUESTION COMMENT KEY QUOTATION
Andre – the older
What is his importance
to the passage?
Faulks focuses on what he
sees and hears – he begins
“It came to Andre that
she was not looking in
Jacob and the other
How does the way they
are described and the
way they act affect the
Adult deportees Do they behave
differently to the
The Jewish orderly Betrayer or helper?
Bread women Who are these women? Mothers who have not
woman – mother of a
What does her look
French police What responsibility do
Bus driver Just doing his job?
The deportees have a
postcard on which to
write a final message
Final – before departure or before death? Foreboding sense of
finality. Last record of their existence.
Camp orders prohibit
posting the cards, so they
must be thrown out of
Only two or three pencils
survived the barracks
The conditions in which these children are living are barely fit for
Obviously there are many examples. Explore the whole text and do not
restrict yourselves to these four choices.
TASK 2: Copy out and complete the table below to help you to understand
how the writer has used specific word choices (connotations) to
communicate emotion and meaning in this this text.
TASK 4: For each of the following words/phrases, write a sentence
explaining what thoughts or feelings they might evoke in the reader.
• Line 13: ‘soft bloom of his cheek’
• Line 13: and line 33 ‘dung’ and ‘filthy straw’
• Line 15: ‘slumped’
• Line 16: ‘spared’
• Line 25: ‘homely’
• Line 27:‘ trembling’
• Matter of fact, does not over emphasise details
• Direct contrast with the reality of horror they are facing
TONE, FEELINGS & MOOD ...
CHALLENGE QUESTION: For you personally, what details or
techniques create the greatest pathos (definition: the quality in
something that makes people feel pity or sadness) in this passage?
• The writing reflects the anger
and suffering felt in the story.
TASK 3: Write a P.E.A.(E.A.)L paragraph supporting
the following statement. You may want to use some
ideas from the table on the next slide to help you.
“... The soft bloom of his
cheek laid, uncaring, in
Emphasises the difference
between the children and
the conditions... Consider
also the effect of “uncaring”
“trembling” (used of the
Ironically applies to the
people and foreshadows the
“A sudden ripple, a
quickening of muscle and
The ripple implies fast
movement and quickening
picks this up – also,
remember that quickening
has a second meaning –
The look of “terrible
Emphasises the depth of
feeling felt by the woman.
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS
TASK 5: Answer the following questions to help give you a thorough
understanding of the meaning behind this text.
1. Why were there so few pencils? What does this suggest about the
conditions people are living in and the way they are being treated?
2. What are the characters feeling? Scan the text looking for places
where the author has referred to or suggested an emotion that a
character is feeling. Highlight the examples you find.
3. In line 43, Andre is described as holding his brother’s hand ‘hard’.
What does this suggest to us about Andre’s thoughts/feelings?
How does this description relate to the previous paragraph?
4. What delayed the bus leaving the barracks? Why has the writer
chosen to include this detail?
5. Read the final lines 49 – 52 again. What is the writer describing in this
sentence? Why do you think he has chosen to express this in such a
ESSAY QUESTION SAMPLE
How does the writer build up strong feelings
of fear and uncertainty?
YOU SHOULD WRITE ABOUT:
• How the adults who are being deported respond
• What Andre does and thinks
• What the other people do
• The use of language including vivid details.
Refer closely to the text and use brief quotations.