British literature, response 2 student’s discussion

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Please write 2 student’s discussions, 100 words each. I will also attached student discussions.

Student A:

Story–“The Moment before the Gun Went Off”, Poem–“This Be the Verse”

Week 14 Discussion Post

Paragraph 1

  • The list of 10 trends and (Change, War, Psychology, and Expanding Borders).
  • Find 1-2 of those you think your story reflects.
  • How does your story show this characteristic of 20th Century and After British Literature?
  • Give specific details or quotes from the story that supports your interpretation.
  • What do you think the main point, idea, or theme of this story is?
  • What was the writer trying to get us to see?

‘The Moment before the Gun Went Off’ by Nadine Gordimer

The one trend/Characteristic of the 20th Century that I feel this story reflects is as follows: 1. “Marked by a strong and intentional break with tradition. This break includes a strong reaction against established religious, political, and social views” (Road Map). This is reflected in the story by breaking tradition of social views. At the end of the story, we find out that the black farmer’s helper was actually his son. “The young black callously shot through the negligence of the white man was not the farmer’s boy; he was his son (Greenblatt, S. 2013 pp. 1445). In this era, interrelations between whites and blacks were taboo and forbidden. In addition, “Blacks expose small children to everything, they don’t protect them from the sight of fear and pain the way whites do theirs” (Greenblatt, S. 2013 pp. 1445). This portrays another break in traditional social views. I think the theme of this story is about race relations and injustices between whites and blacks. I feel the author is trying to show the reader the predisposition and predetermined of perception regarding the black race.

Paragraph 2

  • What do you think this poem is about?
  • What is it saying to you?
  • On what do you base your interpretation? Refer to specific lines or techniques in the poem
  • Do you think it reflects any of the trends we learned about this week or last?

‘This Be The Verse’ by Philip Larkin

I think this poem is about a young youth who is upset at his parents. He feels that his parents are lying to him and misdirecting him into faults beliefs. This makes him feel all messed up in the head. However, it is not his parents fault because they were messed up by society’s ways and by each other. The author tells the reader to get out of your parent’s house as quickly as you can and don’t have any kids. What this poem says to me is that the author is soured on reproduction and kids are the downfall of a good life. In addition, as generations grow parents pass down their “craziness”. I base my interpretation on the specific lines that follow:

  1. “They fuck you up, your mum and dad” (line 1 pp1439)
  2. “They fill you with the faults they had” (line 3)
  3. “But they were fucked up in their turn” (line 5)
  4. Get out as early as you can, And don’t have any kids yourself” (lines 11-12)

I think this poem reflects trends of last week by change and psychology. For this week, I think this poem reflects 1. “Marked by a strong and intentional break with tradition. This break includes a strong reaction against established religious, political, and social views” (Road Map). Also, 6. “Life is unordered” (Road Map).

Comment or Question

Comment on any of the Resources I have included for you this week. Did you react to one of them? How so? If you prefer, ask us a question based on any of this week’s stories, poems, trends, ideas or themes.

Question for the class: Do you feel or think that your parent screwed you up in some way? If so, how? If no, explain a little of how your parents are great.


Greenblatt, S. (2013). The Norton anthology of English literature: the major authors (Ninth ed., Vol. 2). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

The 20th Century and After, Part 2, (2017). Road Map, Retrieved from…

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