Boys at School

Read the following fragments; then do the assignment below.

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James Joyce - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' is an autobiographical novel. We see the main character Stephen Dedalus in various stages of his life: in his childhood, as a schoolboy at a Jesuit school* and later as an undergraduate at the University of Dublin. The extract is taken from the part dealing with Clongowes College.

- You, boy, who are you?
Stephen's heart jumped suddenly.
- Dedalus, sir.
- Why are you not writing like the others?
- I ......... my ..........
He could not speak with fright.
- Why is he not writing, Father Arnall?
- He broke his glasses, said father Arnall, and I exempted him from work.
- Broke? What is this I hear? What is this? Your name is? said the prefect of studies* .
- Dedalus, sir.
- Out here, Dedalus. Lazy little schemer*. I see schemer in your face. Where did you break your glasses?
Stephen stumbled into the middle of the class, blinded by fear and haste.
- Where did you break your glasses? repeated the prefect of studies.
- The cinderpath*, sir.
- Hoho! The cinderpath! cried the prefect of studies. I know that trick.
Stephen lifted his eyes in wonder and saw for a moment Father Dolan's whitegrey not young face, his baldy whitegrey head with fluff at the sides of it, the steel rims of his spectacles and his no-coloured eyes looking through the glasses. Why did he say he knew that trick?
- Lazy idle little loafer*! cried the prefect of studies. Broke my glasses! An old schoolboy trick! Out with your hand this moment!

Stephen closed his eyes and held out in the air his trembling hand with the palm upwards. He felt the prefect of studies touch it for a moment at the fingers to straighten it and then the swish of the sleeve of the soutane* as the pandybat* was lifted to strike. A hot burning stinging tingling blow like the loud crack of a broken stick made his trembling hand crumple together like a leaf in the fire: and at the sound and the pain scalding tears were driven into his eyes. His whole body was shaking with fright, his arm was shaking and his crumpled burning livid hand shook like a loose leaf in the air. A cry sprang to his lips, a prayer to be let off. But though the tears scalded his eyes and his limbs quivered with pain and fright he held back the hot tears and the cry that scalded his throat.
- Other hand! shouted the prefect of studies. Stephen drew back his maimed and quivering right arm and held out his left hand.

The soutane sleeve swished again as the pandybat was lifted and a loud crashing sound and a fierce maddening tingling burning pain made his hand shrink together with the palms and fingers in a livid quivering mass. The scalding water burst forth from his eyes and, burning with shame and agony and fear, he drew back his shaking arm in terror and burst out into a whine of pain. His body shook with a palsy of fright and in shame and rage he felt the scalding cry come from his throat and the scalding tears* falling out of his eyes and down his flaming cheeks.
- Kneel down! cried the prefect of studies. Stephen knelt down quickly pressing his beaten hands to his sides. To think of them beaten and swollen with pain all in a moment made him feel so sorry for them as if they were not his own but someone else's that he felt sorry for. And as he knelt, calming the last sobs in his throat and feeling the burning tingling pain pressed in to his sides, he thought of the hands which he had held out in the air with the palms up and of the firm touch of the prefect of studies when he had steadied the shaking fingers and of the beaten swollen reddened mass of palm and fingers that shook helplessly in the air.

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Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist was born in a workhouse. His mother died just after his birth and as an orphan Oliver became a burden to the parish. At the age of nine he was taken to another workhouse where the children were fed on gruel*, one porringer* a day. The room in which the boys were fed was a large stone hall with a copper* at one end, out of which the master, dressed in an apron for the purpose, and assisted by one or two women, ladled the gruel at meal-times. Of this festive composition each boy had one porringer, and no more - except on occasions of great public rejoicing, when he had two ounces and a quarter of bread besides. The bowls never wanted washing. The boys polished them with their spoons till they shone again; and when they had performed this operation - which never took very long, the spoons being nearly as large as the bowls -, they would sit staring at the copper, with such eager eyes, as if they could have devoured the very bricks of which it was composed; employing themselves, meanwhile, in sucking their fingers most assiduously, with the view of catching up any stray splashes of gruel that might have been cast thereon.
Boys have generally excellent appetites. Oliver Twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months, until the boys got voracious and wild with hunger. One of them who was tall for his age and not used to hunger as his father had kept a small cookshop, hinted darkly to his companions that unless he had another basin of gruel per diem he was afraid he might some night happen to eat the boy who slept next to him, a weakly youth of tender age:

He had a wild, hungry eye; and they implicitly believed him. A council was held; lots were cast who should walk up to the master after supper that evening, and ask for more; and it fell to Oliver Twist. The evening arrived; the boys took their places. The master, in his cook's uniform, stationed himself at the copper; his pauper assistants ranged themselves behind him; the gruel was served out; and a long grace was said over the short commons. The gruel disappeared; the boys whispered each other, and winked at Oliver; while his next neighbours nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said, somewhat alarmed at his own temerity: "Please, sir, I want some more." The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupefied astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.

"What!" said the master at length, in a faint voice. "Please, sir," replied Oliver, "I want some more." The master aimed a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arms; and shrieked aloud for the beadle* . The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said: "Mr Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!" There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance. "For more!" said Mr Limbkins. "Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?" "He did, sir," replied Bumble. "That boy will be hung," said the gentleman in the white waistcoat. "I know that boy will be hung."

Nobody controverted the prophetic gentleman's opinion. An animated discussion took place. Oliver was ordered into instant confinement; and a bill was next morning pasted on the outside of the gate, offering a reward of five pounds to anybody who would take Oliver Twist off the hands of the parish. In other words, five pounds and Oliver Twist were offered to any man or woman who wanted an apprentice to any trade, business or calling.

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Assignments

You have just read fragments from two novels. Here are phrases from the same chapters; NOT from the fragments you have read, but from those that follow in the novel. There are six from each novel, but they are mixed up and in the wrong order. Indicate the novel to which you think the phrases belong: to the first, "A Portrait of the Artist" or to the second, "Oliver Twist". Number them one to six - in a logical order.
"It's a nasty trade," said Mr. Limbkins, when Gamfield had again stated his wish.
"Young boys have been smothered in chimneys before now," said another gentleman.
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

 

"You really broke your glasses by accident, didn't you?" Nasty Roche asked.
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

 

He was carried every other day into the hall where the boys dined, and there sociably flogged as a public warning and example.
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

 

They closed round him in a ring, pushing one against another to hear: "Tell us! Tell us! What did he say? Did you go in?"
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

 

He could go up the staircase because there was never a priest or a prefect outside the refectory door.
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

 

"O well, it was a mistake; I am sure Father Dolan did not know."
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

 

Mr. Gamfield, chimney sweep, went his way down the High Street.
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

 

The air was soft and grey and mild and evening was coming.
There was the smell of evening in the air, the smell of the fields in the country.
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

 

The board then proceeded to converse among themselves for a few minutes, but in so low a tone, that the words "saving of expenditure" were alone audible.
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

 

Mr. Gamfield smiled, too, as he perused the document; for five pounds was just the sum he had been wishing for.
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

 

Yes, he would do what the fellows had told him. He would go up and tell the rector that he had been wrongly punished.
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

 

He only cried bitterly all day; and, when the long, dismal night came on, spread his little hands before his eyes to shut out the darkness.
A Portrait Oliver Twist Number .....

Answers

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