Notes for Selections from
Usage, the Rules, and Breaking the Rules
These three exercises are actually one consecutive
passage in the novel. I have broken them apart simply to create single-page
exercises. The passage was suggested by Celia in Wollongong, Australia.
I love her suggestions because they force me to look at texts that raise
interesting questions. I must confess that, when I looked at the submitted
text, I decided to get the book. I was not sure that Celia's transcription
was correct, and I did not want to ask an embarrassing question. I figured
that I would simply get the text and make any needed corrections. There
weren't any. The text violates the rules.
I might note that the passage intrigued me, and, since I had the book, I decided to read it. It is a great book for teenagers. The characters are well-developed. There are mystery, war, and witches, but most of all, there is sensitive, thoughtful, and caring Carrie. I am, by no means, an expert on children's literature, but much of what I have seen is, to put it crudely, egocentrically "Poor me." The idea of these works appears to be that if we show teenagers stories of people who share their problems -- divorced parents, loneliness, loss of identity, etc., the teenagers will somehow relate, feel better, and read more. I am not sure that that idea works. "Poor me" may simply feel more justified in its egocentricity. Because of the war, Carrie is separated from her parents, and, as she says at the end of the selected passage, "Life was unfair." But she is always thinking of others, not just herself. As she immediately goes on to note, "Poor Hepzibah and poor Mister Johnny. Poor Carrie and Nick, having to live here with this rude, unfair man for the rest of the war. For the rest of their lives, probably . . ."
This border is based on the
1985 Chevers Press (Bath) edition of the book, illustrated by Faith Jaques.