Subject Material

9 The Close Procedure

Published: 14.12.2009
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In text 1 below there are fifteen slots; each is to be filled with ONE and ONLY ONE word- either a grammatical word or a lexical word. In some open spaces there is only one possibility, but in others there may be more than one.

To find a good candidate to put into each open space, you may sometimes have to look, not only at the immediately surrounding text, but the wider context to decide whether your choice agrees with the general drift of the piece as a whole.

Text 1

Fill in the open slots in this text with ONE word that fits in.

____ were some things Rose and her brother Brian could safely talk about without getting into an______, and one of them was Miss H. Milton. She had _____ teaching at the high school longer than ____ other teacher  and was more important  than the Principal. She taught English and the one thing she was famous for was _____order.  She was also known for ______ a lot of memory work. One day she wrote a long poem on the board and told everyone to copy it ____ and then learn it off by ____ and the next day _____ it in front of the whole class. Rose remembered this ______ very well. It was when she was in her third or  ____ year in high school  and she did not believe these instructions were to be taken too______. She learnt poetry ______ease. So she read the poem and _____ it, verse by verse and then said it over a couple of times in her head.  But she didn’t do any _____.

Based on Alice Munro’s story: ‘Who do you think you are?’

 

Key

Text 1
there, argument, been, any, keeping, assigning, out, heart, recite, incident, fourth, seriously, with, memorised, homework.

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Text 2

Background

The following excerpts are based on Ernest J. Gaines’ novel: A Lesson Before Dying.

Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a shootout, where two robbers, Brother and Bear, and the store owner, Mr Gropé, are killed. The novel is set in the American South some time in the late 1940s. This is Ernest J. Gaines’ description of the defense attorney’s attempt to convince an all-white jury of Jefferson’s innocence.

Fill in each of the 25 open spaces with ONE word that fits in.

The defense argued that Jefferson was _____ of all charges brought against him except being  at the wrong place at the wrong____. There was absolutely ____ proof that there had been a conspiracy between himself and the other two. The fact that  Mr.Gropé shot only Brother and Bear was _____ of Jefferson’s innocence. ____ did Mr Gropé shoot one boy twice and never shot at Jefferson ____?  Because Jefferson was _____ an innocent bystander.
…..
“Gentlemen of the jury, look ____ this-this-this boy. I almost said man, but I can’t say man.  Oh, sure he has ____ the age of twenty-one, when we civilized men consider the ___species has reached manhood, but would you call this – this – a man? No, not I. I ____ call it a boy and a fool.”
…….
“Gentlemen of the jury. Do you see a man sitting here? I______ you, look carefully. Look at the shape of his skull, this face as flat as the palm of my_____.  Look deeply into those eyes. Do you see anyone here ____ could plan a murder, a robbery, can plan ______ at all? A cornered animal to strike quickly out of_____, a trait  inherited from his ancestors in the deepest ____ of blackest Africa , yes, yes, ____ he can do, but to plan?. No gentlemen, this skull holds no ____.  What you see here ____ a thing that acts on command. A thing to hold the ____ of a plow, a thing to load your ____ of cotton, a thing to dig your ditches, to ____ you wood, to pull your corn. ____ is what you see here, but do you see _____ capable of planning a robbery or a murder?

Question

Describe the attitude the defense lawyer shows in his attempt to convince the jury of Jefferson’s innocence, referring to specific examples of the language he uses. Do you think such an attitude can be excused in an attempt to get Jefferson ‘off the hook’?  Give your reasons one way or the other.

Key

Text 2
innocent, time, no, proof, why, once, merely/clearly, at, reached, male/human, would, ask/implore, hand, who, anything, fear, jungle, that, plans, is, handle, bales, chop, that, anything
(NB! Anybody would both be correct grammatically but would clash with the de-humanising words that the defense attorney uses, namely, it, thing.)

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