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The Moment Before the Gun Went Off - Tasks

Based on the resource The Moment Before the Gun Went Off

Character

  1. What impression do you have of Van der Vyver?
  2. What does the writer reveal about him? (past/present)

Relationships

  1. What does the writer tell us about his wife, and their marriage?
  2. What do we learn about Lucas and Van der Vyver?
  3. What can we conclude about Lucas’ mother?
  4. Why are we told her age?
  5. What do we learn about the relationship between the white farmers and their black workers?
  6. How do you react to the fact that Lucas was outside the cab while Van der Vyver was inside?
  7. Reread the funeral scene. How do you interpret the following excerpt:

    She does not look up, she does not look at Van der Vyver, whose gun went off in the truck. She stares at the grave. Nothing will make her look up, there need be no fear that she will look up, at him.

Other Points

  1. Why do you think the story is called "The Moment BEFORE the Gun Went Off"?
  2. What effect does the information in the last sentence have on our understanding of the rest of the story?
  3. Is there information sprinkled throughout the story that now seems more understandable to us? Examples? What do we call this literary technique?
  4. How do you interpret Van der Vyver’s remark that the dead man’s "young wife was pregnant (of course)"?
  5. Considering what we learn about Van der Vyer at the end of the story, what do you think about the statement that whites and blacks sleeping together is “not even a crime any more”?
  6. Study the second paragraph on page 2. Who are “they”? What does he mean when he suggests that the accident “will fit exactly THEIR version of South Africa”? Has Van der Vyver any reason to worry about “them”?
  7. What other references does the story give to apartheid and the increasing popular resistance to the apartheid system?
  8. What do you consider the theme(s) of the story?

Writing

  1. Until the very last sentence "The Moment Before the Gun Went Off" seems to be a story about a tragic shooting accident during the time of apartheid in South Africa. When we think back, however, we realize that we have been given various hints (“foreshadowing”) that it is more than that. Did you detect such hints? Give some examples. How do they add to our understanding of Van der Vyer’s reactions to Lucas’ death? Why are some of his reactions unusual? In some ways this is also a story of deceit. In what ways and to whom has Van der Vyer been deceitful? Write a essay discussing these points and conclude by stating why you liked the story.
  2. On the day of the funeral Lucas’ mother quietly slips into her modest little bedroom. Under the mattress she finds a tattered diary, opens it and starts writing. Write her entry.
  3. Lucas’ mother looks through his things after the funeral, and hidden behind a chest of drawers she spots some notes in Lucas’ cramped handwriting. She starts reading and with a pounding heart realizes that Lucas has sensed that he has received special attention from Van der Vyer. He has been speculating on some incidents in the past and has obviously pondered on the reasons………
    Write his notes.
  4. Write an article about the shooting incident for Van der Vyyer’s local newspaper. Make a suitable heading.
  5. Use the phrase, "The moment before the . . ." as a prompt to write a story.
  6. Rewrite a part of the story from Van der Vyer’s point of view. Choose the part yourself.

Learning content

Global Challenges

What is core content and additional content?
SubjectEmne

Fagstoff

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    A New World Order

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Global issues in an African context

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Unemployment and Unrest in Developing Countries

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Humanitarian organizations

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    The UN Declaration of Human Rights

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Child Soldiers

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Climate Change and Global Warming

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Dumping Toxic Waste Abroad

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Plastic Waste

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Global Marketing and Brand Building

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Multinational Corporations

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Crossing Dangerous Borders

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Fundamentalism and Totalitarianism

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Terrorism - a Violent Alternative

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Micro-voluntarism and International Cooperation

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    The Moment Before the Gun Went Off (Short Story)

  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    Frog Pond (Short Story)

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    Frog Pond - Introduction

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    AdditionalTilleggstoff
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    Poor Koko (Short Story)

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    The Sun in My Eyes (Short Story)

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    The Leaving (Short Story)

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    The Bastard of Istanbul - a Novel by Elif Sharak

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SubjectMaterialFagstoff

    "A Long Way Gone" Ishmael Beah

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
SubjectEmne

Oppgaver og aktiviteter

  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Child Soldiers – Tasks

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    The World We Create

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    Tasks for Micro-voluntarism

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    Prepositions - crime

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    Frog Pond - Tasks

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Frog Pond - Quiz

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Poor Koko - Multiple Choice

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    Poor Koko - Multiple Choice

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • TasksAndActivitiesOppgaver og aktiviteter

    The Bastard of Istanbul - Tasks

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
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    The Constant Gardener

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
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    Togo’s National Football Team Attacked by Gunmen

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
SubjectEmne

Kildemateriale

  • SharedResourceDelte ressurser

    The Moment Before the Gun Went Off

  • SharedResourceDelte ressurser

    Poor Koko

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SharedResourceDelte ressurser

    The Sun in My Eyes - Plain text

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • SharedResourceDelte ressurser

    The Leaving

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
SubjectEmne

Ekstern læringsressurs

  • ExternalLearningResourceEksterne ressurser

    Useful links to resources

    Additional content is a subject that is not on the curriculum
    AdditionalTilleggstoff
  • There is no core content available for ekstern læringsressurs.