OPINION FROM ANOTHER WRITER:ONG BEE LIAN
1.Write about the relationship between the two main characters
Rory and Granda had an unusual and interesting relationship. They may be two generations apart yet their relationship was so close and stable. Granda had looked after Rory since he was a baby after Rory's father walked out on them. When Granda became old and was not well Ron' felt responsible and that he should look after Granda. They know each other so well that Rory understood Granda's fear of Rachriadar and vice versa Granda understood Rory's fear of Castle Street. Rory did not blame Granda for the mistakes he made not even when he set the tlat on fire. Granda could do no wrong as tar as Rory was concerned. Granda knew he could rely on Rory to look out for him anytime and anywhere. On occasions when the situation required better lodgement, Granda took over and became the person in charge and Rory accepted it albeit under protest. When they had to get Out of Perth station quietly and quickly, Granda hot-wired a car under protest from Rory. Rory was able to calm Granda and make him accept a helping hand from strangers because of the trust between them.
2.Write about an important moral value that you have learnt
The important moral value I have learnt from the novel is that family relationships should be nurtured and not taken for granted.Granda had looked after Rory after Rory's father walked out on them. Now that Granda was getting old and forgetful, Rory took it upon himsnif to look after Gra nda. Nobody forced him or told him to do it but Rory felt it was the right thing to do. He was willing to forego things that teenage boys should be doing. He did all the household chores, made sure Granda took his medication and had all his meals. He even kept Granda's pipe to make sure there wasn't any untoward incidents. Grandpa had been known to leave his pipe in his pocket and burned out the jacket.
Granda and Rory did not take their relationship for granted. Granda had on several occasions expressed appreciation to Rory for being there for him while Rory felt proud to have Granda as his grandfather. He was protective and defensive of Granda. They nurtured their relationship right up to the end even when they had a family in Jeff and Karen.
Sammy, Ruby and Tyrone also showed a strong family relationship. Sammy and Ruby were free and easy but respectful with each other. Ruby would tease Sammy and vice versa. But, when it came to making decisions, Ruby left it to Sammy showing him respect as head of the family. Tyrone was respectful and obedient to Sammy and Ruby.Family relationships should be nurtured and not taken for granted as family happiness and stability depend on this positive attitude.
3.Write about the major changes that Rory faced in his life and the problems that came with them.
Rory was determined not to be separated from Granda who was not well and suffered from lapses of memory. He gave up playing football as he had to get dinner for Granda after school. Rory even told a few white lies when Granda misplaced his school jotter. He wanted people like Mrs Foley to think that it was Granda who was looking after him and not vice versa.He even coached Granda on how to behave on Parents' Night. He was genuinely worried that Granda be placed in a home.
After the flat caught fire, Rory faced a major change in his life. He was placed in a children's home and Granda was placed in an old folks' home. They had not been separated ever since Rory's father walked out on them. Rory could see that Granda was slowly dying in the home. To solve these problems, Rory worked out an escape plan and took Granda away from Rachnadar. They ran away to Darren's family caravan where they stayed in hiding for a few days. Rory was happy to see Granda recovering and was his old self again
Later, when they had to run away from the police, Rory faced the problem of deciding where to run to and at the same time, he could see that running away and around had taken a toll on Granda's health. Rory learned to place his trust on strangers as a way out. He would lose Granda if he did not. Sammy and his family took them to the north while Rab and Annie helped them to get to Lake District.
Rory was willing to risk incurring Granda's anger when he decided they would go to Liverpool to look for his father. It would solve his problem of being solely responsible for Granda's welfare. Moreover, Granda was showing the strains of running around.Another major change in Rory's life was meeting up with his father and the latter's family. In spite of Granda's stories about Jeff, Rory finds Jeff easy to get along. He accepted the whole family and as he said they are together and will stay together as a family.
4.Write about the theme of the story.
A theme in the story is determination brings success. Rory and Granda were on an escape adventure from the local authorities as they were determined not to be separated as they had been when they were placed in Castle Street and Rachnadar. They wanted their freedom to live like the old days.
They went on an escape adventure and it was determination that made them willing Lo go through hardships as they had no final destination in mind.They had to keep running and be alert to avoid being caught by the police. They also had to be careful not to be recognized by the public who could identify them from their pictures in the local television news. This determination inspired some kind strangers to help them whenever the law caught up with them.
Granda showed strong determination in-that at times when he was really exhausted he would still put in extra efforts to escape being caught by the police. Rory had to pull him into the bushes and he survived it although he was in a panic. On another occasion, he picks speed and rolled into a ditch to escape the law. He even hit a younger person on the head and hotwired car to escape. All these showed his determination and it brought success as they could escape from the law,
Rory and Granda's determination to be together and to stay free brought success as they eventually ended up in Liverpool where Jeff, Rory's father was, They were reunited as a family.
5.Write about the plot of the story and state what you think of the plot.
Rory and Granda's were on an escape adventure from their hometown to Liverpool because they did not want to be separated from each other. They had cared for and looked after each other for a long time and with Granda getting on in years and becoming forgetful, Rory took over the responsibility of looking after granda on his own initiative.
One day, when the flat caught fire both Rory and Granda were placed in a children's home and an old folks' home respectively. Ganda was badly affected as he became withdrawn and lost. Rory knew that Granda was slowly dying in Rachnadar so he resolved to run away with Granda. The story climaxed with Rory and Granda making the great escape but with no destination in mind. They only wanted to be free and to be together. They spent a few happy carefree days at the caravan site. When the police caught up with them, Rory and Granda were helped by Sammy who sheltered them.
Their journey was a struggle to stay free. Strangers helped them all the way, giving them shelter and making safe plans for them. Rory had doubts about whether he was doing the right bed. All doubts were dispelled as Granda looked happier even when he was exhausted. Eventually, Rory decided they would travel south to Liverpool and look for his father, Jeff Macintosh Cranda objected and rage about this when he realized what Rory's plans were. When Granda almost lost his life in the cold bus shelter, they ended up in Liverpool. It was a happy ending as they meet up with Jeff and became a family again.
The plot runs in chronological order. The reader can follow Rory and Granda's interesting and sometimes heartbreaking journey from their hometown to their final destination. Rory as the narrator projects a solid account of their thoughts, feelings and gave good descriptions of the setting. Their approach makes it easy for the reader to understand and appreciate the story. I think the plot is simple sweet and relevant to our society were young people tend to forget their obligations to the old.
BEYOND THE TEXT (HOTS)-HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILL
What do you and your friends think the title of the short story means?
a)The title of the novel, Catch Us If You Can' is intriguing. At first glance, it creates the image of some people challenging the authority to catch them as they are running away because of some wrongdoing. It is quite misleading in that way. One friend thought thatt the title refers to children playing a game of hide and seek either with adults or among themselves. But, knowing that the writer, Catherine Maci'hail is a writer of children's stories, the title may apply to children running away from home.
Do your grandparents live with your family?What type of relationship do you have with your grandparents
b)Yes, my paternal grandparents live with us because my father is their only child. I am very close to my grandmother as she has looked atter me all this while. My grandfather is rather distant and not very loving with us. My maternal grand parents live in another state and we have a close relationship. We visit them at least once a month because my mother says that grandparents provide the stability and foundation in a family.
c)No, both my paternal and maternal grandparents do not live with us because we live in the city and they live in the kampung in another state. They prefer living in the country which is more peaceful and the environment is cleaner. Wc visit them more than they visit us,
As a schoolboy ,do you think Rory should be burdened with the responsibility of looking after his grandfather who was not well?
d)No, I feel that Rory should not be burdened with the responsibility of looking after his grandfather who was not well, As a schoolboy, he should be out playing games like any teenager of his age and generally living a carefree life. Instead, he had to do all the household chores and make sure his grandfather took his medicine on time, He was doing the work of an adult.I guess Rory had no choice because as he put it, if his grandfather was not with him, he would have to go to a home. They had no one to turn to and if his grandfather went to a home, Rory would also be sent to a home.
Imagine that you are in Rory’s shoes,would you have done what he did that is take Granda on an escape adventure with no definite destination?Why?
e)Yes, i would have done the same thing because I know that Granda would not survive in the old folks home. Even if Grande died while running away, I know that he would die a happy man.
Granda wanted to be with Rory all the time and relied on Rory to look after him.Do you feel that Granda was being selfish in wanting to keep By his side all the time
f)I feel that Granda was being selfish in doing that. He should have made the effort to contact his son rather than let Rory hear all the burden.
g) Define the term Generation gap?Does it exist in your family either between you and your parents or between you and your grandparents.Why was there no generation gap between Rory and his grandfather
Generation gap refers to a lack of understanding between the younger generation and the older generation. Old people feel that the young do not respect them and the customs and beliefs they hold close to their heart. Young people feel that the old do not understand their way of doing things. They feel that the old are old-fashioned and should not interfere with their way of life.It does exist in my family between my parents.They do not ask for my opinions and make all the decisions for me. For example, they decide on the games I should play, the friends i should have and my mother even picks the shirts I should wear when we go out even for family functions. I feel that they are unreasonable and this is the cause for the misunderstandings that sometimes arise between us.
Rory and his grandfather have lived together all their lives and know and understand each other very well. They care and love each other very much so this is why there is no generation gap between them.