2 Jun 2015

The Go-Between: chapters 1 to 5

Scene from the film
Some words about the author
Leslie Poles Hartley was born in 1895 near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England, the son of a solicitor who became a director of a factory. He was educated at Harrow and Oxford University and was an officer during World War 1 in the Norfolk Regiment. He started writing as a reviewer for various journals in the 1920s and published a collection of horror stories in 1924.

His first full-length novel was Simonetta Perkins (1925), which was based in Venice where he spent much of his time. But it was with The Shrimp and the Anemone, published in 1944 as the first part of a trilogy about a brother and sister growing up, that he achieved critical acclaim. His biggest success was with The Go-Between in 1953. This novel was made into a film by Joseph Losey in 1970, with a screenplay by Harold Pinter, a well-known British playwright, starring Julie Christie, Alan Bates and Michael Redgrave.

Hartley was awarded a CBE* in 1955. He died in 1972.

*CBE stands for 
Commander of the Order of the British Empire, which is the third in rank of the five classes of the honours system in the UK. For more information: UK honours and awards.


Summary
An elderly man, Leo Colston, finds an old diary he wrote when he was twelve. The diary makes Leo remember events which took place in the summer of 1900 when he stayed with Marcus Maudsley, a boy he had met at school.

The events affect him for the rest of his life.

Background and themes
In the prologue to The Go-Between, L. P. Hartley says: ‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’ The Go-Between paints a detailed picture´of rural England at the beginning of the twentieth century (around 1900). So the past is one of the main themes of the book. Other main themes are: social classes, adolescence, and friendship, trust and betrayal. You will find them very often as long as you read the book.

Activities

Chapter 1
Setting (Place and Time)

Characters

Main events

Chapter 2
Setting (Place and Time)

Characters

Main events

Chapter 3
Setting (Place and Time)

Characters

Main events

Chapter 4
Setting (Place and Time)

Characters

Main events

Chapter 5
Setting (Place and Time)

Characters

Main events


Answer
  1. Why were the star signs important to Leo?
  2. Why did the boys attack Leo for using the word ‘vanquish’?
  3. How did Leo solve his problems at his school?
  4. Why couldn't he solve the problems he found at Brandham Hall?
  5. What letters opened Leo’s diary?
  6. Why hadn't he heard anyone say his name for many years?
  7. What kind of relationship does Leo have with Maudsley at school?
  8. Can you see a connection between Marian and the deadly nightshade? If so, what is it?
  9. Who do you think Marian talked to in Norwich?

Are these sentences true (T) or false (F)? 
In case they are false, rewrite them so that they are true.
  1. Mr. Maudsley was so rich that he didn’t have to work. 
  2. Mr. Maudsley controlled everything at Brandham Hall. 
  3. Denys got on well with his mother. 
  4. Leo had already noticed that Marian was very beautiful when Marcus told him. 
  5. Leo is embarrassed about being too hot. 
  6. Leo realizes that his family is not as rich as Marcus’s. 
  7. Leo is happy about the idea that Trimingham will marry Marian. 
Remember to send your answers by Friday June 5th by email.




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