“Kreativ Riting” by Brian McCabe is a short story which shows the educational, cultural, and social class divisions in the class. It centres around the narrator Joe seeking attention from his teacher, PK, who does not care about Joe’s or anyone else’s education in his class. This essay will show how Brian McCabe reveals conflict in the class through characterisation and language.
In the opening paragraph of the story, McCabe makes the divisions in the class obvious to the reader, PK says:
“‘You do know what I mean by creative, don’t you Joe?’
‘Eh… is that when ye use they fancy letters and that? I said.’” In saying the above, PK deliberately picks on Joe specifically, and by McCabe putting the word ‘creative’ in italics, it shows that PK does not expect Joe to know what it means, when in fact, it is ironic, as PK is his teacher, who is meant to teach him the things he does not understand, Also, Joe uses slang in his poorly worded sentence, to emphasise the contrast between his education in PK’s perfectly formed sentence, playing up to PK’s expectations.
Later on in the story, PK makes his attitude towards Joe even clearer, when he says:
“‘Empty your mind. In your case Joe, […] that shouldn’t be too difficult.’” By PK targeting Joe and insulting Joe’s intelligence, it increases the conflict between them. By having Joe as the narrator, we see the situation from his point of view and we see PK as a villain. PK’s attitude towards Joe shows that PK thinks Joe is uneducated and beneath him. It is also quite ironic that PK asks the class to be quiet repeatedly, and then picks on Joe, almost granting him permission to answer back, making the class noisy once again.
Further on in the story, while PK is ‘teaching’ the class about ‘creative writing,’ and how to get inspiration, he reveals the cultural divisions in the class in this conversation:
“‘Is it ‘The Clash?’’
‘[…] It is none of that Clash trash.’”
In McCabe writing PK’s...
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