Superstitions About Rats

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English Studies 178|
Semester Essay: Superstitions About Rats|
Question 1Characterisation of Aniline|
Zoe la Grange|
17036283|

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Tutor: Peet van Aardt
Group 51
The Characterisation of Aniline
“Oh, for heaven’s sake, Aniline, look at you standing there… Say something girl, do something, start living in the real world!... Just get to class!”. By looking at this extract from the short story Superstitions About Rats by Lesley Emanuel, one can already tell that the character, Aniline, does not go out of her way to stand up for herself or take matters into her own hands. One can also tell that Aniline prefers living in a ‘pretend’ world rather than being realistic about matters. Aniline’s superstitions play a huge role in how she lives her life and how others perceive her as a person. These superstitions limit her opportunities and play a role in Aniline having a negative perception of life. There are two very similar settings that are portrayed in the story: One being at Anilines school, which is described to be very poor – handed down uniforms, scorched quad and chicken-wire fence surrounding their school, and the other being at Anilines home which is a way out of town on her mother’s struggling farm. I will be discussing the way in which the extract, when contextualised, helps with the understanding and discussion of Aniline as a character. In the opening paragraph of ‘Superstitions About Rats’, Aniline reveals that she prefers algebra to geometry, because in algebra there are ‘what-if’ questions. This reveals that Aniline becomes paranoid when there is only one answer, which could also suggest that Aniline prefers to have many answers in her life, rather than one set answer. This also indicates that Aniline prefers to live in a world of make believe, where certain events determine the future, rather than facing the real world where people are responsible for their own lives and future. During lunch at school, when Aniline, Neo and...
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