Delopgave 1 i forbindelse med forsøg med skriftlig eksamen i engelsk for obligatorisk niveau og hf-tilvalgsfag Skinhead



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Delopgave 1

i forbindelse med forsøg med skriftlig eksamen i engelsk for obligatorisk niveau og hf-tilvalgsfag

Skinhead
(From an English novel published in 1970.)



Joe Hawkins hated his parents with all the violence in his young body. Especially, he loathed his father's attitude to life. What, he asked himself as he washed meticulously, had his dad gained from being a soft touch? The house they lived in was far removed from a palace. It was small, cramped, in an awful street. The neighbours were old, foul-mouthed and unintelligent. Not that Joe felt that he possessed a good measure of intelligence. He admitted, but only to himself, that his education had suffered badly. But he was foxy clever. He had a native intelligence that would carry him to heights his father had not aspired to reach. Plaistow1 and its dirt were not for Joe. One day, he would move away and never return. His sights were set on a plush flat somewhere near the West End. But that required money, and social position. And, as yet, he had neither, although his day was coming. Of that he was positive.

"Joe ... you upstairs?"

He turned from his wardrobe mirror and scowled at the parti­ally open door. His mother sounded in a vile temper - as usual!

"Yeah ..."

"Come down 'ere."

His hand automatically reached inside his shirt for the comforting feel of the tool stuck in his trousers' waistband. He was proud of it. He had taken a week to make the weapon - thick rubber tubing filled with lead-shot and sand, and plugged securely until it was pliable without losing the necessary sting when used. Dropping his shirt over the cosh he slowly descended the narrow stairs.

"I asked you to fetch me bread this mornin'," his mother snarled. She waved a loaf before his face. "hand over the money ... this is stale!"

Joe grinned. "It was all they had."

"The money!" Mrs. Hawkins said again, hand outstretched. Joe didn't frighten her. She was one of those heavy women with massive forearms and a determination to match her girth. She had been born in Plaistow and fought for everything she had. All her life, Thelma Hawkins had known poverty and hardship. Unlike her husband Roy, Thelma did not have cause to trust her neighbours nor believe in anything except herself. Even her son was an object of suspicion where it came to money.

"I ain't got it," Joe sulked.

Thelma's heavy hand swung, catching the lad across his cheek. "Joe," and she breathed heavily, "I'm not askin' a second time."

The boy's hand dipped into his pocket and handed over a coin. Thelma sighed, fingered the coin as a priest would a statue of the infant Jesus. "Next time I ask you ..."

"I won't bleeding go!"

Returning to his room, Joe contemplated his face in the mirror. Her hand-marks showed red. "The old cow," he muttered, fondling his cosh, wishing to hell he could get enough courage to use it on her. Pleasant dreams flooded his mind - and, he saw his hand streaking down, the cosh a blur as it slashed across her cheek, the sound of cracking a satisfactory end to a fleeting wish.

He fingered his face momentarily, then swung from the mirror with an exclamation of frustration.

Opening the wardrobe, he selected his gear from its shadowy recesses.

Union shirt2 - collarless and identical to thousands of others worn by his kind throughout the country; army trousers and braces; and boots! The boots were the most important item. Without his boots, he was part of the common herd - like his dad, a working man devoid of identity. Joe was proud of his boots. Most of his mates wore new boots bought for a high price in a High Street shop. But not Joe's. His were genuine army-disposal boots; thick-soled, studded, heavy to wear and heavy to feel if slammed against a rib.

It was Saturday and West Ham were playing Chelsea at Stam­ford Bridge3. He wished the match had been at Upton Park. A lot of his mates had stopped travelling across London to Chelsea's ground. Funny, he thought, how the balance of "power" had shifted from East to West in a few years. He remembe­red when East End had ruled the roost. Not now! Every section of the sprawling city had its claim to fame. South of the Thames the niggers rode cock-a-hoop in Brixton; the Irish held Shepherd's Bush with an iron fist; and the Jews predominated around Hampsted and Golder's Green. The Cockney4 had lost control of his London. Even Soho5 had gone down the drain of provincial invasion. The pimps and touts there weren't old-established Londoner types. They came from Scouseland6, Malta, Cyprus and Jamaica. Even the porno shops were having their difficulties with the parasitic influx of outside talent. London was wide open now. To anyone with a gun, a cosh, an army of thugs.

Joe was brash enough to venture forth into enemy territory. He had seven mates - all tooled for trouble; all asking the same question: "Any aggro today?"

Slipping a light-weight cotton jacket over his gear, Joe studied himself in the mirror. The cosh didn't show under the jacket. He fingered his West Ham scarf, then threw it back into his wardrobe. That would be asking for police inspection, and the last thing he wanted was having his cosh found before he had an opportunity to use it.

He wasn't a bad-looking youth. At sixteen, he gave the impression of being at least nineteen. He was tall for his age - five-eleven. He had filled out and, at a fleeting glance, many a young girl's heart would flutter when he appeared on the scene. But his eyes could have deterred those females wary of sadistic companions. There was something in his gaze that spoke of brutality and nonconformity7 expressed in terms of physical rejection and explosive reaction.

At last, he was ready. Taking a final glance at his appearan­ce, he nodded to his image, grinning approval. Then, with heavy boots making a resounding noise on the worn stair-car­pet, he went to the front door, yelled: "I'm goin'," and left.

Outside, on the street, he paused.

God, how he hated this street! Next door, he could see that bitch Grace peeping from behind her curtains. What a bloody bitch she was! In a way, he was afraid of Grace. In his opinion, she was a black witch - and he didn't want to associate with her!

He hurried down the street, conscious of eyes following him. It was always the same. No matter how early he left the house, eyes always followed him. Sometimes he wondered if they ever slept in his dirty street.

He was whistling when he strolled down to the Barking Road. The cosh felt comfortable against his flesh. His boots felt solid, secure on his feet. In a few minutes he would meet his mates and, soon, they would be ready for aggro.


(Richard Allen, Skinhead, was published in Great Britain by New English Library)

Answer sections I and II

I


Write an essay about the text in which you include the points listed below. In your essay you must quote some lines from the text, and explain why you find them particularly relevant.


  • the setting




  • a characterization of Joe Hawkins:

- his background

- his relationship to his mother

- his attitude to life


  • the theme(s)



II
Translate the Danish text into English.

Rollespil
20 procent af alle drenge mellem 15 og 18 år er engagerede i rollespil, og rollespil regnes nu for et selvstændigt medie i lighed med computer og TV. Rollespillets verden er fuld af fantasivæsener og mystik, og deltagernes forestillingsevne er den centrale drivkraft i spillet.

Også et mindre antal piger interesserer sig for rollespil, men det er en subkultur, hvis univers især appellerer til drenge. De kan her udforske en ny maskulin identitet i en verden, som de føler sig trygge i.


III

Write a summary of the Danish text in English in 200-300 words. Your reader has not read the text.

Troldmanden har fået nye lærlinge

(Artikel af Hanne Dam i bladet Samvirke, april 1997.)
20 procent af alle drenge mellem 15 og 18 år dyrker de avancerede rollespil, der er ved at udvikle sig til et selvstændigt medie på linie med computer og TV. Medieforskeren Anne Scott Sørensen fra Odense Universitet, forsker i rollespil for Center for Ungdomsmedier ved Københavns Universitet. Her fortæller hun journalist Hanne Dam om sin oplevelse af rollespil.
Der bliver konsumeret chips i posevis, og colaen flyder i stride strømme, når de unge kaster deres opmærksomhed ind i tidens nye udtryk 'rollespillet', der nu har nået et sådant omfang, at medieforskere taler om rollespil som et selvstændigt medie på linie med computer og TV.

Der er tale om hjernegymnastik ud over det sædvanlige. Det går så lynende hurtigt med eller uden bræt og terninger, at Anne Scott Sørensen tilstår, at hun tit ikke kan følge med.

"De har på forhånd lært sig det komplicerede regelsæt på engelsk, og så bliver der abstraheret og argumenteret, ganget og divideret i et usædvanlig højt gear," som forskeren siger.

Hun blev selv interesseret i rollespil-miljøet, da hendes sønner på 12 og 16 år begyndte at spille rollespil. Hun var fra starten overordentlig skeptisk og lå nærmest på linie med den fremherskende amerikanske holdning, som ser rollespil som en mulig forførelse af de unge ind i en form for mysticisme. Universet er ofte et middelalderunivers, befolket af vampyrer, drager og dæmoner. Man har endda spurgt, om ikke det er en form for satanisme, men dette afviser Anne Scott Sørensen.

"Langt de fleste unge er uproblematiske zappere. Der er selvfølgelig nogen, der bliver fortabt i denne her fantasiverden. Men det kunne de lige så godt være blevet som f. eks. film- eller fodboldfanatikere. Der vil altid være unge, der begynder at tage fantasiverdener bogstaveligt og ikke kan adskille fiktion og virkelighed - som tror, at fiktionen er virkeligheden. Men langt de fleste unge er suveræne til at trække grænser og hoppe ind og ud af fiktionen - meget bedre end vores generation." siger Anne Scott Sørensen.

Der findes mindst fire forskellige slags rollespil. Rollespillene spænder fra det strengt systematiske til helt frie live-spil, der er en slags totalteater.

Imellem de to yderpunkter ligger den mest kendte type, der hviler på et scenarium, et regelsæt og et persongalleri - et koncept, som nogle drenge selv designer, men som også kan købes i specialforretninger. Spillet spilles som regel med bræt, terninger og figurer, men kan også udvikle sig fra time til time ud af den rene og skære fantasi i en gruppe, bænket omkring et bord.

Mest vidtgående er dog de store live-spil, som foregår udendørs - måske i en skov. I live-spillet spiller de unge roller i en leg, der kan minde om de store gamle barndomslege med indianere, røvere og politi. Opgaven er at løse en konflikt sammen, og de unge sendes ud i landskabet, hvor der kan være begravet skatte, og hvor der i øvrigt optræder diverse vampyrer, drager og uhyrer.

Anne Scott Sørensen siger, at de unge i de spil oplever at få lov at blive ved med at lege. De nyder at lege de store floklege i det frirum, naturen er, og som vi andre legede som børn, men som de ikke har leget ret meget, fordi den generation jo var lukket inde i små institutioner«.
De første spil på markedet var inspiret af fantasy-kulturen med Tolkien som den store guru, men senere er spillene blevet historisk forankrede. De fleste spil kan spilles på flere niveauer. Nogle unge udvikler sig til rene eksperter med stor viden om emner som f. eks. Anden Verdenskrig eller atomkrig og gider så kun spille med andre eksperter.

Kan spillet tolkes som en måde at forberede sig mentalt på fremtiden?

"I de interviews med unge, jeg har lavet, siger nogle netop, at de betragter spillet som en måde at overleve på i den forstand, at de efter at have besøgt de mulige fremtider ikke er nær så bange for virkelighedens fremtid. De har i spillene lært, at der altid er valgmuligheder. De skal bare lære at vælge og finde sig en vej.

Mange af de unge siger, at de har fået mere selvtillid af at spille rollespil. De lærer at tage beslutninger og begynder at se sig selv som mennesker, der kan handle i stedet for bare at opfatte sig som umyndiggjorte skoleelever," siger Anne Scott Sørensen.

Hvad er forklaringen på, at de unge ikke som deres forældres generation har brug for den traditionelle forløsning, hvor puslespillet falder på plads til sidst? Det er et meget interessant spørgsmål, men Anne Scott Sørensen tror ikke, der er nogen, der har svaret. Hun siger videre at de unge ikke længere føler det behov. De lever på en ny måde, tænker på en ny måde og føler på en ny måde. Hvilket ikke betyder, at de er mindre passionerede. De er dybt passionerede. "Jeg har dem jo nogle gange i mit hus, og som de griner og morer sig nede i kælderen, kan jeg ikke huske, at jeg har grinet i årevis".



Vi andre ville føle det truende at sætte grænsen på spil!

"Ja, vores generation bliver aldrig de store computer-freaks, for vi har behov for hele tiden at have på plads inde i hovedet, hvor grænserne går. De unge hopper ud og ind og kan leve med usikkerheden. De kan sætte grænsen på spil, og det er jo lige præcis det, der er nødvendigt for at kunne udvikle nye multimediesystemer".



Men hvorfor betragtes det som et fremskridt at kunne gå så vidt?

"Det er da heller ikke nødvendigvis et fremskridt, men det er fremtiden".

Det er næsten udelukkende drenge, der spiller rollespil, og Anne Scott Sørensen slutter med følgende kommentar:

"Der er piger med, og de er populære og dygtige, med en fin fornemmelse for det kollektive i spillet. At det er et drengeunivers, tror jeg mest handler om den måde, subkulturen organiserer sig på, med rå lamper osv. I det generelt grove miljø sidder man så i timevis og hørmer den rent ud sagt. På de unges spiltræf, som kan strække sig over tre-fire dage, ser du de store drenge vælte sig ned og op af soveposerne uden at blive vasket og uden at gå uden for en dør. Det tror jeg ikke, piger gider.

Drengene spiller i et univers, som bygger på en maskulin tradition. På den anden side er det også et spil, der leger med kønnet. Mange af personerne i rollespillene er piger, som drengene så forsøger at leve sig ind i."

(Artiklen er let forkortet.)



Requirements:

A total minimum of 2 pages and a maximum of 4 (i.e. between c. 700 and 1400 words) including all three sections.







1 Plairstow, an area in London's EastEnd, the old working-class part of London. West End is the upper-class part of London.

2 union shirt, T-shirt

3 Stamford Bridge, a football stadium in the West End

4 Cockney, a native of London's East End

5 Soho, a district in central London known for its restaurants, pubs, cafés, porno shops and wild night-life

6 Scouseland, slang for Liverpool

7 nonconformity, not willing to conform to social conventions




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