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Report
Running in the
Family
Tea Country- Last Morning
Zitlaly, Ricardo, Carol
GLD Plans
• Summary of each chapter
• Apples to Apples in small groups(small discussion)
• Class discussion
Tea Country
• Background information on the tea country: It was
where Mervyn took Dorris to live, love, to have kids
and
• He goes to visit his half-sister Susan and her husband
Sunil in the tea country.
• Theme: Silence vs. Noise, Water
Tea Country
What we think of Married
Life
Doris
•
• Calmness
• Quietness
• Dramatic nature which
pleased everyone
• Read her favorite poems
out loud
• Exaggerated
• Loving “loved, always
loved”(170)
• Good actress
Mervyn
• Anger
• Argumentative
• Dramatic nature which
only pleased himself
• Swallowed the heart of
the books and kept that
knowledge and emotion
to himself
• Minimal
• Private
• Desire to be reclusive
What we think of Married
Life
• In this chapter he focuses on his parents marriage
and how some of the arguments played out.
• Relationship between Lalla and Mervyn
• Throughout the marriage there were arguments
and they were mostly fought it theatrically by
Dorris.(170-171)
• Her last “scene”(172)
• Quick glimpse of her life after
o Got a job at the the Grand Oriental Hotel while training to be a
housekeeper-manager, supported them by working in hotels in Ceylon
and England til she died
Dialogues
• Short stories told by Susan to Michael about father,
mother and them as children
•
•
•
•
•
(i) His siblings almost got killed because Mervyn was drunk and almost drove
them over a cliff because he fell asleep at the wheel
(ii)Mervyn had just lost his job and felt guilt for ruining all of them(wife, kids)
(iii)When Susan left for England and Dorris didn’t get to spend much time
saying goodbye since Mervyn was home alone and was going to drink and
get into trouble
(iv)Mervyn slept with many pillows and each of the children has to massage
his legs for ten minutes
(v) Different sides of Mervyn. To them he was always charming, always
gracious, open, and loved those who visited. They only once saw him drunk
they never knew that side of him. Talked about Dorris’ reasons to break up:
things were rough, servants disobeyed her and bought Mervyn bottles when
she told him no to, When she was sick he did not believe she was and hit her
to get up until she called them and they took her to a nursing home and she
never saw him again.
Dialogues
•
•
•
•
•
•
(vi) Kids perspective of hearing their parents argue which sounded like giants
were shouting.
(vii) Where and how she lived and worked: in hotels, in England in a small
room with only a gas ring
(viii) Her embarrassment of bringing over friends because she believed her last
name (Ondaatjes) had a bad reputation
(ix)Mervyn was not the same anymore he was happy to just sit there and listen
to her talk, he visited her every two weeks to bring her eggs and fertilizer.
(x)Remembering how sad his face was, it was naked and full of sorrow.
(xi) She ran into him one night and that same night ran into Doris. She told him
how he had changed, how she should see him and how easy it’d be to
contact him and have dinner. Doris was so close to calling, to seeing him but
Susan stopped.
Blind Faith
• Michael writes this chapter that describes his
feelings mainly towards his father.
• He uses several references from Shakespeare to
describe his relationship with his father
• King Lear and Hamlet
The Bone
• It was a metaphorical and poetic story about his
father
• His father was naked, in a jungle and was holding
five black dogs
• Arthur went in after his father and cut those ropes
holding the dogs
• After those ropes were cut, they all went to the car
where, Arthur’s sister, Stephy was waiting
Thanikama
• Mervyn and Doris are no longer together
• Mervyn goes on a voyage that is self destructive in
a both emotional and physical way.
• “Would sit in the sunlight dinking beers…” (185)
MONSOON NOTEBOOK
(iii)
• In this chapter the person speaking is Michael
• It is about his surroundings while he wrote down the
story we’ve just read
• The main focus being described is nature.
o We could relate this to his journey of writing the book.
o In the beginning he starts off by saying “dry black night,” (p. 190) and
ends with “The garden…difficult to breath” (p. 191).
• What could the rain symbolize?
FINAL DAYS
FATHERS TONGUE
• Memories about Mervyn
• Jennifer (part of Mervyns second family)
•
•
•
She talked about the attitude Mervyn had towards her and her sister
Susan. She mentions how he was very protective over them, and kind to
them.
His weight, drinking, and his last days; how he kept to himself
“For instance, cats…under his seat” (p.193)
• V.C. de Silva
•
•
•
Considered Mervyn a close friend
“medical adviser”
Tells us the Mervyns death was the cause of a cerebral haemorrhage
• Archer Jayawardene
•
•
•
Considered Mervyn a close friend
Talked about his last days were very dark and how Mervyn tried to hide it.
His funeral…muddy road” (p.197)
LAST MORNING
• Michael’s last day in Ceylon
• Woken up by the rain
• He's telling himself to memorize the feeling of being
there
• He thinks about al those who’ve been there before
him, and it shows a great significance because he's
making the connection the his family.

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