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LEAVING BY M.G.

VASSANJI

SAMPLE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

1. The following are the short stories and drama studied in the literature component in
English Language.

Tanjong Rhu - Minfong Ho ( retold by Clare West )


Leaving -M.G. Vassanji ( retold by Jeniffer Basset )
The right thing to do - Martyn Ford

Choose any one of the above and answer the question below.

the road to success is paved with challenges


With close reference to the text , how far is this true of the text you have read ?

Based on short story , Leaving , I agree that the road to success is paved with challenges.In
Leaving , Aloo a brilliant student in Tanzania , defies all odds and achieves his dreams of
studying in America. Aloo is not content to study at the local university like most of his
peers. He is inspired to venture to America where people can study all kinds of strange and
interesting things.

In order to achieve his dream of studying overseas, Aloo takes the trouble to write to
universities in America to get the necessary information . Aloo faces many challenges along
the way. Despite being offered a scholarship, his mother points out that they would not be
able to raise the money for travel and living expenses. He faces his mothers wrath when
she accuses him of being selfish and abandoning the family. Mr.Velji , a school officer, while
impressed with Aloos results, also points out the downsides studying in America. Despites
the obstacles he faced, Aloo never gives up on his dream and he finally made it to America.

In conclusion, based on what has happened to Aloo, I agree that the road to success is
paved with challenges. We should not give up and mus face the challenges wisely.

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2. The following are the short stories and drama studied in the literature component in
English Language.

Tanjong Rhu - Minfong Ho ( retold by Clare West )


Leaving -M.G. Vassanji ( retold by Jeniffer Basset )
The right thing to do - Martyn Ford

Choose any one of the above and answer the question below.
Ones decisions in life reflect ones character
With close reference to the text , how far is this true of the text you have read ?

Based on short story Leaving , I agree that ones decisions in life reflect ones character. In
the story , Aloo a bright young boy , is determined to pursue his studies in America.
Although he has been offered a place at the local university in Tanzania, he is not interested
to study agriculture. His sight are set on studying medicine and he is determine to live his
dream in America.

In order to achieve his dream of studying overseas, Aloo decides to take the trouble to write
to universities in America to get the necessary information . His wish comes true when he
receives a scholarship offer from the California Institute of Technology.

Aloo also decides not to give up on his dream when his mother opposes his plans, citing
financial constraints and distances and due to his determination, his mother, despite her
misgivings, seeks help to send her son overseas.

In conclusion , Aloos decision to defy the norms of studying in a local university leads him
to great success. It tells us that Aloo is foward thinking , resourceful and determined to
succeed in life.

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3. The following are the short stories and drama studied in the literature component in
English Language.

Tanjong Rhu - Minfong Ho ( retold by Clare West )


Leaving -M.G. Vassanji ( retold by Jeniffer Basset )
The right thing to do - Martyn Ford

Choose any one of the above and answer the question below.
Name one moral value emphasised in the book you have read.
With close reference to the text , explain how it is potrayed by the characters of the book
you have read ?

Based on short story Leaving by M.G. Vassanji, one moral value that is emphasised is love
for family. This is potrayed clearly by Aloos mother, who does not want him to go overseas
for studies because she could not bear losing him. Widowed at 33 , Aloos mother did not
remarry as she fears that the new husband would ask her to send her children to a
childrens home .

When , her elder children have married and left home , Aloos mother hopes rest on her
daughter and Aloo . Hence, allowing Aloo to go to America to study was the most difficult
decision she has to make. Yet, when she sees the eagerness in her son and the pictures of
the university, she relents and seeks the necessary financial aid required to send her boy
abroad . It is her love for her son that had initially made her refuse to grant him permission
to leave. Like all parents, she did not want him to pick up negative habits or forget their
traditions. And it is her love for him that makes her finally relent.

Aloo too, loves his family, heritage and traditions , which makes it hard for him to make a
decision . He does not want to disappoint his mother or to ruin the great relationship he has
with her. He would not leave unless she gives him permission to leave for a better life. He
only decides to leave after getting permission to do so from his mother. Finally, both mother
and son compromise because of their love for each other. Aloo is taking a huge risk in
choosing to go to a whole new place and culture without knowing anyone. His mother
allows him to make his own decisions and create his own life because she realises it is for his
own good. She knows that Aloo is talented and intelligent, and yearns to do well in life.
Thus, he is ready to take the scholarship to study in America as there is wider scope there.
His mother gives her blessings as she realises that a better education is what Aloo needs .

In conclusion, , one important moral value that is emphasised in this story is love for family.

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4. The following are the short stories and drama studied in the literature component in
English Language.

Tanjong Rhu - Minfong Ho ( retold by Clare West )


Leaving - M.G. Vassanji ( retold by Jeniffer Basset )
The right thing to do - Martyn Ford

Choose any one of the above and answer the question below.
With close reference to the text , write about the character you like and state how the
character showed strength of character.

Based on the short story Leaving, the character that I like most in the story is Mother .
Mother is a woman in Tanzania who raised her five children single-handedly and who made
sure they had a good future. Her youngest boy wanted to further his studies in America. A
conflict arises as she was not willing to let her son leave home and go to such a far place. He
might have a good future and a good education but she was not willing to let him go.

The character I like and who showed strength of character is the mother. Mother want her
children to have a good future and education but she would prefer them to stay close to
home for their education at whatever level. She was not willing to let Aloo leave and study
overseas. She had the traditional attitude that her children should not leave the family and
home. She was sure that Aloo would not come back to her. She held on to her opinion for as
long as she could. Finally, she had to let go when the school officer explained the situation
to her. Again here, although she gave in it was not a show of weakness but strength of
character. Knowing that going overseas and accepting the scholarship was good for Aloo,
she was willing to accept and sacrifice her stand.

This is why I like mother. She had strength of character and held on it until the very end.

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6. The following are the short stories and drama studied in the literature component in
English Language.

Tanjong Rhu - Minfong Ho ( retold by Clare West )


Leaving - M.G. Vassanji ( retold by Jeniffer Basset )
The right thing to do - Martyn Ford

Choose any one of the above and answer the question below.
With close reference to the text , write on the theme of ambition as potrayed in the story.

The story, Leaving, is about a woman in Tanzania who raised her five children single-
handedly and who made sure they had a good future. The youngest boy wanted to further
his studies in America. A conflict arises as Mother was not willing to let her son leave home
and go to such a far place. He might have a good future and a good education but she was
not willing to let him go.

The story portrays a few themes and one of these is ambition. We see the characters of
both Aloo and mother showing their ambitious nature. Mother was ambitious for her
children. After the three elder children married and moved away, mother pinned her hopes
on the two younger children. She did not want them to spend time at their store. She
wanted them to work and study hard and further their education. So she sold the store in
town and moved the family to Upanga, a quiet part of town. She felt this was a better place
for them to study and they should do better.

Aloo was ambitious too. He was good in his studies and wanted to study medicine. He could
study in a local university but they only offered him a course in agriculture. So, inspired by a
former teacher who returned from America for a visit, he was determined to further his
studies overseas. He wrote letters to American universities for the greater part of the year.
He did not give up although his mother teased him about it. Finally, he was offered a place
and scholarship by the California College of Institute. He was ready to accept the offer. His
plam was to live and study in a city and nobody could change the list.

The theme of ambition is clearly portrayed in the story.

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7. The following are the short stories and drama studied in the literature component in
English Language.

Tanjong Rhu - Minfong Ho ( retold by Clare West )


Leaving -M.G. Vassanji ( retold by Jeniffer Basset )
The right thing to do - Martyn Ford

Choose any one of the above and answer the question below.
Difference of opinion strengthens rather than weakens the family unit
With close reference to the text , explain how far is this true of the story you have read.

The story, Leaving, is about a woman in Tanzania who raised her five children single-
handedly and who made sure they had a good future. The youngest boy wanted to further
his studies in America.

He took the trouble to write to American universities to get information about their courses
and scholarships. Mother just smiled at this busy letter writing. She teased him about it.
Eventually, an offer of a place and scholarship from the California Institute of Technology
came to Aloo. A conflict arises as mother was not willing to let her son leave home and go to
such a far place. He might have a good future and a good education but she was not willing
to let him go.

Aloo was determined to accept the offer while mother was just as determined not to allow
him to leave. Besides the problem of not wanting him to go, mother brought up the
problem of finance. She refused to listen to Aloos suggestion of solving the money problem.
Tension built up and mother was angry while Aloo cried and even shouted at his mother
with anger.

But, fortunately all the strife and difference of opinion did not affect their family ties. In fact
it made mother and son understand each other better. The narrator began to look at her
mother in a different light, as a person not a mother. She realised the hard life and
sufferings her mother went through.

Thus, it is true to say that difference of opinion strengthens rather than weakens the family
unit .

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