Cette article est la réponse aux questions pouvant être posées sur l'extrait « The Bed » issu de l'ouvrage « 'Tis » rédigé par Frank McCourt. Je n'ai malheureusement pas pu dénicher le texte sur internet, veuillez m'en excuser.

1 : Who is the narrator in the part entitled « The Bed » ? Underline the appropriate answer : the mother, the father, an outside observer or a young man ?

2 : What literary genre does this text belong to ?

It's a first person narrative.

3 : Identify the members of the narrator's family and give their names when possible.

Three brothers are mentionned : Malachy, Michael and Alphie. A mother and a father are mentionned too.

4 : In what country does the second part take place ? Quote one element to justify your answer.

It takes place in Ireland, precisely in Limerick : « We had to push the pram up and down the streets of Limerick ». ( line 40 )

5 : What do we learn about the narrator's social background ? ( 15 – 20 words )

The narrator belongs to ( or comes ) a lower class, underpriviliged background. Actually ( or indeed ), he is amongst ( il est parmi ) the have nots.

Pick out two phrases showing their living conditions.

« The slum lavotory we shared with all those families in Roden Lane » ( line 5 )

« We had old overcoasts to put on the bed » ( line 54 )

6 : Say in your own words what makes the narrator different from the other students in the clas. ( 35 words )

What makes him different is the fact he grew up in a badly off family. Actually, they were in dire straits and as it was quite difficult to make both end meet, his parents couldn't afford to buy him boys he could write about or furniture for the family house. Unlike his fellows students, there is nothing in his childhood he could boast about.

7 : Right or Wrong ? Justify by quoting from the text.

The narrator didn't trust ( n'a pas confiance ) Mr Calitri.

WRONG : « Mr Calitri will be the only one reading it and I will be safe » ( line 12 ).

The narrator felt he had to tell the truth.

RIGHT : « I'm ashamed of it I have to write about it » ( line 10 )

The mother couldn't afford a new bed.

RIGHT : « to a place that sold secondhand beds ». ( line 19 )

The mother was worried about germs ( microbes ). ( 2 quotes )

RIGHT : « There could be all kinds of diseases » ( line 21 ) and « about her four small sons sleeping on a mattress that someone had died on, maybe someone that had a fever or consumption ». ( line 27 and 28 )

The mother was thought to be too demanding. ( 2 quotes )

RIGHT : « The man said beggars can't be choosers and my mother shouldn't be so particular » ( line 22 ) and « if you don't want this bed give me back the docket and I'll give it to someone that's not so particular. » ( line 31 )

The children used to sleep on the floor.

RIGHT : « We're all off the floor and isn't God good ». ( line 56 et 57 )

8 : How far was the narrator's home from the shop ? Write a full answer.

The narrator's home is very far away from the shop. Indeed, the four brothers have to pushed the pram two miles from the Irishtown. ( Line 51 )

9 : Compare and contrast the parents' attitudes. ( 40 words )

The mother pushed the pram up from his home whereas the father drag the mattress upstairs and put the spring and the bedstead. Moreover, the mother was ashamed of her life like the father, who was saddened of the spectacle.

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Agathe

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