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Aufgabenblock I

Aufgaben
Download als Dokument:PDF
1.
Outline the encounter between Gabe und Dylan.
2.
Analyze the means used to characterize Gabe.
3.
Write an online article for a youth magazine, discussing whether people should be allowed to carry weapons.
#outline#analysis#characterisation#gunlaw#article
Text 1
$\;$
Faye Kellermann: Gun Games
The excerpt below is the beginning of Faye Kellermann's novel "Gun Games".
It was bad news walking through the door.
They were coming his way: five of them - three guys, two girls - all of them looking older than him by a
5
couple of years but probably still in highschool. The guys had some muscle, but none of them was steroidal, meaning he could take any of them one-on-one. Collectively, he didn't stand a chance. Besides, Gabe wasn't spoiling for a fight. Last time that happened, he messed up his hand - temporarily. He'd been lucky. Maybe he'd be lucky again. If not, he had to be smart.
He pushed his glasses up on his nose and kept his eyes on the book until the group was on top of him.
10
Even then, he didn't look up. Nothing was going to happen to him inside a Starbucks… staring at the page in front of him, his mind going a mile per second.
"You're sitting in my seat," one of the guys said.
His dad had always emphasized that if he were about to be jumped, it was best to take on the leader. Because once the leader was gone, the others fell like dominoes. Gabe counted to five before he looked up.
15
The guy who spoke was the biggest of the three.
"Excuse me?" Gabe said.
"I said you're sitting in my seat." And as if to emphasize the point, he pulled back his jacket, giving Gabe a five-second peek at the gun stuck into his waistband - positively one of the worst places to keep an unharnessed weapon. There were only two people in the world that Gabe would take crap from and he
20
wasn't looking at either one of them. To acquiesce would be a mistake. On the other hand, to confront would also be a mistake. Luckily, the dude gave him an out.
Gabe held up an index finger. "Do you mind?" Slowly and carefully, he pulled back the guy's jacket with his finger and stared at the gun. "Beretta 92FS with some kind of custom grip."
A pause. "Sweet." He let the jacket drop. "You know the company just came out with an advanced model -
25
a 96A or something like that. Same thing as the 92 series except it has a higher magazine capacity."
Gabe stood up. Nose to nose, he was a couple of inches taller than the gunslinger, but the height differential wasn't something he was about to flaunt. He took a half step back […].
They were locked in a staring contest, Gabe's focus on the dude with the piece. As far as he was concerned, the other four didn't exist. Then, with a sudden, fluid motion, Gabe stepped aside and held out
30
his hand, magnanimously offering the dude his seat. "Be my guest."
A few seconds ticked by, each waiting for the other to blink.
Finally, the guy said to Gabe, "Have a seat."
"After you."
The two of them eyed each other, then they both sat down at the same time with the dude taking up the
35
leather chair that Gabe had formerly occupied. He kept his eyes on the guy's face, never letting up for a moment. Dude was around five ten, one eighty, broad chest, strong arms. […]
Dude said, "Where'd you learn about guns?"
Gabe shrugged. "My dad."
"What does he do?"
40
"My father?" At this, Gabe broke into a slow grin. "Uh … actually, he's a pimp." The expected pause. "He owns whorehouses in Nevada."
The dude stared at him with newfound respect. "Cool."
"It sounds a lot cooler than it is," Gabe said. "My dad's a nasty guy - a real mean motherfucker. He also owns about a zillion guns and knows how to use every single one of them. I get along with him because I
45
don't cross him. Plus, we don't live together anymore."
"You live with your mom?"
"Nah, she's in India somewhere. She took off with her lover and dumped me into the care of complete strangers - […] My foster dad is a police lieutenant. You'd expect him to be the hard-ass, but compared to my own dad, the man is a saint." He looked at his watch. It was almost six in the evening and night was
50
inches away. "I gotta go." He stood up and so did Dude.
"What's your name?" Dude asked.
"Chris." Gabe lied. "And you?"
"Dylan." They fist-bumped. "What school do you go to?"
"Homeschooled," Gabe said. "Almost done, thank God. Hey, nice to meet you, Dylan. Maybe I'll catch you
55
on the shooting range."
He turned his back to the group and slowly swaggered away. It took all his energy not to glance back.
Once he was out the door, he ran like hell.
Kellermann, Faye (2012), Gun Games, New York: William Morrow, p. 1-3
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$\blacktriangleright$  Outline encounter between Gabe and Dylan
The excerpt from Faye Kellermann's Gun Games describes an encounter between the two teenagers Gabe and Dylan that displays a rather dangerous atmosphere revolving around a power struggle.
Introduction
The incident takes place in a Starbucks branch. Gabe is apparently just sitting on a leather chair, reading a book when a gang enters the store, consisting of three guys and two girls. Gabe immediately feels a certain threat radiating from them and he proves to be right. He already calculates whether he could compete with them - one person at a time would be manageable but not all at once he decides. The gang approaches him and the tallest guy - the leader so Gabe assumes - complains that Gabe is sitting in his seat. Gabe remembers that his dad always told him that he should take down the leader, his followers would soon fall then. In order to buy time, Gabe pretends to not having listened to the guy who repeats what he had said before. While doing that, he pushes his jacket aside and shows a gun that is stuck into his waistband, threatening Gabe with it. Yet, Gabe is not faltered by that and watches the gun more closely, giving the guy a detailed description of the model and basically telling him that his gun is quite old-school. The two end up in a staring contest that Gabe wins due to the fact that he is giving in, stepping aside and generously offering the guy his seat. However, the guy is not giving up so easily offering Gabe the seat again. Finally, they both sit down at the same time. Then, the guy asks where Gabe learned about guns. Thereupon, Gabe tells a story that his father is a pimp - one of the ruthless kind - and that he is not living with him anymore but with foster parents because his mom had run off to India with her lover. Gabe further explains that his foster dad is a cop and suddenly interrupts his explanations, stating that he would have to go. He and the guy exchange names - he pretends his name was Chris - and Gabe leaves Dylan and his gang. When he has left the store, he runs like hell.
Main Part
By impressing Dylan with his gun knowledge, Gabe gains an advantage over Dylan and thus saves himself out of a potentially dangerous situation.
Conclusion
$\blacktriangleright$  Analyze means used to characterize Gabe
The excerpt from Faye Kellermann's Gun Games revolves around the upcoming conflict between the two teenagers Gabe and Dylan. Gabe is described through various means that will be presented in the following.
Introduction
Gabe's appearance is not explicitely described but through implicit statements. Apparently, Gabe is either strong or knows some kind of martial art since "he could take any of them one-on-one" (l. 6). In addition, he wears glasses ("he pushed his glasses up" (l. 9)). The only other information the reader gets about his appearance is Gabe's height that is being compared to Dylan's (l. 26).
Main Part
appearance
The reader learns about the storyline through a third person limited narrator - through the eyes of Gabe. The reader knows what Gabe thinks and gets deep insight on his thoughts and feelings. In the very first sentences of the excerpt, the narrator describes what Gabe sees - the gang approaching him. He thinks about whether he could fight them but decides against that (l. 6-8). This means that Gabe is very analytical and at the same time cautious because he can't take down five people at a time. The climax "he'd been lucky. Maybe he'd be lucky again. If not, he had to be smart" (l. 8) underlines that fact, letting Gabe appear as a person who can decide between relying on his strength or on his cleverness. The metaphor "his mind go[es] a mile per second" (l. 11) emphasizes Gabe's anaylical character trait - he plans every step ahead and is even aware of the consequences. Furthermore, Gabe knows how to behave in a rather dangerous situation. He has already assessed the situation and knows exactly what to do in order to get out of it. Thus, he uses covert rhetorical questions like "Excuse me?" or "Do you mind?" (l. 16 & l. 22) and doesn't even wait for an answer, he just acts. Gabe puts himself in a superior position over Dylan and his gang due to that and his ironical "Sweet." (l. 24) upon being shown the gun clarifies that as well. He even goes as far as to somehow embarrassing Dylan by claiming that he has an old-school version of a gun (l. 25). Moreover, he assigns the nameless guy the name "dude" (l. 28) which is rather derogatory of Gabe. The lexis of indifference with which Gabe is sometimes described crystallizes that as well when he "magnanimously offer[s] the dude his seat" (l. 30) or when he shrugs upon a question (l. 38). Also, Gabe makes the gang appear some sort of dumb when he explains that his father is a pimp and when he uses the postposition "he owns whorehouses in Nevada" (l. 41) in order to explain that further. However, he downplays that very soon after with the understatement "it sounds a lot cooler than it is" (l. 43). In fact, the reader can't really tell what is true and what is false when it comes to Gabe because he lies when he is replies that his name is Chris and not Gabe when being asked about his name (l. 52). The reader might think that everything that Gabe told the gang was false and was just a show being played in order to get out of the situation unharmed. The contrast in the last paragraph of the excerpt "slowly swaggered away […] he ran like hell" (l. 56-57) might be an indicator for that as well.
character
  • analytical
  • superior
  • ironic
  • lexis of indifference
  • liar?
The excerpt shows Gabe as a very analytical person who plans everything ahead and who foresees things that will happen in the future. It seems thus logical that he might have made up a whole different character to face the gang and the problems that this situation brings with it.
Conclusion
$\blacktriangleright$  Write an article
To carry clothes, to carry handbags, to carry … weapons?
Nowadays, people in the US carry weapons just like we carry handbags. They wouldn't leave the house without their weapon - it is just as if they carry their keys or their wallet with them. It is a necessary symbol of freedom and self-determination.
Introduction
Why is it actually allowed to carry guns in the US when so many other nations have very strict rules about weapons? The reason therefor is very simple and lies in the rich history of the US. Back in 1791, the Second Amendment that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms was implemented. It evolved early in the US history over concerns about subjection to rule by another country. People still refer to this addition to the Constitution when it comes to the question about whether to ban carrying weapons or not. However, the Second Amendment is so out of date - or are we afraid of being taken over by another country? Most likely not, we only have concerns about violence. Yet, gun advocates argue that carrying guns contributes to feeling able to defend oneself. In times of terrorism and various other attacks, this is rather understandable. Moreover, those who carry a gun feel that they create a sense of security - of course, when there is always someone who could protect you from possible threats!
Main Part
  • pro: 2nd amendment
  • pro: self-defense
  • pro: sense of security
And yet, there is always a big BUT when it comes to issues like self-defense and security. Carrying weapons predicates a well-balanced and rational society in an era when reality suggests differently though. Right now, domestic violence is rather epidemic in some areas and the US unfortunately shares a history of racially motivated violent actions. Giving guns to irrational people who might be driven to wreak havoc is rather counterproductive then. Moreover, carrying guns should be left to highly trained individuals like police officers for instance since only they are able to decide about the judgement to use a weapon responsibly. The society needs to be protected from misuse in any way! If carrying weapons would be allowed, then the access to those firearms cannot be restricted and hence, everybody who wanted a weapon could easily get one. Criminals hence could effortlessly obtain a weapon and just go on unimpededly with their plans. In addition, carrying weapons when running errands for instance intimidates the public. Other citizens may become concerned about impending crime and may thus contact the police when individuals carry firearms. This is pure waste of law enforcements resources and threates public safety! And how are police officers then supposed to differentiate between a good guy with a gun and a bad guy with a gun? In an emergeny, there is definitely no time to ask "Excuse me, you carry a gun, do you have a license to do so and why do you carry a gun?". And just imagine what this would do to classroom situations in colleges for instance! Carrying guns there might affect the discourse in negative ways. Students might be uncomfortable engaging in difficult topics or expressing unpopular opinions and teachers would fundamentally change their way of teaching if they are afraid of being threatened by a gun. And do not forget the accidents that have happened due to guns just lying around - children shooting their parents or themselves are a nightmare come true.
  • con: irrational society
  • con: not trained people
  • con: easy access to weapons
  • con: waste of police officers in case of "emergency"
  • con: intimidates public
  • con: consequences for teachers
  • con: accidents
Carrying weapons should be strictly undermined considering all the arguments that speak against it. I would daresay that when carrying a weapon for self-defense is understood not as a failure of civil society but as an act of citizenship, then there is little civilian life left. And that this insistence on carrying weapons is actually ridiculous shows Michael Moore's movie "Bowling for Columbine" - just watch it, you won't regret it.
Conclusion
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