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Task 3

Aufgaben
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1.
Sketch the development of the conflict as presented in this chapter.
2.
Analyse the means the author employs to make the situation dramatic.
3.
The Twelfth Day of July is known to be among the best modern classics for young adults.
A love story across the divide set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, it combines facts and fiction and invites young readers to explore the legacy of historical events.
Write a possible continuation of the story and include your background knowledge.
#northernirelandconflict#analysis#creativewriting
Text 3
$\;$

Joan Lingard, The Twelfth Day of July

Introductory Note
The novel is set in Belfast in the late 1960s, shortly before the Orangemen’s Day celebrations. The Protestant siblings Sadie and Tommy Jackson have recently got to know Kevin McCoy and his sister Brede, two Catholic teenagers, in a number of hostile encounters. The Catholic youths feel provoked by the upcoming parades of the Protestants. In Chapter Sixteen, they find themselves on opposing sides of a street fight.
For a moment there was silence. They could hear the hum of the city traffic in the distance, but they were only concerned with what was going to happen here, in this street. This is what they had been waiting for all week: to stand face-to-face, on either side of the road. One or two shivered, either with fear or the thrill of expectation. But none moved away. It was as if a magnet held them there irresistibly.
5
The moment of quiet passed. Now the voices were raised, soft and taunting to begin with.
‘Dirty Micks[1]!’
‘Filthy ould[2] Prods!’
Tempers flared. The voices grew louder.
‘Kick the Pope!’
10
‘To hell with King Billy!’
No one knew who threw the first stone. One seemed to come from each side simultaneously.
It was as if a whistle had been blown. Suddenly, children appeared from every direction; they came swarming out of side streets, yelling, cheering, booing. Their hands scoured the ground for any ammunition they could find, large stones, small ones, pieces of wood, half-bricks. They advanced on to the road. The
15
gap between the two sides narrowed.
Sadie was in the front line. Her face glowed, and her heart thudded with excitement. She felt as though a fever possessed her. And then for a second she paused, a yell trapped at the back of her throat. She had seen Brede’s face. Brede stood behind the Catholics, not shouting, or throwing, just standing.
At that moment a brick flew high over the heads of the crowd. Sadie saw Brede duck. But she was too late;
20
the brick caught her full on the side of the head.
Brede went down and disappeared amongst the swirling bodies of the Catholics.
‘Brede!’ roared Sadie.
Brede was hurt. Brede … why Brede? Inside Sadie felt cold. There was no fever now, no excitement, only a desperate need to get across and find out what had happened to the fallen girl. With another roar Sadie
25
surged forward.
‘Come back, Sadie,’ someone yelled behind her. ‘They’ll murder you.’
Sadie fought through the lines, hauling children out of her way. She felt hands trying to grasp her, but the strength in her body was so great they could not stop her. She reached the group gathered round Brede’s body.
30
A boy caught hold of her roughly.
‘Leave her be,’ said Kevin McCoy quietly, looking up from where he knelt beside his sister.
Sadie knelt beside him.
‘Is she bad?’
‘Think so.’
35
Brede lay still, her arms sprawled at her sides, her eyes closed. There was blood on her head.
The sound of a police siren screamed further along the road. Children flew to right and left, dropping their ammunition as they ran. By the time the police car arrived the street was almost empty. Only four children remained.
Tommy crossed the road to join Sadie and Kevin. He squatted beside them, staring down at Brede.
40
‘Stupid,’ he said. ‘Stupid, stupid, stupid!’
The car doors slammed; two policemen got out and came towards them.
‘Now then, what’s been going on?’
‘We’ll need an ambulance,’ said Kevin.
An ambulance was summoned, and arrived within minutes with its blue light flashing.
45
[…]
Sadie, Tommy and Kevin went into the back of the police car. […]
At the hospital the lights were bright and blinding. Brede was taken away; doors closed behind her.
The waiting-room was warm, but Sadie could not stop shivering. Kevin took a bar of chocolate from his pocket and broke it into three pieces. They ate in silence, sitting side by side on a bench.
50
After a few minutes a police officer appeared to take down their statements. He shook his head.
‘Why can’t you kids keep to your own sides of the road?’
‘Will she die?’ Sadie burst out, unable to control the question any longer.
‘We don’t know yet.’
The door opened, and in came Mr McCoy looking white and shaken. He began to shout when he saw
55
Kevin.
‘I can’t trust you kids an inch. I knew you’d end up in trouble. And there’s your ma in Tyrone[3] …’
‘Come on,’ said the police officer to Sadie and Tommy. ‘I’ll get someone to take you home.’
‘Can’t we wait and see how she is?’ asked Tommy. […]
Sadie looked back at Kevin. ‘I hope she’ll be all right.’
60
Kevin nodded.
They left him with his father. […]
‘If I got my hands on the one that did it!’ said Tommy.
‘Does it matter?’ said Sadie wearily.
‘You mean it could just as easily have been me?’
65
‘Aye. Or me.’
[…]
Joan Lingard, The Twelfth Day of July, London 1970, pp. 117-120

Annotations
[1] Micks: derogatory term for Irish Catholics, comes from "Mc" in many Irish names (McSorley, McNeil, McFlannagan etc.)
[2] ould: here: old
[3] Tyrone: one of the six historic counties of Northern Ireland
#novel
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$\blacktriangleright$  1. Sketch development of conflict
  • Protestant and Catholic teenagers are facing each other on a street
  • tension, no one moves away, voices are raised
  • they offend each other and their religious idols like the Pope or King Billy
  • upon that, stones are being thrown at each other, kids are looking for ammunition on the street (bricks, stones,…)
  • Sadie is in the front line, sees Brede getting hit on the head by a stone
  • Sadie runs for Brede although other kids around her try to stop her
  • Sadie doesn't feel the fever or the excitement anymore, she just feels fear for Brede
  • adrenaline lends her the strength to run toward Brede, kneels down there
  • Kevin, Brede's brother kneels next to her
  • police sirens emerge, fighting kids flee
  • ambulance arrives and drives Brede to a hospital
  • police officer takes their statements (Sadie, her brother Tommy and Kevin)
  • Brede's father appears, explains that he can't trust his children at all
  • Sadie and Tommy go back home, Sadie claims that it doesn't matter who threw the stone, it could as well have been her or her brother
$\blacktriangleright$  2. Analyse the means
Legende:
  • Means: "Evidence"
    $\rightarrow$ Interpretation
Dramatization of situation:
  • simile: "as if a magnet held them there irresistibly" (l. 4)
    $\rightarrow$ fight is bound to happen
  • metaphor: "The moment of quiet passed" (l. 5)
    $\rightarrow$ anticipation of war
  • contrast: "voices were raised, soft and taunting" (l. 5)
    $\rightarrow$ fight has become real, shortly before erupting
  • personification: "Tempers flared." (l. 8)
    $\rightarrow$ emphasizes hatred between two factions
  • simile: "as if a whistle had been blown" (l. 12)
    $\rightarrow$ like a competition at sports, the better may win
  • enumeration: "yelling, cheering, booing" (l. 13)
    $\rightarrow$ different emotions happen at once, all rather violent
  • metaphor: "hands scroured the ground" (l. 13)
    $\rightarrow$ sheer desperation of having to win the fight
  • enumeration: "large stones, small ones, pieces of wood, half-bricks" (l. 14)
    $\rightarrow$ it doesn't matter what kind of ammunition they have, only the aspect of having something to fight with counts
  • simile: "as though a fever possessed her" (l. 16-17)
    $\rightarrow$ anticipation of fight as disease that needs to be cured and which is not normal
  • metaphor: "a yell trapped at the back of her throat" (l. 17)
    $\rightarrow$ anticipation is interrupted by an event
  • anticlimax: "not shouting, or throwing, just standing" (l. 18)
    $\rightarrow$ Brede is not part of the fight, inactive bystander
  • metaphor: "swirling bodies" (l. 21)
    $\rightarrow$ confusedness of fight, fronts are blurring
  • repetition: "Brede! […] Brede was hurt. Brede … why Brede?" (l. 22-23)
    $\rightarrow$ Sadie realizes that the fight is unnecessary, since innocent people are affected and hurt by it
  • lexis of war: "fallen girl", "murder", "fought through the lines" (l. 24, 26, 27)
    $\rightarrow$ seriousness of fight, not just kids' dumb game
  • metaphor: "arms sprawled at her sides" (l. 35)
    $\rightarrow$ Brede lies on the ground forming a cross, reminds of Jesus being crucified
    $\rightarrow$ Brede might have sacrificed herself in order bring peace
  • repetition: "Stupid, […]. Stupid, stupid, stupid!" (l. 40)
    $\rightarrow$ Tommy has realized that what they were doing is utterly wrong
  • antithesis: "The waiting-room was warm, but Sadie could not stop shivering." (l. 48)
    $\rightarrow$ event has affected Sadie deeply
    $\rightarrow$ realizes full extent of what they were doing
  • rhetorical question: "Why can't you kids keep to your sides of the road?" (l. 51)
    $\rightarrow$ police officer can't understand the fight since they are children
$\blacktriangleright$  3. Possible continuation
What will happen to Sadie, Brede, Tommy and Kevin?
  • Sadie and Tommy keep talking about what has happened and they decide that religious conflicts are not worth it
  • don't want anybody to get hurt that they like
  • think about what would happen, if they themselves would get hit $\rightarrow$ sheer terror overcomes them
  • decide to not take part in riots anymore
  • Sadie wants to find out how Brede is, visits her at hospital
  • Brede is awake, but barely conscious, can only tell Sadie that she never wanted this, and that people should live in peace
  • Sadie promises Brede that she will never ever lay a hand on any Catholic, or Catholic property again
  • Sadie has the feeling as though there will be worse things to come but keeps that to herself
  • Tommy comes to visit Brede as well, admits that he has fallen in love with her
  • Sadie invites Kevin over since his parents are always at the hospital
  • Kevin reluctant first, then comes over
  • Sadie's parents strictly against it, but when they see that Kevin is a normal boy, they are willing to let him take part in their family life
  • Sadie goes as far as to detach herself from her religion due to the incidents
  • Kevin associates with older rioters, wants revenge for what Protestants have done to Brede
Background information:
  • series of severe riots known as Northern Ireland riots started in August 1969
  • most bloody rioting was in Belfast, where seven people were killed and hundreds more wounded
  • Catholic Street Bombay Street was burned out completely
  • RUC fired heavy machine gun rounds at a Catholic complex, killing a young boy
  • British Army was deployed to restore order and was initially welcomed by Catholics
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$\blacktriangleright$  1. Sketch development of conflict
The extract of novel The Twelfth Day of July revolves around a street fight between young Protestants and Catholics that emerges due to upcoming Protestand parades. Sadie and Tommy Jackson - Protestant siblings - just got to know the Catholic Kevin and Brede McCoy and find each other in the street fight.
Introduction
On a street in Belfast, many Protestant and Catholic teenagers are facing each other. There is a lot of tension, no one moves away and voices are raised. The teenagers offend each other and their religious idols like the Pope or King Billy. Upon that, stones are being thrown at each other and the kids are looking for ammunition on the streets like bricks, stones or whatever they can find that might hurt the other party. Sadie is in the front line of the Protestants and sees her Catholic friend Brede getting hit on the head by a stone. All of her frustration against the Catholics vanishes and she runs for Brede although the other kids around her try to stop her. Sadie doesn't feel the fever or the excitement anymore, she just feels fear for Brede and adrenaline lends her the strength to run toward Brede. As she kneels next to Brede, she is joined by Brede's brother Kevin. Suddenly, police sirens emerge and upon hearing that the fighting kids flee. Then, an ambulance arrives and brings Brede to a hospital. There, a police officer takes Sadie's, Tommy's and Kevin's statements. When Brede's father appears, he explains that he can't trust his children at all, being disappointed. Sadie and Tommy go back home and Sadie claims that it doesn't matter who threw the stone - it could as well have been her or her brother.
Main Part
In the extract, the far-reaching consequences of the conflict between Catholics and Protestants is brought to the attention of the reader. At the end of the extract, it is made clear that the kids comprehend the full length of their actions and the regret of having conducted them.
Conclusion
$\blacktriangleright$  2. Analyse the means
The situation and the conflict between Catholics and Protestants is presented in a very dramatic way by the author. This manifests in the use of different stylistic devices as well as the narrative perspective.
Introduction
The story is told from an authorial point of view. This has a dramatizing effect because the reader gets to know the whole action and not just parts of it told by only one single person. The writing style adds to that: The conversations have no assigned speaker, so it is hard to tell who is talking to whom. Shortly before the street fight, this has the effect that the reader can't tell with which words the Catholics offend the Protestants and the other way around. This in turn means that the fight is rather silly since the thoughts and actions of Catholics and Protestants are actually the same, making their fight redundant. In addition, the sentences of the dialogues or conversations are very short and kept simple. Given that fact, the reader is free to imagine more of the setting, the gestures or facial expressions of the characters.
Moreover, through the various use of similes, the reader can understand the situation much better. When the author describes the time shortly before the street fight, it is "as if a magnet held them there irresistibly" (l. 4) meaning that the fight is bound to happen, no matter the consequences. The fight is characterized as a competition at sports - the better may win - by the simile "as if a whistle had been blown" (l. 12). In order to grasp the tension of the situation Sadie's attitude towards the fight is described "as though a fever possessed her" (l.16-17).
The author also uses different styles of images to dramatically portray the upcoming fight. The metaphor "The moment of quiet passed." (l. 5) for instance displays the anticipation of war - and not a street fight. The hatred between the two factions is emphasized by the personification "Tempers flared." (l. 8) Also, the sheer desperation of having to win the fight can be seen by the metaphor "hands scoured the ground [for ammunition]" (l. 13). In addition, it doesn't matter what kind of ammunition the kids find, only the aspect of having something to fight with counts (l. 14). The violence of the fight is portrayed by the enumeration "yelling, cheering, booing" (l. 13) - here, different, rather violent emotions happen all at once.
The drastic event that is a turning point for the action is Brede getting hit by a stone. Although it is not as a violent dramatization as the fight, the drama keeps spiraling downwards in that the reader is worried about what happened to Brede. This can directly be felt by the "yell trapped at the back of [Sadie's] throat" (l. 17) - the anticipation of war is abruptly interrupted, at least within Sadie. That Brede wasn't even part of the war but an inactive bystander is made clear by the anticlimax "not shouting, or throwing, just standing" (l. 18). This makes Sadie repetedly think "Brede! […] Brede was hurt. Brede … why Brede?" (l. 22-23). She realizes that the fight is completely unnecessary since innocent people are affected and hurt by it. The seriousness of the fight and the fact that it is not just some kids' dumb game is also emphasized by the choice of words which are associated with war such as "fallen girl", "murder" or "fought through the lines" (l. 24, 26, 27).
Another important image that adds to the dramatic scene is Brede lying on the ground, her "arms sprawled at her sides" (l. 35). This reminds of Jesus being crucified and might mean that Brede might have unconsciously sacrificed herself in order to bring peace. The police officer poses a rhetorical question at the end: "Why can't you kids keep to your sides of the road?" (l. 51) - he wonders why the kids just can't accept the other religion as it is and he also implies that he is sick of those childish games that have turned dangerous.
Main Part
In conclusion, the author uses different ways to dramatize the events happening. Narrative perspective, different images and stylistic devices all add to the dramatic scenes and events and help the reader grasp the severity of the conflict.
Conclusion
$\blacktriangleright$  3. Possible continuation
"Tommy, don't you think that it was all wrong? I mean, look at what happened… We don't know what will happen to Brede, she could be really hurt, she could suffer from paralysis or worse."
"I know. I know. When I even think about the fact that it could have been me who hit Brede, I am literally about to vomit. This is not how it is supposed to be - we are just children, we should be playing in the streets and the worst things we would do is stealing chewing gum from the shops…"
"And now look at us - throwing stones at innocent people - fighting a war that was never meant to be ours, a war that was never meant to exist. I don't want anyone I know and whom I care about to get hurt, just because of those fights…"
"Just imagine if it would have been us… mom and dad would be terrified. Mom would cry all night long, blaming herself and dad would most likely try to find the person who did this to us."
"Tommy, I will never ever participate in such a street fight again and I don't care what other people will think or say about that."
The rain that ran down the bus windows felt somehow calming to Sadie. She was all cold inside, gazing into the nothingness that drifted past her. She didn't know how many bus stops she'd missed but she knew she had to leave the bus when that white, threatening building came into her view. When Sadie entered the hospital, a big screen broadcasting the news greeted her: it depicted a burning street - Bombay Street. That was just around the corner from her home. The sight of it sickened her. She never wanted to see such pictures again.
Brede was awake but barely conscious - apparently, it took all of her strength to talk to Sadie.
"I never wanted that - why can't people just live in peace?"
"I am eternally sorry Brede, I never wanted anything of this to happen. I promise you, I will never ever lay a hand on any Catholic or Catholic property again."
Sadie knew that even worse things than the street fight were going to come but kept that to herself out of fear that Brede might fall unconscious again. There was a knock on the door and Tommy came in.
"Brede! You're awake! Are you all right? I was so worried about you…"
"I will leave you two - I want to talk to Kevin."
Sadie left the hospital, knowing that her brother Tommy would tell Brede how he really felt for her. He was in love with her and the incident had deepened those feelings even further. She also had the feeling that Brede felt the same way about Tommy. Which left her for her next task: to invite Kevin over. There was some strange connection between her and Kevin - they had the same humour, they liked the same food, in fact there was nothing they couldn't talk about with each other. And his parents were always with Brede at the hospital, so she wanted Kevin to come over for dinner. When she ringed his doorbell, Kevin answered it, looking tired and worn. Offering her invitation, Kevin was reluctant to come over at first, but then he agreed to join Sadie and her parents for dinner.
Of course, Sadie's parents hated the idea of having a Catholic in their house. They didn't want to be associated with any of them and were worried what their neighbours might say, if they saw Kevin in their frontyard. Yet, when Sadie insisted on having dinner with Kevin, they noticed that Sadie was serious about it and their parental heart thought that they should take care of Kevin until his parents would be back home. When they saw that Kevin was actually a normal boy, they were more than willing to let him take part in their family life and even offered him to sleep on the couch! …
The events shook Sadie. After the street fight, there were more bloody riots in Belfast, 7 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded. A young boy was killed when the RUC fired heavy machine gun rounds at a Catholic complex.
Being heartbroken about that, Sadie detached herself from her religion completely. Religion was the reason that many people were killed and Sadie couldn't stand the thought that she might pray to a God who let all that sorrow happen. For her, there was no such thing as God anymore.
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