Journey by Patricia Grace

The writer

Patricia Grace

-Write briefly about the context (setting)

New Zealand

Maoris/Pakehas (their relatioship to the land). Why do Maori spiritual beliefs favour burial over cremation?

Process of colonization and decolonization

The story

Analysis on the story

Group work:

Answer the following questions in a google presentation (June 29)

  • What is the purpose of the old man’s journey?
  • To what extent did the officials listen to the old man? Find a quote that supports your point of view and suggest what tone the remarks are made in.
  • ‘And anyway Sir there’s no advantage do you think in you people all living in the same area.’ Why do the authorities think there isn’t any benefit to the family living close together?
  • ‘Why does the old man want to be cremated instead of buried?
  • How do the opening two paragraphs and the closing passage from ‘They were quiet wondering if he would say anything else,…’ reflect the Uncle’s changing mood?
  • Why do you think the story concludes with Uncle ‘looking at the palm of his hands’
  • Grace employs a motif of blindness / sight throughout the story, why do you think?‘Yes he knows all about those things, he’s not deaf and blind yet, not only by a long shot.’ ’…they’ve got the name of the canoes spelt wrong, his old eyes aren’t as blind as that.’

    ‘His eyes are still good enough to look all over the paper and see his land there, and to see that his land has been shaded in and ‘Off Street Parking’ printed on it.’

    • Why do you think Grace gave the ‘a’ in admiration a capital letter in this phrase; ‘..and roadways threading up and round the hills to layer on layer of houses, even in the highest and steepest places. He was filled with admiration. Filled with Admiration…but yes he was filled right to the top-it made him tired taking it all in.’?
    • Comment closely on the ending of the story.

Extension Questions (July 4)

a. Write at least two sentences on how the old man views the land and the way the Pakeha have ‘developed it’?  Do embed a short quote into each sentence.

b. Use the quotes above or others from the text and your knowledge of the old man’s character to write at least two sentences on what kind of person he is. Do include an embedded quote in each sentence.

c. What is your opinion on how Grace has structured the story: consider the physical journey, opening and ending taxi rides, and the reader’s journey

Individual work: choose an option to write an essay

  1. Discuss the narrator’s character in ‘Journey’ by Patricia Grace, to what extent do you sympathise with his attitude to the land?

2. How does Grace make you feel about the elderly narrator in Journey?

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