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‘I am David’ Answers to blue booklet
Chapter 1: • Why was David so sceptical about the instructions given to him to escape? David was sceptical because the instructions had been given to him by “the man”, someone he did not like nor trust. • Make a list of three things that David anticipated were going to go wrong during his attempt to escape. • The searchlight would swing around and find him as he was trying to escape • He would be shot • He felt he would be unable to move when the time came.
3. What were the meagre supplies that David was given for his journey? David was given a bottle, a compass, a box of matches, a large loaf of bread and a pocket knife (plus the cake of soap that he had requested). 4. Find the quote that gives David the instructions that he would need to get to Denmark and copy the quote directly into your book. You should put the quote in inverted commas and provide the page number in brackets after the quote. “Follow the compass southwards till you get to Salonica, ad then when no one’s looking go on board a ship and hide. You’ll have to stay hidden while the ship’s at sea, and you’ll need the water. Find a ship that’s bound for Italy, and when you get there go north till you come to a country called Denmark – you’ll be safe there” (p2).
5. Make a list of the different emotions that David would have experienced in this chapter and beside each, make a note of the incident that would have triggered the emotion. You should aim for at least 5 different emotions. (e.g. loneliness, confusion, doubt, anxiety etc). • doubt: could he trust “the man”? • fear: would he be shot dead as he tried to escape? • courage: working up the nerve to escape even though the possibility of dying was very real • relief: of discovering that “the man” had been telling him the truth all along; that he didn’t end up dead after all • loneliness: at night, being all by himself • anxiety: of being caught; not being able to go in the right direction • fear: of being found by people (after the sheep had discovered him).
6. Who do you think Johannes was? What do we learn about him in this first chapter? Johannes was a man at the camp who looked after/out for David. He may have been an older man who was a very good friend, maybe his father (but why call him Johannes?) 7.During his time in the camp, David experiences very little else other than ugliness and cruelty. This is quite different from the world that he discovers outside the camp. (pp 28-29) David sees colour – it is so beautiful that it makes him cry: the blue sea, the green and gold of the land; the red of flower; the bright colours of the villages; the warm golden loveliness of the sun. this contrasts strongly against the dull, colourless scenery of the camp.
Chapter 2 • For the first time (p32), David states: ‘I am David’, something he repeats throughout the novel. Why do you think it might be important for him to state this? It would be important for David to state “I am David” as the camp had stripped away his identity. By stating who he is, he asserts his newfound freedom. Note how he washes the dirt off – a symbolic gesture of ridding himself of the labour came and all that it stood for. • How many languages can David speak and how would this be advantageous to him? David can speak the following languages: what “they” had spoken (possibly Russian or Bulgarian), French, German, Italian, English, Spanish and Hebrew. This would have been very beneficial as he would be able to communicate with others in the various countries where he had to travel.
3. How do you think he learned to speak so many different languages? Johannes taught him French. He would have learned the other languages through the other prisoners who seemed to come from different places. Children can pick up languages very easily so this probably why David was able to learn so many. 4. On page 38, it is stated: “If he wanted to preserve his freedom, he would have to keep right away from [people]”. Why does David think this to be the case? David fears that somebody might work out that he is on the run and report him. He doesn’t know the political beliefs of people in Italy; he also suspects that “they” will be searching for him. Therefore, the fewer people with whom he has contact, the better.
5. Explain what the following metaphor means: “David ran into the blank wall of his own ignorances” (p39). David knows nothing about himself – where he was born, what country he originated from, who his parents are. Because he doesn’t know any of these things, he really doesn’t know where it will be safe. 6. David realises that he must come up with a good story that he can use to explain to people why he is alone and seemingly “on the run”. What story does he produce? David decides to tell people that he is on his way to rejoin a circus (in some far away town). He will say that he had fallen ill and had to stay behind until he was well enough to catch up again.
7. David realises that there is much beauty in the world as he continues his journey. Name five different things that he finds beautiful (p50), and explain why he finds them so. Now make a list of three things that you find beautiful and give an explanation as to why you find them beautiful. David finds the following things beautiful: the sea, the coastline that curved along the shores, the different colours like red, blue and green, the flowers and the houses. Like David, I also find the coastline beautiful and love walking along the beaches, I think that the colours that sunsets make in winter, especially when looking over the cane fields are beautiful and I love the fragrance of a fresh bunch of flowers.
8. There is an old saying that states: “The eyes are the windows to the soul”. What do you think this means? Throughout the novel, people are intrigued by David’s eyes, but he does not understand why his eyes are so special. Imagine you are looking into David’s eyes. Comment on what you think they would look like and what they might tell you about him and his life so far. It means that our eyes tell a lot about us – that our eyes don’t lie. I would imagine that David’s eyes would look sad, lost, lonely, confused, frightened, like they had known great pain and suffering. I would not expect them to be bright and shining or sparkling with happiness, except if I caught him looking at the ocean or the things he found beautiful. Then I suspect that they would be full of wonder and awe.