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Ministry of Education.

Exemplar A: Achievement

Explain how characters in two short stories are ‘out of their comfort zones’ and respond to the situations they face

Develops and structures ideas.

Clearly structured:

  • an introduction
  • separate paragraphs exploring how each story is linked to the theme
  • a conclusion

Willie Davis’s ‘Ka Kite Bro’ and Witi Ihimaera’s ‘My First Ball’ both feature Maori characters who feel ‘out of their comfort zones.’ Both the main characters, Tama and Tuta, find different ways through the situations they face.

In ‘Ka Kite Bro,’ Tama has to find his way of saying farewell to his friend who has been killed. Tama feels out of his comfort zone, because the people around him do not understand that he needs to say goodbye to Darryl in his own way. When Tama tries to explain about the hongi to a teacher at his school, she tells him that it’s “disgusting” and that “you should keep your culture and your nose to yourself.” At the traditional pakeha funeral Tama has the courage to farewell Darryl in his way. As Tama leans over his friend in the coffin he whispers, “all I wanted was to see you and say goodbye the only way I knew how.” Finally he can bow and hongi his mate. Tama also says “Ka kite ano”, so he is able to say his goodbyes to his friend in a way that is culturally meaningful for him.

In ‘My First Ball’’, Tuta also has to overcome a situation that feels strange for him. He is invited to a formal ball at Government House. He feels uncomfortable right from the start when the doorman mispronounces his name as “Mr Tutae Tockypocka.” Tuta does his best to follow the formal etiquette at the ball, but just ends up feeling miserable. Tuta finds a way of dealing with this situation when he meets Joyce who also feels out of place. They both decide to dance and enjoy themselves: “Let’s show them how to dance, how to enjoy themselves. These Pakehas, they don’t know how to live.” This shows that it is important to face up to challenges and deal with them in a way that feels right for you and not to pretend as Tuta did at first by trying to follow the ball etiquette.

I think that both Tama and Tuta are similar because they are prepared to do something about the situations they face. They both show strength of character to find a way through their problems.

Uses language features.

Appropriate vocabulary choices made.

Range of syntax used.

Text conventions used accurately.

Published on: 23 Nov 2010