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A Certain Night sample essay

Knowledge and Understanding 1. As it is quite obvious in the story, the narrator does not think that these men and women deserve to die. This is abundant when in the very last line of the story the narrator states, “when will it be light?” 2. Throughout the story, the narrator describes the communists as young, brave and handsome, although they are powerless martyrs. The narrator makes the nationalist seem “murderous looking,” and “cunning, malicious and smug.” The chief executioner has a “revolting moustache,” and an “evil voice”, as well as an “ugly and vicious face, which seemed to symbolize the cruelty of all the rulers to the oppressed.” This made it easy enough to distinguish between the communists and the nationalists.

3. The nationalists regard to the commended prisoners with no respect at all. It was because they didn’t care for them, because they were communists, and the nationalist police were just there to execute them. They were very rough towards them as they “pushed them clumsily and hard, hitting them with rifle butts and putting ropes round their chest to tie them…” As well, they would refer to them as “criminals”, as they would count them one by one making them seem no more important than counting the hairs on your chin. The nationalist’s regards towards these prisoners were cruel and very careless. 4. Near the beginning of the story, the young poet becomes overthrown by anger and pain that he actually passes out. Once he saw a familiar face, he began to calm down and gather a sense of encouragement. This familiar face started to make him feel more brave and resolute. Near the end, the mood is totally flipped around when they remembered their government was being formed. Their attitudes were now positive as they died, proudly singing for their country.

5. Ting Ling wrote this store to raise awareness of the disapproving murders the nationalist party committed. I think she honored her husband with the passionate, loyal, hardworking poet. Maybe she wrote this story more for her self, as a forever memory of her husband. Not only of his death, but also by showing her passion for her beliefs. 6. A major theme in the story is to stand your ground, and fight for what you believe in. In other words, be willing to die for what you stand for, but proudly. Another theme is showing the absolute cruelty of humans. It is showing the brutal behaviors humans can portray on one another.

Thinking and Inquiry 1. The tone of this story is dark and bitter. Ting Ling achieves this in the characters emotions throughout the story. This is also shown through imagery, through the gloomy vibe of the story. Ting Ling used figurative language and vivid descriptions to make the story come across as both bitter and dark. 2. The setting of the story contributes to the tone because it is set up during a dark, cold, windy, snowy night. The overall mood of the story was both gloomy and somber, which contributes to the tone I think Ting Ling was going for. Everything from the prisoners falling down in the snow, to the soldiers stomping throughout it, made the tone come alive through the text.

3. There are many different symbols throughout the story. For the chief executioner, he resembles both cruelty and oppression whereas the young poet symbolizes innocence and better reform. At the end when the prisoners are singing to their death, it shows a sense of resistance, which symbolizes the acceptance of their death. 4. The sound of trampling feet connotes punishment as a result of the communists standing up for their beliefs. It also shows desperation because the prisoners have basically hit rock bottom, and have nothing left to do. Ting Ling repeats this image to implement the despair in the prisoners, and to get the point across.

5. This story reflects a political bias because they make the communists seem innocent, as if they have done nothing wrong. Not saying they are innocent, but it is persuading the audience as if they are so. Yes, it is wrong for the nationalists to execute them, but you don’t hear the past story between the two groups. Therefore, it reflects a political bias by only showing the “innocence” of the communists.

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