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"Hieroglyphics" by Anne Donovan.

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Introduction

"Hieroglyphics" by Anne Donovan Katrina Walker Mary Ryan is a character that creates a mixture of feelings in the reader: sadness, pity and admiration. Show how the writer successfully portrays Mary's ability to cope with her disadvantages in the story and overcome her difficulties to evoke strong emotions in those around her. "Hieroglyphics" by Anne Donovan is a very appealing and inspirational short story, concentrating on the learning difficulties a young girl has to cope with. The main character in this story is a girl called Mary who is struggling with dyslexia and the social prejudices she has to tolerate from the people surrounding her. Mary is a very optimistic and intelligent 12 year old and in this story her thought and feelings are explained with the story carefully being written in first person narrative using Scots language. Mary manages to overcome the difficulties in her learning by remaining proud of all the work she produces and not being ashamed of the person she is and the point that she cannot read and write as well as others her age. This portrays the positive and important message to be yourself and not allow others to ridicule you. Mary's problems are dismissed in primary school and she is treated extremely unfairly. Her teachers assumed she was not putting the effort she should have been into her assignments and not achieving the level of work she was capable of: "She lacks concentration". ...read more.

Middle

Mary believed that they are the stupid ones and she thought that they should acknowledge her intelligence. She recognises their lack of discretion whilst they are talking about her and accepts their comment without getting angry. Mr Kelly is an arrogant and impatient teacher who prefers to teach children in the traditional approach. The controlling way and fast speed in which Mr Kelly teaches has a negative impact on Mary.Mr Kelly has great significance in Mary's life and deliberately makes Mary feel unwanted and a nuisance. He particularly picks on Mary, as she is especially vulnerable and exposed because of her learning disorder. By bullying Mary he feels as if he feels like he has more power as he can mentally squash her without effort. Animal and circus imagery is used to describe the classroom situation with Mr Kelly. The children in the class are being compared to fast racehorses and obedient circus lions and Mr Kelly is being described as a cruel ringmaster: "If ye kin imagine the class like a field of racehorses then he wus gaun at such a pelt that only the furst two or three could keep up wi him..." the youngsters in the classroom are being compared to racehorses here. The children are writing at a fast speed representing the quick pace at which horses move in a race. There are many children in the class as there are many horses in a race. ...read more.

Conclusion

The writer is trying to convey this message and the fact that Mary should not get into trouble just because her handwriting is messy and unlike the other children's. Everyone is different and Mary should not be discriminated against. The handwriting is a metaphor for people and how different we are. We know Mary is happy being herself at the end of the story by the description of the way she puts her story "right on tap ae the pile and planted the whole lot doon in the centre of his desk" all "wi a cheery face". We admire Mary for being such a cheery character and proud of all her work She is overcoming her difficulties and her selflessness and sense of humour about life is extremely admirable. Mary creates a great mixture of strong emotions in those around her. Although we feel sadness and pity for her due to the challenges she faces, we admire her for her ability to be herself despite the circumstances. I have learnt how important it is for you to be yourself throughout life and not allow others to degrade and upset you intentionally. Mary is a very strong character who manages to overcome the obstacles she has faced so far in her life. The writer's powerful message to always be yourself no matter what difficulties in your learning you may stumble over was conveyed very well. This point is relevant to everyone's life because everybody will come across a difficulty in their learning and in their daily lives at some point in their lifetime. ...read more.

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