Monday, 24 January 2011

Black Beauty: Settings

Mid 1800's

horse as transportation
roads made of stones

pg 12

Reuben Smith incident

Pg 14

During Winter
Page 48
A horse during winter

Kind towards animals
The act of being kind towards animals





Farmer Grey's farm

Neighbour's farm


Birtwick Park

A stable of Squire Gordon's friend

Horse Fair

London Bridge

Monday, 17 January 2011

Black Beauty: Theme

Theme in literature is defined as the idea or the gist of the story. There are main theme and sub-themes. Usually, the main theme is revealed during the climax of the story (refer to the first post)

Mistreatment of Animals
  • A man wretched a pony's head and whipped it with excuse that it did not want to follow his will - Chapter 11
  • A boy tried to force a pony to jump over a fence, mercilessly ignoring that it was incapable of doing so - Chapter 13
  • Many drivers think of horse as if it were a steam engine , expecting it to go far and fast with a large load - Chapter 29
  • Seedy Sam misused his cab horses, disregarding their well-being

Loyalty of a Horse to Its Master
  • Black Beauty left stable when James came for him during the fire. It is normally hard to get a horse to do so in such condition - Chapter 16 & 17
  • Black Beauty galloped as fast as he can to get to the doctor for his sick mistress. He also brought the doctor back as quickly as possible to the house even though he was already tired - Chapter 18
Love Between Animals
  • Black Beauty sympathized Ginger's shortcomings, being whipped, overworked and misused by her new driver - Chapter 40
Love Towards Animals
  • 1st master spoke as kindly to the horse as he did to his little children. A ploughboy, Dick, who threw sticks and stones at the horses were scolded by the master - Chapter 1
  • Joe Green tried to stop a cater from unmercifully shouting and flogging two horses - Chapter 20
  • Jerry took as much pains to see if the collar and bridle fitted comfortably. Jerry also gave horses rest on Sunday - Chapter 33

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Black Beauty: Characters

Definition of characters: Characters are the role in the story. Without the characters, it is as if you went to a play without actors and actresses. Characters can be divided into round and flat, and also dynamic and static characters. The main character is known as protagonist while the opposing character is known as antagonist. In the black beauty context, I will divide the characters into three types; good human being, bad human being and animals.

Mr Douglas Squire Gordon
A very kind and loving master,
a very fine judge of horses.

James Howard
stable boy,
he is gentle and clever when dealing with horses
had to Birtwick Park for another job

John Manly
considerate to the horses,
never uses brutality,
tend to Black Beauty when he is ill

Mr Jakes
An owner who uses Black Beauty as a work horse,
forcing him to carry heavy loads

Mr Nicholas Skinner
A ruthless cab horse owner who wears out horses
through hard work and mistreatment
He was cruel to his pony by using the whip
brutally that it hurts the pony

Captain Langley
Treated his horses like his military men

Darkie/Black Beauty/Black Auster/Jack
The narrator of the story, a black horse with a white diamond-shaped pattern on his head
After a bad accident with Reuben Smith, he was no longer considered as presentable, so he had to do harder work than before. He had several masters, some are cruel, some are kind and loving.
The horse was really royal to his master. Once, he saved his master from falling into a pond by using his instinct
He had a mother named Duchess and a brother, called Rob Roy

A short, white handsome pony that is polite to both humans and horses.
The young daughters at Birtwick Park used to ride him before he was sent to live with a vicar who promised never to sell him

Black Beauty's companion at Birtwick Park. She is named for her chestnut colour and her biting habit
Due to the mistreatment that she received in the past, she was aggressive towards human
She died because of cruelty of human

Sir Oliver
An older horse who had his tails docked in order to satisfy human's sense of fashion
It caused him great annoyance and discomfort

A five-year old horse bought as replacement for Captain

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Black Beauty: Plot

Literature is a form of art used to express the author's messages and emotions. For example, most folk tales contain moral values that are conveyed to the readers by the events in the story. In the Malaysian context, Pak Pandir is a good example of literary text that could conveys the messages and values well. The story is entertaining and most of the children love it. Indirectly, the readers of all age would learn from the story itself.

The literary text that I would like to highlight in this post is Black Beauty. The only piece written by Anna Sewell, Black Beauty is a story told from the views of a graceful black horse from the days when it was until it became old. Like any other literary text, Black Beauty contains the literary elements; plot, characters, settings, point of views, symbols, themes and tones. In this post, I would focus more on the plot of the story.

There are five stages in the plot of Black Beauty;

is meant to expose the readers with the background of the story and the main character. The story started when the horse tells the story about his memory as a young colt at a pleasant meadow. From this context, the readers could infer the life of the horse when it was young. The horse also mentioned about it's breaking in process in order to get used with sounds and things that could distract the horse.

As for Rising Action, it is actually made of conflicts and events that is experienced by the protagonist which would direct the story towards the climax. The black horse was sent to a neighbour's pasture near a railroad and prepared to start work. Then, it is sold to Squire Gordon and live comfortably in Birtwick Hall for three years. This is the place where he met other horses like Merrylegs, Ginger and Sir Oliver. In one event, when Black Beauty and Ginger were on their way away from Birtwick, they were caught in a fire. Luckily they managed to escape with the help of James.

Climax is the greatest point of the story. Through these tips, you can identify the climax easily:
The turning point of the story
Usually reveals a missing point in the story
Protagonist experiences a change
Reveals the theme
Black Beauty was sold to Earshall Park and called Black Auster. In an event, Black Beauty was hurt when he was driven by Reuben Smith who was drunk at that time. Smith died while Black Beauty suffered from his ruined knees.

Falling Action occurs after climax where the readers can see the protagonist after the changes occurred and it leads to the Resolution of the story. In Black Beauty's context, he is separated from Ginger and sold to Jerry Barker at a horse fair. Black Beauty works as a horse cab and happened to see Ginger, who was badly treated as a cab horse. Ginger yearns for death as she was in much pain. After awhile, Black Beauty happens to see Ginger's body being carted away.

Resolution is the part where the problems are solved. In other words, it is the end of a story. In Black Beauty's story, the resolution occurred when Black Beauty was taken to an auction where he was sold to Farmer Thorough and his grandson. They believe that they could rehabilitate broken horses like Black Beauty in their country meadow. They succeeded in their work and sold Black Beauty to Ellen and Lavinia Blomefield. Joe Green is still working for the Blomefield. Joe Green was still working for the Blomefield family and recognized Black Beauty, who then settled into a long, happy life in his last home.