Class 12 English Flamingos

Going Places

A.R. Barton

Think As You Read

Question 1: Where was it most likely that the two girls would find work after school?

Answer: At a shop, as salesgirls

Question 2: What were the options that Sophie was dreaming of? Why does Jansie discourage her from having such dreams?

Answer: Sophie wants to open a boutique, or become an actress or a fashion designer. Jansie probably has her feet firmly on ground. She understands the harsh realities of life of a lower-class family. So, Jansie discourages Sophie from having such dreams.

Question 3: Why did Sophie wriggle when Geoff told her father that she had met Danny Casey?

Answer: Sophie knew that her father would just laugh off considering at as a teenager’s fancy. So, Sophie wriggled when Geoff told her father that she had met Danny Casey.

Question 4: Does Geoff believe what Sophie says about her meeting with Danny Casey?

Answer: Initially, Geoff did not believe but when Sophie could give details about Casey’s looks and manners Geoff began to believe.

Question 5: Does her father believe her story?

Answer: No, because he considers it as one of the wild stories of Sophie.

Question 6: How does Sophie include her brother Geoff in her fantasy of her future?

Answer: Sophie tried to explain in detail whatever happened when she met Danny Casey. She explained about the encounter, about her desire for autograph and lack of pen and paper for the autograph to be signed. She also said that Casey was not involved with any girl. At the end of their dialogue Sophie even spoke good about the handsome looks of Geoff.

Question 7: Which country did Danny Casey play for?

Answer: Ireland

Question 8: Why didn’t Sophie want Jansie to know about her story with Danny?

Answer: Jansie was famous for telling everything to everybody. Sophie wanted to keep it a secret. So, she didn’t want Jansie to know about her story with Danny.

Question 9: Did Sophie really meet Danny Casey?

Answer: It is difficult to answer. She may have met Danny Casey or may have been hallucinating the way any teenager would do.

Question 10: Which was the only occasion when she got to see Danny Casey in person?

Answer: During the football match

Understanding the Text

Question 1: Sophie and Jansie were class-mates and friends. What are the differences between them that show up in the story?

Answer: Sophie and Jansie are friends but they are different from each other. Sophie has the ability to dream the way a teenager does. She makes grandiose plans about her future, be it career choice or choice of a life partner. Jansie, on the other hand, is rooted to the ground. She understands the realities of life. She makes practical and realistic plans about future.

Question 2: How would you describe the character and temperament of Sophie’s father?

Answer: Sophie’s father is a genial person who is satisfied with what life has to offer. He understands the psychology of his children. He loves to watch football and going to pub, like a typical English and Irish fellow. His opinion about a teenager is always full of doubts which is natural for any person of his age.

Question 3: Why did Sophie like her brother Geoff more than any other person? From her perspective, what did he symbolise?

Answer: Geoff is an introvert person. He is trying to carve out a career in his chosen field. Being an introvert, he is a good listener. Sophie gets a compassionate listener in him. Sophie is confident of sharing all her secrets with Geoff. For sophie, he is a good companion and friend she can rely on in times of need.

Question 4: What socio-economic background did Sophie belong to? What are the indicators of her family’s financial status?

Answer: Sophie belongs to the lower class family. Jansie’s foretelling about the likelihood of them ending at a shop as salesgirl gives the first indication. Some hints of her kitchen, rooms and furnitures give another clue. Her mother’s bowed back wrapped around with delicate strings of apron perfectly portrays the look of an overworked matron in a lower-income household.

Talking About the Text

Question 1: Sophie’s dreams and disappointments are all in her mind.

Answer: Most of the teenagers harbour grandiose dreams about life. Sophie is also dreaming like kids of her age. It is said that one should never stop from dreaming. Most of the dreams never turn into reality. Nevertheless, dreams motivate us to think and work towards a better future. Disappointments often come at our step because most of the dreams are never fulfilled. But disappointments make you a more resilient person. Sophie is yet to take a concrete step towards any of her dreams. So, we can say that Sophie’s dreams and disappointments are all in her mind.

Question 2: It is natural for teenagers to have unrealistic dreams. What would you say are the benefits and disadvantages of such fantasising?

Answer: It is true that most of the dreams of a teenager are unrealistic. But such dreams motivate a teenager to work hard to achieve success in life. Sometimes, unrealistic dream can make a person sel-centered and oblivious to the outside world. It may take him far from the realities.