Going Places by A R Barton is the story of a teenage girl and her fantasies. She was a liar with great ambitions. Once she lied to her brother, father and friend that she met Danny Casey, an Irish footballer. She lied to assert her social status but no one took it very seriously. The story ends with Sophie believing her own lie and becoming the victim of her lie. Not only that she believed in the lie but also waited for Casey in the park!

Lesson Plan
  1. Sophie and Jansie
  2. Sophie’s family
  3. Sophie’s tells a lie
  4. Sophie in the park
  5. Walking Home
Before you proceed, have an idea how Sophie told her lies effectively:
  • Introduce the lie to a simple, trusted person. Remember, she told the lie to Geoff.
  • In case the first listener is suspicious of you, tell him that he was the first one you broke the news to and also pretend that you are pretty wounded by his question, “Have you told this to anyone else?”.
  • Wait for some time. Geoff will spread the news to his friends, not the entire news, but half of it. Do not be impatient.
  • Soon, one of your friends will come to you, anxious, curious, and will ask you, “Sophie, I heard that you and he are in relation…” or just kind of.
  • Do not admit it. On the contrary, pretend that you are broken, scattered because Geoff should not have told that “secret” to any one. (In fact you have been waiting for this!)
  • When your drama takes effects, just ask the second person, “Well, how much did he tell you?”
  • She will tell you half of your lie, because Geoff had told only this much to his friends. Then you have to say, “Thank god! He didn’t tell you everything. After all, there are people whom I can trust!”
  • This will intensify the curiosity in Jansie. She will insist upon telling the “other half of the story.”
  • Pretending you are unwilling to tell anymore, tell the other part of the lie. This will definitely work.
  • Now, Jansie will do the rest.

Opening – Sophie and Jansie

Sophie cherished very expensive dreams. In spite of being poor, she dreamed to become an actress, fashion designer, manager, etc. Although her friends and family advised her to be practical, Sophie didn’t listen to any one.

Questions
  1. What were Sophie’s plans after her schooling was completed?
    Sophie had a number of plans for her future. She wanted to open a boutique or the most popular shop in the city, work as the manager of the biscuit factory or become an actress like Mary Quant or a fashion designer.
  2. How did Jansie respond to Sophie’s plans?
    Although Jansie was Sophie’s loyal friend, the former was sad that Sophie dreamed of unattainable heights. She knew that Sophie was not really going to be a manager, however talented she was. She also knew that Sophie could never open a boutique or shop because they involved big investment. All she knew was that children like she and Sophie were earmarked to work in the biscuit factory as low-grade workers.
  3. What were Jansie’s advice for Sophie?
    Be Sensible, practical, dad would not allow, they would not make a fresher their manager.
  4. Do you think Sophie appears to be impractical? Explain with an example.
    Sophie was a dreamer at its chronic stage and was therefore impractical in her behavior. She used to jump from one to another plan, all beyond her reach. Once she told her friend Jansie that she would start a boutique. When Jansie commented that it would not be possible for her, Sophie changed her plan and quickly went on planning to be an actress, a manager or a fashion designer, all beyond her reach.
  5. Why did Sophie, then, make such big plans?
    Sophie was poor and was aware of that yet she was not able to accept the fact. Between facts and desires, she struggled to build a dreamy world of hers where she had expensive friends and sought-after boutique. In this world she was a manager, an actress and the centre of attraction. Thus, by creating this fairy world, Sophie made her dreams take wings and fly.

Next – Sophie’s Family

Sophie was a British teenage girl. She belonged to a poor family. Her father worked for daily wages, her elder brother Geoff was a motor mechanic, her mother managed home and younger brother Derek was too small.

She had a lot of unfulfilled dreams. She wanted to own a boutique, she wanted to be an actress, she wanted to be a fashion designer and much more. She longed to be anything that was beyond her reach. When she could not achieve them she satisfied herself by telling lies and enjoying when people believed her.

Questions
  1. Geoff was an entirely different character from Sophie. Explain.
    Geoff was Sophie’s elder brother. He was a very practical young man. He dreamed to become a motor mechanic and worked hard for it and became one. He took life with all its struggles and conquered it as much as he could. But Sophie lived in her dreams and found enjoyment and realization in dreams. She was never ready to struggle.
  2. Why was Sophie jealous of Geoff?
    Sophie was a nonstop speaker. Whatever she talked was impracticality and lie. But on the other side Geoff was a silent young man. His silence gave him a lustrous personality. Sophie always wanted to be able to hold her tongue but was never able to do so and this made her jealous of Geoff’s silence.
  3. What was Geoff’s unknown world that Sophie believed to have existed? Did this world really exist?
    Sophie believed that Geoff had a world unknown to her, that existed in the city. In that world there were exotic and interesting people. No, this world did not really exist.
  4. ‘Sophie wished she could be admitted more deeply into her brother’s affections.’ What does she mean by her brother’s affections?
    Sophie’s world was one of fantasy. Her brother Geoff was a very practical young man with an urge to work hard. Unlike Sophie, he was very silent. Sophie believed that Geoff had a world of great friends and lovers, unknown to her. After thinking so over and over, Sophie began to believe that Geoff’s world was real and wanted to be considered very important among Geoff’s friends.
  5. Evaluate Sophie from her feeling that the city expectantly awaited her arrival?
    Even though Sophie was a poor teenager, she had expensive dreams. She could not accept the fact that she was poor. She considered her to be a rich city girl. She considered herself to be very important for the city. She placed herself to be the centre of the city life. From all this Sophie appears to be an impractical girl who lived in a world of dreams.
  6. Why did Sophie give an extra importance to Geoff by showing that she was ‘chastened by his unawareness?’
    One of Sophie’s tricks while telling lies was to pass the lie first to Geoff, her brother. Geoff was a simpleton and easily believed her stories. When Geoff asked her whether she had told their father about her meeting Danny Casey, Sophie expressed her pain and agitation at his forgetting that he was always the first one to whom she disclosed her top secrets. In fact the purpose of making Geoff feel that he was very important to Sophie was to make him believe her by pleasing him.

Next – Sophie Tells a Lie

Biju John is an educational writer, educator and the author of OM - The Otherwise Men. He gives live classes on Skype and Facebook. You can attend his 3 Day Classes (English & Business Studies) in Delhi, Bangalore, Qatar and Dubai. His Contact number is 91 9810740061.

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