Read the following extract carefully and in write out your responses in paragraph format.
Do not rewrite the question numbers or the questions themselves. The task is to answer them based on your understanding and interpretation of the passage.
Red Dirt Don’t Wash
He stood awkwardly, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, looking through the open pantry window with the dancing eyes of a boy about to receive a treat of good things. But it wasn’t the jam tarts that the maid, Miranda, was taking from the oven and putting in a dish that held his gaze, rapt. It was Miranda herself.
Her trim figure in her blue uniform, chic, neat fitting, made his eyes swim in his head. It was as though, whenever she was in sight, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. She ravished his senses. And simple country yokel that he was he didn’t know how to set about making a girl like Miranda. For Miranda was city-bred, and house broke, and all the things that he wasn’t. She had training. She had refinement, culture.
And she let him help her after his work in the garden was over. She had let him stand near as near to her over the kitchen sink and wash dishes and feel the presence of her, the delicious, maddening nearness of her go through him like sharp knives, like red hot needles. She smelt like a lady. It made his head reel. Made him aware of his own grossness, his own inferiority, his own lack of polish and refinement. Made him aware of his own soiled and patched clothes, and his own large bare feet, his own rough red skin.
Once or twice he saw her walking out with nice looking young men — chauffeurs, and such. He envied them. Not alone because she was walking out with them, but because of something they had that he lacked. A poise, a certain assurance that was almost swagger. Shoes on their feet. The way they wore their clothes.
One evening as he walked home with her — he suddenly blurted out … “I would like for you to come out with me, once in a while. Eh?”
“Movies?” It was a bold gesture. He had never been to a movie in his life … now he was asking this girl to go with him. Just like that. Unconsciously, he was taking on to himself some of the easy swagger of the young men he’d seen Miranda with. He said, coming closer to her, “What say we go to a movie Sat’day night? You’n me. Eh?” She looked up at his face … and away … and down at his feet.
Suddenly, unexpectedly, she burst out laughing. She just fell on the bank and squealed with laughter. She was one for laughing! But it did something to him.
Adapted from Roger Mais, “Red Dirt Don’t Wash”.
1 Explain or comment on the effectiveness of the title,
2 How are these two personalities different and state what effect that Miranda had on the narrator.
3 What kind of music would enhance the meaning of this story. Give the first four lines of the song Explain the reason for your choice
4 You are the narrator or Miranda. Write a love note or text, in no more than 50 words to Miranda, explaining your deepest feelings.
5 Using the last sentence of the story, imagine that they met ten years after. Write a dramatic or prose dialogue(conversation) or a paragraph detailing this encounter.
6 Look closely at the underlined sections. In your own words explain their meanings.
7 Suggest what effect Miranda’s laughter had on the narrator (lines 29–31).