IGCSE Paper 1 Question answers

WOLF BOY

Interviewer: Narsingh, what were you thoughts and feeling when you found the boy?

Narsingh: First, to be frank I was a bit taken aback. When I first heard the noise he made I thought it was an animal. So first I decided to hide myself and move stealthily towards him. When I found that the noise was made by a human being, I was surprised by how he looked, dark skin, long fingernails like claws, matted hair and his teeth looked pointed all of which made me think I was looking at a wolf cub. He ran like a wolf but not as fast as the wolf cubs with him. I felt a pain inside me to see him like that but when I tried to carry him away he bit me on my arm but I could wrap him in a towel and tie him on to my cycle.

Interviwer: Why are you so sure that he was brought up by the wolves?

Narsingh: First, he was seen with wolf cubs but he never let my own children play with him. He preferred to play with dogs. Second, he looked like one of them, we all like to look like who we are with. Furthermore, he would have learned to walk from his foster parents. He even had a scar on his temples from how the wolf had carried him between her teeth. His voice resembled that of a wolf, he would walk only on all fours, kept to darkness, wanted to go with the jackals when he heard them howling, and could smell easily and would even run for it. He ate chicken alive along with their entrails.

Interviwer: How do you think he will develop?

Narsingh: Frankly, I don’t have much hope he will grow up normal. He might find some way of expressing himself. I am trying my best to take him off his nonveg diet, see we are vegetarians here. When force fed he may become frustrated in the beginning but will eventually come around. I can get him do small errands for me, and I want him to socialize with others. That is why I have brought him to the children’ home.

2. curl up in dark places: Darkness always hints at the unknown. Though the writer is mentioning only a habit of Shamdeo, the reference to dark places drags in a strong element of fear. This image of the boy curling up in dark places (the monosyllables also help to suggest potential springing up) not only bring to our mind the pitiable image of a helpless boy caught between the life of two different species, but also it revives our fear of the unknown hinting at what the boy might do, if given a chance. The animal nature which was nurtured in him by the world mother lies curled up within him. The writer is also reinforcing very subtly whatg he has referred to earlier when he said ‘lurking in the shadows’.

growling noises: This auditory image is very important for the story at this point where the boy is beginning to adapt with other human beings. He can’t even utter a single word and still makes only noises. By referring to the noises as ‘growling’ we are reminded of the atmosphere of wolves where the boy had spent a long time. Though it is used only to describe the boy’s utterance, the phrase has a element of wilderness about it which helps to give the writing it proper tone.

howled like vampires: An effective allusion. Vampires, other than vampire bats, is a myth and so are the wolf children to a large extent. This article is about real wolf children and the reference to vampires has a chilling effect on the reader. It is the jackals (who have nothing to do with the story) that howl like vampires. But the fact that the boy is itching under his skin to go with them enticed by their heinous noise tells us a lot about him. Again wolves are one form that the fictional vampire (Dracula) takes.

scamper towards it: This kinaesthetic image apart from reinforcing the image of a boy in all fours moving about in the house, behaving he is from another species, has the extra purpose of showing the intensity with which the boy reacts to the smell of blood. Wolves are notorious for their love of blood. Coming close on the heels of the reference to restlessness, vampires, blood and jackals, this innocuous looking phrase is crucial in engendering in our minds the image of a boy twisted in more ways than one, first by his parents who were careless in taking care of him, by the wolf mother with whom he seemed to have been happy, then by Narsingh who is forcing him back to his original species specific behaviour. His movements show the conflict and crowding thoughts in his mind.

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