Going places summary (Class 12 English) – This story is about the life of a family that is not very well to do. They have a son and daughter who has a friend who is very different from her. The main character and protagonist in the story is Sophie whose actions are used as metaphors in the story.
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Table of Contents
Going places summary
Sophie and Jansie
Sophie dreams of getting a boutique of her own that is going to be the best in town. As soon as she gets money, she wants to buy it. She also mentions that if she gets to run a boutique on the side, she will become an actor. It should be considered a hope and not a strategy, because she has no experience and no resources to make her wish come true.
Jansie is realistic and understands that at the biscuit factory, both her and Sophie are destined to work. She tells Sophie to be sensible because she doesn’t have the resources to buy a boutique. Jansie knows her financial status very well.
Sophie and Jansie vary greatly. Sophie is an escapist who has huge hopes. She wishes for things that is far from her control. Jansie knows her stature and is realistic. She is aware of her condition and that it will take you a long time to get money and experience.
The Casey illusion
Geoff, their older brother, was out of school for three years. He was a mechanic ‘s apprentice. Every day, he went to his job on the other side of the city. Sophie knew that her brother had experiences that he never shared with her. She was fascinated by his life and the places he used to go to so she wished her would take her along as well.
Casey is a young soccer player from Ireland who plays for United. He was talented enough to quickly dodge the defenders and score goals. Sophie’s father and brother admired him and had posters of him. Sophie used to say that she had met him and he is now her good friend. She told them that he wanted to take her on a date when in reality she had never even met him. No one in the family believed her as she was in fact just imagining these unlikely scenarios.
Conclusion – Going places summary
Going places summary (Class 12 English) – As the protagonist, Sophie, is a daydreamer and goes to locations exclusively in her imagination, the title ‘Going Places’ is appropriate. Even though it was all her imagination, she practically started believing that Casey was a part of her life. The mysterious intrigued her, which was why she was drawn to the world of her older brother.
Questions and answers – Going places summary
UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT
Q1. Sophie and Jansie were classmates and friends. What were the differences between them that show up in the story?
Ans: Sophie and Jansie are poles apart in tastes and temperament. Sophie has fantastic dreams and floats in a fairy land. She is an incurable escapist who won’t come out of her dreams. Jansie is down to earth—a realist. Sophie wants to do something sophisticated. Jansie knows that these things require a lot of money which their families do not possess. Jansie also knows that they were earmaked for the biscuit factory. She even advises Sophie to be sensible and practical. Sophie considers Jansie ‘nosey’ and does not want to confide in her.
Q2. How would you describe the character and temperament of Sophie’s father?
Ans: Sophie’s father has a plumpy face looking grimy and sweaty. He doesn’t seem to be a soft or sophisticated man. Sophie fears his agressive manliness. He is a realist and does not believe in his daughter’s wild stories. He loves watching football and hopes young Casey will be as good as Tom Finney. For this, the young footballer keeps away from all distractions. He shouts instructions to Casey at the playground. When the Irish genius beats the hesitant goal keeper, Sophie’s father screams with joy and pride. He goes to a pub to celebrate the victory.
Q3. Why did Sophie like her brother Geoff more than any other person? From her perspective, what did he symbolise?
Ans: Geoff is the only person who listens to Sophie’s fantasies and long cherished dreams. Her father is too bossy and aggressive. He hates Sophie’s fantastic stories. Even little Derek – makes fun of her growing rich. Her classmate Jansie is ‘nosey’ and can’t be trusted with a secret. Only Geoff can be trusted to keep all the secrets of Sophie to himself.
From her perspective, Geoff symbolises an elder brother who has grown up and visited places unknown to her. She wished that someday her brother might take her to those places. He is sympathetic and cautions her by telling her that Casey might have strings of girls and warns her that he would never show up again. He speaks softly so as not to break the heart of the young dreamer.
Q4. What socio-economic background did Sophie belong to? What are the indicators of her family’s financial status?
Ans: Sophie belongs to a lower middle class family. She is an escapist and has wild dreams. She dreams of things she can’t have in real life. Jansie tells her that boutique needs a lot of money. Sophie knows that the family doesn’t have money. She says, “If ever I came into money, I’ll buy a boutique.” Even little Derek understands her unrealistic nature.
Geoffs occupation reflects their socio-economic background. He is an apprentice mechanic. He travels to his work each day to the far side of the city. His jacket is shapeless. Her father lacks sophistication. He is a heavy breathing man and sits in his vest at the table. He grunts and tosses one of little Derek’s shoes from his chair on to the sofa. There is stove in the same room where dirty washing is piled in a comer. Sophie’s father goes to pub on his bicycle. All these indicators confirm their lower middle-class family background.
TALKING ABOUT THE TEXT – Going places summary
Discuss in pairs
Q1.Sophie’s dreams and disappointments are all in her mind.
Ans: Sophie is a young school-girl belonging to a lower middle-class family. She wants to rise from the situation in which she finds herself and is an incurable dreamer and escapist. She dreams of opening a boutique. Her classmate Jansie, who had her feet firmly planted on the ground, tells Sophie that opening a boutique requires a lot of money and experience and she has neither of them. Sophie, who floats in a dreamy world of her own, dreams of becoming an actress or a fashion designer. She develops fascination for Danny Casey, the wonder-boy of football. Sophie sees him in action only once when he scores the second goal for United and imagines him coming to her and tells her brother about the meeting. She goes on waiting for him on the next date but he does not turn up. Thus, her dreams and disappointments are the creations of her mind.
Q2.It is natural for teenagers to have unrealistic dreams. What would you say are the benefits and disadvantages of such fantasising?
Ans: Teenagers have boundless enthusiasm and ambitions. They have sweet dreams and go on fantasising. It is natural for them to do so. Every youth is a dreamer. Every great scientist or writer has a dream. Without some thing to aspire for one can’t strive to achieve that goal. Dreams lead to the golden gate of success. Some teenagers float in the world of fantasy. They have unreal dreams. It is just like a child asking for the moon. Their feet are in the mud and they dream of the stars in the sky.
Such fantasising results in disappointment and disillusionment. A dreamer who fails to realise his dream is labelled a failure. Those who realise their dreams become heroes and achievers in their spheres. I think it is better to have dreams even if we fail to realise them. Who would have dreams if the teenagers don’t—will these grey-headed, grey-bearded persons have dreams? Let the teenagers indulge in their natural activity and dream of a golden future. They will strive to translate them into reality.
WORKING WITH WORDS
Notice the following expressions. The highlighted words are not used in a literal sense. Explain what they mean.
•Words had to be prized out of him like stones out of a ground.
•Sophie felt a tightening in her throat.
If he keeps his head on his shoulders.
•On Saturday they made their weekly pilgrimage to the United.
•She saw … him ghost past the lumbering defenders
Ans. (i)Phrase Meaning : Words had to be prized out of him. He was so silent that words had to be extracted from him with great difficulty or force.
(ii)Phrase Meaning : … a tightening in her throat. Sophie felt a stiffness in her throat and felt upset.
(iii)Phrase Meaning : … keeps his head on his shoulders. If he is sensible or intelligent.
(iv)Phrase Meaning : … they made their weekly pilgrimage. They went to see the football match every week as if they were visiting a holy place.
(v) Phrase Meaning :… ghost past. Making a silent move or running to dodge/deceive.