Dear Caribbean Civilisation Students,
The deadline for your book report is soon approaching. If you already completed reading the novel, did your analysis, attended your classes, participated in discussions and produced a well-reasoned report, you should have no worries. I am sure that the majority of you are in this category. To you, I say well done!
However, several of you have sent me messages asking for my assistance with the report. Some questions were very interesting while others appeared to emanate from a lack of industry. Although I would very much like to respond to your queries, I regret that I cannot do so at this point in time. I have been instructed not to respond to you individually.
Your tutors should be able to provide you with the assistance that you need. Discussions with your classmates are also very useful as some students may have interpreted the novel in a different light, even though you may have identified the same themes.
There is no one correct answer.
Among other things, this assignment tests your analytical skills and your ability to research and present information in the required format/style. You were given guidelines and information about the different research styles. Please apply them. It would be unfortunate if you lost marks for disobeying your assignment’s instructions.
If I were one of your tutors, I would happily answer all of your questions. However, I am merely the author of the novel. You do not need my opinions in order to produce an excellent report.
For example, did you ever do a book report in primary school? Did you ask the author of the book to answer all of your questions? No, right? And you probably did quite well. Another example, for those of you who studied Literature at CXC level: Did you need the authors’ direct answers in order to write your essays and interpret the themes? Did you need the authors’ direct answers to write character sketches and illustrate comparisons? No, right? And you probably passed and did well.
Similarly, you do not need my direct answers for you to succeed. “What did the author mean by…” questions are meant to test your analytical and interpretative skills. You have to determine what the author meant based on the material in your possession. If I simply tell you, you may not apply your own reasoning. You may have your own unique interpretation. Works of fiction are meant to be interpreted.
There is no one correct interpretation.
For those of you who may still be lost, do not give up. It is not too late to seek the help of a friend. Share your ideas and your views, and brainstorm together. But please do not plagiarize. As with every other university assignment, your report must be written in your own words.
In closing, I am very pleased that many of you enjoyed reading ‘Through It All’. I wish you all the very best of success with the report, the course and the attainment of your degrees. Persevere and work hard and you will reap the rewards that you deserve.