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The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner - Questions and Answers

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English / The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

A. Answering questions on the novel: Part 1

1. Where is the boy living?

He lives in England, in Essex in Borstal (type of school for boys who have broken the law)

2. Why does he not make a break for it on his long-distance running?

To escape and then to get caught is a fool’s game, and he’s not falling for it.

3. At what time of the day does he go out?

He makes his run at 5 o’clock in the morning.

4. What are they training him up for?

They’re training him up for the big sports day.

5. What did the governor say to him the first day?

We want hard honest and good athletes” “And if you give us both of these things, you can be sure we will do right by you and send you back into the world an honest man”

6. What newspaper does the governor take?

Daily Telegraph, a conservative London daily newspaper

7. How far does he run?

Five miles

8. What does he think about going into the army?

He thinks the army is just the same as the Borstal.

9. What is the name of the cup in question?

Borstal Cup for Long-Distance Cross-Country Running (All England)

10. Is the boy going to try to get the cup?

He says yes, but he doesn’t want to win this cup.

11. What will it mean to the governor if the boy wins the race?

That he makes money off him. He bets money on his victory.

12. What did the governor do when the boy came back late on the morning?

He sends him to the doctor for an X-ray and to have a look at his heart.

13. What does the boy say about honesty?

He is and always has been honest! He thinks his honesty is the only sort in the world.

14. State three things that the boy says about war.

He thinks his life in Borstal is worse then war. The war they think is war is suicide. The government’s wars aren’t his wars; they have nothing to do with him.

15. What is the most wonderful minute of the boy’s morning run?

Getting down to the water. Because there’s no other thought, word or picture of anything in his head while he is going there.

Part 2

1. What did the boy’s mother do with the money she got after her husband’s death?

Buy some new clothes for the children, a new TV, a new carpet and a fur coat.

2. What did the TV advert.....[read full text]

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He is a very good, fast and persevering runner.

2. What does the governor say to him before the race?

“Get that cup for us today and I’ll do all I can for you. I’ll get you trained so that you beat everybody in the Free World.”

3. The boy says he is “going to go down dying with laughter.” Why do you think?

Because they bet on him and they are loosing their money. He likes this but afterwards he gets punished for this.

4. What tips does he have for us about running?

Never be in a hurry, let never any of the other runners know you are in a hurry, keep your rhythm.

5. How does the boy usually run when he gets near the end of the course?

He put on a spurt.

6. What examples does he give of honesty?

That the policeman (Hitler face) is more honest than the governor. He showed him openly that he is against him.

7. What does winning mean to him?

If he would win the race it would feel like he lost the race.

8. How does his heart feel? Why?

He feels free because he has power over the governor

9.....

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The Finish line

He is about to stand still. He wants the other boy to pass. He doesn’t want to win the race.

He wants that the governor and his gang from the grandstand can see how he loses the race.

Now he has showed the governor what’s honesty means to him, also if it’s the last thing what he will do. If he would win the race it would feel like he lost the race. And he remained faithful.

C. Vocabulary

1)      Further p.16 weiter

2)      Whip hand p.18 längeren Hebel

3)      Suffer p.20 leiden

4)      Bargain p.23 verhandeln

5)      Foggy p.27 nebelig

6)      Fur coat p.27 Pelzmantel

7)      Adverts p.28 Werbung

8)      Hot-chair p.29 Elektrischer Stuhl

9)      Iron p.33 Eisen

10)  Drainpipe p.40 Abflussrohr

11)  Glued p.43 geklebt

12)  Dozen p.44 Duzend

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11. His eyes were glued to the television.

12. That's six of one and half a dozen of another.

13. Cables must not get pinched or kinked.

14. The thief must be punished according to the law.

15. Santa is bringing his gifts trough the chimney.

16. The sword of a samurai is very sharp.

17. The doctor looks deep in the throat of a patient.

18. I walk down the footpath with my girlfriend.

19. Graffiti is becoming a Movement.

20. It’s hard to bring a car to a standstill

D. Character

The Policeman who arrests him

I have chosen this person because he is very important for the following events. If he hadn’t visited frequently, the boy would still be able to hide his secret. I can’t identify myself with him. The Policeman seems to be quite sustained, but I’m lazier than he is.

I would never show up at the boy’s door so many times. According to the boy, the Policeman is very tall and he looks like Hitler. The last time he showed up at the boy’s house it’s was raining heavily. The bad weather helped him to solve the riddle. The only two persons having contact with him are the boy and his mother.

But the mother only plays a small role. Without him, the boy would not be punished by having to go to a school for boys who have broken the law. I have also chosen to describe the policeman’s character because he wants to bring just.....

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