‘I am David’
Answers to blue booklet
Chapter 1:
1.
Why was David so sceptical about the instructions given to him to
escape?
David was sceptical because the instructions had been
given to him by “the man”, someone he did not like nor
trust.
2.
Make a list of three things that David anticipated were going to go
wrong during his attempt to escape.
a.
The searchlight would swing around and find him as
he was trying to escape
He would be shot
He felt he would be unable to move when the time
came.
b.
c.
3. What were the meagre supplies that David was given
for his journey?
David was given a bottle, a compass, a box of
matches, a large loaf of bread and a pocket knife (plus
the cake of soap that he had requested).
4. Find the quote that gives David the instructions that he would
need to get to Denmark and copy the quote directly into your
book. You should put the quote in inverted commas and
provide the page number in brackets after the quote.
“Follow the compass southwards till you get to Salonica,
ad then when no one’s looking go on board a ship and
hide. You’ll have to stay hidden while the ship’s at sea,
and you’ll need the water. Find a ship that’s bound for
Italy, and when you get there go north till you come to a
country called Denmark – you’ll be safe there” (p2).
5. Make a list of the different emotions that David would have
experienced in this chapter and beside each, make a note of the
incident that would have triggered the emotion. You should aim
for at least 5 different emotions. (e.g. loneliness, confusion,
doubt, anxiety etc).
doubt: could he trust “the man”?
fear: would he be shot dead as he tried to
escape?
courage: working up the nerve to escape even
though the possibility of dying was very real
relief: of discovering that “the man” had been
telling him the truth all along; that he didn’t end up
dead after all
loneliness: at night, being all by himself
anxiety: of being caught; not being able to go in
the right direction
fear: of being found by people (after the sheep
had discovered him).
6. Who do you think Johannes was? What do we learn about him
in this first chapter?
Johannes was a man at the camp who looked after/out
for David. He may have been an older man who was a
very good friend, maybe his father (but why call him
Johannes?)
7.During his time in the camp, David experiences very little else
other than ugliness and cruelty. This is quite different from the
world that he discovers outside the camp. (pp 28-29)
David sees colour – it is so beautiful that it makes him
cry: the blue sea, the green and gold of the land; the red
of flower; the bright colours of the
villages; the warm golden loveliness
of the sun. this contrasts strongly
against the dull, colourless scenery
of the camp.
Chapter 2
1.
For the first time (p32), David states: ‘I am David’, something he
repeats throughout the novel. Why do you think it might be
important for him to state this?
It would be important for David to state “I am David” as the camp
had stripped away his identity. By stating who he is, he asserts his
newfound freedom. Note how he washes the dirt off – a symbolic
gesture of ridding himself of the labour came and all that it stood
for.
2.
How many languages can David speak and how would this be
advantageous to him?
David can speak the following languages: what “they” had spoken
(possibly Russian or Bulgarian), French, German, Italian, English,
Spanish and Hebrew. This would have been very beneficial as he
would be able to communicate with others in the various countries
where he had to travel.
3. How do you think he learned to speak so many different
languages?
Johannes taught him French. He would have learned the
other languages through the other prisoners who
seemed to come from different places. Children can pick
up languages very easily so this probably why David was
able to learn so many.
4. On page 38, it is stated: “If he wanted to preserve his freedom,
he would have to keep right away from [people]”. Why does
David think this to be the case?
David fears that somebody might work out that he is on
the run and report him. He
doesn’t know the political beliefs
of people in Italy; he also
suspects that “they” will be
searching for him. Therefore,
the fewer people with whom he
has contact, the better.
5. Explain what the following metaphor means: “David ran into the
blank wall of his own ignorances” (p39).
David knows nothing about himself – where he was born,
what country he originated from, who his parents are.
Because he doesn’t know any of these things, he really
doesn’t know where it will be safe.
6. David realises that he must come up with a good story that he
can use to explain to people why he is alone and seemingly “on
the run”. What story does he produce?
David decides to tell people that he is on his way to
rejoin a circus (in some far away town). He will say that
he had fallen ill and had to stay behind until he was well
enough to catch up again.
7. David realises that there is much beauty in the world as he
continues his journey. Name five different things that he finds
beautiful (p50), and explain why he finds them so. Now make a
list of three things that you find beautiful and give an
explanation as to why you find them beautiful.
David finds the following things beautiful: the sea, the
coastline that curved along the shores, the different
colours like red, blue and green, the flowers and the
houses. Like David, I also find the coastline beautiful and
love walking along the beaches, I think that the colours
that sunsets make in winter, especially when looking
over the cane fields are beautiful and I love the fragrance
of a fresh bunch of flowers.
8. There is an old saying that states: “The eyes are the windows to
the soul”. What do you think this means? Throughout the
novel, people are intrigued by David’s eyes, but he does not
understand why his eyes are so special. Imagine you are
looking into David’s eyes. Comment on what you think they
would look like and what they might tell you about him and his
life so far.
It means that our eyes tell a lot about us – that our eyes
don’t lie. I would imagine that David’s eyes would look
sad, lost, lonely, confused, frightened, like they had
known great pain and suffering. I would not expect them
to be bright and shining or sparkling with happiness,
except if I caught him looking at the ocean or the things
he found beautiful. Then I suspect that they would be full
of wonder and awe.
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I am David’