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Claras Day

In: Social Issues

Submitted By almlucifer
Words 1868
Pages 8
Clara is a smart girl at the age of 15.
One day Clara took of all her clothes in school assembly. She did this, for what at the time seemed like no particular reason at all. But later on we find out that she lives in a home where the mom has a boyfriend, which she spends most of her time with.
Because of that, the mom doesn’t really pay any attention to Clara. So she feels somewhat offended by this, and chooses to strip down in the school. This is of course an act of extremism and, even though the author tries to keep the suspicions down, we notice that there’s something wrong in the household she lives in.
We also sense a kind of strained relationship between Clara and Stan. She’s supposedly mad at Stan because of all the attention he’s getting, or he might actually be sexually abusing her. I know this is a strange thing to say, but when you hear them conversing. You might know why I’m thinking like I do. Just touching him makes her shiver.

When we hear her mom laughing over the attention craving act Clara performed earlier, we finally understand that Clara want her mom to be concerned about what she’s doing.
I mean they can’t even have a normal conversation, and the mother shows no interest at all in changing that. Just look at the scene where she returns from school and the mother just asks if there’s any news, and when Clara says no, she doesn’t dig any deeper.

1. What did Clara do and how did she do it?
Clara stripped off in the assembly hall in front of the whole Girls only school, and just walked away.

2. What was the reaction from the assembly hall?
People simply sat there, stunned by Clara’s attention craving act. Some were giggling and the head hesitated in her “speech” for a moment, before returning to it, like nothing had happened.

3. Where did Clara go after that, and what did she do?
Clare took off to the form room, walking through most of the school. When she arrived, she picked a science uniform from the cupboard and put it on.

4. Who else came to the form room after that, and what happened?
Mrs. Mayhew enters the room shortly afterwards, giving her the clothes she stripped off earlier and nearly forces her to wear them again. She asks Clara if she wants to go home. But Clara chooses to stay.

5. How did her school mates react during the day? Explain and comment.
Her school mates were treating her like some kind of celebrity; they kept coming to say stuff like “Well done!” or just to pat her on the back. But halfway through the morning a prefect came and told her to go to the headmistress’ office to see her straight after school.
I don’t really think her school mates did the right thing. Even though she needed attention, it wasn’t that kind of attention. A much more fitting reaction would be to ask her what was wrong or simply try to comfort her.

6. Describe the Head’s study and try to explain what we learn about the Head from looking at her study.
The Head’s study is described as more of a sitting room, than an actual study. Even though there is a big messy paper-strewn desk in the room. We’re told that there are a lot of family pictures and squashy chairs spread across the room. Altogether it’s a nice place in the narrator’s eyes.
When we look in the Head’s study we notice that she’s indeed a nice person and she seems friendly. Although when she hears about Clara’s problems, she keeps looking at the pictures of her family. Supposedly wondering if her family also has some problems, or if she’s neglecting her children, like Clara’s mom is.

7. Describe and comment on the way in which the Head tried to make Clara reveal her feelings. What do you think of the Head?
The Headmistress is very nice at first, paying attention to what Clara is saying and such. But that starts fading, and the headmistress becomes more concerned about her own family, forgetting about Clara’s problems and therefore she doesn’t dig deep enough to reveal the giant lack of comfort Clara has.

8. What sort of answers did Clara give? How honest do you think she was?
Clara’s answers were mostly one word or short sentences. She wasn’t expressing any deep feelings she might have. Clara also acted rather repelling, and she didn’t really seem in the mood for talking. However that feeling seems fade a little, and she becomes a little more open.
I don’t think she was honest with the more personal questions like when the headmistress asks “Were you trying to attract attention?”
She admits, but not in the way she is supposed to.

9. What is your impression of Clara at this stage?
I can’t help but notice the fact that this child hasn’t received the kind of attention she’s supposed to have. She does of course have some minor teenage problems, but there seems to be more to it than that. These problems are serious. She receives the attention a popular kid gets in school, but that’s not what she need. She needs someone who’s concerned for her, someone who can look after her. At that point I was actually wondering if she even had parents. But that thought was dismissed later on.
10. What does it tell us about Clara that she tried to hold down her skirt when coming down the stairs in the bus?
It tells us that Clara is normally a shy girl, and that the act she committed earlier was something out of the ordinary and not something she does often. It also hints that she might have experienced some kind of indecent exposure in her life.
11. What did Clara answer when her mother asked her if there was any news? Comment on the answer Clara gave and comment on the conversation between Clara and her mother.
Clara told her, that there was nothing new, and her mother went on reading her magazine clearly not interested in her own girl. I don’t think the mother realizes it, but she’s clearly doing something wrong concerning her daughter. But then again, the mother is just living in her own word, not knowing what’s happening around her. The conversation also ends with her mother giving Clara a magazine which isn’t really for her age to read.
This stuff gives us an impression of a mother who’s immature, irresponsible and not very old.

12. Who is Stan? Describe him.
Stan is the boyfriend of Clara’s mother, and he seems a little more interested in Clara when he talks to her in more than single sentences. This should be a good thing, but I don’t think it is. Because when I read the story I had the idea of Stan sexually abusing her. I gained that impression when I read that she nearly shivered when he touched her, and she can smell if he’s home. That’s not something you would be able to with a person you don’t have some kind of “special” relationship with. Stan also walks around in the house in his underwear, which really isn’t suitable if it isn’t your own, but that’s just my opinion.
13. Describe and explain the way Clara feels about him.
I think that they’ve got a strained relationship. I can’t explain why they have it, but I know for sure that they have. I had the impression that he was sexually abusing her, but he might also be the one spoiling the relationship between Clara and her mother. No matter what, Clara is trying to repel him, clearly not wanting him to interfere with her life.
14. Describe the way the mother greets Clara when she comes down to breakfast. Compare it to the way she greeted her when she came home from school the day she had undressed in the assembly.
She greets her and calls her lovely, which seems a little bit more personal, but she quickly ruins it afterwards by laughing at her cry for help. Her greet isn’t really much different from the one when Clara got home. She says a single sentence to her, and then returns to whatever she’s doing. Not wanting anything to do with Clara.
15. How does the mother react when she reads the letter from the Head? Comment.
She laughs, clearly not understating why Clara did this, thinking that it is just Clara finally growing up.
I think laughing is just unsuitable in this situation. It’s the last thing Clara needs. She wanted some concerning attention, not people laughing at her. But her immature mother does of course not pay any attention to her cry for help at all.
16. How is Stan’s reaction? Comment.
Stan reacts even more immature. He also starts grinning, and ask her if she did it for a dare! Who would do that was my thought, and how can he say that. He just says that he wish he’d been there. I think that the behavior of his isn’t suitable in any way.
17. Make a summary of the way Clara has behaved through the story.
Clara has behaved like any other girl on her age would. She wasn’t capable of telling people how she felt, but she did in her actions. Although her parents failed to understand the signals she was sending. Clara tried to speak to her mother, but again her mother failed. So Clara starts crying with her legs curled up under her. I suppose Clara committed suicide later on in her life, or maybe even hours later.
18. Make a summary of what the mother and Stan say about Clara and nakedness.
The mother and Stan didn’t take the nakedness serious at all. The mother started laughing as soon as she had read what the letter said, telling everyone that Clara wouldn’t be capable of doing that and that it must be a joke. Stan also started laughing, thinking she did for a dare. Calling the act terrific and telling them that he wished he’d been there. Suddenly the parents just take off and leave Clara in the mess. This is when Clara starts crying.
19. Comment on Stan’s and the mother’s explanation why Clara undressed in the assembly hall.
As I’ve said like a thousand times by now, I still think that Stan’s and the mother’s actions were indecent. Their explanation is of course lacking any kind of sympathy with the girl. They concentrate more on the nice laugh she gave them.

20. Why does Clara cry after her mother and Stan have left?
Clara doesn’t understand what she did to disserve a mother like that. She can’t think of a way she repelled her, and therefore doesn’t understand why the mother nearly acts like Clara don’t exist. Clara feels that she has done everything she can to gain her mother’s attention, and yet the mother fails to notice the attention craving acts Clara is committing.…...

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