Sunday, May 05, 2013

98. The Point! (IV, V & VI)

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Here is a summary of parts IV, V and VI of this story, a famous story in its genre because of the deep truth underlying Oblio’s experience.
After watching each episode, choose the alternative (a or b) which best matches the storyline.

1. “And so the story goes that Oblio got to the Pointless Forest not only because the people in the Pointed Village had chosen to abide by the law and comply with the Count’s decision, but also because – despite shedding bitter tears – (a) he had a chance to discover something other than what he already knew / (b) he had the same inclination to obeying as his former fellow citizens did. As you have already found out, nobody had been to the Pointless Forest before, so why not explore it?
But wait, all the place was so thick that Oblio didn't quite figure out how they would get through. Out of the blue, a Pointed Man appeared, pointing in all directions, which actually meant that he was pointing in no direction at all.
2. With the Pointed Man gone, an uneasy silence set in, which made Oblio
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feel scared. He vowed that (a) he would always follow Arrow / (b) he and Arrow will stick together at all times.

3. Arrow had already sensed something dangerous looming in the distance: a swarm of giant bees. When they finally managed to hide for safety, Oblio heard a voice coming from up above: it was the Rock Man, kin to the Stone Folk. Oblio was in awe while listening to the Rock Man, who was so kind as to encourage Oblio to open his mind as well as his eyes. He explained to Oblio that reality is different: (a) you don’t have to have a point to have a point / (b) you should play it cool and go nice and easy, just like jazz does.
There came the Pointed Man again. His presence is agreeable to Oblio, yet every time he pops up he only tries to convince Oblio of the pointlessness of it all. Indeed, every appearance makes Oblio reflect on his experience and on how much he has learned.
The Bottomless Hole they are about to fall into makes Oblio realize how afraid of darkness he is, and how lonely the place is whenever the Pointed Man vanishes.
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4. Oblio also learns from the giggling Three Graces – the very image of fertility and motherhood. The fat Ladies bring laughter and merriment, making each other happy. Yet he still doesn’t understand why they are behaving in that way because (a) he’s still too young / (b) they aren’t saying anything.

5. On the Fall Line, the Industrious Industrialist speaks to Oblio about the spirit of entrepreneurship. Timing and honesty – the two qualities he considers indispensable for doing business - fall short of meeting the Tree’s expectations, for Oblio (a) can’t plant roots in the soil of the Forest / (b) doesn’t show any interest in doing business.
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6. Eventually he leaves as he showers his golden leaves, which are supposed to turn into gold – but not before asking Oblio (a) why he didn’t look pointed / (b) where he came from, and what nationality he was. A tricky question indeed, which seems to be asked at exactly that point in the discussion in which the helpless “outlaw” – in this case, Oblio – is vulnerable. Interestingly enough, the Industrious Tree apparently does not care what a man’s face, creed, or colour is as long as he accepts to do business with him.    
1 (a) - 2 (b) - 3 (a) - 4 (a) - 5 (a) - 6 (b).

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