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					LK 2006               Red Dust – The Constellation of Figures   25 January 2007   1
Mr Hoch/ Dr. Becker

S4
Sarah Barcant
   1. What do we learn about Sarah Barcant’s adolescent
      years in Smitiesrevier?
      (selected important text passages): 11 29; ………….; 30
      4; 31 3; ………………; 131 25ff)
   2. What are her present feelings about her former home
      town?
      (5 24f; 13 31; 14 2; …………..; 45 22ff; 84 1ff; ……….; 122
      8ff; 267 22ff.)
   3. How do Ben Hoffman, Alex Mpondo and Dirk
      Hendricks view Sarah Barcant as a professional?
      Ben Hoffman’s view (33 29-30f.; ......... .; 55 20; 56 16f.;
      57 4f.; 12f.)
      Alex Mpondo’s view (194 4f.; 13ff.; 266 8-25)
      Dirk Hendrick’s view (206 10, 15; 265 11-23)

       Possible student solutions of a presentation
        Sarah Barcant in her youth             as an adult
        rebellious, wild, disregards       rational, analytic
         the apartheid laws;                 mind
        Strong-willed, single-             obsessed prosecutor
         minded: wants to get away          self-assured, resolute
         from Smitsrvier                    single-minded professional,
                                             limited grasp of human
                                             nature
                                            estranged from South Africa:
                                             its past and present
                                            new insight: realization that
                                             one cannot escape one’s past
LK 2006               Red Dust – The Constellation of Figures   25 January 2007   2
Mr Hoch/ Dr. Becker


Alex Mpondo
    1. What do we learn about Alex Mpondo’s past?
       Examine relevant passages.
       (selected important text passages): 47 10ff.;
       ……….; 74 31f.; 110 17-23; ………; 186ff.; 196 4-
       9)
    2. Observing Mpondo playing pool at a billiard
       table, Sarah Barcant observes: “Alex Mpondo
       – chameleon.” (87 6) Explain what is meant by
       this and find further passages that support
       this observation.
    3. How does the past affect Mpondo’s present
       emotional and mental life?
       (27 7-15; 139 21- 140 6; 154 23-155-23; 190
       27-31; ………….)

                   The two sides of Alex Mpondo
        The charming ladies’        haunting
         man                          memories of
        the perfect                  torture
         showman: easy-              self-reproach
         going, self-confident       fear of falling into
        the chameleon                disgrace
                                     possible responsibility
                                      for Steve’s death
                                     agonizing recollections,
                                      trauma
LK 2006                    Red Dust – The Constellation of Figures            25 January 2007   3
Mr Hoch/ Dr. Becker


Dirk Hendricks
               1. Collect all information about Hendricks’s personal situation in
                  the past as well as in the present. (selected important text
                  passages): 71 5, 8f.; 72 5f.; 13-8; 73 26; 103 27-104 33;
                  ……………; 202 3f.
                                    Dirk Hendricks: a personal profile
            comes from a policy family
            was a policeman for twenty years
            joined the secret branch because he had outstanding exam
             results
                                                                         is
             separated from his wife and two children, will be divorced soon
            suffers from nightmares and PTSD
            is charged with participation in a murder
            has applied for amnesty for this as well as for the torturing of
             Alex ; Mpondo
       2. Evaluate the following information on the character and psychology of
          Hendricks: 58 19-25; 109 1-5; 147b 30; 183 3; chapter 35 199-202 8; 257
          32ff.; 260 15, 18f.; 122 31-123 1; 177 32f.; 178 29
                           Dirk Hendricks: the man with two faces
                 the torturer                           the patriot and victim
            ordinary man                                has served his country
            sadistic, empty of conscience               considers himself a victim
            shows no remorse or guilt                    of his service for the
                                                          country

      3.   How does Hendricks justify his criminal actions? Consider what he says and how he
           says it. 104 16-20; ……………; 178 29-179 2; 265 28ff.; 104 31; 117 22; 176 30-34
                            Dirk Hendricks: forms of justification
                 how he sees himself                      how he speaks
              as a loyal policeman                     use of euphemisms
              in a war situation                       whitewashing his actions
              as a protector of his country
              as an executioner of the
               state’s will

                                    the ends justify the means




James Sizela
LK 2006                Red Dust – The Constellation of Figures   25 January 2007   4
Mr Hoch/ Dr. Becker
               1. Briefly summarize what you have learned about Mr
                  Sizela prior to the discovery of his son’s body.
                  (selected important text passages): 17 8ff.; 18 30f.;
                  ………..
               2. How do his motives change?
                  (146 5ff.;………..; 228 16f.)
               3. What do we learn from Muller about Steve Sizela’s
                  death? How does Muller describe him?
                  (229 19ff.; ………………..; 240 4-13)
               4. Why does Sizela resign from his position as
                  headmaster? 243 21ff.
               5. When entering Muller’s study Sizela has these
                  thoughts: “it occurred to James that he and Muller
                  had much in common. They were […] bound together
                  by the deed that the one had committed against the
                  other. …” (235 16-22). How do you read these lines?
LK 2006                  Red Dust – The Constellation of Figures   25 January 2007   5
Mr Hoch/ Dr. Becker


Peter Muller
               1. What sort of man is Pieter Muller? Collect relevant passages
                  from the novel.
                  (selected important text passages): 53 1ff.; 9-11; 74 7-10;
                  ……………… 133 30ff.; 135 1-7
               2. What is his attitude towards the workings of the TRC?
                  69 21; 78 12-14, 22; 238 18-20
               3. Why is he certain that he will never be tried?
                  78 26- 79 2; 170 21f.
               4. What signs are there that the white community is turning
                  against him?
                  168 2; ……………..
               5. Why does he manipulate Sizela into shooting him? How does
                  he do it?
                  Consider his manner of speaking. 239 5,7,13,17; 240 3-23

                         Peter Muller: the incorrigible racist
              he has bad dreams, is apprehensive about the
               coming TRC
              is troubled by visions of fear
              is a caring
              despises the TRC and all it stands for
              is utterly sure of himself, has complete faith in
               Hendricks’s never incriminating him
              loses the support of the white community
              uses psychological terror on James Sizela and
               skilfully manipulates him (implicating him in his
               own suicide)
              shows no remorse or regret for his killing of
               Steve Sizela

				
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