top of page

Going Places






About the Author


A.R Barton is a modern writer, who lives in Zurich and writes in English. In the story Going Places, Barton explores the theme of adolescent fantasizing and hero worship.






The theme of this story is adolescent fantasizing and hero worship. It is quite natural for teenagers to have unrealistic dreams especially when their families are not well off. It is because the socioeconomic background plays a leading role in the lives of the youths for choosing a particular profession. The act of fantasizing may lead to miseries in case it is beyond our approach. It is useless to build castles in the air.




1.     Sophie: a school going teenager


2.     Jansie: a friend and classmate of Sophie


3.     Geoff: an elder brother of Sophie


4.     Derek: a younger brother of Sophie


5.     Danny Casey: A young Irish football player


6.     Tom Finney: A great football player


7.     United: name of the football team


8.     Father & mother of Sophie




  1. ·    The lesson explores the theme of adolescent fantasies and hero worship.

  2. ·   Sophie and Jansie are both in the last year of high school and both knew that they were destined to work in the biscuit factory as they belong to a working-class family.

  3. ·    Yet, Sophie, always dreams of big and beautiful things, glamour, and glory. 

  4. ·    Her ambitions are not rooted i.e., have no relation with the harsh realities of life.

  5. ·    In contrast is Jansie, Sophie’s friend, a realistic and practical girl.

  6. ·   Sophie lives in male-dominated family where her mother was only a shadow. The men were football fans and the conversations around the dinner table were about Danny Casey, their Hero.

  7. ·  Sophie wants some attention from her father and brother and telling them that she met Casey, was her way of drawing their attention towards her.

  8. ·    But she carries her fantasies too far when she starts to live them.








Future plans of Sophie


Sophie and her friend Jansie are two friends, about to complete school. They belong to working-class households. One day, on their way back home, Sophie expresses her desire to open a boutique or to become an actress or a fashion designer. She wishes to rise above her middle-class status and to obtain sophistication. Jansie, however, being more realistic, shuns her friend’s ambitions. This is because Jansie is aware of the fact that they have been ‘earmarked’ for the biscuit factory.


Sophie’s family and its opinion of her dreams


Sophie lives in a small house with her parents and two brothers, Geoff, and Derek. Her parents are not pleased to hear her unrealistic career goals. Her father feels that a decent house of their own is what they need and not fantastical dreams about owning sophisticated things.


Sophie’s admiration for Geoff


Geoff is Sophie’s elder brother. He is a handsome young boy working as an apprentice mechanic in a garage, situated far away from their house. He is an introvert and does not speak much. Sophie envies her brother’s silence as she thinks that he has access to a world which she never got a chance to visit. She longs to be a part of her brother’s world. Sophie shares all her secrets with her brother.


Sophie’s story of her encounter with Danny Casey


One day, Geoff is engrossed with a part of his motorcycle. Sophie, probably in an attempt to gain his attention, tells a story about accidentally meeting Danny Casey at the Royce’s. Geoff refuses to believe her. Sophie then describes his physical appearance to make Geoff believe in what she said.  She tells her brother that she was also willing to get an autograph for little Derek, but she did not have a pen or paper for the same. Then, Sophie claims, the two of them discussed about the clothes at Royce’s. She ends her story by telling her brother that Danny has promised to meet her again. Despite all her attempts, Geoff refuses to believe her story and tells about it to the family.


Sophie watches Danny play at the football match


On Saturday, the family goes to watch Casey play for the United team. Sophie and her little brother sit with their father near the goal while Geoff goes to sit with his friends in the higher rows. Sophie and Geoff feel elated at the victory of United at the hands of Danny Casey. This is the only instance in the story where Sophie has a look at Danny Casey in the real world.


Jansie interrogates Sophie about the encounter with Danny


Soon Jansie comes to know about Sophie’s alleged romantic encounter with Casey. Sophie does not like the fact that Geoff betrayed her secret to others. She feels embarrassed and fears that Jansie will tell the story to others too. But she feels relieved when she finds out that Jansie is not aware of her second ‘date’. Consequently, Sophie tones down her story into a casual incident for Jansie.


Sophie’s belief


Sophie decides to fulfil her ‘date’ with Danny Casey and goes to wait for him at her favourite spot along the canal. Furthermore, she imagines Danny coming to meet her on his bike and her own excitement on meeting him. However, after waiting for some time, she starts struggling between her dream and reality. Sophie feels sad and miserable at the thought of having to face the disappointment of her family because they may lose faith in her stories. Although she is pained by her dream, she is not willing to give it up and accept the reality.


Sophie’s fantasy wins over the reality


While walking sadly towards her home, Sophie notices her father’s bicycle parked outside the pub. She is overjoyed as she does not need to rush back home. Consequently, she again withdraws to her fantastic world and imagines meeting Danny Casey once again at the Royce’s. She imagines herself telling Danny about his fans in her family. Then she imagines asking him for an autograph once again. But this time too, she fails to get one. She feels her affinity to him in her imagination and is fascinated to think of his existence as a human similar to, but of a different capability than, her. Eventually, she loses herself in the memories of the match where she had for once seen him in actuality.




Going Places is a story which reflects an adolescent’s desire for going places. “Going Places” is an idiomatic phrase which refers to a promising young person’s likelihood of becoming successful and famous (e.g.” She’s going places” meaning she is going to be successful). The title Going Places captures the essence of the story. Sophie, the protagonist of the story is always imagining of ‘going places ‘ – of being rich and famous and it is from this point of reference that we can understand her nature and the reason why she acts the way she does.


Her conversation with Jansie in the beginning of the story hints at her tendency to romanticize about the future. She is indecisive about her career and switches from owing a boutique to be an actress to be a fashion designer because she has done “something sophisticated”.


However, her vague dreams of ‘going places’ is cut short when she enters her house. The small, cluttered house she lives in show that her economic condition is not at all sound. This is a drastic change of world Sophie inhabits. Earlier, we had seen her indulge in intense daydreaming. The moment she opens the door of her house, she is rudely awakened to the harsh reality she lives in and all her castles built in the air collapse. Consequently, she feels a little tightening on her throat. Also, soon after this realisation, she goes to Geoff’s room and again begins indulging in the world of fantasy. Her constant fantasizing of things therefore is not only a means of deriving pleasure but is also her desperate attempt at escaping from the reality she lives in. Simply put, her fantasizing and hero worship is also a means of escapism.


The reader is provided an object where Sophie’s emotion is projected. Sophie identifies with the delicate bow on her mother’s crooked back. Not only has she been toying with the idea of becoming a fashion designer, Sophie has also just witnessed the ‘crooked back’ of reality- her small, cluttered house where the presence of her delicate dreams is completely out of place (incongruity of the delicate bow). This technique of projecting a character’s emotions onto an existing physical object shows the effective use of a literary device which makes the use of an objective correlative. The delicate bow on the crooked back becomes an objective correlative of the complex emotions Sophie has at the moment.


Her conversation with Geoff also betrays her fantasizing of the future. Geoff is set as a foil to Sophie’s character. Not only does he have character traits completely opposite to that of Sophie’s, he has seen the real world and knows that the world is not as fancy as it might seem to be. Sophie on the other hand dreams of a “world waiting for her” and a world rising to greet her. She is still obsessed with the idea of going places. One must try to understand her hero worship of Danny Casey in this context. It is not Danny Casey the person who interests her. It is the idea of Danny Casey which has captured her imagination. This is because Danny, the football prodigy, is definitely ‘going places. Sophie wants to go places and Danny becomes a figure on whom she can project her desire.


Sophie’s fantasizing is a naive and harmless activity so long as it does not distort her perception of the real world. However, there are times when she her imagination completely takes over her. A case in point is the scene where Danny scores a goal. “Sophie glows(ed) with pride”. In reality, she has nothing to feel proud about. It is Danny’s goal, not hers. However, she has internalized the hero worship to such an extent that she seems to locate a personal connection with the player where none exists.  We see the full display of this tendency by the end of the story where Sophie believes her story and acts on it by actually going to meet Danny.


Going Places explores the different realms of expectation, fantasy, desire, and perception of an adolescent. In all probability, Sophie never met Casey; her temperament as seen in her interaction with Jansie, her visit to the park and Danny’s absence all point  towards the fact that her interaction with Danny  on Royce’s window also never happened, except in her head. However, whether she did or did not actually meet Danny is not the issue. What is more important is the display of how one’s fantasy and desire colour one’s perception and shapes reality. Though Sophie might not have met Danny, she believes that she did, to the extent of going to the park and actually expecting him to arrive. This speaks volumes on the subjectivity of human experience and the perception of what constitutes the real.




Textual Questions and Answers


Think-as-you-read Questions


Question 1. Where was it most likely that the two girls would find work after school?
Answer: Both the girls belong to poor families. As per their economic background, they would find a job in a biscuit factory after schooling.


Question 2. What were the options that Sophie was dreaming of? Why does Jansie discourage her from having such dreams?
Answer: Sophie was dreaming of opening her own boutique. She believed that she was as efficient and original as Mary Quant. So, she would easily get a job of a manager in a shop or would become an actress. In this way, she would earn money and then would open her own boutique. Jansie was a practical girl. She knew that all these were Sophie’s dreams which were not possible, so she discouraged her from having such dreams.


Question 3. Why did Sophie wriggle when Geoff told her father that she had met Danny Casey?
Answer: When Geoff told his father that Sophie had met Danny Casey, she wriggled because she knew that her father would not believe it. He would take it as a story that she had made up.


Question 4. Does Geoff believe what Sophie says about her meeting with Danny Casey?
Answer: Initially, Geoff is doubtful but when Sophie starts adding the details, he starts believing in her story. But when she tells him about the proposed date with Danny Casey, Geoff becomes sceptical.


Question 5. Does her father believe Sophie’s story?
Answer: Sophie’s father does not believe her. He knows that she is a dreamer and lives in a world of imagination. She is used to make up stories to impress him.


Question 6. How does Sophie include her brother Geoff in the fantasy of her future?
Answer: Geoff is a person who speaks very little. Sophie knows that he has his own world which is far away from her. She believes that he visits places she has never been to. She hopes that in future, he would introduce her to the beautiful and glamorous world which is the most appropriate place for her.


Question 7. Which country did Danny Casey play for?
Answer: Danny Casey, an Irish sports star, used to play for the Irish team.


Question 8. Why didn’t Sophie want Jansie to know about her story with Danny?
Answer: Sophie did not want Jansie to know about her story with Danny for two reasons. First, it was meant to be something special just between her brother Geoff and herself. Secondly, Jansie would have told the whole neighbourhood about it.


Question 9. Did Sophie really meet Danny Casey?
Answer: No, Sophie did not meet Danny Casey, but she liked fantasising that she had met him.


Question 10. Which was the only occasion when she got to see Danny Casey in person?
Answer: The only occasion when she got to see Danny Casey in person was in a football match on a Saturday. Sophie along with her father and little brother Derek went to watch United. They saw champion Danny Casey there to play football.


Understanding the text


Question 1. Sophie and Jansie were classmates and friends. What were the differences between them that show up in the story?
How different is Jansie from Sophie?

Answer: Sophie and Jansie were classmates and friends but were very different from each other. Sophie was filled with fantasies and desires. She lived in her world of dreams which was far away from reality. She wanted to open a boutique or become either an actress or a manager. Though she came from a humble background, she wanted to be part of a rich, sophisticated circle. Moreover, she liked the football star Danny Casey so much that she started hero-worshipping him. Her wild fantasies forced her to imagine not only talking to Danny Casey but to even going for a date with him. She is so much engrossed in her world of fantasy that she starts hallucinating about Danny Casey.
On the contrary, Jansie is more realistic and practical. She is well aware of her family background. She knew that both she and Sophie would have to work in a biscuit factory after passing out the school. She kept on reminding Sophie of her reality but all in vain. Unlike Sophie who was all the time lost in her own world, Jansie was nosey to know everything. Sophie never shared her secrets with her because she knew that Jansie would blab around her secrets.


Question 2. How would you describe the character and temperament of Sophie’s father?
Answer: Sophie’s father is symbolic of a typical poor class family man. He works hard to fulfil the needs of his family. He is rough in manners and is described as a ‘heavy breathing man in his vest’. He never believes any of the Sophie’s stories and knows that she is not to be believed due to her characteristic fantasies. When Geoff tells him about Sophie’s meeting with Danny Casey, he gives an expression of disdain and calls it another of her wild stories. He is a practical man who does not like his daughter getting too much involved in her fantasies. As a father, he knows his daughter’s temperament very well. That is the reason he does not believe in Sophie’s story of having met Danny Casey. Rather he becomes aggressive and warns Sophie that one day she would get into a load of trouble.


Question 3. Why did Sophie like her brother Geoff more than any other person? From her perspective, what did he symbolise?
Answer: Sophie liked her brother Geoff more than any other person. She hero-worships him. Geoff was three years out of school and was working as an apprentice mechanic. She used to confide in him all her secrets. Geoff was silent most of time and Sophie was curious to know the areas of his life about which she knew nothing. In fact, she wanted to be admitted more deeply into her brother’s affections and hoped that someday he would take her along with him.


She wanted to be part of the other world which Geoff belonged to. She wanted to visit that world riding with her brother on his motorcycle. He would be in new, shining black leathers and she would wear a yellow dress and then the entire world would applaud and rise to greet both of them. Thus, for Sophie, her brother Geoff was very close to her heart.


Question 4. What socio-economic background did Sophie belong to? What are the indicators of her family’s financial status?
Answer: Sophie belonged to a poor family. Her parents managed the household with difficulty. Her father was a typical poor class family man, rough in his manners and indiscipline. The marks of the sweat on his face indicated that he had to work hard throughout the day to earn his livelihood. Sophie’s mother was an average housewife who was burdened with the family’s responsibilities. She was busy with household chores. She had a crooked back due to constant hard work and the incongruity of the bow clearly showed that she was not a sophisticated lady.


Even the younger brother Derek’s comment on Sophie that “she thinks money grows on trees” emphasized the importance of money in the family. The family was living in a small house with minimum requirements, including very old furniture. All those things indicate that Sophie came from a family with a humble background.


Talking about the text


Question 1. Sophie’s dreams and disappointments are all in her mind. Explain.
Answer: No doubt Sophie’s dreams and disappointments are all in her mind. As a young girl she is engrossed in the world of fantasy. She talks about buying a shop and having her own boutique. In order to earn money, she would work as an actress or a manager. She imagines meeting Danny Casey, the Irish football star, and even fantasises going for a date with him. She goes to the wharf and waits for him. But he does not come, and she feels sad and disappointed.


In fact, it is all in her mind. She herself has created a story in her mind and finally starts hallucinating. But finally, when she realises that it is all her fantasy, she feels disappointed. Both the things take place in her mind. Thus, her dreams and disappointments are all in Sophie’s mind.


Short Answer Type Questions: 3 Marks (30-40 Words)


Question 1: What was Sophie’s ambition in life? How did she hope to achieve that?


Answer: Sophie’s ambition in life was either to come an actress, a fashion designer, or a boutique owner. She had not made any plan about how she was going to achieve her ambition.




Question 2: Why is Sophie attracted to Danny Casey?


Answer: Danny Casey is a young and successful football player from Ireland. He is also quite handsome, which adds to his popularity among his fans, especially young girls of Sophie’s age. Naturally, Sophie is attracted to him.




Question 3: How are Jansie and Sophie different from each other?


Answer: Jansie and Sophie have contrasting characters and an altogether different approach towards life. Jansie is quite practical and her feet are grounded in reality, whereas Sophie is a daydreamer and lives in an imaginary world.




Question 4: Why did Sophie long for her brother’s affection?


Answer: Sophie found in her brother, Geoff, a patient listener to all her fantasies. The other members of her family and even her friend Jansie did not believe her and made fun of her dreams and future plans. This made her quite fond of Geoff and long for his affection.




Question 5: Did Geoff keep up his promise? How do you know?


Answer: Geoff did not keep his promise to Sophie. Sophie told Geoff about her meeting with Danny Casey at the Royce’s and requested him not to tell anyone about it. However, Geoff told this to Frank who in turn told his sister, Jansie.




Question 6: Why was Sophie jealous of Geoff’s silence?


Answer: Geoff never spoke much, and this made Sophie ponder over the areas of his life which he never talked about. His world remained a fascination for her. She felt that when he was not speaking, his mind was away at some unknown place, and so she felt jealous of his silence.




Question 7: What is unrealistic about Sophie’s dreams of her future life?


Answer: Sophie was born in a poor family and was bound to work in a biscuit factory after passing out from school. However, she dreamt about having a lot of money, and owning a boutique. This was unrealistic about her dreams.




Question 8: Why did Jansie discourage Sophie from having dreams?


Answer: Jansie discouraged Sophie from living in a world of fantasy as her dreams were wild and impossible. She told her that they belonged to poor family and were earmarked to work in the biscuit factory after passing out from school.




Question 9: How do we know that Sophie’s family lived in poor circumstances?


Answer: We know that Sophie’s family lived in poor circumstances as her father worked as a labourer and they lived in a small, cramped, and suffocated house.




Question 10: Why did Sophie not want Jansie to know anything about her meeting with Danny Casey?


Answer: Sophie did not want Jansie to know anything about her meeting with Danny Casey because she knew that Jansie cannot keep a secret. Once she gets to know about something, she tells the whole neighbourhood about it.




Question 11: How did Sophie’s father react when Geoff told him about her meeting with Danny Casey?


Answer: When Geoff told his father about Sophie’s chance encounter with Danny Casey, he expressed disdain and rubbished her story. He changed the topic and warned Sophie that such made up stories would land her into trouble someday.




Question 12: What thoughts came to Sophie’s mind as she sat by the canal?


Answer: Sophie felt doubts stirring inside her, as she sat by the canal waiting for Danny Casey. When she says no sign of him, she remembered Geoff’s words that Casey would not come. She thought what she would tell her family.




Question 13: Which was the only occasion when Sophie got to see Danny Casey in person?


Answer: The only occasion when Sophie got to see Danny Casey in person was when she went to watch the match with her family. Sitting amongst the spectators, Sophie saw Casey from a distance.




Question 14: Why did Jansie discourage Sophie from entertaining thoughts about the sports star, Danny Casey?


Answer: Jansie was a realist, and not a daydreamer like Sophie. She discouraged Sophie from entertaining thoughts about the sports star, Danny Casey, because her dreams were wild and impossible.




Question 15: Why did Sophie wriggle when Geoff told her father that she had met Danny Casey?


Answer: When Geoff told her father about Sophie’s meeting with Danny Casey, Sophie wriggled because she knew that her father would not believe it. Sophie was sure that he would be angry with her on hearing about the incident.




Question 16: What did Sophie tell Geoff about her meeting with Danny Casey?


Answer: Sophie told Geoff that she met Danny Casey at Royce’s and said that she asked him for an autograph but neither she nor Danny had a pen or paper. She also said that Danny promised to meet her next week.




Question 17: “Damn that Geoff, this was Geoff thing, not a Jansie thing.” Why did Sophie say so?


Answer: Sophie had told Geoff about her chance meeting with Danny Casey expecting that he would keep it to himself. Sophie said this as she was annoyed that Geoff had leaked her secret and feared that now Jansie would tell everyone about it.




Question 18: Does Geoff believe what Sophie says about her meeting with Danny Casey?


Answer: Geoff did not believe Sophie’s story about her meeting with Danny Casey. He dismissed the whole story as a most unlikely thing and told her that Casey would never keep his promise of meeting her again to give her his autograph.




Question 19: What did Sophie imagine about her meeting with Danny Casey?


Answer: Sophie imagined that she had met Danny Casey at Royce’s and asked him for an autograph but could not get it as neither of them had paper or pen. Casey promised to meet her gain next week.




Question 20: Write a character sketch of Jansie.


Answer: Jansie is a practical and realistic girl who knows her limitations. belongs to a poor family and is aware of the fact that she would work at the biscuit factory after passing school. She is also nosey.




Long Answer Type Questions: 6 Marks (120-150 Words)




Question 1: Every teenager has a hero/heroine to admire. So many times, they become role models for them. What is wrong if Sophie fantasises about Danny Casey and is ambitious in life?


Answer:  Sophie was a girl having unrealistic dreams. She felt that would become either a boutique owner, shop manager, actress or a fashion designer, though her friend Jansie realised that with their background and education, they would just become workers in a biscuit factory.


Like every young girl, Sophie also had a strong desire of knowing the unknown, seeing the unseen and even dating famous people like Danny Casey. So, she visited the perfect place for lovers and sat on the solitary wooden bench under the tree waiting for Danny, but there was no sign of him. So, she became burdened with sadness. This kind of fantasising may lead to depression among teenagers, as their life’s ambitions are not fulfilled. It is not wrong to be ambitious in life. However, being over-ambitious like Sophie leads to failure and frustration in life. Hence, once should set practical goals in one’s life.


Question 2: Teachers always advise their students to dream big. Yet, the same teachers in your classrooms find fault with Sophie when she dreams. What is wrong with Sophie’s dreams?


Answer: Sophie lives in a world of dreams, which is far from reality. It is not unreasonable to have high hopes and ambitions for one’s future, but such dreaming can be justified only when is prepared to work hard to realise one’s dreams.


Sophie too needs to work hard to achieve her drams, instead of just imagining a bright and successful future for herself or fantasising about her meeting with Danny Casey. She should accept the reality that she belongs to a middle-class working family. Initially, she would face some difficulties because of her poor financial condition, but if she persists with sincere devotion, she could certainly raise her status to the level from where she would actually have the company of successful people like Danny Casey. Besides, with better educational qualifications, increased opportunities, hard work and more savings, she could even own a boutique in future.


Question 3: Sophie lives in a world full of dreams which she does not know that she cannot realise. Comment.


Answer: Sophie has been portrayed as the central character in the story ‘Going Places’. She perfectly represents the girls of her age who live in poor families.


Sophie always lives in a dream world, dreaming impossible things. The opening scene of the story clearly depicts what sort of girl she is. She is not ready to accept the reality of her family’s condition and dreams of having a boutique of her own.


She makes up a story of meeting Danny Casey, a charming and upcoming footballer. Nobody believes her but she refuses to accept that it is her fantasy. Rather, she starts believing that she has met him and to prove that she is telling the truth, she makes up another story that she has fixed a date with him. She is so lost in her dreams that she actually goes to the canal and waits for him. Danny does not show up. She knows that he will not come, but still she becomes sad. Such is the character of Sophie.


Question 4: It is not unusual for a lower middle-class girl to dream big. How unrealistic were Sophie’s dreams?


Answer: Sophie always lived in a make-believe world of her own and had the unrealistic expectation that she will have a successful career as a boutique owner, store manager, actress or even a fashion designer. This was totally unrealistic, as she was from a working-class family and was bound to work in the local biscuit factory after passing out from school. Similarly, she imagined that a famous footballer like Danny Casey would date her. She even went to the extent of waiting beside the canal for him. After he did not turn up, she realised that this was only her dream and Danny will never date her. Even then, she is lost in her dream world, becoming sad that Danny did not come. This shows how unrealistic were her dreams.




Question 5: How different is Jansie from Sophie?


Answer: Sophie and Jansie were classmates as well as friends. They both belonged to lower middle-class families. But that is where their similarity ends. There is a striking contrast between their characters. Sophie is a daydreamer and Jansie is practical. Sophie lives in a world of dreams and does not want to come out of this fairyland. She is an incurable escapist and dreams of having a boutique, becoming an actress or a fashion designer. Jansie, on the other hand, is very grounded. She has her feet firmly planted on the ground and knows they are both ‘earmarked for the biscuit factory’. She knows big things require big money and experience which they lack desperately. She advises Sophie to be sensible and not entertain wild dreams. Sophie and Jansie’s temperaments differ greatly. While Sophie shares her dreams only with her brother, Geoff, Jansie on the other hand is nosey. She takes an interest in learning new things about others and can spread stories in the whole neighbourhood.




Question 6: Has Sophie met Danny Casey? What details of her meeting with Danny Casey did she narrate to her brother?


Answer: No, Sophie never really met Danny Casey. She has just seen Danny Casey on the field when she went to watch team United play a football match. There, she was one of the spectators and could see Casey playing only from a distance.


However, Sophie lived in an imaginary world. Casey was a young sport-star and Sophie worshipped him as her hero. Her meeting with Casey was just another of her wild fantasies. She was so engrossed in her daydreams that what she imagined seemed real to her.


Sophie told her brother Geoff that she met Casey near Royce’s. As she was looking at the clothes, Casey came and stood beside her. She wanted to take his autograph for her younger brother Derek, but neither of them had a pen or paper. Casey then suggested that they could meet again next week, and then he would also give his autograph.


Question 7: What were Sophie’s plans for the future? Why would you call her dreams unrealistic?


Answer: Sophie planned to open a boutique after she passed out of school. When Jansie told her that opening a boutique would require a lot of money, she said that she would become a manager and save money for her boutique. She latter also added that she would either become an actress or a fashion designer.


For a girl from a lower middle-class family such dreams are certainly far from reality. Sophie’s friend Jansie, who is quite practical, knows that they will ultimately have to work in the biscuit factory. She even dissuades Sophie from indulging in such childish fantasies. But Sophie wants to materialise all those things which were simply not possible practically. Never for once in the story does Sophie think practically or come out of her dream world.


Question 8: Draw a character sketch of Sophie’s father.


Answer: Sophies’ father is a happy-go-lucky and carefree man. He does not appear to be either soft or even sophisticated. He is a heavy breathing man. He usually sits in his vest at the table. Sophie, it appears, fears him. He does not believe in his daughter’s wild stories and so he ignores her completely and prefers to watch television than listen to her. Even when his son Geoff tells him that Sophie had met the Irish prodigy, Danny Casey, he completely ignores the news. He is extremely interested in football and, like all his children, he also adores Danny Casey. He is a middle-class man who goes to the pub on his bicycle to celebrate his team’s victory and the fact that Casey had scored a second goal. He is a rather dominating person and a typical representation of the lower-middle family of that time.




Value Based Answer Type Questions: 6 Marks (120 – 150 Words)


Question 1: Sophie lives in her fantasies. She hopes to make it big. You realise that the modern-day youth are also like that. You decide to write an article about the need to dream and how it can prove to be harmful sometimes.




Dream Big


by Asha


We all hope to achieve our inner dreams and desires someday. Dreams are like a guiding light; they make us work harder. It is only when we dream big that we can achieve something great in life, because every dream precedes the goal. It is well said that one who does not dream cannot reach his goals. But how much living in fantasy world is good? The modern-day youth has the tendency to drift away in their wild fantasies without realising the reality. Being always in a dream world actually does more harm than good.


This does not mean that we should be afraid to dream. What is needed is a balance. We must never forget the difference between imagination and reality. It is important to dream, because only then can we strive to achieve our goals. Just forgetting reality in the pursuit of dreams is harmful.


Question 2: Now I have become sad, she thought. And it is a hard burden to carry this sadness. Sitting here waiting and knowing he will not come I can see the future and how I will have to live with this burden. They of course will doubt me, as they always have, but I will have to hold up my head remembering how it was. Already I envisage the slow walk home and Geoff’s disappointed face when I tell him, “He didn’t come, that Danny.” And then he will fly out and slam the door. “But we know how it was,” I shall tell myself, “Danny and me.” It is a hard thing, this sadness.


Sadness is really difficult to carry. And more difficult is to carry unfulfilled desires.


After reading the above statement and ‘Going Places’ who far do you feel that sadness and unfulfilled desires can’t be carried for a long time? Elucidate.


Answer: Sadness and unfulfilled desires are both difficult to carry. Their burden produces more and more sadness and frustration. Therefore, one needs to be happy and not think about the unfulfilled desires and move on in life. Sophie, the protagonist of the story ‘Going Places’ has been nurturing her dreams since her childhood. She dreams of becoming a fashion designer, a manager, or an actress when she grows up. Besides, she has taken a fancy for Danny Casey, a young footballer, and often imagines being with him. She has been telling stories regarding her imaginary meetings with Danny.


To create twists in something which has not happened is really painful, as one is cheating oneself only. Her poverty, her shattered dreams and unfulfilled desires are very painful as she has to carry them permanently. In real life too, if one is sad and there is no way to mitigate this sadness, every passing moment adds to more and more sadness, and unfulfilled desires are often a source of sadness. Therefore, one needs to be happy and not think about the unfulfilled desires and move on in life.






bottom of page