Private Peaceful, Essential Revision Notes

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Table of Contents

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare 4

Context 4

Summary 6

Characters 7

Beatrice 7

Benedick 7

Claudio 7

Hero 7

Don Pedro 7

Leonato 7

Don John 7

Margaret 8

Borachio 8

Conrad 8

Dogberry 8

Verges 8

Antonio 8

Balthasar 8

Ursula 9

Themes and Symbols 9

The Ideal of Social Grace 9

Deception as a Means to an End 10

The Importance of Honour 10

Symbols 11

The Taming of Wild Animals 11

War 11

Hero’s Death 12

Important Quotations Explained 13

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

Summary

Each chapter begins with a brief passage in which the speaker – Thomas ‘Tommo’ Peaceful – relates something of his present circumstances, before he begins to recollect events from the past.

Chapter 1: Five past ten

In the first chapter we learn that Tommo is young, is alone and that the night ahead is meaningful to him. For some reason he wishes to remain awake and alert. The subsequent chapter openings gradually provide more information about his circumstances through a series of hints and clues. But the precise nature of Tommo’s circumstances is not revealed until the final chapter.

After his brief opening reflection, Tommo then begins his recollection of his childhood, beginning with his first day at school. Throughout we learn about his family. Charlie, his older brother, protects and comforts him. Big Joe, his eldest brother, is cared for at home by his mother. We discover he is different in some way. Tommo describes his two contrasting teachers – Mr Munnings and Miss McAllister – and how he copes with his first day at school. The chapter ends with Tommo’s description of the death of his father, for which he feels responsible.

Chapter 2: Twenty to eleven

In the present, Tommo has food but doesn’t want to eat it. The uneaten stew becomes the springboard for further childhood memories.

We learn that Big Joe had meningitis as a new-born baby and that Joe has a very kind nature, loving everything and everyone, ...

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