Hint: Determine what
the narrator is trying to convince you of (what s/he's trying to "sell")
prior to determining his/her reliability.
Read each of these
monologues. Then decide whether or not you can trust (a.k.a. rely on)
what the narrators SAY. Finally, explain why you can or cannot
rely on that narrator. Hereís the trick though: You must be SPECIFIC
with your explanation AND you should repeat your reasonsótry to have a
different explanation for each monologue. Pay attention to the
details each narrator gives youÖ they are important.
Well, todayís the day. I have to break up with her.
Iím getting kidded all the time by the guys. They say sheís not cool
enough for me. Just because she dresses a little differently and is so
involved in school. And I like her. A lot. Sheís so smart! But I canít
stand the kidding. Iím afraid everyone will start to think Iím not cool
enough for them. Iíve got to keep up my reputation. Anyway, theyíre
right. I should be going out with someone who has more time for just me.
Sheís always busy with studying, or swim practice, or getting petitions
together about school policies. So Iíll just have to tell her I canít see
Iím telling you that girl had no business getting
into my business. Did you see what she did? She came right on up
to me at my locker with her bleached out hair asking me how it felt to be
dumped by Reggie Martin, her ex-boyfriend who she
dumpedólike Iím the fool for taking her leftovers. But you know she got
it all wrong because she got her information from Reggieís cousin. So I
tell her that sheís ignorant, that she shouldnít believe what some haters
are willing to invent, that I dumped him for being a
cheating fathead, and that she should get out of my face. I mean what
nerve, especially after what Takiesha told me about heróyou know that
sheís pregnant and doesnít even know who the father is!
I canít believe that cop! Arresting my baby just
like that in front of his own home! Doesnít he know that that boy is my
son? My son! And the stuff theyíve accused him ofÖ well, itís
just ridiculous. How could they say that he stole that manís car and then
led the police on a chase down Lake Shore Drive? My babyís only 14. He
doesnít know how to drive! And heís the most angelic boy, not like my
sisterís child who talks back with a mouth worse than a sailor. No, sir,
my boy, heís respectful. Why, just last week when he was leaving the
house after dinner, I reminded him that he needed to take out the garbage
(because heís always forgetting things like that). And he did it, no
grumbling, no eye rolling, he just did it like the sweet boy he is. And
heís always been like that, like looking after me when my feet were acting
up and I could barely walk. He was always ready to fetch me some water
from the kitchen when he was around and not out with his friends. So
sweet, telling me that he loves me, that he couldnít have any better momma
in the world. My babyís no criminal!
There is no way I deserve this grade! My momís gonna
hyperventilate when she sees this. I donít deserve no F in History! I
know anything you could ask me about history. That grade I got on the
Columbus test was bogus, man. That teacher hates me. You know I got that
stuff right! Like you quizzed me, right? So when I got that question on
the ships that Columbus sailed on, I wrote it all out just like it in the
textbook, because I know this stuff: Columbus sailed on the
PiŮata, and Bam! When I got that test back, it was wrong! Or like,
ďWhere did Columbus land his ship?Ē In India! Everyone knows that! I
mean where did the name ďIndiansĒ come from, eh? Bogus, man.
So youíre going to transfer? To what school?
Kennedy? Wow, you sure you want to do that? I donít know. Kennedy isnít
as nice as this place. Not like this place is perfect. But Kennedy? I
hear theyíve got all kinds of gang problems over there. Iíve never been
there though. And isnít transferring in the middle of the year a hassle?
I mean, Iíve stayed in the same schools for years, never transferred, but
I bet you that youíre going to have problems fitting in over there,
right? Think about all the friends youíll be leaving, and youíll be going
in there and the girls are just going to act all snobby like youíre
nothing. I mean, I wouldnít do that, but I bet they would because thatís
how girls are. Iíve been lucky and never left my school, always had my
friends around me, but I bet youíre going to hate it.
I canít believe my mother! Sheís such a control
freak. She never lets me do anything that I want to do. Thatís why Iím
thinking about moving out. Today was the last straw. See, my boyfriend
just got this apartment and he said I could stay with him. I could get
more hours waitressing at my job because Iím not just going to mooch off
my boyfriend. Iím going to pay my way. She just doesnít get it, that Iím
old enough to deal with life. As it is, I already take home a good bit of
money from tips and what I get out of the register when the manager isnít
looking. I can handle it. Iím gonna be great making it on my own.
Ha! That kid was scared, wasnít he? The coward, but
heís right to run, after trying to mess with me. You know I just benched
100 the other day? Just feel my muscle, feel my muscle. Thatís right.
Like a rock, isnít it? Haha, heíll think twice before coming my way
again. What? You didnít see what he tried to do? He came on up to me,
acting like he was all that with his boy and all, acting tough, just
bumped on into me, didnít even say ďSorry, manĒ or nothing. I could have
ripped his arm off! But I played it cool and turned around and said, ďYou
want a piece of me, ese?Ē He just sort of smirked like I was full
of it and I was going to go after him, for disrespecting me like that. I
swear I was going to take off my Tommy jacket and untuck my shirt and get
busy messing up his face, but then I saw this cop just hanging out on the
corner, so I had to let him live. But I know he was scared.
See that girl down there? Yeah, the one with the
long black hair? Sheís been making moves on my boyfriend. I see her
talking to him all the time in biology. No, Iím not in that class, but I
go by that room everyday when heís there to wave at him and see what heís
doing. And most days sheís busy talking to him when I walk by. He tells
me theyíre lab partners, but come on! Sometimes I stand there and watch
them for minutes at a time, and she leans over the lab report or shares
her notes with him. I was going through his folder again the other night
and I found this photocopy of notes from her with this message, ďHere are
the notes you missed for that lab we need to finish.Ē Of course I put it
back before he saw that Iíd gone through his stuff. But you see, I just
know she wants him. Also, yesterday, I followed him out after lunch
(after we said good-bye). I sort of hid behind that row of lockers there
to watch, and guess who just happened to come around the corner? Ms.
Thang over there. Iíve got to keep my eye on her.
All I got to say is that Iím not going to let my
little brother, Daniel, grow up to be a free-loading buster. And I can
see it now. Heís doing it already. The report card he brought home the
other day had nothing but a couple fair grades on itóthree Cís, two Dís,
and the rest Fís! Who does he think he is, like heís getting all ready to
flunk himself out of high school and be a burden to my mother, who, Lord
knows, has been through enough! I keep telling him heís got to wake
himself up, get his stuff together, because Mom ainít gonna be taking care
of him forever. I should know. She wonít even let me stay in my room no
more unless I pay up for some of the groceries. Itís hard hustling that
money! Sometimes I even have to mess with that old blind guy on the
corner, you know the whiny one with the little tin can and the ďVeteransĒ
sign around his neck. You know, like I pretend Iím putting some money in
when really Iím taking it out. Anyway, itís a big old cruel world out
there and that brother of mine needs to shape up! I know that heís just
gotta make something of himself.