Short Stories: Changes English Grade 12 Study Guide and Notes pdf download

Short Stories: Changes English Grade 12 Study Guide and Notes pdf download: On this page you will find all resources needed for Changes – An Anthology of Short Stories Grade 12 book, such as: Stories Summaries, Questions and Answers, Notes, and exam structure. This content is for English FAL Paper 2 Literature exam.

Short Stories: Changes English Grade 12 Study Guide and Notes pdf download

Changes – An Anthology of Short Stories Grade 12 book Download

Changes – An Anthology of Short Stories Grade 12 book can be downloaded on this link.

Download the Short Stories: Changes English Grade 12: Mind the Gap Guide

Short Stories: Changes English Grade 12 Notes

Story 1: Transforming Moments

Transforming means change from one state to another. The story is about the narrator who changes from someone who has a low self-esteem to a confident female praise poet within a short space of time. This transformation is due to her encounter with a praise poet (Imbongi).

Transforming Moments Story Summary

The narrator is a seventeen-year-old girl who has very little self-confidence. She has low self-esteem because she believes she is ugly. She is a brilliant learner who reads a lot and produces excellent results. Some girls only befriend her because she does not mind helping them with their schoolwork.

The other girls tease her because no boys are interested in her. However, a handsome rugby player who comes from Port Elizabeth (Sizwe) asks the narrator to be his girlfriend. The narrator is not interested in him because she wants to concentrate on her studies. As they get to know each other, they become good friends. The narrator continues to concentrate on her schoolwork and does very well. This pleases her sister who pays for her education. The narrator also helps in the church and the minister, Father Fikeni insists that she joins the church choir. Her involvement makes her become Father Fikeni’s favourite.

Father Fikeni and his wife take her to visit his family in Tsolo for a weekend. The narrator describes the minister’s wife as someone who does not talk much. The narrator wishes she could be as beautiful as the minister’s wife (since she considers herself ugly). The minister takes the narrator to a meeting at the chief’s place. She observes the praise poet (Imbongi), named Cira and is impressed by his skill and language use. Cira has such an effect on the narrator such that she decides to also become a praise poet.

After writing her first poem, she reads it aloud and realises that she has a beautiful voice for reading poetry. She begins to love herself for the first time and her confidence grows. She thinks she may be the first female praise poet and she knows Father Fikeni will be happy for her. Her trip turns out to be a turning point of her life.

Character Analysis

The Narrator:

  • She is a round character, she experiences both inner conflict and outer conflict.
  • She is emotionally weak at the beginning.
  • She lacks confidence and has a low self-esteem.
  • She is intelligent as she gets high marks at school.
  • After the encounter with the praise poet she transforms, loves herself and becomes confident.
  • She is determined to pursue her talent as a woman praise poet.

Read the following extract and answer questions which follow:

My essays were the epitome of good work and they would be read to the whole class. I was probably proud of myself, even though I didn’t really give it any serious thought. Somehow, my academic success did not do much for my confidence or give me any self-love. I thought I was very ugly and the fact that my hair was so hard to manage did not make things easier. I used to describe it as dry grass in winter. After a while, I even stopped combing it. I’d wash it and dry it, get dressed in my black skirt and white shirt, which were not as nice as those of the other girls, and off I’d go to school. To top it all, I had knockknees and big feet! I was just so ugly and awkward – I hated myself. And, my God – I sat in the front desk! Miss-ugly-top-of-the-class.

Our school was one of the biggest high schools in the Eastern Cape and we had a great school choir that simply collected trophies. I remember Bulelwa’s voice every time I think of our choir. I used to close my eyes and enjoy listening to her sing. I don’t know how many times I wished I had a tape recorder so that I could tape her voice and have the pleasure of listening to her for the rest of my life. I must say, I felt great on those rare afternoons when Bulelwa would come and study with me under the black wattle tree near the teachers’ cottages. I loved that spot. And I also remember that Bulelwa would stand by me when some of the girls in dormitory teased me about boys.

  1. What is the setting of the story? (1)
  2. In which area of her schoolwork does the narrator show a particular talent? (1)
  3. Explain why the following statement is FALSE: The narrator’s academic success results in a fulfilling life for her. (2)
  4. Refer to line 6 (describe it as…stopped combing it.)
    • (a) Identify a figure of speech in this line. (1)
    • (b) Explain the comparison in this figure of speech. (2)
  5. What do the words, ‘that simply collected trophies’ imply about the school choir? (2)
  6. Discuss the narrator’s opinion about Bulelwa. (1)
  7. Refer to the story as a whole: Do you think the narrator admires the ‘boy from Port Elizabeth’? Discuss your view. (2

View answers here

More Questions with answers:

  1. What is the central theme of the story “Transforming Moment”? Answer: The central theme of the story is the transformative power of love and empathy.
  2. Who is the protagonist in “Transforming Moment”? Answer: The protagonist is a young girl who experiences a transformative moment.
  3. What event leads to the protagonist’s transformation in the story? Answer: The protagonist’s transformation is triggered by an encounter with an old woman who shows her kindness and love.
  4. How does the protagonist feel before and after the transformative moment in the story? Answer: Before the transformative moment, the protagonist feels hopeless and alone. After the transformative moment, she feels hopeful, loved and empowered.
  5. Why does the protagonist choose to help the old woman in the story? Answer: The protagonist chooses to help the old woman because she is inspired by the old woman’s kindness and love, and she wants to repay that kindness by showing her own.
  6. How does the protagonist’s transformation impact her future? Answer: The protagonist’s transformation leads her to lead a more meaningful and fulfilling life, as she begins to show compassion and kindness to others.
  7. What is the message that Gcina Mhlophe wants to convey through the story “Transforming Moment”? Answer: The message that Gcina Mhlophe wants to convey is that a single act of kindness and love can have a profound impact on someone’s life and lead to personal transformation.

Grade 12 English FAL Paper 2 Literature exam Structure

In the Paper 2 Literature exam, you need to answer questions from two sections. Choose the two sections that you know best:

  • Section A: Novel
  • Section B: Drama
  • Section C: Short stories
  • Section D: Poetry

A total of 70 marks is allocated for Paper 2, which means 35 marks for each section you choose. You will have two hours for this exam.

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