Wide Reading

Describe a character that interests you in The Fat Man and explain why that character interested you. Colin a 12 year old boy interested me from the book The Fat Man by Maurice Gee. Colin is a hungry boy caught up by the effects of the Depression. He learns from the fat man that his dad was a bully in school and the fat man wants revenge for what they did to him. Colin is interesting because of the time he lives in and because he has to learn truths about his parents and being brave and helping Verna.

We learn from the book that Colin is a hungry skinny 12 year old boy who is always desperate for food. As it was the Depression there was not enough money to buy food to eat. Laurie (Colin’s father) has trouble finding a job and getting enough money to feed his family. In the book it tells us that Colin is a hungry boy with the quotation “Colin Potter was a hungry boy. ” The other quotation “They were hard times. There were hungry times” tell us that Colin’s dad can’t find a job and get money that they need to buy food and they were quite hungry when Laurie couldn’t earn money.

I thought this was interesting as it is different from how children nowadays are being brought up in New Zealand and having enough food for the whole family to have plenty to replenish their hunger when we are hungry. It is hard to imagine how New Zealand children were like during the Depression, hungry for food. Colin is interesting because he has a scary encounter with the fat man and learns that he wants revenge for being bullied by Colin’s father at school. Colin meets the fat man at the creek. The fat man holds him back even though he doesn’t want to and discovers Colin had stolen his chocolate.

The fat man soon discovers that Maisie and Laurie were Colin’s parents. The fat man tells Colin about his parents. How his father bullied him at school and farting and blaming everything on the fat man. Laurie and his friends also spat sandwiches everyday at the fat man and made him eat them. “I cried too, everyday for a year. Pottsie liked it”. It tells us that Laurie made the fat man cry as he bullied him everyday for a year and the fat man hated it a lot. The second quotation “Then they’d spit on it… Spit sandwich was its name.

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I ate one of those everyday. ” The fat man had to go through Laurie and his friends spitting sandwiches on him everyday and he didn’t like it. It is very interesting seeing how Colin deals with truths about his father. In Colin’s eyes, his father seemed smaller to him now. Colin is a very interesting boy as he was very kind and supportive towards Verna when she had hard times. Despite Colin being very afraid of the fat man and the bullies at school, Colin stands up for Verna and walks her home even though he knows that the Rice gang is going to get him soon.

Colin walks home with Verna. The quote in the book is “I’ll walk with you” which was very kind of him even though he didn’t want to. Colin’s bravery to me makes him a very interesting character. Colin is a very interesting character in this whole story. He overcomes his fear of the fat man and the bullies at school because he was a kind boy and wanted to help Verna. I also learnt more about the Depression – how many people could not find jobs and therefore their families could not afford food.

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