By Ginette Anfousse, New Canada Publications
The main Character, Jiji (a girl which is named in another story), communicates with the reader directly by breaking the fourth wall. At first the main character is embarrassed by her injury, a black eye she got in a fight. She then names the friends that could not have given her the injury, and then names the assailant, Cloclo, a young ruffian with a temper. The narrator then explains how she instigated the fight, and threw the first strike. The battle is described, and the lesson Cloclo learned is explained, but a twist occurs when it is revealed that Cloclo is the narrator’s friend. The Narrator then tells the audience that fighting isn’t nice.
Guidelines for Philosophical Discussion
By Matthew Clarke
Written by Ginette Anfousse, "The Fight" is a short story in the series staring the little girl named Jiji, and her misadventures. This particular entry in the series has the little girl talking about the fall-out she received from a fight. This story is full of excellent issues to have a philosophical discussion about fighting, including consequences such as; injury, shame and destruction, and the supposed reasons to fight, defense of property, and verbal insults.
The first and most important thing done is the demonstration one of the effects of fighting: Immediately after the story begins, the little girl, Jiji expresses a degree of shame, and the audience discovers her injury, and that it was received in a fight. After Jiji gives "injury" as a negative result of fighting, she lists her friends and the reasons she could not fight them. Then the antagonist, Cloclo is introduced and some of the reasons to fight are given to us. Reason's such as insults and the protection of property. After a brief discussion around the students's experiences with fighting, the teacher would then talk about Jiji's friends, and the reasons they did not fight with her. Then the students would be pressed to find out why Jiji decided to fight Cloclo. From there the teacher would ask them to find out when, if ever, it is okay to fight. If the students are efficient with there discussion, and there is still time left, then the kinds of fights that are had can be discussed. Can you fight with a friend? If so, is there a difference between a fight between friends and enemies? Finally, if friends can fight, what should happen to the friendship afterwords?
The second question set is designed to look into the nature of insults. In "The Fight," Jiji called Cloclo a liar and an IG-NO-RA-MUS. This verbal assault is what caused the fisticuffs, and the reasons for the insults is because Cloclo said something incorrect. After establishing this order of events, we will ask the students if they have ever made fun of someone, and why? After receiving answers and finding out why insults happen, probably along the lines of "I didn't like them" and "they were weird," the students would be asked if they have ever been "teased," and how that made them feel. After the teacher finds out why students "make fun" of each other, and how it feels, the teacher will ask when it is okay to make fun of each other, if it ever is. After finding out when, or if, it is okay to insult someone, and there is time left, the student will be asked to discover the difference between insults and gentle teasing, if it exists.
In Jiji's Fight with Cloclo, the safety of her stuffed aardvark, which she loved dearly, is brought into question. This happens after Cloclo is insulted until he looses emotional control, and decides to take out his frustration on Jiji's property. This scenario is what the facilitator will focus on when they begin discussing the nature of property. The facilitator will introduce this concept by asking if the children can think of something very special to them, and why it is important. After that, the facilitator should then find out if the children have ever lost something that they cared about; like a toy, or an article of clothing. these initial questions will help the children understand value and a sense of loss created by inanimate objects. Once the children have this understanding, the question of when it is appropriate, if ever, to defend property with violence. If the children manage to come to a consensus, than the apposing view can be dicussed. After mentioning the reason Cloclo tried to wreck Jiji's toy, the children can be asked: When, if ever is it okay to take away someones property, or have it destroyed? Hopefully, this third and final question set, will help children understand the nature of ownership and punishment,
These question sets are designed to encourage discussion in children in order to first find out what causes us to fight, what is gained and what is lost.They're are also questions designed to find out the reason's why people tease each other and when it is okay, and questions to help children understand the nature of property. Due to the amount of feedback each child is likely to have in any one of these areas of discussion, I would recommend having a chart to record what is discussed, this makes it easier for the facilitator to keep their place. Any of these discussions would be initiated by asking at why the Jiji fought, and teased, or why she needed to defend her property. The questions go on the ask examples of fighting, ownership, and insulting from their own life, from there we see what these examples have in common. These examples would be used to see what the reasons for insulting, valuing objects, and fighting are. From there we would get the children to discover the importance of being nonviolent (as necessary), polite (when needed), and understanding ownership; by getting them to analyze what violence, and crass behavior, has done to the little girl, Jiji's life.
There are some terms to keep in mind when discussing "The Fight" with young children, as they may be unfamiliar. It is important to tell the children that an Aardvark is a pig-like mammal, native to southern africa. It may also be warrented to mention that Pichou, the Aardvarks name, is her favourite toy and not a pet. The other term that probably needs explanation, is ignoramus, or IG-NO-RA-MUS as it is shown in the book. Let the kids know that an ignoramus is a fool, or someone lacking knowledge.
Questions for Philosophical Discussion
By Matthew Clarke
This story is about a little girl and a fight she had.
You're a liar, and an IG-NO-RA-MUS.
Naturally I had to defend my little Pichou.