- The Taxi Man's Story
1. What is the irony of the story?
The irony is the fact that the taximan criticizes young people of our generation for being too immature by hanging out at places like Hotel McElroy; while he still goes there to make an easy living as Hotel McElroy is a popular spot to earn more money. This is an act of contradiction, and instead of 'practising what he has preached', he has gone against his stand and decides to put money and making a living over his own beliefs and mind-set.
2. What are the themes raised in the story?
The themes raised are:
- How young people of Singapore have grown to be bold and reckless; as compared to the youth's of the 'old' Singapore.
- Differences of the 'old' (taximan's generation) and current (Lay Choo's generation) Singapore
- How making a living in Singapore has overcome the need to stand up for our own beliefs and make a stand to whatever opposes us
3. How realistic is this story?
This story is very realistic as it touches on how fast Singapore has advanced, be it for the better or the worse, just like how the current youths of Singapore have been 'learning' from older generations more quickly. This is realistic as it narrates a current affair of Singapore.
4. What do you think of the taxi man? Do you feel sympathy for him?
I do not think highly of this taximan. Although it is alright to put your job ahead of everything else in order to survive, I think Singaporeans should also have a sense of pride at the same time. We might be a small country, but we are advancing fast and it is important for us to be proud of what we believe in; rather than let that belief crumble under circumstances like earning a quick buck. Therefore, I do feel sympathy for this taximan as he struggles between putting the food on the table and having a sense of pride.
5. Do you agree with his lamenting?
As his 'lamenting' is supported by evidence through experience, I do agree.
6. What about the other characters in the story? Do you feel sympathy for them?
But maybe the 'madam'. She has to bear with the taximan's rants for the whole trip. Seriously pity her ;)
Anyway, for a clearer view of what I am saying above, I have made a summary:
So, the story starts of with a first person account of the taximan.(Note: the whole story is about him speaking, no other dialouge or narration included.) This taximan is engaged in a rather one-sided conversation with his passenger, whom he adresses as 'madam'. The setting of the story: 'madam' is a teacher and is rushing for a meeting. So, the taximan goes on and on about how the younger generation of Singapore are being unfillial to their parents by stating that they have a school -related activity while in actual fact the child is off enoying themselves in the company of their 'European or American boyfriends', which the taximan claims are filthy rich. He also states a personal experience as evidence, with his daughther being the unfortunate culprit. but in the end, the irony would be evident. find out for your self in Catherine Lim's Little Ironies: Stories of Singapore