Secrets -Empathy Task



As mentioned in another post, ’empathy task’s are not an easy option. Below is an example from the ‘Secrets’. What is important to note, is the way the question is phrased is typical of a Prose/Drama empathy task.

Imagine you are Aunt Mary when your nephew visits you in the story Secrets, but you are no longer able to speak.  Write your thoughts.

Someone else entered the room. I try to open my eyes to see who it is, but it’s useless. It is like the sleeping dust has fossilized and my eyes are carved in rock. I recognize a new voice in the prayer, I know exactly who it is. It’s my nephew. His voice seems so different. As if he was expecting something. It was heavy with sorrow but I could sense there was something else. Regret. My body was stiff, and each of my fingers weighed a ton. A flashback rushed through my veins, right in front of my eyes. An elastic band. Scattered letters. I stared straight at a poor boy, who was betrayed by his own curiosity. And suddenly it struck me. “you are dirt, and always will be dirt. I shall remember this day till the day I die”. Desperation rushed through my inner body, as I tried, helplessly, to break the rock on my eyes. I twisted my head from side to side hoping he would see me. It was as if  my throat was blocked.

“I forgive you” I tried to say “listen to me! I forgive you!” someone else moves across the room…have they heard me? Wait!  What are you doing! Please, don’t take my dentures! PLEASE. Why didn’t anyone hear me! I felt my face collapse. Deformed. It melted on the sides. I tried opening my eyes but they were clamped together, tightly shut, but I did it. They were so heavy. I used all my strength, but it was useless. I couldn’t bring my eyeball round, couldn’t make it focus. “Please” I kept trying to say, but all that came out were grunts. “I forgive you!” I was exhausted. The shadow next to me stood up, and slowly, unstoppably, walked out the door. I never forgave him. WHY DIDN’T I FORGIVE HIM. Why couldn’t I leave my pride aside. I felt how life slowly drained out of me. Devastated, I decided not to fight anymore, and slowly but surely, drop by drop, what once had been my life, fell on the floor, and drowned in the small puddle that had formed.


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