Saturday, February 25, 2023

If I Were You by Douglas James

If I Were You by Douglas James


Gerrard prepares to leave his home for play practice but is interrupted by the sight of a burglar approaching him with a revolver. The burglar notices their striking resemblance and orders Gerrard to raise his hands. Despite the danger, Gerrard remains surprisingly calm and engages the intruder in conversation. Eventually, the burglar forces Gerrard to sit in a chair.


During their conversation, it becomes apparent that Gerrard is a mysterious single man who owns a car and is frequently in and out. Meanwhile, the burglar is a jewel thief on the run after killing a cop. He plans to murder Gerrard and assume his identity to evade the police.


Gerrard realizes that the burglar is impulsive and not very bright, so he devises a clever plan to deceive him. He fabricates a story about being a crook and a killer on the run from the authorities, just like the burglar. Gerrard convinces the burglar to come with him to the garage where they can both escape in his car.


However, once they reach the garage, Gerrard reveals that the garage door is actually a cabinet in which he locks up the burglar and notifies the authorities of his whereabouts. Through his quick thinking and agility, Gerrard saves his own life.

Let’s Infer Questions

1.     What did Gerrard tell the Intruder about himself? Was he telling the truth or was he being funny? If the latter, why?

Gerrard tried to mislead the Intruder by telling that when he was a child, gypsies kidnapped him and now in his thirties, he had no one in his life. However, Gerrard was not being truthful and was instead attempting to make light of the situation to demonstrate that he was not intimidated by an armed criminal. As a matter of fact, Gerrard had already begun fabricating stories about himself.

2.     What made Gerrard ask the intruder, ‘Are you an American’? (Clue: Look up the origin of ‘guy’ in the dictionary.)

When the Intruder says, “Better be careful, wise guy!” Gerrard asked him whether he was American because the word ‘guy’ is mostly used by Americans.

3.     Gerrard said, ‘You have been so modest.’ Was Gerrard being

a.     funny?

b.    truthful?

c.     ironic?
Give reason for your answer.

Gerrard was being ironic when he said to the Intruder that he has been very modest in his dealing with Gerrard, because instead of acting on his plan the Intruder was delaying things.

4.     The intruder announced, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ Was Gerrard nervous? How would you describe Gerrard’s reactions?

Gerrard was not nervous, rather he was ahead of the Intruder in planning his escape and concocted a story in his mind. Upon hearing the threat ‘I’m going to kill you.’ Gerrard remained calm and replied that once the Intruder knows about Gerrar he will not kill him and would regret twice if he proceeds with his plan.

5.     Do you think Gerrard

a.     was intelligent?

b.    had presence of mind?

c.     had a sense of humour?
Give evidence from the play in support of your answer.


Gerrard is intelligent and had a great presence of mind. He, by remaining calm and presence of mind, convinces the Intruder that Gerrard himself is hardcore criminal on the run and that the police his searching him in a case of murder.

6.     Pick out words from the play which indicate that the intruder was coarse and uncultured.


These are some of the words that indicate that the intruder was a coarse and uncultured person.


·      “Put those paws up!”

·      “I’ll make you crawl”

·      “I’m as smart as you and smarter…”

·      “I have got brains and I use them”

·      “dandy bus”

·      “tradespeople”

Let’s discuss

1.     It is not safe to stay alone, especially in secluded places.


Staying alone in secluded places can be risky and unsafe for various reasons. Firstly, there is a higher chance of being a victim of crime, such as theft, burglary, or assault. In secluded areas, there are often no witnesses or security personnel to provide protection. Criminals may take advantage of this situation and commit crimes.


Moreover, staying alone in isolated places can pose a significant risk to one's physical and mental health. If one falls sick or experiences an emergency, there may not be anyone around to provide assistance. This can lead to serious consequences and even result in fatalities. Additionally, prolonged isolation can have adverse effects on one's mental health, causing feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression.


Another danger of staying alone in secluded places is the risk of natural disasters such as floods, fires, or earthquakes. In such situations, being alone can increase the risk of harm or even death as there is no one around to help or provide assistance.


2.     Criminals often get caught because of their overconfidence.


Criminals who become overconfident in their abilities and success rate are more likely to get caught. This is because overconfidence often leads to careless mistakes and a false sense of invincibility, which can ultimately lead to their downfall.


One of the primary reasons why overconfident criminals get caught is that they underestimate the intelligence and resources of law enforcement agencies. They may believe that they are smarter than the police and can outsmart them. However, this kind of thinking often leads to making errors that give away their identity or location.


Overconfident criminals may also be more reckless in their actions, making them more noticeable and easier to track. They may be less cautious about leaving evidence at the scene of a crime, leading to the discovery of their identity. Additionally, overconfident criminals may be more likely to brag about their crimes, leading to them being reported by someone who overhears them.


Furthermore, overconfidence can lead to complacency and a lack of attention to detail. Criminals who believe that they are invincible may not take the necessary precautions to cover their tracks or avoid detection, leading to their arrest.


The Intruder in this play is also very overconfident and makes the mistake of believing Gerrard and gets ultimately arrested.



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