Student Recall Protocols with My Analysis
Sartre, "Le Mur," part 3 (end of story)
beginning of class, students were asked to take about five minutes
to write in English everything they remembered from reading this
last section of the story (without consulting the text). The five
students are identified by letter. Factual corrections appear in
boldface; my analyses appear in italics.
didn't understand why he was left. He seemed a little upset because
he had been waiting to die and now they were making him live longer
to ponder death some more. The soldiers took him to one of their
superiors who kept asking him where to find Ramon Gris. He kept
trying to intimidate Pablo and was very phony. Pablo said he didn't
know where to find Ramon Gris. The fat, phony guy told him that
he would let him live if he told them where to find Ramon. Then
they sent him to his cell [the laundry] to think about it. He decided
that, though he knew where Ramon was, he wasn't going to tell on
him. He didn't even like Ramon anymore, but he felt he was ready
for death-a "proper death." He decided to make up a story
about where Ramon was. He told the soldiers he was in the cemetery
(he was really supposed to be at his cousin's house hiding). The
soldiers told him he would be sorry if he was lying. After the soldiers
came back from searching for Ramon, they put Pablo in a giant camp
with all kinds of prisoners (even women and children). They were
fed at a dining hall in this prison. He didn't understand why they
let him live. It turns out, as the baker told him, that Ramon had
had a fight with his cousins. He really did go to hide out in the
cemetery where the soldiers shot him as he resisted arrest. When
Pablo heard this, he laughed out loud.
recall offers a great many important and accurate details, along
with some thoughtful comments, such as the note of Pablo's state
of mind in the second sentence.
the others are taken, except Pablo.
description of the sky is very positive again at this point, probably
either expressing Pablo's optimism or adumbrating his not having
to die-or both.
others are killed, but Pablo is not.
ask Pablo to tell them where some guy they're after is, but Pablo
refuses to tell. They put him in some room to be alone for 15
minutes to think about whether he should tell them or not. Pablo
knows exactly where the guy is, but after15 min. are up he makes
some story about where the guy is, leading the "bad guys"
on a wild goose chase-so Pablo thinks. It turns out, however,
that the guy they're looking for indeed is where Pablo told them
he'd be, and they killed the guy. So Pablo's life is spared by
remember Pablo laughing to himself a lot and thinking that "the
bad guys" were very funny-he found their methods and motivations
humorous, and he analyzed them very precisely. He also thought
the murder of the guy was funny.
recall is accurate, with more focus on analysis of why things happened
and what they mean than on what happened. The analysis is not very
thorough, however; for instance, the final note that Pablo "thought
the murder of the guy was funny" ignores the irony and tragedy
of the situation, giving the impression instead that Pablo was amused.
is left alone in the basement. He thinks about the imminent death
of Tom and Juan but essentially feels nothing. Eventually, someone
comes to ask him questions about where his friend is located, telling
him that his life can be saved if he gives up his friend. Pablo
lies about where his friend is or actually makes up a random place
in order to stall for time. Unfortunately for the friend it turns
out he is actually there and they capture him and let Pablo go.
However, his friend is condemned to die instead. [killed in a shoot-out
at the cemetery.]
recall includes more commentary than details about the action It
is a general but mostly accurate summary.
thinks that they will take him too, to kill him. He knows that he
lied to them about the whereabouts of his friend, so he thinks they
found out that he lied. Really, though, what he told them (that
his friend was hiding in the cemetery) turned out to be the truth.
So, they got the information that they wanted to get from Pablo,
although he doesn't think he gave them the correct information.
When he realizes this, he realizes he got his friend killed, but
he will be set free. This feeling of confusion is what we are left
with at the end.
recall focuses on the main point (the irony of the situation), but
it generally ignores the details of the action.
the soldiers calls Tom, he doesn't answer. They call Juan and he's
bawling and they have to carry him out. Tom goes. Pablo asks why
he's not going too, they say wait. He gets taken before some interrogators
to find out where Ramon Gris is. He won't tell them. They send him
to a laundry room to wait some more. He thinks about why he's not
telling them where Ramon is. He goes in front of the man again and
decides to play a trick on them. He tells them Ramon is in the cemetery.
He just wanted see them run and scramble around-he laughs just thinking
about it. They come back and put him in with all the others-he won't
be executed. He talks with someone else he knows who says Ramon
was caught because he was stupid and hid in the cemetery. Pablo
recall is an objective and accurate retelling that offers very little