Oral presentation (model: Liam O'Flaherty's Civil War)

Consider the following two openings of an oral presentation of "Civil War":

1. It's about two men on a roof in Dublin. One of them is called Murphy - he's stocky, the other one is called Dolan, and he's a lieutenant in the Irish Rebellion. They are waiting for the English army to move in on them and eventually kill them, and now Dolan is thinking of his family, and he kind of regrets his involvement in the war. There's no turning back, which he should have realized before entering the war which seemed like a glorious thing to him - he even bought a new blue coat for the fight . . .

2. "Civil War"  presents the problem of a divided Ireland during the Easter Rising in 1916. The two Irish rebels waiting for the English to attack are not agreed as to whether they should give up fighting or see the rebellion through - at the expense of their lives. The lieutenant formally in command, Dolan, is a family man who regrets ever taking part in the rising, but the true leader of the two is Murphy, a bull like soldier who will fight to the very end. Therefore Dolan is contemplating how to kill Murphy and surrender to the English soldiers before they shoot them both . . .

As you will probably see, your presentation will gain from a sorting of the elements in thematic elements and elements related to plot, setting, etc. - in other words:
your oral presentation should be organized much like a written paper,
and the elements to include in this story would be (preferably in this order):

a) theme(s): two factions of the movement (never one united Ireland?)
                    war is awful (pacifism?)
                    you have to consider the consequences before you charge
                    heroes/martyr(dom) etc.
                    (not all of equal importance of course)

b) characterization of protagonists including Dolan's trying to convince himself first of one thing and of then the opposite (e.g. love for his wife and family)

c) specific information that backs the interpretation: 'blue coat', 'snoring people'

d) the setting and its symbolic significance (if any, of course)

e) images that take on a symbolic meaning: the rising sun; the patchwork of roofs;
    and their purpose of establishing a certain mood

f) language and style: the way the writer chose to tell his story (which is realistic as well as psychological - a mix of first person narrative and a third person 'detached' angle); length of sentences; vocabulary/word choice.

Erik Moldrup