Year 9 – Mr Bakewell’s set

I’d like you to finish the essay question on whether Sally Lockhart is presented as a damsel in distress or a feminist heroine. Take the evidence from the extract you have and look at the description of her and the way she acts in the passage. Some great ideas came out of the end of the lesson. For Wednesday please.


6 thoughts on “Year 9 – Mr Bakewell’s set

  1. Katie L

    The main character in Ruby in the Smokes, Sally Lockhart, is portrayed in different ways . One of which, a feminist hero, and the other being a damsel in distress.

    I believe that she could be seen as a damsel in distress because she seems helpless and in need of someone saving her- not from a person, but from her own mind. Some evidence concerning this matter is: “She was a person of sixteen or so – alone.” This is steering my opinion because this is how women are portrayed in books before something nearly kills her and gets saved by a handsome prince. Apart from, from this passage, I know that this isn’t that kind of novel.

    However, Sally can also be classed as a feminist fighter. She seems like someone who can pack a punch if they are needed to. Some evidence (I have quite a few pieces about this side of the argument: “She was going to kill a man”, “She tapped on the glass.” Both of these are quite aggressive actions, which suggests that she could be a feminist.

    In my opinion, to conclude, I believe that Sally Lockhart is a feminist heroine, because from research, she is a fighter, a hero, not someone to give up.

  2. Jonah

    Sally Lockhart could be interpreted as a feminist heroine. All through the passage she is very pushy and not timid like in this quote, “Is Mr Shelby in? Can I see him?” Her character is portrayed through this as being more of a feminist heroine than a maiden in distress.

    However I believe that she is a maiden in distress. If the author wanted to make a stereotypical maiden in distress they would have made her young and pretty, like he has done here “She was a person of sixteen or so – alone, and uncommonly pretty.” This could prove that when the writer wrote this he intended for her to be a maiden in distress.

    Also, her father has just died so she may be confused and doesn’t know what she is doing by killing a man. “I was very sorry to hear about your father” This proves that her father has just died. She may be just angry at her father’s death and doesn’t know what she is doing.

  3. Tyler Urch

    Sally Lockheart can be viewed as either a feminist hero, or a damsel in distress due to different evidence found in the extract.

    She may be viewed as a damsel in distress because:
    1. She is only 16, and our first impression of a 16 year old is the fact that they cant yet look after themselves nor can they solve huge problems. So this makes her look helpless and some may think she came to the shipping agents for help.
    2. The extract describes her as a unnaturally pretty girl, this sounds quite odd for a hero, more like a damsel in distress again!
    3. The old man says she was with him 10 years ago when she was 6, so its like Sally is walking to her family for help!
    She may be viewed as a feminist hero because:
    1. She is on her own and called for a taxi, AND paid for it on her own without any assistance whatsoever. This is just a small piece of evidence but there’s more…
    2. She seems very independent (The quality most heroes have), I think this because she done all the stuff on number 1 and walked straight up to the old man without hesitation and said to him very formally: “Is Mr Shelby in? can I see him?” without even saying please.
    3. Her father died but she carries on like nothing happened and barely responds to the old man when he mentions it. This means she’s hard to hurt (Emotionally)
    and it also links back to 2 and reinforces the fact that she’s independent ..
    3. Finally, the most strongest point of all, the reason I believe Sally’s a feminist hero is because she was planning to kill someone! This is definitely NOT what a damsel in distress would do, damsels in distress require help but Sally’s helping herself and taking it way to far.
    So my final conclusion is that Sally Lockheart is a feminist hero, no wait actually- she is a feminist anti hero because killing people is not heroic, its evil but since she is the main character there has to be some good behind her plans. I rest my case, Sally Lockheart is a feminist anti-hero!

  4. Saul :P

    On the one hand, Sally Lockhart could be presented as a feminist heroine. In the extract she is very demanding and in my opinion does not show emotion, for example in the text it tells us “She was going to kill a man” there is no explanation of who or why, this also in my opinion shows us that Sally Lockhart doesn’t care about what she will do.
    On the other hand, Sally Lockhart could be presented as a damsel in distress. This is seen in many parts of the extract, for example the text tells us when walking to the shipping agents she “looked up at the building” this could be a sign of her realising what she was about to do (kill a man) and a sign of weakness. Another example in the text is that she’s not thinking properly, this could be a sign of rushing in to quickly which would be common for people in distress. We can see this when the man asks her a question about her being at the shipping agents before, she reply’s
    “Have I?, I’m Sorry, I Don’t remember…” The Ellipsis in this case suggest hesitation, this also makes it feel like she wasn’t thinking.
    Another example of being in distress is that her father just died, although it doesn’t say when it suggests that it was quite recently. This also could link up to why she wants to kill a man, to get revenge. If this was the case this in my opinion this would be very quick thinking and irrational. This would suggest that she was in distress. – I personally think she is a damsel in distress

  5. sol

    I think she is a Daniel in distress
    my reasons for this is that she is 16
    and most 16 year olds are still very uneducated for the outside world
    also her farther has just died witch means she could be very emotively unbalanced witch is a dangerous thing.
    when this happens your mind goes cloudly and your old thinking about one thig in this case murder
    now it says in the text within 15 mins she was going to kill someone
    this show the over side of her the femmist side

    murder is an act that takes a stong will
    and in most cases a fighters intstinked
    mostly this is referd to the male bu she is proofing ots also for women

  6. KIERON :]

    Sally Lockhart ,of the book Ruby in the smoke by Phillip Pullman(1985) is a ,my opinion a heroin . my points to back this up is that she’s only 16. by the time this book is set in; late 1800s women still didn’t have rights so most didn’t venture out alone or without a man.
    London in the 1800s was a cruel vile place to be, let alone the business-end of London. no women would even dream to go there alone but sally did anyway.
    her father; recently deceased had had a huge impact on her emotional state of mind so she was very emotional at this time which could work in her favour by driving away any fear she had and replacing it with anger or remorse. so to concluded, sally lockheart was a heroin because of her will to go out into londons business end alone and use her emotions to help her.


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