Going Places by A.R. Barton is about fantasies and dreams. The teenage period is a time where dreams are far from reality. It is about aspirations and about doing the impossible. In this age, there is a hero we tend to worship and look up to. This reality is the main background of the story.
Sophie: She is a teenage girl from a middle-class family, who dreams of being either a manager or an actress or fashion designer. She also wishes to own a boutique but without earning money or having the necessary qualification. Her father wants her to take up a job at the biscuit factory.
Jansie, Sophie’s close friend: She is practical and tells Sophie that working hard and earning money can help achieve big dreams.
Sophie’s father: He is a hard worker and manages to make ends meet. He lives in a small room that is used for cooking and washing clothes. He does not like Sophie’s habit of daydreaming and is insensitive towards it.
Sophie’s mother: She used to be a hard-working woman because of financial issues. All the household chores have resulted in her having a bent back.
Geoff, Sophie’s brother: A junior mechanic who is self-involved and does not mingle with this family. Sophie wants to know his secrets and wants to meet his friends. Sophie does not like his silence and is fascinated by his life. She wants to go on bike rides with him and be a part of his life.
Danny Casey: A prodigy, soccer player.
Let us now look at the Going Places summary.
Going Places Summary
Sophie is a teenage girl who has big dreams. She comes from a poor family background. She wishes to own her own boutique after school. If not that, she is very certain that she can become an actress or a fashion designer. Her friend, Jansie, tells her that dreams come true if you have money or experience. She also tells her that they are expected to work in a biscuit factory after school ends because of their family background. Sophie lives in a house, which is very small for the number of people in her family. Her family does not believe her, as she is known to make up stories and scenarios in her head that are far from reality. Her elder brother Geoff, who does not let anyone enter his life, fascinates her. He is strong, handsome and tall. She is jealous of his silence and wants him to take her on bike rides.
Sophie is attracted to Casey who is a soccer player. She tells her brother that she met him at the arcade, which is not true. Geoff does not believe her as he finds it to be unlikely. She also tells him that Casey had asked her to meet him somewhere else, too.
Sophie keeps building the story up in such a manner that she starts believing in it. She walks by the canal along the path that was sheltered. This is in the same neighbourhood as that of her house. This is a place where she used to play as a child. She waited for him on the wooden bench under the elm tree. She spends time waiting for him to come, but he never does. She then goes back home and feels sad on thinking that her brother would be so unhappy and disappointed. However, she never really comes out of the fantasy and believes that Casey will come to meet her.
Key Points to help you write answers
- Sophie dreams to have her own boutique that will be the best in the city. She wishes to buy it as soon as she gets money. She also says that she can become an actress if she gets to run a boutique on the side. Since she has no experience and no money to make her wish come true, it can be called a dream and not a plan.
- Jansie is practical and knows that both, her and Sophie are destined to work at the biscuit factory. She advises Sophie to be sensible as she does not have the money or experience to own a boutique. Jansie is very well aware of her financial background.
- Sophie and Jansie are extremely different. Sophie is an escapist and dreams big. She wishes for things that are far away from her reach. Jansie is practical and knows her stature. She is aware of her situation and that money and experience can take you a long way.
- Casey is a young Irish soccer player who plays for United. He was skilled enough to dodge the defenders easily and score goals. Sophie’s father admired him even though he was majorly into the old heroes. He also had 3 colored photos of Casey on his bedroom wall.
- Sophie’s dreams and disappointments are all in her head. She worships heroes and imagines meeting Casey. She turns out to be sad because of her fantasies. They are far from reality.
- The story uses a lot of metaphorical expressions.
- Sophie never really met Danny Casey. She had only seen him from a distance that too, during the football matches.
- The title ‘Going Places’ is suitable as the protagonist, Sophie, is a daydreamer and goes to places solely in her mind. She practically started believing that Casey was a part of her life, even though it was all her imagination. The unknown fascinated her, the reason why she was attracted towards her elder brother’s life.