A character’s methods and objectives

Improve your understanding by answering the question then checking your response against the sample answer.


Ebony has run out of money and wants her mother to give her some. Her motivation is to persuade her mother to give her enough money to go out with her friends, but her methods and objectives are different. What do you think her objectives are in each speech?

Objective A - Ebony: ‘Do you want a cup of tea Mum? Sorry if I’m grumpy, I’m just a bit fed up. It’s just everybody is going out tonight. It’s a really special evening and I can’t afford to go. It’s tough when everybody else gets a lot more pocket money than I do. I’m not complaining, I know how lucky I am. I just feel like I’m letting my friend down on her birthday…’

Objective B - Ebony: ‘I can’t believe you won’t give me any money! Don’t you know how important this evening is? Oh don’t be really mean Mum. Please. Please lend me the money Mum. I’ll be miserable all night if you don’t. Please Mum. I’ll do all the housework tomorrow. Please Mum, don’t be mean. Please lend me the money…’

Objective C - ‘Are you going out later? I’m just asking because you went out last night Mum, didn’t you? I saw you…and who you were with. Is that a new dress you were wearing? Nice. Does Dad know you bought it? Ah, it’ll be nice actually, to have a night in with Dad. What time’s he home? Of course, I could go out, if only you’d give me some money…’

If all of these speeches were linked, Ebony’s continual motivation would be to get money. However the objectives do vary in each scenario.

Objective A: Here Ebony wants to make her Mum feel sorry for her and also play on her guilt that her daughter has no money.

Objective B: Ebony tries to wear her Mum down into giving her the money by begging and being persistent.

Objective C: Now Ebony has brought out the big guns and is shamelessly threatening her mother and trying to blackmail her into giving her money.

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