If you’ve read the introduction as well as the notes to students that are found at the beginning of Hook and Eye, you’d realise that Philip Holden intended for this collection of short stories to be interpreted very personally. What that means is it meant to be experienced differently by different readers, because we are all very different people with very different lives.

This is what makes studying this text both easy and difficult. It is easy because your answers are dependent on your perceptions, not the perceptions of others. It is difficult because it means you cannot be spoon-fed by notes. A well-made set of notes will tell you what happens in the text, without being tainted by your teacher’s reflections. A poorly-made set of notes will distract you with someone else’s reflections – which you’ll be unable to replicate because they are based on someone else’s lives.
So, you’ll have to do the difficult, honest thing of questioning yourself and reflecting on how the story impacts you.

To help you with this, I’ve created a template that you can use after reading and digesting each story in this collection. Do this when you have time. Don’t break it up into 5 minute sections. That is not a good way to reflect honestly and openly. Every time you re-read each story, refer to the framework and ask yourself if there’s anything that you’d like to add or change, and why? What about your understanding has changed?

I hope this helps you. Good luck!

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