C-a-t-a-l-y-s-t: Part I

Task 1: Sourcing

  • To choose a single news story that has surfaced in the last 10 days using only the media (no social media) to source the narrative.
  • The story needs to be evidenced physically; it cannot be hearsay.

The existing story I have chosen
(click here)

Task 2: Deconstruction and Analysis
Using your chosen news story, deconstruct it using the four components – theme, characters, setting and plot. Each of these areas should be researched and considered.

London – Housing Crisis – Gentrification

Task 3: Personal Narrative
You are required to change/rewrite either one or two of the components within the story whilst keeping the remaining two or three as they were. This will affect both content and aesthetics.


A town in shades of grey

Ella Pomeroy – better known as Ms. Pomeroy – was a devoting teacher. She was independent, determined and persistent, and liked to pretend she couldn’t care less about what others thought of her.

Much to her parents’ chagrin, Ella lived on a boat. When questioned about it, should would say she liked to travel and that a boat allowed her to move anywhere she wanted, whenever she wanted – which wasn’t a lie – but in reality, she simply couldn’t afford a house.
Still, she did move frequently. Following the course of the rivers and canals, she jumped from town to town in search for new adventures.

She had met all kinds of people and seen all kinds of things but there was one incident in particular that she would never be able to forget:

It happened a few years ago. Ms. Pomeroy had just accepted a position in a public school in the suburbs of East London. She sailed her boat through Lea River and chose a nice ‘parking’ spot, not too far from her new school.

Ella walked through the door and jumped off her boat onto the wooden wharf. She couldn’t believe her eyes: the town had no colours; everything existed in shades of grey. She took a few steps forward. People passed by, acting naturally as if they didn’t realise there was something wrong. Were they not seeing the same as her?

Ella looked around, astonished. Not a single person seemed surprised with their surroundings. Maybe she was imagining it. She felt tired. Perhaps that was causing the sudden sight glitch. She decided to go back to her boat and sleep it off. Surely, she would wake up the next day and everything would be back to normal.

It wasn’t. Ella woke up and everything was still black and white. She got up, got dressed and left for work. On the way to the school, she entered a coffee shop and asked for a flat white and a blueberry muffin. She had her breakfast by the window while reading the daily newspaper and then left to school.

The next day, Ms. Pomeroy was on her way to work when she passed by the same coffee shop from the day before. There were tens of people in the street, looking confused and talking to each other. The coffee shop had been coloured. She could now see the bright white of the window frames against the subtle blue of the walls. It was so beautiful and different from everything around it that it made her eyes ache.

She headed down to school. What in the world was happening? All the places in which she had been the day before (her classroom, the cafeteria, the teachers’ lounge, the ladies’, etc.) were now coloured. Everyone was amazed.

After a week in her new town, she started to realise she was causing the change. Wherever she went, that place would become coloured and soon people that were strangers to the town would appear out of nowhere to populate those spaces.

A few months went by. These new residents – creatives and business people – were bringing more colours with them – different colours; expensive shades. The town grew brighter, bigger and busier.

Looking around, Ella could see colours everywhere but also buildings and people. Sure, she was happy to see colours again but the new buildings were so high they were blocking the sun and the view to the canal and the town was always so busy that she would barely leave the boat. Whenever she went downtown, she couldn’t recognize any faces anymore. All people were strangers and no one smiled or said ‘Hello’ to her.

Ella wasn’t happy. She decided to leave. She quit her job at the school and sailed her boat to a new town. Weeks later, she heard from one of the teachers at her old school: the colours had faded and returned to original shades of grey. The town deteriorated and the creatives and business people left, leaving tens of abandoned grey buildings behind.


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