Novel, Catch Us If You Can – The Title Suits The Story Perfectly
“The title suits the story perfectly”
Using details from the novel you have studied, discuss whether you agree with the statement above. Give reasons for your answer. Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
The title of the novel “Catch Us If You Can” by Catherine MacPhail is simple and catchy that suits the novel perfectly because it captures the actions of a grandfather and a grandson who cause a frenzy when the police launch a massive search for them. The grandfather has run away from an old folks‟ home he hates and the grandson has escaped from a horrible children‟s home.
The title has the semblance of a challenge to the people tracking down the pair. It sounds cheeky, insolent and child-like and it reflects the character of the runaway pair. The grandfather, suffering from age-related ailments can be childish and does not realize the implications of what he has done. In his pursuit, he has caused bodily harm to a youngster who recognizes his grandson, Rory, from the news on television and wants to turn them in. Then, he steals a car to get away. All these can be considered criminal but he is happily nonchalant or ignorant of all the legal implications. His grandson and accomplice, Rory, is a child who knows no better. The expression „If You Can‟ is not only tongue-in-cheek, but also suggests that tracking them down can be difficult. One would think it would be easy to catch them but it is not. Although what they are doing is unbelievably crazy, they have earned the sympathy of many people along the way and this has helped them to evade the police for so long. First, Darren, Rory‟s best friend, plans the first lap for them when he steals his mother‟s caravan key for them to hide out while they think of a better plan after they leave the homes.
Then, they meet Sammy and Ruby who offer them help as the police are closing in on them. Next, there is Rab at the petrol station who gives them a respite and convinces them that they should go and find Jeff McIntosh, Rory‟s father, in Liverpool because it is time for him to do something „in his whole useless life‟. After that, there is Annie, Rab‟s girlfriend, who hands them over to her cousin, Norma. Norma finally brings the whole saga to an end when she decides to call the police because she can see that the old man really needs medical help.
The title suits the story perfectly because it is a story about a grandfather and a grandson on the run. It is also a reflection of what the story is – the police are not looking for regular criminals but just two ordinary people whom the police do not want to apprehend but to protect and keep out of harm.