Bali IB DP English

“Coffee with Max Havelaar” – Debate/discussion: Droogstoppel vs. Scarfman.

In Coffee with Max Havelaar on 17/04/2009 at 14:31

Host: Welcome ladies and gentle to the final and most anticipated episode of “Coffee with Max Havelaar”. Today, we’re bringing two principle narrators in the novel, Droogstoppel and Scarfman themselves, and watch them verbally battle in all their glory while we watch them as amusement. Let’s give them a round of applause… (Audience cheers). So…our topic today is POVERTY. Let’s begin with Mr. Droogstoppel, shall we? What are your opinions on this issue?

Droogstoppel: Well, I’m certain than poverty is nothing but a false illusion if you ask me. For example, when we see people begging on the sidewalks and streets; one can’t ALWAYS assume that it’s not their fault…for all we know that scoundrel who resorted to chopping off his right arm so passers-by would pity him could have gotten into a rather shameful situation where he gambled more than half his fortune, and now has to live off scraps and his dirty pity money.

Scarfman:  That’s absurd! What if it was a poor widow bearing sick children in her arms? Should we not find in our hearts to aid her even in the smallest ways during her time of hardship? 

Droogstoppel:  Aid her how exactly? Give her food? Ha! I tried that once during a trip in Java, and it didn’t end quite well.

Host: Tell us about it. 

Droogstoppel: Well, I was in my carriage while crossing the market place in Banten, while a group of young panhandlers approach the vehicle and start asking for money. I assure you that had I carried some extra change in my wallet, I would have had something material to spare. But…all that was in my possession was 20 stivers, and a packet of krupuks which I had recently purchased.

Host: Which did you give up? 

Droogstoppel: One of my oranges, of course. You could hardly imagine that I would actually distribute my extra money on people who would most certainly be able to earn just as much by doing some proper work! But the devil…did you know what they did next? Chucked the packet right back at me! In my face! It was preposterous and violent! The values of these beggars truly shock me sometimes…

Scarfman: But my dear Droogstoppel, think of their circumstances! Perhaps these “scoundrels” you talk of depend on money not always for food, but perhaps for security and other outside influences. Think of their background! 

Droogstoppel: Ha! What influences? Drugs and alcohol? Bullies? You see, this all goes back to whose fault it is again! It’s either corruption or laziness; caused by themselves or their parents.  

Scarfman: I disagree.

Droogstoppel: (Snorts) Yes, well, you’re one to say Scarfman, which would you do? I bet you would not even be able to afford an orange…with your so-called career and all. Being a businessman is so much more rewarding than concocting written lies. 

Audience: BOOO! (He did NOT just say that)

Scarfman: A-hem. I think you mean FIC-TION, and I assure you that it is just as rewarding. 

Host: (This is just too funny.)

Droogstoppel: Yes why do you waste so much time on it? It’s nothing but a great conundrum of LIES! 

Scarfman: Fiction is not a conundrum of “lies”, Droogstoppel. It is art, and unlike you, I wager I could find a million people in this world would consider it essential in this world.

Droogstoppel: You CAN’T be serious. 

Scarfman: Fiction allows us to convert art into words and form stories in which there are no boundaries! It allows us to play with language as though it were clay and sprout emotions in readers which they never would have known to exist! To be frank, fiction is one of the primary sources of imagination. There is no doubt about it.

Droogstoppel: Imagination like what? Saïja-Adinda? That’s not imagination! Imagination is being creative, and being creative means being productive in ways that are possible, plausible, and realistic. That’s how it should work. A family loses three buffaloes, a boy promises his future wife that he will go on a journey to find work, and return to meet her under a tree after God knows how long…the very idea seems undeniably unrealistic to me! At least Adinda dies…that was perhaps the most sensible thing that could happen…    

Scarfman: (fuming) You are truly an oppressive man! Multatuli was right about you.

Droogstoppel: And I don’t deny it! But wait, I do recall that he once mentioned something about you and your wife…”Wretched spawn of sordid money-grubbing and blasphemous cant” who “grew into a monster” under his pen, “loathes his own handiwork”, and…oh, yes, advises you to “choke in coffee and disappear”. Heh! You can put that in your pipe and smoke it!  

Scarfman: All people on earth are EVIL! This horrid oppression must end, I say! And God will take you down first, Droogstoppel!

Host: Alright…this seems to be getting ugly, and a bit off topic. Well then ladies and gentlemen! That’s the end of “Coffee with Max Havelaar”! Hope you’ve had a good insight!



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