Theme 'Catch Us If You Can'

Categories: FamilyLove

English Literature – “Catch Us If You Can” Do you like the story? Give your reasons”

I like the story ‘Catch Us If You Can’. The characters are interesting. There are suspense excitements and humors from the beginning to the end of the story and the themes are universal and relevant to our lives.

The characters in the novel are fascinating people. Rory is a remarkable young boy who has responsibility thrust upon him because his grandfather is aging, has memory lapses and needs constant care and attention.

Young as he is, Rory makes sure his grandfather takes his medication, does the shopping and the cooking and even cleans the house. He is truly to be admired.

In addition to the interesting characters, the story ‘Catch Us If You Can’ is full of thrill and suspense. We wonder whether Granda will die after the accidental fire. When Rory escapes with his sick and weak grandfather, whether the old man will survive remains a mystery.

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Their first encounter with Sammy and Throne is unfriendly and aggressive. Thus, we fear the two may be hurt or taken to the police station. This happens at various points in the story when Granda knocks the man at the station with a bottle and even petrol attendant is suspicious. The writer keeps the readers guessing whether these people are friends or foes. Tension mounts when Rory’s father turns up. In a sense, the writer withholds information, and by doing so, keeps the reader on edge from the beginning to the end of the story.

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Another element that makes the novel interesting is humour. Granda’s visit to school for the Parents’ Night turns out to be hilarious. He leans forward, close to Mrs. Foley’s face, and announces, “You have got a moustache.” That remark and Mrs. Foley’s reaction, “her nose began to twitch” and the fire that is sparked by Granda’s smoking pipe adds some slapstick fun to the incident.

While there is humour in the story, the themes that are dealt with in the story are serious and meaningful. The love and care that Granda and Rory shower on each others shows the importance of family love. Rory and Granda take responsibility for each other’s welfare and happiness. When Rory’s father reunites the family and he takes responsibility for his father and son, they become one happy family again.

thrust upon – forced on foes - enemy
aging – growing old shower -

English Literature – “Catch Us If You Can” – THEME

An important theme in the story is that determination brings success. Rory and Granda were on and escape adventure from the local authorities. They were determined not to be separated as they had been when they were placed in Castle Street and Rachnadar. They wanted their freedom to live like the old days.

They went on an escape adventure and it was their determination that made them willing to go through hardships as they had no final destination in mind. They had to keep running and be alert to avoid being caught by the police. They also had to be careful not to be recognized by the public who could identify them from their pictures in the local television news. This determination inspired some kind strangers to help them whenever the law caught up with them.

Granda displayed strong determinations in that at times when he was really exhausted, he would still put in extra efforts to avoid being caught by the police. Rory had to pull him into the bushes and he survived it although he was in a panic. On another occasion, he picked up speed and rolled into a ditch to escape the law. He even hit a young person on the head and even hotwired a car to escape. All these acts showed his determination and how it brought success as they could escape from the law. It all goes to show how determination can help one to overcome all kinds of obstacles.

Rory’s and Granda’s determination to be together and to stay free brought success and they eventually ended up in Liverpool where Jeff, Rory’s father was. They were reunited as a family.

English Literature – “Catch Us If You Can” A MORAL VALUE YOU HAVE LEARNT FROM THE STORY

The moral values I have learnt in the novel ‘Catch Us If You Can’ is the importance of family. Sacrifices made for the family are honoured and the family bonds survive adversity. Moreover, family relationships ought to be nurtured and not taken for granted.

Family responsibility in the novel is best displayed by Rory’s constant care of his grandfather. At a very early age. Rory realized that ‘there was only Granda and me’ to make up a family. Rory does not know any other family love. His father was walked out on them when Rory is very young. The situation becomes worse when his grandmother dies and his grandfather becomes senile because of old age. There is no one to care for them and it seems that both of them would have to put into homes.

Granda has taken care of him all his life and now as Granda is getting old and forgetful, and is never quite well, it is Rory’s turn to look after him. Nobody forces him or tells him to do it but Rory feels it is the right thing to do. He is willing to forego things that teenagers boys should be doing. He does all the household chores, makes sure that Granda takes his medications and has all this meals. He even keeps Granda’s pipe to make sure that no untoward incidents occur.

Granda has been known to leave his pipe in his pocket and burn out the jacket. Being caring and responsible, he sees to Granda’s needs. He also takes care of money matters in the family. His actions show that he is responsible and mature even at such a young age. He helps Granda to excape to freedom, Rory takes care of Granda. He seeks help when Granda is found unconscious.

Granda and Rory do not take their relationships for granted. On several occasions, Granda expresses appreciation to Rory for being there for him while Rory feels proud to have Granda as his grandfather. He is very protective and defensive of Granda. They shared an amazing family love for each other. Their loves is deep and pure. It surpasses most levels that people are capable of. It is because of the unique situation both of them are in. Granda calls him his only son. To him, Rory is a son, more than a grandson.

They nurture their relationships right up to the end even when they have a family in Jeff and Karen. The novels teaches us that family responsibility and love are important. We need to make sacrifices to our family in times of need. We cannot trade our family for anything.

Adversity – Hardship. Forego –Miss/skip/sacrifice. Untoward – bad. Nurtured – to make relationship stronger. Surpaseses – Exceed . Walked out on – abandoned

Sad event :

The novel that I have studied is Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail. This novel is about a young boy named Rory who lived alone with his grandfather. When Rory and Granda were separated due to a fire, Rory made a decision to run away with Granda so that they could be together. One of the sad event in this novel is when a fire broke out at the flats where Rory and Granda were staying. On that day, Rory was heading to the bakery as usual to get lunch, the baker told him that something was going on at his flats, the Fire Brigade had gone there and someone had been sent to the hospital. Rory rushed home immediately to find many people surrounding the building. He tried to get into the building.

A policeman told him that Granda had been admitted to the hospital but he was going to be all right. Rory heard that Granda had probably left the chip pan on and forgot about it. Then, Rory was taken to the hospital to see Granda. This event triggered a few other important events which changed their lives forever. As a result of the fire, Rory had to be sent to stay in Castle Street, the children's home and Granda was sent to Rachnadar Hospital. Rory hated Castle Street as he had to face the terrible Tess who bullied everyone around her. He ended up fighting with her. At the same time, Granda was suffering at Rachnadar Hospital. He blamed himself that Rory had ended up in Castle Street. Rory saw that he was retreating further and further into his shell and he did not want Granda to die 'inside'. So, he made a decision to run away. During the Great Escape, Rory and Granda had to move from place to place. This affected Granda's health.

First, they went to Darren's mum's caravan. When Rory received news from Darren that they were found out, they escaped again. This time they were rescued by Ruby and family. They went on an adventurous journey from place to place. At one time, Granda even had to hit a boy who was threatening to catch Rory. Then, Granda hotwired a car and they escaped again. Their adventure ended when Granda fell unconscious at the bus shelter while they were on the run from the police. Finally, Rory had to ask for help and Granda was sent to the hospital. There, they were reunited with Jeff, Rory's father and his new family. Thus, we can see that the fire that caused Rory and Granda to be separated triggered other events which changed their lives forever. In the end, Rory's problems were solved when they could stay somewhere near his father and they also received home help for Granda and their meals are taken care of by 'meals on wheels'.

Character that you like :

Rory- at Rachnadar he hatches a plan for the both of them to escape. They succeed and go on the run. This shows that Rory is a smart and courageous boy. Rory is also very patient with Granda and hardly ever scolds him. Although Rory loves Granda he has no problem telling him off if he has made a mistake. He does not like it when Granda called the travelers as tinkers. He tells his Granda not to call them that as it might offend them. Rory is also very protective of his Granda. He is annoyed when the nurse in the old folks’ home treated Granda as if he was stupid. Despite his young age, I think Rory is more responsible and wise than many adults. He has to look after his Granda and make sacrifices for him. Yet he remains cheerful and takes care of Granda with love, patience and understanding. I find him admirable and like his character the best in this story.

3. Using details from the novel you have read state whether you like or dislike the ending of the story. Give reasons for your answer.

In the novel, Catch Us If You Can, ends the story on a fairly happy note. Rory is able to get his grandfather away from the home he disliked and Rory himself is able to escape being in a children’s home. Right from the beginning of the story we find that the bond of love between Rory and his Granda to be very strong. They do not want to be separated at all. Being sent to the respective homes was devastating to them. Thus they decide to run away. Rory decides to look for his long lost father who lives in Liverpool but Granda is not aware of his intention. When he does find out Rory’s intention, Granda is most unhappy as he feels that his son had abandoned him and the family in times of need.

In the end Jeff, the son, turns up and the family has a chance to be together. Rory and Granda live in a flat not far from where Jeff lives with his family. Now the family is together. Rory has a father and Granda has a son. Rory has a chance to get an education and live with his ailing grandfather for as long as possible. The ending is full of hope for a better future. It is not a fairy tale ending. It gives opportunities for an average family to lead an ordinary but happy life.

4. Which character in the novel you have read changes for the better as the story proggresses? Give reasons for your answer, using information form the novel. In the novel, Catch Us If You Can by Chaterine MacPhail, the character who changes for the better is Granda. Granda has certain prejudices and fears. He is angry with his son, Jeff for abandoning the family and is afraid of being rejected. He does not want Rory to look for his father and does not want a reunion with him but when it happens, he is thrilled with his new grandchildren and accepts the fact that Jeff has also changed and is more responsible now. Granda dislikes the gypsies and thinks poorlyof them.

But they help him and Rory and go out of their way to make sure they escape from the police. They show much love and compassion towards Granda and Rory and this makes him realise that he has misjudged them. He vows never to say anything harsh against them. Granda was initially suspicious of Rab, the rough garage owner but later realises that he is a man who is capable of great concern and kindness. Granda finds many caring people through is journey and realises that there are many compassionate people in the world. Granda definitely changes for the better as his experiences bring him life-changing encounters with good people.

5. Based on the novel you have read, write about a character who you feel prossesses strong determination. Support you answer with information from the novel.

In the novel Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail, the character, the character who possesses strong determination is Rory. Rory is an amazing eleven year old who acts with great confidence and determination to achive what he wants. Rory wants to keep his grandfather out of the old folks’ home and he does exactly that. He plans the great escape and with great effort and pains, manages to take him to his friend, Darren’s mother’s caravan. From there he has to be on the run from the police. The escape takes them through many experiences and episodes which teach Rory and his Granda many valuable lessons about the kindness and compassion of strangers.

Rory is able to accept the outcome of these experiences only because he is determined to save his Granda from the miserable place, Rachnadar. If he had faltered in his aim, he would have not got the sympathy and the support of so many people. The public showed their support for him because they saw a determined little boy trying to keep his Granda from the dreadeed place. Rory sacrifices his education and the company of his friends for the sake of his grandfather. Rory looks for his long lost father to help him to save his grandfat

Most memorable event :

The novel I have studied is Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail and I find the most memorable event is when Rory and his Granda had to go away from Darren’s mother’s caravan after Darren sent him a message telling him that the authority had known where Rory and his Granda were. It is a memorable event because from there Rory and Granda started to have more interesting adventures. They were miserable for being separated from each other and placed in different homes. Here at the caravan site, they were happy at last. The caravan was suitable because it was located in a remote area and it was a luxury as it was well-stocked. Rory was pleasantly surprised to have a glimpse of his old Granda who is ‘capable, in charge and looking after him’. There were funny episodes too.

For instance, Rory had to urge his grandfather to move faster and in doing so, he could see it was very funny because Granda was trying hard not to show his panic. Granda was also forgetting his shoes which Rory had to shove the shoes to his feet while wrapping his coat and scarf around him and also buttoning his jacket as well. Rory had also not forgotten his grandfather’s things including the food and warm clothes. The event is also memorable because Rory and Granda were always alert for the authority not to get them. He was careful not to let his grandfather lose the way by taking and pulling his grandfather’s hand at him. He also flung his hand phone into the bushes because it would be useless to him since the phone had run out of battery and there was no way for him to charge it. It is a memorable event because from there Rory and Granda met more kindhearted people who jumped in to give them a helping hand.

For instance, the man, Sammy and his son, Tyrone. Rory and Granda met them earlier at the loch while they were fishing the other day and Granda had called them ‘tinkers’. The ‘tinkers’ helped them by giving them a ride in their caravan to get away from the camp site which was full of police and their searchparty. Sammy’s wife, Ruby gave Rory and Granda food and drinks in the journey. Rory and Granda learnt a valuable lesson from the travellers that it is unwise to judge and label people. Not everyone is the same. Ruby and Sammy demonstrate that there are people who are willing to help without expecting any returns. This also tells us that not all strangers that we meet are bad people or unkind. We should learn to respect people in order for people to respect us. In conclusion, the most memorable event from this novel is the part when Rory and Granda got away from the caravan because this has caused them to face more interesting adventures and encountered with kind-hearted people like Sammy, Ruby and Tyrone. (Adapted from Model Pecutan Akademik SPM JPN Kelantan)


1. Granda throws Rory’s homework One day, Granda absent-mindedly throws away Rory’s homework and keeps rubbish in Rory’s bag. Rory is not angry. He knows Granda does not do it on purpose. What does this event tell us? — Rory – a patient boy loves his Granda so much that he understands his Granda’s condition. — Theme – love, family relationship, — Lesson learnt – we must love the elders and be patient with them

2. The Separation, Rory is sent to Castle Street and Granda to Rachnadar After the fire at the flat, Rory is sent to Castle Street and Granda to Rachnadar. Rory is not happy. Granda does not like to stay there and he is upset and cries. Rory sees Granda sitting on his bed and crying at Rachnadar. It breaks his heart . Granda and Rory cannot live without each other. Rory decides to run away with Granda What does this event tell us? — Rory – loving, responsible, cannot live without Granda — Theme – love, family relationship — Lesson learnt – we should love our family and be responsible

3.The Great Escape Rory plans the Great Escape. Darren suggests hiding in his mother’s caravan. Rory carefully carries out his plan. He packs his and Granda’s things. He visits Granda after school, as usual. He wedges open the emergency exit. Later that night, he sneaks into Rachnadar and takes Granda away from there. What does this event tell us? · Rory – a brave boy, a person of action, loving, responsible, cannot live without Granda · Theme – challenges of growing up and coping with responsibility · Lesson learnt – we should be brave to face challenges in life and do what we think is right.

Important event

In the novel “Catch Us If You Can” by Cathrine MacPhail, the part that I like most is the great escape Rory plans the Great Escape for three days after Darren suggests hiding in his mother’s caravan. He gives Rory the spare key to the caravan. Rory carefully carries out his plan. He packs his and Granda’s things. He visits Granda after school, as usual. He wedges open the emergency exit. Later that night, he visits Granda and prepares Granda by dressing him up and then tells him that he is getting out of the home. Rory takes Granda away from there while Val is having coffee with the nurses. Both of them successfully sneak out through the emergency exit and out to a quiet train station where they are not noticed. They arrive at the train final stop and go uphill in a fine drizzle and then up a long winding path that leads to the caravan site.

I like this part the most because it shows that Rory is a loving boy. He loves his Granda so much that he could not stand looking at his granda crying and feeling sad staying at Rachnadar. Because of this, he is determined to take Granda out from Rachnadar. This part of the story also shows us how determined Rory is in making his escape a success. He cannot live without his Granda who has brought him up and taken care of him since he was a baby, and because of that he takes the risk to take his Granda out from Rachnadar. I also think that this is the start of all the adventures and challenges of Rory’s and granda’s lives.They meet with a lot of people and are always on the run so that they are not caught. It makes the story interesting and leads to the happy ending when Rory is reunited with his father.

Updated: Jul 06, 2022
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Theme 'Catch Us If You Can'. (2016, Apr 30). Retrieved from

Theme 'Catch Us If You Can' essay
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