Tyres by Adam Thorpe


1. (p. 396/397) Sum up his boyhood thoughts, opinions and feelings.

2. What attitude does the father, Monsieur Andre Paulhan, have towards the Germans, the Resistance and to his son’s (Raoul) involvement in the war and resistance?

3. Describe his first meeting and emotions with the young girl when Raoul was 14/15 in 1940 and three years later at 17/18. (P. 399/400)

4. How do these lines reflect the Raoul’s feelings at the end of the story: “Someone       who, if suddenly no longer there, can leave a hole in your heart, and a feeling of doom       until the moment he or she reappears.”

5. p401 How involved in the Resistance does Raoul  think that the young girl and his   father are? What does the threat: “Try a nail or two” imply about the father?

6. (p402) What does Raoul do to bring the girl closer to him? How does his father react?

7. Describe Andre’s feelings about religion and about the Petain government. P403 and  elsewhere.

8. Finally the romance with Cecile Viala is in the open  with Raoul’s family p. 403/404    How would you describe their feelings for each other?

9.( p405)  What has prompted Raoul to sabotage the Gestapo officer’s inner tube?

10. What is the faint hope Raoul has for Cecile as she accepts the ride in the car?

11 . The story ends with a reluctant mood to shift with the times. Explain how this is true.


  1. His father is his row model,  he looks up to him and he is proud of his family business. His mother died and he lacked through his childhood a row model of a mother. His business passed through the family and he was proud of it.
  2. He hated the Germans but nevertheless it didn’t intervene in the business, he received clients, it didn’t mind if they were german or french. He was proud of his business.
  3. The first meeting with the girl from the resistance was awkward and embarrassing one. It is clear they are new in dating because they act teenager-like at the moment.
  4. She never actually reappears, and he feels he owes something to her, so he never remarried or had kids. He never gets over the guilt or her.
  5. He never had the occurance that she might have been working for the resistance.
  6. He throws in the street cement and soil for the girl not to be able to pass through.
  7. His father hated catholics and was against Germans killing the jews. He was more protestant and he was tolerant of jews he didn’t acknowledge them.
  8. They don’t mind about the Germans occupying France, being together was enough for them. They loved each other and that was what mattered.
  9. He wanted to help the girl because he was in love with her, she was more important than the business.
  10. That she wouldn’t die because he had sabotaged the car of the German officer.
  11. Because everything turned up wrong, the love of his life died and he lost the passion to work in the  business.