At the end of primary school, Meena must take an exam to determine which school she will go to next: the reputable grammar school, far from Tollington, or the less esteemed comprehensive school, which Anita attends. For Meena, the eleven-plus exam represents more than a simple test. It is her opportunity to make her parents’ sacrifices worthwhile and prove to them that she is capable of succeeding in the English educational system. This exam also represents an opportunity for Meena to prove to herself that she is capable of following her own, unique path toward success, far from the asphyxiating environment of Tollington. Meena’s anticipated success on the eleven-plus thus becomes the product of the young girl’s determination and intelligence, as well as her parents’ love and faith in her. Meena’s success on the exam marks a radical shift in her life, revealing that she is capable of succeeding if she works hard and trusts in her own capacities. This exam thus represents both a challenge and a celebration of courage and resilience.
The Eleven-Plus Exam Quotes in Anita and Me
I decided there and then to heal myself, both in body and mind. It was time. I asked mama to bring in all my school books to prepare for the eleven-plus, I would grow my hair long and vaguely feminine, I would be nice to Pinky and Baby and seek out their company willingly, I would write letters to India and
introduce myself properly to that anonymous army of blood relatives, I would learn to knit, probably, and I would always always tell the truth.