Archive from November, 2014
Nov 24, 2014 - Communication    1 Comment

Synopses and Similarities – 24/11/14

Robinson Crusoe is a book about a sailors travels across the world despite his father’s discouragement. Upon a voyage, his ship is seized by pirates and he is enslaved until he escapes on a fishing expedition with a slave boy. He sells the slave boy to a Portuguese man who can take him to Brazil and becomes a slave owner on a plantation himself in Brazil. Then, he embarks upon a journey to pick up slaves in Africa. The trip doesn’t go to plan and he is shipwrecked on a desert island. The book follows his adventures on the island and his encounters with the local people. These local people are rumoured to be cannibals so there is a certain tension to any meeting with a person or a persons tracks upon the island. As he befriends people and saves others, his faith is tested and finally he gets to journey home upon a ship returning to England.

This book has few similarities with Lord of the Flies; the main and obvious one being the setting. A large difference in this book is the age of the characters and the interaction with new people on the island. In Lord of the Flies, it is only the boys who find themselves there in the first instance and they don’t encounter anybody new. Without reading the rest of Lord of the Flies, I cannot draw too many similarities between the plots of the books however, I will assume that in the way there is a test of moral compass in Lord of the Flies, there is a test of faith in Robinson Crusoe. Furthermore, another more obscure similarity is that Robinson Crusoe struggles with the morals of the world he used to know on the island when he meets Man Friday. This is the kind of man he is accustomed to enslaving but he takes to him and decides to teach him. There is this detachment from the people’s old lives in Lord of the Flies with the hunters and the masks; escaping from themselves to find a more brutal, heartless, survival driven character.

Coral Island is written retrospectively in the first person, about three young men deserted on an uninhabited island. They scavenge for food and using their own brains and the resources available to them on the island they learn to survive via the correct steps. Later, they encounter pirates and have to fight for their lives. Then, Ralph is captured by English pirates and learns a life of savagery that is rather unsettling for the fifteen year old main character. After war is waged between the local inhabitants and the pirates, the boys all escape to another island. As if it couldn’t get any worse, they are then taken prisoner on the new island. Finally, released, they set sail for home as adults.

This desert island story has more similarities with Lord of the Flies however, it is less of an emotional journey and is more built around events within the story. From the synopsis, it doesn’t seem to so closely explore the emotions attached to the situation and the character interaction as it is driven by lots of different major incidents Despite this, the book is similar in the way that is written from the perspective of boys and is initially about how they cope with surviving with little resources. The setting is again a commonality but in Coral Island, the boys do venture forth from the first island they find themselves on. A major difference is found in the way that the characters deal with their situation. As the boys are older in Coral Island, they are constructive and do the correct things to stay alive. Whereas, in Lord of the Flies, there is much more confusion associated with the situation and less of a sense of direction for the characters.

Nov 17, 2014 - Communication    1 Comment

Lord Of The Flies Analysis – 17/11/14

Ralph seemingly has a strong personality and this is shown in the way he is described as having wide and heavy shoulders. This causes me to imagine him with a strong posture making him look fairly influential. Also, his actions are described in a manner that causes him to appear rather extemporaneous. The way that he spins on his head, he jumps and scoops up sand causes him to seem very in the moment. It is also clear that Ralph is excitable, imaginative and vivid from his ‘bright and excited eyes’ despite the severity of the situation. This also shows us that he is definitely young, he is rather blissfully unaware of the awful predicament that he is in. His youth also causes him to be fairly naive; his first thoughts aren’t of survival and safety but are of excitement.

Golding’s use of punctuation emphasizes Ralph’s youth, using clauses to show his pride in exact age, ‘twelve years and a few months’, and his imagination, ‘forced at last to believe in the reality’. The complexity of the sentences, created by the semi colons and subordinate clauses used, greatly accentuates the vividness of Ralph’s personality and his impromptu character.

Piggy is described as a far more timid character than Ralph, he backs out of the undergrowth and searches out safe lodgements for his feet. His ‘greasy windbreaker’ makes him sound more simple but possibly more calculated. The latter is definitely more accurate based upon the fact that he ‘removes the thorns (from his legs) carefully ‘ and from evidence revealed later in the book. The less action more thought attitude that seems to be displayed throughout the extract is affirmed in the way that he ‘looks up through thick spectacles’. He isn’t jumping about, excited, he is far more cautious.

The use of punctuation to describe Piggy is far more simple; mainly simple sentences are used. This shows us a more calculated, clear thought process in the manner of his description. It makes it clear he is less naive and highlights a wisdom about his character. He is also definitely not the vivid, all action, main character that Ralph is.

Nov 3, 2014 - Communication    No Comments

Yetis and Unicorns – 3/11/14 | Unedited

Yetis and unicorns are creatures rumored to have existed for generation upon generation but whether they might actually be around somewhere on the planet is unlikely. The passage we looked at presented the evidence to support the existence of these creatures and evaluated  the likelihood of such evidence being true. The passage therefore, forms a lot of doubt in regards to both creatures existence and the author seems to air on the side of skepticism.

The author uses many different words and phrases to place doubt in the readers mind. Firstly, at the very beginning of the passage, compares the unicorn to ‘actual animals’ which suggests that the author doesn’t believe that the unicorn is real. This opinion is then backed up with evidence, ‘Thorough research into contemporary wildlife has not supported the possibility of creatures with the characteristics of the unicorn’. Then, the passage suggestively uses words to indicate the fictitious nature of the unicorn by stating that it is a ‘mythical beast’ and calling Robert Vavra’s diary, which presented photos completing a claim that he had finally tracked down the creature, ‘sensational’.

Secondly, the author also uses similar techniques to show that they do not believe in the existence of the yeti. It is called ‘mysterious’ and ‘mythical’ creature, it also calls the story of the yeti a ‘legend’. Again, supporting evidence is provided, ‘Conclusive evidence of the creature’s existence has proved elusive’. It also dispels the evidence presented by Sir Edmund Hilary as proof of the existence of yetis as false, ‘The picture of a large, wide footprint, taken by Sir Edmund Hilary in 1951 while climbing Mount Everest, proves nothing’. A hand that was also provided as the proof of the stories being true is also referenced in the passage, ‘…The hand could have, of course, come from anywhere’.  Rumors about mummified yetis were also circulated and the passage calls them fakes, ‘These turned out to be fakes, or were no longer where they were supposed to be’.

Finally, to only further throw doubt of the existence of the yeti into the readers mind, dramatic words are used in regards to Reinhold Messner’s search for the yeti. ‘A terrifying night’, ‘haunted by the strange whistling cries of a creature’ and ‘the largehairy, ape-like man’ are all used to dramatize the experience and to make it seem more and more fictitious. The whole paragraph referencing Messner’s experience is written in a very fictional manner and reads like a fascinating ghost story.


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