Category Archives: FORESHADOWING & SYMBOLS

W8, #5: FESTIVAL OF MINI-ESSAYS

Set-Up: Last week, we took a brief look at a series of mini-essays about Chapters 5 & 6 (that were written by periods 1, 2 & 3 as a group in-class essay project). Each of you picked one you thought would be interesting based on the title alone and gave us a few things to look at that you thought was successful.

Challenge: Take a look at the full list one more time.

  • Pick a new essay title to look at and read the entire essay.
  • Tell us which essay you picked.
  • Identify 5 very specific things in that essay that you thought were done well.

Length: Varies

The list:

Small group mini-essay paragraph writing challenge (in lieu of the typical in-class essay):

Links to the specific student responses

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W8, #4: HIDDEN IN THE JUNGLE

Set-Up: We’ve crossed a certain point in the Lord of the Flies experience — by the beginning of chapter 5 — where it seems that every page is intentionally loaded with imagery. Seems that something vital is cleverly hidden in the jungle by Golding at every turn of the pig trail and curve of the horizon line.

While we don’t pretend to ‘get’ everything he’s throwing our way quite yet, we are developing decent radar for ‘tracking’ a few gems hidden in the creepers along the way.

Challenge:

  • Point out 1 thing that you think is really clever on the part of the author in terms of weaving together a many-layered story that obviously is hinting at something fare more complicated than just having ‘boys on an island’ try to get ‘rescued’.
  • Tell the rest of us what it means and why you think Golding is doing some pretty solid work as a writer in terms of pushing well beyond basic plot/action to hint at something bigger at the end of the novel.

Length: 5+ sentences

W8, #3: WISDOM OF CROWDS

Set-Up: Ever get that feeling that no matter how closely you read/highlight a book the first time around, there are still dozens upon dozens of things ‘under the surface’ that you can’t quite put your finger on? Well, if you do, you’re a healthy human being. At the same time, all of us are working very hard to grasp the deeper mysteries found on the island right now…even if we only have a few chapters, a couple of class discussions, and our gut instincts to guide us at this point.

Clearly there is something to be said for employing the ‘wisdom of crowds’ when where trying to figure out the hidden ideas that a novelist weaves into his/her story that go far, far beyond plot/action. In fact, there even is an amazing book by that title if you’re curious how groups (even anonymous groups of average people) are ’smarter’ than individuals (even experts).

With that said, let’s help each other out with a series of questions that one of your classmates asked me recently. Something tells me that a few others might find these really intriguing/helpful.

Challenge: Pick one of the following Ch 3 & 4 questions (or more, if you’d like) that were sent to me by a fellow student. Offer a solution/idea.

Here are the questions:

  • On pg 62, there is this random part about Roger throwing rocks at Henry. I think that I must have seriously blacked out when I was reading because it has no relevance to the story!! Arg. Is it showing how childish they are or foreshadowing or something because that would make a lot more sense than Golding randomly putting in a kid throwing rocks. Is there a relevance to the fact that he missed? Golding says, “perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw”. Does that mean he’s missing on purpose?
  • Jack is obviously more savage now. He’s constantly talking about hunting and and how “we” need meat when it’s actually just him. If he has an entire army of choir members, then why is he wasting time trying to explain his military tactics on page 63 to the youngest boys on the island? At first I thought that jack was going to be some sort of evil dictator, but now he’s confusing me with his strange kindness.
  • What is Simon doing on page 57? All that I see is that he sits down in the grass as the sun is going down and he gets up. I noticed that as Simon gets up, the same “candle buds” he mentions to Jack on pg 30 open up. What does that mean?
  • On page 56, Golding compares Simon to Jack two times saying, “his feet were bare like Jack’s” and “he looked over his shoulder as jack had”. Why? Why does Jack force Simon to eat the meat on pg 74? Well, he told everyone to eat it, but he tells Simon directly.
  • What does Simon mean by “it wasn’t a good island” on page 52? Why are the boys so surprised to hear him speak? They did invite him into their ‘group’ on the first day. I still don’t get why they did that by the way. Simon isn’t exactly special. All that he did was faint, so why is he included?

Length: 5+ sentences

Note: Consider reading the 21 responses already received for this entry that were written by Per 1, 2 & 3 over week ago.  You might find a few intriguing ideas to consider there.

W7, #5: ARE YOU A DECENT FORTUNE TELLER?

Set-Up: On a simple level, Lord of the Flies appears to just be a story about a bunch of young boys (12 and under) who crash-land on a tropical, jungle-filled island without any adults to tell them what to do or how to survive.

As you will soon see, however, this is a far more complicated story, a puzzle within a puzzle within a puzzle.

Fortunately, the author — William Golding — tries to help us this puzzle by allowing us to ‘see’ the answer within the first few pages.  Throughout the story, he hides clue after clue after clue.  You’ll find them on the beach, in the jungle, near the rescue fire, on the mountain, in caves, on the pig trails, and just about anywhere else you care to look.

In other words, this novel is a foreshadowing treasure hunt like you’ve never encountered, possibly one of the best examples of challenging readers to predict the characters’ future that you’ve ever read.

Challenge: Based on what you’ve read so far — going NO further than chap 3 (which is due for Mon) — predict what is going to happen to these boys using EVIDENCE from the story.

Length: 5+ sentences