Thursday, 7 June 2012

... I should have buried my master, and then lain down on his grave to die!
This quotation is said by Neb, right after the others find him kneeling next to Captain Harding, believing him to be dead. Gideon Spilett finds that he is still alive, rejuvenating Neb. Neb says this quote right after Captain Harding groans and moves his arms for the first time since the Neb found him lying on the beach. This quote shows how much Neb cares for his master, Captain Harding. Just before this, he looked for him all day and night and cried when he could not find him. He gave up of looking for his master living, so he continued to look for his body. When he did find Captain Harding and Top, he sent Top to find the others and kneeled before his body, so overcome by grief of the thought of him dead that he could not check for life. When the others found him, he was ready to bury Captain Harding and die over his body because he could stand the thought of living without his master. This shows that Neb loves his master so much that he would die for him.
This quotation helps represent this section because it shows the main point of the beginning of the novel, finding Captain Harding after he fell out of the balloon with Top. The quote gives you enough information so you know that Neb had spent a long time looking for the Captain, and that you know that Neb serves him in life or death. This reminds me of a time where I was lost in a grocery store ad I spent a long time looking for my dad, whom I found not lying on the ground dead, but pushing a shopping cart. This is similar to the text because Neb spent a long time looking for his master a did find him. This also reminds me of a battle in World War 1 during the Somme where a unit was supposed to attack a German stronghold. Most of the 2000 men were killed or wounded in a hopeless attack. The captain walked among the bodies of the dead and wounded after the battle, comforting the injured, and was so upset at this slaughter that he killed himself later. This is similar to the text because Neb did walk to Captain Harding's body and talked to, trying to see if he was alive, and afterward wanted to kill himself, the captain of the battle. This also reminds me of The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. During the council to determine Frodo's companions on his perilous journey, a man named Aragorn volunteers and says, "In life or death, you have my blade, and I will protect you." This is similar to the novel because Neb probably made a similar oath to Captain Harding, as he was willing to find the Captain' s body at all cost or die trying.

But Captain, just think! Perhaps there is everything we want in there!
This quotation is said by Pencroft, when he is about to smash open the chest with a stone, and is stopped by Captain Harding, who tells him to wait. The group had just found the chest stuck in the sand, while floating along the river in their boat. They were shocked to find it and had no idea that it was there or that anything would be there. This shows that the men were very tempted to open as they stood away from home. It would be impossible for the men to get the chest open on the beach and bring it back home unless they carried it or made several trips because it would not fit in the boat and it would leak if they floated it back. Considering they were surviving from nothing on a desert island, I understand why Pencroft was so eager to open, the temptation was giant, big enough to make Pencroft forget the logic of getting it back to the granite house.
This quotation represents this section because it shows the turning point in the novel, the discovery of the chest. The colonists use almost everything in the chest and would have had a lot harder time surviving on the island. (An example is how without a gun or dagger how would the group defeat the pirates?). When Pencroft says this comment, it is confirmed that the castaways are suffering from lack of civilization. The group has not had modern inventions since they left the mainland and are desperate for some again, Pencroft is very desperate when he says this comment. This reminds me of when I found my birthday presents and I wanted to open them but my brothers made me wait. I was so tempted that I forgot manners to wait for my parents. This is similar to the text because Pencroft was very tempted to open the chest. It also reminds me of a true story where a man built a car in his basement but didn't  think about getting it on to the road until after he was finished. He had to dig through his wall to get it out. This is similar to when Pencroft wanted to smash the chest open, he did not think logically but unlike Pencroft, he was not stopped before he made a mistake. Also, I read a book called Sunwing by Kenneth Oppel where a bat named Shade is looking for his father. He thinks he has found the human building he was last seen but it turns out to be a trap and is trapped and nearly killed after being dropped with bombs as a homing bomb. It is similar to the text because he was drawn to the building like Pencroft to the chest and wasn't thinking as he flew in and was trapped. Pencroft was not thinking about bringing the chest back to the house as he tried to smash the chest.

1. Castaway
A castaway is a person who has been separated from their craft used to travel a distance and is now living away from home without any means of getting back. In the novel the five men and the dog are thrown from their balloon which disappears so they have been literally "cast away" from their balloon and are stranded on an inhabited island.
2. Coup-de-main
A coup-de-main is a military offensive where the attackers attack swiftly and unexpectedly, attempting to finish their objectives in one shot. In French it means "blow with the hand." In the novel during the civil war General Grant attempts to capture Richmond, Virginia by a coup-de-main which ultimately fails, resulting in the capture of Captain Harding, without whom this adventure would have never started, if the coup-de-main did not happen.
A burning-glass is an apparatus used to turn the sun's rays into direct heat which can be used to burn things or start fires. In the novel, Captain Harding creates one using his and Gideon Spillets' watches. He takes the glass from the faces to make the lenses. It is successful  in starting a fire after the others had no other way, having no matches and their charred cloth ruined.
Orang is the Malay and Indonesian word for person. It also refers to as an orangutan, a primate native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Jup is an orangutan, he has orange fur, and he helps the castaways in many ways, like delivering a message from Neb to the others when the convicts attacked and the others had Top.
A grotto is a cave that has been used by humans for any purpose. Dakkar Grotto is the home of the Nautilus, named after Captain Nemo's previous name. It is a cave and it was used by Nemo. It is connected to the volcano,(Mount Franklin) and water breaks through the basalt bordering the lava. It blows up the island, leaving everybody else to be rescued by the Duncan.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Section 3

The Rescue of Captain Harding             The Discovery of the Chest                             Captain Nemo                              The Last Hope

The Rescue of Captain Harding
The Rescue of Captain Harding is the name of my first picture because the other characters have found him and are bringing him of the beach back home to the Chimneys on a stretcher of sticks and seaweed. This is the first of the unusual and unexplained events that happen to the colonists. It is also the first close escape by the men. Without the engineer, the other men would have likely lost Neb out of grief and would’ve had an immense more difficult time living on the island, without Captain Harding’s skills and Neb’s determination.  The picture sheds light on how the colonists care for the Captain so much that they, instead of carrying him between their arms, gave him a stretcher which they made with no tools other than their hands! It also shows that the colonists will rise to any occasion. They searched day and night for their master and found him and almost immediately brought him back to their camp.
The info in the picture that is cannot be shown in the text is how everything actually looks on the island. Whenever you read a novel without pictures, you are always imagining what the scene looks like in the real world. Often, you miss details such as the sky, the colour of the ground, and what the characters look like. I didn’t picture a sky with clouds but some spots of blue sky when I was reading the book. I didn’t picture sandy bluffs with small plants on them. Pictures show what the story would look like if it was a movie.

The Discovery of the Chest

The Discovery of the Chest is the name of my second picture. It shows the adventurers finding the chest, full of supplies from knives to guns to cooking utensils. It is a turning point in the novel. It gives the colonists many items it would be impossible or almost impossible to come by, such as a bible or a telescope. Of course the engineer would eventually make a gun with his amazing skills, but this was a godsend to them, so to speak. It was Captain Nemo who gave it to them, although this is not explained at the time. The picture sheds light on the reaction of the colonists when they found the chest. It shows one man waving his hat in delight with the others coming running. While reading the book, the reader never thinks about what the characters are doing to get to a special item of importance. When I read the passage where the colonists find the chest, if you made a movie of what I imagined when I read that, you would see a group of men walking towards a chest on a beach. Very unlike what the picture is portraying.
The info in the picture that cannot be shown in the text is again, the reaction of the colonists and the landmarks in the area. The reader, when reading a book without pictures, pays much more attention to the text than imagining what the story would be like as if you could see what was happening. It shows a background, some boulders and outcroppings. It shows looks of elation on the faces of the men. The reader does not think about the landscape when reading this part; they are so excited about what might be in the chest. I never thought about the scenery on the beach much when I read this section; I was too focused on the text.

Captain Nemo

Captain Nemo is the name of my third picture. It is a picture of Captain Nemo with a long white beard sitting on white pillows in front of tapestry with a peacock and many flowers on it. It portrays him as an old man wearing a white robe with gold collars around the wrists and waist. This picture would take place around when the colonists find Captain Nemo in the  Nautilus to their surprise and relief. They are surprised because they had absolutely no idea that Captain Nemo was alive,(they mention the book ”Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea")and they are relieved because they have finally found the source of all the strange happenings on and around the island and they now know that someone was always watching over them, from that they found Captain Harding on the beach to when they found the pirates on the ground dead of unknown causes. I chose this picture because I like Captain Nemo the character myself for many reasons, and I like that it shows what Captain Nemo looks like, what he wears, and what the inside of the Nautilus looks like. Of course the picture only shows a small fraction of what the inside of the Nautilus looks like but it gives me a mental picture what it looks like everywhere else.
This picture sheds light on what Captain Nemo looks like, what he wears, and what his decorations are inside the Nautilus, like what I said before. It shows him like a King, he was a Prince before building the Nautilus, wearing a regal white and gold robe with a magnificent beard  and a very detailed tapestry of a peacock behind his bed of white pillows. It helps the reader see Captain Nemo in detail and gives the reader ideas of what else there is in the Nautilus. The info in the picture that cannot be shown in the text is everything in the picture except Captain Nemo, more simply said as all the details in the picture such as the tapestry, Captain Nemo's clothes, his pillows and his beard. When you read the book, you are immediately shocked and surprised by the fact of Captain Nemo in the cave that you forget to think about what he looks like. You don't imagine that he has a beautiful peacock tapestry behind his bed of fluffy pillows, or that he is bringing his hand up as if to say something, or that he has golden collars around his wrists and a golden belt around the waist.  The picture adds many details that are usually not added by the reader's imagination.

The Last Hope

The Last Hope is the name of my fourth and final picture. It is a picture of Captain Harding, Gideon Spilett, Pencroft, Herbert, Neb, Ayrton and Top lying, exhausted, on their small chunk of rock that is all that is left of Lincoln Island after the volcano erupted. In the sky there are clouds breaking apart, like a storm had just ended, and a sunset (or a sunrise) disappearing, (or reappearing),turning the sky yellow. There are small waves lapping at the shore of the tiny island. This is the very end of the novel, right before the Duncan picks them up. The tiny island is literally the colonists last hope, without it they would have drowned if they survived the explosion, and the Duncan would have searched in vain for Ayrton and never found him or anyone else. With the sun setting (or rising), it gives the picture a feel of unexpected peace, with the storm breaking and the waves gently breaking on the sides of the rock. This is strange after such a violent eruption and ensuing chaos trying to escape the fury of the island. I chose this picture because it the sudden peace after the storm seems surreal, and the gentle waves and low sun help establish that.
This picture sheds light on the world after the eruption, which is a small hunk of rock with 6 survivors (plus Top)and peaceful waters. It sheds light on what the colonists might be seeing, all the softness of the sea, the storm ended, they were thinking that this must be a dream after such a disaster. It helps the reader understand what the island really looked like after the eruption, nothing but a hunk of rock. It also helps the reader understand how exhausted the men are, they are all splayed out all over their tiny island. When I read this part, I didn't imagine them as tired, I just went on with reading. The info in the picture that cannot be shown in the text is the state of the colonists (exhausted), the peaceful sky and sea, and the size of the island. The novel does give dimensions, but you don't imagine them when you read them, 20 by 30 feet is a very small area to have six people living in. The book does not mention that the sea and sky were a peaceful as it gets, with breaking storm clouds and a low sun. It gives the feeling of a surreal environment, very  dreamlike. The novel does not say that the colonists are exhausted,(it could by having someone say, "I'm exhausted,")but the reader can easily infer that fact, it is obvious that a person would be exhausted after such an ordeal. The picture adds details that the reader could not really imagine as they are pulled into the suspense and possibility of rescue.


I included this chart/map of Lincoln Island for many reasons. First of all, I always thought about what all of Lincoln Island would look like on a map, ever since I read the part when Neb told his story about finding Captain Harding and searching for him. When he said that he had walked for several hours on a beach, I wondered if he was walking on a peninsula  or on a beach on a larger landmass. When I obtained this map I studied it to look at the whole island in general, matching the captions to the names of the land structures like Lake Grant and Mount Franklin. Second, I wanted to find where Lincoln Island would be if it existed today. This is simple because Captain Harding figures out their longitude and latitude. Third, I wanted to find their path from Richmond to the island. All these reasons helped me decide how to make the map/chart.

What is shown in the image is Lincoln island in the left panel, the balloon route from Richmond to Lincoln Island in the centre panel, and the legend on the right panel. The map of Lincoln Island also has its own legend. The centre panel has Richmond, Virginia in Black, Lincoln Island in white, and the journey in red. The red line showing the journey is not exact, but it is a general idea of where the balloon might have gone. This map/chart shows many details and facts that are not mentioned or mentioned very briefly, not enough for a normal imagination to dream up a map. This map was created by someone with a very strong imagination. Since the coordinates are mentioned, it is easy to find where the island would be. There is no map in my book, so you must guess where the island is. 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The dystopian society is mainly how the adventurers end up on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere and have no idea what will become of them, with danger around every turn. Also, strange things keep happening, like Captain Harding mysteriously appearing on the shore and the discovery of a chest full of supplies. The characters have no idea what challenge they will face next, just like any book such as 1984 or Divergent. The strange events save the characters almost every time they occur. The characters always seem to be in a situation that seems impossible to survive but the adventurers always do sometimes thanks to a strange event like the pirates mysteriously being killed. It seems like the island is alive and helping them when they are in trouble. For a dystopian society, that idea is not too far-fetched.

The social injustices in the novel are how everything bad happens to the main characters. Almost everything  doesn't go their way. It starts when they escape in the balloon and are promptly smashed by the tempest over the Pacific Ocean and land on Lincoln Island. Then they lose Captain Harding and the dog. It keeps going like that throughout the rest of the book like Herbert getting shot and the island exploding in a volcano. It should be impossible for such bad luck to keep going for so long. Also, the pirates attack the colonists, another injustice.
The author, Jules Verne, in my opinion, is not trying to make the reader aware of social injustices in the story. He might have done so accidently, like with the pirates invading, but I don't think he meant to. I think that Verne meant for this book to be purely an adventure story, like what he intended when he wrote Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The lack of social injustices makes it hard for the reader to understand the book in our world. Also, as it was written nearly 140 years ago, the world that Jules Verne lived in is much different than it is today.

The author's message is that you can survive any peril, no matter how bad it is as long as you know you can survive. The adventurers land on a deserted island and manage to make items from bricks to a sailing ship. Partly this happened because in the story, the engineer is brilliant in ways of making tools such as making fire from 2 watches and figuring out the island's global position by using the stars and sun. Also, it is unrealistic that even a group of expert survivors could even survive like that without help. Verne makes the character's survival possible by using Captain Nemo to help them in secret like saving the Captain and blowing up the pirates. I think that the novel is extremely effective in showing that message. The adventurers keep their heads up with the vision of them colonizing the island the whole story and falter only when the island explodes. That message from 140 years ago can be translated to how today you will get a job if you keep your head up looking for one. 

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne is an amazing book. I think it is one of Verne's best novels. It starts with 5 prisoners of war and a dog escaping from Richmond, Virginia during the American Civil War. Their names are Cyrus Harding, an engineer, his servant Neb, a sailor named Pencroft, his apprentice Herbert, the journalist Gideon Spilett, and Harding's dog Top. They escape by stealing a balloon and floating to the clouds during a hurricane. After flying in the storm or several days, they crash on a deserted island in the Pacific, and they lose Harding and Top when they fell out of the balloon. The four others search for them and mysteriously find them still living after some days have passed. The six survive on the island using Harding's incredible knowledge to make fire, iron, pottery, nitroglycerin, bricks, a telegraph, a house in a cliff, and even a sailing ship. They even find their latitude a longitude. They name the island, Lincoln Island after their president and intend to colonize the island. While they prosper, many unexplainable events arise from Harding's rescue to finding a dead pig with a bullet in it. They find a message in a bottle and bring their ship to an island where they find a wild man named Ayrton so he joins them in returning to Lincoln Island. After a fight with pirates, they find out that the island is Captain Nemo's harbour for his ship, the Nautilus. It was Captain Nemo  who was responsible for all the strange events that happened to the men. Nemo tells his life story and then dies. They then scuttle the Nautilus and use it as Nemo's tomb. The island explodes in a volcanic eruption and everybody ends up on the one boulder still above sea level after the eruption. They are rescued by a ship which was coming to find Ayrton after it was informed by Nemo to come to the island. An amazing book everywhere, 4.5 out of 5.