Use the post it that belongs to your group
-Follow your own task (each group has a different one)
By Elizabeth Bishop
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art” from The Complete Poems 1926-1979
Listen to 3 different readings of the same poem
- What do you think the poet means by “the art of losing” and how serious is she about this idea?
- How important is the poem’s form to your reading of it?
- What effect does the refrain have upon your understanding of the poem’s tone? How does the meaning of this single line change throughout the piece?
- What are we actually meant to believe about the poet’s reaction to her losses?
- How honest is the poet with herself? With her readers?
Let`s go deeper into the poem
The Characteristics of Science Fiction
• Science fiction is often based on scientific principles and technology.
• Science fiction may make predictions about life in the future.
• Science fiction often deals with aliens or with life on other worlds.
• Science fiction can comment on important issues in society.
SCIENCE FICTION (Sci Fi)- stories that often tell about science and technology of the future involving partially true fictions laws or theories of science
- in the future
- in space
- on a different world
- in a different universe or dimension
Aliens are one of the central characteristics of the science-fiction genre. A sci-fi novel may deal with aliens coming to Earth, humans encountering aliens on space explorations or a number of other variations. However, not all sci-fi stories deal with Aliens.
Space travel is a common element of sci-fi, regardless of whether or not it features contact with aliens. Sometimes, humans wonder whether or not they’re alone in the universe, and what might happen if humans encounter other life forms.
In scientific theory, time travel is possible based on potential technologies utilizing scientific knowledge.
Futuristic Setting or Alternate History
Even if there’s no time travel involved, science fiction novels are often placed in a futuristic setting, while other sci-fi novels feature alternate histories. Whether moving forward or back in time, very few sci-fi novels are set in the present day.
Early science fiction writers and editors focused on the hard science of science fiction, and much of that incorporates the development of advanced technology, or creative ways to utilize existing technology.
Dystopia: an imaginary place where people are unhappy and usually afraid because they are not treated fairly.
One common theme of many science fiction novels is a dystopia set sometime in the future. Dystopia sci-fi themes are often used to explore current social issues, and they have very little to do with science, except dystopian fiction that revolves around technological mis-utilization. “Nineteen Eighty-Four” is a good example of a dystopian sci-fi story.
Exploration Of Popular Societal Or Cultural Issues
Much of sci-fi attempts to explore popular social or cultural issues through a sci-fi setting. These issues range from class struggles to misuse of technology, and sci-fi gives voice to the concerns of the society in which they are conceived. Common social issues include a world destroyed by war; a world destroyed by overuse; a world in which the government controls everything; or a world in which genetic experimentation has gone terribly awry.
Task 1 (to be discussed in class)
With close reference to the text of the short story Billenium explore the following questions in detail. Remember to include quotations and page numbers for the quotations in your answers
- Write a detailed synopsis of the story.
- Discuss the theme of over-population and the effect it has on both the way of life and quality of life of the inhabitants of the city.
- The quest for living space has become an overriding obsession with the people of the city. Discuss this theme in detail. Include in your answer some discussion of the ways in which Ballard makes the quest for space dominate the characters’ lives.
- What sort of relationship does Ballard put forward between the inner world of the individual (as represented by Ward and Rossiter) and the outer world in which they live. In other words, how does Ballard conceptualise the effect of surviving daily life in a hopelessly over-crowded city on the consciousness of the individual as demonstrated by the ways in which Ward and Rossiter manage the gift of space in the secret room they discover?
- In the story, Ballard does attempt some sort of explanation of the social, political and economic causes of the extreme over-population that has beset the world. Explain his views as they are presented in the story.
- Do you agree with his argument? Do you think that current population growth projections indicate that we are likely to end up in the situation portrayed in the story?
- Describe and analyse Ward’s character in some detail. What values does he hold? Why does Ballard make use of this type of character as the main character for this story?
- What role does Rossiter play in the story?
- Describe the role of the female characters in the story.
- Discuss the effects that over-population and its attendant ills has had on the nature of family life in relation to Ward’s family as well as Judith and Helen’s family relationships.
- What does the secret room symbolise in the story?
- Why do you think Ward and Rossiter are unable to keep the gift of space to themselves? Is Ballard making a comment on how our inner world ultimately reflects the shape of the external world in which we live?
- What sort of living arrangement do they eventually end up allowing (and accommodating to) in their secret room?
- Discuss Ballard’s style and language in the story? Consider also in what ways it is appropriate to the nature of the story being told.
Have a look at this video and compare it to the short story we have read!! (Thanks Alina Claps for sharing this video!!)
-Write briefly about the context (setting)
Maoris/Pakehas (their relatioship to the land). Why do Maori spiritual beliefs favour burial over cremation?
Process of colonization and decolonization
Answer the following questions in a google presentation (June 29)
- What is the purpose of the old man’s journey?
- To what extent did the officials listen to the old man? Find a quote that supports your point of view and suggest what tone the remarks are made in.
- ‘And anyway Sir there’s no advantage do you think in you people all living in the same area.’ Why do the authorities think there isn’t any benefit to the family living close together?
- ‘Why does the old man want to be cremated instead of buried?
- How do the opening two paragraphs and the closing passage from ‘They were quiet wondering if he would say anything else,…’ reflect the Uncle’s changing mood?
- Why do you think the story concludes with Uncle ‘looking at the palm of his hands’
- Grace employs a motif of blindness / sight throughout the story, why do you think?‘Yes he knows all about those things, he’s not deaf and blind yet, not only by a long shot.’ ’…they’ve got the name of the canoes spelt wrong, his old eyes aren’t as blind as that.’
‘His eyes are still good enough to look all over the paper and see his land there, and to see that his land has been shaded in and ‘Off Street Parking’ printed on it.’
- Why do you think Grace gave the ‘a’ in admiration a capital letter in this phrase; ‘..and roadways threading up and round the hills to layer on layer of houses, even in the highest and steepest places. He was filled with admiration. Filled with Admiration…but yes he was filled right to the top-it made him tired taking it all in.’?
- Comment closely on the ending of the story.
Extension Questions (July 4)
a. Write at least two sentences on how the old man views the land and the way the Pakeha have ‘developed it’? Do embed a short quote into each sentence.
b. Use the quotes above or others from the text and your knowledge of the old man’s character to write at least two sentences on what kind of person he is. Do include an embedded quote in each sentence.
c. What is your opinion on how Grace has structured the story: consider the physical journey, opening and ending taxi rides, and the reader’s journey
Individual work: choose an option to write an essay
- Discuss the narrator’s character in ‘Journey’ by Patricia Grace, to what extent do you sympathise with his attitude to the land?
2. How does Grace make you feel about the elderly narrator in Journey?
Maurice Shadbolt is a well known New Zealand writer whose works are popular with readers even today. His stories are all based in New Zealand and seek to interpret the various influences that have gone into the making of the country. The conflict between the Europeans and the Maori find frequent resonance in his works.
Relevance of the Title
“The people before”, though not in the story as characters, influence much of the story and the attitude of the characters. The father has no time to think of them except when Jim displays the greenstone adzes. Even then the father does not relate to the “people before”; his thought is only about how much they could be worth. The people before were so intimately connected to the land that they have carried the old man to the spot where he was born so that he could see it one more time before dying. The narrator’s father on the other hand frequently talks of selling the farm when the going gets tough. The land is just something that he owns and puts to work.
The story is about an unnamed family that buys a farm that has not been prosperous. The father has always been keen on owning land as he has seen his father work as a sharemilker on other people’s land. There are two boys in the family. The elder one is rather like his father who enjoys the outdoors and the hard work of the farm. Jim, the younger one is rather weak and he prefers to be inside with his mother. The father farms only the flat land leaving the hills beyond, which were his, to run wild. Jim and his brother go wandering on Sundays. Jim explores the caves near the river and finds some jade adzes inside. Once he finds a human skull too which must have belonged to a Maori who had lived there long ago. When the father sees the adzes, he wonders only about how much they could be worth.
The Depression is soon on them and the father finds farming less profitable now. He wonders about selling the land and moving but plods on. One day, a group of Maori arrive there. They have brought with them an old man who had been born on the hill behind long ago. He is close to death and desires to see once again the land of his birth. The father cannot comprehend why anyone would want to do that. Jim is however impressed and accompanies them to the hill. When he comes back he tells the family how the Maoris had lived there for generations until the whites came and drove them away. The father now begins to understand what land means to some people.
The boys go away to WW II. The father sells the farm and moves to closer to the town. When the war is over, the boys return. Jim goes to the University while his brother joins the father on the farm. Once when discussing the War, the elder brother says that he had no fond memories to focus on in the battlefield but Jim says that for him, the old farm was just that, a place of happy returns. His bother feels jealous about Jim’s happy memories.
The story is about a family that moves into a farm that they buy cheap as it has not been productive. For the father owning land had been a compulsion as his father had not owned land but worked as a laborer. Of the two boys in the family, the older one, who is the narrator, is the outdoorsy kind, much like the father. The younger boy is not sturdy and he prefers the company of his mother and spends more time inside the house. It’s hard work milking the herd and the father cultivates only the flat land considering the hills behind a nuisance. Jim and his elder brother roam the countryside exploring caves on Sundays. Once, Jim finds greenstones adzes and also a human skull in the caves. He leaves the skull behind but brings home the adzes. The boys surmise that at some time Maoris must have inhabited those parts. When the father sees the adzes later his only thought is how much they could be worth. He does not consider the possibility of the land having belonged to the Maoris.
When the Depression is on them, the father finds the farm to be less profitable and he considers the prospect of setting it and moving. He stays on, not because any special love he feels for the land but because he has invested money and labor on it. One day a group of Maoris visit the farm. They carry with them, in a litter, an old man. They say that, the old man, a tribe elder was born on the hills behind the farm when the land belonged to the Maoris. He wishes now, when he is close to death, to see the place of his birth once again. The father is thoroughly perplexed but Jim is understanding and offers them the greenstone adzes which he believes belonged to the tribe. The Maoris depart to the hills with the old man. Jim goes with them. Sometime during the night the old man dies and his people bury him on the mountain. Jim comes home with an account of how the Maoris lived in the area until the whites came in and defeated them. But they still consider this land to be their home. The father now begins to comprehend what land means to some people.
The boys go to the Second World War. The father sells the farm and moves closer to the cities. The boys return after war and Jim leaves for the University while the older boy joins his father on their new farm. Once during a discussion about coping with war, the elder brother says he had no happy memories to focus on during war. But Jim says, for him, their old farm was Te Wahiokoahoki, the place of happy return. The brother feels jealous that he could never feel that way.
Videos that will help you understand the story and analyse it
Questions to think and reflect
1 Describe the early farm after the father bought it ‘for a song’. Who were the ‘people before’?
2 What do we get to know about the father’s character and that of the mother and the two boys?
Find some lines to quote which typify each character.
3 Towards the end of part 1, Jim goes to the abandoned hill area. He finds a cave with adzes and also a human skull. What is the father’s attitude to the adzes? What does the author hint at now about ‘the people before’?
4 This part opens with a reference to the end of the depression. What year is that, roughly?
5 In the first pages of this section explain how the father’s view of the land and his work has changed.
6 On p 206 the mother says “perhaps they’ve got happy memories of this place”. After reading Part 2, how does this statement seem ironic?
7 Describe why the Maori family have come to the farm.
8 Re-read the last ten lines of part 2. Why does the son think his father might have said or felt something else?
9 What action has completely astounded the father?
10 In what way have the brothers remained the same?
11 Re-read the conclusion to the story. Why does the older brother think that Jim has ‘beaten’ him?
Write an essay for June 29
Explore the ways Maurice Shadbolt makes you sympathise with the narrator and Tom in The People Before. Support your ideas with details from the story.
How do the writers of ‘The People Before’ AND ‘The Prison’ create, and make use of, the settings of their stories? Refer in detail to language, style and tone in your answer.
After reading and analysing the poem together, I´d like you to do some insight and work on your own.
Check the following presentation and prepare a post in your blog!
Dulce Et Decorum Est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.
GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
Task 1: Analysing the Poem
-Watch the following presentation to work on Wilfred Owen´s poem
- What is the main emotion expressed in the first stanza (verse)?
- Write an example of a simile used in the first stanza:
- Why were the shells ‘disappointed’?
- How does the emotion change at the beginning of the second stanza?
- What were the soldiers ‘fumbling’ for and why?
- Owen uses a metaphor to describe what the gas looked like. Write it here:
- Why do you think the third stanza is only two lines long? Think about the dramatic effect and the emotion:
- What is the main emotion expressed in the fourth stanza?
- Name three parts of the body that are affected by this sort of gas:
- Explain the final lines.
Write your opinion of this poem. Think about what the emotion expressed, use of powerful words, use of similes and metaphors, layout, and what the poet is trying to say. Try to use full sentences and give reasons to support your ideas.
Share these answers in your blog)
-Work on the following poems (they can be found in Songs of Ourselves or you can listen to them)
- Check out the following page: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/70139/the-poetry-of-world-war-i
- Choose 2 poems and prepare an analysis.
- Illustrate them with pictures and explain which different parts of the poem they illustrate.
- Write an essay. Compare and contrast 2 of the poems you have worked on. Comment closely on the themes, tones and how the writers convey their message.
- Post the analysis in your blog.
I strongly suggest these authors: Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and T. Hardy (but you can choose whoever you want)
DEADLINE: June 26
Let´s discuss this poem together!! There are lots of things to talk about!
Adcock has said that this poem was written in response to a real incident experienced by her god-daughter, Heidi, who had moved with her father (after the death of her mother) to live in Australia.
Heidi has dyed her hair and the poem deals with the reactions of her school, father and friends.
Let´s get deeper into the poem
Take notes of her main ideas, for example:
Let´s work on the worksheet to put ideas and thoughts into motion!!!
Pair work: choose 2 pictures and write a description connecting them.
-Describe the places in detail
-Describe the situation (use your imagination) and the feelings of the people.
-Think about the mood
Post your text in the blog.