A Dream and the Definition
to cluster - Tribulation - hind-sight - germinate - dungarees - runnel - valiantly - predicament - emphatic - baffled - apprehensively - conventions - to be awed - commandments - rote - affirmation - cold-poulticed - potent - tight-strung - perturbed - blasphemy - offence - cleft - Sunday precepts - Definition of Man
In Chapter One, the author introduces some baffling things, some are explained, others are not, because as readers, we see the world through the eyes of a confused ten year old. To be able to answer the questions properly, you should read the whole chapter first.
- The bank was no puzzle to me then: (page 6) What do you think the high bank is? Why does the author not tell you that right away? Why doesn't he tell you who the Old Ones are?
- What is unusual about part of Sophie's clothes? Why does the author slip it into the text so casually? (page 7)
- Explain the paragraph I hesitated, but childhood..... I turned around. (page 9)
- Explain the section that begins with "Oh, my poor darling!" (page 10) and ends with And so on again (page 11) Why do these religious rules mean little to David?
- On page 11 it is said that David "was the one regrettable and unreliable factor in an otherwise orderly life". What is meant by that and what does it tell you about David's home life. How does it contrast with Sophie's childhood?
- On page 12 it says: "There was a pause - at least, her voice paused, but her thoughts went on, ...." What is revealed in that paragraph and why does the author do it so casually?
- At the bottom of page 13, things, called the Sunday precepts click into place for David. Explain what exactly clicks into place, and how it all relates to the Definition.
- If Mrs. Wender wears the "conventional" cross from hem to hem and from breast to breast, why is it "conventional"?
- What is David's curious understanding with Rosalind?
- What is David's society obsessed with, it seems? Are there any similarities with societies existing today? Explain.
- In what ways is David a normal ten-year-old, and in what ways isn't he?
David notices many things in his environment. The word notice comes from the Latin word nota, which means "a manner of designating; a brand or mark." Ten other words which derive from nota are listed below. See if you can use them correctly in the following sentences.
notable - notarized - notations - noted - notion - notary - noticeable - notify - notification
1. It would have been very dangerous if David had made _______________ about his dreams. (marks or signs)
2. Mrs. Wender's concern was _______________ as soon her daughter told what had happened. (conspicuous, capable of being observed)
3. Sophie's parents were afraid that David might _______________ his father. (point out, inform)
4. Waknuk was so small that they didn't have a _______________. (public officer who affirms the authenticity of writings)
5. David's _______________ about the geographical position of Waknuk was very vague. (general concept)
6. The "Definition of Man" doesn't seem _______ ________ for its open- mindedness. (remarkable)
7. It took a while, before David's mind _________ ______ the fact that Sophie at six toes on each foot. (observed carefully)
8. If David had informed on the Wender's, an immediate _______________ would have been sent to the Inspector. (written matter that informs)
9. Whenever a baby is born in Waknuk, its "certificate of normalcy" is ______________. (certified or attested)
10. The telepathic skills David possessed would have cause him _______________ if they had been known. (being unfavourably known)
At the end of Chapter One, David is in a serious dilemma. On the one hand, he believes in the religious teachings he has received, while on the other hand, he cannot accept that having six toes on your feet can be a serious offence.
How would you feel if you found yourself in a situation where your believes clashed with what you really wanted to do?
Create such a situation in a short essay.
* What do you believe in?
* In what ways will your actions clash with your believes?
* Is it worth keeping your believes, or would it be better not do?
* What damage might be done either way?
It is not the purpose of this essay to come up with a final solution, but to carefully cover all the pros and cons of the situation. Be specific, and don't deal with a simple conflict, for which there is an easy solution. You should still have very mixed feelings about any position. Use (hypothetical) examples to better illustrate your position.
Introduction - Characters - Outline - Style - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Test 1 - Test 2 - Map 1 - Map 2 - Map 3