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qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmq wertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqw ertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwer tyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwerty The Day of the Triffids (1951) by John Wyndham uiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyui opasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiop asdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopas dfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdf ghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfgh jklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjkl zxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzx cvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcv bnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbn mqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmq wertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqw Spring Term, 2014 Aidan MacDonald


The Day of the Triffids (1951) by John Wyndham | Page 1 of 9

Contents Easter Holiday Homework (12 – 27 April, 2014) ................................................................................. 2 Monday 28 April, 2014........................................................................................................................ 2 Homework....................................................................................................................................... 2 Thursday 1 May, 2014......................................................................................................................... 3 Homework....................................................................................................................................... 3 Monday 5 May, 2014 .......................................................................................................................... 3 Homework....................................................................................................................................... 4 Monday 12 may, 2014 ........................................................................................................................ 4 Thursday 15 May, 2014....................................................................................................................... 5 Homework....................................................................................................................................... 5 Monday 19 May, 2014 ........................................................................................................................ 6 Homework....................................................................................................................................... 6 Thursday 22 May, 2014....................................................................................................................... 6 Monday 26 May, 2014 ........................................................................................................................ 7 Homework....................................................................................................................................... 7 Exam.................................................................................................................................................... 7 Thursday 5 June, 2014 ........................................................................................................................ 7 Homework....................................................................................................................................... 8 Thursday 12 June, 2014 ...................................................................................................................... 8 Monday 16 June, 2014 ........................................................................................................................ 9 Thursday 19 June, 2014 – Thursday 26 June, 2014: film .................................................................... 9

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Easter Holiday Homework (12 – 27 April, 2014)

1. Read chapters 1 and 2

Monday 28 April, 2014 1. Review chapters 1 and 2 In Chapter 1, the narrator discusses the story behind the comet debris light show on May 7th and his disbelief in the tale. His observations suggest a cover-up of some sort and a willingness of society to believe what they are told by authority, even when what they are told is suspicious. We will discuss the concept of authority as it relates to the comet debris story in the novel. 2. Is authority (i.e. government, police, teachers, parents) always correct? Why or why not? Should individuals always believe and do as they are told? Why or why not? What were the people being told in the novel? What was the result, as is seen by the end of Chapter 1? 3. List reasons why authority figures should be listened to and reasons authority figures could be defied, or at least questioned. Why authority figures should be listened to

Why authority figures could be defied

4. In the book, radio announcers urge people to view the lights and people follow their advice. What does this say about media as "authority" figures. Is the media viewed as a source of reliable information? Why or why not? Do you believe they are unbiased and trustworthy? Why or why not? 5. Explain your position on whether the story told about the comet debris lights is trustworthy, based on the narrator's description of events. Do you think the lights were actually caused by a comet? Why or why not? What facts in the novel led to your opinion? Homework 1. Read through Chapters 3 and 4

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Thursday 1 May, 2014 1. Review chapters 3 and 4 In the beginning of Chapter Three, Bill finds himself having difficulty breaking into a shop for food and he witnesses a woman who has similar issues with breaking the law. Others, such as the thugs who begin to steal women from the street, clearly have no problems abandoning their morality in the new world. We will discuss morality in terms of the ability of the characters in the story to openly break the laws of the old society. 2. What problems do some of the characters seem to have with breaking the law? What is stopping them? Why? Do you think they are right to hesitate in breaking the law? Why or why not? Do you think you would have a similar hesitation? Why? 3. In teams, team A should debate the need to break moral and legal norms in an effort for survival and team B should argue against breaking social norms in times of crisis. Be sure to include examples from the book. 4. In pairs, discuss real world examples of a breakdown of morality in terms of law. What types of situations in the real world cause a lapse of morality? Why do you think these lapses occur? Is the situation in the book similar to these or different? How? What does that say about the reasons for a loss of morality in times of crisis? 5. What are Bill's feelings on breaking the law? Describe similarities and differences between his reaction to lawlessness and the reactions of the drunken thugs. Why do you think they reacted differently? 6. Describe a situation in your own life where you have broken legal or moral conventions. What were the reasons behind your actions? How did the breech make you feel? Based on that, how do you think you would react to the situation in the book? Homework 1. The Day After News Article: Write a news article as though you were writing it the day after the comet. Describe the atmosphere of panic in the world, the destruction and chaos, and the breakdown of society. Be sure to include details as given in the book about specific situations (the drunken mobs and looting, for example).

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Monday 5 May, 2014 In Chapter Three, Bill finds himself feeling relieved at the end of civilization, because this ending means a new beginning for him. He is no longer tethered to society, but is able to branch out on his own and live life according to his own rules. We will discuss social responsibility.

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The Day of the Triffids (1951) by John Wyndham | Page 4 of 9 1. Make a list of what you believe you are tied to, in terms of social responsibility. Do you have after school jobs? Community and service projects? Girlfriends? Friends? Sports or clubs? What do these responsibilities mean in terms of your abilities to do as you please? Do you feel blocked by these responsibilities in some way? How would you feel without them? What you believe you are tied to, in terms of social responsibility

2. What does Bill have in terms of social responsibility? Does his lack of a wife or children have an impact on his feelings about the new social order? Why do you think this? What do you think his reaction would be if he did have a wife or child? 3. Compare and contrast Bill's new feelings about society with the young woman and with a child who is persuaded to join a young man in stealing oranges. Are there differences? What are they? Why do they exist? Do you think having a child changes someone's responsibilities? 4. List Bill’s social responsibilities in his previous life and the benefits from the new social order. Compare the two lists. In Bill's case, with no family or friends, which list appears to have more opportunity? Why? Bill’s social responsibilities in his previous life

Benefits from the new social order

Homework 1. Write an essay discussing the end of modern civilization in the book. Explain the benefits, downfalls, and possible paths for Bill as a character.

Monday 12 May, 2014 1. Read through Chapters 5, 6 and 7

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Thursday 15 May, 2014 By the end of Chapter Four, it is clear that the role of women in the new society is changing. Prior to the crisis, women were seen as human beings, deserving of their own rights and their own lives. Following the crisis, however, it is becoming clear that the role of women is shifting. Sighted women are now seen as treasured items to be kidnapped, if needed, in order to provide a service to blind men. Blind women, are the other hand, are quickly becoming slaves to men in exchange for food and protection. We will focus on the roles of women in society in the book. 1. What are the roles of women in the pre-crisis society in the novel, based on the time in which the novel was written (1951)? Were women seen as equals? Why or why not? Were women like Josella treated with respect or as slaves? Why? How does this differ with their treatment in post-crisis London? What does this say about the role of women in general in our own society? Do you think such a change in status would occur in our own lives, if such a catastrophe were to occur? 2. List characteristics of women valued in pre-comet London and the desired characteristics in women following the comet. What are the differences? What does this imply about both pre- and post-comet London? Characteristics of women valued in pre-comet London

Desired characteristics in women following the comet

3. Compare Josella in her previous life (as she describes herself) to the Josella that Bill meets in the alley way. What are the differences? Would she have been desirable prior to the crisis? Would she be afterward? What makes her different from the blind women portrayed in this chapter? 4. How would a woman in your life handle the crisis? Would she become a slave in order to survive or would she rather fight for herself? What is this woman like now? How do you think she would change? 5. What is your feeling on how a crisis can change sexual roles in society? What do you think the role of women will be throughout the novel? Do you think this is realistic as to how the world would work after such an event? Why? Homework 1. Read through Chapters 8 and 9

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Monday 19 May, 2014 1. Review Chapters 8 and 9 In Chapter Eight, Coker and his colleagues take a number of hostages in an effort to help save the blind population. We will examine Coker's use of trickery and slavery to discover whether such methods are moral in search of survival. 2. Do you think Coker's methods were warranted, considering the circumstances? Why or why not? Do you think Coker was acting morally when he took sighted hostages? Why? What is the definition of moral? Considering he was attempting to save the lives of hundreds of individuals, do you think he was right? Why or why not? 3. In two pairs and with one person working individually, one pair should argue for the morality of Coker's actions, based on his intent. Another should argue against Coker's methods in terms of his actions being immoral. The individual should listen to both pairs and discuss which is a more convincing argument. 4. List Coker's actions that were moral and just, given the circumstances and the actions that were immoral and unjust, considering the effect on the sighted. Moral and just

Immoral and unjust

5. At University Tower, Vorless made a point that a belief cannot have an absolute right, because belief systems change, given circumstances. Do you think this situation proves Vorless' point? Why or why not? Do you think Coker's methods are the opposite of the University Tower method, and if so, which is more humane? Which is more 'right'? Can you judge this situation without bias? Homework 1. Write an essay, discussing your opinion of morality vs. survival. Do you think it is possible that, to survive, a group may have to act immorally? Does the fact that the immoral action helps them survive change whether the actions are moral? Why or why not?

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Thursday 22 May, 2014 1. Read through Chapters 10, 11 and 12

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Monday 26 May, 2014

1.

2.

3.

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Coker has, thus far, changed roles many times in the novel and, as a result, the reader's perception of Coker has also changed. We will examine Coker's character in depth to better understand his role in the novel. What was your initial opinion of Coker when he argued for the rights of the blind outside the gates? How about after it was revealed that Coker kidnapped Bill and the others? And after Coker's reappearance in the park? What about your opinions of him by the end of Chapter Nine? What does this say about the shifting character that is Coker? Coker is, by his own admission, the type of person who seeks the best angle in any situation. He can change his view and even his language as needed, thereby making him much more accessible to many in society. Write a list of characteristics they would attribute to Coker at the four points listed below. • When he argued for the rights of the blind outside the gates? • After it was revealed that Coker kidnapped Bill and the others? • After Coker's reappearance in the park? • When he and Bill talk personally at the end of Chapter Nine? Compare the characteristics: Are there some that are the same? Are there some that are different? What does this say about Coker as he shifts roles in the novel? What does this say about his character? What is your opinion of Coker? Is he a con man or a man who simply knows his audience? Are his methods sneaky or intelligent? Why? In what other positions would Coker be good? Why? What do you think Coker's future in this new world is?

Homework 1. Read through Chapters 13 and 14

Exam 1. Compare and contrast Coker's description of himself with your own opinion. Are they similar or different? Why? What does this say about Coker's ability to see himself realistically? Write between 300 and 400 words.

Thursday 5 June, 2014 1. Review Chapters 13 and 14 In Chapter Twelve, many of the survivors, including the young woman friend of Stephen, believe the Americans will come rescue them. This theme has been shared by many in the book. We will discuss the concept of Americans at the time this book was written. 2. Why do you think so many people are convinced the Americans are coming to help? Why English as an additional language at the International School of Lausanne | blogs.isl.ch/SEAL


The Day of the Triffids (1951) by John Wyndham | Page 8 of 9

would such a belief exist? What is it about America at the time the book was written that makes this such a popular concept? 3. In groups: a. Research the world view of America in 1951, when the book was written. How was America viewed by other countries? How was America viewed by England, in particular? Does this explain Wyndham's constant reference to Americans as the saviours? Why or why not?  b. Research the view of America following World War II. Do you think Wyndham included the view of America as a saving grace in the novel as a result of the view of America following WWII? Why? If so, what was he saying about America as a helping country? If not, why then does he include so many references to America as a country that will save England?  4. List those characters who still believe help will come and those who believe no help is coming. Compare the two groups of people. What characteristics do those who wait for help have? How about those who don't wait for help? What does this say about the two groups? Still believe help will come

Believe no help is coming

5. In two groups, one group should argue for reasons to believe the crisis was not worldwide, using the beliefs of those in the book who claim help is coming, while the other group should argue that help is not coming. Which argument seems more plausible? Why? Homework 1. Americans as Heroes: Several times in the book, Americans are mentioned as being the likely heroes of the story in that they will come save England. Find a current newspaper article that shows the United States attempting to save the people of another country and present the article to the class.

Thursday 12 June, 2014 1. Read through Chapters 15, 16 and 17

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Monday 16 June, 2014 1. Review Chapters 15, 16 and 17 In Chapter Sixteen, Ivan appears and invites the group to live on the Isle of Wright, which is a larger version of the original Beadley settlement. In Chapter Seventeen, Torrence arrives to force Bill's small group under military control. He explains they will be forced to feed and care for a large number of the blind. Bill notes they are offering him feudal seigneury. We will examine these two groups to discern the differences. 2. Class discussion: What are the founding beliefs of the Beadley group? What are they in the Emergency Council groups? What are the differences in these beliefs? What are similarities? Which colony is violent and which is peaceful? What are the reasons for this difference? Which colony do you think will last? Why? 3. Create a list of adjectives used to describe the Isle of Wright community and another for the Emergency Council's method. Which is more positive? Why? Are there any shared adjectives? What does this say about the two colonies? Isle of Wright community

The Emergency Council

4. Compare the two colonies, making sure to stress concepts such as relations, motives, approach, and underlying principles. 5. What do you think are the underlying motives in each group? Do you think one group is more morally acceptable than the other? Why or why not? Do the motives make the means moral? Why or why not? 6. Previously, the Beadley group was considered immoral, because of the way in which they proposed men and women procreate. When compared to the Emergency Council method of forced slavery, is the Beadley group more moral, less moral, or just as immoral? Why?

Thursday 19 June, 2014 – Thursday 26 June, 2014: film

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Day of the triffids