Descriptive Writing Portfolio By Johan Werner
Passage Analysis’s Passage #1: Chapter 9, A View to a Death. Over the island the buildup of clouds continued. A steady current of heated air rose all day from the mountain and was thrust to ten thousand feet; revolving masses of gas piled up the static until the air was ready to explode. By early evening the sun had gone and a brassy glare had taken the place of clear daylight. Even the air that pushed in from the sea was hot and held no refreshment. Colors drained from water and trees and pink surfaces of rock, and the white and brown clouds brooded. Nothing prospered but the ﬂies who blackened their lord and made the spilt guts look like a heap of glistening coal. Even when the vessel broke in Simon’s nose and the blood gushed out they left him alone, preferring the pig’s high ﬂavor. Language Analysis In this passage, the writer gives this ominous feelings of something is about to happen, the rising tension, or the temperature, “piled up the static until the air was ready to explode.” as a major event is about to happen, and like an explosion perhaps not well. It gives a feeling of elevating events that could be happening at this point in the story. And even though it gives this impending feeling of unpleasant, it the description is seemingly beautiful. But this also all coincides with the feeling one gets from passing out, the light, weightless feeling, perhaps also being ‘thrust to ten thousand feet’, and the feeling of impending explosion being the breaking of the vessel in his nose, followed by the colours being drained from everything as a light fades and he eventually blacks out. Also when passed out the author has a foreshadowing to future events, showing in a bit of a literal way that the Beast’s Influence is great and the fear showing the reason Simon will try to give, not only the fear, but the freedom of bloodlust it offers, with ‘Even when the vessel broke in Simon’s nose and the blood gushed out they left him alone, preferring the pig’s high ﬂavor.’. Passage #2: Chapter 3, Huts on the Beach Jack was bent double. He was down like a sprinter, his nose only a few inches from the humid earth. The tree trunks and the creepers that festooned them lost themselves in a green dusk thirty feet above him, and all about was the undergrowth. There was only the faintest indication of a trail here; a cracked twig and what might be the impression of one side of a hoof. He lowered his chin and stared at the traces as though he would force them to speak to him. Then doglike, uncomfortably on all fours yet unheeding his discomfort, he stole forward five yards and stopped. Here was loop of creeper with a tendril pendant from a node. The tendril was polished on the underside; pigs, passing through the loop, brushed it with their bristly hide.
Jack crouched with his face a few inches away from this clue, then stared forward into the semidarkness of the undergrowth. His sandy hair, considerably longer than it had been when they dropped in, was lighter now; and his bare back was a mass of dark freckles and peeling sunburn. A sharpened stick about five feet long trailed from his right hand, and except for a pair of tattered shorts held up by his knifebelt he was naked. He closed his eyes, raised his head and breathed in gently with flared nostrils, assessing the current of warm air for information. The forest and he were very still. Language Analysis : In this passage the main focus is Jack, he is hunting in the jungle for pigs. Although in the passage Jack isn’t described as young school boy hunting, but the author uses visual descriptive language to make him seem as if a predator, an animal hunting in the shadowy bushes. From the way the author has described his actions, ‘doglike’ and ‘crouched with his face a few inches away from this clue’, as if a bloodhound on all fours sniffing out its prey. This passage has given a complete transformation of this character, as if from boy to beast, with, ‘He closed his eyes, raised his head and breathed in gently with flared nostrils, assessing the current of warm air for information.’, like a boy has the sensory skills of a hungry predator on the prowl. Also physically in the second paragraph we can his transformation, with long hair, back peeling from the hours spent in the sun, wearing nothing but shorts opposed to some normal well groomed boy. And that he can sense what his happening around him, that the author has made him almost one with the forest, without mentioning his name one would think Golding was actually just describing some beast.
Passage #3 : Chapter 6, Beast From Air A sliver of moon rose over the horizon, hardly large enough to make a path of light even when it sat right down on the water; but there were other lights in the sky, that moved fast, winked, or went out, though not even a faint popping came down from the battle fought at ten miles’ height. But a sign came down from the world of grownups, though at the time there was no child awake to read it. There was a sudden bright explosion and corkscrew trail across the sky; then darkness again and stars. There was a speck above the island, a figure dropping swiftly beneath a parachute, a figure that hung with dangling limbs. The changing winds of various altitudes took the figure where they would. Then, three miles up, the wind steadied and bore it in a descending curve round the sky and swept it in a great slant across the reef and the lagoon toward the mountain. The figure fell and crumpled among the blue flowers of the mountainside, but now there was a gentle breeze at this height too and the parachute flopped and banged and pulled. So the figure, with feet that dragged behind it, slid up the mountain. Yard by yard, puff by puff, the breeze hauled the figure through the blue flowers, over the boulders and red stones, till it lay huddled among the shattered rocks of the mountaintop. Here the breeze was fitful and allowed the strings of the parachute to tangle and festoon; and the figure sat, its helmeted head between its knees, held by a complication of lines. When the breeze blew, the lines would strain taut and some accident of this pull lifted the head and chest upright so that the figure seemed to peer across the brow of the mountain. Then, each time the wind dropped, the lines would slacken and the figure bow forward again, sinking its head between its knees. So as the stars moved across the sky, the figure sat on the mountaintop and bowed and sank and bowed again. Language Analysis : The quick description in the beginning of the soft and quiet night sky, the moon sat on the water, is completely different to the description of the night sky the quickly follows after. The explosive yet quick battle of the night sky. Through the midst of the boys being stranded you forget what's going on in the outside world, what the author wrote as, ‘the world of grownups’, the war going on, some just as brutal as what's happening on the island. The main focus of this passage is the dead body of a pilot being flung around by its parachute. And they this is described, pulled and plunged by the strings pulling it, as if a doll flung by a child. And even through the pilot is said to be dead it feels less than that, as if its not the lifeless body of a man but simply an empty husk, with a body you think of a skin rotting and a high stink in the air, and yet here is a doll being puppeteered by the island, as if leaving the world of grown ups and becoming a mere plaything is this much more savage world of the children.
Passage #4: Chapter 9, A View to a Death Ralph heard the great rock before he saw it. He was aware of a jolt in the earth that came to him through the soles of his feet, and the breaking sound of stones at the top of the cliff. Then the monstrous red thing bounded across the neck and he flung himself flat while the tribe shrieked. The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist. Piggy, saying nothing, with no time for even a grunt, traveled through the air sideways from the rock, turning over as he went. The rock bounded twice and was lost in the forest. Piggy fell forty feet and landed on his back across the square red rock in the sea. His head opened and stuff came out and turned red. Piggy’s arms and legs twitched a bit, like a pig’s after it has been killed. Then the sea breathed again in a long, slow sigh, the water boiled white and pink over the rock; and when it went, sucking back again, the body of Piggy was gone. Language Analysis : The description within this passage is of the death Piggy, as Roger rolls a rock down a hill which propels Piggy off the cliff. Said rock is thrown my Roger, and the rock is described as ‘the monstrous red thing’, which makes it seem as if a giant red physical manifestation of the blood lust and savagery of the boys now, and perhaps even more Roger as he is the most sadistic in the group. It shows the change within the boys, that once what represented their order was a gleaming white conch, used so that all could be heard, now shattered into a million peices and now ceased to exist, is replaced by a huge red boulder, push by bloodlust and aimed to kill another. And also, Piggy being the smartest among the boys, being the personification of Order among them, to be hit by this bouldering bloodlust and flung from a cliff, it as if order has been literally thrown out the window, and then swept clean from the ocean, as if it wasn’t there from the beginning.
Rewrites Rewrite of Passage #4 It all happened too quickly, Ralph stepping forward towards Jack but just then he saw the pull of an arm and the flick of a wrist. As the long light brown sailed through the air, it flimsy wobbled as a pointed tip pierced through the very air and the the tribe held their breath. Something kicked and within a split second Ralph bolted off to the side and before another breath was drawn, the spear screwed right into Piggy’s center, almost passing right through him. The gleaming white conch was knocked from his hand and a crack formed along it as it hit the ground. Too shocked to react, eyes simply watched as a pool of dark crimson formed around a body. Ralph slowly huddled over and held the body, hands shaking in disbelief as if some nightmare. The silence of the tribe was broken by a deafening crack. Jack had stopped onto the Conch and again on what was left of it, slowly lifting his foot all was left was small white pieces. Even though the crack shell pieces caused small cuts on his under foot, Jack seemed unphased by the pain and gestured towards his tribe, rallying them. Rational The main change in my rewriting of this passage is that instead of Roger, Jack kills Piggy, and much more directly than how Roger did in the original writing. I chose to change it to Jack as I thought it made more of a significance, of a show of the boys becoming savages, as Roger is seen as a sadistic sociopath, and Jack was simply a jealous boy. Him being the one throwing the spear that kills a fellow peer, a normal boy and the leader of the tribe, him descending into savagery is essentially the whole group, as they do whatever he commands them to. I also thought that having Piggy’s death be more direct was important to, as Roger being more willing to kill should he get the chance, and Roger only used his spear to kill for the good of the tribe, to show how he is a better leader than Ralph, but now to enforce and secure his position as the leader and even if at one point Ralph went rampant along with the boys, he hasn’t gone as far with the intent to kill Jack. And finally I thought it was much more significant of Jack to step on the conch, the symbol of order within the group before they became savage. Rewrite of Passage #1 As Simon stumbled into the clearing, with the sun burning down so hard their Simon could feel the veil of heat. He shielded his eyes as the rays beat down on him. But as he saw what protruded in the center of the clearing the it was almost as the temperature dropped to an icy chill, the the darkness as black as a empty void, spilling from all of the orifices on the Mounted pig’s head. Flies circled the pig as came in and out of any open hole on the pig, and seemingly the flies moved within the pig, causing it to move and shimmer just the slightest bit, but enough for it to seem as it noticed Simon and then stared at him. The black sludge dripping
down the spear mast, the built up sludge piling up beneath the lord. The stench hit as hard as the sun did moments before, the blurriness kicked in after. And as Simon dropped for a second he thought he saw the lord’s face gleam with a smile, but gleam that was as empty as the head of the pig. Rational I focused this rewrite more on the lord of the flies, and using the visual descriptions of the lord and the disbeautifulcation of what once was a majestic clearing now violated by this dead pig. Using it to show the change of the situation and rather not the actual rise of tension through heat and the height of the situation, but the blacking and defiling of that what was once pure by a grotestic beast.