Friday, September 29, 2017

Reading Period 4: September 29 - October 5: The Black Stallion

Long Read:

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, chapters 1-6

Short Read:

"A Hunger Artist" by Franz Kafka

Poem:

"Ariel's Song" from The Tempest by William Shakespeare

    Come unto these yellow sands,
              And then take hands:
    Curtsied when you have, and kiss'd
              The wild waves whist,
    Foot it featly here and there;
    And, sweet sprites, the burthen bear.
              Hark, hark!
    Bow-wow.
              The watch-dogs bark.
    Bow-wow.
              Hark, hark! I hear
              The strain of strutting chanticleer
              Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow.

    Full fathom five thy father lies;
              Of his bones are coral made;
    Those are pearls that were his eyes:
              Nothing of him that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.
    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
                              Ding-dong.
    Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.

Creative Assignments:

Write a poem that expresses the emotions that Alec was feeling on the island. You may choose to write about loneliness, or exhilaration, or hopelessness, or love, or connection, or determination. Do not rhyme. You can use "I" in your poem but you don't have to be writing from the point of view of Alec, just expressing those emotions. Start with one of the following lines:

Out of blue sky the wind
Sometimes the horse becomes a
Ever very far away
A voyage on someone else's

OR

Salvador Dali created a pair of lists called "My Struggle" in which he listed what he is For and what he is Against. Artist Molly Crabapple illustrated it, and you can find a zoomable image here. Create a list of "For" and "Against" for yourself, including at least 10 pairs of elements. Dali's list has obvious oppositions, like simplicity and complexity, but also has some strange pairings, like spinach and snails, or music and architecture. Yours can be as strange or as obvious as you like, and you can illustrate it too, either after printing it out, or by writing it on unlined paper and adding drawings.

Writing Assignments:

After reading "The Hunger Artist," consider the following symbols in the story: the cage, the panther, and the clock. What do you think these symbols represent? Write a 250 word essay in which you introduce the story briefly, write about at least two of these symbols, and conclude by telling your reader what you think the message of the story might be.

OR

After creating your "My Struggle"  list like Dali's, write a personal essay of 250 words about the list and the process of creating the list. (Only do this one if you chose the "My Struggle" creative assignment.) Was it hard? Easy? Were some pairings harder to think of, and some more obvious? Do you think it's fair to create a list of "For" and "Against" when maybe some things aren't so binary? Why do you think Dali made his list, and what did it teach you about yourself to make a list like this? The structure of your essay might be a little more fluid given the content, but make sure you take your reader to a new place by the end.

Quiz:

1. Describe the stallion's personality demeanor when he was boarded onto the Drake, and give a quote from the book as evidence.
2. The book says "The Drake steamed through the Suez and into the Mediterranean." This means they had been traveling through what body of water when they picked up the stallion?
3. How did Alec save the Black's life?
4. How did the Black save Alec's life?
5. What resource does the Black help Alec to get, and how?
6. What resource does Alec help the Black to get, and how?
7. What happened to the shelter Alec built, and how did that event save his life?
8. The book tells us "Alec realized the terrific fight that the stallion was waging with himself." What evidence of that fight is played out in the action? Give a quote that shows it.
9. How does Alec's leg get injured before he gets on the ship?
10. What is Alec's reaction whenever the stallion gets nervous or scared or does something crazy?

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