Tuesday, 31 August 2010

S1 Interesting bits and pieces...

For those of you interested in making your own website, click here.

And, if you give me a week or so to get my internet connection sorted, PS3 users can play me at FIFA. My username is bluejorj.

Consider the Lilies - Chapter 5

Notes will be uploaded ASAP.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Lord of the Flies - Minor Characters

Character Analysis

Physical: The two twins are so identical that they are given one name and cannot function without each other:
“They breathed together, they grinned together, they were chunky and vital. They raised wet lips at Ralph, for they seemed provided with not quite enough skin, so that their profiles were blurred and their mouths pulled open.”
Involvement: Samneric are often in charge of watching the signal fire. They too side with Ralph, but are captured in the end by Jack. Their loyalty doesn't extend as far it should; they eventually confess to Jack where Ralph is hiding before he is hunted.

Physical: Roger is described:
...a slight, furtive boy whom no one knew, who kept to himself with an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy... the shock of black hair, down his nape and low on his forehead, seemed to suit his gloomy face and made what had seemed at first an unsociable remoteness into something forbidding.
Involvement: Roger is a sadist who revels in hurting and causing pain. He knocks over the littluns' sand castles and throws stones at them. In the end it is he who pushes the boulder that kills Piggy. Becoming Jack's right-hand man he is feared by Ralph during the hunt, carrying "death in his hands."

The Littluns
Physical: The so-called littluns are the boys who don't play a large roll in the novel. They are probably five or six years old.
Involvement: Although they do not always comprehend what is going on around them, the littluns are important people. They are the ones who first see the Beast and are in constant fear of it, especially during the night. They are the "rest of society" and often go with the flow and do what the bigguns are doing. Most of them end up joining Jack, not because they can differentiate between right and wrong, but because Jack provides them meat and protection from the Beast.

William Golding Article

There is an article here from the Guardian newspaper about William Golding, which may shed some light on his views on the "darkness of man's heart".

Johnny and the Dead

Task 1: Copy these sentences in the correct order they come up in the play.

a) The boys hear the Dead on the radio phone-in.
b) Yo-less says that « It’s just history. It’s got nothing to do with now. »
c) We learn that Alderman Bowler built a memorial horse trough.
d) Johnny visits the old folks’ home and discovers Tommy Atkins is a resident.
e) Johnny finds a picture of the Pals. Under each name is a cross, showing who had died.
f) We learn that Stanley Roundaway scored the greatest number of own goals in the history of any sport.
g) Tommy Atkins had warned the nurse that when he died, people would forget about the First World War.
h) The boys look through newspapers to research the Dead.
i) Addison Vincent Fletcher invented a new type of telephone.
j) Wobbler thinks the Dead were not important because they weren’t famous.
k) The boys are shocked to learn that all except one of the Blackbury Pals were killed.
l) Eric Grimm insists the Dead should not leave the cemetery.
m) The boys are afraid they have been wrong giving the Dead the radio.
n) When the Blackbury Pals are mentioned, we are shown what Johnny is thinking.
o) Yo-less likes very traditional English music.
p) Sadly, he died the day before Johnny arrived.
q) The Dead are amazed at how much news they have missed.
r) The Dead decide to telephone a radio phone-in to talk about their worries.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Stone Cold - Letter from Link - Exemplar

Dear Mum,

I’m in London now, have been for a couple of weeks. It’s been a real eye-opener staying here and, I have to be honest, it’s not going very well.

When I first got here I managed to find a place to stay. It was in King’s Cross and it meant I had some time to find a job. I had to pay two week’s rent in advance so I had very little money left and, after searching all over, I couldn’t get a job anywhere. It didn’t help that I was wearing the same clothes day-in, day-out.

A couple of nights ago, my landlord came to collect his rent. He was two days early but he didn’t care. He told me I had to pay or get out. I was so angry and frustrated but there was nothing I could do. He was a mean piece of work. So, I had to leave. No job, no money and nowhere to stay.
Last night I spent my first night homeless. I’d applied for benefits at the DSS but they won’t give me anything because I made myself homeless. I’m nearly in tears the situation is so frustrating. Nothing I do seems to work.

I managed to find a decent doorway to sleep in (your sleeping bag is coming in very handy) but I had to leave it to go and pee in King’s Cross station. When I was in there, the attendant tried to punch me, probably because I looked a bit dirty. It’s no fun being homeless because you can’t get properly clean, and because you can’t get clean nobody wants anything to do with you. It’s a downward spiral.

When I got back to the doorway someone else had taken my spot. He was a big Scouse bloke and I didn’t want to get into a fight so I just left him to it. As I was walking away, though, he grabbed my wrist and threatened me if I didn’t give him my watch. This is the last memento I have of you and the family, and it broke my heart to give it to him. I had no choice, though. It was either that or end up in the hospital.

The hardest thing to take when you’re homeless is that nobody cares. People avoid you in the street, they look the other way, and people who don’t look at you like you’re making the streets look untidy. Because of the money situation I’ve started begging, and that makes people treat you even worse. It’s depressing to spend a whole day asking strangers for money, feeling worthless, and only coming up with a few pence, not enough to buy any food. It’s desperate on the streets.

I really want to come home, to see you and Carole, and for things to be like they used to be, before Vince. I know you don’t want to hear this, but he’s changed you and destroyed the happiness we used to have. He’s lecherous and I often saw him leering at Carole – she wasn’t lying when she told you what he did. After that she couldn’t stay in the house.

Please think about the situation, and where I’ve ended up. If you change your mind, you’ll find me around King’s Cross. I won’t be too hard to find – just look for the invisible people.

All my love,


Stone Cold - Letter from Link

These are the ideas we came up with in class. Remember, the best writing includes:

1. Thoughts
2. Feelings
3. Detail

How you are doing.
Evicted – running out of money.
Can’t buy food.
Has to beg for money.
Can’t get a job – looks manky.

Getting thrown out of your room.
The mean landlord.
Getting ripped off.
Losing your doorway.
Stolen watch.

Attitudes of the public to homeless people.


Ginger – a little help.

Relationship with Vince.
How things changed when he arrived.
What Vince said/ did with Carole.

Want to come home – make things like they used to be.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Street Accident - Characters

For homework you need to create the following characters:

a) The driver
b) You (a witness)

For example: The driver

Mr Hamish Donald, aged 21, fisherman.
Bayview Road, Gardenstown.
Drives a new, red Ford XR3.

A generally friendly, cheerful, easy-going young man, but with a quick and violent temper. He is quite tall, with spiky blonde hair and blue eyes.

Lord of the Flies - Christian/ Freudian Readings

* Freudian/ sexual imagery/ phallic symbolism/ the violent or sexual urge
* Link to Golding’s own story
* “Le petit mort”
* Killing of the sow p147

* Christian symbolism
* Garden of Eden/ Fall of man
* Original sin
* Simon the Christ figure – the wilderness
* Jack, the devil
* The lord of the flies

Friday, 20 August 2010

Lord of the Flies - Symbolism

Below is a summary of the work we did today. If you're interested in Freud, there is plenty to read here.

1) Death of Piggy and Destruction of Conch: Failure or breakdown of society on the island.
2) Plane Crash: Failure or breakdown of society in the world outside; spread of corrupting ideas.
3) Forest Scar: This path of destruction through the forest, caused by the crashing plane, appears to represent the encroachment of corrupt civilization on the pristine island.
4) Island: Before the arrival of the boys, the Garden of Eden; after the arrival of the boys, the corrupted world of humankind.
5) Conch: Civilized authority, democracy.
6) Eyeglasses of Piggy and Piggy Himself: Insight, wisdom, knowledge.
7) Signal Fire: Hope.
8) The Beast: Fear, superstition. (The boys imagine that a monster in the form of a snake, a sea monster, an ape, or other "beasties" that they dream about lurks nearby.)
9) Chanting and Dancing of the Hunters: Blind emotion, loss of reason.
10) Logs on Which Ralph and Jack Sit: Seats of authority; thrones.
11) The Killing of the Second Pig, the Sow: Release of perverted, Oedipal urges.
12) Knife, Spears: Weapons of war in the macrocosmic world; phalluses as representations of masculine aggression.
13) Jack: Unchecked authority – Man’s savagery
14) Ralph: The drive for reason and thought
15) The Lord of the Flies: The evil in every person's heart.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

S2 - Homework

  1. 1914 - 1918
  2. 15million people killed.
  3. Provoked by assassination of Arch-duke Franz Ferdinand of Austro-Hungary.
  4. Also known as "The Great War".
  5. Trench warfare in France between Britain and Germany.
  6. Famous battles at the Somme, Verdun and Ypres.
  7. "Lions led by donkeys."

Blighty - Britain
Huns/ the Bosch/ Jerries - German soldiers
Tommies - British soldiers
The Kaiser - the ruler of Germany
No-man's land - land between trenches

An Age of Revolution (1760-1830)

Frankenstein was written at a time when Europe was undergoing enormous revolutions. The American Revolution of 1776 and French Revolution of 1789 had both removed Kings from government. This is important because all Kings claimed to have been chosen by God and, by killing one, people showed they were starting to reject the idea that God controlled their world. Both of these revolutions were a reaction against the unfair conditions the poorest in society lived in, while the richest lived in spectacular wealth.

This continued in the ideas of the age. Science and philosophy both made enormous strides and rejected many traditional views of the world. Medicine, anatomy and physics all began to change the view of Man’s relationship with God. Theories that all planets revolved around the Earth were proven to be untrue, and the beginnings of modern medicine were found when scientists began to think of the human body as predictable and rational – as though it were a machine. Thus, if it broke down, the fault could be identified and repaired. Modern Pathology was born as a result.

On top of the political turmoil and scientific revolution, Great Britain also became the first industrialised nation, with factories and steam power transforming the nature of cities. Hundreds of thousands of people who had been made unemployed by new farming machinery moved into the cities to seek work in the new mills and factories, creating a kind of modern slavery where people were paid little to work in barbaric conditions.

It seemed that the whole world was going through an astonishing transformation, and radical ideas would light the way.

Task 2: Answer these questions in your jotter:

1. What was so shocking about the removal of a King to the people of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries?
2. What form of science was formed during this time?
3. What is the dictionary definition of this word (get a dictionary)?
4. How do you think scientists were thought of by most people?
5. What kind of work did people seek in the cities?
6. What do you think these people felt about industrialisation?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Lord of the Flies - Q&As #1

“Lord of the Flies”
Chapter One – The Sound of the Shell

1) The boys are in a serious situation due to the imperfect nature of society which Golding wants to analyse.
How have the boys landed in this situation? Find at least SIX pieces of evidence.

2) In the first chapter alone, much is revealed about the main characters.
Write a brief character sketch for each of Ralph, Piggy, Jack and Simon.
Use quotation to illustrate the points you make.

3) From your knowledge of the whole novel, pick out incidents which foreshadow important events later on.

4) Although the boys gradually shake off the restraints of civilisation, these are still present in the first chapter.
Give THREE examples where such restraints are still operating.

5) Explain the significance of the following:

a) “a mildness about his mouth and eyes that proclaimed no devil” (p5)

b) “here at last was the imagined but never fully realised place leaping into real life” (p10)

c) “there was a slight, furtive boy whom no one knew, who kept to himself with an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy” (p18)

d) “Green candles, said Jack contemptuously” (p28)

Lord of the Flies Q&As #2

“Lord of the Flies”
Chapter Two – Fire on the Mountain

1) Show, using quotation, how the different personalities of Ralph, Piggy and Jack are further developed in this chapter.

2) Why does Golding mention Treasure Island, Swallows and Amazons and Coral Island on p33?
From your knowledge of the whole novel, explain the irony here.

3)Golding says the novel is largely symbolic.
In the description of the setting, there are recurring images or motifs which take on symbolic significance.

Consider: a) the mountain e) the conch
b) the fire f) Piggy’s glasses
c) the rock g) Jack’s knife
d) the platform h) the jungle, snakes and creepers

What might each of these symbolise in Golding’s analysis of human nature and society?

4) Study how Golding’s description of the fire on p44.
Show how he makes the fire appear to be a living thing.

5) Explain the significance of the following:

a) “We’ll have rules… Lots of rules! Then, when anyone breaks ‘em…” (p32)

b) “Like kids!” he said scornfully. (p37)

c) “His voice rose to a shriek of terror as Jack snatched the glasses off his face… Ralph elbowed him to one side.” (p40)

d) “’I agree with Ralph. We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages.’” (p42)

e) “’…him with the mark on his face. I don’t see him. Where is he now?’ The crowd was as silent as death.’” (pp46-47)


Below is the Youtube clip of the original 1931 James Whale version of the story. This film made a lot of errors with regard to the plot of the book, as you will learn...

In the meantime, it is at least a bit interesting.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

New school year beckons

Well, here we go. The teachers are back to school tomorrow and the pupils are in on Wednesday. I hope you make the most of your last couple of days of the holidays. I notice the weather finally turned fine today - fingers crossed the sun shines for your Monday and Tuesday while we teachers are hard at work.

Now, the reason for this update is just to make you aware of some of the further changes to the blog. Obviously, the background and general presentation has been tidied up a bit and, as mentioned in a previous post, I've added a widget so you can post to Bebo, FB, etc. Over the last day or so I've also added a Twitter feed and would love it if you Tweeted now and then. Feel free to Tweet questions about work, or to have a go about City's shocking performance yesterday. It's your resource, so please make use of it.

I've also added a wee MP3 player to the right-hand bar - that thing that looks like a cassette. I've uploaded a dozen or so songs which you can navigate using the buttons on the tape but it would be so much better if it was playing some music YOU liked. Feel free to email MP3 files to me and I'll add them on.

Lastly, but certainly not leastly, the address of the blog is now www.misterconnor.com - much easier to remember. The old address will still work for you but think of all the keystrokes you'll save yourself typing the new one.

See you on Wednesday!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Higher debate and writing

Discursive writing is a very tricky art, as many Higher pupils have discovered. I would always recommend students read the comments section of broadsheet newspapers, many of which are available for free online and provide a broad range of styles and opinions.

Recently, I came across these clips on Youtube, which demonstrate the art of putting forward a strong personal argument. You can see how each argument has a strong bias but tries to disarm the opinions of those who disagree with them. Be warned, though, this is complex stuff and may be, at times, difficult to follow.

You can begin here then follow the subsequent parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 which are displayed in the right hand menu.