LMA LELE 1ères & Tles L UNIT 2 – ISLANDS


Reading List:

Robinson Crusoe, Defoe > Penguin Readers level 3

The Island of Dr Moreau, H G Wells > Penguin Readers Level 3

Shutter Island, Denis Lehane

Lord of the Flies, William Golding

Coral Island, Ballantyne

Extracts and lesson activities inspired by  Password Literature éd Didier.

Session 1 – November 5th.


Theme 1 – Sci- Fi > The Imaginary

Theme 2 – Islands > Travel, exile, initation narratives.

2014-11-29 14.53.58

November 12th.

a- Robinson Crusoe ‘My island and I’

1719 > Robinson Crusoe >  Enlightenment / les Lumières

islands= destination for English sailors / slave trade /

> colonies maped on  / created following the example of England as the mother island / model.

autobiographical style / ‘I’ first person narratives / diaries / travel-logs

1- tragic tone / exaggeration > interior monologue / borrows from autobiographical genre.

Did Robinson exist? No but …

Crusoe / Defoe> similar names / The narrator and the characters are the same. The name of the writer and the name of the character are the same. Robinson didn’t exist but he was inspired by a real sailor called Alexander Selkirk. Daniel Defoe mixes reality and fiction, he pretends his character existed. He plays with the autobiographical genre traditions.

2- The reader is rushed into the story. We can identify with Robinson Crusoe. He is the adventurer we want to be.

In the 18th reading was a way to escape and be entertained.

Readers in the 18th century couldn’t travel as much as we can today so they read stories about travellers, adventurers, sailors. It was an important fetaure of a literary feeling or genre called orientalism* or escapism*.

Escapism is mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation, as an “escape” from the perceived unpleasant or banal aspects of daily life.

Orientalism” is widely used in art to refer to the works of the many Western 19th-century artists, who specialized in “Oriental” subjects, often drawing on their travels to Western Asia.


  • metaphor for inner self ( fort intérieur)
  • challenge for humanity vs animals
  • question values and religion of the island the traveller comes from ( England)
  • criticize or imagine a counter-example / an anti-England.


  • shipwrecked: naufragé
  • eponymous : éponyme (TITLE = CHARACTER)
  • to escape: s’échapper
  • to entertain: divertir
  • a character: un personnage
  • to borrow from: emprunter à

Dr Moreau original text extracts for BAC 1249821-island_of_dr._moreau_v1_001


1896 > The Island of Dr Moreau > Victorian Era ( Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Frankenstein)

‘Scientific romances’ before the term science fiction was invented.

suspense / science in question / vivisection (as an equivalent of eugenism or even cloning today.)

In The Island of Dr Moreau the island is a dystopia / a nightmare.


HW – Read and answer questions chapt 1 & 2 Penguin Readers Level 3

The-Island-of-Dr-Moreau full text + questions + voc

Tles- Why do writers treasure Islands ?

HW  – ISLANDs article + questions

From Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe 1719 to Shutter Island by Denis Lehane we will study the islands as the perfect setting for travel, exile and initiation narratives. We will focus on their metaphorical or symbolic dimension.

to treasure: chérir

a treasure island: une île au trésor

Treasure Island by Stevenson

Writers draw from our desire / fantasies to be on an island to write books about characters who are on stranded islands so we can identify more. This article comes from / was published by the Guardian which is a famous / reliable broadsheet / newspaper not a tabloïd / gossipy newspaper. It is about islands as an inspiration for writers.

Literary words:

  • setting: décors

Place: location – space – setting > décors:  Where is the scene set ? Where does it take place?

  • device: outil litéraire

Tool or technique used by writers

set of rules : law

Islands in literarure can be real settings and / or metaphors.`

On stranded islands people can dream and write contemplative poetry, they can panic or be traumatized. They are faced with obstacles and dangers.

They can feel lost and upset. Islands are used to set stories of characters who challenge or break moral values / society laws.

How would you feel if you were stranded on an island? Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 16.28.50Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 16.28.41


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