Exploring time and meeting future creatures! ( LELE lesson)
What image of progress science fiction writers give us? (LVA lesson)
HG Wells, Morlocks and Eloi text & video study.
Extract 1 – “ They wanted to make sure I was real “
1- Read the caption, explain the situation with your own words.
2- Listen to the story and take notes of elements describing the people, objects and situation.
3- Try to draw the scene from your notes. Compare your drawings and explain what you understood.
4- Read the text and check the drawings for missing details.
5- List 3 elements that surprise the narrator. Explain why.
6- What does this meeting reveal about the writer’s idea of progress?
Extract 2 – “ For the most part they were strange.”
1- What kind of words are underlined?
O qualifiers O verbs O nouns
2- Classify these words under the correct entry:
3- What can you conclude about this description?
O shows the narrators’ admiration O surprise
O disappointment O confusion O ……………………….
Justify with 2 quotes.
4- Which social class would you say these people correspond to?
O working class O middle class O upper class
Justify with elements from the text.
5- What does it reveal about the writer’s idea of progress?
Extract 3 – Find the corresponding questions.
Wrong – (l. 4 & 6 ) “ what appeared to me impenetrable darkness” “they could see me”
Wrong – (l. 7 ) “so soon as I struck a match in order to see them, they fled incontinently”
Right – (l. 10) “the thought of flight before exploration was even then in my mind”
Wrong – (l. 19 – 20) “The Morlocks at any rate were carnivorous.”
Right – ( l.26 ) “how particularly ill-equipped I was for such an experience”
The atmosphere is heavy and oppressive as exemplified by the adjectives ‘ impenetrable’ , ‘stuffy’ and ‘dim’, also the smell of blood urges the reader to fear for the narrator’s safety. Yet, the narrator isn’t scared but just ill-equipped and doesn’t really know where he is. The description matches the reader’s curiosity as many verbs of perception as used, especially verbs related to sight .
Suspense is created thanks to the matches that burn and allow only for a partial viion of the underworld. We are left waiting for the next match, knowing in the end, there’s only 4 left which proves an excellent way to make each description matter.
The reference to ‘Kodak’ relates to the narrator’s time, it plays with the time lapse and has a funny yet incongruous dimension. The scene takes place in a cave yet we know it’s in the future and the narrator evokes a camera just like a tourist would use to capture the moment.
The absence of camera and the use of matches point at the value of written descriptions. That’s how the writer shows the power of writing and hints at the process of memory. Instead of writing about the past, he writes about a past impression of the future. The narrator tells about a past event but we know he went to the future. It’s as if the narrator was sending us a postcard from the future!
The social hierarchy seems to be divided between the ‘upper-class’ of the ‘over world’ and the ‘working class’ of the ‘ under world’. Moreover, the fact that the Eloi people are vegetarian and seem stupid while the Morlocks are carnivorous predators to the point that the narrator wonders ‘ what large animal could have survived to furnish the red meat I saw’ could suggest that the Morlocks use the Eloi as cattle or food supply. So for the writer in the future the working class feeds on the aristocracy which has become too dumb to react.
Rip Van Winkle, a Posthumous Writing of Diedrich Knickerbocker, by Washington Irving, 1819.
The Simpsons, Time and Punishment Halloween Special
The Sound of Thunder, by Ray Bradbury, 1952.
Doctor Who is a British science-fiction television programme produced by the BBC from 1963 to the present day. The show is a significant part of British popular culture and elsewhere it has become a cult television favourite.
The Twilight Zone (FR. La 4ème dimesnion) is an American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, suspense, and/or horror, often concluding with a macabre or unexpected twist.
Quantum Leap (FR. Code Quantum) Former scientist Sam Beckett finds himself trapped in time due to an experiment gone awry, leaping into the body of a different person each week. Al Calavicci, at first known only as The Observer, is Sam’s holographic adviser.