All Their Lives In a Box
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1. The story begins with Joseph attending a funeral. What feelings and emotions is he experiencing?At the funeral joseph has a ache of regret and loss burning inside of his the words “it’s my fault” ached in his heart.to try and inure the heart breaking place joseph tries to picture himself in a another place but the sounds of the cleaning of a throat bring him back to reality. 2. As Joseph tries to work out the chain of events that has brought him there, he finds himself thinking of silkworms. Why? (p. 3)As joseph tries to work out the chain of events that brought him there he finds him thinking of silkworms because trying to untangle the tangled threads of the past like unwinding the silk from a silkworm cocoon, joseph has been searching for the one shalterable thread that would lead him further 3. When he recalls the recent past, Joseph sees the faces of three men.
Who are they and what feature of each man’s face is highlighted? (p. 3) when joseph recalls the recent past, he sees the face of three men, the men are his farmer, tom leyton and the running man. he sees his farthers face as bewildered, hurt and angry then joseph sees toms face, its silent and hidden deep in the shadows of his room. last of all he sees the running man, his eyes burning with a desperate fire. 4. The chapter ends with an image of Joseph’s neighbours’ house. What simile is used to describe it? What effect does it create? (p. 4)an image of josephs neighbours house is created as the chapter ends, the house is described as being perched high on its black timer like some long legged creature waiting in the shadows the smile makes the reader curious about the house secrets.
1. What are the attitudes of Mrs Mossop, Laura Davidson and Joseph towards Tom Leyton?mrs mossop’s Laura davidson’s andnjosephs attitudes towards tom leyton aren’t positive, he is voloutary as a tantalising riddle for the whole neighbourhood. tom is dangerous and a sick man to mrs mossop. miss davidson believes that he has gone throughout alotand has seen more of the world then he wanted too and that is why he acts ‘strange’. Joseph believes tom leyton has become an accepted unknown, like the dark interiors of there house next door. 2. What is Joseph’s reaction to the suggestion that he draw Tom Leyton for his school project? (pp. 22–3) when caroline suggest to
Joseph that he draw tom leyton for his school art project, he acts poorly, and feels amazed and as if something dreadful has been thrust ’between’ them that cannot be taken away Joseph tries to find the words to say no but he remains stretch dumb and speechless with a small smile frozen on his face and hiss cheeks full of embarrassment
3. What references are there to Joseph’s father in this chapter? (pp. 13, 23) How does Joseph respond to any mention of his father? In this chapter we found out about Josephs farther is driving some big machinery un in bougainvillaea as his job. he is been away 6 months Joseph seems to feel unfavourable towards him. he doesn’t talk to anyone about him ins tread Joseph recoils from the unwanted memories about his farther
The author describes the rumours that surround Tom Leyton as a ‘tangle of noxious weeds’ which hide the ‘delicate flower’ of truth. Write a poem entitled ‘Rumours’ and create your own images for the harmful nature of rumours.
Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it. (King Henry IV Part II)
Discuss the effect of rumours in today’s society. You might like to consider different areas such as school, media and politics. Write a scene where Mrs Mossop tells a friend what she thinks about Laura Davidson letting her son Joseph mow the Leytons’ lawn.
1. Why do you think Joseph’s childhood nightmare of the Running Man returns? I think that josephs childhood night mare of the running man returns because he memorise of how scared he was when he “supposedly” met the running man in his second solo journey to the school and link this feeling to how he feels about tom leyton. 2. What does Joseph decide at the end of the chapter? Why? At the end of the chapter joseph decides that no one can convinse him to use tom as the subject for his drawing. he tells that to mrs mosses and she lost in words and tell him about tom being a dangerous man are true.
Describe a childhood experience where you were afraid. Do you remember your dreams? Do you have recurring dreams? Discuss the idea of symbols in dreams. Draw a portrait of the Running Man using the descriptions on pages 25 and 26.
1. Mrs Mossop reminds Joseph of a bird. Why? How does this image change as she talks with his mother? (pp. 44–5) Mrs Mossop reminds Joseph of a bird because of the way she stands and behaves. mrs mossop is thin, nice, upright posture and all ways neat and formal clothes(like she meeting the queen) she has a sticky beak and is into everyones life and business and is always hunting for new gossip in the neighbour hood.when his mother mentions her previous conversations with caroline leyton Joseph then see mrs mossop like a bird, a bird of prey with its eyes sensing movement from 3 miles away and just want for the prefect time to take a shot and he knows that mrs mossop will never let such a morsel of gossip pass.
2. What causes Joseph to change his mind and tell his mother and Mrs Mossop that he ‘probably’ would draw Tom Leyton? (pp. 48–9) When Joseph over hears an argument about nothing between his mother and mrs mossop cause Joseph to change his mind about the portrait of tom layton. during the argument they comment that Joseph is to timid, to scared to much of a baby yo tom layton the think he is shy. this angers Joseph and by the time he realises what he is doing he has already said that he might draw him.
3. What feelings and memories does the mango tree arouse in Joseph?when Joseph rest against the back of the mango tree he feel lille the “out side world no longer exist” as a kid Joseph remember playing in side the mango tree, he’s pretend he was a pirate in they ridding of a sailing ship and he was tartan swinging thought the jungle the mango tree was a place when Joseph could let his imagination run free. 4. What effect does the final incident in this chapter create? (pp. 52–3) How has language been used to achieve this? The final incident in this chapter is the “storyline”this is because you think that Joseph is going climb down from the tree and eventually reaches the house safe and sound. however Joseph slips and falls down the free instead.the author describes fall down the tree in detail the last sentence make the mango tree look evil against Joseph ‘all around him the mango tree towered in mocking silence’ p.53 ‘the simile the crack of the branch and sudden drop that followed hit Joseph heart like a jolt of electricity’ is also used to help the words create a effect.
It also tell the shock in Joseph’s experiences when the branch of the tree suddenly broke and he ends un falling down the free. Write about a favourite place from your childhood. Try to describe the physical appearance as well as the emotions and atmosphere associated with it.-As a child my favourite place would have been a a group of tree and my grand farther farm i when there every week end and played on it all way i use to see how high i could climb up and just look around. it was a ‘happy’ place and was just a calming place Draw your own bird caricature of Mrs Mossop or perhaps you could come up with another image for her.
1. How has this chapter been written and structured to build the tension and suspense leading up to Tom Leyton’s appearance? This chapter has been written and structures to build the tension and suspense leading up to tom leptons appearance by an unexpected twist in the storyline and the amount of detail the author includes. Michael Gerard Bauer describes Joseph’s feeling during every event that happens which gives the reader a crystal clear understanding of how he is feeling. the unexpected twist that is including in this chapter is that tom leyton is not up to it that day “a bit off-colour” as caroline explains.how ever in there end tom still comes out to see Joseph and they meet for the first time.this is a huge surprise because the author suggest that tom is not going to keen anyone this close in person
2. What impressions does Joseph gain from his first meeting with Tom Leyton? What does he notice about his appearance, his eyes and his voice?At Joseph’s first meeting with Tom Leyton, he is quite shocked to see that Tom’s face is strong and engaging, although it provoke to no communication. It was very various from the wild rumours about disfigurement and deformity that Joseph had heard about from mrs mossop and some of the neighbours in the street. Joseph decides that Tom’s face might have been handsome once. maybe it still is, but it looks as if it has seen too much and does not care to see anymore. Tom layton has long hair which falls in sandy waves over his ears and a full beard which browns out in streaks of grey below his mouth but the rest of it shows patches of reddy-brown hair. Slight bags are outstanding and a coloration of red can be seen in his pigmentation. Tom’s eyes show the emotion of fear because he is not used to having visitors around in his home. When Tom finally speaks he replies in a brief and monotone voice which lingers in the room like the deep rumble of shifting rock.
3. Why do you think Joseph offers to return to the Leytons’? Why do you think he seems to be ‘drawn towards the shadowy figure of Tom Leyton’? I think that Joseph offers to come back to the Leytons’ house because he is captivated by Tom and wants to find out more information about him. Joseph seems to be “drawn towards the shadowy figure of Tom Leyton” because he wants to find out how his past has affected him to become who he is today.
4. Why does Joseph find his sketches of Tom Leyton unsatisfactory? Why is his memory of his art teacher Mr De Groot significant? Joseph finds his sketches of Tom Leyton disappointing because he considers them to be shapes without material. He knows that there is more to Tom Leyton because he has seen impression of Tom’s deep emotions through a burst of fear in his eyes, when his strong hands were nestle the silkworm box and the full rich voice that still came through in spite of his coldness . Joseph’s memory of his art teacher Mr De Groot is significant because he believed that in order for someone to paint or carve the outside shape of a human being one would need to know what lies beneath them.So, in other words, to give artwork life and one would need to know what the subject was thinking and feeling.
Joseph feels nervous and self-conscious as he tries to draw Tom Leyton. (pp. 62–3) Write about a time when you have felt like this – perhaps performing or speaking in front of a group, sitting for an exam or meeting/going out with someone for the first time. Use the library or Internet to find some examples of early Colonial art. Are the depictions of people, animals and the landscape accurate? If not, why do think this is so?
Try the following website: www.portfolio.mvm.edu.ac.uk/studentwebs/session1/group65/pictorialreps.htm
1. When Joseph arrives for his second drawing session, what changes have occurred to the silkworm eggs and to Tom Leyton? When Joseph visited for his second drawing session, developments have occurred to the silkworm active eggs and to Tom Leyton. The silkworms have hatched into hundreds of black shapes which are busily eating mulberry leaves as Joseph has a close look at them. Joseph is surprised by the fact that the broken shells of the silkworm eggs did hatch even though they looked dead during the last time he visited. Another change Joseph admits is Tom Leyton’s appearance. According to his sister Caroline, every time the silkworm eggs hatch Tom goes to have a haircut. Joseph thinks that Tom’s haircut does not change his hard and mysterious look but it does make him look neater with his hair brushed back, cut and tied behind his head and with his beard tidily trimmed. 2. Read the description of Tom Leyton’s room. (pp. 84–5)
What does the room suggest about the man who lives there?According to the description of Tom Leyton’s room on page 84 and 85, it tells me that the man who lives there is as normal as anyone in the neighbourhood. The room is a room of bare walls which are a dull tan colour, a floral green carpet that covers the floor, a neatly made bed, double windows, a large closet, two bookcases which contain a few old newspapers, a desk which has several pieces of stationery placed on top of it and a cork notice board which has a few pieces of paper pinned onto it. None of the furniture in the room gives anyone the feeling that the man who lives there has dark secrets and is mysterious to the neighbours.
3. What do the two drawings that Joseph sees on the notice board – Escher’s angels and devils and the illustration of Frankenstein’s monster – suggest to you about Tom Leyton? (pp. 86–7)The two drawings that Joseph sees on the notice board suggest special meanings about Tom Leyton. The drawing of Escher’s angels and devils implies that the world has both good and bad things. For example: in this drawing there are bat-like devils who have outstretched wings and sweet innocent angels that only exist if the other does. The spaces between the angels created the devils while the devils allowed the angels to exist by their shape.The illustration of Frankenstein’s monster explains how any dangerous person could look normal. For example: the Frankenstein monster in Tom Leyton’s drawing has no
features of a stereotyped one. There are no scars or bolts on the face, no weird robot-like posture and no insane, distorted or subhuman appearance. In fact, the monster just looks like an ordinary person. When Tom Leyton speaks about his drawing, he gives a message to the reader that most monsters do look like a typical person and that Joseph should be careful who he befriends.
4. Joseph comments that the image of Frankenstein’s monster ‘just looks like a normal man’. What is the effect of Tom Leyton’s reply, ‘Most monsters do’?When Tom Leyton replies to Joseph that most monsters do look like a normal man, it seems that he is applying that fact to himself. The text suggests that Tom believes that he is an evil person who has seen a lot of bad things happening in the world (especially during the time he was a soldier in the Vietnam War). The effect of Tom’s words builds on his character and personality. The words also seem to reflect on his dark past which has not been revealed to the reader yet.
5. In what ways could the lines of the poem that Tom Leyton recites relate to him? (pp. 95–6)The lines of the poem that Tom Leyton recites relate to his life. They seem to give the idea of how silkworms are imprisoned and how they are not allowed to be set free to Tom Leyton himself. They relate to him because like the silkworms, he is kept captive and cannot escape his dark secrets and memories about the terrible Vietnam War that haunts him. The horrible recollections will always keep replaying in his mind and no matter how much he wants to get rid of them he cannot because they simply will not escape his head.
6. How has Joseph’s impression of Tom Leyton changed by the end of Part I? What has caused this change?At the end of Part I, Joseph’s impression of Tom Leyton has changed because he now thinks that underneath the strange and silent man he encountered, there is a part of Tom Leyton who is kind. Joseph knows that the friendly side of Tom exists because of the way he sees him looking after the silkworms, the way Tom reads the silkworm poem with a rich voice and such emotion and finally the way Tom shyly slips the poem into Joseph’s art equipment.
7. Why do you think Part I of the novel is called ‘All Their Lives in a Box’?I think Part I of the novel is called “All Their Lives in a Box” because it talks about how Joseph and Tom’s life is related to the life of a silkworm. Their lives are both “in a box”. This is because Joseph is really timid and shy but when he meets Tom Leyton (the subject he was going to draw for his art project) he has to face his fear of overcoming his nervousness and anxiety. Tom has to overcome his fear of his darkest secrets about the Vietnam War. Until these fears have been conquered their lives will be imprisoned and caged like silkworms.
The picture Joseph finds of the ‘swirling worlds of devils and angels’ is Circle Limit IV by M.C. Escher. (You can find it at www.mcescher.com – go to ‘Gallery’ then ‘Recognition and Success 1955–1972’) What is your reaction to the drawing? What ideas or themes do you think the artist was expressing in creating this image? When Joseph reads ‘The Silkworms’ he likes the ‘soft calming sound of the words and the pictures they created in his imagination.’ Read through the poem carefully. What lines or phrases appeal to you? What is the effect of the words or images used? Draw up a list of the characters. Beside each one write a brief description of their physical appearance, personality and your opinion of them.