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The Broken Globe
Transcript of The Broken Globe
He published his very first story when he fifteen years of age
Was declared an "enemy alien" after fleeing from Anschluss to England shortly after WWII
Kreisel became an English Professor in 1959
In 1970 he was named the Vice President of University of Alberta
He then published his novels and short stories he wrote earlier in life
Henry Kreisel is known for his vast admiration of prairies which was expressed through his works The title of story was created from Kreisel's previous works, "The Prairie: A State of Mind"
In "The Prairie; A State of Mind," Kreisel describes a man who is perceived as a "giant...a lord of the land who asserted what his eye saw, what his heart felt and what his mind perceived."
The giant believed the earth to be flat
The title gives the reader a hint as to what the mood of the story will be, and a brief idea of what the story will be about. The title “The Broken Globe” indicates that something is broken or damaged, hinting that the story will be about something marred. This can be referring to Nick’s relationship with his father. Also, a broken globe will not spin and is “stuck”, as is Nick in his situation with his father. The Title The story starts off in London, a big and busy city, and then moves to a remote and spacious prairie in Alberta
The setting is appropriate because there are various contrasting themes in the story supporting the idea of the differences in Nick and his father's lives
The setting also represents both characters, London defines Nick and the prairies define his father
Three Bears Hill is actually a flat prairie despite its name (another contrast)
Henry Kreisel has extensively used the word "still" in this story which describes the stubbornness of Nick and his father
The story could have taken place somewhere else, the point is the contrasting environments they lived in Setting Man vs. Man: Nick Solchuk vs. His father
Man vs. Society: Nick's father's confined beliefs of the world vs. Nick and his proven beliefs of the world
The main conflict is Man vs. Society
Although the problem was solely between the father and son, the reason that caused their broken relationship was due to pride vs. giving in to society
The struggle of science and religion that is presented through Nick and his father are clearly realistic and believable since people have difficulty in overcoming pride and accepting the truth
The conflict is resolved to some extent when the father asks Nick's friend to send him greetings, which displays Mr. Solchuk's love for his son Conflict The protagonist is the narrator of this story, who is also Nick's close friend
He had acquired a teaching post in Alberta and promised Nick that he'd visit his father
At the beginning of the story this character remained neutral but was slightly leaning to Nick's side. As the story progressed and the situation of the broken globe was resolved, he began to admire Nick's father and see his side of things more
"It was impossible not to feel a kind of admiration for the old man. There was something heroic about him."
This quote shows how the narrator had changed perspectives The Narrator Who is Henry Kreisel? SUMMARY The Broken Globe is a story based on the broken relationship of a father and son due to their opposing perspectives on the world, primarily in science. Nick Solchuk grew up under the influence of his father in fairly poor conditions. His father was brought up under the influence of the "medieval" church service in an isolated Ukrainian village. Solchuk was dependent and committed to his religion and beliefs. His ideas of how the earth was still and flat clashed with the modern belief and in Nick's knowledge, the truth, that the earth was moving and round. His father's efforts to enclose him within that environment did nothing. Nick went to school where his teacher showed him a world larger than the ﬂat prairies, a world that is full of interesting sciences. Nick eventually becomes a geophysicist in London while his father stays on the prairies in Alberta. Nick Solchuk Mr. Solchuk Point of View It is a first person or narrative point of view
The reader only knows the thoughts of the narrator
The narrator is Nick's close friend and is unnamed throughout the entire story
The point of view helps the reader understand the mood and see events of the story from a certain perspective The Mood Theme The Broken Globe is filled with contrasting topics which all lead to the theme of man as a subject to its surroundings, background and environment
Another main theme that the story captures is pride and the strength to overcome it with love
This was shown at the end of the story when the father asks the narrator to send Nick his greetings which is his gesture of love for his son
We relate the father to be a stubborn an still character. However, this action proved he could take a step forward and overlook his unwavering beliefs due to love
Nick and his father’s relationship is destroyed by their different beliefs. However, inside their hearts, they hope their relationship could be rebuilt. That is why Nick’s father keeps the broken globe made by Nick years ago. It is true to real life that no matter how bad the relationship is between a parent and a child, their bond is hard to break and they still care about one another
Science and Religion
Old and New
Still and Moving
Hercules and Asmodeus
Flat and Round
London and Three Bears Hill
Cambridge University and Joan Mackenzie's class room
Modern education and Old world ignorance
Immigrant Parents and their second generation assimilated children CONTRASTS Mr.Sochuck is the antagonist of the story
Nick’s father believes ﬁrmly that the earth is ﬂat and refuses to hear otherwise, because he "lived in the universe of the medieval church.”
In the story, the characters represent different stereotypes, specifically Nick's father
Nick and his father have similar personalities in some ways
When Nick brings a globe home, the father was angered and smashed it, leaving it unable to rotate He then “shakes him and beats him like he was the devil” because he was "corrupted".
Ironically, it is the father who needs to accept the truth
Nick works as a geophysicist in London, who goes to further his studies in Rome.
We learn from Nick's friend that he longed for the vast space of the prairies and would often go to his window to get away from the cramped space in his room, showing that he is used to the spacious prairies that he grew up in
Even though Nick and his father had a bad relationship, he still interested in knowing how his father is doing
Nick, like his father, is also quite stubborn and this is shown when Nick yells at his father saying, "she moves, she moves." The mood of the story can be described as tense
The author emphasizes the mood by repeating synonyms of the word 'still' in many sentences, such as:
"The shape of the world he lived in had been forever fixed for him..."
"The earth for him was the centre of the universe, and the centre was still."
"It didn't move."
The mood changes at the end of the story when the father takes his first step to re-establish contact with his son. Hercules
Hercules was the Greek mythological hero with attributes that included extraordinary strength, courage, and wit
By mentioning Hercules and how "the earth is moving through space at the rate of approximately 45,000 miles per hour, toward the constellation of Hercules", it implies that earth is moving towards glory (with science!) Symbols Asmodeus
Asmodeus is a king of demons, most known in the Book of Tobit (or Book of Tobias), which is a book of scripture part of the Catholic and Orthodox version of the Bible.
Mr. Solchuk called his son Asmodeus after bringing home a globe. This suggests that Mr. Solchuk believes that Nick, along with his 'false' knowledge of the earth, was considered to be the king of demons. The Broken Globe
The globe represents the tension and conflict between the father and son because the broken globe created conflicting ideas, such as:
A typical globe is meant to spin
Mr. Solchuk broke Nick's globe, and now it cannot move
The globe also reprsents the broken relationship
The Pride of the father and his attempt to win the argument between him and Nick
It also represents love because all those years he had kept the globe even though it was a symbol of hatred
With the globe now being a paradox, on how it used to move and cannot, the reader gets a feeling of being stuck.
"It was possible for him to believe that the earth was flat."
Even when the world is against him, the prairies are the only things that keep Mr. Solchuk from unwavering in his belief that the earth is flat.
If there were no prairies, Mr. Solchuk would be faced with concrete facts that go against what he knows. If he acknowledges modern society's info on Earth, his pride would break Characters The Br ken Globe References