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Crabbe by William Bell
Transcript of Crabbe by William Bell
William Bell and his wife, Ting-Xing Ye
Birth date and place
- Born July 16th 1945, Toronto, Ontario
- Married Canadian author, Ting-Xing Ye
- Has three children: Dylan, Megan and Brendan
- Lakeshore Collegiate Institute
- Master's degree in literature and a second master's in education curriculum and administration, both from the University of Toronto.
- Writes fiction novels for young adults
- Poetry and short stories
- He was inspired to become a writer after listening to one of his favorite short story writers give a speech (John Metcalf)
- High school teacher, head of English dept. at Orillia District Collegiate and Vocational Institute
- Taught in China, Harbin University of Science and Technology, Foreign Affairs College
- Worked at the University of British-Columbia and the Simcoe County Board of Education
- Gives presentations at conferences
- Speaks at schools (creative writing)
Reason for fame
-Many of his books are studied in school since they
novelize political and social issues such as disabilities, illiteracy, alcoholism, gangs, cancer, bullying etc...
- William writes for young people because "they are the best audience, they're loyal to the author and they are very enthusiastic readers"
Later life/Old age
- William Bell won several book awards such as the Belgium Prize of excellence, the Ruth Schwartz Award and the Mr. Christie's Book award
- Canadian Library Association Book of the year (Stones 2002)
Elements of Fiction
Plot, Point of View, Setting, Characters, Conflict, Symbols and Themes
- Crabbe is in a ward being questioned by Dr. Browne
p.9-10, Crabbe, “There’s nobody my age in this floor…I’m this ward because they don’t know what to do with me”
- He was in terrible condition (physically and on the verge of emotional disturbance)
- Crabbe grew up in a household where he was told what to think and what to do
- Crabbe planned to run away a week night before his exam, he escaped for revenge and he was also sick of his life and already sick of the future that everyone had planned for him (he wanted freedom)
- While in gym class, his teacher caught him intoxicated. He then demanded to search his locker, he found a thermos filled with alcohol.
- Crabbe packed everything and left on route for Ithaca Camp
- He made it to the far shore and settled
- Crabbe was attacked by a bear that was searching for food
- While on his canoe, Crabbe crashed into a boulder and was knocked out; he could remember drowning and being very cold
- He woke up and saw a girl
- Crabbe went over the falls and she had rescued him, he had hypothermia, and couple of cracked ribs and his arm was badly cut
- She nursed him back to health, her name was Mary Pallas
- They survived together and she taught him survival tips (making bread, tea and fires)
- Mary gave Crabbe a test which was to follow her directions to a specified area
- Mary p.84-85: “A great day for the big test!...come on Crabbe, exam time, grab your bedroll, a knife, canteen and some matches, wrap up that lump of bannock”
- Crabbe passed the test
- Crabbe fell in love with Mary, but she only like him as a friend
- They decided to go steal food from a hunting camp to replenish their stock
- When they got there, there were drunk men and a German Sheppard
- While trying to be sneaky, Mary was caught and was brought inside the cabin
- Crabbe distracted the dog with meat and set the cabin on fire to distract the men
- His plan successfully worked, he saved her
- Unfortunately, Mary fell off a cliff and died shortly after
- Crabbe discovered that Mary had killed her husband before escaping into the woods
- He decided to go back to civilization
- Leaving was a struggle, he got caught in a blizzard
- He stayed two nights, one and a half days in his makeshift cave
- He felt frostbite in his hands and face
- He reached the cabin at Ithaca Camp
- He was brought to the hospital by a man in a bright pick-up truck
- Crabbe had a double case of pneumonia, and they had amputated two fingers, he almost lost his whole hand
- Crabbe finally informed his caretakers about his name, parents and address
- Crabbe’s parent looked very different (old, lower standards)
- He finally confronted them on how he felt and how he had been living the life that others expected him to
- He felt good about what he said
- School: gym,changing room, lockers, class rooms and principal's office
-Home: extravagant house
-Woods :Lakes, bays, waterfalls, dense forest, animals, marsh grass, shores, evergreens, silver birch
p.55 “I found an island on the same lake… it was shaped like a wedge – high on one end and tapering down to a nice little beach flanked with young birches.”
p. 60 “The shore was flat and the campsite was canopied and surrounded by dark evergreens.”
is a smart, rich 18 year old, and a semi-alcoholic. He ran away from home because he wanted people to know that it was his life and that he was the only one who could run it. He is weak and nonathletic; he has no real muscle mass, but when he left the wilderness he was in shape and could do a full day’s work without getting tired.
is a woman in her late-twenties/early-thirties. She has large grey eyes, full lips and long, sandy-colored hair. She is the only reason Crabbe survived living in the forest. She is very smart when it comes to surviving in the forest and was a university teacher before she killed her husband and escaped into the forest.
wears three piece suits, dark tie, white shirt, he is short, pudgy, has fat fingers, three chins, glasses, almost bald. He is the shrink that Crabbe goes to see after he gets out of the forest.
was the gym teacher who caught Crabbe drinking Silent Sam in the boy’s locker room. He is lazy as well as fat, hence his nickname. Rumor: he was frustrated basketball player reject who was on the booze regularly.
Father: drinks heavily, influential, belongs to a golf club, wealthy corporate lawyer, dresses formally (dark suits). Mother: burgundy pant suit, jewelry and hair dyed blondish.
They do not let him do what he wants and are very controlling over his life. They want him to go to school, get good grades then get the job they want him to get. They both dress like rich stuck up people, but after Crabbe goes into the forest they look totally different because of the stress caused by his actions. They look older and grayer and they don’t dress as formally as they did before.
Crabbe vs. others:
Crabbe deals with conflict with many other people, including his parents, his gym teacher, and his principal. For example, he was at conflict with his gym teacher, Mr. Grant, when he was caught with alcohol in his thermos and then brought to the principal’s office.
Crabbe vs. Society:
Crabbe is at conflict with the society he lives in. He does not fit in with his peers, he is not a part of any sports teams, and does not see the value in school.
Crabbe vs. Nature:
Crabbe is at conflict with nature throughout a lot of his journey. Crabbe cannot paddle because of the wind and river current, encounters a hungry bear (attacked), extreme temperature (cold, blizzard).
Crabbe vs. Himself:
His lack of experience in the wild caused him all kinds of problems, such as packing his bags poorly, not knowing how to paddle, and leaving food out. Crabbe also does not always know if he is doing the right thing. After the bear attack, he considers giving up and going home.
Pipe given to Crabbe from Mary
It is a memory of his adventure with Mary and of Mary herself
Ying-Yang on pipe
It expresses a certain basic philosophy of life and existence that emphasizes the unity of life and the harmony of inner peace
Red canoe (seen on the cover of book)
It represents all his struggles in the bush-life and how he never gave up
This represents his addiction and how he used to deal with his depression and anxiety
Point of view
First person narrative, the story is told through Crabbe's point of view
throughout the whole journal, Crabbe must survive in the wilderness
Crabbe struggles with his emotions and realizes that his parents have too much control over his life and he takes matters into his own hands
Crabbe isolated himself from society by escaping into the woods
Crabbe is a semi-alcoholic
In the book, Crabbe runs away from his problems because he doesn't want to face them. For example: Crabbe ran away from his whole life since his parents were controlling him. A second example is when Crabbe saw his parents sitting in the hospital; he tried to run away because he didn’t want to face them.
Lord of the Flies
Mary is a kind, blunt, and adventurous woman that helps Crabbe survive in the woods. She teaches him how to make bread, tea, fires and shows how to use a compass and follow directions. She is very knowledgeable when it comes to surviving. She is capable of making shelter, food and fire. She is very organized.
Crabbe’s parents are very controlling and things have to be done their way.
The man who saves Crabbe and his English teacher are characters who are very caring, the driver makes sure that Crabbe gets to the hospital and receives medical attention and his English teachers truly cares for his education and he encourages him to participate, he even pushes him to better himself.
Piggy is a very intelligent boy. Piggy's intellect benefits the group only through Ralph. He is capable of giving helpful tips on survival.
Jack is an adept at manipulating the other boys.
Simon is a very caring and compassionate character, he helped the littlun’s pick fruit; he consoled them when they had nightmares about the beast...etc.
Silent Sam: represents Crabbe’s addiction, dark side, alcohol can cause you to make bad decisions
Canoe: never giving up, hope to take you to desired location and survival
Escaping into the woods: irrational
Lord of the flies: represents evil, darkness and bad decisions
Fire: hope to be rescued, survival
Piggy’s death: irrational, loss of reasoning
Person vs. Person: Crabbe vs. His parents
Crabbe's parents control him
Person vs. Nature:
In the woods, Crabbe struggles with many problems that threaten his survival. Among these are the bears, the harsh cold and deadly hunters.
Person vs. Person: Ralph vs. Jack
Person vs. Nature:
The group of boys struggled in the weather conditions such as extreme heat and thunder storms.
- The boys went hunting many times to try to keep themselves alive.
- The boy’s destructive attitude towards the island.
- Their misuse of property.
- The beast
In the great outdoors (unforgiving)
- dense forest
- marsh grass
- silver birch
during a nuclear war, on a deserted island in the middle of the pacific
- exotic plants
- fruit trees
- vines (creepers)
Death of Mary- of intelligence
Death of Piggy- of intelligence
Survival: throughout the whole journal, Crabbe must survive in the wilderness
Loss self-awareness: Crabbe struggles with his emotions and realizes that his parents have too much control over his life and he takes matters into his own hands, he often questions himself
Isolation: Crabbe isolated himself from society by escaping into the woods
Survival: the group of boys are on the island and must survive by gathering food and building shelter
Loss of self-awareness: throughout the novel, the boys descended into savagery, their personalities were very different from when they had just gotten on the island
Isolation: the boys are stranded on an island which is isolated from the adult world
- Crabbe got a job at a sheet metal plant
- Brighton (his boss) and his wife take a bunch of troubled kids on a wilderness trip for 2 to 3 weeks to get them away from bad influences
- Crabbe is excited to join them on the trip and he wishes to help the kids like Mary helped him