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Whirligig

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by

JW Laney

on 22 January 2016

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Transcript of Whirligig

The setting for Whirligig is all over the map!
Setting
Brent Bishop wants to fit in at his new school. He is the story's protagonist.
Party Time
You're going to get a character worksheet to help you keep track of the characters in the story.
Characters
There are several themes developed in the first chapter.
Alexandra the "dreamer" is trying to help her friend Steph the “skeptic” get a boyfriend using guided imagery.
Weeksboro, Maine
1. Why are Alexandra and Steph
at the beach?
2. How does Alexandra plan to
help Steph?
3. What do you think about
guided imagery? Can it work?
Why or why not?
Discussion Questions
On p 25, Alexandra quotes Buddha as saying, "All that is, is the result of what we have thought."
Buddhism
Study Questions: Party Time & Weeksboro, Maine
Brent is traveling cross country on a bus. While trying to commit suicide, he caused a car accident that killed a young woman.
The Afterlife
Brent's old life is gone; his new life is beginning. The author is saying that life, death, and rebirth are things we all experience.
Rebirth
We also experience penance, or voluntary punishment out of regret for sin. Penance is discussed on pp 37 and 42.
Penance
Study Questions:
The Afterlife

Flaco works as a street sweeper in Miami, Florida. His life has been difficult, and he longs for peace and tranquility.
Miami, Florida
This chapter contains several literary allusions.
Literary Allusions
There are many references to astronomy in this chapter; specifically, constellations.
Astronomy
Brent spots the constellation Cygnus, and the Summer Triangle.
Constellations
You are going to research a constellation of your choosing and write a 1-page essay about it using MLA formatting.
Essays
Anthony is exhausted by the constant pressure he feels to live up to his adoptive mother's expectations.
Bellevue, Washington
This chapter includes several biblical allusions.
Biblical Allusions
Let's closely read the paragraph on p 95 about religion. How can we make religion a "spiritual" rather than a "social" affair?
Religion
Jenny’s Jewish grandmother wants to be driven around her old neighborhood one more time before she dies.
San Diego, California
Without his book, Brent con-structs a final whirligig from scratch on the coast of Maine.
Everybody Swing!
Feeling forgiven, he dances with others at the local town hall. Brent sees this as his reentrance into society.

Rite of Reentry
He confesses his crime to a woman painter, who treats him sympathetically.
Confession
The author uses the whirligig as a metaphor for the world: its different parts are all related, and they carry motion
across space and
time.
Whirligig
Our final project is to create whirligigs. I will give you a rubric and we will spend some time in class constructing them.
Your Whirligig
We're going to spend some time reviewing for the final test over Whirligig.
Review
What's the point of view?
Themes
Materialism is the tendency to put material things before people.
Materialism
The author implies that people are more important than things.
Bullying is using strength or influence to intimidate others.
Bullying
Suicide is intentionally taking one's own life.
Suicide
This quote comes from the Buddhist scriptures called the Dhammapada.
Do you believe that who you are is the result of what you think? Why or why not?
A stated theme is that actions have far-reaching consequences that we may not foresee.
Consequences
What's the point of view in this chapter?
The whirligig teaches Flaco that when people get along, they can make good music.
Study Questions:
Miami, Florida

An allusion is when an author refers to a person, event, thing, or to another text.
Let's compare
p 63 with Genesis 2:15-20.
A constellation is an area of space grouped around a pattern of stars.
1. What is the setting?
2. Who are the characters?
3. What is the plot?
4. What is the point of view?
5. What is the theme?
Study Questions:
Twinkle, Twinkle & Bellevue Washington

Let's compare p 86 with Job 1-2.
Let's compare p 88 with Genesis 4.
Whale & Mermaid
After Auschwitz
They stop to look at a whale and mermaid whirligig.
Study Questions:
San Diego, California

Let's reread p 113. Philosopher Theodor Adorno once said there can be no poetry after Auschwitz. Why would Jenny's grandmother disagree with this idea?
What is one theme from this chapter?
Study Questions: "Everybody Swing!"
He goes to a party, gets drunk, and embarrasses himself. On the way home, he attempts suicide by crashing his car.
Destroyed
As restitution for killing Lea Zamora, Brent agrees to travel around the country building and setting up whirligigs.
Restitution
Supplement:
The Twelve Labors of Hercules
Chicago
Weeksboro
Miami
San Diego
Bellevue
The author implies that bullying is
harmful.
The author implies that suicide is
not a good solution to a person's problems.
They find a strange whirligig that Alexandra believes symbolizes all “unseen forces.”
He builds his first whirligig in Mount Vernon, Washington: a harp player.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
On his way to San Diego, Brent studies the stars.
He also buys a harmonica. He builds a whale and mermaid whirligig.
He is almost robbed. He meets a German man named Emil at the hostel where he stays.
Bellevue, Washington
Analysis
Rest. Play. Rest. Play.
Apprentices
In Miami, Brent constructs a marching band whirligig with the help of some kids.
Even though it probably won’t survive the coming hurricanes, he knows there will be more when he watches one of the kids make a propeller.
After he bombs his violin recital, the same whirligig that once annoyed him now teaches him that rest gives strength to activity.
The whirligig teaches them that many people in the world are good.
Steph eventually gets a boyfriend.
Study Questions:
Apprentices

The whirligig teaches Steph that it may be possible for thought to influence reality.
Full transcript