CHARACTERISATION BEN 1. After reading pages 1 and 2 of the book, write down a description about Ben as a character. Is he rich or poor? What does he like or not like? Write down as many facts and assumptions as you can based on what you learn on these pages. 2. Good writers evoke all five senses: sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. Find examples of descriptions of what Ben senses. 3. How does Ben’s weight make him feel? Is he concerned about his weight or is he more concerned about other people’s opinions? 4. How do Ben’s concerns about his weight mirror his feelings of comfort or belonging? 5. Would Ben have lost weight and chosen to start lifting weights if he hadn’t had the ordeal in the cabin and the bush? 6. Is Ben better off at the end of the novel having endured these difficulties and gained these experiences? Or has the adversity only had negative effects?
OLIVE 1.Olive has a ‘dirty, grey stuffed rabbit’ toy called Bonzo (p. 9) – Bonzo symbolises Olive’s innocence as a young child of seven, as well as her determination, since she won’t leave Bonzo behind. Find examples of where Bonzo symbolises her innocence and determination throughout the novel. Which characters are feeding their good wolf, and which are feeding their bad wolf? Are any or all of the characters feeding both wolves? Draw up the following table in your writing books to record your response.
Fractured sentences Short, sharp sentence fragments at climactic moments increase the readers’ sense of urgency and excitement, as well as conveying Ben’s swirling emotions. For example: ‘Rush of water, dark of night, wink of lightning, ominous roar, tremble of body, whirling wind. And fear. Terrible fear.’ (p. 210) As well as conveying tension, the fractured sentences also contribute to the novel’s stream-of- consciousness mode: we are hearing Ben’s thoughts as he has them. Consider, for example, the flow of Ben’s thoughts we are privy to on pp. 172 to 174, as Ben questions what he should do and weighs his options.
1. Read ‘The Tempest’ on pp. 209–213. Even though Tristan has used short sentences to convey Ben’s exhaustion and fear, it’s possible to make the words even simpler. Rewrite this scene as a free verse poem of no more than twelve lines. Free verse poems have no set meter or structure.
2. Not short enough for you? Now try writing this scene, or an aspect of it, as a haiku. This type of poem has only three lines. The first line should have five syllables; the second line has seven syllables; the third line has five syllables. What are the key words or images of ‘The Tempest’ scene that you would convey in such a small number of words? Often the last line of a haiku makes an observation about the subject, or makes a poignant statement. So, for instance, in this scene how would Ben summarise the effect of the storm on his situation?
3. Two Wolves employs powerful metaphors and similes, again to convey the greatest meaning and emotion with the fewest possible words. Here are a few examples: 'Ben took a bite from a microwaved jam doughnut. The jam was lava on his tongue’ (p. 2) ‘Ben watched, eyes alert, pupils black and big as marbles’ (p. 103) ‘It shook low and heavy through his bones like a train through a mountain tunnel.’ (p. 210)
You are now to find your own three examples of powerful metaphors and similes in the novel.
4. Find ten examples of forceful verbs in the novel – verbs that are packed with meaning.
5. Find five examples of adjectives and adverbs and discuss why they are necessary to that sentence or scene.
6. What narrative form is Two Wolves written in? (1st, 2nd or 3rd person)
7. Using this narrative form, how has Tristan Bancks given us intimate insight into Ben's feelings and interior world?
8. CHOOSE A CHARACTER FROM THE NOVEL TO COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITY Write two different paragraphs about your chosen character using examples of evaluative language and rhetorical devices.
Your first paragraph (a) should position a reader to view the character positively.
Your second paragraph (b) should position a reader to view the character negatively.