According to Merriam-Webster Online dictionary, an epigraph is a quotation included at the beginning of a text or at one of its divisions to intimate the text's theme. The quotation from Sophocles suggests that the theme will be about loss of youth and growing old. Sophocles asks, "For once his youth slips by, light on the wing, light headed, what mortal blows can he escape? What griefs won't stalk his days?" This excerpt suggests that aging is a fate worse than death because with age comes loss and suffering. The second quotation is from "the notebooks of Eve Goring." Eve Goring is a character from the preceding two books in the series. She is a wicked old woman who cannot be trusted. From the excerpt from her notebook, it suggests she is seeking revenge. This is a second theme in the text.
This text is part of a trilogy. The narrator Will Besting was part of a group of seven teenagers who underwent a treatment to overcome their worst fears. Once their fears were removed, the teens began to experience physical aliments. Will Besting is the only one of the seven who knows what really happened to each of them during their treatment, and how sinister the people behind the experiment are. Mrs. Eve Goring was an essential part of the original experiment. Dr. Stevens is Mrs. Goring's daughter and the doctor in charge of performing the treatment.
The letter from Dr. Stevens indicates that Mrs. Goring would like to see Will and the other six characters who were treated in book one of the series. Dr. Stevens informs Will that "Mrs. Goring has asked me an unusual favor, one I hesitate to bring to your attention. I wouldn't contact you at all if it wasn't a last wish." Based on her statement, what can you infer?
The details that Will infers from the letter are important to understand the exposition of the story. Exposition is the background information and details about the setting that are essential to understanding the events that unfold in the story. Will reveals that he knows more details about the treatment than other characters think he does. As a result of the "treatment," all of the patients suffer from ailments that range from hearing loss to dementia. All of the ailments are also associated with aging. Mrs. Goring is a sneaky character who cannot be trusted and has no allegiances to anyone - not even her own daughter.
Based on the interaction between Marisa and Will, their status can best be characterized as
The fact that Avery Varone is the only one of the seven missing is important. Mrs. Goring requested all seven return, and Avery is not among the seven.
All of the following textual excerpts capture the mood of the setting except
Throughout the exposition, the narrator reminds us that he did not disclose information about this place to the other characters. He knows the truth about the treatment, he knows the truth about Rainsford, and he knows that he is possibly leading them all into danger. This helps to develop the theme of lies and betrayal. In this case, we are shown that what you don't know can hurt you. For more information about theme, view the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
To see Kate deal with her fear and understand the cause of her headaches, view the video clip below.
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The author italicizes the statements, "This whole situation could have gone terribly wrong. I might have had to tell them the truth," in order to convey
Based on the characters' reactions to Mrs. Goring, they are both angered by her and fearful of her. Her last statement to them before departing towards the bunker is "We're all dying, Ben Dugan. Some of us a lot faster than others." The reaction of the group is silence. This silence indicates compliance and uncertainty.
As Will tries to explain to the other characters the secret he has kept from them, his mood can best be described as
As each of the members of the group begin to realize that Will knows more about them and their treatments, they become more and more angry and feel betrayed. Kate is the first to react when she asks Will if he recorded their sessions. Kate's brazen character will be an essential trait throughout the story.
As Will describes in detail what he is hiding from the group, each character reacts differently. Kate is furious, Marisa tries to support Will, and Connor tries to make a "molehill out of a mountain." What does this metaphor mean?
Will remarks that he "was powerless against this fierce little woman with her boots and her white hair." This indicates the Mrs. Goring is able to instill fear and exert control over Will and the rest of the group. It is evident she is a powerful and capable woman. And do not forget that she has more information and knowledge about the group than they do. This knowledge is part of the source of her power.
Connor isn't exactly correct. Rainsford/Davis is not a vampire, but he is something supernatural or at the very least science fiction. According to Foster, often times in literature the vampire-like characters or "an older figure representing corrupt, outworn values" who corrupt the innocent are symbolic of a form of exploitation (How to Read Literature Like a Professor 15). Mrs. Goring explains that Rainsford cured the group of their fears and in the process took something from them to maintain his youth. Below is a video clip of Rainsford's transformation.
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The narrator explains that Mrs. Goring's "name was Eve, and like the biblical Eve, she had stripped them of their innocence, opening their minds to the truth and blowing my world apart in the process." This is an example of which literary device?
The Riddle of the Sphinx is an allusion to Greek mythology. In the play Oedipus the King, it is the riddle Oedipus solves to save Thebes from the Sphinx and as a reward becomes king. As a result, Oedipus fulfills the second part of the prophecy: he marries his mother. In this case, Mrs. Goring uses the riddle to illustrate that Rainsford is avoiding death. It is also used to single out Will Besting from the others and propel them into a journey to regain what was taken from them.
As Mrs. Goring explains about the vial of fear and blood she keeps as the result of her cure, she also mentions that "Avery is the new me." This indicates that Mrs. Goring's motive for wanting to destroy Rainsford is
The theme of revenge is conveyed through Mrs. Goring's actions. She reunites the group of seven in an attempt to kill Rainsford. Her motives are not altruisitic; she does not care about the fate of the group. She simply uses their desires to have their ailments cured in order to motivate them to take a role in her plan. This illustrates that when a person seeks revenge, she will do whatever it takes to see to it that she is successful.
As the group follows Mrs. Goring, Will has a feeling that they are not alone. As he falls back from the rest of the group, he takes something from the limb of a tree and puts it into his pocket. What mood does the author create with this incident?
Though the members of the group are upset with Will, he makes a good point when he says, "We all got cured, we all got symptoms. How is any of that my fault?" The group also agreed to return, so they cannot blame Will for everything.
To see Connor deal with his fear of falling, view the video below.
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As Will descends into the underground, Mrs. Goring whispers to Will, "He's older. Let's make sure he doesn't see one more bloody year," and slips something into his hand. The secret she shares with Will indicates that Mrs. Goring
Based on the narrator's description, Mrs. Goring is an evil woman who has led them underground and trapped them. Do you think that she will allow them to die? Or attempt to kill them while underground? Consider why she led them back to this place: to seek revenge. Her need for revenge is the impetus for her actions, so consider what is revealed about revenge as the plot develops.
The story's structure is important because it is broken down into segments of time. The time indicates how long the group is trapped underground, and it also signals to the reader when the end of the groups' journey will be. The group of six is going on a journey or a quest. Often times in literature a quest is symbolic of a more important journey. In this case, each member of the group is on a quest to find the vials, but some members of the group will discover things about themselves along the way. According to Foster, author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor, "the quest consists of five things: (a) a quester, (b) a place to go, (c) a stated reason to go there, (d) challenges and trials
en route, and (e) a real reason to go there." In this case, Will Besting is a quester, but consider other characters that may also be on a journey that extends beyond the search for their blood vials.
The central conflict in the text thus far is the group's feeling that Will betrayed them. It is shocking because they expected more from him. This conflict can be categorized as
Rather than focus on the task at hand, Will is concerned about his relationship with Marisa. The effects of deceit are conveyed with Will's relationship with Marisa in a very literal sense. Rather than journey down the dark corridor with him, she chooses to let him go alone. Since she can no longer trust him, she chooses to separate herself from him. This helps to develop the theme of lies and betrayal. A result of deception is ostracization.
What is Will's motivation for wanting to find the vials?
View the video clip below to view the bomb shelter at Fort Eden.
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Mrs. Goring can be characterized as cunning because she is able to manipulate Will into working with her, even though Will does not trust her at all. The author juxtaposes the known (Mrs. Goring's character or details from the other texts in the trilogy) and the unknown (what Mrs. Goring ultimately wants with Will Besting and the group) to create a suspenseful mood. For a definition of mood and how it differs from tone, view the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
In this text, which literary element is just as important as characterization or conflict?
There is a constant conflict between Will and Mrs. Goring. Will does not trust Mrs. Goring, and due to his distrust of her, he cannot determine if what she is telling him is the truth. This is a paradox: If he doesn't trust her, it could be fatal for him and his friends, but if he does trust her it could be fatal for him and his friends. In literature, a paradox is usually a statement that expresses two contradictory ideas yet contains a truth. Here, there isn't a statement that is paradoxical, but the situation is a paradox because Mrs. Goring's proposition is a paradox. The cliche "You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't" best captures Will's position with Mrs. Goring.
As Mrs. Goring explains the dangers that lurk below in the tunnels, Will wants to "put [his] fist through the glass surface of the screen" because Mrs. Goring "was staring at [him] like she held all the cards and knew it." What does this simile imply?
It is ironic that Will does not trust Mrs. Goring, because he is keeping secrets from her as well. He knows that they are not alone at Fort Eden but doesn't reveal that information to her. He withholds information he feels he may need or may help the situation. In this way, is he any different from Mrs. Goring?
Will justifies his withholding of information from the group by reasoning, "I also didn't think it was going to be useful to freak everyone out by getting into the actual gravity of the situation." Based on that statement, gravity most nearly means
Kate is naturally skeptical of Will because of his initial betrayal. She doesn't believe that he and Mrs. Goring aren't working together. This exemplifies another ramification of lies and betrayal: no one trusts you even when you tell the truth.
When the group initially discovers that Will is separated from the group, and they must take his directive in order to get out of the underground silo, they can best be characterized as all of the following except
The setting and imagery are essential to understanding the character's actions and thoughts in the text. Will uses the locked door as a diversion to give himself time to decide what to do. The monitors also disorient Will and help to set the mood. Lastly, the unknown and known dangers that lurk behind each door create suspense which intensifies the characters' emotional states.
As Will is speaking to Mrs. Goring, he notices she is "distracted by something [he] couldn't see." This indicates that the author may develop a
Once again, Will displays that Marisa is his impetus for everything he does. Will Will's feelings for Marisa be a detriment to the group's success? In his attempt to protect Marisa, will be hurt the other members of the group? Will's relationship with Marisa helps to develop the theme of loss. Though each member of the group initially began his or her journey to regain an element of their youth that was lost, Will's journey is now about regaining Marisa's trust.
The highlighted passage is an example of
When Will meets Amy, he is enamored by her beauty, but he is suspicious of her because she is foreign to him. What he does recognize in her is her fear. He describes her expression as if "she had fallen down a rabbit hole into an alternate reality." This is an allusion to Alice in Wonderland. Below is a clip from the 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland starring Johnny Depp. It is the scene where Alice falls down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. (This annotation contains a video)
Do you believe that Will has correctly deduced what Mrs. Goring is doing? If she is recapturing her youth, then what is the point of gathering Will and his group again? Support your answer and hypothesis with textual evidence.
Marisa is finally waking up, Ben is hurt, Connor is annoyed, and Alex tells Will, "Let's finish this thing so we can vacate before someone else gets hurt." Based on his statement, Alex may be characterized as
The author uses dialogue to illustrate the frenetic environment Will is working in. As Will is at the controls, he must give careful instructions, watch out for pitfalls, listen and convey further instructions, and ultimately defend himself to the members of the group. Because he betrayed them once, they have a difficult time trusting anything he says. This reiterates a consequence of lies and betrayal.
Which literary element is integral in conveying the stressful situation Kate and Marisa are in?
Though Mrs. Goring is viewed as an antagonist by the other characters, when she gives instructions to Kate and Marisa it has a calming effect on the situation. Both girls focus and perform as needed. This is an example of situational irony. To review the definition of situational irony, please view the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Mrs. Goring tells Will, "It doesn't do me much good if someone gets killed down there either, you know. You all get out alive or I've got a murder on my hands. More mess to clean up." Through her veiled threat, Mrs. Goring is trying to convey
The highlighted detail is repeated three times during this chapter. Do you think Connor and Alex will adhere to Will's warnings and not open any doors? What dangers could be concealed behind a closed door?
When Will turns the feed to Marisa and Kate back on so Mrs. Goring may communicate with them, she says, "I'm glad to hear you're having such a good time, girls." In what tone does she say this?
Though it is clear that Kate loathes Mrs. Goring, Mrs. Goring admires elements of Kate's personality. Kate is not shy; she is bold and brazen. Kate symbolizes a challenge for Mrs. Goring: Kate is smart, capable, and sarcastic. This is why Mrs. Goring is honest with her.
When Will tries to check on Connor and Alex, he wonders, "Where the heck are they?" Based on the warnings Mrs. Goring gave, you can infer
Connor and Alex tell Will, "We're checking something out." Will deduces that "they'd done something really, really stupid." What do you think Connor and Alex are doing? Was this intimated or foreshadowed?
Based on what you know about Rainsford's character, what danger does he present to the group? Hint: Go back to the previous sections and reread Mrs. Goring's warning to Will. Use textual evidence to support your answer.
Until this point in the plot, you may have believed that Mrs. Goring was the antagonist or the opposing force. But Will reveals that Mrs. Goring and Will were working together, even though he didn't fully trust her, against Rainsford. He is the antagonist in the text. Will tells you that Rainsford is evil, dangerous, and able to "infect" people with his lies. All of these descriptions are accurate.
Will realizes that he has an advantage over the others in the group: he "knew everything while no one else did." This is particularly true about Rainsford who doesn't know that Will knows all the details about the "cure." This is an example of which literary device?
Will believed that he had an advantage over Rainsford, but Rainsford quickly turns the tables on Will. He informs Will that he knows Will has "special awareness." In addition to revealing this, Rainsford also reveals Avery knows that Rainsford has transformed himself from old to young. This is a shock to Will. Rainsford's role in the story will help to develop the themes of loss of youth and aging.
Based on the tone they use, you can infer that Kate and Will both rely on ___________ to cope with their current situations.
Ironically, while Kate and Marisa are "perched over a radioactive ocean," they are "in the safest place, farthest away from a monster who had been set loose underground." This conveys the degree of danger the group is in because of Rainsford's presence.
As Will examines the broken door-lock scanner, he determines he needs to repair the circuit board, but "without a working fuse, no amount of power would find its way through the wires." Will determines that though challenging, "the situation was not insurmountable." Based on the context, the term insurmountable most nearly means
The members of the group overcame their worst fears and are now cured. Will explains that there wasn't a physical pain involved but "it made [him] face painful things [he] didn't want to. This develops the theme of lies and betrayal. When Will faced the truth or what he was truly fearful of, he was able to be cured. But sometimes in order to accept the truth and deal with it, one must experience pain. The pain is only temporary, whereas when a person lies, the pain he or she inflicts may be long-lasting.
Throughout the text, Will has conversations in his head with his deceased brother Keith. Keith's voice symbolizes Will's
One again, Will is in a predicament. He feels "like a pawn stuck between two competing monsters" because he is receiving orders from both Mrs. Goring and Rainsford. Mrs. Goring is a threat, but she is not an immediate threat like Rainsford is. When Rainsford threatens to kill Connor, Will must comply with his demands because he doesn't want "to have someone else's blood" on his hands. He also knows that if one dies, they all die.
As Will watches Kate and Marisa "in horror," Mrs. Goring speaks "matter-of-factly." The author purposely contrasts their reactions to highlight the disparity between the two. This is known as
The dialogue between Mrs. Goring and Will reveals that Mrs. Goring does not plan on killing the remainder of the group if Marisa fails. She simply states, "If Marisa doesn't make it, we'll have to regroup." The story is evolving as the characters make their way through the underground to the silos. This helps to develop the suspense in the plot.
What does the statement, "Avery Varone, Rainsford's chosen one" imply?
The narrator, Will Besting, indicates that Rainsford is so dangerous that he must kill him; even if Will must die in the process. Avery's attitude toward Rainsford contradicts Will's statements. She anticipates that Rainsford will come and get her. There is no fear in her voice. She wants him to find her. Why?
What are Avery's motives for defending Rainsford? How do her feelings for Rainsford impact her feelings for Mrs. Goring? Do you think her judgment is clouded? Support your answer with textual evidence.
Ironically, Will hates Rainsford and Mrs. Goring because they manipulate and lie to people to obtain their goals. But when Will realizes that he needs Amy to help him, and he cannot scare her with the truth, he "switch[es] strategies fast." He manipulates Amy in order to help him get out of the underground.
Based on the plot of the story thus far, the characters' actions and dialogue are developing the themes of lies and deceit. No one in the group trusts Will, Mrs. Goring, or Rainsford. Do you think that you should be suspect of Amy? Is there any evidence that suggests she may be trustworthy?
As you continue to read, note the dynamics between the characters. Prior to their journey, the group was connected by their participation in the cures. Ultimately, they were connected by their fears. Now as they continue on their journey, the characters are developing unique bonds with one another. This is an element of the quest. As the questers overcome obstacles, they learn more about themselves and others around them.
Aside from curing themselves, why are Kate, Marisa, and Will now vested in obtaining the vials?
Will's fear was being among people. He was a loner and feared being part of a group. When he realizes that Kate and Marisa may be able to complete Mrs. Goring's task, he realizes also he is trapped in that room. He morosely thinks, "It will be lonely at the the very end." This is an example of
Will is careful to remind the reader that Mrs. Goring is part of a subplot: she is planning a set of cures that will help her recapture her youth. The subplot helps to add to the tense tone between the group and Mrs. Goring.
When Mrs. Goring explains that the group will have to swim through water but not to worry because it is not electrified, Will sarcastically refers to it as a "Goring guarantee." He then changes his tone and admits that she wouldn't have them come this far just to watch them die. Mrs. Goring's honesty indicates that
Will realizes that Mrs. Goring intimated at Avery's purpose as she told them her history with Rainsford. Based on Will's realization, could it be possible that Mrs. Goring knew that Rainsford and Avery would escape? Do you think Mrs. Goring thinks Will or the others are as stupid as she claims they are?
What motivates Avery to assist Will with finding the vials?
Will lies to Avery because he needs her help, but he acknowledges that Avery needs to believe his lies to achieve her goal: to put an end to her rival. This exemplifies the dual nature of lies: some people choose to believe the lie instead of the truth because a lie is easier to understand and live with. This develops the theme of lies and betrayal.
As Will waits for Avery to free Connor and Alex and for Marisa and Kate to perform their task in the silo room, all of the terms best describes his mood except
Rainsford reveals that he always maintained control of the truth in the past. Will Besting is the only one who remembers all of the details and cannot forget who Rainsford truly is. He mentions that Eve and Avery knew, but they eventually forgot. What do you think made them forget? Or did they choose not to remember?
What is the impetus for Will telling Amy the highlighted passage?
Will has already informed the reader that Rainsford is a formidable opponent. Will's love for Marisa is what initially motivates him to seek out Rainsford and protect Marisa from him. But Will is also working for the sake of the group. Think back to Rainsford's first demand: Open the door or Connor dies. Will also warns Rainsford that he will not hurt his friends. As Will continues on his journey, his bond with the group strengthens.
Based on Will's description of the cure he endured to overcome his fear, he had to admit he was afraid in order to be cured of the fear. How is this journey similar?
Throughout the text, the setting is an essential element to help create suspense. As Will chases Rainsford, the setting presents many physical challenges that impede Will from simply confronting Rainsford. As Will retraces Marisa and Kate's steps, he summarizes the journey prior to the resolution of the conflicts and denouement of the plot.
When Rainsford confronts Will on the catwalk, he tells Marisa and Kate, "Wait for me on the other side and I'll make sure you find those vials." This is an example of his ____________ character.
Earlier in the text, Connor referred to Rainsford as a vampire. He is not a vampire, but there is a supernatural element in the text. Rainsford's character and his quest for eternal youth exploit the youth and innocence of those around him. In that sense, he is a vampire. He is able to manipulate Mrs. Goring, his daughter, and Avery into helping him stay youthful forever. This is why he wants to kill Will. Will is a threat to his eternal youth.
Connor informs Will that Avery told him to guard the door to prevent Rainsford from coming in. This indicates
The conflict between Will and Rainsford did not end with death - yet. Instead, the physical altercation between the two characters motivates Rainsford to seek revenge on the entire group and not simply to eliminate Will. Do you think the plot would have unfolded differently if Will had lost his fight with Rainsford?
This allusion to Frankenstein is literal and figurative. Ben is referring to Rainsford as Frankenstein because he physically resembles Dr. Frankenstein's monster. But in the text by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein refers to Dr. Frankenstein. In his attempts to have god-like powers and control life and death, the doctor creates the monster from cadavers. The monster views the doctor as his father figure, but Dr. Frankenstein realizes he has made a mistake and should not fight the forces of nature. Like Dr. Frankenstein, Rainsford believes he can exert control over the forces of nature. He believes he can control aging, but unlike Dr. Frankenstein, he doesn't realize the danger of creating an indestructible monster.
As Will leaves the group to confront Rainsford for a second time, he does not ask any member of the group to accompany him. He also instructs Ben to stay hidden in the green room in order to protect him. Will is no longer solely motivated by his love for Marisa but also to protect his friends. Based on this characterization, Will can be described as a
There is a contrast between Ben's ignorance of the gravity of the situation and Will's knowledge. Ultimately the responsibility lies on Will to prevent Rainsford from destroying all of them.
As Rainsford speaks to Will through the door, his voice is "ominously calm." Based on the text, ominously most nearly means all of the following except
Throughout the text, the dynamic between Kate and Will has changed the most. In the beginning of the text, Kate and Will were more adversarial than amicable, but as they continued on their journey, Will and Kate are a team and have a mutual respect for one another.
What do Avery and Marisa have in common?
What does Will mean when he says, "All of us were - in one way or another - in need of a cure"? Use textual evidence to answer the question both literally and figuratively.
Will is angered because he realizes that Rainsford preys on the innocent. He manipulated Avery because she was young and wanted to be loved, but he does not love her.
Will does not lie to Connor about their situation, but Connor reacts as if Will "lied to him or told a half-truth" because
The subplot and the main plot will converge at some point. By enlisting Amy's help, he creates another obstacle to overcome: he must save Amy.
Throughout the text, Connor is always willing to follow orders and offer himself physically to the mission. What type of character is Connor?
In terms of the plot, this is the falling action. The conflicts are resolving, and the characters are literally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The group members are close to achieving their goal: cure their new ailments. But there are still more obstacles for the group to overcome on their journey.
How is Avery's relationship with Kate similar to Avery's relationship with Mrs. Goring?
When Avery retrieves her vial from her pocket, she tells Kate and Marisa, "I hate carrying it around anyway. I'm not even sure why I need to. He just said so, and that's what I did. Because I do whatever he says." This reveals that Avery is defeated. She doesn't know who she is anymore. It is possible that her white hair isn't the only side-effect of her cure. Avery demonstrates the theme of loss. Her loss is not of her youth but of her identity.
Consider the elements of a journey tale. The five elements are a quester, a place to go, a stated reason to go on a journey, obstacles to overcome, and a real reason for the journey. As you finish reading the text, determine who are the questers. Then consider how this journey has affected the questers and what they have learned from their journey? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
Amy's striking physical beauty influences Will's demeanor. This illustrates how youthful beauty can impact the actions of others. This may help you understand why Rainsford was so determined to maintain his youth.
When the group finally reaches ground level, they are greeted by Amy and her presence has a jarring effect on them. Their physical ailments are starting to impact them, and Will has a "sixth sense that [they] should start running, just leave and never come back." The mood on the dock can best be described as
Will had been correct in his assumption that Mrs. Goring was going to use the cure to make herself young again. He was wrong about the timeframe. Mrs. Goring knew that Rainsford was coming back to Fort Eden, so why do you think she would want to revert back to her young self if she wanted to kill him?
When Avery emerges from the underground, Will states that Rainsford, "above all other mistakes he could have made, was the one that did have the power to undo him." What does will imply?
As Goring confronts Rainsford one last time before he dies, Will comments that she is a "horrible, powerful beauty." What does this reveal about the power of youth? of beauty? Does it give a person power beyond physical strength?
What have Avery and Marisa learned through their journey about aging? What have they learned about their own fears?
Though Mrs. Goring is young again, she has not forgotten her old age. She sought revenge, and she succeeded in outliving Rainsford. She may appear to be young, but she has the experience and cynicism of someone who has lived a long time. That may be a curse.