1 - Fragment that appeals to me
‘‘My father was a fisherman,’ he said. He kept on staring at Aya, as if he was seeing her for the first time. I regretted what I’d said.
‘And you?’ I pushed
‘I do many things. We must all eat. We do not all have rich family and an easy road to follow, England boy. My father was a fisherman and talvez, it is possible, one day I will be a fisherman too, if I make money to buy a boat. But this job can kill, you know? You can die before you are old. You work hard for no catch and no catch is no money. You understand?’
‘No, you do not. And you? Do you tell us all?’
‘Sure. I’ve got nothing to hide.’
‘Then you are lucky. And?’
‘Your life, what you are?’
‘Well, I… go to school. I’ve got good mates. A dog. Mum and Dad… I… I’m an ordinary boy. I guess.’
‘And what is that?’
‘I… I don’t know.’
And I thought my life maybe wasn’t that ordinary, no more than Stephan’s life, no more than Aya’s. It just seemed normal. Or had, once.’
- Blz. 153
This fragment appeals to me because it makes me realize that a life, like the one we have, is not for everyone. In the text above you can read that Bill first finds his life very normal, but after he heard the story of Stephans life he began to doubt. His life is very normal in this environment, but in fact it is not normal at all.
Sometimes I also think that my life is very normal or maybe a little bit boring. But after reading this fragment I started to realize that my life is also not normal at all. For people in other continents a normal life, like ours, is not obvious. They have to work 10 times harder for the same amount of money.
2 - Things that appeal to me and things that do not appeal to me
Things that appeal to me
- The moment Bill finds a girl in the sea. ‘Closer, I saw a nest of black hair falling for the end of the rags and dusty feet sticking out the other. Skinny legs. Bones wrapped in skin. I was shaking. I wanted to see. I didn’t want to see. I paddled up to the barrel and prodded a foot with the oar. ‘Hey!’ I said. Then I thought: I’m shouting at no one. You’re dead. …. Her lips closed, then opened again. Her eyes opened too. Brown and wide, rolling and spinning. Not seeing. She breathed a croaking sigh. ‘Hello’ I said. I sat there like a lemon before I sussed what to do. I grabbed the water and poured a sip onto her mouth.’ Blz. 20 & 21
- The moment Bill and Aya find a gull and land. ‘One, two, three-’ I flipped the cloak back. With a crawk and a fierce flurry of wings the gull pitched skyward, higher and higher, until the line pulled taut and we held it like a kit on a string. ‘Why?’ I asked. It tried to fly north, pulling, failing, then circling lower with the line loose, until it turned north again, straining until the line was tight. Aya looked to where the sky met the sea. ‘The bird is high.’ She pointed. ‘The bird can see.’ ‘See what?’ She smiled. I knew the answer….. We followed the path of the bird. Sure as a compass. I paddled. Aya stood, making the boat rock. ‘THERE! Regarde.’ Blz. 107, 108 & 109
- the moment Aya and Stephan start fighting. ‘Hey!’ Aya saw me. Stephan used the moment to grab her wrist. They fought. But he would win. ‘Stop!’ I yelled. They wrestled and spun, in some crazy, messed up dance. Now he had both her wrists in his hands. He pushed Aya towards the cliff. I saw her wisting manically in his grasp, but he was pushing her further, faster, using his strength. He wanted to force her to the edge. She dropped the knife, right on the edge. He pushed her away and tried leaning down to get it, holding his other hand up in case she rushed at him. He grasped clumsily for the knife, but teetered, losing his balance. And disappeared. Blz. 162 & 163
- The fragment Bill writes in the notebook about things he might never do (again). ‘I made a list. Things I have done: Killed a turtle. Survived a storm in a rowboat. Caught and eaten raw fish. Swam in pools of seawater. Been surrounded by whales. Listened to tales of kinds and demons. Sat under a million stars. Tamed a wild bird. Rescued a girl. Been rescued by a girl. Seen a dead body. Seen a shark. …
Then I wrote: Things I might never do: Go to uni. Get drunk. Marry. Have kids. Climb a mountain.
Things I might never do again: Eat pizza. Watch a film. Take Benji for a walk. See Mum and Dad. Have a bath. Play footy.’ Blz. 188, 189 & 190
Things that do not appeal to me
- The moment Bill and Aya find a man, it is just really unrealistic. ‘Where are they?’ I said. ‘Maybe not here, maybe they are dead,’ said Aya. I don’t think so… I had a strange feeling earlier, as if someone was watching us, right after we left--’ ‘The boat!’ we shouted at the same time. We ran, holding hands, helping each other. I heard gull crawk. An alarm. We reached the inlet and saw a figure in the boat, burrowing through tins and bottles from the hold. Gull was in the air, still tied to the line, flapping and crawking. ‘Hey,’ I shouted, but immediately felt afraid, thinking: They might be violent, they might not be alone. Whoever they were, they hadn’t hesitated to go through our stuff, on our boat. Blz. 118
- The fragment Bill and Aya decided to leave the island and go back to sea. it was the worst choice they ever made. ‘You’d really go alone?’ I said. ‘Yes.’ ‘Okay.’ Silence. ‘I said okay!’ She looked up. ‘We’ll go. Both of us. We’ll use the tarpaulin to make a sail. There’s a steady wind been blowing for days now, from the west. We’ll make a mast with a branch from a fallen tree. We’ll glue the boat cracks together with tree sap. We’ll leave a sign saying we’ve been here, saying we’re sailing east. We’ve got coconuts and water. Give it a day so we can catch loads of fish, smoke them to take on the journey. Then, if the winds are still good, we’ll go.’ She stopped her work. ‘Swear.’ I took the knife off her, made a small nick on my thumb and pressed a dab of blood onto my chest. She got up and threw herself at me so hard I almost fell over. Blz. 192 & 193
3 - Rememberable scenes
‘Yes, my King! It is a treasure blessed with magic. For the more you give to your people, the more you will have. Now I have no more of this tale to tell. Only this. Though the treasure is real, I cannot tell you where it is, my King. Only you can find where it lies. And as I say, if you find it, the more you give to your people, the more you shall have. I wish you luck, I pray you will not spend the rest of your days searching.’
‘But then.. then, the king who has been a murderer and a thief, but also a husband and a father, and who is dying with grief, he says: ‘The treasure you speak of is love. It lies in our hearts with the shadow of fear. Its light will not defeat the shadow. But it may be like a fire in the night, or the moon in the sky. It will light the darkness, until the new day will come.’
- Blz. 216
I find this fragment memorable because it shows that a hard person also just has an awareness of how life works. In between the story of Aya and Bill, Aya tells a story of her uncle, who is a storyteller. The story is about an evil king who is not easily satisfied. One day, Shahrazad becomes the king's new wife. She's not the prettiest, but she's the smartest. She tells several stories to the king that make the king so curious that he orders her to continue telling them. The king cannot kill this woman because then the stories will also be gone.
One day the story that Shahrazad tells to the king is over. Shahrazad is sure she will be killed one of these days. Then the king asks for another story. Shahrazad tells an endless treasure, about love.
‘Two toes were gone, others wre mangled. I tried to wriggle, to move, and almost blacked out with pain. A shark tooth was lodsged in one toe, like a shard of glass.
‘My foot,’ I said again. Aya ripped more of her dress and tied the cloth tight around my ankle. I watched. She worked hard, but there was a lot of blood.
I passed out.
My throat on fire.
The sun blinding me.
My heart beat weakly, poison crept around my body, my mind.’
- Blz. 232
This is when Bill slowly dies. I find this fragment memorable because from this piece of text the whole book changes. The book goes from a pretty realistic book to a fiction book. From this fragment, the book is about demons and sultan. I think it's a bit weird and I stopped reading. I don't think it's very Christian either.
4 - People comparison
Bill and Aya are both pretty stereotypical people. Bill is an English boy with a fairly average life. He likes to play football, his parents are still together, he has a brother he sometimes argues with and the happy family even has a dog named Benji.
Because Bill has such an average life, it seems easy to match him with someone close to me, but it isn't.
I think Bill is most like my nephew a few years ago. He was, like Bill, a boy who played football, loved to play outside with friends, had a happy family and even had a dog. The inner qualities of Bill and my nephew are also quite similar. They are both very shy in a new environment. They must first see what is happening and how the environment reacts to them. After they feel safe in the environment, they say whatever they want to say. Both people are also very positive in life. They don't give up that easily.
5 - Words list
gunnel (de rand van een romp van een boot)
6 - Overview of the story
Title = Girl.Boy.Sea
Author = Chris Vick
Time and place
Aya, Bill and Stephan
It is quite a modern story and therefore also takes place around the year 2020. This can be seen in the living environment of Bill and Aya. Bill is a normal boy from England and Aya is a migrant girl who has fled to Europe.
The story takes place at sea. The story does not tell which sea they are on, but it is said that when they sail to the east they end up in Morocco. So they should be in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The problem in the book is immediately apparent. Aya and Bill are sitting in a rowboat in the middle of the sea and nobody knows they are there.
Bill ended up here because the fishing boat he was on sank in a storm. In the same storm, the rubber migrant boat Aya was staying on also sank. Bill was able to quickly disengage the rowboat and floated out to sea on his own. Aya is driven further into a barrel. At one point, Aya and Bill meet each other and drift further out to sea together.
The problem gets worse when it becomes clear that they have no drinking water or food.
There aren't that many events in the book because there isn't that much going on in the middle of the sea.
However, at some point the whole situation changes. Aya and Bill see a gull and they lure it. When the seagull is close enough, they tie it to a string. That way Aya and Bill can see which way the gull wants to fly and which side is land. After a while they find land together with the gull. It is a thriving piece of land with even human traces, a lighthouse.
Aya and Bill explore the island and see that there are clear traces of living people staying in the dilapidated lighthouse. They look for the people and find a tinted young boy in their rowboat. His name is Stephan and he's a bit vague, he doesn't say much about how he got here and Aya and Bill don't trust him.
One day when Bill hears screams on the island he goes looking for Aya and Stephan, he finds them on the edge of a cliff. They are pushing each other. Bill is sure that Stephan will beat Aya because he is much stronger. But then Stephan accidentally takes a step too far and falls down into the sea. Bill and Aya are impressed and a moment later see how his body is taken by a shark.
A few days later, Aya decides that it is better to leave the island and go back to sea. Bill doesn't think this is a good idea at first, but later on he wants to do it. They soon starve at sea. They are getting weaker and talking becomes more and more difficult. The sun is getting brighter and brighter.
At one point Aya and Bill see a kind of rock in the water in the distance, they want to go there. When they get closer they see that it is a dead whale. Aya and Bill are not the only ones who are curious, hundreds of fish and even sharks swim around the whale. The sharks now also come to Aya and Bill's boat. They get into a fight with the sharks and Bill is bitten in his foot, which kills him.
Solution to the problem
The problem is not solved. Aya and Bill do everything they can, but the sea is strong. In the end Bill dies and the story ends at sea.
Moral or message of the story
I think everyone looks at this story in a different way. There is a clear message for me.
You have to be happy with what you have, but you have to realize that having a little less is also nice. Bill and Aya have very different lives. Aya is a girl from a poor family and yet she enjoys what she has at sea. Bill, on the other hand, has a life where everything runs smoothly. He has nothing to complain about. And he doesn't complain much at sea either. In everyday life people are complaining about the smallest things and in the story you can read that they don't complain while they have a very big problem. This shows that we are really spoiled and that we shouldn't complain like that, because we really have nothing to complain about.
7 - Change of perspective
Change of a character
What if Bill hadn't been so smart
Effect on the story
Bill made a watermaker on the rowboat from materials he found. I would never have come up with the idea to make a water maker in this way. If Bill hadn't been so smart, they might have been dead before they even encountered the gull.
Change of an event
What if they hadn't left the island.
Effect on the story
A lot would change. There would be no uncertainty at sea. They would have just stayed on the island. And so they wouldn't have been as hungry as they were in the book. The biggest difference is that they might not even have died but were saved.
Change of setting (time or place)
What if they had sunk in the Mediterranean
Effect on the story
The chance that they would encounter boats or planes was very small. So is the chance that they would be saved. If they had sunk in the Mediterranean this might have been very different. The chances of them being rescued would be much higher.