Sunday, April 28, 2019
(Advanced Film / Lit SPIN) The Sentinel
The Sentinel by Arthur C Clarke. Narrated by Siddig El Fadil.
Pre listening - read through these terms:
freighter (spaceships for freight)
crevass (deep gaps in the mountains)
skirting the foothills (exploring only the edges of the hills)
stupendous cliffs (very tall)
searing sunlight (very bright)
nightfall (the arrival of night)
pressurized tractors (with oxygen)
rugged landscape (rough hills)
capes and promontories (steep hills stick out over flat areas)
a vast delta (flat land where water runs)
a galley (kitchen)
terrestrial (from Earth)
imperceptible haziness (not easy to see far)
molten crust (hot lava under the ground)
ramparts (steep slopes)
the observation turret (observation tower)
just enough to tantalize me (make me curious)
elusive (difficult to identify)
the laughing-stock (a fool)
degenerate ancestors (primitive)
completely unscalable (impossible to climb)
ledge (shelf of rock)
our plan of ascent (plan to climb)
had scarcely begun (only just)
many-faceted (with lots of different sides)
moss (grows on rocks etc)
a shrine (sacred structure)
the plateau (flat land high up)
ceaseless bombardment (non-stop hitting)
irrevocably doomed (without any hope)
apparition (ghost, mystery)
a single token of its existence (token = sign)
overexertion (trying too hard)
a sentinel (guardian, watchman)
the emissaries are coming (people on a special mission)
1. When and where is the story set?
2. Why was the narrator there?
3. What was the narrator's profession?
4. Who is Louis Garnett? Who is Wilson?
5. What happens while the narrator is cooking sausages?
6. Can you describe the object the narrator discovers?
7. Why did the narrator begin to laugh?
8. What happened in the end?
9. Who were the People of the Dawn?
10. What was the purpose of the Sentinel?
11. "the old are often insanely jealous of the young"
Why does the narrator say this?
Link to audio book:
1. Why did the writer spend so much time establishing the scene before describing the ascent of the mountain?
2. Why do you think he chose to set it in the Mare Crisum?
3. Why did he choose for Garnet not to reach the Plateau with Wilson?
4. Could this story have been extended into a novel?
5. Does the story have a message?