Cassie Brown's Death on the Ice



There are two parts to this assignment. Both parts are to be passed in on time as LATE PAPERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.


Part 1: Do ONE of the following essay questions. (50%)


1. One of the themes brought out in this novel is that tragedy brings out either the strengths or weaknesses of an individual. Discuss the truth of this theme as it applies to several (at least four) of the characters in this novel.


2. One of the commissioners in the Public Commission of Inquiry said that this disaster was an "Act of God." Discuss whether or not you agree with his judgement using evidence from the novel to support your position.


3. Read the poem "Newfoundland Disaster" by Enos Watts. In essay format, paraphrase the poem making sure you explain all words and/or terms that need explanation. It is often useful to imagine you are explaining this to someone who has not read the novel, Death on the Ice.


Newfoundland Disaster (1914)

by Enos Watts


This is the story

of heaving, blood-slicked decks

banshee shrieks in the rigging

portentous sun's hounds in the east

and warnings of nightmares

that would not die

with the dawn.

It is a story

of distances

between men

who knew their stations

all to well

and ships

whose whistles lay silent

in March gales.

They were men who challenged the rated, pinnacled

tyranny of white

and won

if dying is winning;

they challenged

another kind of tyranny

with their silence.

Their eulogies

were etched

on the scarred bows of ships

questioning the Main Patch


west of the Front.

Part 2: Do ONE of the following projects. (50%)


1. Research the form of poetry known as a "ballad." Then write your own ballad of the Newfoundland disaster.

2. Pretend you are a radio or TV news host. Conduct an interview with one of the sealers who just survived the Newfoundland disaster. This would be best done by two people. A script of the interview must be written and then you can produce the interview on cassette tape, video tape, or do it in class.

3. Prepare a visual representation of Newfoundlanders' characteristics using as your most prominent characteristics those that are displayed by people in Death on the Ice. Other characteristics should come from other works done in class.

4. Pretend you have restaurant near the waterfront in St. John's where sealing ships used to dock years ago. Design a placemat and menu to use in your restaurant that will focus on the traditional Newfoundland seal hunt and the Newfoundland disaster during the months of March and April.

5. Do some research on what the sealing ships looked like and how they were designed. Then draw a picture of a typical Newfoundland sealing ship including information on design and layout.

6. Submit a portfolio of 10 pictures that depict scenes from the Newfoundland Disaster as described by Cassie Brown in Death on the Ice.

7. Write the script for a scene from the Newfoundland Disaster as described by Cassie Brown in Death on the Ice and perform it for the class.

8. Design a board game for the novel Death on the Ice.


9. Read through some of the sea shanties available in class. Perform one of them for the class, or write your own sea shanty about the seal hunt.