James Michener, was one of the most prolific authors
of the 20th century. His first collection of stories, Tales of the South
Pacific (1947) remains one of his most popular books. This book was the
basis of the Broadway musical South Pacific. His other books include Hawaii
(1959), The Source (1965), Centennial (1974), Chesapeake
(1978), The Covenant (1980), Poland (1983) and Space
(1989). James Michener was best known for his novels about exotic places.
His writings wove human stories against the backdrop of many locations
throughout the world, and even space! Michener also scientifically described
the places about which he wrote.
This exercise gives students a good example of
somewhat scientific description in popular fiction. It gives them a chance
to bridge their education in science and in English.
- Either read the excerpt as a class or have students
read it individually.
- Have the students answer the questions on the
worksheet, either in class or as homework.
1. The Pacific Ocean
2. Yes, basically describes conditions but uses poetic language.
4. The vastness of the Pacific, the loneliness and how with time the
5. white caps, blowing water
6. in its deepness
7. moved by
9. through the universe
12. large waves
13. sticking out