Hi Class!
(Opportunity for some extremely cringey puns there! I’m willing to reward anyone who comes up with a really good one!)

Thank you for your comments on the first blog post! I very much enjoyed reading your observations. For those of you who haven’t commented, please remember that you are being graded on the work you do here. I’ll post every Monday and you have until the following Monday to comment. Also, your comment doesn’t need to be that long. I’m looking for one or two observations as to language features you’ve noticed and their effect.

Tomorrow in class we’re going to be talking a lot about genre in particular. Obviously, we’ve spoken about a lot of genres over the past few weeks so I thought we could just focus on one for now. We chatted last week about dystopian and futuristic settings and how there were MANY examples in Young Adult novels. Some famous examples are The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner.  All of them have several generic features which are common amongst them, not least of all being a strong, plucky protagonist like Katniss or Beatrice. The setting is also an important characteristic.

Here is an extract from The Fever Code which was published last year, written by James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner.

“That morning, they awoke to a sight of wonder.


It was his mother’s voice. He’d been dreaming, something about a football match, the ball spinning across the green grass of the pitch, heading for an open goal in an empty stadium. “Kids! Wake up! Come see!”

He opened his eyes, saw his mother looking out the small window, the only one in the basement room. She’d removed the board his dad had nailed there the night before, like he did every evening at sunset. A soft gray light shone down on his mother’s face, revealing eyes full of bright awe. And a smile like he hadn’t seen in a very long time lit her even brighter.

“What’s going on?” he mumbled, climbing to his feet.

Lizzy rubbed her eyes, yawned, then followed him to where Mum gazed into the daylight. He could remember several things about that moment. As he looked out, squinting as his eyes adjusted, his father still snored like a beast. The street was empty of crazies, and clouds covered the sky, a rarity these days. He froze when he saw the white flakes. They fell from the grayness, swirling and dancing, defying gravity and flitting up before floating back down again. Snow. Snow.

“What the bloody hell?” he mumbled under his breath, a phrase he’d learned from his father.

“How can it snow, Mummy?” Lizzy asked, her eyes drained of sleep and filled with a joy that pinched his heart.

He reached down and tugged on her braid, hoping she knew just how much she made his miserable life worth living. “

Oh, you know,” Mum replied, “all those things the people say. The whole weather system of the world is shot to bits, thanks to the Flares. Let’s just enjoy it, shall we? It’s quite extraordinary, don’t you think?” (Dashner 24)

What do YOU think? Can you tell the genre from this small section? If so, what are the elements that suggest the genre to you? Are their any language features you enjoy?

As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


Ms Roberts

33 thoughts on “Copy(Katniss)

  1. Leah says:

    This piece of writing is dystopian as we talked about in class. You can tell that this is the genre because it seems to be written in the future where the whole weather system seems to be “shot to bits”, causing to to snow in places where it shouldn’t. Another characteristic of this writing is the main character coming from a pro background which can be seen by him living in a basement that only has one window with his entire family. It is also written by the author of The maze Runner so I would assume that it is the same genre. I enjoy the diction used because it makes the passage seem like the characters are truly experiencing something they believe to be amazing, and words such as wonder, bright awe and extraordinary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. weareoxymorons says:

      Great, Leah! I really enjoy how you’ve picked out those vocabulary choices to illustrate your observation about the wonder and awe! And the vague suggestion of some cataclysmic event that ruined the world is such a typical plot point as well! Do you get a sense of any other vague threats in the passage?


  2. Daphine says:

    The tone of the writing seems dystopian just like Leah said and as we discussed in class. This is shown by the vocab the author chose to use such as grayness and that the clouds covered the sky which implies a gloomy atmosphere. Lizzy and her mother however seem to be excited about the unusual occurance of snow but at the same time they seem surprised. This is shown by the phrase “eyes filled with joy” , “lets enjoy” and “how can it snow?”. The reaction of the family when they see the snow also proves the genre of the text. One of the language features i noticed was the oxymoron,”she made his miserable life worth living”


  3. DA says:

    I noticed that the tone of the writing was dystopian. This article was written in future tense. ” grayness at which the clouds covered the sky” , implies to me that the story or article was a scary. When it snowed according to the article, the family was very happy, for example words like “eyes filled with joy”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. weareoxymorons says:

      Good, Dadirai. I like that you are noticing the contrasts between the grim setting and the joy the family is feeling. It makes us think that moments of joy are very few and far between, doesn’t it? And this has the effect of emphasising how bad it must be.
      Just a note, it is written in the past tense, but the setting is futuristic.


  4. ashleigh_hugo_22 says:

    the launguage used creates the effect of a dark or dystopian time as others have mentioned, however the family was described as being happy when it snowed by using the language “eyes filled with joy” this implies that it has not snowed or been a happy time for a long period. this gives the feeling of a dark time.


    1. weareoxymorons says:

      Good, Ashleigh! Your observation about the contrast between the setting and the emotions is great! Can you pick out any particular vocabulary choices that support the idea that it’s a dystopian setting?


  5. CreslinKaltan says:

    The extract is quite clearly dystopian and – as the term implies – is a darker future for humanity. The writer uses the advantage of light adjectives to explore the darkness that these people have been through. The fact that the snow is “quite extrodinary” also adds onto the dark atmosphere, especially considering that these books are set in North America which tends to get quite a bit of snow. But now seems like a desert or savannah. the fact that their dad had to nail a board over the windows every night, or at least that night adds to the mystery and fear of the extract, because why would you need to nail your windows shut unless something dangerous roams in the night, or could it be because that there is no darkness, making it impossible to sleep? All these questions go through your mind as you read it and it picks up the pace at which you read it. He uses direct speech to ground us to the fact that these are people, they are real and they have to go through this. It is also a way of warning us that this would be us if we dont stop global warming, “The whole weather system of the world is shot to bits”, that is what is happening to us right now.
    It is also very pitiful and you feel sorry that these people went through what amounts to hell, to the extent that snow makes them happy and gives them a sence of hope for a better future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. weareoxymorons says:

      Excellent! You’ve engaged with this extract very impressively! I enjoy how you’re lifting all these elements out of the test and using them to serve your commentary! your observation about the boarded up window is very appropriate and is a good example of “showing, not telling”, that is to say, demonstrating a threat without directly saying so! Good!


  6. Ruva C says:

    the family seemed to be amazed at the fact that there was snow, and also over whelmed with emotions e.g. “He reached down and tugged on her braid, hoping she knew just how much she made his miserable life worth living”. Also a dystopian tone was used.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. weareoxymorons says:

      Very good, Ruva! I like your observation about the braid-tugging, since it makes it seem like their lives are so strained that they cannot articulate their emotions, only show them. Very well noted!


  7. Precious Munyaka says:

    The sentence ”They fell from the grayness, swirling and dancing, defying gravity and flitting up before floating back down again. Snow. Snow.”-thats a very great description of how the snow began to fall and the story gives me the sense that the family really missed their father so much and the atmosphere reminded them of him

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Silly says:

    continuation the description of the famliy was filled with happiness e.g ”eyes filled with joy” this shows that it might not snowed in a long time or they hadnt been happy together as a family

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ceejay Zondo says:

    The writing gives me a sense of a dystopian feel to it and the words “The street was empty of crazies, and clouds covered the sky” make me think of a grim set up

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jamie says:

    The extract is dystopian. The family was very surprised to see the snow, as it had not been seen for some time, or that the family had never seen it before. The part that said “They fell from the grayness” tells me that the atmosphere was gloomy and dark.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Carolyne says:

    This would have to be a dystonian type of text. The first evidence is of the boy dreaming about an “empty stadium”. Dreams are a figment of what people spend time thinking about. This implies that they are alone. They live in a “basement room” with one window that is boarded. The “street was empty of crazies” is a phrase that, together with the previous on, tells the readers that the family is probably in hiding. The fact that the window is boarded every evening informs us that they are terrified of the “crazies”. “Smile like he hadn’t seen in a very long time” shows us that the atmosphere in the basement was rather sad and gloomy most of the time. This idea is complimented when the writer uses the word “miserable life worth living”. In conclusion the idea created by this type of writing is that the writer is living in this miserable place where he feels alone and would much rather die but continues to live just for his sister. “Snow. Snow”- this emphasizes the writers shear surprise and unbelieving fascination about the falling snow. The first time snow is said there is a full stop after it leading the reader to assume that that is the end of it. The writer emphasizing the surprise repeats the statement. This element of the “snow” and “shot weather system” and “crazies” sets the story in a futuristic environment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. weareoxymorons says:

      Excellent Carolyne! I’m very impressed by how you’ve drawn all these observations together. I feel so much is caught up in the incongruity of “empty stadiums”! Your note about the punctuation after the snow is very interesting! Also, I couldn’t help but think about the rounded sound of the word and how that corresponds with expressions of wonderment. Perhaps I’m conjecturing a bit much, but I thought it was interesting you can’t say ‘snow’ without saying ‘oh’ 😉 What do you think?


  12. Samu says:

    The genre of the passage above is dystopian. There is an element of fear as seen in the part mentioning how there was only one window which would be covered by a board every sunset. At the sight of snow, something that would be seen as ordinary by others, left the small family in awe. This emphasizes how the weather system was controlled which sets the story into a time beyond ours where technology has evolved greatly.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. shannon herbst says:

    The fact that the streets are rarely “empty of crazies” shows that the genre is dystopian. The joy the family is experiencing at the sight of snow shows a contrast to how their lives usually were, surrounded by “crazies” and poor living conditions with broken a window. It is implied that the person talking leads a “miserable life”.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Courtney Ward says:

    This is dystopian. The characters show true surprise and joy when they see the snow this show rare and unlikely that situation is. The mother mentions how the “weather system is shot to bits beacuse of the Flare” this emphasises how rare snow is especially since Flare refers to heat. The fact that the area was calm and free of “crazies” is also a rare occurance as mentioned in the passage, these “crazies” may be the cause of the need to board up windows during the night.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Francesca says:

    The genre of the extract is dystopian and this can be seen through the suggestion that the time in which the writer is living is a future that has been destroyed by the apocalypse. Although being a piece of fiction, the writer does not seem to include themes that would classify it in any other genre such as romance, horror or supernatural beings.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s