Analysing the text:"Herbert, the boy who predicted earthquakes" on the web-site for teachers and learners of English as a secondary language from a German point of view
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The boy who predicted earthquakes

The text "The boy who predicted earthquakes" is a science fiction story about a boy who predicts future events.

It tells us how a boy makes a TV-show twice a week in which he tells the watchers what will happen in the next 48 hours. This boy is observed by a scientist who wants to find out how this boy can make his predictions.

The main character is a boy of 15 years who reads a lot of books in which he learns something about the things happening in the world. In his show he tells about his everyday life, his readings and in between he tells what will happen in the world.

The minor characters are Mr Wellman, a TV-producer and Mr Read, a scientist.

The story can be divided into 8 smaller or 5 larger parts:

In the first larger part the TV-producer tries to explain the main characters' ability to predict the future to a scientist who wants to observe this boy.

In the second part the scientist meets Herbert, the main figure and watches him in his normal TV-show. Then the reader is informed about the facts which are predicted and which come true.

In the third part the reader is confronted with Herbert's refusal to make his next show. At last his father and the scientist Mr Read convince him that he must go on with his show unless he will produce a mess among his watchers. At last Herbert agrees and announces that the world will be different the next day: the sun will be different, there will be no more wars and there will be no more hunger. The reaction of the public is enthusiastic as we can read in the fourth part.

There are some hints to a turning point in the third part, but the climax is coming at the end when Herbert explains that he has lied in order not to frighten people before the destruction of the world when the sun is going to explode.

The author's message is that it is difficult to live a life in which things are predicted and that it is better to be lied than to know the future.

My own view of the matter is that I can agree because reality needs special reactions. Predictions prevent people from reacting to the challenges and paralyse them to do nothing at all.


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Analysing the text:"Herbert, the boy who predicted earthquakes" HOMEback to the homepagePAGE back to the previous page back to
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