Education and Col

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Richard Harland’s World Shaker, describes some of the activities that take place on board the decks of the juggernaut, an oversized mechanical object that moves around the world over land and sea in competition for business and control. At this point in the story Colbert Porpentine the main character of this steam punk novel is with his Grandfather Sir Mormus Porpentine, touring the bottom decks of the juggernaut for the first time. Earlier in the novel when Riff, a fourteen year old Filthy girl on the run appears in Col’s room, he comes to realise that he has a no knowledge of his surroundings and of the other residents who live Below. Col becomes curious as to who they are and what they do. The next morning after Riff arrived uninvited, Col’s sister “Gillabeth, marched in” (p.10) to his room, gave a few orders and then Col began questioning her knowledge about the Filthies, but she didn’t know much either or wouldn’t give out any details. They both then attended the family breakfast. After Sir Mormus announced in front of the family that Col would become the next “Supreme Commander” (p.16), Col requested that he be shown the entire juggernaut, so that he could understand the complete workings of the vessel. The reason for Col’s request was not only to benefit his knowledge but also so that he could determine a safe way for Riff to return to Below, where she belonged. Sir Mormus agrees to take Col himself. After arrangements had been made and Col prepared himself, Sir Mormus guides Col down to the lower decks of the craft. Once on the lower decks Col observes from “viewing bay 17” (p.45) where he watches the Filthies working on the lower decks and Below. This novel has been oversimplified, attempting to make not only the setting but also the characters and plot simpler than what they really are. This novel is a fairly straightforward read for a young adult. The story is narrated in third person, gives the reader details of the entire world where the story takes...
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