This final section of analysis of The Big Wave by Pearl Buck begins with personification of the sea and extends the overall themes of friendship, resilience, overcoming obstacles and gratitude leading to new beginnings. The Critical Thinking Triangle® and the Complete Episode maps of the Story Grammar Marker® assist students in qualitative analysis of the plot to form opinions and apply the themes to their own lives.
On pages 20 and 21 Jiya must obey and make a decision. Use two Critical Thinking Triangles to map these:
#1 Kick-Off: The wave is coming and his father, mother and brother order him to go to the castle to be rescued: Notice what father and son say: Jiya’s father said: “If the ocean yields to the fires you must live after us”; “I don’t want to live alone,” Jiya said. “It is your duty to obey me, as a good Japanese son,” his father told him. This conversation is a Kick-Off for Jiya’s first Critical Thinking Triangle.
Feelings: Jiya is very upset, he feels alone and devastated.
Thoughts: He thinks about living alone without family. He knows a great tragedy is about to happen. He knows the Old Gentleman holds hope of rescue and life. He remembers his father’s words. He realizes his duty to obey his family’s (father’s) wishes.
Note: The bold italicized thoughts above are mental states. They can be verbalized but often are not. When we think about Kick-Offs that happen and the Feelings we have about them, it is the mental states that assist us in decision making, or planning a goal. Often, our memories and knowledge about facts around us guide our plans.
Plan: He decides to go because it is expected of him even though he will be alone.
#2 Kick-Off: Jiya is escaping according to his father’s wishes and sees Kino up on the mountain with his father.
Feeling: scared but hopeful
Thoughts: He knows that the Old Gentleman’s castle will be safe. He remembers his father’s words that he must obey and live after them. He realizes that he loved Kino’s strong father and kind mother next to his own parents. He thinks about Setsu’s beauty and that he doesn’t have a sister.
Plan: He decides to go toward Kino and his father instead of the Old Gentleman’s castle. As he is helped up the stone wall toward the top, the Big Wave hits. All are wiped out in the village as well as many of those trying to get to the Old Gentleman’s castle.
Did Jiya make a good choice? Cite evidence from the Critical Thinking Triangles, especially the thought bubbles. Use these two Critical Thinking Triangles in peer discussions as to the motivation of Jiya.
We should note that Kino and his father have feelings about Jiya’s survival. Use a Critical Thinking Triangle to map what Kino and his father feel, think and plan to do. Page 19 contains the text evidence. This contains the Japanese philosophy as well as details to be inferred as you complete the Critical Thinking Triangle:
Kick-Off: They notice Jiya and others trickling out of the houses and up toward the Old Gentleman’s castle. The bell rang “urgently.”
The text communicates how the two responded to this challenge. They signaled Jiya to come to them.
Infer their feelings and mental states (memories, realizations, knowledge).
Feelings: fear, love, anger, determination
Thoughts: They remembered their love of Jiya and his family. They knew that the Big Wave was coming. Fathers had watched, the bell was ringing, the flag was flying. They realized that Jiya would be alone. They knew that Jiya could survive with them as family.
Plan: To signal Jiya to come up the mountain and survive with them.
Please note that the feelings and thoughts here are all inferred from the details in the text, now and previously.
The Critical Thinking Triangle allows students to build inference skills to be talked about within peer conversations or conversations with peers and teachers/slps.
Read pages 24-45. It is within these pages that perspectives of Kino, his parents, sister, Old Gentleman and Jiya are evident.Part 1 of Understanding Novels / Chapter Books