Jason’s Gold- Day 3 Historical Context of “Jason’s Gold” 2/7/13 Chesser/Vigna
Warm-Up • Spend a few minutes writing down anything you know about the Yukon (Klondike) Gold Rush
Introduction to “Jason’s Gold” • Jason’s Gold is an adventure novel, part of the adventure genre and also realistic fiction genre • How do we think this might be different from Ella? • As we read this novel, we will be looking at the idea of exploration and discovery. Why do we explore? Why is discovering new things important? • The theme of the novel: “Looking for one thing can lead to finding another.” • A major word we will be studying and discussing as we read this novel: Serendipity • Any one have any ideas about this word? • Serendipity refers to fortunate (lucky) discoveries or events that you were not searching for – if a lucky thing happens, it might be called serendipitous
What is Jason’s Gold About? • This book is about the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon territory of Canada starting in 1896 • It is also called the “Last Great Gold Rush” • 100,000 people tried to journey to the region when gold was discovered. Over half did not make it and of those that did, very few actually found gold • It was dangerous and very hard work
The Adventure Genre • Adventure stories, like other narratives, have the same elements: • -Characters in Settings with problems • -Attempts to solve problems • -Events, Resolution, Lessons, Themes • They can be based on real events, so can be called historical fiction • The adventure genre can also be a form of realistic fiction as it could actually happen
The Adventure Genre • Definition: • “A narrative that features the unknown, uncharted, or unexpected, with elements of danger, excitement, and risk” (from Harris, et al. The Literacy Dictionary, IRA, 1995) • Purpose: • To entertain • To involve the reader in the exciting adventures of fictional characters
The Adventure Genre • Form and Features: • The adventure story opens with the background information needed to understand the story and introduces characters in a setting and a conflict, problem, or goal. • The middle of an adventure story (realistic fiction) develops the plot including the story’s events, the characters’ reactions to these events, and the roadblocks the characters encounter. The plot builds to a climax (the point at which the conflict reaches its greatest height and the crisis or turning point occurs). • The adventure story ends with a resolution to the conflict or problem or a conclusion. • The plot is the sequence of events usually set in motion by a problem that begins the action or causes the conflict (from Cornett, C. Integrating Literature and the Arts Through the Curriculum, Simon and Schuster, 1999).
The Adventure Genre • Conflict, the tension that exists between the forces in the character’s life, is important in adventure stories and can be in four forms: • - Person – against – self. • - Person – against – person. • - Person – against – nature. • - Person – against – society. • Adventure stories are realistic fiction, so the characters must seem like real people, the actions of the characters must seem real, and the setting must also be realistic. • Adventure stories can also have features of historical fiction: • - setting is a specific time and place in history, • - real events are mixed with fictional events, and • - historical characters are mixed with fictional characters. • Sensory details are used for impact. • Description and dialogue are often used as elements and features of an adventure story.
Let’s look at some of the history surrounding “Jason’s Gold” • As a class, we will discuss some of the settings, events, and terms that will come up within this novel • Take notes on your sheet as we discuss
Yukon Territory • Located in northwest Canada • Contains Mount Logan, Canada’s tallest mountain • Still contains much culture from native tribes that lived there • Population increase occurred because of the Gold Rush beginning around 1896
Klondike • A region of Yukon Territory • Centered around the Klondike River • Home to the Klondike (Yukon) Gold Rush starting in 1896 • Very severe climate – super hot in the summer, extremely cold during the long winter
Skagway, Alaska • A city in Alaska with a port for ships to dock • Used by travelers to stop before journeying into Yukon Territory
Dyea, Alaska • Another Alaskan city important during the Klondike Gold Rush
Dawson City, Canada • A city located in Yukon Territory • Named as a city in 1897 as population soared due to the Gold Rush
Stampeders • The term given to those who rushed to Yukon Territory because they “stampeded” there to find gold • Many stampeders left their jobs • Only about 30,000-40,000 managed to arrive in the area and only about 4,000 actually found gold • Many writers and photographers also came to the area to chronicle the Gold Rush
Chilkoot Pass • A high mountain pass that goes from Dyea, Alaska to British Columbia in Canada • Originally used by native tribes in the area • Later used by Gold Rush stampeders to get to Yukon Territory
White Pass • Another high mountain trail leading from Skagway, Alaska to the lakes at the beginning of the Yukon River • An easier pass to navigate than Chilkoot Pass, but more crime (bandits and thieves during the Gold Rush) • Due to the death of so many horses during the Gold Rush stampede, was nicknamed Dead Horse Trail
Prospector • A prospector is someone who travels around, testing the environment and sifting through dirt, looking for minerals • Gold prospectors were those during the Gold Rush who searched the physical landscape looking for gold • Did you ever “pan for gold”?
Jack London • Very famous writer, known for his novels “Call of the Wild” and “White Fang”, both nature stories • Before he became a writer, Jack London in his early 20s rushed to the Yukon Territory during the Gold Rush • Did not do well, became very sick
Royal Mounted Police • The national police force in Canada • Exists in all of Canada • Commonly referred to as the “Mounties” • Called this because for most of early Canadian history, they were mounted on horses • Today, they also have regular police equipment and vehicles
George Washington Carmack • Was a prospector in Yukon territory originally from California • He is often given credit as the man who first discovered gold and set off the Yukon Gold Rush although his brother-in-law is given credit as well
Robert Henderson • Another man credited with discovering the gold • Originally a miner from Colorado • According to him, he told George Carmack about the gold as they crossed paths in the frontier one time
Soapy Smith • A con artist and gangster • Involved in organized crime in the region of Skagway, Alaska during the time of the Yukon Gold Rush