Ceci Adem, our Biology teacher, gave us the task of choosing one of the aspects of Darwin that we liked the most, we took these activities from those project plans and we answered them based in the letters and diary entries Darwin wrote. I worked with Olivia Vidal in the topic 'Darwin and the Beagle Voyage'.
Read through the letter and diary extract and answer the letter questions.
1. According to the letter to his father, what has caused Darwin difficulties and what is he enjoying?
The only difficulty he had, and he did not enjoy it at all, he had seasickness. He felt exhausted, had a feeling of being about to faint all time and he had to stay in his hammock a big part of the days he was affected with that illness. Now, talking about the things he enjoyed, we can notice the following; the voyage was extremely pleasant, in fact he find the ship as comfortable as his own house, he was exceedingly busy and although he was working, the trip was a great delight, strolling under cocoa nuts in a thicket of bananas and coffee plants and an endless number of wild flowers, going to the quiet relaxing sea and seeing a variety of plants.
2. From the letter and diary entry, do you think that the voyage has met Darwin’s expectations so far?
In part yes, but in part no. He, as he well describes in the letter to his father, he is really impressed by the landscapes. He is also enjoying all the animals he has been collecting, as they are part of incredible varies of species. What I think it wasn’t part of Darwin’s explanations and was suffered a lot, is te fact that it was reallly hot on the ship. The sun bothered all day and at night although it got a bit cooler, it was still hot.
3. How is Darwin feeling in his diary entry? Why does Darwin describes events differently here than in the letter to his father?
Darwin is somehow disapointed in this diary entry. I feel that he was starting to believe that life at the sea is perfect and that the only thing that was difficut was seasickness, but suddenly, this abundant and heavy heat appears and makes Darwin change his view about sea life. I think that he describes events different in both letters as to impress his dad, and not to dissapoint him, he tells him everything is perfect, that he is getting used to sea life although he actually isn’t. He also wants his father to be proud of his own son, so there you can see why he describes the events much different. In the diary entry, as nno one else will see it he is really honest and tells just the facts without making a single lie in the timeline.
Visit the web pages from the Royal Museums Greenwich describing life at sea. Imagine you are going on an expedition for 5 years. Write down 3 things that
would be difficult and 3 things that you would enjoy .
|What we would find difficult
||What we would enjoy
|To get used to the poor rations of food and the dirt they carry with them.
||Capturing a booty or sharing a money prize among the other seamen.
|To be sick in the ship, as there was nearly anything it could be done to help you, the only thing you could do to get better was to stay in your hammock. And if you needed surgery, it would be a dirty one with no anesthetic.
||Hanging out with the other seamen when we were off-duty. We would play cards, instruments, sing ‘Sea Shanties’, draw, tell tales. But especially, write letters home.
|The hard punishments that captain would put and the extrict methods, to guarantee respect and obedience,the authorities used.
||Seeing a variety of sea animals and baing able to see the beautiful landscapes you can see when you are in a ship, such as the incredible sunsets and dawns.
Imagine you are Darwin; write a letter to your best friend describing a day at sea.
Read through the letter and diary extracts and answer the
1. According to the letter and diary entries, list the different things that Darwin has been collecting.
- Marine animals
- Undescribed species
- Land animals
- Brilliantly coloured flowers
2. In the letter and diary entries Darwin describes two different things that have impressed him most, what are they and what does he like about them?
As Darwin said, the Flora and Fauna (the landscapes and the animals). He found really impressing and incredible all the landscapes he had seen in Brazil, all the green they had and the amazing vegetation, flowers, plants and giant trees. He was really impressed with the Fauna there because there were many animals he did not know, so he got to learn new things.
3. In the letter and diary entries Darwin mentions Claude and Humboldt, who is he referring to and why?
Humbdolt was a geographer, naturalist and explorer that proposed that the lands of the Atlantic Ocean (South America and Africa for example) were once joined and Claude was a French physiologist. (It doesn’t say anything more about them in the letter, Darwin just mentions them).
4. In the letter, how does he try to make his friend Fox envious of him?
By comparing what would Fox be doing at that moment and what he was doing at that momen. He compares both jobs and you an notice how proudnDarwin is for the trip he has made and the paradise he is in. »Think when you are picking insects off a hawthorn hedge on a
fine May day (wretchedly cold I have no doubt) think of me collecting amongst pineapples & orange trees; whilst staining your fingers with dirty blackberries, think & be envious of ripe oranges.»
5. How does he show how much he misses Fox at the end of the letter?
By going back to a serious tone. Previously, he was trying to make Fox jealous and he was joking, but when he is saying goodbye to Fox in thel letter, he comes back to his serious face again. »God Bless you. Believe me, Yours very affectionately
Write a poem or create a word cloud in the shape of a map ofSouth America using Darwin’s words to describe the landscape that he sees.