A high wind in jamaica sparknotes
A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard HughesNew edition of a classic adventure novel and one of the most startling, highly praised stories in English literature - a brilliant chronicle of two sensitive childrens violent voyage from innocence to experience.
After a terrible hurricane levels their Jamaican estate, the Bas-Thorntons decide to send their children back to the safety and comfort of England. On the way their ship is set upon by pirates, and the children are accidentally transferred to the pirate vessel. Jonsen, the well-meaning pirate captain, doesnt know how to dispose of his new cargo, while the children adjust with surprising ease to their new life. As this strange company drifts around the Caribbean, events turn more frightening and the pirates find themselves increasingly incriminated by the childrens fates. The most shocking betrayal, however, will take place only after the return to civilization.
The swift, almost hallucinatory action of Hughess novel, together with its provocative insight into the psychology of children, made it a best seller when it was first published in 1929 and has since established it as a classic of twentieth-century literature - an unequaled exploration of the nature, and limits, of innocence.
A High Wind in Jamaica
A High Wind In Jamaica Book Summary and Study Guide
I first read A High Wind in Jamaica in my early teens - not much older than the oldest child in the novel. I thought it was a wonderful book, full of excitement, fun and adventure. I was enthralled by the violent destruction of the thunderstorm and the mysterious behaviour of the earthquake. I also loved the pantomime pirates and the surreal sea-voyages to and from exotic islands. And then what a tremendous supernumerary cast of animals and insects there were!
It stuck in my head but I never bought it. The third encounter recently was all I needed. It opens in a dreamy style, in late 19th century Jamaica, where an English family, the Bas-Thorntons, live. Here one had to be a little ahead of the times: or decadent, whichever you like to call it. John had to take a sporting gun, which he bulleted with spoonfuls of water to shoot humming-birds on the wing, too tiny frail quarry for any solider projectile. For, only a few yards up, there was a Frangipani tree: a mass of brilliant blossom and no leaves, which was almost hidden in a cloud of humming-birds so vivid as much to outshine the flowers. Writers have often lost their way trying to explain how brilliant a jewel the humming-bird is: it cannot be done.
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A High Wind in Jamaica is a novel by the Welsh writer Richard Hughes , which was made into a film of the same name in Several months later Hughes renamed his novel in time for its British publication,  and Harper followed suit. The Bas-Thornton children John, Emily, Edward, Rachel, and Laura are raised on a plantation in Jamaica at an unspecified time after the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire It is a time of technological transformation, and sailing ships and steamers coexist on the high seas. A hurricane destroys their home, and the parents decide the children must leave the island to return to their original home in England. Accompanied by two creole children from Jamaica, Margaret and Harry Fernandez, they leave on the Clorinda , a merchant ship under the command of Captain Marpole. The Clorinda is seized by pirates shortly after leaving Jamaica.
Richard Hughes's celebrated short novel is a masterpiece of concentrated narrative. Its dreamlike action begins among the decayed plantation houses and overwhelming natural abundance of late nineteenth-century Jamaica, before moving out onto the high seas, as Hughes tells the story of a group of children thrown upon the mercy of a crew of down-at-the-heel pirates. A tale of seduction and betrayal, of accommodation and manipulation, of weird humor and unforeseen violence, this classic of twentieth-century literature is above all an extraordinary reckoning with the secret reasons and otherworldly realities of childhood. Cross a wacky seafaring adventure—Conrad gone awry via inept piracy—with an exploration of the consciousness of a child as radical and insightful as that provided by Henry James in What Maisie Knew , and you have A High Wind In Jamaica by Richard Hughes By turns funny, ironic, and brutally sad, this is a complex and astonishing novel.
The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Hughes, Richard. A High Wind in Jamaica, New York Review of Books, The unnamed narrator begins by describing the Gothic ruins of post-Emancipation Jamaica. In one of these homes lives the Bas-Thornton family.