Jurassic Park

1. The story takes place on Isla Nublar a small island off the coast of Costa Rica. “Its forested slopes were wreathed in fog, giving the island a mysterious look.” Shows us that the island is extremely foggy and presumably, humid.

We are not told when the story takes place, but it seems to take place any time during the 1990’s because they mention computers and genetic research a lot

2. Two main characters in this novel are Ian Malcolm and Robert Muldoon.

Ian Malcolm is a mathematician, invited by John Hammond to visit the island. He a tall man and on the plane trip to the island, he wears nothing but black. While on the tour, when the tyrannosaurus attacks the cars, he suddenly runs out of the car and is almost killed by the dinosaur. He manages to survive, and during most of the book, he is forced to stay in bed. While he is in bed, however, he gives many discourses about many scientific things.

Robert Muldoon, on the other hand, is the sort of park ranger on duty at Jurassic Park. He is a big man, with a large, gray mustache, but somewhat old at fifty years. He is forced to try and contain the animals once they break free from their enclosures. He seems almost fearless, willing to risk his life to help restrain the dinosaurs.

3. a) Alan Grant & Ellie Sawyer, 2 palaeontologists are invited by John Hammond, a rich man who seems to have an interest in dinosaurs to come see his newly constructed resort on Isla Nublar.

b) When they arrive, accompanied by mathematician Ian Malcolm, Tim and Lex, John Hammond’s grandchildren and Donald Gennaro, a lawyer, they discover that the resort is actually a zoo and that instead of having modern animals, the zoo is full of dinosaurs. The problems start when a large storm passes over the island and they lose power to the whole of the island. This enables the dinosaurs to break free from their enclosures, because the fences that are supposed to contain them are no longer electrified.

When the island loses power, most of the visitors are taking part in the tour of the island. The vehicles used to bring the visitors on the tours are guided by rails, and when the island loses power, the vehicles can no longer move. At this time in the tour, they were in front of the tyrannosaurus enclosure and this monstrous animal breaks free. It attacks one of the two cars and the passengers, Grant and the two kids barely survive. The other car is eventually found and those passengers are brought back to the lodge. Survival becomes a constant problem for the three people stranded in the island, as they try to get back to the lodge.

c) Although the whole novel is very exciting, the most exciting part is when the velociraptors are in the lodge and are stalking Grant, the palaeontologist. He happened to find himself in the hatchery and since he knew that raptors often ate the eggs of other dinosaurs, he injected some eggs with a poison that he found in some syringes. He rolled each of the eggs to the raptors and they all died, one by one.

d) After many casualties, they manage to restore power to the island. Then, the Costa

Rican army is called in and they destroy the island and the dinosaurs.

4. I think one of the themes in this book is the idea that nature cannot be reproduced or controlled. Jurassic Park was supposed to be a reconstruction of the way life was a few hundred million years ago, but nature found a way to break free of the constraints that were created. I think it is important not to try to play God and modify nature. This is very apparent in the realm of genetic modification, where researchers are trying to create an “improved” version of a plant or animal. I find this very frightening and can only hope that this kind of power does not fall into the wrong hands.

Chapter Questions:

The author of this book, Michael Crichton does not use chapters in this novel. He divides the book into large sections, iterations. Within each iteration, he has many smaller divisions, identified by large headings of a few words. I have chosen to discuss the contents of two interations.

3rd Iteration:

2. Ask and answer two good questions on this chapter.

Q: What big discovery is made in this chapter?

A: They discover that there are more dinosaurs in the park than they released, so they must be breeding.

Q: What act does Denis Nedry perform in this iteration, to try to receive extra money?

A: He deactivates the security system and steals a number of dinosaur embryos, so he can sell them to a rival company for money.

5. Does this chapter make you want to read on? Why or why not?

This chapter makes you want to read on because you know something is wrong on the island but they don’t tell you what exactly or why it is happening. We are told that the dinosaurs are most likely breeding, because there are more than they released, but it is not fully explained how they are breeding or when they started breeding. Also, as always in this novel, there is lots of suspense that makes you keep on reading.

3. a- Procompsognathid: a type of dinosaur, no bigger than a chicken that is primarily a scavenger.

A procompsognathid will often pick on the remains of another dinosaur.
b- Algorithm: a rule of procedure for solving a mathematical problem that frequently involves repetition of an operation.

Mathematicians frequently use algorithms to work with large numbers.
c- Gizzard: the muscular enlargement of the alimentary canal of birds that immediately follows the crop and has usually thick muscular walls and a tough horny lining for grinding the food

It is believed that dinosaurs had a gizzard to crush food before it is digested.
6th Iteration:

9. In three sentences, tell what happens in this chapter.

Grant and the two kids return to the lodge, but discover that the power was lost and that there were raptors loose. Grant goes to the maintenance shed and manages to turn the main generator back on. Grant and the kids return to the control room and manage to get all the systems back on-line.

7. What did you learn from this chapter that you didn’t know before?

I learned a fair amount about the behaviour of the velociraptors. In this iteration, both Grant and the kids are stalked by raptors, albeit at different times. The raptors are quick, agile and very intelligent dinosaurs, but their hunger causes their demise in both scenes. In the first one, Tim manages to lure one of them into a large freezer by placing steaks on the ground and leading him into the freezer.

3. a- gnat: a small biting fly

Gnats are often found in humid areas.
b- basilisk: any of various crested tropical American lizards that can run on the hind legs

Basilisks can range in size from small to large.
c- recess: an indentation or hollow

Many dead trees have recesses in them.

Personal Reaction:

1. I learned many things about dinosaurs and modern mathematics, like the chaos theory.

2. I liked the action and suspense of the novel; I also enjoyed learning things about dinosaurs and mathematics

3. For some of the characters, there wasn’t much background information. I would have liked to know about how they got there and what they had done before.

4. I would recommend it to people who like a lot of adventure and suspense in a novel. I must warn someone who would like to read it that it is not for the faint of heart; the descriptions are quite graphic when dinosaurs kill people.

5. This novel was quite interesting.


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