I must go down to the sea again

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky. .. John Masefield, Sea Fever

Use the line above as a stimulus for the opening of an imaginative, discursive or persuasive piece of writing. In your piece of writing incorporate at least ONE example of figurative language that you have learned about through your study of the prescribed texts for Module C.


The first babies born with it were surgically corrected. It was a minor interdigital anomaly and not that unusual, said paediatric surgeons. We had once had fins, which became wings, then arms, and finally mammalian fingers, so the reappearance of webbing between the fingers was nothing new. In regional conferences, surgeons surprised each other with the number of children showing such a reappearance, but the journals did not make a connection between this atavism and the fact that nine-tenths of the affected babies were born in island nations quickly being submerged by the rising seas.

It was only when children began to be born in landlocked countries like Nepal, Kazakhstan, and Bolivia, with undeniable signs of some devolutionary process, of their cells feeling that they must go down to the sea again, that relevant agencies took it seriously. In a world reduced to one of two responses – civil disobedience or lipid apathy – no one knew quite how to respond to these new creatures (or rather, extremely old creatures, which had reinserted themselves into family trees like a bad driver coming up the hard shoulder, determined to push in). The children had functional lungs and could use their extremities as either hand or fin, so there was no immediate reason to panic.

Different nations responded differently. The Oceanic Federation, where most of the first children had been born, realized that the children were functional on land but thrived in the water. Released into the ocean, they formed schools and shoals around the age of six, and largely left their parents. With the fishing industry dead anyway, the OFe government banned fishing in its waters and mostly left them to it. Persistent parents tried to track their children with solar-powered drones that buzzed about the insatiable Pacific like a cloud of flies, but the children did not like this. They would lure the drones to water level with the promise of a wave or kiss for landlubberish parents, before dismembering and drowning the drones.

The Chinerican Union responded commercially. Within months a range of products under the brand My Little Atavism was launched. The wealthy could feed, clothe, accessorize, track, and share the growth of their merkids. The poor equipped theirs with harpoons, and there were a few mass-harpoonings in the schools of the fish-children. Those religious figures who had railed against the idea of evolution now saw, variously, vindication and divine judgment in the babies made in the image of some fish-god.

It was difficult to taxonomise the fish that mankind was returning to. Apart from the Chinerican children, whose aberrant violence was a product of culture – they had been exposed to violent television and the strange doctrine of the individual, which had rightly proven too much for their ichthyian brains – the new generation of human-fish were more admirable than their parents.

They were peaceful, community-minded, and as frugal in satisfying their limited needs as their human ancestors had been spendthrift. They made their own entertainment without resort to, or understanding of, the problems of speech, vicariousness, or electricity. It was difficult to tell whether they had the capacity for abstract thought; the children became increasingly private as they grew, until one morning a window, a front door, would be found open and the child gone, down to the sea which called them so ineluctably.

Biologists predicted an eventual diversity of species and subspecies. The chordata diversified into vertebrate and invertebrate, and vertebrate to jawless fishes, tetrapods, bony fishes and so on. So these children’s offspring would eventually diversify into different species, like a remix of the evolutionary chart-topper, homo sapiens. Nobody mentioned what would happen when there inevitably came the equivalent of a shark.

(c) http://www.divingbelleducation.com

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