Skellig Book Essay


Skellig Theme Analysis

Michael 8C


is a fantasy realism novel written by David Almond. It follows the perspective of Michael, a ten year old boy with an inner struggle, caused by the fight for the life of his babysister, and the fight for the life of Skellig, the strange creature in the garage.


expressesmany different themes, one important theme being that it is important to treasure theimportant features in life. Almond expresses this theme in many different ways, including

Michael feeling the baby’

s heartbeat amongst his own, treating Skellig with very delicate care,and listening to the smallest, sweetest sounds of nature.

One way that the theme is expressed is through Michael feeling his baby sister’s heartbeat in his

own chest. This can be interpreted in two different ways, literal and metaphorical. In a literalsense, due to

Michael’s limitless love towards hi

s sister, it is as if he feels his own life isconnected to her. In the scene where


sister is getting her heart operated on andseemingly dies, his heartbeat appears to stop, as if he himself is his own sister. This is expressedwhen Michael says (referring to his heartbeat),

“’But it’s only mine. It’s not the baby’s’” shortly

after waking up from fainting (150). Michael has such a connection to his own sister that theyseem to suffer as one human being. As well as taking events of the story literally, one can also

use the baby as a metaphor. At the end of the book, the family decides to name the baby: “We

thought a little longer, and in the end we simply called her Joy

” (

182). This means that the whole

time, Michael’s connection to his sister was actually a connection to “Joy”.

In a similar way to

Michael’s own literal connection with his sister, anyone may have a connection in their chest to

the feeling of joy, an emotion that is overlooked by many in


s busy society. Michael, bothliterally and metaphorically, can sense the baby in his chest, showing that life and joy arepossessions that should be treasured.Also, the theme is also expressed

through Michael’s

delicate care for Skellig. At the beginning of the book, when Skellig is found in the old, abandoned garage, he is at the state of feelinghopelessness.

This is shown when Skellig responds to Michael’s questions about his identity,saying “Nobody. Mr Nobody. Mr Bon

es and Mr. Had Enough and Mr. Arthur It is. Now get out and lea

ve me alone” (56). This leads on to

Skellig realizing that care was all he ever needed. The

indication that Skellig understands this is when he says, “Thank you for 27 and 53. Thank you

for giv

ing me my life again” (

168). This means that, throughout the book, Skellig slowly comes toappreciate the care that he gets, something that - even though a very important quality of life -many people take for granted. The comparison between the two quotes in the book shows that care is an extremely important feature in life to have.Finally, the theme is expressed through the time when Michael was listening to the small sounds

of the blackbird chicks. Michael’s focusing on the

one small, fine detail in life caused him to seehow many more important details there were to be found. This is shown in the book where

“Once I had found it, “I could hear it along with all the other, stronger noises. I could open my

eyes. I could look at Mina. Then I could close my eyes aga

in and could imagine them there” (60).

Almond clearly shows that once small details (the chirp of the chick of a blackbird) are found,they can come in harmony with the rest of the world (the traffic, the breeze in the trees, and

Michael’s own brea

thing).In conclusion, Almond clearly expresses his theme of treasuring important features of life, suchas joy, care, focus on detail, and life itself. He shows this through Michael having a connection tothis baby sister, caring for Skellig, and listening to small, sweet sounds of nature, such as thechirping of the chicks of the blackbirds. This theme does not only appear in this book though.This is a theme that is thought of universally. It appears in my own life, where I sometimes needto sit back and appreciate the values that I already have, such as an education, literacy, health,

In this book the main character is a boy called Michael. Michael has just moved into a new house and has a huge surprise when he finds a crippled living being in his new but crumbling 'garage'. He doesn't want to tell anyone about this mysterious man except from the girl across the road called Mina. Together they help the creature get stronger and stronger, but there is something constantly on Michael's mind. His baby sister. When she goes into hospital to have a possible life or death operation on her heart Michael thinks his whole world has collapsed. The mysterious creature who he has learnt to love and care for is going away, he is sure his baby sister is dead and on top of all that he has school friends and school work to worry about. Is all hope lost?

I think this is a powerful and moving book because you feel like you are right there with Michael feeling how hard life is for him. Also I thought "Skellig" was a strange but enjoyable book because of the mysterious man in the falling-down garage.

However, the character Mina, I think says extraordinary far too many times for example:
"Extraordinary" she hissed (page 129)
"He's an extraordinary being" she said (page 76)
"Extraordinary, extraordinary being" whispered Mina ( page 80)
"We are extraordinary" she whispered (page 94)

Although Mina did say extraordinary too many times, the overall book was fascinating. I would rate this book 8.5/10. I would recommend this book to anyone bet ween the ages of 10 and 16. David Almond is an amazing author and "Skellig" is a gripping story - this book is a great read.

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