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The Elevator By William Sleator Online Dating. By william sleator it was an old building with an old elevator. A very small elevator, with a maximum capacity of. The elevator short story essay theme. During the s and s, he went by the name. Thousands of singles join online dating sites every day. The latest. Use what you ve learned about plot and conflict to analyze this unsettling story. the Elevator Short story by William Sleator It was an old building with an old.
The elevator means facing the fat lady; the stairs mean facing his father and his weakness.
Internal conflict 10 Rising action continues The fat lady gets on the next time at the third floor and goes up to the eighteenth. He worries about what would happen if the elevator got stuck. Rising action continues 11 Martin asks his father about the fat lady Martin asks his father about the fat lady. His father accuses him of being afraid.
External conflict 12 Rising action continues The fat lady meets him the next time on his floor, so Martin decides to take the stairs. He falls and fractures his leg. Now he is forced to take the elevator. Rising action continues 13 When they get home, Martin rides the elevator with his father who gets off at the ninth floor. At the tenth floor, the elevator stops and the fat lady gets on. His eyes slipped back to hers, then quickly away.
She was still watching him. He wanted to close his eyes; he wanted to turn around and stare into the corner, but how could he?
The elevator creaked down to twelve, down to eleven. Martin looked at his watch; he looked at the numbers again. They weren t even down to nine yet. And then, against his will, his eyes slipped back to her face.
Her nose tilted up; there was a large space between her nostrils and her upper lip, giving her a piggish look. He looked away again, clenching his teeth, fighting the impulse to squeeze his eyes shut against her.
She had to be crazy. Why else would she stare at him this way? What was she going to do next? She only watched him, breathing audibly, until the elevator reached the first floor at last. Martin would have rushed past her to get Rising Action begins lines 41 80 3. What event sets the rising action in motion?
Martin seems to perceive the strange lady as a threat. In your opinion, is this conflict real or in his head? He could only wait as she turned reluctantly, it seemed to him and moved so slowly out into the lobby. And then he ran. He didn t care what she thought.
Short story by William Sleator - ppt video online download
He ran past her, outside into the fresh air, and he ran almost all the way to school. He had never felt such relief in his life. He thought about her all day. Did she live in the building? He had never seen her before, and the building wasn t very big only four apartments on each floor.
It seemed likely that she didn t live there, and had only been visiting somebody. But if she were only visiting somebody, why was she leaving the building at seven thirty in the morning?
People didn t make visits at that time of day. Did that mean she did live in the building? If so, it was likely it was a certainty that sometime he would be riding with her on the elevator again e was apprehensive as he approached the building after school.
In the lobby, he considered the stairs. But that was ridiculous. Why should he be afraid of an old lady? If he was afraid of her, if he let it control him, then he was worse than all the names they called him at school. He pressed the button; he stepped into the empty elevator. He stared at the lights, urging the elevator on. It stopped on three. At least it s not fourteen, he told himself; the person she was visiting lives on fourteen.
He watched the door slide open revealing a green coat, a piggish face, blue eyes already fixed on him as though she knew he d be there. It wasn t possible. It was like a nightmare. But there she was, massively real. She nodded, her flesh quivering, and stepped on.Don't judge people by their religion please...
He watched her pudgy hand move toward the buttons. She pressed, not fourteen, but eighteen, the top floor, one floor above his own.
The elevator trembled and began its ascent. He knew she had gotten on at fourteen this morning. So why was she on three, going up to eighteen now? The only floors he ever went to were seventeen and one. What was she doing? Had she been waiting for him? Was she riding with him on purpose? But that was crazy. Maybe she had a lot of friends in the building.
Or else she was a cleaning lady who worked in different apartments. That had to be it. He felt her eyes on him as he stared at the numbers slowly blinking on and off slower than usual, it seemed to him. Maybe the elevator was having trouble because of how heavy she was. It was supposed to carry three adults, but it was old. What if it got stuck between floors? What if it fell? They were on five now. It occurred to him to press seven, get off there, and walk the rest of the way.
And he would have done it, if he could have reached the buttons. But there was no room to get past her without squeezing against her, and he could not bear the thought of any physical contact with her.
He concentrated on being in his room. Each of the three try to bribe Barney with incentives, such as extreme intelligence and life everlasting, in exchange for The Piggy. He refuses all offers and later thinks of a clever hiding place, the hollowed-out inside of a high school yearbook.
The aliens contrive to get Barney's parents away for the day and evening, leaving Barney to fight them off alone. As in several other Sleator novels, an adolescent manages to save the world even though it does not know it needs to be saved.
Zena suggests they play a game of Interstellar Pig, this time for real stakes. Barney realizes he is playing for keeps, if what Zena has told him is correct: The Piggy also tells him that if he possesses it when the game is over, it, The Piggy, will hiccup and destroy the world. At the beginning of the game Barney chooses several weapons, including a "Disguise Selector" and an immunity pill.
Barney takes the immunity pill hoping it will be of some use. Not only are the three aliens after The Piggy, but so are other aliens who have thus far been only character cards. In the first game he played with Zena, Barney had been a lichen from the planet Mbridlengile. The lichen live in "colonies of hundreds or thousands of individual cells….
Each cell is capable of absorbing chemical data from its immediate surface and transmitting it to the rest of the colony…. They are capable of eating through almost any obstacle to their progress. Once the lichen are in the house, to keep them in Barney cuts his finger and drips blood across the doorways and window sills, hoping the immunity pill he took earlier was still in his bloodstream.
Knowing that the lichen eat almost anything, and wanting to keep them as a possible weapon to use against the others, Barney throws them a package of bologna still in its plastic.
Not only is Barney worried about losing The Piggy and his own life, but he suddenly realizes his parents may come home and could be eaten by the lichen or killed by any one of the other three aliens. Thanks to the immunity pill, Barney is ignored by the other lichen as they ooze over the floor devouring everything, including lots of tiny bugs: The game was invented for that very purpose, and this is still the first game.
Barney, deciding it would be less dangerous for the lichen to win The Piggy, is able to tell them where it is hidden and leads them to it. The fact that his immunity to them has probably worn off worries Barney. As the lichen are leaving the house, they try to get around Barney, who is trying to break away from them. Barney says, "I did the lichen equivalent of elbowing and kicking as they swarmed past me, cursing me, furious and uncomprehending.
This makes the reader cringe along with Barney but also chuckle at the absurdity of it all. As they blast away in their ships, the three aliens decide Barney is more stupid than they thought, because he did not kill them when he had a chance. They zoom away in pursuit of the lichen, who are on their way back to their planet with The Piggy.
The game goes on. The messed-up house is Barney's only proof all these events were not a dream. His life will now return to normal—or will it? He has had several exciting days in the company of three highly unusual people who have almost treated him as an equal and who have involved him in life-and-death situations.
He has been attracted to an exciting female, an experience that may result in a new interest in the females of his own species. Barney has become more aware and will face the future as a more confident young man. Barney's parents seem oblivious of his activities. They have brought him to the beach for a vacation, knowing he is allergic to the sun. During the day they are on the beach and at night they watch TV.
When his middle-aged, out-of-shape parents disagree on what the three neighbors look like, Barney thinks they are behaving childishly as they try to rationalize their way out of being compared unfavorably with the new arrivals. Barney is also surprised that they are so interested in finding out about neighbors who have no obvious social position.
On the beach Barney sees his mother as a "greased corpse" among the others and escapes back to the "safe darkness of the house. The parents are not much concerned about leaving their son to be entertained by the neighbors; instead they caution him not to make a pest of himself. When Barney is faced with the knowledge that the three are aliens and he is in the real game of Interstellar Pig, he has no adult to turn to for help or advice.
Rather, he is the responsible one who must try to save the earth, save himself, and protect his parents from the aliens. He alone is able to see the aliens for what they are, perhaps because he is a teenager. At least Manny thinks so. He says, "Maybe they're harder to put things over on than—.
The three aliens have distinct personalities. Zena is strong-willed and dominant. She seems to be the boss, forcing the other two to cooperate until The Piggy can be located. She has a spectacular figure, long black hair, a husky voice, lavender eyes, and a deep tan.
She can be smiling and cajoling in one situation, be "massive, brusque, in control" in another, and have a "rapid, high-pitched, silly giggle, like a teenager's" in still another. She is really Zulma, an arachnoid nymph from Vavoosh who has a fat, spiderlike body with eight jointed legs, and a humanlike, female head with huge, faceted eyes.
She is the most intelligent of the aliens and gets very angry when she does not win the board game of Interstellar Pig. She is ruthless and regrets not killing Barney when she had a chance. Joe is tall and strong, has a brown mustache, likes to swim—especially at night—and only grudgingly accepts Barney into the group. He is the one who lures Barney's parents away with the promise of boating with the Powells, one of the socially elite families on this part of the coast.
In actuality he is Jrlb, a water-breathing "gill man" from Thrilb who looks like a swordfish with rudimentary arms and legs. He has a lower intelligence than Zena. In the final game he ties up Barney and tortures him by cutting him with the three-foot-long sword on his head, until Zulma appears. Jrlb manages to step into a patch of lichen who eat a piece out of his foot before he escapes into hyperspace. Manny, the third alien neighbor, has some female characteristics.
He has a blond beard, is more slender than Joe but wiry, giggles, is squeamish about Joe's bashing baby octopuses, reads fantasy and science fiction, bleaches his beard, thinks Barney's book sounds "enchanting," admires Barney's kitchen, likes to cook, competes with Zena to get the best tan, is in a snit because his dinner may be overcooked, and won't open a bottle of champagne because corks make him nervous. He is the alien female Moyna, "one of the octopus gas bag creatures from Flaeioub.
Barney does his best to protect her from the lichen, even though he has to turn himself into a lichen to escape being killed by her. Moyna throws cutlery to try to kill him, and almost manages it. The lichen do puncture Moyna's portable breathing bag, and she nearly suffocates from lack of hydrogen.
To keep her from dying after the lichen leave, Barney carries her outside, which he says was "like carrying entrails. In the epilogue she says she wished they had killed Barney and his parents and is disdainful of Barney because he saved her life. Although most of the story does take place in the two houses near a beach in New England, the setting-within-the-setting is the game itself, Interstellar Pig.
When the characters are playing, they are in space and seem to be actually on the various planets they land on. The equipment cards the players draw show a neural whip, oxygen-breathing equipment, the "Disguise Selector," an immunity pill, an automatic translating headset—but the most fantastic card of all is hyperspace, which enables its possessor to travel anywhere in the universe in a second.
The Portable Access to the Fifth-dimensional Matrix is what allows Jrlb to appear and disappear so easily when attacked. On the board this access is represented by black funnels called hyperspace tunnels. The final game is played in the captain's house, which becomes the game board. The players reveal their real selves—"a hairy spiderlady; a fish-man with a long, razor-sharp horn growing out of his head; and a flying octopus with claws.
All are defeated by a year-old boy who makes use of his own ingenuity and a few of the alien weapons available to him. Even though he has the power to destroy the three aliens, he chooses not to, because he likes them and there is no reason to destroy them. He alone realizes that it is just a game and not to be taken seriously. He doubts the world will be destroyed or that The Piggy is telling the truth about its hiccup. But he is doubtful enough that he plays to win, and because of this doubt he is willing to let the lichen win The Piggy and take it off with them, never to return to planet Earth.
Even though Moyna, the "octopus gas bag," has an arsenal of alien weapons, she still resorts to throwing a broken cola bottle, a cast-iron frying pan, and a bread knife, before she uses her alien weapon, too late.
This cartoonlike sequence is full of humor and no one is hurt by it. Later Barney has to clean up this mess in the kitchen because he thinks he would have a hard time explaining why the kitchen equipment is sticking into the walls. Many reviewers of later works by Sleator compare them with Interstellar Pig, which most agree is one of his finest novels. As one reviewer puts it, "compelling on the first reading—but stellar on the second. Problematic as straight science fiction but great fun as a spoof on human-alien contact.
I think this book Interstellar Pig demonstrates the editorial dynamic between Bill and me at its most mysterious. I didn't write extensive detailed editorial notes. I couldn't, because I wasn't saying "change this" or "change that" but rather, "this story in some ways nonstory, as I recall! At that point in my life, I was spending a lot of time playing board games with my year-old stepson, so—"How about making it a game? And that was the McGuffin! Sleator mentions Interstellar Pig in two of his later novels.
Singularity Sleator is again back to science fiction in Singularity The idea had been floating around in his head for several years.
He says the book almost wrote itself, "partly because it's about time, an extremely peculiar phenomenon and therefore one of my favorite subjects. There was a kind of inevitability about it. The book is dedicated to Sleator's sister, Vicky S. Wald, who some people thought was the author's twin.
He says in the dedication, "We are just as important to each other as any twins I ever heard of. Since their parents are going to a convention in San Francisco for two weeks, the twins offer to leave their home on the East Coast to go to Illinois to check on the house.
Uncle Ambrose was the eccentric black sheep of the family, a man who had a glass eye and would take it out and show it when people asked. He "looked sixty when he was forty," an interesting bit of foreshadowing. Barry is eager to go and convinces his twin, Harry, that it would be fun to have just the two of them around for a while.
Recently the twins have grown apart, and in the hope they can be close again, Harry agrees to go. Fred, their cocker-spaniel mutt, will go too because their mom believes he will act as a watchdog. At the farm the boys discover just how eccentric Uncle Ambrose was.
One of the rooms in the house is filled with mounted skeletons of strange animals, such as a cat with six legs and a snake with a bird's head. Most unusual, though, is a building that seems to be a playhouse, 12 feet long and 6 feet wide, with no windows and only one locked metal door, like that on a bomb shelter. The structure is supplied with survival rations, multivitamin capsules, water, and lots of books. At the farm they meet Lucy Coolidge, who tells them of her grandfather's difficulties with Uncle Ambrose and of the prize animals that strayed onto his land and just disappeared.
On the property was a big flat rock, called Skeleton Rock by the Indians because there were always animal skeletons around it. After a good milk cow aged 20 years in a few minutes near the rock, Uncle Ambrose built the playhouse over it, and no other animals were lost. The three discover the playhouse is full of spiderwebs and the bodies of dead bugs. As they go inside they notice there is a rabbit in the yard, and Fred is going toward it.
When they come out several minutes later both the rabbit and Fred are in the same position. Later Barry gets locked inside the playhouse for what to him is all day and night but to Harry on the outside is only seconds.
Short story by William Sleator
When Fred is accidentally shut inside for a short while, only his skeleton is left when the boys get the door open. Time thus goes faster in the playhouse. Sleator uses the scientific theory of black holes as the basis for his explanation of the speeding up of time.
Black holes are collapsed stars with tremendous mass and relatively little volume: Sleator thought it only logical that if time slowed down on one side of a black hole, then it must speed up on the opposite side "to preserve the conservation of momentum.
The singularity is the one-way tunnel through which alien objects such as the six-legged cat might be pulled. When Sleator learned about the term he knew he "had the perfect title with an ironic double meaning: Sleator takes us beyond an acceptance of the theoretical construct of the black hole; he allows his characters to see—in the reflections on the water in the playhouse sink—what is coming down the tunnel. Although the twins are identical, Harry feels inferior to Barry and wishes he were not linked to him.
Barry is directive and often mean to Harry; Harry is meek and doesn't retaliate—until, that is, Harry decides to sneak out while Barry is asleep and spend the night in the playhouse, so that he will be older than his brother and able to lord it over him. For Harry the night will be one year long. During that year he exercises, reads, listens to music, meditates, and watches some strange object—a huge mouth—come closer and closer in the sink, the opening of the singularity.
When he comes out the next morning, Harry is a year older and three inches taller. Unexpectedly, Barry is sad because he feels his brother is now dead. Harry's realization that his twin did not hate him is the turning point in their relationship. Just after Harry leaves the playhouse, the thing that has been approaching for a year arrives with an explosion.
Harry somehow knows he has to let it out of the playhouse: Laser-like red points gleamed from the ends of the black conical teeth. Behind the hinge, the jaws were attached to a snakelike body of interlocking cylinders the color of steel, about a foot in diameter where they joined the head.
Whiplike, convulsive, the thing uncoiled from the door, the jaws pointed skyward, darting and circling. The granite slab the playhouse is built on has cracked, and through the open door the young people see birds and hear noises, unlike before.
Now time is the same inside the playhouse as outside. Harry believes the robot has been sent to close the singularity, to keep something dangerous to our world from coming through the one-way tunnel. As in many of his science fiction novels, Sleator implies there is intelligent life in space—in this case, one or more benevolent beings who are thinking of the welfare of the earth.
Would other beings out there really be that benevolent? Would they really be so far advanced that they would understand time warps and space configurations to see and make use of them? Sleator chose to set this novel in the Midwest after a visit to see his parents, who live on the Illinois prairie. Sleator says, "I've always been appalled by the way easterners think there is nothing in the middle of the country. And on this particular occasion, after being in Europe, I was struck by how strange and exotic the prairie really is, so I got the idea of putting easterners out there.
He says, "It all just fell into place. All reported they had no problems; everything was perfect. Those same people wrote him after reading Singularity to say that that was just what being a twin was like. Certainly sibling rivalry will no longer be quite so devastating to Harry. The character of Harry progresses from a shy, insecure, dependent boy to a very confident older brother who will no longer allow his "twin" to make fun of him or order him around.
He continues his exercise program in the real world and after his long confinement will not soon take such things for granted as sunlight, grass, and the songs of birds. Barry is also a well-rounded character, one who pushes his brother a bit too far.
Lucy has been attracted to Barry and has chosen to side with him against Harry. She is as interested as the boys are in the mystery of the playhouse. Her reaction to the "new" older, muscular, taller Harry indicates Barry has just lost his attraction for her. The parents, as they usually are in Sleator's novels, are incidental. Their function is to give the boys a reason for going to the house and to provide the first indications that Uncle Ambrose and his property may be out of the ordinary.
Although some questions are answered and problems resolved by the end of the book, other, important ones are left unanswered. For instance, what will be the reaction of the parents when they return? What will they think, and how will they accept no longer having twins? Readers have been shown the parents only briefly, at the story's beginning, and so they have only Harry's word that "if Barry can adjust to me, then [our parents] should be able to.
Most of the reviews of this book were positive. Some felt it was weak in characterization, but most thought it a suspenseful story told by a master storyteller.
David Gale in the School Library Journal said, "Sleator is remarkably able to explain the scientific complexities of his plot without impeding the narrative flow, and the story remains gripping through its stunning climax. I thought and still think it was some of Bill's finest writing, especially in the way he evokes the Midwest setting.
The book required very little editing; in fact, I turned it over to another editor, as I was desperately pressed with administrative problems at that time.
I wish all books progressed so straightforwardly. And certainly my editor at Dutton, Julie Amper, was a tremendous help in the writing of this book.
Interstellar Pig New York: Dutton,dust jacket. Review of House of Stairs, by William Sleator. When five sixteen-year-old orphans are placed in a bizarre room unlike any other, they discover the true depravities of the mind and soul.
Unable to get comfortable in this vast room of unending, unceasing staircases, hungry and ill at ease, the five teenagers are forced to work together to satisfy the unpredictable demands of a soulless red machine. Only by working together to puzzle out its desires and obey them can they be fed, and even then, the food is never enough.
Unable to trust one another, unwilling to even like each other, they still rely on a certain unity. But as time wears on, the unity breaks down and factions emerge, one bent on obeying the machine, the other on disobeying it. And then the ultimate, horrifying purpose of the red machine and the endless staircases, and the reason for their entrapment is made clear.
Coming from the same mind that brought us Interstellar Pig, inspired by an M. Escher painting, House of Stairs is a disturbing social commentary mixed with a terrifying psychological experiment. This may be one of Sleator's bleakest books yet, especially since it's rooted in reality and could very well be carried out today, in some hidden place. But, boiled down to its essentials, what we have here is a darkly fascinating story about five teens who undergo a terrible experience in a dystopian setting.
House of Stairs is a thought-provoking tale that stays with you long after it's over. Originally published init's as relevant today as it was thirty years ago, and it's good to see it back in print for a new generation's consideration. Gillespie and Corinne J. The author has said, "I can't seem to keep outer space, time travel and aliens out of my work. At any level of appreciation, however, this is a good read for students in grades seven through ten.
Plot Summary Ted Martin, the caretaker, tells the narrator, sixteen-year-old Barney, and his mother and father that the house they are presently renting in Indian Neck on Cape Cod is believed by some to be haunted. Over a hundred years before, a sea captain named Latham had imprisoned his crazed younger brother for twenty years in the front bedroom as punishment for the seemingly irrational murder of an unknown survivor they had fished out of the water on one of their voyages.
Barney is using the front bedroom, which has a wonderful view of an island in the bay, and he has noticed strange claw marks on the walls, obviously made by the madman during his confinement.
Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival next door of three extremely attractive college-age young people—two boys and a girl—who, though they vehemently demanded to rent the house Barney and family are in, have settled for the neighboring cottage when their first choice was unavailable. That evening, Barney, at their request, takes them some kindling for their fireplace and meets all three: Zena, Joe, and Manny.
They are an unusual trio: They show Barney a board game they enjoy playing, a futuristic science fiction adventure called Interstellar Pig. The next day while Barney's parents are away, the three ask to tour the house.
Barney is mystified by the thoroughness of their examination and their abnormal fascination with the markings on his bedroom walls. After lunch Barney accepts their invitation for a return visit and, finding no one home, does his own exploring.
In Zena's room he finds a photocopy of Captain Latham's diary describing the murder. When he hears footsteps on the patio Barney hides the papers in his pocket and rushes downstairs to be greeted by the supposedly unsuspecting threesome.
While the two men go to pick up windsurfers, Zena gives Barney an introduction to Interstellar Pig. They play outdoors after Zena assures Barney that the special sun cream she gives him will thoroughly protect his super-sensitive skin from sunburn. The game is a very complex one in which, through choosing or being dealt various cards, each player becomes a different creature from outer space, vulnerable to certain misfortunes but equipped with weapons and disguises to avoid others as they travel from one hostile planet to another.
The object is to gain and keep possession of The Piggy, a card depicting an ugly creature with one eye, before the timer signals the end of the game when all are destroyed except the owner of The Piggy.
In the trial game Barney is a carnivorous lichen from planet Mbridlengile, and Zena is Zulma, an arachnoid nymph from Vavoosh. Later at home, Barney reads the section of the captain's diary describing how the survivor had been placed in the cabin with his younger brother. That night, the captain had discovered his brother clutching a small trinket and babbling deliriously about the devil over the dead man's body.
The captain looks at the corpse and momentarily sees an ugly, misshapen creature certainly not of this world. An instant later, it once more assumes a human form.
Barney is shaken by this account and begins to examine carefully the scratch marks on the wall. He discovers a pattern of lines that converge on the window pane in line with a large boulder at the tip of the neighboring island. The next day, even though Barney is in agony because of a terrible sunburn, he asks to accompany his three friends who are going to visit the island by windsurfers, and is reluctantly given permission.
On the island he manages to elude the others for a few moments. Under the boulder he finds a rotting lean-to and under its floorboards is a trunk containing a small box, which he hides in his pocket just before the others arrive. Back on the mainland, his neighbors challenge Barney to another game of Interstellar Pig. Zena once again draws Zulma only a coincidence? Barney becomes totally absorbed in the moves as though he is actually living this galactic adventure.