The Mosquito Coast/Exercises

I’ve read the above mentioned book by Paul Theroux  and then written the following  summary about it. You can listen to the text which I’ve divided into five parts.

In class we read excerpts of the book and watched the film.

The story which is narrated from the point of view of Charlie, Allie’s oldest son, and which has given me goose pimples, was published in 1981. It starts with father or Allie Fox complaining about the  rottenness of America. Everything about that country seems to be awful. The Americans are said to just eat junk, sell junk or buy junk and it seems to be full up of criminal millionaires and the moral sneaks  which seem to include the politicians and the schools. Last but not least there are all the savages who have come to America to find paradise. While Allie is complaining in this way he is driving with his son Charlie in front of Tiny Polski’s mansion house. Mr Polski is his employer and is in the asparagus business.

ALLIE/The Mosquito Coast 1


I’ve the impression that Charlie is afraid of Allie but admires him also because he is a brilliant inventor of,  for example, FAT BOY, the ice-producing machine . Allie Fox would like to involve his employer in this ice producing business, but in vain.

He is very humiliated by this attitude, and convinced that in the country from where the immigrants come, ice would be considered as precious as a diamond. He  throws a last party for the poor immigrant asparagus pickers leaves with his family for Honduras or an uncertain future. On the barge they meet a Christian missionary with family (included daughter Emily who  is flirting with Charlie.)

Allie and the preacher or Mr. Spellgood are not at all on the same wavelength as far as religion is concerned.The MosquitoCoastpart2

On their way, Allie buys a town, which turns out to be a place with a few shacks and which is called Jeronimo. The locals take to them kindly. There, everybody, the children included, have to work like crazy under the direction of their Allie and they succeed in putting up a nice village that gives them enough to eat.


Allie also rebuilds another FAT BOY and decides also to take the ice, wrapped up in banana leaves , with his helpers, Charlie and Jerry included, cross the jungle to the Indians. When they  arrive at their destination the ice is melted and Allie learns that the missionaries have brought ice to them before.

The Mosquito Coast3

Allie frees three men which he considers prisoners of the indigenous. Back in Jeronimo,he understands that they are criminals and wants to get rid of them. As they don’t move he tells  them that they are infested by ants and they start to demolish what they have built. There is nothing that makes those scarecrows leave so that Allie, with the help of Charlie sets on freezing them. The machine explodes and the whole village burns down or explodes.The Mosquito Coast4

The family is forced downstream and when they arrive at the coast they hope to return to the USA. Allie, however, doesn’t want to give in and tells them that America has been destroyed.

They settle on a beach and Allie refuses even to accept help by Mr. Haddy. The children would like to go away with Mr Haddy. The situation worsens continuously and when a terrible storm arrives one night it is only thanks to the motor Mr. Haddy had given to Charlie that they can escape.

Travelling upstreams they end up by chance at Mr. Spellgood’s missionary where Charlie is told by Emilie that the USA was not destroyed by a nuclear war. Emily is ready to help the family, without father, to escape and gives them the car key.

After having seen the Indians watch mass on TV while the Spellgood’s were watching  a puppet show on their  TV in their parlour, Allie  blows up  Guampu’s generator and plane. Mr. Spellgood calls Allie a „Communistas“ „Satanas“ and hurts him  very badly with his shotgun.

The family, in complete grip of fear, together with the dying father, is  going downstream. The father who is alone on the boat with the sleeping twins manages to get out of it on all fours and when they find him on the sand the vultures are already attacking him.The Mosquito Coast5


The children and the mother have managed to come out of this fire but can they stop burning?

Click on the following link and you can see my worksheet concerning active and passive sentences in connection with this story. Perhaps you can create more such sentences with the summary.ACTIVE-PASSIVE

The following exercise about the passive and active you can correct online.

This is the summary of the story as a worksheet:THE MOSQUITO COAST

Here is my PREZI with some questions and answers concerning this story:

 I add two trailers  of the film with Harrison Ford are here below. Should you want to watch it I wish you a good view!

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