The Hypnotist Resources

The Hypnotist    by Laurence Anholt

 

 

Author’s website

www.anholt.org

 

Useful websites

BBC Bitesize History Civil Rights Movement

Black History Month website

Great Expectations Plot Summary (Wikipedia)

PTSD

About Hypnosis from Psychology Today

Films / videos / You Tube

Strange Fruit by Billie Holliday

Martin Luther King Speech

 Great Expectations (1946 film), a British film directed by David Lean

Activities

Hannah writes poems and songs based upon her environment. Write poems about your locality and how it has shaped you.

Display of Native American Traditional tales

Discussion Questions

What did you already know about the Civil Rights Movement in America? Had you heard about the Klu Klux Klan? When did you realise that this was set in the 1960s? Does it feel relevant to today?

Do you think people’s attitudes to black people in America have changed or is it still a problem? Does race still define us?

Why is the book Great Expectations so important to Pip? Have you heard of this book? (Read out wiki if no one knows it) Have you read it? Can you see similarities between Dickens’ book and Anholt’s book? Why do you think he has done this?

In the book, characters communicate in different ways (e.g. Hannah doesn’t speak but instead sings). (p117) What other ways do people communicate (e.g. body language, sign language)?

What do you think consent means (permission for something to happen or agreement to do something)? Can you see occasions in the book where consent was or was not given? (e.g. Pip being taken to then removed from the orphanage, the Native American Hannah has no choice about working for Mr Zachary, Pip checks with Lily-Belle before he washes and cares for her, Pip doesn’t consent initially to the Hypnotist before he is hypnotised). NB: This can lead onto discussion about consent – Erwin being hypnotised against his will and Hannah’s attack!

Jack is an outsider which gives him a different perspective to the other characters in the book. He is shocked by what he sees. Is there anything in our society that would surprise or shock someone ‘alien’ to our society? (e.g. eating animals)

Do you see Erwin as a villain or a victim? (Link to discussion about PTSD)

Compare and discuss how Erwin treats Hannah, the dog and Pip.

Did you find the way the book was written made it difficult to read?

When do you think the way that Black people were treated changed in America (and elsewhere)? Has the way BME people are treated really changed?

Power is a big theme in the book, physical, mental power (hypnosis) and the way people are treated. Did you feel your attitudes to the characters changed as you learnt how much power they had and how they used it?

It’s the White people who have the bombs in the trucks in the story – do you think this is a true depiction of what happened at the time?

Book Suggestions

Charles Dickens Great Expectations

Sam Hepburn  Chasing the Dark

Tony Johnston Bone by Bone by Bone

Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird

Mary Ann Rodman Yankee Girl

Robin Talley The Lies We Tell Ourselves