Skellig, Essential Revision Notes

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Table of Contents

Skellig by David Almond 4

Section 1: Synopsis 4

Section 2: Close Reading 5

Section 3: Important Questions and Answers 8

Section 4: The Writer’s Intention 11

Skellig by David Almond

Section 1: Synopsis

"I found him in the garage on a Sunday afternoon. It was the day after we moved into Falconer Road. The winter was ending. Mum had said we'd be moving just in time for the spring. Nobody else was there. Just me. The others were inside the house with Dr. Death, worrying about the baby.”


Our narrator is a young lad named Michael, and his story begins when his family moves to their new house in the English countryside. Michael's "mum" has recently given birth to a baby girl. An air of concern surrounds baby's health. Something about her isn't right, but no one is talking about it. Michael longs for his old school pals Leakey and Coot. The new house is a fixer-upper; its former owner was found sprawled under the kitchen table a week after he'd fallen over dead. No one is smiling, except the real estate agent. He tells them, "You have to see it with your mind's eye." He has the right idea for the wrong reason.


Michael is an acute observer of his surroundings, and this is why it is he who discovers Skellig desiccating in the cobwebs of the ramshackle garage at their new house. Skellig is pallid, squalid, and apparently too weak to stand or move about without assistance; curled up in his filthy overcoat, he reminds us of a derelict wino. He has been mouldering in the dust for some time.


The discovery of Skellig introduces the first theme of the story. Skellig is not easily defined; Michael is beginning to realize the complexity of the world that he is growing into. Skellig, Michael's parents, Dr. Death, the baby, even the people on the bus: "I thought how you could never tell just by looking at them what they were thinking or what was happening in their lives.” He too, is anonymo...

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