Shayne Train

High-School Teacher, Curriculum Leader

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Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

I first read Day of the Triffids when I was in my teens. I fell in love with John Wyndham and read more of his books. The cover was the basic Penguin version - a green/orange background and textured white folliage - the artist's idea of a triffid, a large plant with a taste for flesh.

The cover never sparked any kind of reaction in me, and I actually prefered that because I had a healthy imagination and could imagine my own version of the sinister plant.

I recently noticed by kids reading the book. Right before I signed up for this course, as a matter of fact. I decided to re-read the book, approximately 45 years after I read it the first time. I was still fascinated with the book so I decided to use it for this class.

I was surprised to find lots of different covers existed for Day of the Triffids. I only remember this one. This version reflects some of the tension and fear of the protagonists's reality.

Here are a few more covers that I discovered on the web.

What I know about Triffids

  • they are carnivores
  • the are tall when full-sized, hovering over humans
  • they can move as desired, but lurch as they 'walk'
  • they lash out quickly and burn living beings
  • their poison kills
  • they are very strong - they can break down fences
  • they don't seem to have an odour because the blind don't know that they are there

I always felt that triffids were related to venus fly traps . The second image is a Cobra Lily Pitcher Fly Trap. Both images are rather horrific. They are good resources for this project.

I found this fascinating plant while surfing around. The link is: www.botany.org/Carnivorous_Plants/  and this one appeals to me - it's very frightening. Although in the book, people are aware that triffids eat flesh but feel that they've tamed them and look at them as decorative, so maybe it's too over the top. This plant, the cephalotus follicularis, is also a low-growing plant and triffids are tall.

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