Chapter 28 – The Plankton Factory
On the hover craft to the plankton factory, the boys must continue working. Fidelito gets motion sickness and throws up in the bag of plastic strips for sandals. Chacho and Matt have to clean the aircraft and the bag of strips, but they don't ask Fidelito to help because he is too sick.
A new keeper, Carlos, gives the boys a tour of the Plankton factory. Plankton is harvested from the Gulf of California and turned into a variety of foods. The waste flowing from the Colorado river has been diverted back to "Dreamland." Salt is also harvested. The factory is incredibly smelly and the climate is very hot.
Carlos has been informed that Matt is an "aristocrat." The boys are required to recite the Five Principles of Good Citizenship and Four Attitudes Leading to Right-Mindfulness before meals. The boys are told that Plankton is most delicious when shared by all.
The boys (Fidelito, Chacho, Matt) are punished with no food when Matt asks Carlos to points out the hypocrisy of the boys having to walk and Carlos is riding around in an electric cart (and also refuses to take Fidelito back). When Chacho and Matt try to apologize to Fidelito, he responds by saying "You're my compadres! Crot Carlos! Crot the Keepers!"
- Why was Matt’s work quota double the other boys?
- What happened at age 18?
- What other two boys went with Matt to the factory?
- Who is Matt describing when saying “They couldn’t seem to relax unless they had total control” (p. 278)?
- Create a bubble map to describe the setting the boys find themselves?
- What is the symbolism of the emblem of a beehive on the keepers’ uniforms?
- What is Plankton? Why are they harvesting it?
- What will prevent escape?
- Is their equality at the Plankton Factory – do the guards follow the same principles taught to the boys?
- What happened to the Colorado River and Gulf of California?
- Why was Fidelito and his grandmother not allowed to leave the refugee camp?
- Why were the boys denied dinner?