What does Jesus’ disciple John have in common with Napoleon Bonaparte? I suppose the image below gives it away, but, yes, they were both exiled—banished from the homes and countries they loved.

John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos in AD 95 during Roman persecution of Christians. While banished to the island, John wrote the book of Revelation. Vistas of the Mediterranean Sea may be beautiful from there, but the island itself is only 30 square miles and very rocky and sterile.

Napoleon Bonaparte, the former emperor of France after the French Revolution, was actually exiled twice. The first time, he was banished in 1814 to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean, where he eventually escaped, gathered supporters back in Paris, and named himself emperor again. After the disastrous Battle of Waterloo in 1815, he was again exiled, this time to Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean in 1815, where he died in 1821 of either stomach troubles or poisoning.

MIDDLE SCHOOL WRITING PROMPT: Many famous people have been exiled. If you were exiled, what location would you choose? How would you return?

Author Victor Hugo was exiled for political reasons first to the island of Jersey and then to the nearby island of Guernsey (I’m sensing a cow theme here) off the coast of France in 1855, where he wrote Les Misérables. You can see beautiful pictures of his house and environs here.

Now it’s your turn: If you were exiled, where would you like to end up? What is the reason for your exile? How long will you remain there? How will you return or escape? Write down your ideas as if it were you who is banished. Or write a story of yourself or someone who is banished.

Copyright © 2016 by Sharon Watson
Photo credit: graphicstock.com
Image credit: Sharon Watson

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