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Monsters are Due on Maple Street

Teleplay: The script of a television show. Includes stage directions, props, and unlike a
play, camera angles.

   1. Describe a typical suburban town (suburban towns are towns like Billerica that are
      outside of major cities).

   2. How does fear affect your decisions?

   3. What does this quote mean “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”? (Mega
      bonus- who said it?)

   4. What is a scapegoat?

   5. Translate this. Is he right?
"Sometimes I ain't so sho who's got him a right to say a man is crazy and when he ain't.
Sometimes I think there ain't none of us pure crazy and ain't none of us pure sane until the
balance of us talks him that-a-way. It's like it ain't so much what a fellow does, but it's the
way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it."
                            From As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
Read the statement. Decide whether you agree or disagree and explain.

   1. Life exists on other planets. Yes ________ No ______

   2. If something catastrophic were to happen, neighbors would stick together.
Yes _________ No _______

   3. It is human nature to need to blame someone when something goes wrong.
Yes _________ No ______

   4. People behave differently than they normally would when they are under extreme
   Yes _________ No _______

   5. People may do things they later regret when they react quickly out of fear.
Name _____________________________________ Date ______

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street- Act 1, Scene 1

Directions: Write your answers in complete sentences on a separate piece of paper.

   1. Reread the stage directions on page 357. Describe the kind of neighborhood this is.

   2. Reread pages 358-359. List all of the strange occurrences that have happened.

   3. Who is Tommy?

   4. What does Tommy think is happening?

   5. Why do the adults listen to Tommy? This is an inference. Think about the situation
      and what is happening with people’s emotions.

   6. Who is Les?

   7. Why are people suspicious of Les? (There are 2 reasons- reread page 361-363.)

Debating and making inferences:

   1. How does the mood change from the beginning to the end of the scene? How do you
      know it changes? (Make sure you look both at stage directions and dialogue)
   2. How is the neighborhood reacting to the situation? Do you believe most people
      would behave this way? Explain.
   3. Is there any evidence to suggest that Les is a “real oddball”? How do his neighbors
      validate this claim? Do you buy it?
   4. Do you think an individual alone would have become as frightened in this situation
      as the crowd has become? Is there something about being a part of a crowd that
      makes the situation worse?
   5. What do you think will happen to Les?
   6. What do you think is really going on in the neighborhood?
   7. What do you think the author is saying about the way people tend to behave?
      Name _________________________________________________ Date______

       Act 2, scene 1
Directions: Write your answers in complete sentences on a separate piece of paper.

      1. What character seems uneasy about the accusations against Les? Why is she

      2. Why does Les look at the stars at night?

      3. Why do the other neighbors start accusing Steve of being up to something?

      4. What does Steve mean when he says to Charlie, “How come you’re so dense all of
         a sudden?” on page 365?

      5. Steve says, “You’re standing here all set to crucify—all set to find a scapegoat—
         all desperate to point some kind of finger at a neighbor! Well now, look, friends,
         the only thing that’s going to happen is that we’ll eat each other alive—“ (365).

          What is he saying?

      6. Who does Charlie kill?

      7. How does Charlie react when he realizes who he killed?

      8. Each neighbor is quick to blame someone else in order to prevent getting blamed
         themselves. Can you think of any moments in history when this has happened
         too? (Think Salem…)

      9. Do you think Charlie really believes that Tommy is a monster? Explain.

      Who would make a better leader, Charlie or Steve? Support your answer with
      evidence from the selection (and be prepared to actually debate your point).
       Name _______________________________________ Date _____

       Act 2, scene 2

Directions: Write your answers in complete sentences on a separate piece of paper.

       1. What is the aliens’ strategy to destroy humans?
       2. Do you think their strategy truly would be the most effective way to attack us?
          Explain. (Take this seriously- don’t give a weird, irrelevant answer.)
       3. Who do you think behaved more like monsters- the humans or the aliens?
       4. Why do you think the author chose Maple Street as the setting for the play?

Act 2, scene 3

The narrator delivers a final warning. He says:

       The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and
   fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices—to be found
   only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy.
   A thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own for the
   children… and the children yet unborn, (a pause) and the pity of it is…that these things
   cannot be confined to…The Twilight Zone!

   1. With your group, break down this passage line by line and write down what it

   2. Then, determine what the theme of the play is (using this final passage to support
      your answer.)

   3. Finally, determine what kind of warning or prediction the author is offering. Feel
      free to use examples from history to support the authors ascertains and why he may
      be concerned by human actions and behavior.

**This is a DISCUSSION based activity. These are difficult questions- if you arrive at
an answer really quickly you have not looked at the issue through enough angles.
Use the text and YOUR EXPERIENCES AND KNOWLEDGE to answer these questions.

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