"The Moustache" by Robert Cormier
pg. 584 - 591
Notes by Mr. Oncay, Language Arts
(584) POINT OF VIEW: first person - "I had to go to lawnrest" The main
(585) SIMILE: "like a one man firing squad" The mother inspects like a
fiiring squad before he goes to see his grandmother.
(585) CHARACTERIZATION: speech "..I mean..." He chooses speech
patterns typical of a teenager.
(585) Mike has to visit his grandmother. His mother disapproves
of his moustache. She has a shadow across her face when she
thinks of the grandmother, demonstrating her thoughts about the
grandmother's ability to recognize Mike.
(585) IDIOM: "for crying out loud" - A saying that denotes surprise
(585) "arteriosclerosis" - hardening of the arteries
(585) IDIOM: "barrel along" - to go quickly and recklessly
(585) PERSONIFICATION: "stagger up to 50" - the station wagon can
barely drive 50 while the Le Mans is much faster.
(585) "ether" - a chemical anesthetic (old-fashioned)
(586) - Mike dreads the nursing home, but guilt about his
grandmother's birthday and Christmas gifts makes him get out of
the car and go in alone.
(586) "antiseptic" - anti - bacterial
(586) SIMILE: "like some kind of wax museum" - The old people seem
like wax figures.
(586) SIMILE: "as if I were a window" - A pretty girl looks right through
Mike, which is typical for him.
(586) SIMILE: "like the side of a mountain" - The faces of Ethel
Barrymore and Mike's grandmother both contain many crevices.
(586) SIMILE: "like syrup being poured" - Their voices are smooth and
(587) SIMILE: "The years had worn away the roughness of her hands"
like wind wears about the stones.
(587) SIMILE: "like a caress" - Her voice is like a soft touch.
(587) -Mike's grandmother seems delusional.
(587) "regarded" - looked at
(587) "chesterfield" - an old-fashioned overcoat (smoking jacket)
(589) SIMILE: "like a label on her face" - The attendant wears patients
clearly in her expression.
(589) SIMILE: "like parentheses marks" - The grandmother rests her face
in her fingers.
(589) - Mike discovers that his grandmother is mistaking him for
his grandfather, also names mike. She describes Mike's taste for
finer things, including a baby grand piano.
(589) "feeble" - weak; fragile
(589) CHARACTERIZATION: thoughts - "becaues of what could happen
to her" - Mike shows sympathy about his grandmother's condition and
doesn't want to break her heart.
(589) METAPHOR: "her voice a lullaby"
(590) SIMILE: "as a candle" - Her finger is long and thin like a candle.
(590) Nana reveals a guilty conscience about accusing Mike's
grandfather of fooling around with another woman, but she was
(591) SIMILE: "like a leaf" - Her cheek was dry like a leaf.
(591) "deafening" - so loud that it overwhelms other sounds
(591) Mike forgives her using the pretense that he is his
grandfather. He then rushes home tyring to forget his
grandmother's sorrow. He shaves off his moustache as a way of
escaping those feelings.