The Big 5: Tools To Have In YOUR Bag PLOT SETTING CHARACTEIZATION POINT OF VIEW THEME Characterization Characterization – are the various means by which an author describes and develops the character in a literary work. Flat character – type of character defined by a single idea or quality. Round character – type of character defined by the complexity of real people. Direct characterization – the author explicitly presents or comments on the characters. Indirect characterization – the author creates characters through representations of their actions, statements, thoughts, and feelings. Dialogue – the conversation that takes place between characters in a literary work. Before the End of Summer: EXPOSITION/ Basic Situation Takes place in the early 1900s, summer time, in a rural farming community; probably Winchester, Tennessee. FYI: Background Information – At the time of the story, many homes had no electricity or running water. Telephones and cars were not common, and television did not exist yet. Houses were far apart, and neighbors depended on one another for help, information, and company. Children in these areas had not only a great amount of personal freedom but also much responsibility. Children often had to care for younger brothers and sisters, tend the livestock, and do other household chores. – In the early 1900s, African Americans had limited employment opportunities. As a result, many worked in the homes or on the land of wealthier white families. Friends or relatives cared for their children, since daycare did not exist. Parents who were day workers returned to their children each night, but parents who worked as live-in help saw their children only on their days off. Before the End of Summer: EXPOSITION/ Characters • Protagonist – Bennie • Young boy (age 10) who is sensitive and has a strong emotional connection to his grandmother. He shows his immaturity in running away from the house, yet he shows maturity in later controlling his emotions and deciding to keep his grandmother’s secret. – Mrs. Hannah (Grannie) • Bennie’s wrinkled grandmother (age 84), who is strong and independent, facing death without telling her family; she is a good friend; she loves her family. • From the background information (EXPOSITION) of the conversation between Bennie’s grandmother and the Doctor, it reveals she has no close relatives except Birdie and her grandson, her husband and her other children have been dead for a long time, and her best friend is May Mathis. We learn she is very ill and suffering from a heart condition. • As the story progresses (RISING ACTION), Grannie’s character is revealed as being strict, even harsh, with Bennie and expects him always to be polite and respectful. She is wise, and her religious faith has helped her through life’s difficulties. Grannie wants her daughter and grandson to be happy after she dies. • Grannie is rumored to have “Indian blood in her veins, for she had high cheekbones and her nose was long and straight, but her mouth was big.” “Her eyes seemed as though they were buried way back in her head, in a mass of wrinkles.” “She was a big woman, and she wore long full skirts that came all the way to the ground.” Before the End of Summer: EXPOSITION/ Characters • Protagonist (continued) – Birdie • Bennie’s mother • At one point in the story she wore a “pretty blue-flowered dress and a big wide- brimmed black straw hat with red roses around its crown and a black ribbon that fell over the brim and down her back.” – Dr. Frazier • Old fashioned doctor with a black bag for house calls, drives a horse drawn buggy. He was a little man, “with a skin that was almost black.” – Mrs. May Mathis • Grannie’s best friend. – The Fieldses • The white family Bennie’s mother works for. • Antagonist – Society (White vs. African American) – Philomena • The author used physical description to help reveal her personality. Her “sharp” face and eyes “that went everywhere” signal her negative trait of being a nosy busybody. “Yellow hair in two braids.” Before the End of Summer: RISING ACTION/ Complications How does Bennie view death? – He views it in terms of a funeral. How do you know Bennie has been to funerals before? – He seems to know what happens after someone dies. He must have seen at least one funeral to be able to describe it. How does the description of Bennie’s activities help make the story’s SETTING vivid and realistic? – His activities emphasize the simplicity, peace and quiet, and slow pace of the rural setting. How does May’s death seem to effect Grannie? – Grannie seems weakened physically and emotionally and this may hasten her own death. Why does Bennie dread the moment when May’s casket is opened? How would YOU fell in Bennie’s situation? – Bennie may be afraid of seeing a body in a coffin, especially of someone he knows. He may realize that this will be the last time he will see May. – If you have not been to an open-casket funeral, seeing the deceased for a final time is a sad and uncomfortable experience. Before the End of Summer: RISING ACTION/ Complications How does the author show that the death of Bennie’s grandmother is getting nearer when she has another attack? (RISING ACTION) – This attack is more serious; she is forced to ask for Bennie’s help with her medicine and her shoes. How would YOU identify Bennie’s feelings about his mother’s engagement to Mr. Bailey and imagine how they would feel in his position? – You may feel Bennie’s reluctance to share his mother with Mr. Bailey although he likes him and knows that his mother is happy. How does the author increase the reader’s suspense just before the story’s CLIMAX? (RISING ACTION) – The reader experiences the long, slow day along with Bennie. As the ordinary, daily events unfold, then tension and the reader’s anticipation grow. The reader knows there will be an abrupt end to the peace. Before the End of Summer: RISING ACTION/ Conflicts Internal (Bennie vs. Self) • Now that Bennie knows his grandmother’s secret, how does he feel about her? – He loves her very much, but now that he knows she is dying, he feels the kind of distance from her that he feels toward authority figures like teachers or preachers. • The events add to the gradually RISING ACTION of the story. Consider how Bennie feels when he returns to the house and finds his grandmother unwell? – Bennie knows his grandmother has had another attack because he sees her pills and she does not have her usual strength. When she does not die from the attack, he feels hopeful that she will not die after all. Most students will understand more than Bennie does, that this attack is just another along the road toward death. External (Bennie vs. Society) • What can YOU infer about the nature of relations among the white people and the African Americans in this story? – Although the groups seem cordial toward one another, there is a lack of trust and a lack of genuine friendship, Bennie’s mother and grandmother laugh at the Fieldses behind their backs. Miss Marion patronizes Bennie by calling him “the prettiest colored child” and by assuming that he will want to work for her family when he is older. • Do you feel Bennie’s comments to Philomena are justified? – YOU may feel that Philomena’s rude comments about Bennie’s mother justify Bennie’s response. Or YOU may feel that Bennie should laugh them off, ignore them, or respond in some other way. Before the End of Summer: CLIMAX Climax – Bennie’s Grannie passes away. – Why does Bennie decide to stay with his grandmother at her death instead of going for help? • Bennie instinctively understands that his grandmother does not want to die alone. FYI: Heart Attack – A heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks a coronary artery. A coronary artery is a blood vessel in the heart. The part of the heart that is supplied by blood from the artery receives too little oxygen and becomes damaged and begins to die if blood flow is not increased. People who are having a heart attack usually feel a dull, crushing ache in the chest. Sometimes people also feel dizzy or have indigestion. Other people have no warning symptoms at all. Foreshadowing – an author’s use of clues that hint at events that will occur later in the PLOT. – How does the SETTING and the weather foreshadow the end of the story? • Bennie’s grandmother had been told she will die before the end of the summer. The author uses vivid imagery to describe summer’s peak in mid-August, indicating the passing of time and the nearness of summer’s end. The storm foreshadows the catastrophic events to come for Bennie’s family. – The falling of the sturdy, old oak tree foreshadows Grannie’s death, as does the coming of the cool wind. Mrs. May foreshadows her own death when she tells Grannie about her illness and says, “sometimes I think my time ain’t long.” Before the End of Summer: RESOLUTION Falling Action – The time that Bennie sat with his grandmother after she dies, before he goes to get his mother. Resolution – Bennie accepts that his grandmother is dead. He walks then runs to the Fieldses. At this time, Bennie was figuring out how to tell his mother his grandmother is dead. FYI: Cultural Note – Special ceremonies when burying the dead have been performed for over 60,000 years. Graves of Neanderthals contain tools, weapons, and even flowers. The ancient Egyptians embalmed the dead, creating what we call mummies. Food, jewels, and other goods were placed in tombs, some of which were pyramids. Some Native American groups placed their dead on high platforms. Allusion – a reference to a work of literature to a character, place, or situation from another work of literature, music, or art, or from history. – Page 34 “Don’t you get drowned like old Pharaoh’s army.” – In the Bible, Israelites leaving Egypt are pursued by Pharaoh’s army to the edge of the Red Sea. There, God (through Moses) divides the water to allow the Israelites to cross on dry land and then closes it, drowning Pharaoh’s men. Before the End of Summer: Literary Elements Point of View – the relationship of the narrator to the story. – The third-person limited point of view contributes to the description of Bennie’s mother’s relationship with Mr. Joe Bailey. • Third-person limited point of view – the narrator reveals the thoughts, feelings, and observations of only one character, referring to that character as “he” or “she.” • The reader (YOU) should see the relationship through the ten-year-old Bennie’s eyes and is amused by his lack of understanding of why his mother wants to spend time alone with Mr. Bailey. Dialogue – conversation between characters in a literary work. – The conversation between Bennie’s grandmother and May provides insight into their friendship. – They are very comfortable with each other; they commiserate with and comfort each other as they face aging, getting ill, and dying. Before the End of Summer: Literary Elements Theme – the main idea or message of a literary work. – Bennie learns that he can face something that frightens him even though it makes him very sad. – What message is found in the author’s depiction of the way the community deals with the death of one of its members? • The author indicates that friends and relatives are essential supports in coming to terms with one’s own death and that of a loved one. – What is Bennie’s response when his grandmother is finally dying? How does he surprise himself and his grandmother with his response? How does he help his grandmother die peacefully? What has he learned about himself and about death? • His grandmother is shocked to know that he has known she is dying all along and is glad to have him with her when she dies. She is able to say goodbye and tell him to be good. Simile – a figure of speech using “like” or “as” to compare seemingly unlike things. – Page 36 “The quiet that lay about him felt like a nice clean sheet you pull over your head before you go to sleep at night that shuts out everything to make a space both warm and cool just for you.” – The simile describes the quiet day. The quietness is “both warm and cool” like “a nice clean sheet.” Before the End of Summer: Literary Elements Symbolism – an object, a person, a place, or an experience that represents something else, usually something abstract. – The Big Oak Tree • The tree was on the land when Bennie’s grandmother first moved there. It has blown down in the storm at the end of the summer, symbolizing the grandmother’s death, which will also occur at the end of the summer. YOU might draw a parallel between the strength and longevity in the family. As Grannie observed, only “The Lord” could bring it – and by implication, her – to their ends. – “The End of Summer” • This phrase symbolizes the end of Grannie’s life and the end of boyhood innocence for Bennie. Imagery – is the “word pictures” that writers use to help evoke an emotional response in readers. – “Wind” • To which senses (your 5 senses) do the images appeal? What importance do the winds have to the PLOT of the story? – The images appeal to the senses of sight and touch. They indicate that summer, and therefore Bennie’s grandmother’s life, is coming to an end. Characterization Characterization – are the various means by which an author describes and develops the character in a literary work. Flat character – type of character defined by a single idea or quality. Round character – type of character defined by the complexity of real people. Direct characterization – the author explicitly presents or comments on the characters. Indirect characterization – the author creates characters through representations of their actions, statements, thoughts, and feelings. Dialogue – the conversation that takes place between characters in a literary work. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: EXPOSITION/ Basic Situation The story takes place in Waterbury, Connecticut, a suburb of New York City. It is winter, sometime after World War I. FYI: Background Information – This story includes a person’s daydreams about heroic real-life situations, but many of the details of these situations are invented. For example, one daydream includes an eight-engine Navy hydroplane, but there is no such thing. Its commander orders full strength from the turrets to get out of a storm, but turrets are structures on which guns rotate; they have nothing to do with engine power. Other fractured facts include a medical diagnosis of obstreosis in the ductal tract – a disease that cannot afflict humans in a part of the body that doesn’t even exist, and a reference to a 50.80 caliber pistol, which in reality would be bigger than a cannon! The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: EXPOSITION/ Characters • Protagonist – Walter Mitty • Mitty is afraid of his wife. He lacks self-esteem and wants to be respected and admired. In daydreams, he receives more than his share. • Antagonist – Mrs. Walter Mitty (wife) • Orders her husband around, treats him like a child, causing him to retreat into his daydreams. – Dr. Renshaw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: RISING ACTION/ Complications Note the contrast between Mitty’s interior dialogue and that with his wife. How does the author reveal the sharp division between Mitty in his real life and Mitty in his imagined life? What is the relationship of Mitty and his wife? – Note how the glove detail expands our idea of Mitty’s character. Mitty responds with guilty fright as though the police officer is an extension of his wife, catching him in his tiny act of rebellion. We now know how absolute her control over him is and how “aimless” Mitty is when released from her clutches. – Not a husband/wife relationship more like a mother/child relationship. The glimpse into Mitty’s thought process about a real event is an opportunity to guide YOU in drawing conclusions about what Mitty thinks of his true abilities. – I know Mitty dreams that other people admire his skills. However, his wife and the police officer treated him like a child. When he can’t put the chains on the car, he decides to pretend he is injured and can’t do it rather than learn how to do it properly. I think that Mitty believes he is incompetent and only wants to avoid being humiliated. – Mitty wants respect, to be treated like everyone else, not to be humiliated or bullied. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: RISING ACTION/ Complications There is no such thing as a “Webley-Vickers 50.80.” Why does Thurber put so much nonsense into Mitty’s fantasy dialogue. – It contrasts with the heroic, commanding tone and context of the daydreams reminds the reader (YOU) that Mitty is making all this up. Thurber contrasts the drama of the courtroom scene with the “puppy biscuit” scene that follows, with hilarious effects. Note the details that allow YOU to visualize both scenes vividly, and to see how beautifully balanced the scenes are. – The uproar of the courtroom vs. the quiet of the street in Waterbury, the “lovely, dark- haired girl” who throws herself into Mitty’s arms vs. the woman who laughs at him in passing for saying “puppy biscuits,” Mitty’s heroic testimony vs. his inane order for “biscuit for small, young dogs.” By now, YOU are probably comfortable with moving back and forth between Mitty’s real life and his fantasy world. What happens to Mitty between the first and second paragraph in the second column of page 119? What punctuation separates the two paragraphs? – In one paragraph, he is looking at magazine pictures of war planes. In the next paragraph, he is a captain in World War I. The paragraphs are separated by ellipses. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: RISING ACTION/ Conflicts Internal (Mitty vs. Self) – Mitty compensates not having respect, by living in his fantasies. External (Mitty vs. Wife) – Mitty struggles to avoid his wife’s nagging and controlling. Daydreams offer a temporary escape but invariably make him less in control of his life and heighten the CONFLICT. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: CLIMAX/ RESOLUTION Climax – The “ah-ha” is when Mrs. Mitty finally finds Walter hidden in a chair of the hotel lobby. Falling Action – The last daydream of the “firing squad.” Resolution – Unresolved. – Mrs. Mitty is still going to mistreat Mr. Mitty. All the while Mitty keeps taking what she dishes out. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: Literary Elements Point of View – the relationship of the narrator to the story. • Third-person limited point of view – the narrator reveals the thoughts, feelings, and observations of only one character, referring to that character as “he” or “she.” – The reader (YOU) should see the relationship between Walter and his wife. We experience Walter’s daydreams along with him. Theme – the main idea or message of a literary work. – How well does Mitty “fill the void” of the need for respect and self-respect by day- dreaming? • Not only is his marriage unhappy, Walter seems bored and fills that void with his day dreams. – How effective have YOU found daydreaming to be in changing your attitudes and interactions in the real world around YOU? • Everyone daydreams and no one likes to be humiliated or bullied. However, few people want to admit to their weakness. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: Literary Elements Dialogue – is the conversation that takes place between characters in a literary work. – Writers use dialogue to reveal characters’ personalities and traits. – Remember Mitty’s interior dialogue vs. that spoken out loud with everyone else. Transitions – words, phrases, punctuation that lead the reader (YOU) into the next paragraph. – If YOU had trouble making a smooth transition from Mitty’s real world to his daydream world, note Thurber’s use of ellipses to separate the two. Other clues are the abrupt switch from orders to flattery in dialogue and from flat to melodramatic description. Irony – a contrast between appearance and reality. – Situational Irony – exists when the actual outcome of a situation is the opposite of what is expected. – In his fantasies, Mitty is aweinspiring and universally admired. Ironically, his actual character is the exact opposite. Point of View Point of View – the vantage point from which the story is told. First-person – the narrator is a character in the story and knows only his or her own thoughts and experiences. Third-person – the narrator is someone outside the story. Third-person Omniscient – the narrator stands outside the story but knows and sees all and comments on the action. Third-person Limited Omniscient – the narrator relates the thoughts and feelings of only one character. Third-person Camera View – is seeing and recording the action from a neutral or unemotional point of view. The Gift of the Magi: EXPOSTION/ Basic Situation This story takes place in New York City around 1900. Most of the action occurs in the main characters’ dingy, inexpensive flat (apartment). The story begins on the afternoon of Christmas Eve and ends shortly after 7:00 p.m. on the same day. FYI: Allusion – a reference to a work of literature to a character, place, or situation from another work of literature, music, or art, or from history. – According to the gospel of Matthew in the New Testament of the Bible, the Magi were the three wise men who came from the East to visit the newborn baby Jesus. The Magi brought precious gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the child. Over time, the Magi have come to be associated with the practice of giving gifts. Hence, the tradition Christmas gift giving. The Gift of the Magi: EXPOSTION/ Characters • Protagonist – Mrs. James Dillingham Young (Della) • Della is a slender young woman with long, thick, and shiny brown hair, falling in gentle waves. • She is thoughtful, naïve, and loves her husband. – Mr. James Dillingham Young (Jim) • Jim owns a fob (pocket) watch. • He is a hardworking provider and loves his wife. • Antagonist – Madam Sofronie • 1900’s hair dresser “Hair Goods of All Kinds” FYI: A Fob Chain – On page 10 is an illustration of a fob chain. This chain is attached to a pocket watch and worn hanging from a waist coat pocket. The Gift of the Magi: RISING ACTION/ Complications Why might the narrator be describing the vestibule? – The narrator describes the vestibule to show that the apartment building is in disrepair; the couple cannot afford a nicer apartment. Page 8 What do you know about Jim and Della so far? – Jim earns $20.00 a week but formerly earned $30.00 a week. Della is a frugal homemaker. They appear to be quite fond of each other. Page 9 What does the view from the window look like? – It is a cloud-covered day in which everything, including the cat, appears gray and dingy. What do you think Della is going to do? – Della is going to get her hair cut, in hopes of selling it. Remember Della only has $1.87 saved up to spend on Jim’s Christmas present. Page 10 How do you feel about Della and what she did for Jim? – Della was demonstrating her love for Jim by sacrificing her hair. OR, Della was giving up too much in order to give Jim a present. The Gift of the Magi: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 11 What do you think Jim might be thinking? What other emotions might account for Jim’s “peculiar expression” besides the ones listed? Page 12 What do you think will be in the package? – From the description, YOU will likely conclude that the gift will have something to do with Della’s hair. You might think it is some type of hair ornament – perhaps ribbons, a hair band, barrettes, combs, or a comb and brush set. Page 13 Why does Della say: “My hair grows so fast, Jim!” – Della says this to remind Jim – and herself – that she will be able to use the treasured combs before long. – Jim gave Della tortoise shell combs, and she gave him a platinum fob chain. FYI: Combs – On page 13 is an illustration of a comb. This comb is designed both to fasten and adorn a woman’s hair. Ordinary combs are used only to smooth and arrange hair. The Gift of the Magi: RISING ACTION/ Conflicts Internal Conflict (Della vs. Self) – Della has to deal with her emotions to decide how she is going to get Jim’s Christmas present. • How is she going to get enough money? Internal Conflict (Jim vs. Self) – Jim has to deal with his emotions to decide how he is going to get Della’s Christmas present. (as readers we assume he has the same problem) • Where did he get enough money? The Gift of the Magi: CLIMAX/ RESOLUTION Climax – When Della and Jim realize that their most prized possessions are gone. (sold her hair and his watch) Falling Action – The gifts were wonderful because they enhance the most valued possessions of the couple; they are awful because the valued possessions were given up to purchase the gifts. – They put their gifts away and save them for another time. • Neither one can use their gifts at the present time anyway. (she has no long hair and he has no watch) Resolution – The story is memorable because of the surprise ending or because the characters were willing to give up their most prized possessions to enhance the prized possession of the other character. The Gift of the Magi: Literary Elements Point of View – refers to the relationship of the narrator to the story. – Third-person omniscient point of view – the narrator is not a character in the story, but someone who stands outside the story and comments on the action. • This type of narrator knows everything about the characters and the events and may reveal details that the characters themselves could not reveal. • Page 10 How does the narrator use this technique of addressing YOU (the reader) directly? – “Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends” is an example. The technique helps involve YOU (the reader) directly in the story – almost as though YOU and the narrator were observing and commenting on Della’s activity together. (Like ghosts.) • Examples of Third-person point of view: – She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. – She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity to love. – Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. The Gift of the Magi: Literary Elements Theme – the main idea or message of a literary work. – Learn about generosity and selflessness in love. – Learn how a young married couple discovers the true meaning of gift-giving. – Learn of personal sacrifice for the sake of another, which is still especially important today. Lesson or Moral? – That material possessions “gift” is not as important as your life “love.” – If you love someone do you need to give them a “material gift”? – The narrator says that people like Jim and Della are the wisest of gift-givers. Do you agree or disagree? Why? • Agree. Della and Jim gave gifts that they knew the other person would truly value. • Disagree. The true gift Della and Jim had for each other was love, which did not require them to sell possessions in order to buy material objects. • Both. The gift was a way to show selflessness, but they could of just enjoyed each other. The Gift of the Magi: Literary Elements Irony – refers to the contrast between appearance and reality. • One common characteristic of O. Henry’s stories is his use of irony. O. Henry’s stories often depend on situational irony to achieve their purposes. – Situational Irony – exists when the actual outcome of a situation is the opposite of what is expected to happen. • As in the ending of this story. – Verbal Irony – exists when a person says one thing and means another. • “I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut … that could make me like my girl any less.” – Dramatic Irony – exists when the reader knows something that a character in a story does not know. • Predicting that something is going to happen based on Jim’s behavior when he sees that Della has short hair. Metaphor – a figure of speech that compares or equates two or more things that have something in common. – “Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings” Simile – a figure of speech using like or as to compare seemingly unlike things. – “Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried” Point of View Point of View – the vantage point from which the story is told. First-person – the narrator is a character in the story and knows only his or her own thoughts and experiences. Third-person – the narrator is someone outside the story. Third-person Omniscient – the narrator stands outside the story but knows and sees all and comments on the action. Third-person Limited Omniscient – the narrator relates the thoughts and feelings of only one character. Third-person Camera View – is seeing and recording the action from a neutral or unemotional point of view. American History: EXPOSITION/ Basic Situation The story takes place in an urban neighborhood in Paterson, New Jersey, where the Puerto Rican tenement known as El Building is located. It is November 22, 1963, the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. FYI: Background Information – Most Americans who were alive in 1963 can remember exactly what they were doing when they learned that President Kennedy had been killed by an assassin’s bullet. Throughout the country, people from all walks of life reacted to the news with disbelief and deep sorrow. Kennedy – the youngest man to be elected President of the United States – was a dynamic, popular leader who energized the American people and instilled in them a sense of hope for the future. During his brief term, Kennedy urged Congress to pass sweeping civil rights legislation, saying, “…race has no place in American life or law.” His campaign slogan was “A Time for Greatness,” and many Americans believed Kennedy fulfilled this promise once he took office. American History: EXPOSITION American History: EXPOSITION/ Characters Protagonist – Elena • Suffers misery in a physically and psychologically cold environment. She is unhappy in Paterson and cling to dreams, which ironically “fairy tales,” never seeing her own infatuation as the same. • She wears glasses, 14 going on 15, in the 9th grade, and is thinner and less developed than the other girls. She feels humiliated by the other students and is a social outcast. Nicknamed “Skinny Bones.” American History: EXPOSITION/ Characters • Antagonist – Eugene • Tall, blond, wore glasses, read books, and nicknamed the “Hick.” He is a social outcast. • Contributes to Elena’s growing self-awareness and knowledge about the ways of the world. – Elena’ s Mother • Her vigilance and criticism set her up as the antagonist of Elena and her “love.” • She is unhappy in Paterson, clings to her dreams, and contributes to Elena’s growing self- awareness and knowledge about the ways of the world. – Eugene’s Mother • Her tone of voice (tiny and sweet-sounding, yet unfriendly) contributes to the understanding of racism. She does not want Eugene to get close to anyone, for they will not live in the area long. • She is unhappy in Paterson, clings to her dreams, is a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and contributes to Elena’s growing self-awareness and knowledge about the ways of the world. – Gail (leader of the African American girls) • Make fun of Elena. – Mr. DePalma • PE Coach and disciplinarian. American History: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 157 Why do you think Elena feels compelled to watch the neighbors? Page 157 Why does she read and put herself into the lives of her neighbors? – It is how she escapes from a reality that is too harsh. Page 158 What is revealed by Elena’s continuing to watch Eugene at night? Why doesn't she tell Eugene? – I know that Elena watched the old couple secretly and felt she was a part of their lives. I also know that Elena thinks of Eugene as being like her. Even though he has become a friend, she still depends on this “secret sharing.” – I think she must be unsure how real his friendship is. Since she fears rejection, she is unwilling to lose this fantasy that helps make her life more bearable. Page 159 Why does Elena like it that Eugene is also friendless and scorned? – He will have time to spend with her, and it gives them a common bond. American History: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 160 What does Mr. DePalma assume when the students giggle and laugh during his announcement? Why does he call them idiots and losers? – He has already been identified as a “disciplinarian” who handles the difficult students. To see him crying is so unusual that it unnerves the students, who respond by giggling and joking. He in turns assumes that they are laughing about President Kennedy’s assassination. Such outrageous behavior feeds his biases about teenagers and minorities. Page 161 Why does Elena’s reaction to the assassination contrasts sharply with her mother’s? What does Elena mean by “the right thing?” Page 161 YOU should easily see that Elena feels ashamed because she identifies with her ugly, poor building. Why is this a fallacy (mistaken belief)? – Your worth is not determined by your possessions. Page 161 YOU should have a clear picture of where Elena is and her new point of view on the house as well as Eugene’s mother. How would you describe Eugene’s mother? American History: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 162 What does Eugene’s mother say in her speech? – She doesn’t want Eugene associating with someone like Elena, especially because the family will be moving soon. – Note the irony that this message is filled with rudeness and racism is delivered in “a honey-drenched voice.” American History: RISING ACTION/ Conflict Internal (Elena vs. self) – Her growing self-awareness and knowledge about the ways of the world. External (Elena vs. society) – Suffering from prejudice and racism. American History: CLIMAX/ RESOLUTION Climax – Rebuffed by Eugene’s mother. Falling Action – Returns home to find her mother else where. Resolution – She cried herself to sleep, not for the President, but for herself. – Page 162 Notice the vocabulary term solace to evaluate the resolution of the story. Explain which characters need solace and suggest how each is likely to find it. • Definition 1 – transitive verb solaced; solacing (13c) 1: to give solace to: console 2a: to make cheerful 2b: AMUSE 3: ALLAY, SOOTH <~grief> - solacement – n. solacer • Definition 2 – noun [ME solas, fr. OF, fr. L solacium, from solari to console] (14c) 1: alleviation of grief or anxiety 2: a source of relief or consolation • Connotation – amuse, allay, sooth American History: Literary Elements Point of View – the vantage point from which the story is told. – First-person point of view – the narrator is a character in the story and knows only his or her own thoughts and experiences. • Elena is relating her thoughts and experiences of the day Kennedy died. Theme – the main idea or message of a literary work. – Elena longs for friendship, relief from the bleakness of her surroundings, and escape from the hostility of prejudice. Her mother and father long for their own home and suburban life. Ironically, Eugene’s mother longs for the same thing that Elena’s mother longs for. Eugene lacks friendship too. – Is Elena’s reaction to the loss of her friend and her dream typical of someone her age? What other responses, besides sorrow and withdrawal, have Elena and Eugene experienced or witnessed? American History: Literary Elements Irony – refers to the contrast between appearance and reality. – Situational Irony – exists when the actual outcome of a situation is the opposite of what is expected to happen. • Ironically, Eugene’s mother longs for the same thing. Eugene lacks friends too. – Verbal Irony – exists when a person says one thing and means another. • Eugene’s mother’s words filled with rudeness and racism is delivered in a “honey-drenched voice.” • “You live there? Listen. Honey. Eugene doesn’t want to study with you… Doesn’t need [your] help. You understand me. I am truly sorry if he told you you could come over. He cannot study with you…We won’t be in this place much longer, no need for him to get close to people – it’ll just make it harder for him later. Run back home now.” – Dramatic Irony – exists when the reader knows something that a character in a story does not know. • The reader figures out the foreshadowing clue stated by Elena’s mother; Elena will be hurt and humiliated if she goes to Eugene’s house. Foreshadowing – an author’s use of clues that hint at events that will occur later in the PLOT. Setting Setting is the background against which action takes place. (1) geographical location/ building location (2) the occupations/ daily manner of the character’s life (3) the time or period in which the action takes place (4) the general environment of the character(s) The Most Dangerous Game: EXPOSITION/ Basic Situation This story is set in the early 1920’s on a small, lush island in the Caribbean Sea, including the setting of the dense jungle, General Zaroff’s lavish home, and Death Swamp. – There is, first of all, the implausibility of the “mystery” of Ship-Trap Island. In the opening conversation between Whitney and Rainsford, we are given to believe that very little is known of this “God-forsaken place” – only vague superstitions and ominous legends. Yet when Rainsford visits the place, we find out that the island is equipped with electricity and that General Zaroff, in his immense, well –maintained chateau, serves soup with whipped cream, imports his clothes and his champagne from overseas, and smokes perfumed cigarettes. It clearly takes a community of thousands to run this place, and there must be constant commerce between it and the rest of the world. FYI: Background Information – Long before the world became aware that many species of wild animals were seriously endangered, big-game hunting was considered a great sport for “gentlemen and kings.” Hunters would hire guides to take them deep into jungles to stalk, trap, and shoot big game. These adventurers were primarily interested in the “trophy aspect” of hunting; they usually kept only the animals’ heads, which they hung on the walls of their homes and hunting lodges. The Most Dangerous Game: EXPOSITION/ Characters • Protagonist – Sanger Rainsford • Rainsford is merely a stock adventure-story hero: tall, brave, strong, resourceful, and virtuous (he is quick to condemn manhunts as “cold-blooded murder”). His one individualizing trait is the touch of unimaginativeness betrayed in his opening conversation with Whitney. He sees only the hunter’s view point and has no sympathy for the animals being hunted. He is a realist who refuses to take superstition seriously. • After landing on the island he experiences the view of crushed underbrush, the bloodstained weeds, and the empty cartridge. He uses his knowledge about guns, fighting, the wilderness, and his good reasoning powers to try to figure out what had happened. • Rainsford shows his knowledge of the wilderness, quick thinking, ingenuity, physical and mental strength, while he is being hunted. • He effectively uses the elements in the jungle – the tree he climbed, the dead tree he used for a trap, and the quicksand that can be easily dug – to try to save himself. His use of resources shows that he is clever and knowledgeable about the natural world. • By the end of the story Rainsford understands the animal’s fear of pain and fear of death. • Besides being a hunter, Sanger is an author – writes books and magazine articles, and was a soldier in World War I. The Most Dangerous Game: EXPOSITION/ Characters • Antagonist – General Zaroff • General Zaroff is manufactured by the conjunction of contradictory traits – extreme savagery (he says that Ivan is “like all his race, a bit of a savage,” and then adds, “He is a Cossack…So am I”) and extreme civility. Zaroff is an effective character for a story of this kind – that is, he is blood-chilling. Boredom with the tameness of hunting grizzlies, jaguars, and Cape buffalo (and, after all, a Cape buffalo did lay him up for six months) is hardly enough to explain his psychological abnormality and show no other symptom, but scorn for “romantic ideas about the value of human life.” Calm rationality marks everything Zaroff does. Even though his character is inconsistent. A gambler plays to win his bet, a hunter hunts to kill. • Zaroff believes hunting animals is not sportsmanlike; with their speed and instinct, animals are not fairly matched against man’s intellect and reason. There is no plausible reason why Zaroff should thrice turn back from the hunt after tracking down his game, except that the author arbitrarily wants to prolong the excitement. • He is however a vivid character. The little details of characterization (“Then he sat down, took a drink of brandy from a silver flask, lit a perfumed cigarette, and hummed a bit from Madame Butterfly”) make him a much more memorable and substantial character than Rainsford. • Zaroff is wealthy and comes from a privileged background. His childhood history of hunting help explain his present lifestyle and his boredom with hunting and his preoccupation with violence. He tends to analyze, or take apart, problems and look for logical solutions to them. (I have an “analytical mind.”) Through his speech we learn he is cruel and unfeeling and discriminates among different ethnic and social classes of people. In general, he has no respect for human life. The Most Dangerous Game: EXPOSITION/ Characters • Antagonist – Ivan • General Zaroff’s man servant and body guard. – Whitney • Hunting friend of Sanger Rainsford. FYI: Historical Note – After the Russian revolution in 1917, many wealthy Russians loyal to the Czar lost their money. Often they were forced to move to other countries to take relatively menial jobs. Foil – is a character that provides a strong contrast (opposite) with another character. – Rainsford (storybook hero) is a foil for Zaroff (storybook villain). – Ivan (rough, deaf, primitive-looking, menacing, and of the lower class) is a foil for Zaroff (well groomed, cultivated, sophisticated, and of the upper class). The Most Dangerous Game: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 68 How does the author create suspense and foreshadow coming events in the discussion about Captain Nielsen and Ship-Trap Island? – Mystery is created when Whitney mentions its evil reputation but doesn’t know why men are afraid of it. Words such as “cannibals,” “chill,” “dread,” and “evil” make the island sound frightening. Page 69 Notice the contrast between Rainsford’s relaxing with his pipe and the sudden crisis of going overboard. What caused Rainsford to rouse himself and go to the rail? What effect does it have on YOU? – An abrupt sound. The contrast brings in the element of surprise, increasing suspense and involvement in the story’s main character. – Rainsford accidentally falls off of his yacht while on the way to a hunting trip in South America, to hunt jaguars. Page 70 The author uses contrasting imagery to communicate Rainsford’s surprise at coming across the chateau. What words are used to describe the island’s landscape and those used to describe the mansion? – The island is “dense,” “snarled,” and “ragged,” in “bleak darkness.” The chateau is “enormous,” “lofty,” and “palatial,” with many lights. Page 71 What dangers has Rainsford faced up to this point? – Falling overboard, spending the night in the jungle, and being threatened by a large man with a gun. The Most Dangerous Game: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 72 What adjectives did the author use to describe General Zaroff’s home? – Rich, grand, palatial, elegant, magnificent. FYI: Context Clues – Think about the word “deaf” to determine that the meaning of dumb is not “stupid,” but “unable to speak.” Page 72 What do YOU think will happen next? – After his ordeal, Rainsford is in an elegant place with a well-dressed host and excellent food. It seems that he has been saved from any further trouble. However, Whitney’s talk about the island, the gun shots Rainsford heard, Ivan's threatening appearance, and Rainsford’s slight discomfort at Zaroff’s appraisal of him all foreshadow that more danger is to come. I predict that Zaroff is not what he seems to be and that Rainsford will soon be in some kind of danger. – Rainsford does not know that the island he has landed on is home to an even more formidable enemy. Page 74 What does Rainsford realize that makes him gasp in shock? – The animal that can reason, Zaroff’s ideal quarry, is man. – Zaroff grew bored with hunting because it had grown too easy; animals do not have wits to use against him. He made the island into a trap for sailors so he could hunt men. The Most Dangerous Game: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 75 Where does General Zaroff get the men that he hunts? – They come from ships wrecked near the island. Some ships wreck naturally. Zaroff causes others to wreck with a system of lights that lead ships onto dangerous rocks. – Zaroff “traps ships,” thereby luring sailors to their deaths on his island. Page 76 What do YOU think Rainsford would see? What do YOU think may happen next? – YOU might think that the heads are those of people. Most of YOU will predict that Rainsford will soon be forced to participate in the “game.” Page 77 How do YOU think Rainsford feels as he examines his surroundings? – Trapped and uneasy. – Zaroff gives the hunted man a food supply and a hunting knife and three hours’ head start. He follows armed with a small pistol (22). If he does not catch his quarry within three days, the quarry wins the game. FYI: Etymology – Ennui is from the French language. General Zaroff, like other cultured Russians of the 19 th and early 20th centuries, uses many other French terms, such as filet mignon, au revoir, rencontre, rendezvous, and tete-a-tete. Page 78 How do YOU think Rainsford will respond to his present situation? – Although he is shocked and fearful of his antagonist, he is a skilled and experienced hunter. He can be expected to use his intellect and skills effectively in his struggle. The Most Dangerous Game: RISING ACTION/ FYI: The Fox and the Cat Complications – Rainsford is referring to a fable by Aesop in which a fox challenges a cat to do tricks. The cat says that he does not know how to do tricks, but he knows how to do the most important things such as getting food and protecting himself. When some dogs come along, the fox continues acting “tricky” and is caught by the dogs. The cat simply climbs a tree, successfully avoiding capture. Page 79 Can YOU visualize the image describing the slow night? Does the word apprehensive literally describe the night? – It is literally Rainsford, not the night, that is worried and fearful. Page 80 What is Rainsford doing? What kind of trap is he setting? – The trap involves a huge dead tree and a smaller living one. – Rainsford used a Malay mancatcher, a tree trunk set up to fall on the pursuer; a Burmese tiger pit, a camouflaged pit with spears at the bottom; and a knife set to spring from a sapling. Page 81 How would YOU rate Rainsford’s resourcefulness on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being extremely resourceful? – Most of YOU would likely give Rainsford a rating of 9 or 10. He effectively uses the elements in the jungle – the tree he climbed, the dead tree he used for a trap, and the quicksand that can be easily dug – to try to save himself. His use of resources shows that he is clever and knowledgeable about the natural world. The Most Dangerous Game: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 81 Notice the examples of vivid diction used to describe the jungle and the quicksand. What effect does the author’s word choice have? – Diction – an author’s choice of words and the arrangement of those words in phrases, sentences, or lines of a poem or prose (story). – The author will generally consider the literal meanings of words, or denotation, as well as the images or associations the words suggest, or connotation. – Denotation – dictionary definition. – Connotation – definition plus feeling. • The author uses the words “ranker,” “denser,” “ooze,” “muck,” “sucked,” “viciously,” “leech,” and “violent.” The words help the reader visualize and feel the jungle setting. They realistically evoke the fear and panic that quicksand would cause. Page 82 How does luck, skill, and intelligence affect the protagonist and the antagonist as they struggle against one another? – Rainsford uses his intelligence and skill to set traps for Zaroff. Zaroff is lucky when the log Rainsford has set up injures him only slightly; his knowledge of the traps Rainsford uses and his care to avoid them save his life twice. The Most Dangerous Game: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 83 Note Rainsford’s refusal to give up even in the face of overwhelming odds. – Rainsford swam from the jungle to the chateau at the other side of the island, hid in Zaroff's bedroom, and attacked him. Page 83 The author does not explicitly describe the final fight between Rainsford and Zaroff. Why do YOU or don’t YOU think this is effective? – It is effective for a variety of reasons. The last sentence reveals the identity of the victor; the author involves his audience by leaving the actual fighting to your imagination. – Rainsford presumably killed Zaroff at the end of the story. The Most Dangerous Game: RISING ACTION/ Conflict The main conflict of the story is good verse evil, hero versus villain. – The various conflicts illuminated in this story are: • physical (Rainsford against the sea and Zaroff), • mental (Rainsford’s initial conflict of ideas with Whitney and his battle of wits with Zaroff during the manhunt, which Zaroff refers to as “outdoor chess”), • emotional (Rainsford’s efforts to control his terror, and • moral (Rainsford’s refusal to “condone cold-blooded murder” in contrast with Zaroff’s contempt for “romantic ideas about the value of human life”). – The conflict is defined when Rainsford discovers he will not be a hunter in the game but will be the hunted. Internal (Rainsford vs. self) – Rainsford must choose between three undesirable courses of action: he can hunt men with Zaroff; he can let himself be hunted; or he can submit to being tortured by Ivan. • pitted against himself (when he tries to fight off his panic) External (Rainsford vs. man) – pitted first against other men (Whitney, General Zaroff, Ivan) External (Rainsford vs. nature) – pitted against nature (falls into the sea and spending the night in the jungle ) The Most Dangerous Game: CLIMAX/ RESOLUTION Climax – Rainsford is hiding in Zaroff’s boudoir, surprising him. Falling Action – Rainsford and Zaroff duel. Resolution – Rainsford kills Zaroff. • The last sentence reveals the identity of the victor; the author involves his audience by leaving the actual fighting to the imagination. Point of View – the vantage point from which the story is told. Third-person omniscient point of view – the narrator is not a character in the story, but someone who stands outside the story and comments on the action. • We are confined to the thoughts and feelings of Rainsford, except for the brief passage between Rainsford’s leap into the sea and his waking in Zaroff’s bed, during which the point of view shifts to General Zaroff. The Most Dangerous Game: Literary Elements Theme – the main idea or message of a literary work. – Changing places with the “other class.” – What judgments by the author are implied in Zaroff’s comments about hunting? • Hunting animals is not sportsmanlike; with their speed and instinct, animals are not fairly matched against man’s intellect and reason. – There is another suggestion of theme. When Whitney declares that hunting is a great sport – for hunter, not the jaguar – Rainsford replies, “Who cares how a jaguar feels? … They’ve no understanding.” To this Whitney counters: “I rather think they understand one thing – fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death.” • Evidently Rainsford has something to learn about how it feels to be hunted, and presumably during the hunt (Zaroff vs. Rainsford) Rainsford learns what an animal feels. – Have YOU ever experienced one in which Rainsford finds himself or situations in which YOU had to exert yourself physically to an extreme degree? – How do each of the two main characters view the value of human life? What distinctions if any – do they make between hunting prey and cold-blooded murder? The Most Dangerous Game: Literary Elements Symbolism – an object, a person, a place, or an experience that represents something else, usually something abstract. – Name • General Zaroff is fitting for a former “officer of the Czar” who now behaves like a czar himself. Irony – refers to the contrast between appearance and reality. – Situational Irony – exists when the actual outcome of a situation is the opposite of what is expected to happen. • It is ironic that Rainsford, “the celebrated hunter,” should become the hunted, for this is a reversal of his expected and appropriate role. • There is irony in how Zaroff dresses himself. He presents the appearance of a polite, well-groomed, civilized man, yet he has just killed a man in his “game.” – Verbal Irony – exists when a person says one thing and means another. • There is irony in Zaroff’s description of his treatment of prisoners. He calls them “visitors” and “pupils” and denies that his treatment of them is “barbarous,” saying that he treats them with every consideration. The Most Dangerous Game: Literary Elements Simile –a figure of speech using like or as to compare seemingly unlike things. – What does Zaroff mean when he says that discovering Rainsford’s attitudes is “like finding a snuff-box in a limousine?” • A snuff-box is an old-fashioned item used for taking tobacco. It would be surprising to find one in a limousine, a modern automobile that symbolizes wealth and sophistication. • Zaroff compares Rainsford’s “old-fashioned” attitudes to the snuff-box and a modern American to the limousine. Suspense – is the growing interest and excitement readers experience while awaiting a CLIMAX or RESOLUTION in a work of literature. – Suspense is initiated in the opening sentences with Whitney’s account of the mystery of “Ship- Trap Island,” of which sailors “have a curious dread” – a place that seems to emanate evil. Words such as “cannibals,” “chill,” “dread,” and “evil” make the island sound frightening. – The mystery grows when Rainsford discovers an enormous chateau with a leering gargoyle knocker on its massive door and is confronted by a bearded giant pointing a long-barreled revolver straight at his heart. – The mystery continues when General Zaroff tells Rainsford that he hunts “more dangerous game” on this island than the Cape buffalo. The Most Dangerous Game: Literary Elements Foreshadowing – hints and clues the author gives you that will occur later in the story. – Rainsford was relaxing with his pipe and then the sudden crisis of falling overboard. • This contrast brings in the element of surprise, increasing suspense and involvement with the story’s main character. – How might Rainsford's reaction to Zaroff’s mention of “more dangerous game” foreshadow coming events? • Since this is similar to the title of the story, it signals a significant hint of what is to come. Rainsford has no idea what Zaroff means and thinks perhaps Zaroff has brought exotic game such as tigers to the island. Rainsford’s naiveté compared to his usual sophistication in matters concerning hunting indicated that he may be in store for an unpleasant surprise. • Rainsford realizes that the animal that can “reason,” (Zaroff’s ideal quarry) is man. The Most Dangerous Game: Literary Elements Hyperbole – a figure of speech in which great exaggeration is used for emphasis or humorous effect. – For example: “You’ve asked me that question a million times!” – Connell writes about Rainsford: “He lived a year in a minute.” Rainsford is so filled with fear and suspense while waiting to find out whether Zaroff would fall into his trap, that time went by extremely slowly. Imagery – is the “word pictures” that writers use to help evoke an emotional response in readers. – Note the various sound images. What is their effect on the story? • The sound of the gun, Rainsford’s cry when he falls overboard, the animal’s scream, the pistol shots, and the sound of the sea breaking on shore add to the story’s realism and suspense. – Note the various descriptions of the jungle. To what senses do the images describing the jungle setting appeal? • Sight: darkness, the big tree, the sun coming up • Touch: “hands and face lashed by the branches” • Sound: “the cry of some startled bird,” Zaroff coming through the brush • Smell: Zaroff’s cigarettes Setting Setting is the background against which action takes place. (1) geographical location/ building location (2) the occupations/ daily manner of the character’s life (3) the time or period in which the action takes place (4) the general environment of the character(s) from Night: EXPOSITION/ Basic Situation The events in this excerpt from Night, Elie Wiesel’s memoir, take place in Europe (Romania, Poland, and Germany) during World War II (1939- 1945), specifically, 1944 inside a Nazi concentration camp in Poland. – This war, sparked by German aggression, had its roots in the ending of an earlier war. With Germany’s defeat in World War I, the nation was left with a broken government, a severely limited military, shattered industry and transportation, and an economy sinking under the strain of war debts. – Wiesel was freed in April 1945, when he was sixteen years old. He went to a French orphanage and was later reunited with his older sisters. – Elie Wiesel’s Holocaust memoir was originally published in France in 1958. At the time, many publishers in the United States felt that the subject matter was too upsetting for readers. It was not until 1960 that Wiesel’s recollections of those grim years were finally translated into English and published in America. The memoir includes explicit and disturbing descriptions of occurrences during Wiesel’s confinement in concentration camps. – Wiesel married a Holocaust survivor Marion Erster Rose in 1969. from Night: EXPOSITION FYI: Background Information – The Nazi party – National Socialist German Workers Party – came to power in the later part of the 1920s. – Adolf Hitler, founder of the Nazi party, became chancellor of Germany in 1933 and ruled as a dictator until 1945. Germany was in an economic depression when Hitler came to power, and the Jewish people were used as scapegoats for the country's many problems. • Hitler's treatment of the Jews was more than a political strategy. Hitler began persecuting German Jews by taking away their citizenship and civil rights. • Not only did they lose their citizenship, but often lost their right to work, were barred from public schools and gathering places, could no longer marry non-Jews, and suffered frequent physical attacks to their homes and businesses. They were forced to wear a yellow star on their clothing, to single them out even more. – On September 15, 1935, the Nazi party of Germany passed a series of laws to ensure the “purity” of the German race and to clarify the position of Jews in the Third Reich by depriving them of citizenship. These laws, called the Nuremburg Laws, were similar to the Jim Crow Laws passed in the United States during the late 1800s to ensure racial segregation. – Hitler was an anti-Semite (hater of Jews) who viewed the Jews as an inferior race. In fact, Judaism is not a race, but rather a religion. • Judaism dates back nearly 4,000 years. It shares many ideas with – and in fact is an ancestor to – both Christianity and Islam. These religions all originated in the same part of the world, the area we now call the Middle East. The sacred texts of all three religions overlap in several ways. The Hebrew Bible is what Christians call the Old Testament. Many of these Bible stories also appear in the Islamic sacred text, called the Qur’an. from Night: EXPOSITION – Hitler defined Jews as those with at least one Jewish grandparent, whether or not they observed their religion. By 1938, before the War spread beyond Germany, Hitler and his secret police organization, the Gestapo, had already imprisoned more than 30, 000 Jews. – In keeping with his goal of achieving German racial “purity,” Hitler attacked and imprisoned Gypsies, people with handicaps, and homosexuals. – Jews imprisoned during these early years were often kept only long enough to convince them to flee German – held lands. Many did, though without going far enough to escape later reimprisonment. – After Germany invaded Poland in 1939 to start World War II, Jews from Germany and from each country Germany occupied – along with tens of thousands of others who opposed Hitler or were deemed “undesirable” by him – were imprisoned in forced-labor concentration camps. There they were overworked, starved, tortured, and sometimes killed outright. – Several prison camps in Germany and Poland became “death camps,” where the systematic extermination of Jews and others was carried out. Out of an estimated 8.3 million Jews living in German-occupied Europe after 1939, approximately 6 million were killed. About 6 million other non-Jews died at the hands of the Nazis. • Hitler’s scientists first experimented with “mercy killings” on people who were mentally ill. Methods for mass murders, such as lethal injection and poisonous gas, were later developed. Gas chambers were added to six camps. In these camps, mass extermination began in earnest. More than 1.25 million people were killed as Auschwitz alone. • Insufficient food and the lack of a balanced diet led to malnutrition and starvation for many concentration camp prisoners. When people are undernourished, their bodies cannot grow or repair themselves properly. People lose weight and are more likely to fall ill. Children who are still growing suffer even more problems. Some common diseases that result from malnutrition are scurvy (vitamin C) and beriberi, in which a lack of vitamins and minerals weaken bones and cause stomach problems. from Night: EXPOSITION – Those who disagreed with Hitler's political views – Communist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet and Slavic prisoners of war – were mercilessly imprisoned, enslaved, and murdered. – As Hitler’s control of Europe speared, more and more innocent people were executed or sent to the rapidly expanding camp system. from Night: EXPOSITION/ Characters • Protagonist – Elie • 12 (memoirs cover nearly four years) • Antagonist – Chlomo Wiesel (Elie’s father) – Yossi and Tibi (fellow prisoner) • Friends in the camp who stuck by him even during the darkest times. – Kapos • Prisoners, serving as foremen of the prisoners’ buildings or cell blocks. • Blockaelteste, translates as “elders of the building,” a higher rank of Kapos. • Stubenaelteste, translates as “elders of the room,” refers to a rank of Kapos. – Dr. Josef Mengele • Personally selected nearly half a million prisoners for death in the Auschwitz gas chambers. from Night: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 305 In column 1, what do YOU think the CONFLICT will be, based on the setting? Page 305 Focus on the veterans’ description of the camp (setting) two years ago (column 2, paragraph 1)? How do the details help YOU visualize the camp as it is now? – No matter how much the veterans say the camp has “improved,” it is still much as they describe it. The details give YOU the grim reality of life in a death camp. Page 306 Have YOU ever been in a situation in which YOU were told “don’t be afraid.” How did YOU react? Could YOU suppress your fear if it was a matter of survival? Page 307 What can YOU infer from column 1, 2nd paragraph, about the narrator’s religious convictions? – The narrator notices Yossi praying. He thought Yossi was a non-believer. Then he mentions that the scene reminds him of the last judgment. These details would seem to indicate that the narrator is religious. Allusion – a reference to a work of literature to a character, place, or situation from another work of literature, usually the Bible, music, or art, or from history. – For example: the last judgment, in some religions it is God’s final judgment of humankind, which is to occur on the day the world ends. from Night: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 307 How does the author’s use of repetition and ellipses add to the mood of the scene in which the prisoners race past the SS guards and Dr. Mengele? – The repetition and ellipses echo the narrator’s fear and exhaustion, thus adding to the tense, fearful atmosphere of a scene in which people are literally racing for their lives. Repetition – a literary device in which sounds, words, phrases, lines, or stanzas are repeated for emphasis in a poem or literary work. Mood – the feeling or atmosphere that an author creates in a literary work. The mood can suggest a specific emotion, such as excited or fearful. FYI: SS SS is the abbreviation of the German word Schutzstaffel, meaning “protection staff.” At first, SS troops acted as Hitler’s bodyguards. Later they were in charge of killing prisoners in countries conquered by Germany. FYI: Prisoners of War Upon imprisonment in the camps, all people were tattooed with a number on the left forearm. Guards would refer to each person by number instead of by name. from Night: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 308 How does the author use the bell to add to the atmosphere of the camp? – The bell essentially rules the prisoners’ lives. By telling this detail, the author reinforces the grim, hopeless, fearful atmosphere of the camp. Atmosphere – the mood or emotional quality of a literary work. Atmosphere often is created with details about people and setting. – For example, Wiesel says that in the camp, “Everything was regulated by the bell. It gave … orders…” Imagine a place where the ringing of a bell determines your every move, and can you imagine a place where the atmosphere is tense and nerve-racking. – For example, words and phrases: “factories of death,” “corpses were collected in hundreds every day,” “the crucible of death,” “veiled with despair.” They help create the bleak, terrifying atmosphere. from Night: RISING ACTION/ Complications FYI: Context Clues Can YOU guess the meaning of ration (page 308), using the clue that it refers to bread? Rationing is the concept of prisoners not being fed a well balanced diet – they were allowed only very limited amounts of certain food. Page 308 Why does the head of the block shut himself in his room after reading aloud the numbers of ten men? – Despite his reassurances to the men, he knows they have been selected. He may feel ashamed that he had to lie to them. He cannot face their deaths. He feels guilty because he was not selected and he has no way to save the others. Page 309 Remember an emotional reaction to literature enhances the reading experience. What does the narrator find when he returns to Block 36 that night? – His father was still alive. from Night: RISING ACTION/ Conflicts Internal (Wiesel vs. Self) – Elie worries he is “too thin, too weak” for the SS to “select him,” (keep him alive) and worries about his father. External (Wiesel vs. the Germans) – Elie gets past the “selection,” by literally running for his life. External (Wiesel vs. other prisoners) – Do not believe every thing you hear. – Elie was stripped of his religion when he walked through the camp doors. from Night: CLIMAX/ RESOLUTION Climax – Elie overcomes the “selection.” Falling Action – Having to go to work, knowing his father has to stay behind. Resolution – The narrator’s father survives the second selection. from Night: Literary Elements Point of View – the vantage point from which the story is told. – First-person Point of View – the narrator is a character in the story and knows only his or her own thoughts and experiences. • Now a grown man, the narrator tells the story from an adult point of view, but often speaks in young Elie’s voice. • A first-person account usually has greater immediacy and impact. Theme – the main idea or message of a literary work. • Theme in this story explores the human capacity of evil and considers the recourses and limits of the human spirit. • This story contains themes of terror, guilt, strength (mentally and physically) (taking one day at a time), and faith (in a higher being) (in one’s self), while vividly depicting this dark time in modern history. from Night: Literary Elements Irony – refers to the contrast between appearance and reality. – Situational Irony – exists when the actual outcome of a situation is the opposite of what is expected to happen. • Comparing his current circumstances with ones he faced two years earlier, one of the veterans ironically describes the camp as a “paradise.” How is the atmosphere different from a paradise? – A paradise is a place of perfect happiness, health, abundance, and beauty. The camp is a place of misery, deprivation, disease, destruction, and despair. – Verbal Irony – exists when a person says one thing and means another. • Wiesel says, “The SS gave us a fine New Year’s gift.” – A gift is usually a pleasant surprise; while the “selection” is unexpected, it is in no way pleasant. Plot Plot – is the sequence of events in a story. – The plot begins with the exposition, or the introduction of the characters, setting, and conflict. – Rising action occurs as complications, twists, or intensifications of the conflict occur. – This action leads up to the climax, or emotional high point of the story. – The climax gives way rapidly to its logical result in the falling action. – In the resolution the final outcome is revealed. Open Window: EXPOSITION/ Basic Situation This story takes place in the early 1900s, at an English country house set on an estate with hunting grounds. It begins on a late October afternoon and ends at twilight the same day. FYI: Background Information At the time of this story, hunting was a popular amusement among the upper class. In “The Open Window,” the men are hunting snipe, which are wetland game birds. Bird dogs, such as spaniels, were brought along on a hunt to flush out birds resting in the brush and then to retrieve the felled birds. During the 1700s - 1900s females did not have very many privileges. A girl of the aristocracy was allowed to learn how to: read, write, sew (embroidery, clothing, textiles), garden, learn music (sing, instrument), and learn how to be a “lady.” If the girl was of the working class, she would be allowed to learn how to cook and clean. A young lady would never be allowed to be alone with a gentleman. She would have a coming out party (age 14-16) to announce she was available to be married and enable her the opportunity to make social calls. Open Window: EXPOSITION/ Characters • Protagonist – Framton Nuttel • He is taking a vacation to improve his nerves. He does not like to socialize for he suffers from social anxiety. He is obsessed with the state of his health (hypochondriac). • Antagonist – Vera Sappleton • The first impression of Vera is one that is quite articulate, with a good vocabulary and a talent for telling stories in an interesting way. She has a flair for the dramatic. • If YOU liked Vera YOU may think she was imaginative, creative, and crafty. If YOU disliked Vera YOU may think she was mean, deceitful, and tricky. – Mrs. Sappleton • She thinks Mr. Nuttel is crazy, after all, he could only speak about his health. – Mr. Sappleton – Two Male Family Members (either Mr. or Mrs. Sappleton’s Brothers) Open Window: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 19 How would YOU react to the niece if YOU were meeting her for the first time? How would YOU react to Mr. Nuttel? Page 20 What do YOU learn about Mrs. Sappleton’s niece from her story (the lie Vera tells about the death of her uncle and cousins) and the way she tells it? – She is quite articulate, with a good vocabulary and a talent for telling stories in an interesting way. She has a flair for the dramatic. What does Vera learn about Mr. Nuttel before she begins her story? – Vera learns that Mr. Nuttel knows no one in the neighborhood and knows almost nothing about her aunt. Remember Mr. Nuttel’s sister gave him letters of introduction to people in the area so that he would not be isolated. – Vera quickly senses Mr. Nuttel’s weaknesses and uses them to attack and conquer him, much like a hunter stalking prey. – Vera describes her aunt’s husband and two brothers going away on a hunting trip three years earlier and disappear in a bog. Page 20 What meaning do the comments have to Nuttel? – He believes Mrs. Sappleton is delusional (nuts). Open Window: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 20 How does the comment contribute to the RISING ACTION – plot complications? – The comments seem to reinforce what the niece said and help make Nuttel even more uneasy and nervous than he already was. Page 21 Draw a conclusion about the PLOT twist at the end of the story. – When the hunters walk in, it seems at first that this is a supernatural occurrence and that the story is actually a ghost story. However the man who walks in sounds very ordinary. Then the niece tells a farfetched story that I know Mr. Nuttel did not really tell her. The niece has obviously played an elaborate joke on Mr. Nuttel. – Vera incorporates her knowledge of Mr. Nuttel’s nervous condition in the story she makes up to explain his sudden disappearance. Page 21 Please note the parts of a story after the CLIMAX, the FALLLING ACTION, and the RESOLUTION, are relatively brief. How is the RESOLUTION of this story unusual? – In many stories, once the CLIMAX has occurred, the reader’s suspense is satisfied. The rest of the story must be brief to hold the reader’s attention. In this story, the surprise twist is not revealed until the RESOLUTION. Open Window: RISING ACTION/ Conflicts Internal Conflict (Framton vs. self) – Framton Nuttel suffers from “nerves” (ill). – Mr. Nuttel has to decide if he is going to be calm, while being bombarded by society. Internal Conflict (Vera vs. self) – Vera, Mrs. Sappleton’s niece, suffers from being a habitual liar. • Vera has to decide if she is going to torture Mr. Nuttel. External Conflict (Framton vs. society) – Mr. Nuttel has to decide if he is going to be calm, while being bombarded by society. Open Window: CLIMAX/ RESOLUTION Climax – When Mr. Nuttel thinks he sees the ghost of Mr. Sappleton and the two males returning. Falling Action – Mr. Nuttel runs from the house when three men exactly like the ones Vera described return from a hunting trip. Resolution – We find out that Vera is a liar for creating the tale of the “tragedy.” The author ends the story with another “tale” told by Vera, of how Mr. Nuttel is afraid of dogs. Open Window: Literary Elements Point of View – the vantage point from which the story is told. – Third-person Omniscient – the narrator stands outside the story but knows and sees all and comments on the action. – The narrator gives us background information of Mr. Nuttel, then information about Vera, and by the end of the story we learn what happens to Mr. Nuttel and Vera. The narrator states, “romance at short notice was her specialty.” Theme – the main idea or message of a literary work. – The purpose is to read and find out what happens when two characters act on their first impressions of each other, for first impressions express who YOU are. – Death is the subject of Vera’s story and seems to be tragic when the story is taken at face value. Later, the story deals with death as a ghost story does. Vera represents life with her youthful imagination and sense of fun. – Another possible theme is the exploration of vulnerability. Moral – a practical lesson about right and wrong conduct. – In fables, the moral is stated directly; in other stories, it is usually implied. – One possible moral of the story is YOU should not tell lies. Plot – is the sequence of events in a story. Open Window: Literary Elements – Exposition – the introduction of the characters, the setting, or the situation at the beginning of a story. • Setting – the time and place in which the events of a story, novel, or play occur. Setting is not just physical, however; it includes ideas, customs, values, and beliefs of a particular time and place. • Character – an individual in a literary work. – Protagonist – main character in the story. – Antagonist – is the character in conflict with the protagonist. – Rising Action – the part of the plot that adds complications to the conflict and increases readers interest. • Complications – problems that occur in the story. • Conflict – the struggle between opposing forces in a story or play. • External Conflict – exists when a character struggles against some outside force, such as another character, nature, society, or fate. • Internal Conflict – exists within the mind of a character who is torn between different courses of action. – Climax – the point of greatest emotional intensity, interest, or suspense in the plot of a narrative. The climax typically comes at the turning point in a story or drama. – Falling Action – in a play or story, the action that typically follows the climax and reveals its results. – Resolution – the part of the plot that concludes the falling action by revealing or suggesting the outcome of the conflict. Open Window: Literary Elements Tone – a reflection of a writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward a subject of a poem, story, or other literary work. – Tone may be communicated through words and details that express particular emotions and that evoke an emotional response in the reader. – What words or events help create the author’s tone in the scene of Mr. Nuttel’s “headlong retreat?” • The author’s tone is subtly amused. Phrases such as “grabbed wildly,” “headstrong retreat,” and “imminent collision” create an image of slapstick comedy. Irony – refers to the contrast between appearance and reality. – Situational Irony – exists when the actual outcome of a situation is the opposite of what is expected to happen. • Vera’s story about Mr. Nuttel (being afraid of dogs) is ironically humorous. Plot Plot – is the sequence of events in a story. – The plot begins with the exposition, or the introduction of the characters, setting, and conflict. – Rising action occurs as complications, twists, or intensifications of the conflict occur. – This action leads up to the climax, or emotional high point of the story. – The climax gives way rapidly to its logical result in the falling action. – In the resolution the final outcome is revealed. Gaston: EXPOSITION/ Basic Situation The events in “Gaston” take place in Paris, France, one hot afternoon in August, sometime in the 1950s or early 1960s, in a modest makeshift apartment. – The dialogue and emotions of William Saroyan’s (1908-1981) characters are very realistic, perhaps because much of his work is based on his own experiences. After a divorce, he moved to Paris, France where his children visited him often. FYI: Background Information Attributing human qualities and characteristics to animals or inanimate objects is called anthropomorphism. People frequently anthropomorphize animals or things so that they can better relate to them. You anthropomorphize a lion if you say that it is brave. You anthropomorphize your computer if you say that it is smart. Gaston: EXPOSITION/ Characters Protagonist – the Father (probably William Saroyan) • Divorced father who does not get to spend much time with his daughter. • He has a large mustache and is dressed informally. He has a relaxed approach to life. Antagonist – the Daughter (six years old) • Torn between choosing to stay with her father or return to her mother. – the Mother (ex-wife) • Does not agree with her ex-husband. – Gaston the Roach • “…two feelers poked out from the cavity. They were attached to a kind of brown knob- head, which followed the feelers, and then two large legs took a strong grip on the edge of the cavity and hoisted some of the rest of whatever it was out of the seed…” Gaston: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 127 Visualize the setting of the first two paragraphs. – The details a writer chooses to include in the first few paragraphs are important, because they set the tone for the rest of the work. • For example, in the first paragraph Saroyan describes the father as a “man who would have been a total stranger except that he was in fact her father.” This statement gives readers an early insight into the relationship between the man and his daughter. Page 127 What does the author tell YOU about the two characters, the setting, and the relationship between the characters in the first two paragraphs? – The characters are a father and his young daughter. They are in his home in Paris and have not seen each other recently or very often. Page 128 Saroyan has imbedded the major conflict of the story in a bit of dialogue. What is each character’s initial response to the bug imply? “Aren’t you going to squash him?” “No, of course not, why should I?” “He’s a bug. He’s ugh.” “Not at all. He’s Gaston the grand boulevardier.” – (boulevardier – French for a man about town, a worldly person who frequently goes to fancy restaurants and clubs, mainly in an effort to be seen) – Something different is ugly and should be squashed vs. something different should be appreciated for itself and treated as we would like to be treated. Gaston: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 129 Note that in this story, plot turns on the attitudes and responses of characters to Gaston rather than direct actions. How does the dialogue help develop the plot? – The father who seemed a total stranger is now half of a united “we,” and the girl has decided to help the bug that she earlier wanted to kill. Page 129 Read the following dialogue aloud and evaluate how it captures the speech and thinking patterns of a six year old girl? “What are we going to do?” “Well, we’re not going to squash him, that’s one thing we're not going to do,” the girl said. “What are we going to do, then?” Page 129 What conclusions can YOU draw from the dialogue as the father prepares to leave to find a bad peach? – So far the father has been interested in what his daughter needs and wants. In this dialogue, he does not tell her that to think but tries to help her discover what she wants. I think the father is motivated by unselfish love. The girl asks many questions that help her see how her father feels. I think she is motivated by a need to know if she is loved and wanted by her father. Gaston: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 130 Does the mother’s reaction to the story of Gaston seem logical and fit YOUR expectations of her? Page 131 Note the conflict of loyalties to parents is of greatest importance to the girl. “Are you glad you saw your father?” “Of course I am.” “Is he funny?” “Yes.” “Is he crazy?” “Yes. I mean, no. He just doesn’t holler when he sees a bug crawling out of a peach seed or anything. He just looks at it carefully. But it is just a bug, isn’t it, really?” – The conflict of loyalties is expressed through the conflict about Gaston. Whether to like Gaston is tied with whether to like her father. Gaston: RISING ACTION/ Complications Page 131 Note how the author’s choice of words and sentence structures are appropriate for the child’s point of view and mood. – The language is simple. The sentences are run in together as an upset child might say them. Page 131 Note the implication of the girl’s decision to squash Gaston. “Where is Gaston?” “I squashed him.” “Really? Why?” “Everybody quashes bugs and worms.” – She has accepted her mother’s authority (and point of view) as the controlling influence in her life. Therefore, she must reject her father’s outlook as “foolishness.” Gaston: RISING ACTION/ Conflicts Internal Conflict (Father vs. self) – The father feels sympathy for the bug, rather than disgust and a desire to kill it, suggesting that he is tolerant, compassionate, and a nonconformist. – He knows he is “different,” like Gaston. He is supportive without being controlling, truthful without being destructive, and instructive without being heavy-handed. – He pays attention to his daughter’s spirit. Internal Conflict (Daughter vs. self) – The little girl is torn between her mother’s world (rich, sophisticated, structured, practical) vs. her father’s world (poor, fanciful, non-structured, impractical.) – Her attitude changes as she feels closer to her father, then changes again when she loses that feeling. She is sad and confused about the divided lives of her parents. External Conflict (Father vs. Ex-wife) – The conflict of loyalties to parents is of greatest importance to the girl. It is expressed through the conflict about Gaston. Whether to like Gaston is tied with whether to like her father. External Conflict (Daughter vs. Ex-wife) – The mother is eager to see her daughter and has missed her. – The mother appears to have cared for her daughter more practically. Gaston: CLIMAX/ RESOLUTION Climax – The little girl squashes Gaston. Falling Action – They shake hands instead of hugging, as his daughter was leaving with the chauffer. Resolution – The daughter has lost her memory of her father and the sense of a unified family. The father has lost love and place as well as family. The mother appears to have lost the ability to perceive the world in any way but a practical, material one. Gaston: Literary Elements Point of View – the vantage point from which the story is told. – Third-person Omniscient – the narrator stands outside the story but knows and sees all and comments on the action. Theme – the main idea or message of a literary work. – The purpose is to learn about a father’s and daughter’s reactions to an insect. • Remember that the father and daughter (6 years old) have not seen each other recently or very often. Dialogue – conversation between characters in a literary work. Dialogue brings characters to life by revealing their personalities and by showing what they are thinking and felling as they react to other characters. – Saroyan uses dialogue to reveal characters’ concerns, conflicts, and beliefs. Plot – is the sequence of events in a story. Gaston: Literary Elements – Exposition – the introduction of the characters, the setting, or the situation at the beginning of a story. • Setting – the time and place in which the events of a story, novel, or play occur. Setting is not just physical, however; it includes ideas, customs, values, and beliefs of a particular time and place. • Character – an individual in a literary work. – Protagonist – main character in the story. – Antagonist – is the character in conflict with the protagonist. – Rising Action – the part of the plot that adds complications to the conflict and increases readers interest. • Complications – problems that occur in the story. • Conflict – the struggle between opposing forces in a story or play. • External Conflict – exists when a character struggles against some outside force, such as another character, nature, society, or fate. • Internal Conflict – exists within the mind of a character who is torn between different courses of action. – Climax – the point of greatest emotional intensity, interest, or suspense in the plot of a narrative. The climax typically comes at the turning point in a story or drama. – Falling Action – in a play or story, the action that typically follows the climax and reveals its results. – Resolution – the part of the plot that concludes the falling action by revealing or suggesting the outcome of the conflict.