West Chester University
Home Notebook for Topics in Literature: Rites of Passage (Spring 2006) Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2006) Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Fall 2005) Notebook for Effective Writing I (Fall 2005)
Notebook for Topics in Literature: Rites of Passage (Spring 2006)
Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2006)
Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Fall 2005)
Notebook for Effective Writing I (Fall 2005)
Short Fiction: Ambiguity
You considered some of the ambiguous elements in the short stories you were assigned and brainstormed the following questions for each story:
The Flowers (handout/online)
Do you think the young child has experienced violence from the past?
How do you think Myop’s personality has changed permanently after she sees the dead man?
From all the places she was able to pick flowers, why did she pick them from a dead body?
The Story of an Hour (p. 15)
Has Mrs. Mallard had thoughts of murdering her husband to get free?
Do you think it is right for Mrs. Mallard to feel liberation so soon after her husband died?
Does the wife die from shock of seeing that her husband was still alive, or did she die of disappointment?
The Sorrowful Woman (p. 38)
Do you think the medicine made her more depressed?
Who do you sympathize with more, the husband or the wife, and why?
Did the husband feel freedom or did he feel as if he didn’t do enough for her?
A & P (p. 553)
Do you think Sammy hated his job in the first place?
What were Sammy’s true motives for quitting? Did the girls play a significant role?
Did Sammy really quit his job for the girls or was there a deeper meaning?
Eveline (p. 432)]
Do you think she was scared of the unknown?
Is the relationship Eveline shares with her father a healthy one?
What was the real reason that prevented her from getting on the boat?
Do you think he blames his uncle for not letting him get to the fair on time?
Did the realization that it wasn’t true love cause the young boy to be bitter?
What inhibited the boy to tell the girl that he was infatuated with her?
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? (online)
What was the moral of this story?
What was the significance of Arnold’s friend in the car?
Should the mother be responsible for what happened to Connie, for not establishing trust or communication in their relationship?
What was the girl’s motive for sleeping around?
Why does this girl feel the need to have so many meaningless relationships?
After reflecting back on her experiences, does she view sex in a different light?
Girl (p. 517)
What would make her mother think that the girl rebels against what’s right and society?
How old is the character that’s being spoken to?
When the daughter gets older will she resent her mother for how she was pressured to be?
Soldiers Home (p. 154)
Why was the son’s relationship with his father so distant?
What are the motives behind the soldier leaving home at the end?
Will Harold Krebs ever learn to love again?
How to Tell a True War Story (p. 473)
Why do you think Lemon’s sister didn’t respond to Rat’s letter and do you think that helped add to his pain?
Is it possible to tell a true war story? Why or why not?
When Rat shot the buffalo, did this aid in his mourning process?
Miss Brill (p. 252)
What makes Miss Brill think she hears crying at the end?
If the story was continued, what would be next for Miss Brill?
Do you think next Sunday Miss Brill will go back to watching the band play?
Young Man on Sixth Avenue (online)
Why is the young man so confident?
Why does the author use five paragraphs to talk about now and then three paragraphs to talk about the rest of his life?
Does he look back on his life and wish he was his 25 year-old self or does he appreciate what he has now?
Questions? Contact me.
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