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Directions: For each of the following passages, you must (in this order) identify the source’s title and author (and use correct punctuation for the title), explain the scene/situation in the story from which the passage comes to establish context (what was happening in the story/poem/novel/play at that time—the more completely you explain, the better), and explain the significance of the passage within the context of that scene/situation, within the context of the work as a whole, AND applied to the extended context (meaning for life—how can it be useful in answering the BIG question…What IS versus what SHOULD BE?). Be sure you compose your answers in full, grammatically correct, and error-free sentences. Good Luck!
1. So SHE vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell.
That was two years after her father’s death and a short time after her sweetheart–the one we believed would marry her –had deserted her. After her father’s death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all. A few of the ladies had the temerity to call, but were not received, and the only sign of life about the place was the Negro man–a young man then–going in and out with a market basket.
2. So the storm passed and everyone was happy.
3. The sheep pushing their carts down the aisle — the girls were walking against the usual traffic (not that we have one-way signs or anything) — were pretty hilarious. You could see them, when Queenie’s white shoulders dawned on them, kind of jerk, or hop, or hiccup, but their eyes snapped back to their own baskets and on they pushed. I bet you could set off dynamite in an (redacted) and the people would by and large keep reaching and checking oatmeal off their lists and muttering “Let me see, there was a third thing, began with A, asparagus, no, ah, yes, applesauce!” or whatever it is they do mutter. But there was no doubt, this jiggled them. A few house-slaves in pin curlers even looked around after pushing their carts past to make sure what they had seen was correct.
4. “He never mentioned it,” she said, “because I never let him mention it before you children. Your Daddy was like a crazy man that night and for many a night thereafter. He says he never in his life seen anything as dark as that road after the lights of that car had gone away. Weren’t nothing, weren’t nobody on that road, just your Daddy and his brother and that busted guitar. Oh, yes. Your Daddy never did really get right again. Till the day he died he weren’t sure but that every white man he saw was the man that killed his brother.”
5. Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded –with what caution –with what foresight –with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it –oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly –very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man’s sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed.
6. The old lady settled herself comfortably, removing her white cotton gloves and putting them up with her purse on the shelf in front of the back window. The children’s mother still had on slacks and still had her head tied up in a green kerchief, but the grandmother had on a navy blue straw sailor hat with a bunch of white violets on the brim and a navy blue dress with a small white dot in the print. Her collars and cuffs were white organdy trimmed with lace and at her neckline she had pinned a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet. In case of an accident, anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady.
7. Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure. She’s a woman now, though sometimes I forget. How long ago was it that the other house burned? Ten, twelve years? Sometimes I can still hear the flames and feel Maggie’s arms sticking to me, her hair smoking and her dress falling off her in little black papery flakes. Her eyes seemed stretched open, blazed open by the flames reflected in them. And Dee. I see her standing off under the sweet gum tree she used to dig gum out of; a look of concentration on her face as she watched the last dingy gray board of the house fall in toward the red.hot brick chimney. Why don’t you do a dance around the ashes? I’d wanted to ask her. She had hated the house that much.
8. It was the light of course but it is necessary that the place be clean and pleasant. You do not want music. Certainly you do not want music. Nor can you stand before a bar with dignity although that is all that is provided for these hours. What did he fear? It was not a fear or dread. It was a nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and a man was a nothing too. It was only that and light was all it needed and a certain cleanness and order. Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada. Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada.
9. Discuss the ways in which point of view affects the reading of a given story. For example, first person POV sometimes creates the often-problematic unreliable narrator scenario. Think of the readings and be able to talk about the point of view used in the story and whether or not that contributed to, helped, or caused problems in trying to get an accurate interpretation of the story.
10. Think about characters in our reading who, as part of their stories, chose to “fight the power.” Name at least three characters who made this choice and describe the ways in which they fought against the power systems that controlled their lives.