Week 3 Study Questions
Lawrence: “The Rocking Horse Winner”
In what ways does this story begin as a fairy tale? In what ways it different?
Characterize the mother. Compare her with stepmothers from fairy tales like “Cinderella” and “Hansel and Gretel”
What kind of child is Paula and what are his motivations?
What does the “whispering house” represent?
Why does money increase the whisperings of the house?
What might the boy’s furious riding of the rocking horse symbolize?
What is the “theme” of this story? That is if you could reduce the story to a single statement, what would that be?
Gilman: The Yellow Wallpaper
Why does the first-person narrator’s point of view work well in this story?
Speculate on the illness from which the writer suffers.
How does the story reflect women’s repression?
Who or what is the figure in the wallpaper and why do you think so?
Poe: “The Cask of Amontillado”
What is the point of view of this story? This means the literary point of view.
How is this point of view effective in developing the story?
Describe the setting. How does it add to the story
In carrying out his revenge, how does Montresor take advantage of (a) Fortunato’s “one weakness,” (c) the catacombs?
What kind of man is Montresor? Is he mad or sane? Rational or emotional? Explain.
What symbolic or ironic functions are served by (a) Fortunato’s name, (b)his costume, (c) Montresor’s coat of arms and family motto, (d) Montresor’s reply to Fortunato’s statement, “I shall not die of a cough.” (e) Montresor’s statement that he too is a Mason.
How are the catacombs symbolic?
Why and to whom is Montresor revealing his crime fifty years after he committed it?
Cather: “Paul’s Case”
What details of Paul’s appearance and behavior, as his teachers see him, indicate that he is different from most boys?
Explain Paul’s behavior: Why does he lie? What does he hate? What does he want?
Contrast the world of Cordelia Street with Carnegie Hall and the Schenley Hotel.
Is Paul artistic? What value does he find in the arts?
What do Paul’s clandestine trips to the stock theater, his trip to New York, and his suicide have in common?
Compare Paul and the college boy he meets. Are they two of a kind or are they different?
Are there any clues to the causes of Paul’s unusual personality.
In what is the author mainly interested?
Note the two cities, Pittsburg and New York, in which the story is set. Discuss their symbolic value.
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