Discuss the significance of the “fire scarred” countryside in “Big Two-Hearted River”?

Trifles, The Vine Leaf, The Ice Palace, and Big Two-Hearted River:

Read the assignments for this week, and answer the following questions, giving support from the stories where possible.

Mena’s story, “The Vine-Leaf” is written from third person point of view. What effect does this have on the telling of the story, and what impact would a change in narrator have on the story’s tone (say, if the doctor had been telling the story about his own experience)?

In Fitzgerald’s “The Ice Palace,” how would you describe the conflict (internal and external)? What does Sally Carrol mean when she says, “You see I always think of people as feline or canine, irrespective of sex”? (928).

Discuss the significance of the “fire scarred” countryside in “Big Two-Hearted River”? Is our third person narrator in this story omniscient? Give support from the story. Who was Hopkins? What are the implications of these lines: “His mind was starting to work. He knew he could choke it because he was tired enough”? (985). Why can’t Nick go fishing in the swamp?

After reading Glaspell’s play Trifles (and remembering what life was like in 1916 for the average American woman, who had not yet even been granted the right to vote), answer the following questions. What kind of person was Minnie Foster before she married? How do you think her marriage affected her? Characterize John Wright. Why did his wife kill him? Why do the men fail to see the clues that Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters discover? What is the significance of the play’s last line, spoken by Mrs. Hale: “We call it–knot it, Mr. Henderson”? Explain what you think the tone of Mrs. Hale’s voice is when she says this line. What is she feeling? What are you feeling?

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