2 “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell Main characters: Sanger Rainsford (famous hunter), General Zaroff (an exceptionally good hunter as well, very weathy), Ivan (Zaroff’s mute and physically intimidating servant)Setting: “Ship Trap Island” in the Caribbean, 20th centuryConflict: Sanger falls off his boat while sailing past a tropical island and swims ashore, not knowing his main conflict will be being hunted by the island’s owner, General ZaroffRising action: Rainsford meets General Zaroff (who is bored with hunting wild game and now hunts humans because they can reason), who invites him to “hunt” with him. Rainsford, horrified, refuses, and becomes the next prey for General Zaroff. He must survive for three days to be able to leave the island.Climax: Rainsford and Zaroff square off in Zaroff’s bedroomResolution: “The game” is played to the end and Rainsford kills Zaroff.
3 “The Most Dangerous Game” Theme: survival (what does it take to be a survivor?)Literary terms:rising action—stage in a story when the conflict develops and events build to the climaxconflict—struggle between opposing forcesHow they apply: plot chart covers conflict and rising actionWhat details from the story help the reader visualize Rainsford’s confusion and fear while being hunted?
4 “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry Main characters: Della (wife to Jim, who treasures her beautiful long hair), Jim (husband to Della, his treasure is his gold watch—an heirloom from his father and grandfather)Setting: New York City, late 19th century, Christmas timeConflict: Della and Jim want to give each other perfect Christmas gifts, but lack the funds to purchase what they think would be the perfect gift for each otherRising action: Della decides to sell her beloved hair in order to have money to shop for Jim’s present—an expensive chain (fob) for his pocket watch—his most beloved treasure (he uses a leather strap and is embarrassed by it)Climax: Jim is shocked that Della cut her hair. He had sold his watch to have the funds to get what she wanted most—beautiful combs for her hairResolution: They are like the magi (allusion), they have sacrificed their most treasured possessions for the perfect gift out of love for each other
5 “The Gift of the Magi”Theme: sacrifice (what are you willing to sacrifice for someone else?)Literary terms:irony—contrast between what is expected and what happenssituational irony—a character expects one thing to happen, but something else happens insteadverbal irony—when what is said is the opposite of what is meantdramatic irony—when what a character knows contrasts with what the audience knowssurprising plot twist—unexpected events in a story due to situational ironyHow they apply:irony—the gifts given to each other cannot be used because intended purpose is no longer applicableirony— “Mr. James Dillingham Young” sounds wealthier than he issituational irony—Della sacrificed her hair to get a worthy chain to Jim’s beloved watch, only to discover he had sold his watch to purchase her hair combs.
6 from Four Good Legs Between Us by Laura Hillenbrand Main characters: Seabiscuit (race horse), Red Pollard (jockey), Charles Howard (Seabiscuit’s owner and promoter), and Smith (secretive trainer)Setting: Seabiscuit’s early career of racing under Charles Howard, mid to late 1930sConflict: how can Howard make Seabiscuit famous?Rising action: Seabiscuit raced all over the country to maximize his exposure and keep him in the news, American’s were impoverished during the Great Depression of the late 1930s and loved rooting for an “underdog”Climax:Resolution: In one year, the entire country loved Seabiscuit and he was more popular in the news than the current WWII events. Howard’s strategy and Seabiscuit’s timing helped him to become enormously popular.Theme: winning (what makes a winner?)
7 Seabiscuit TimelineMain characters: Seabiscuit, Rosemont, War Admiral (all racehorses)This timeline describes the most important dates in Seabiscuit’s career. It begins with the Santa Anita Handicap (#1) in 1937 (which he lost by a nose to Rosemont), covers a number of his races (including when he defeated his rival, War Admiral, in 1938), his leg injury which resulted in not racing for the 1939 Santa Anita Handicap (#2), and concludes with his retirement, a month after his last spectacular race at the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap (#3; clocked the fastest mile and a quarter in the track’s history).Theme: winning (what makes a winner?)
8 “Races on the Radio” Radio Transcript Main characters: Clem McCarthy and Buddy Twist (radio race announcers), Seabiscuit (racehorse)Setting: 1937 Santa Anita Handicap (first time Seabiscuit races in it)Conflict: Who is going to win?Rising action: In the beginning, “it’s anybody’s race to the end.” Then Seabiscuit pulls from behind and is beating the race’s leader, Rosemont.Climax: Rosemont pulls up to Seabiscuit and they race to the end, a photo finish. Fans are thrilled, screaming “Seabiscuit!” or “Rosemont” because they think their horse won, it was so close.Resolution: Rosemont won by a nose.Theme: winning (what makes a winner?)
9 “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe Main characters: the narrator (young man who is mourning the loss of his beloved love), Lenore (the dead love of the narrator), the raven (mysterious bird who appears and says “Nevermore” in answer to the narrator Setting: in the winter at night Conflict: the narrator cannot get over living without his deceased love Rising action: a raven appears in the window and initially amuses the narrator because it can speak—often saying “Nevermore” Climax: the narrator imagines the bird is able to answer questions, such as “Will I be reunited with Lenore in heaven?” The answers are always “Nevermore,” which infuriates the narrator. Resolution: the narrator realizes he will never be happy again because he’ll never get over losing Lenore
10 “The Raven” continuedTheme: the unknown (why are we fascinated by death, spirits?) death / loss of a loved one Literary terms: narrative poem—a poem that contains the elements of plot, conflict, character, and setting to create a story speaker—the voice of the poem How they apply: narrative poem— “The Raven” is the story of a young man who is having a hard time getting over losing the love of his life, who has died. This poem has a storyline, characters, conflict, and a setting. speaker—the narrator (young man)
11 “Incident in a Rose Garden” by Donald Justice Main characters: gardener (old man), Death, master (owner of garden and employer of gardener)Setting: in a rose gardenConflict: Death has arrived in a rose garden and frightens an old gardenerRising action: the gardener reports to his master about Death and quits his job, the master confronts Death, saying “I welcome only friends here”Climax: Death smiles and says, “I knew your father…we were friends…[I wanted your gardener] to show me to his master…”Resolution: Death has come for the master, the reader assumes the master dies
12 “Incident in a Rose Garden” continued Theme: the unknown (why are we fascinated by death, spirits?) death / loss of a loved one Literary terms: narrative poem—a poem that contains the elements of plot, conflict, character, and setting to create a story speaker—the voice of the poem How they apply: narrative poem— “Incident in a Rose Garden” is a narrative poem because it tells the story of Death scaring an old man when looking for the master (for whom he has come). It has characters, a setting, plot, and conflict. speaker—the master (owner) of the garden
13 “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant Main characters: Mathilde Loisel, (“She so much longed to please, be envied, be fascinating and sought after.”), Monsieur Loisel (husband to Mathilde, minor clerk in the Ministry of Education), Madame Forestier (old school friend of Mathilde who loans her a necklace for the reception)Setting: Paris, France in late 19th centuryConflict: The Loisels have been invited to a reception, but Mathilde (who wishes she were in a higher class) feels she cannot go because she cannot look nice enough with what she has.Rising action: Mr. Loisel gives her 400 francs for a dress, then she borrows a diamond necklace from her friend.Climax: Mathilde has the time of her life at the ball (she is a success), but later realizes she has lost the borrowed necklace. They secretly purchase a replacement and work very hard for ten years to pay it off.Resolution: Mathilde discovers the necklace was paste, a mistake. If only she had been honest…
14 “The Necklace” continued Theme: status (how important is status?)Literary terms:motivation—the reason behind a character’s behavior, what drives a complex character to think and act in a certain wayHow they apply: Mathilde wanted what she could not have—to be married into a higher social class. She wanted luxury, to be admired, to be the center of everyone’s attention (everyone in the higher socio- economic classes). After the decision to secretly replace the necklace and go into dangerous debt to save face, she undergoes an internal transformation and is now motivated to help her husband repay the debts.
15 from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou Main characters: Marguerite Johnson (granddaughter to Momma), Momma (grandmother to Marguerite, owns a store, Mrs. Henderson), Mrs. Bertha Flowers (much admired teacher in town)Setting: Arkansas, 1930sConflict: Marguerite, though very bright and an avid reader, does not speak. She is also often embarrassed by Momma’s poor grammar and common greetings to Mrs. Flowers, a much-admired lady in the black community.Rising action: Mrs. Flowers takes an interest in Marguerite and invites her to her home. She begins the first of many “life lessons” for Marguerite—that there is potential in people that must be sought after, and wisdom to be learned from country folk.Climax: Mrs. Flowers challenges Marguerite to read aloud from borrowed books, and to visit Mrs. Flowers each week and recite something to her.
16 from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings continued Resolution: Marguerite revels in being liked for who she is, not who she is related to. She is especially happy to be liked by such a respected and admired person. Theme: teaching (What makes a good teacher/mentor?) Literary terms: autobiography—a writer’s account of his or her own life characterization—the way a writer creates and develops a character’s personality How they apply: This is an autobiography about Maya Angelou’s life. Maya reveals Mrs. Flower’s character through descriptions of her physical appearance, her speech, revealing Marguerite’s thoughts about her, and including her own comments, feelings, and ideas about Mrs. Flowers.
17 “Caged Bird” poem by Maya Angelou Not on test!Main characters: caged bird, free birdSetting: free bird is in the sky outside, caged bird is trappedConflict: caged bird wants to be free like the free birdRising action: caged bird sings to be freeClimax: free bird enjoys freedom and caged bird is restricted in space and wings and feet (movement)Resolution: caged bird finds a form of freedom in singing, because its spirit cannot becontainedTheme: freedom—how can one become free?Literary terms: character traits—qualities of a characterHow they apply: the free bird leaps, floats, dares to claim the sky, the caged bird can “seldom see through bars of rage,” is “fearful” and longs for its tune to be heard
18 from Rosa Parks by Douglas Brinkley Main characters: Rosa Parks (seamstress who was active with the NAACP), bus driver (James F. Blake, bully white bus driver on segregated bus)Setting: December 1, 1955; Montgomery, AlabamaConflict: Rosa, who was sitting in the middle of a racially divided bus, was ordered by the bus driver to give up her seat for a white man and move to the back of the bus.Rising action: Parks drew strength from her own family’s past, thinking of her grandfather in Alabama’s racially divided South.Climax: “Are you going to stand up?” demanded the bus driver. “No.” “Well, I’m going to have you arrested.” “You may to that.”Resolution: Rosa, strong-willed and quietly firm, had established herself as a protestor, not a victim.Theme: dignity (what is dignity?)
19 from Rosa Parks continued Literary terms:characterization—the way a writer creates an develops characters’ personalities (direct comments, physical appearance, own thoughts or actions or speech, others’ thoughts or actions or speech about that charactergenres—a category in which a work of literature is classified (four main genres in literature: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama)How they apply: Rosa is characterized as a strong-willed and quietly firm woman when she refuses to give up her seat for a white man. She sticks to her decision to not move, and she is dignified about it—she quietly replies, “You may do that.”
20 “Rosa” by Rita Dove Main characters: Rosa Parks, police officers Setting: “the time right inside a place / so wrong it was ready” (lines 2-3)Theme: dignity (what is dignity?)Literary terms:paradox—figure of speech in which a seemingly contradictory statement reveals some insight or truth.characterization—see from Rosa ParksHow they apply:“Doing nothing was the doing” is an example of paradox. How can doing nothing be doing something?Rosa is characterized as a sensible person (“Her sensible coat.”) who is also strong and serious (“the clean flame of her gaze”, “How she stood up / when they bent down.”
21 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee Main characters: Atticus Finch—widower with two young children, a compassionate lawyer who defends a black manScout (Jean Louise)—Atticus’s unusually intelligent 6 year old daughterJem—Atticus’s son, 4 years older than Scout, takes serious the responsibility of protecting his sisterDill Harris—the Finch children’s playmate, who is 7; he spends summers in MaycombBoo Radley—the Finches’ mysterious, reclusive neighborMiss Maudie Atkinson—open-minded neighbor and good friend of Atticus, Scout, and JemCalpurnia (Cal)—the Finches’ black cook, maid, and caregiverTom Robinson—young black man accused of raping Mayella EwellMayella Ewell—one of many children in the extremely poor Ewell family, alleges Tom raped and beat herBob Ewell—Mayella’s father, wastes most welfare money on alcohol for himself, not his familyHeck Tate—the sheriff of Maycomb CountyAunt Alexandra—Atticus’s sister who often antagonizes Scout, comes to care for the children during the trial
22 To Kill A Mockingbird continued Setting: (story spans 3 years) fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, 1930s Great Depression Conflict: Atticus Finch agrees to defend a black man wrongfully accused of raping a white woman. His children must watch their father battle the town’s racial prejudice with dignity and intelligence. The children are also intrigued by their reclusive neighbor, and plot to see/meet him. Rising action: Though Atticus is able to proveTom’s innocence and the Ewell’s deceipt, Tom is still declared guilty of rape and sent to jail/prison. Bob Ewell, embarrassed by Atticus, swears revenge. Tom is later killed in an escape attempt. Climax: Ewell , having menaced Helen Robinson and attempted to break into Judge Taylor’s house, attempts to kill Jem and Scout one Halloween night after the trial. Resolution: Boo Radley defends the children and kills Ewell. Heck Tate rules it an accidental death (Ewell was drunk, stumbled, and fell on his knife). Jem’s arm is broken, but he’ll live. Scout walks Boo home, never to see him again. Theme: prejudice and injustice—how Maycomb townspeople are willing to support a proven lie of a white woman over the honest testimony of a black man courage—Atticus, Mrs. Dubose education—Jem (learning not all adults are kind, understanding, and have good morals) Scout (school education; realizes Boo gave them so much and they didn’t repay him
23 To Kill A Mockingbird continued Literary terms:protagonist—the main characterpoint of view—method of narration of a storyirony—flashback—an account of an event that happened before the beginning of a storysymbol—a person, place, object, or activity that stands for something beyond itselfHow they apply:protagonist—Scout Finchpoint of view—1st personflashback—Scout recalls “what started it all” and retells the story at the beginningsymbol—mockingbird (Tom Robinson, Boo Radley); it is a sin to kill one because mockingbirds harm no one and are purely song birds. The act of killing a mockingbird becomes a symbol for any intentionally mean or evil act.Gothic Literature:murder architectural ruins interest in the pastghosts unnatural parents dark secretsimprisonment insanity