2About the Selection“The Bridegroom” is a variation on the familiar folk story of a worthy young person standing up to declare independence and becoming heroic by doing so.The poem raises questions about fate, wishes, and particularly about making choices for yourself.
3Literary TermsForeshadowing is when the author gives hints as to what will happen next in a story.You can use writer’s hints at future events to predict outcomes.
4Words to Know Foreboding – feeling that something bad will happen Tumult – noisy commotion
5Poetry Terms Narrative Poem A poem that tells a story, contains a conflict, and has a resolution.AlliterationRepetition of consonant sounds.(Line 16) “She sat with her sisters.”
6Poetry Terms Repetition Repeating words or phrases to add emphasis (Line 29) “It was he! It was he!”
7Making PredictionsWhat does Natasha’s strange behavior followed by renewed cheerfulness lead the reader to predict about future events?Her strange behavior together with the fact that she’s been gone for three days, points to a troubling future.
8Word UsageTroika – a Russian carriage or sleigh drawn by a team of three horses harnessed side by side
9ComprehensionWhat is Natasha’s reaction to the young man in the troika?Natasha is terrified.
10CultureHistorically, marriage was regarded as an alliance between two families, rather than just between two individuals. Wealthy families could add to the their money and power through a child’s marriage. Marriage was also a means of bringing peace between former enemies.
11MatchmakerA matchmaker is an intermediary whose responsibility is to arrange a marriage to the satisfaction of both families involved.The matchmaker in “The Bridegroom” looked for a man who was handsome, young, rich, and generous for Natasha to marry.
12ComprehensionWhy is Natasha silent when the matchmaker comes to talk to the family about a possible groom?Her silence suggests that she is strong, independent, and perhaps considerate of her parents’ feelings, or that there is something she feels she cannot tell them.
13ForeshadowingWhat does Natasha’s sobbing and shuddering when her father agrees to the match foreshadow?It predicts that she will not go happily into the wedding.Since Natasha is terrified of the young man on the troika, this foreshadows that something surprising will happen at the wedding.
14Making PredictionsWhy does Natasha suddenly become calm after the matchmaker splashes water in her face?She realizes she has no choice and will have to go through with the wedding.She may also have already hatched a plan to get out of the marriage.
15Making PredictionsNatasha says (line 87-88), “…and call the law to the feast.”Why does she invite the law to her wedding?This foreshadows the arrest of the bridegroom.
16Natasha’s DreamIn Natasha’s dream, she hides behind the stove in a hut in the woods and watches twelve unruly men and a sad, quiet woman.One of the men kills the woman and cuts off her hand.
17Natasha Why does Natasha refuse to eat or drink at the wedding feast? She does not intend to celebrate the upcoming nuptials.She must keep a clear head to allow her plan to work.
18Question #2 Summarize the first eight lines of the poem. After disappearing for three days, Natasha returns home upset. She refuses to answer her parents’ questions.Where was she during the three days she was missing?She probably witnessed the murder.
19Question #3 Describe Natasha’s reaction to the wedding. At first Natasha is upset, but then she appears to accept the marriage.What accounts for this switch in attitude?She probably felt safe in confronting the bridegroom as murderer with her family and friends surrounding her.
20Question #4How does Natasha respond to her bridegroom’s question about why his bride is so sad?She tells him a dream has been haunting her.Did Natasha have the “evil” dream she describes?No, she is using the dream to make her case.
21Question #5How does Natasha’s attitude at the beginning contrast with her behavior at the end?At the beginning, she seems fragile and shy. At the end, she is courageous and independent.How can we account for the change?She has been able to bring the bridegroom to justice and avoid the marriage.
22Question #7 Why is the setting of the poem important? The poem could only take place in a culture that practiced matchmaking.Would the setting be realistic today?It wouldn’t unless it was set in a culture that still practiced arranged marriages.