2ThemeThe importance of pursuing true love regardless of perils and obstacles
3Plot Summary Newt and Catharine grew up next door to each other. There had always been playful, comfortable relationship between them, but never any talk of love, at least from Catharine.Now, Newt is in the army and Catharine is still home, about to marry Henry Chasens.Newt gets word of the potential marriage, realizes that he loves Catharine, and goes AWOL from the army to see her.When Newt arrives back home, he convinces Catharine to take a walk in the nearby woods, like they used to do when children.Deep in the woods Newt discusses his true feelings for Catharine, but is shunned by her. However, through Newt’s efforts, there is a love shown between the two at the end of the story.
4Important QuotesBells rang in the tower of the school for the blind nearby. “School for the blind," said Newt. "School for the blind," said Catharine. She shook her head in drowsy wonder.Vonnegut uses the school of the blind to symbolize that true love can only be felt through the heart and mind, not through just sight.
5Important Quotes (Continued) “If he called to her, she would run to him. She would have no choice” (pg 58).Catherine knew she would follow her heart and choose loving him despite how illogical it seemed.“...she realized that what she said was true, that a woman couldn’t hide love.” (pg 55).Her words could no longer betray her emotion. She is hopelessly in love with Newt and is finally able to accept it.
6CharacterizationNewt- love struck young man that wishes to rekindle a relationship with his childhood friend. He displays a hint of jealousy, since he decides to only make a move after she is already planning a marriage to another person.Catharine- somewhat of a flirt, who doesn’t know exactly what she wants. She is surprised by the sudden declaration of love from Newt, and is torn between the man she is to be wed with, and Newt. She is seen as very flirtatious and naive, as she was blind to the love that Newt had for her.
7Symbolism War: Walking: Newt left an actual war to figuratively fight the “battle of war” for Catherine. Parallels the wars fought.Walking:Establishing a new life, whisking Catherine away from her own life and creating a new path with Newt
8Characterization Newt He is very reflective of the author, choosing to pursue his true love.He tries to guilt Catherine by saying he is AWOL, and almost forces her onto the walk with him.He is well disciplined, as shown through his manner of speech and his actions towards Catherine by telling her to consider her options, and not forcing her to make a decision and choose him.
9Characterization (cont’d) CatherineShe is a follower, literally in terms of the walk.She is very unsure about her future and what she wants, nonetheless with whom she wants to be with.She is insecure with herself because she choose to settle with a man that she knew was not the person for her.
10StructureAs the story progresses, so does how far they get into the woods.The deeper they go into the woods, the more they confess about their love for each other.This hints to either how deep their love for each other is or how deep they have to find it within themselves.Either way though, their love overcomes themselves only leading to them being together in the end.
11MotifThe line “One foot in front of the other-through leaves, over bridges,” is mentioned throughout the story, describing the struggle/journey love faces through obstacles.Also, it describes the slow and steady way it took for them to realize they loved each other, and what it will take to continue it’s growth.
12Importance of TitleOriginally supposed to be “Hell to Get Along With”, which is a more playful title, possibly reflecting their playful relationship, although this characteristic was not evident in the story.Symbolic of the couple starting their new life together “forever”