Selection 3 Contents Before You Read Reading the Selection Responding to Literature Click a hyperlink to go to the corresponding content area.
Before 3-1 To read and analyze two dramatic monologues by speakers who present their philosophies of life To describe and paraphrase a dramatic monologue To write several paragraphs comparing and contrasting two characters Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display the information.
Before 3-2 Edgar Lee Masters was born in 1869 and died in 1950. Click the Speaker button to hear more about Edgar Lee Masters.
Before 3-3 BACKGROUND Spoon River Anthology When Edgar Lee Masters read the epigrams from the Greek Anthology, he was struck by their brevity, wit, and irony. He decided to write a similar collection comprising free-verse epitaphs in the form of monologues. The result was Spoon River Anthology. The dead inhabitants of a small midwestern town deliver the monologues with direct, sometimes frightening, honesty. Because many of the monologues are related, a complex history of numerous families unfolds. Who Am I? The characters in Spoon River Anthology were inspired by people Masters knew in Petersburg and Lewistown. “Lucinda Matlock” is based on Lucinda Masters, the poet’s grandmother. Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display the information.
Before 3-5 Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display the information. List Ideas If you were to sum up your life, what experiences would you share? What meaning would you find in those experiences? List your ideas. FOCUS ACTIVITY Has an older person ever shared with you what he or she has learned from life? Have you done the same for someone younger than you? Setting a Purpose Read to learn how two speakers view their experiences.
A Reading 3-A Active Reading Evaluate Free verse has no fixed pattern, meter, rhyme, line length, or stanza arrangement. A B C D E FA B C D E F Navigation Toolbar Why might free verse be particularly suited to this dramatic monologue, which is a speech to a silent listener? Free verse sounds very much like natural speech. Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display the answer.
Reading 3-B Point of View The speaker is Lucinda Matlock, not the poet. The thoughts and feelings expressed in the poem are those of her character. Literary Elements B
Reading 3-C Inferring Critical Thinking C What can you infer about Matlock’s view of death from this poem? She uses the words “sweet repose” to describe her death, which implies that she is not afraid of death and that she approaches it in the same positive manner in which she approaches life. Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display the answer.
Analyzing 3-1 Describe how Lucinda Matlock spent her life. What were her joys? her sorrows? She spent her life caring for her family. Her joys were her family and nature. Her sorrow was losing eight children. RECALL AND INTERPRET Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display the answer.
Analyzing 3-2 Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display the answer. What can you infer about Lucinda’s character and outlook on life, based on the information she gives in lines 1– 17? Support your answer, using details from the poem. She had a positive outlook, worked hard, and cared for others. For example, she lived with her husband “enjoying, working, raising the twelve children.” RECALL AND INTERPRET
Analyzing 3-3 Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display the answer. What is Lucinda talking about in lines 18–22? What do you think she means when she says, “It takes life to love Life”? Lucinda is talking about people with negative attitudes. Only through experiencing both the good and the bad can a person truly love life. RECALL AND INTERPRET
Analyzing 3-4 Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display the answer. Describe Lucinda’s tone, or attitude toward her subject, in lines 1–17. How does her tone change in lines 18–22? What might you infer from this change? Lucinda’s tone in lines 1–17 is happy and satisfied. In lines 18–22, her tone is serious and reprimanding, implying that she disapproves of complainers. RECALL AND INTERPRET
Analyzing 3-5 EVALUATE AND CONNECT Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display the answer. Find several examples of alliteration and describe the effect created by the repetition of initial consonant sounds. Examples of alliteration include “moonlight,” “middle” (line 4); “discontent,” “drooping,” “degenerate,” “daughters” (lines 19–20); “life,” “love,” “Life” (line 22). This alliteration provides unity and pattern.
Analyzing 3-6 EVALUATE AND CONNECT Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display the answer. Theme Connections What advice might Lucinda give about facing the ups and downs of everyday life? Lucinda might say that people must accept both the good and the bad and that they should celebrate life’s small pleasures.
Analyzing 3-7 EVALUATE AND CONNECT What simple pleasures in life do you most enjoy? Explain why.