2Plot line Exposition (introduction, setting) One room school house Rural North AmericaPost World War IILikely 1950s
3Plot line Complication or initiating incident: Alma Nile’s question: Why can’t the girls carry the water bucket?Conflict: Man vs. SocietyGirls vs. Boys on a basic levelWomen vs. Society to gain equal rights
4Plot line Rising action: Miss Ralston surprises them by taking the question seriouslyThe boys intimidate and beat up the girlsThe girls come together in each other’s defenceMiss Ralston observes but does not intervene
5Plot lineClimax:Miss Ralston grabs the bat and tells the pitcher, ‘Come on!’She has taken up the girls’ fights and wants to show that girls are just as good as boys, even in baseball.
6Plot Line Falling action: Dénouement (resolution): Miss Ralston hits the ball into the ox pastureDénouement (resolution):Two girls are chosen to carry the water, thereby changing traditionMiss Ralston sweeps the dust off her desk in a gesture of satisfaction and pride
7Miss Ralston Story’s protagonist Round character represents the new ‘modern woman’Pretty and feminine yet firm and toughRole model for the girlsBecomes an advocate for the girls (stands up for them in their fight for equal rights)Able to compete with the boysIsn’t afraid to stand up for what is right
8Characters The boys and girls are mostly flat characters Not described in detailNot identifiable from each otherNot so much ‘individual personalities’ as they are ‘boys’ and ‘girls’
9SimilesNational Geographics… ‘like huge butterflies folding up their yellow wings’As for Alma… ‘we stuck to her like burrs’‘when… we’re hanging around the entry door like a lot of scared chickens’
10Irony Girls fighting to carry water What do you know about those developing countries they read about in the National Geographic?What is one the daily occupation for girls?Who gets to go to school?Miss Ralston’s ball soars into an ox pastureAn ox is usually a castrated male bovine (not a cow or bull)The author did NOT choose a ‘wheat field’!
11Metaphors The story itself ‘such a bombshell’: Alma’s question Fighting for the right to carry the water bucket represents women’s fight for equal rights throughout history.‘such a bombshell’: Alma’s questionThe dancing dust motesOnly visible when the sun shines and otherwise invisibleMiss Ralston is like the sunlight enabling the girls to be seen and recognized.the girls can dance and celebrate their rights.It feels good to help others achieve equality.
12Topic and Theme Theme: Directly stated: Equal rights Indirectly: Topic: Challenging traditionTheme:Directly stated: Equal rightsIndirectly:The courage, patience and determination it takes to change any traditionSpecifically, change for women’s rights but also generally, for everyone’s rights: children, LBGT, the poor, mentally ill, seniors, etc.
13Characterization Direct Indirect Author’s description of the character and how she behaves‘she was young…she was pretty big…she was strict’IndirectWhat the reader understands or interprets by what the character says or does
14Indirect characterization But the unusual thing about Miss Ralston was the way she sometimes stopped in the middle of a lesson and looked at us as if we were real people…‘I’ll think about that,’ she said, -- as if, you know, she would – ‘and I’ll let you know next Friday.’