Work for The Skating Party
Find and explain one example each of both verbal and situational irony: follow the four-step quotation-using method exactly for each, using one quotation for each of these two kinds of irony. Your “step four: explain further” step for each will explain what each example of irony does for the story (what response is seen in the average reader.) 2.
What is the plot twist at the end? (Explain how Summers plays with the readers’ assumptions) 3.
Why must Merna Summers use two different points of view in order for the plot twist to work? How would the story have been different if only one of these narrators had told the story? 4.
Make a list of some possible themes explored in The Skating Party. (Your wording of these themes might use terms such as “choices,” “responsibility,” “sacrifice,” “duty,” “romance,” “personal” and so on) 5.
There is a clear example of missing information in this story: Uncle Nathan sketches the stone man for Maida, and his sister teasingly suggests that he has “forgotten” something when drawing the “very complete” stone man. What is Summers hinting at here, and how does the drawing Uncle Nathan has made represent Uncle Nathan himself? (How is he like the “incomplete” stone man he has drawn?) 6.
The stone man is a physical thing, but it represents something more abstract (not physical). What does it represent/symbolize? 7.
Explain how the inclusion of the stone man as a symbol helps make us think about one of the themes you have identified. 8.
Given Uncle Nathan’s life and his character, why is the phrase “the sound of old winters was in his voice” particularly appropriate imagery? What effect is it intended to have on the reader?
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