CONSIDERATIONS FOR CRITICAL THINKING AND WRITING

 

CONSIDERATIONS FOR CRITICAL THINKING AND WRITING

1. FIRST RESPONSE. Why do you think the story is titled “Max” rather than

“Maxwell”?

2. What details are especially effective in characterizing Maxwell and his

girlfriend?

3. How does the narrator serve as an implicit foil to Maxwell?

4. CREATIVE RESPONSE. Write an additional final paragraph that describes

what happens when Max is let back into the house, a paragraph that is

worthy of the humor in the rest of the story.

5. Why do you think Carlson didn’t write that paragraph?

HERMAN MELVILLE (1819-1891) Herman

 

1. FIRST RESPONSE. The title, “Soldier’s Home,” focuses on the setting. DO

you have a clear picture of Krebs’s home? Describe it, filling in missing

details from your associations of home, Krebs’s routine, or anything else you can use.

2. What does the photograph of Krebs, the corporal, and the German girls reveal?

 

 

FAY WELDON 135

3. Belleau Wood, Soissons, the Champagne, St. Mihiel, and the Argonnewere the sites of fierce and bloody fighting. What effect have thesebattles had on Krebs? Why do you think he won’t talk about them to the people at home?

4. Why does Krebs avoid complications and consequences? How has the war changed his attitudes toward work and women? How is his home- town different from Germany and France? What is the conflict in the story?

5. Why do you think Hemingway refers to the protagonist as Krebs rather than Harold? What is the significance of his sister calling him “Hare”?

6. How does Krebs’s mother embody the community’s values? What does Krebs think of those values?

7. What is the resolution to Krebs’s conflict?

8. Comment on the appropriateness of the story’s title.

9. Explain how Krebs’s war experiences are present throughout the story

even though we get no details about them.

10. CONNECTION TO ANOTHER SELECTION. Contrast the attitudes toward

domestic life implicit in this story with those in Gail Godwin’s “A Sor-

rowful Woman” (p. 38). How do the stories’ settings help to account

for the differences between them?

11. CONNECTION TO ANOTHER SELECTION. How might Krebs’s rejection of

his community’s values be related to Sammy’s relationship to his super-

market job in John Updike’s “A & P” (p. 149)? What details does

Updike use to make the setting in “A & P” a comic, though nonethe-

less serious, version of Krebs’s hometown?

1. FIRST RESPONSE. Do you agree with Weldon’s first line, “This is a sad

story”? Explain why or why not.

2. How does the rain establish the mood for the story in the first five

paragraphs?

3. Characterize Peter. What details concerning him reveal his personality?

4. Describe the narrator’s relationship with Peter. How do you think he

regards her? Why is she attracted to him?

5. Why is Sarajevo important for the story’s setting? What is the effect of having the story of Princip’s assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife woven through the plot?

6. Describe Mrs. Piper. Though she doesn’t appear in the story, she does have an important role. What do you think her role is?

7. What is “Ind Aff” ? Why is it an important element of this story?

8. What is the significance of the two waiters (paras. 38-41)? How do they affect the narrator?

9. Why does the narrator decide to go home (para. 46)? Do you think she makes a reasoned or an impulsive decision? Explain why you think so.

10. CONNECTION TO ANOTHER SELECTION. Compare and contrast “IND AFF” and David Updike’s “Summer” (p. 155) as love stories. DO you think that the stories end happily or the way you would want them to? Are the endings problematic?

MARK HALLIDAY (B. 1949)

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mark Halliday earned a B.A. and an from Brown University and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University. A teacher

at

Ohio University, his short stories and poems have appeared in a variety of

periodicals, including the Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Re

view, Chicago Review, and the New Republic. Among his six collections of

poetry, Little Star was selected by the National Poetry Series for publication

in 1987. He has also written a critical study on poet Wallace Stevens titled

Stevens and the Interpersonal (1991).

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