Eng 211 Short Story Questions and Answers

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The Loon

Study Questions 1. What is the relationship between Vanessa and Piquette, and how does this relationship change?

Vanessa's feelings towards Piquette change from discomfort to curiosity to embarrassment.

2. How are the Metis represented in the story?

“if that half-breed youngster comes along to Diamond Lake, I'm not going” (188)

Vanessa's images of Natives are drawn solely from literature, and these representations are only superficially positive. When Piquette doesn't reveal nature's secrets, Vanessa concludes “as an Indian, Piquette was a dead loss” (191)

3. What do the loons symbolize?

“My dad says we should listen and try to remember how they sound, because in a few more years when more cottages
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Presenting two points of view simultaneously allows the reader to see what Vanessa sees, but also to understand what Vanessa does not. This creates a tension between innocence and maturity
Study Questions 1. What do the first three paragraphs tell us about the setting of the story?

The first three paragraphs of “Araby” introduce the physical setting of the story—North Richmond Street—but also establish the mood of the story. The residents of North Richmond Street are Catholic and working-class. The street is twice called “blind,” emphasizing the literal limits of the street and the figurative limitations of the city. The mood is further established with the descriptions of brown and sombre houses, musty air and dark streets, yellowing pages and straggling bushes, dark muddy lanes and dark dripping gardens, ashpits and odorous stables, and the interplay of light and dark imagery, all of which suggest economic and spiritual poverty. “Araby” is the story of a young romantic boy who lives in this unromantic environment, and the motif of blindness and sight permeates his character development.

2. How old is the narrator of “Araby”?

A school boy

3. How is Mangan's sister described in the story?

“What innumerable follies laid waste my waking and sleeping thoughts” (130), and that suggests his sensual desire for her: “The light from the lamp opposite our door
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