Bergen Community College For Half a Day Questions

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Reading and Discussion Questions FOR HALF A DAY
1.Why does the author use “Half a Day” as the title of the story?
2.How much time elapses in the story?
3.How does the perception of time change with the boy growing up? How does he talk about the present moment,  the first half day and when he talks about his whole school experience.
4.Why is the story told in the first person?
5.How old do you think the narrator is when he recalls his school days? Can you imagine why an old man would want to revisit his primary school?
7.Why does the boy call the narrator Grandpa in the end?
8.What kind of person is the narrator’s father? Comment on the gender roles
9.At what point in the story does it become apparent that the story covers more than the narrator’s first day in school?
10.How does Mahfouz employ the theme of a journey?
11.How is the fire at the end of the story significant?
12.Why are the other activities recorded in the final paragraph important?
SECOND SHORT STORY/RESPONSE “The Yellow Wallpaper” 

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Charlotte  Perkins Gilman was a somewhat controversial figure in part because of  her determination of being outspoken on women’s issues. The first editor  refused to publish her story because no one would want to read a  depressing story like this — today it is one of the most popular  American short stories. It is suspenseful and complex, inviting various interpretations.

Reading and Discussion Questions YELLOW WALLPAPER

Pick any three questions and post your answers, each in 15o words.
1. Why have the narrator and her husband John rented the mansion? What makes it appear to be an eerie place? 
2. In the opening paragraphs, what tone does the narrator’s description of the mansion establish?
3. Describe the character of John. Does the narrator’s view of him change in the course of the story? Explain.
4. After telling us that her husband John is a physician, the narrator adds that “perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster” (paragraph 7). What does she mean by this comment?
5. How does the narrator’s description of what she sees in the outside world reflect her inner state?
6. Who is Jennie? What is her function in the story?
7.  The narrator both accepts her husband’s control over her and disobeys  him by secretly continuing to write. What effect does writing have on  her? Is her husband correct in his judgment that writing will hinder her  recovery?
8. What evidence does the story provide to explain the narrator’s present state?
9. Can it be argued that, on some level, the narrator refuses to recover? Explain.
10. In what ways does the wallpaper embody the theme of the story?

THIRD SHORT STORY/RESPONSE EVERYDAY USE

Reading and Discussion Questions FORUM EVERYDAY USE

1.  What do you imagine the mother’s relationship with Dee was like when  Dee was at home? Were they close? How do you think the mother feels  about Dee’s success? Is she proud or does she have mixed feelings? What  is the significance of the daydream where Mother and Dee are together on  the TV show?
2. Think about the relationship between Maggie and  her mother. How do you imagine they get along? What clues are available  to you from the text?
3. What does Dee say or do that reflects a  growing interest in preserving her heritage? How is the butter churn  used to contrast Dee’s relationship with her heritage with Maggie’s? Is  there anything ironic about Dee’s connection to her heritage? 
4. What is Hakim-a-barber’s purpose in the story? Contrast him with John Thomas, the man Maggie is supposed to marry. 
5.  Think about the most important object in the story, the quilts. Think  about the history of quilts, and discuss how the quilts may be symbols  of something deeper.
6. In paragraph 76 the narrator says,  speaking of Maggie, “When I looked at her like that something hit me in  the top of my head and ran down to the soles of my feet.” What “hit”  Mama? What did she understand that she had not understood a moment  before? Does anyone else in the story have an epiphany?
7. At the  end of the story, Dee tells Maggie, “It’s really a new day for us. But  from the way you and Mama live you’d never know it.” What does Dee mean?  Is it a new day for Maggie and Mama? Do they want it to be? Would the  new day require them to make sacrifices?
8. We usually admire a  person who rises out of poverty to get an education and better her  circumstances, but in this story, the reader does not generally identify  with Dee or sympathize with her. Why not? Who is the narrator in the  story? How does her view color the reader’s viewpoint? Do you see Dee as  totally unlikable? Do you think those traits that appear to be her  shortcomings are actually both common and necessary for someone to  progress in life? Should we admire Mama and Maggie who are not willing  to change?Purchase answer to see full
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