1. Setting – This story took place in the Willowgreen School District, near a fictionaltown call Bleke in 1933. Characters – The main character of this story is the author, Max Braithwaite, butaddition characters in this chapter are Dave McDougall, Mrs. McDougall, and theirchildren Mary, Heather, Myron, and Charles. Antecedent Action – The antecedent action in this chapter is when Max outlinesthe events leading up to the moment when he left the train at Bleke. Those eventsincluded: borrowing money for Max to finish Normal School, the incessant job searchingwith the eternal job refusals, also when Max started training in motor mechanics and,finally, when Max received a letter from the Willowgreen School District that there was ajob opening if he wished to take the offer. Point of View – This novel was told in the first person point of view. Inciting Force – The inciting force is when Max got the job at Willowgreen andalso when Max arrived at the Bleke train station.
2. The school didn?t have much substance to it. The upstairs was 25 feet square withwindows on one side, it was all one room except for a small cloak room and closet, it hada blackboard, and organ, a map with pictures of candy bars filling the oceans. It also had aUnion Jack pinned up above the blackboard, a picture of King George V, also there weresix rows of desks, and a teacher?s desk at the very front and center of the classroom. The downstairs of the schoolhouse had three rooms(two of the rooms were whatthe teacherage was made up of). In the first room there was a large coal furnace to heatthe entire building, a coal bin, and two chemical toilets(one for the boys and one for thegirls), this room was half of the basement. The other two rooms were each about 12 and a half feet long and about 8 feetwide, and both possessed a small basement window. In the living room there was aheat-range, a table, a chair and a coal oil lamp. The bedroom contained a bed, awashstand, a basin and a large water pitcher with no handle.(Picture on next page)
3. Pork was the only kind of available meat that there was to eat. Many mice wereliving in the teacherage with Max. The North Star was the only piece of equipment thatMax could use to tell what direction he was going in the dark of night. What these three things have in common is that Max has never encountered any ofthese with such dependency, and that they were literally the only things that could keephim company.
4. Pearlie Sinclair – She was seven years old, very dirty, skinny, wispy-haired, ricketyand very undernourished Myron McDougall – He was a trouble-maker, and he couldn?t read a single word,yet he had memorized every story in the reader. Sammy Sinclair – He was as dirty as his sister, he had scabies. Summer Littlewood – She was always clean and neat in appearance, and almostalways wore a smile Alan Littlewood – He was the largest boy in the room, and usually smiling. He alsoliked to play with the little children. Paul Friesen – He was a Ukrainian boy that was very smart and neat. Mary Field – She was a child who rarely spoke or smiled, she was also the onlygrade six student.
5. Problems 1) What he could teach the children that they might need to know for future use,because all of them knew perfectly well how to live in their own society, so Max didn?tknow how else he could make a contribution. 2) That the curriculum had changed drastically from when Max went to school,and Max also had no new text books that included what needed to be learned by thechildren so that they followed the curriculum. 3) How to teach the little children to read, without them just memorizing theirprimer. 4) What the children would do while Max wasn?t working with them.
Solutions 1) Max realized that not all the children would grow up wanting to becomefarmers or farmer?s wives, so he decided that he would teach them what they needed toknow to live and function in towns and cities. 2) Max decided to just focus on teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. 3) Max used sight recognition, and phonetics to teach the children to read. Indetail, he wrote small, easy to remember words on the board, and then made littlesentences from them, and made the children read them. 4) Max decided to assign reports from his set of encyclopedias to the older kids,and the younger kids would play with plasticine or practice counting pegs.
6. – ?My bed was covered with tiny bodies stacked across it like cordwood.? pg. 55 – ?She threw her beefy hands at the organ keys…? pg. 57 – ?…and came up with a wail like a sick cat.? pg. 57 – ?Then Grandma Wilson banged the organ…? pg. 57 – ?…Orville Jackson sawed at his fiddle…? pg. 57 – ?…take my by the shoulders with two immense hands and literally lift me intoplace, like a mother lifting a child.? pg. 58
7. a) – Only punish one kid, you can get the other one later. – Never punish a large amount of people just so you can punish the few who did itwrong. – Don?t become best friends with children, or else they will expect that treatmentall the time. – Punish kids when your mad, cause they know your mad and if you wait to punishthem, it will confuse them in the future. – Don?t back yourself into a corner, in which case you have no choice but to lashout.
7. b) Because Max had saw that Jake had a weakness, and Jake didn?t like it, so thenJake hit Max where it hurt and stopped supplying water, its sort of like the idea ?an eyefor an eye, a tooth for a tooth?. Max hurt Jake in one way, so Jake hurt Max in anotherway, like revenge.
8. Harris Montgomery believed in socialism. He believed that if every person orfamily was paid a monthly allowance from the government, then the depression wouldend, because then the people would spent more, so others would have more, so therewould be more money circulating around all classes of wealth, not just the upper class. Lyle English?s ideas differed greatly from Harris. Lyle says that every man shouldwork for what he wants. Why should lazy people be paid the same amount as hardworking people? He believed that if you wanted something you have to get it throughyour own sweat and hard work, and if you didn?t want to work for it then it wasn?t toimportant to you.
9. For one, the fact that the children hadn?t even sung ?Hark the Herald Angels Sing?to the right music. The other part of the Christmas pageant that was not in the programwas when Max ran out of the schoolhouse because the rotting hide that was used as abeard was starting to smell, and Max?s nose was right above it, and almost cut off hisoxygen supply completely.
10. – She had to work harder than ever before. – Bert kept saying ?we never died a winter yet? so many times that it drove Alicecrazy. – She thought that Bert?s farm would be beautiful, but it was nothing but dustreally. – No change in her daily routine. – Bert slaughtered her pet cow in front of her, and laughed when she got sick. – Bert told the whole district all the things that Alice sometimes does(like hidingfrom Indians) and he never drops them, he just keeps laughing at them without everthinking how Alice might feel about it. – She was alone all the time, and she hated it like that.
11. Tic tac toe was a game played by the children(different from the one we know) duringrecess and lunch hour when it was to cold to go outside. Hockey was what was playedwhen there was a spring thaw, and then it froze again, so it made a skating rink by theschool, so the children played hockey during recess and noon hour. During the time whenit was to wet to play hockey or baseball, the older children were in the barn, and Maxthought that they were having sex(but this was never actually confirmed) during the lunchhour. The thing that these three activities had in common is that they were done atschool, and during recess and noon hour.
12. The three problems face by farmers in this time were Russian thistle, dust storms,and grasshoppers. Dust storms were worse than blizzards, because there is no protectionagainst a dust storm. Russian thistle was so abundant that it would dwarf the crops, andeven destroy property when too many were pile along side something. The grasshopperplague was nearing a peak, and the grasshoppers ate the wheat at every stage andcompletely destroyed some crops every year.
13. He adopted a coyote named Raffles, and then after that Max had no mice problemsbecause Raffles stayed up all night eating them.
14. – ?He slithered around like a Bantu tribesman on skates…? pg. 141 – ?That streak of gray lightning…? pg. 144
15. – The inspector came when Max had slacked off the most because it was when heleast expected the inspector to visit. – The children were blushing and hiding and forgetting everything they learnedwhen the inspector asked them questions. – The inspector asked questions that Max hadn?t taught. – The gopher tails that the children had caught were rotting in the bottom drawerof Max?s desk, and the inspector found them. – The teacherage was a big mess, and Mr. Woods wanted to see it, after that Mr.Woods left.
16. Max didn?t want to live alone and eat old or rotten food. Also the District hadmade Max bitter, so Max could stay there and be bitter or go home. Max meant that he had been treated like a doormat by the District, no one cared atall about Max, they treated his as they wanted, and Max wasn?t going to get paid. SoMax felt that the people had used him as they wanted, or in other terms, they had ?walkedall over him? and he wanted to state that he was not a doormat, so he wouldn?t let themwalk on him anymore.