Assignment 1: dipping our toes in the group:

AP English Language and Composition
Ms. Finn
Assignment 1: dipping our toes in the group:
We’re still getting warmed up for the real work online
Read pages 3-32 for Wednesday. Before class Wednesday, complete the following assignment:
Remember: the opening of any story (or play) is exposition – an introduction and development of setting
and character. The film G-d Grew Tired of Us started with documentary information about the Lost Boys
and what they have been through – and this information was necessary to completely understand their
resilience. In an effort to completely understand the people Capote chooses as his subject, we will do
some detail work together right here at the beginning.
Choose one detail from the reading about either one of the two settings (distinguish between the two,
please, in your analysis) or a character (any one of the Clutters, Dick, or Perry): cite the detail correctly
and then analyze the significance of that detail. In other words, what does Capote want you to know
because he included the detail you chose?
Example 1:
“In regard to his family, Mr. Clutter had just one serious cause for disquiet – his wife’s health. She was
“nervous,” she suffered “little spells” – such were the sheltering expressions used by those close to her”
“Sheltering expressions”? I know what that means. Her friends and family know that these “spells” are
not an actual ailment – they are a mental disquiet from which she suffers. Sometimes people like her are
called “delicate” or “sensitive,” although I get the feeling that she goes beyond both of these monikers.
Example 2:
“The local accent is barbed with a prairie twang, a ranch-hand nasalness, and the men, many of them,
wear narrow frontier trousers, Stetsons, and high-heeled boots with pointed toes” (3).
Of course I associate these kinds of people with farms – and it seems that the opening of the book is
actually on a farm, especially with all the “countryside.” I also associate farms with morality and
Christianity. Typically, the farms in Middle America are owned and run by “good” families who embody
the standards of good nature and ethics that we prize in this country.
Yup, that’s all. Assignment One is worth 5 points. And don’t worry – we’re just getting started.