Station 9

Station # 9 Gettysburg
Gettysburg by Gary Paulsen
With dramatic immediacy rare in a third person story, Paulsen makes us experience the Battle of
Gettysburg with Charley, a Union soldier. Charley moves from confidence and safety behind the Union
barricades into the thick of the fighting, where he is killed in the deciding moment of the battle.
1. Paulson gives us Charley’s thought, but not his feelings. On the chart, in the left column, list Charley’s main
thoughts that move the story along. Across from each, in the right column, list ideas about how Charley might have
felt while having that thought.
Charlie’s Thoughts
Charlie’s Feelings
2. What two things did Charley do to prepare for the upcoming battle?
3. What are the elements that make the battle seem to Charley “the way it should be done”?
4. This piece is an excerpt from a longer novella. Based on what we know from this excerpt, do you think Charley
had ever been in a major battle before?
5. Paulsen creates a dramatic contrast on pages 74-75. He describes Charley’s experience of two different types of
fighting- the clean, orderly “distant” battle he fights from behind the barricades; then the messy, chaotic, brutal
experience of hand-to-hand combat. Discuss this contrast using the following questions:
A. What words or phrases (74) contribute to the sense of order and distance?
B. What words or phrases (74-75) contribute to the sense of brutality and chaos?
C. How might the feelings about war be different for a soldier who has survived a chaotic hand-to-hand battle
from the one who has only fired in formation from a safe distance?
Station # 9 Gettysburg
At Gettysburg a poem by Linda Pastan (pages 140-141)
Pastan reflects, as a visitor, on the contrast between the lovely, peaceful field seen by tourist and the site of the
battle that made it famous.
1. The poem is full of sensory images that create contrast between the field now and at the time of battle. Read the
poem aloud and identify 2 or 3 phrases that bring visual or auditory images to mind. Write down what you picture.
2. To what does the author compare the fading smoke of gunfire?
3. What does Patsan mean when she says, “…the only red visible comes at sunset?”
4. What feelings does the poem leave with the reader?
Poetry vs. Prose
Prose is the natural flow of speech rather than a rhythmic structure (as in traditional poetry). Unconventional
line and stanza breaks may interfere with flow and understanding for you. If this happens ignore the poetic form and
read the piece as if it were a prose. With its lack of rhyme, and unconventional line and stanza breaks, this piece
invites us to question why it was written as poetry rather than prose. Discuss and answer the following questions
with your group.
5. What elements of poetry can you find in the piece?
6. What elements of prose can you find in the piece?
7. Why do you think Pastan wrote the piece as a poem rather than a prose or short essay?
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