Study Guide for Realism Unit

Study Guide for Realism Unit
“The Outcasts of Poker Flat”
1. Why is Oakhurst not hanged?
2. Who is in the group with Oakhurst? What is the first impression of each?
3. How does most of the party spend the first night?
4. How does the setting foreshadow future events?
5. What does the Tom Simson story tell us about Oakhurst?
6. What two bad events take place during the evening?
7. How has the group changed with Uncle Billy gone and Tom and Piney present?
8. What is Oakhurst’s opinion of luck?
9. After a week of being snowed in, how does everyone react to their situation?
10. How is Mother Shipton’s change apparent? The Duchess? Piney?
11. How is Oakhurst “the strongest and yet the weakest”?
“A Wagner Matinee” (688)
1. Define setting. What is the setting for this story?
2. What does the mention of his aunt’s name do to the narrator?
3. Under what conditions had the aunt lived while in Nebraska?
4. Describe the aunt physically.
5. What had the aunt done for the narrator?
6. Before going to the symphony, what is the aunt’s primary concern?
7. Why does the “Prize Song” bring tears to the aunt’s eyes?
8. Why does she not want to leave? What does this say about her?
9. In what way might this story be considered Regionalism? What region is it about?
“The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”
1. In stories like “Outcasts of Poker Flat,” what image of the West is portrayed?
2. How does the description of the train clash with the image of the Wild West?
3. Why are other passengers and even the “negro porter” able to be subtly derisive to the
4. Why does Jack Potter believe he has “gone headlong over all the social hedges” in
getting married?
5. How does the “Weary Gentleman” saloon fit the image of the Wild West?
6. What purpose does the drummer serve in the story?
7. Who is Scratchy Wilson?
8. How does Scratchy Wilson’s clothes belie who he is?
9. What does Scratchy’s treatment of the dog tell us about him?
10. How is Scratchy “a simple child” confronted by a “foreign condition” at the end of
the story?
11. How does this story reflect Regionalism?
“The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (679)
1. Define dialect. Give an example from the story.
2. What’s the joke in the first paragraph?
3. How are Smiley’s horse and dog similar?
4. How does the stranger win the bet?
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” (580)
1. Define first person, third person omniscient, and third person limited point of view.
2. When the condemned man sees the stream, what does he call it?
3. What is unusual about the man’s ticking watch?
4. At the end of part I, what is the condemned man thinking about?
5. How is Peyton captured?
6. How does Peyton first evade hanging?
7. What details of Peyton’s escape in the river seem strange?
8. What details of the trail that Peyton finds seem strange?
9. What happens at the end?
10. What is the point of view?
“The Yellow Wallpaper” (766)
1. Why is John being a doctor a problem?
2. How does John treat his wife?
3. What is her description of the wallpaper?
4. How is the room symbolic of the couple’s relationship?
5. What effect is the wallpaper having on the narrator?
6. Why is it difficult for the narrator to talk to John?
7. Why is the narrator upset that John and Jennie are examining the paper?
8. Why does the narrator appear to be improving? What’s really happening?
9. When finally alone at night, what does the narrator do? Why?
10. What does the narrator come to believe about the paper?
11. Why does John faint?
“The Story of an Hour” (783)
1. Define internal and external conflict.
2. What is Mrs. Mallard’s first reaction to the news of her husband’s death?
3. What does she see outside her window?
4. What thought comes to her? Why?
5. Define situational irony, verbal irony and dramatic irony.
6. Why is the doctor’s statement ironic? What type of irony is this?
“A White Heron”
1. Why does Sylvia like living with her grandmother?
2. What words are used to describe the man with the whistle?
3. How does the grandmother describe Sylvia?
4. What does the young man offer in exchange for the heron’s location?
5. How is the pine tree described? What does it symbolize?
6. Why does Sylvia make the decision not to tell? What type of conflict is this?