Describe the central conflict in Alice Walker’s Everyday Use:Choose any symbol from Cathedral and discuss its significance.

Words: 408
Pages: 2
Subject: English

Part I

Provide a short (3-5 sentence) response to the following prompts in the space provided below he following questions. Be sure to respond to all parts of the question. Excerpts from all 4 stories are included below.

1. How does Hemingway employ symbolism in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”? Choose one symbol that occurs in the story and discuss its function and significance.

2. What, besides insomnia, makes the older waiter reluctant to go to bed? Why does he understand so well the old man’s need for a café? Discuss, in particular, his meditation containing the “nada” refrain.

3. In “The Storm”, how does Kate Chopin use setting to underline and reinforce her themes and/or the action of her narrative? How does the storm (as an event in the narrative) function as a symbol?

4. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” caused considerable controversy when published in The New Yorker in 1948. Aside from the brutality of the ritual depicted, why do you think her story elicited such strong reactions from the reading public? What characteristics of human nature does Jackson’s story reveal?

5. What, if anything, can be considered ironic about the setting of “The Lottery’?

6. In Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral”, the narrator undergoes a life-changing experience in his climactic encounter with Robert (“The Blind Man”). What changes in him? What is it about their shared act of creation (drawing the titular Cathedral) that has such a profound effect on the narrator? Why is it significant that he closes his eyes at the height of his epiphany?

7. Describe the central conflict in Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”. In the narrative a conflict develops between the mother/narrator and her older daughter, Dee, about quilts. Each character assigns a different meaning to the quilts, which reflect opposing attitudes to heritage and cultural identity. Characterize these conflicting attitudes,

8. Why might “The Storm”, when published, have been controversial? Think specifically bout Chopin’s portrayal of marriage and infidelity.

9. Choose any symbol from “Cathedral” and discuss its significance. Remember that a symbol suggests or calls forth multiple ideas and associations for the reader.

10. Choose from any of the four short stories excerpted, and discuss why and how its themes should be considered relevant today. The most recent of these selections (“Cathedral”) was published in 1981. What does (whichever story you choose) have to offer to the contemporary reader, if anything? What universal human questions does it continue to pose, which continue to resonate with readers decades later?