This is our first virtual period activity.
After reading this story in class, get in pairs and answer the following questions in pairs. Share a drive with me. Don´t forget to include the two names in the document.
DEADLINE: March 20
“The Stoat” by John McGahern (1978)
John McGahern- (1934- 2006)
. Irish writer of novels, plays, and short stories
. Mother died of cancer when the author was 10 years old.
. Had a distant relationship with his father as the father was physically abusive
to the children
. Author was the oldest of 7 children
. Won scholarships to school and college, became a teacher and writer
. Father was a police officer, mother was a school teacher
Stoat: type of weasel that lives in Europe. Called an ermine in winter when
its coat changes to white from brown. Related to the ferret.
Tussock: a small area of grass that is thicker and longer than the grass
Ruefulness: expressing sorrow or regret in a slightly humorous way
Aura: air, atmosphere
Solemnity: seriously, formally, in a dignified manner
Foreboding: feeling that something bad will happen, apprehension
Widower: a man whose wife has died and he has not remarried
Farce: an absurd event, a mockery, travesty, absurdity
- Describe the protagonist’s relationship with his father. This story is autobiographical (based on real events in the author’s life). What does this tell us about the author?
- What purpose does the uncle serve in the story? The uncle is not autobiographical, so why would McGahern invent him?
- What is the father seeking? Why?
- How does he go about getting what he seeks? Does it work?
- Why does he change his mind?
- What is an allegory? (use a dictionary of literary terms)
- Explain the allegorical elements in this story.
Second virtual activity: ESSAY
DEADLINE: March 27 (Hand in. do not share a document)
Discuss the theme of death as portrayed in the short story THE STOAT by John McGahern.