Details/ Interpretive Inference Chart for Short Stories and Poems (Per. 3)



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Details/ Interpretive Inference Chart for Short Stories and Poems (Per. 3)

Story or Poem

Details (Evidence)

Interpretive Inferences (Analysis)

“Song”- Adrienne Rich

Repeats “lonely”
“Lonely as a plane…, a woman driving across country leaving behind little towns she might have stopped and lived and died in lonely.”

“loneliness of waking first and breathing “dawn’s first cold breath.”



She is an independent person.

Challenges the idea of being lonely and she enjoys the solitude of time spent doing what she wants and going different places.


She notices how the world is full of changes in the natural world.

She feels comfortable being by herself.

Meaning of song - she might appear sad and lonely but she’s actually independent and content of her life.


“The Stones” - Richard Shelton


Old stones want to restrict the lives of the younger stones. The younger stones want to “travel and see something of the world.”
“They want to go to the river. But the old stones disapprove. They call it downright sinful.” “Old stones are conservative.”
“It (the moon urging them to follow) is a stone gone mad.”


The (elder stones) don’t like the moon because it moves across the sky and urges them to follow.
Older people sometimes fear change & look down upon adventure.
Water represents movement and the ability to have fun and be independent and have freedom.
The young stones want to live their own life and not be restricted by the elder stones.

They want to create their own meaning and follow their own paths.



“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”- Maya Angelou



Mentions that the bird is trying to get out of its cage by singing about freedom.

“narrow cage” and “bars of rage.”

The bird is trapped and “stands on the grave of dreams.”
“Wings are clipped” & “feet are tied.”
“The caged bird sings of things unknown but longed for still.”


The bird represents a woman who is trying find freedom from oppression, Segregation, slavery.
The bars represent the laws and barriers/ boundaries that prevent people from escaping captivity.
The grave represents what she can’t do, but she still has hope and perseverance.
The “orange sky” represents the possibilities for the free bird and how she dares to fight against boundaries and laws.


“Diverging Paths and All That” – Maryanne O’Hara

Two kids are tempted to steal –

One chooses to steal and other does not


Takes place during the time that Nixon is about to resign - “Impeach the crook”
Billy is headed someplace else (where?)

Narrator says that “even the president is a crook” and notices that the adult’s faces are “solemn as gravestones”



Billy is headed in the wrong direction
Narrator realizes that crooks get caught – feels anxious, fearful, guilty, and thus makes a different choice

Choosing different paths will affect one’s future (theme  thesis)




“A Lesson Not Learned” – Carol Sherman-Jones


A girl who loses things, punished by father, doesn’t learn lesson, learned different lesson.
“I learned not to trust his laughter.”
“His rage gored both my mother and me.”
Her toys were “mangled beyond recognition.”
“Not a lesson of responsibility.”

“Because even his laughter hurt.”

“I just stood there holding my hand to my burning cheek.”


She doesn’t want to be treated in an aggressive or poor way.
She is closer to her mother. Shocked or startled at father’s violent reaction.
Not careful of her toys or possessions.
She is physically and emotionally hurt.
She may not learn from this, and she will always distrust her dad and maybe other authority figures in her life.


Connections: Individuality, Choices, Freedom, Limits/Captivity

A Lesson Not Learned” and “The Stones”



Thematic Subject: Disapproving adults vs. children

Thesis: When disapproving adults limit the freedom of their children, the children act in rebellious and independent ways.

Evidence (Detail) 1:

Evidence (Detail) 2:

Thematic Subject: Individuality/Making Personal Choices:

Thesis: Personal Choices will determine a person’s future in positive or negative ways.

Adults who are poor role models can teach children to make poor decisions in life.

Thematic Subject: Freedom vs. Captivity (Contrast freedom with imprisonment)

Thesis: Independence is necessary for a fulfilling life.

People, who fear change, don’t get to experience adventures.

Evidence (Detail) 1: “Caged Bird” The wings are clipped and the feet are tied and are not allowed to travel

Evidence (Detail) 2: “The Stones” The young stones want to travel…

Thematic Subject: Fear of Change

Thesis: People who fear change don’t get to experience adventures.

People who fear change limit the possibilities for their life.

People who have limited possibilities in life remained trapped and lonely

Evidence (Detail) 1:

Evidence (Detail) 2:


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