The Most Dangerous Game

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The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell (p. 18)

Vocabulary: Define the following words; all of the words appear in the story.

  1. Palpable

  2. Amenity

  3. Condone

  4. Naïve

  5. Futile

  6. Cosmopolite

  7. Debacle

  8. Zealous

  9. Affable

  10. Tangible

  11. Quarry

Literary Terms: Define the following terms and apply each to the story.

  1. Conflict

    1. __________________________ vs. __________________________

Human Nature

      1. Explain this conflict:

    1. __________________________ vs. __________________________

Human Human

      1. Explain this conflict:

    1. __________________________ vs. __________________________

Human Him/Herself

      1. Explain this conflict:

  1. Who is the protagonist in the story?

  2. Who is the antagonist in the story?

  3. Give an example of a metaphor in the story.

  4. Give an example of a simile in the story.

  5. What is the mood of the story?

  6. Who is the narrator of the story?

  7. What point of view is the story being told from?

  8. What is the theme of the story?

Characters: Fill out a brief characterization for the following characters in the story.

  1. General Zaroff

  2. Sanger Rainsford

  3. Ivan

  4. Whitney

  5. Neilsen

Reading Questions: Answer the following questions based off of the story’s plot.

  1. What is meant by “He lived a year in a minute”?

  2. What is meant by “I am still a beast at bay”?

  3. In which sea has Connell set Ship-Trap Island?

  4. How is Zaroff able to finance his lifestyle?

  5. If Rainsford wins the hunt, what does Zaroff promise him?

  6. What happened to Lazarus?

  7. Where does Rainsford spend the first night of his hunt?

  8. How many acres did Zaroff’s father have in the Crimea?

  9. Why does Zaroff suggest Rainsford wear moccasins?

  10. What caused Rainsford to believe Zaroff knew he was hiding in the tree? Do you think he was right? Give reasons.

  1. How does Zaroff stock his island with “game”?

  2. What happened to General Zaroff at the end of the story?

  3. Despite being hurt, Zaroff congratulates Rainsford on his “Malay Man catcher.” Why?

  4. How do we know Rainsford is an exceptionally fit man?

The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe (p. 286)

Vocabulary: Define the following words; all of the words appear in the story.

  1. Catacombs

  2. Virtuoso

  3. Impunity

  4. Fettered

  5. Connoisseur

  6. Gait

  7. Precluded

  8. Retribution

  9. Afflicted

  10. Explicit

Literary Terms: Define the following terms and apply each to the story

  1. Plot

    1. Example

  1. Verbal Irony

    1. Example

  2. Dramatic Irony

    1. Example

  3. Protagonist

    1. Example

  4. Mood

    1. Example

  5. Point of View

Characters: Fill out a brief characterization for the following characters in the story.

  1. Montresor

  2. Fortunato

Reading Questions: Answer the following questions based off of the story’s plot.

  1. What is the meaning of the phrase, “A wrong is undressed when retribution overtakes its redresser”?

  1. Why did Montresor seek revenge on Fortunato?

  2. How did Montresor know that the house would be empty?

  3. Where had the stone and mortar, used by Montresor to wall up the entrance to the niche, been hidden?

  1. In your own words, describe the catacombs that Fortunato is led through.

  2. Where and when is the story set?

  3. Why does Montresor make sure Fortunato has drunk a lot of wine?

  4. What is Luchresi’s role in the story?

  5. What preparations had Montresor made for his revenge?

  6. Why does Montresor appear concerned about Fortunato’s health?

  7. Why did Montresor desire to seek revenge on Fortunato?

The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant (p. 348)

Vocabulary: Define the following words; all of the words appear in the story.

  1. Rueful

  2. Discheveled

  3. Aghast

  4. Adulation

  5. Pauper

  6. Chic

  7. Dowry

  8. Usurer

  9. Vexation

Literary Terms: Define the following terms and apply each to the story.

  1. Setting

    1. Example

  1. Protagonist

    1. Example

  2. Diction

    1. Example

  3. Mood

    1. Example

  4. Theme

    1. Example

Characters: Fill out a brief characterization for the following characters in the story.

  1. Madame Loisel (Mme Loisel)

    1. Direct Characterization

    2. Indirect Characterization

  2. Madame Forestier (Mme Forestier)

    1. Direct Characterization

    2. Indirect Characterization

  3. Monsieur Loisel (M. Loisel)

    1. Direct Characterization

    2. Indirect Characterization

Reading Questions: Answer the following questions based off of the story’s plot.

  1. Why did M. Loisel expect his wife to be pleased to receive the invitation from the Minister of Education?

  1. Describe Mme Loisel’s reaction on reading the invitation.

  2. Why had M. Loisel been saving 400 Francs?

  3. Compare and contrast the life of Mme. Loisel before and after the disappearance of the necklace.

  1. Why was Mme Loisel anxious to hurry away from the ball?

  2. What efforts were made to fine Mme Forestier’s necklace?

  3. Describe how the Loisels’ life changed after they paid for the new necklace.

  4. What was Mme Forestier’s reaction when seeing Mme Loisel before she figured out who she was?

  1. What was Mme Forestier’s reaction when the necklace was returned?

  2. Do you think Mme Loisel recognized good quality jewelry? Explain.

  3. Why was Mathilde unhappy with her life at the opening of the story?

  4. Do you think M. Loisel enjoyed the ball? Give reasons.

  5. How did M. Loisel contribute to the cost of the new necklace?

The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst (p. 333)

Vocabulary: Define the following words; all of the words appear in the story.

  1. Rank

  2. Piazza

  3. Doodlebug

  4. Marquisette

  5. Imminent

  6. Brogans

  7. Infallibility

  8. Iridescent

  9. Entrails

  10. Mar

Literary Terms: Fill in the following according to the story.

  1. Exposition

  1. Rising Action

  1. Climax

  1. Falling Action

  1. Resolution


Example from text

Geographical Place

Historical Year

Physical place

Atmosphere (details)

  1. What point of view is the story told from?

  2. What is the tone of the story based off of the first paragraph?

  3. Who is the dynamic character in the story? Explain.

  4. Give an example of imagery in the story.

  5. Give an example of symbolism in the story.

Reading Questions: Answer the following questions based off of the story’s plot.

  1. How old was the narrator when Doodle was born?

  2. What is wrong with Doodle?

  3. Describe Doodle’s appearance as a baby.

  4. What is the narrator’s reaction to his new brother?

  5. What kind of brother did the narrator want/

  6. How long does it take to teach Doodle to walk?

  7. Describe Doodle’s reaction to seeing Old Woman Swamp for the first time.

  8. Why does the narrator cry when everyone congratulates him for teaching Doodle to walk?

  9. Give two examples how the narrator is cruel to his brother.

  10. What lies is Doodle good at telling?

  11. What is the theme of most of Doodle’s lies and what does this tell us about what is important to him?

  1. How does Doodle imagine her perfect future will be?

  2. Why did Doodle die?

  3. How was Doodle like the Scarlet Ibis?

  4. What emotions is the color red usually associated with?

  5. What happens to the Scarlet Ibis when in captivity? Far from home?

  6. Discuss the connection between the Scarlet Ibis and Doodle.

Disguises” by Jean Fong Kwok (p.43)
Vocabulary: Define the following words; all of the words appear in the story.

  1. Lurched

  2. Rancid

  3. Compassion

  4. Desolate

  5. Insistently

Literary Terms: Fill out the following according to the story.

  1. Exposition

  1. Rising Action

  1. Climax

  1. Falling Action

  1. Resolution

  1. What was the conflict of “Disguises”?

  1. What point of view was the story told in?

  1. What is the setting of “Disguises”?

  1. Give an example of a flashback in the story.

  1. What is Mrs. Chen’s characterization?

Reading Questions: Answer the following questions based off of the story’s plot.

  1. Why do you think Mrs. Chen dreams of her past while on the subway?

  1. What contributes to Mrs. Chen’s fear when she discovers she is lost?

  1. How does Mrs. Chen find her way home?

  1. How does the setting contribute to Mrs. Chen’s challenges of being lost?

  1. At the end of the story, Mrs. Chen is back at home, sewing her torn skirt. What does this action reveal about her life or character?

  1. What is the significance of the story being titled “Disguises”?

Cold Reading Practice
Step One: Read the story by yourself; this is practice for the EOC
Step Two: Fill out the following answers using the story to guide you
Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut

THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Some things about living still weren't quite right, though. April for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron's fourteen-year-old son, Harrison, away.

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn't think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn't think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel's cheeks, but she'd forgotten for the moment what they were about.

On the television screen were ballerinas.

A buzzer sounded in George's head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.

"That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did," said Hazel.

"Huh" said George.

"That dance-it was nice," said Hazel.

"Yup," said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren't really very good-no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn't be handicapped. But he didn't get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.

George winced. So did two out of the eight ballerinas.

Hazel saw him wince. Having no mental handicap herself, she had to ask George what the latest sound had been.

"Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer," said George.

"I'd think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds," said Hazel a little envious. "All the things they think up."

"Um," said George.

"Only, if I was Handicapper General, you know what I would do?" said Hazel. Hazel, as a matter of fact, bore a strong resemblance to the Handicapper General, a woman named Diana Moon Glampers. "If I was Diana Moon Glampers," said Hazel, "I'd have chimes on Sunday-just chimes. Kind of in honor of religion."

"I could think, if it was just chimes," said George.

"Well-maybe make 'em real loud," said Hazel. "I think I'd make a good Handicapper General."

"Good as anybody else," said George.

"Who knows better then I do what normal is?" said Hazel.

"Right," said George. He began to think glimmeringly about his abnormal son who was now in jail, about Harrison, but a twenty-one-gun salute in his head stopped that.

"Boy!" said Hazel, "that was a doozy, wasn't it?"

It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling, and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes. Two of of the eight ballerinas had collapsed to the studio floor, were holding their temples.

"All of a sudden you look so tired," said Hazel. "Why don't you stretch out on the sofa, so's you can rest your handicap bag on the pillows, honeybunch." She was referring to the forty-seven pounds of birdshot in a canvas bag, which was padlocked around George's neck. "Go on and rest the bag for a little while," she said. "I don't care if you're not equal to me for a while."

George weighed the bag with his hands. "I don't mind it," he said. "I don't notice it any more. It's just a part of me."

"You been so tired lately-kind of wore out," said Hazel. "If there was just some way we could make a little hole in the bottom of the bag, and just take out a few of them lead balls. Just a few."

"Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball I took out," said George. "I don't call that a bargain."

"If you could just take a few out when you came home from work," said Hazel. "I mean-you don't compete with anybody around here. You just set around."

"If I tried to get away with it," said George, "then other people'd get away with it-and pretty soon we'd be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn't like that, would you?"

"I'd hate it," said Hazel.

"There you are," said George. The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?"

If Hazel hadn't been able to come up with an answer to this question, George couldn't have supplied one. A siren was going off in his head.

"Reckon it'd fall all apart," said Hazel.

"What would?" said George blankly.

"Society," said Hazel uncertainly. "Wasn't that what you just said?

"Who knows?" said George.

The television program was suddenly interrupted for a news bulletin. It wasn't clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment. For about half a minute, and in a state of high excitement, the announcer tried to say, "Ladies and Gentlemen."

He finally gave up, handed the bulletin to a ballerina to read.

"That's all right-" Hazel said of the announcer, "he tried. That's the big thing. He tried to do the best he could with what God gave him. He should get a nice raise for trying so hard."

"Ladies and Gentlemen," said the ballerina, reading the bulletin. She must have been extraordinarily beautiful, because the mask she wore was hideous. And it was easy to see that she was the strongest and most graceful of all the dancers, for her handicap bags were as big as those worn by two-hundred pound men.

And she had to apologize at once for her voice, which was a very unfair voice for a woman to use. Her voice was a warm, luminous, timeless melody. "Excuse me-" she said, and she began again, making her voice absolutely uncompetitive.

"Harrison Bergeron, age fourteen," she said in a grackle squawk, "has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete, is under-handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous."

A police photograph of Harrison Bergeron was flashed on the screen-upside down, then sideways, upside down again, then right side up. The picture showed the full length of Harrison against a background calibrated in feet and inches. He was exactly seven feet tall.

The rest of Harrison's appearance was Halloween and hardware. Nobody had ever born heavier handicaps. He had outgrown hindrances faster than the H-G men could think them up. Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones, and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. The spectacles were intended to make him not only half blind, but to give him whanging headaches besides.

Scrap metal was hung all over him. Ordinarily, there was a certain symmetry, a military neatness to the handicaps issued to strong people, but Harrison looked like a walking junkyard. In the race of life, Harrison carried three hundred pounds.

And to offset his good looks, the H-G men required that he wear at all times a red rubber ball for a nose, keep his eyebrows shaved off, and cover his even white teeth with black caps at snaggle-tooth random.

"If you see this boy," said the ballerina, "do not - I repeat, do not - try to reason with him."

There was the shriek of a door being torn from its hinges.

Screams and barking cries of consternation came from the television set. The photograph of Harrison Bergeron on the screen jumped again and again, as though dancing to the tune of an earthquake.

George Bergeron correctly identified the earthquake, and well he might have - for many was the time his own home had danced to the same crashing tune. "My God-" said George, "that must be Harrison!"

The realization was blasted from his mind instantly by the sound of an automobile collision in his head.

When George could open his eyes again, the photograph of Harrison was gone. A living, breathing Harrison filled the screen.

Clanking, clownish, and huge, Harrison stood - in the center of the studio. The knob of the uprooted studio door was still in his hand. Ballerinas, technicians, musicians, and announcers cowered on their knees before him, expecting to die.

"I am the Emperor!" cried Harrison. "Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!" He stamped his foot and the studio shook.

"Even as I stand here" he bellowed, "crippled, hobbled, sickened - I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!"

Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds.

Harrison's scrap-iron handicaps crashed to the floor.

Harrison thrust his thumbs under the bar of the padlock that secured his head harness. The bar snapped like celery. Harrison smashed his headphones and spectacles against the wall.

He flung away his rubber-ball nose, revealed a man that would have awed Thor, the god of thunder.

"I shall now select my Empress!" he said, looking down on the cowering people. "Let the first woman who dares rise to her feet claim her mate and her throne!"

A moment passed, and then a ballerina arose, swaying like a willow.

Harrison plucked the mental handicap from her ear, snapped off her physical handicaps with marvelous delicacy. Last of all he removed her mask.

She was blindingly beautiful.

"Now-" said Harrison, taking her hand, "shall we show the people the meaning of the word dance? Music!" he commanded.

The musicians scrambled back into their chairs, and Harrison stripped them of their handicaps, too. "Play your best," he told them, "and I'll make you barons and dukes and earls."

The music began. It was normal at first-cheap, silly, false. But Harrison snatched two musicians from their chairs, waved them like batons as he sang the music as he wanted it played. He slammed them back into their chairs.

The music began again and was much improved.

Harrison and his Empress merely listened to the music for a while-listened gravely, as though synchronizing their heartbeats with it.

They shifted their weights to their toes.

Harrison placed his big hands on the girls tiny waist, letting her sense the weightlessness that would soon be hers.

And then, in an explosion of joy and grace, into the air they sprang!

Not only were the laws of the land abandoned, but the law of gravity and the laws of motion as well.

They reeled, whirled, swiveled, flounced, capered, gamboled, and spun.

They leaped like deer on the moon.

The studio ceiling was thirty feet high, but each leap brought the dancers nearer to it.

It became their obvious intention to kiss the ceiling. They kissed it.

And then, neutraling gravity with love and pure will, they remained suspended in air inches below the ceiling, and they kissed each other for a long, long time.

It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.

Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on.

It was then that the Bergerons' television tube burned out.

Hazel turned to comment about the blackout to George. But George had gone out into the kitchen for a can of beer.

George came back in with the beer, paused while a handicap signal shook him up. And then he sat down again. "You been crying" he said to Hazel.

"Yup," she said.

"What about?" he said.

"I forget," she said. "Something real sad on television."

"What was it?" he said.

"It's all kind of mixed up in my mind," said Hazel.

"Forget sad things," said George.

"I always do," said Hazel.

"That's my girl," said George. He winced. There was the sound of a rivetting gun in his head.

"Gee - I could tell that one was a doozy," said Hazel.

"You can say that again," said George.

"Gee-" said Hazel, "I could tell that one was a doozy."

I. VOCABULARY: Be able to define the following words and understand them when they appear in the story or class discussion.

  • oppression__________________________________________________________________

  • calibrated__________________________________________________________________

  • consternation_______________________________________________________________

  • cower______________________________________________________________________

  • hindrance__________________________________________________________________

  • luminous____________________________________________________________________

  • synchronizing_______________________________________________________________

  • vigilance___________________________________________________________________

  • wince______________________________________________________________________

II. LITERARY TERMS: Be able to define each term and apply each term to the story.
setting ___________________________________________________________________________
What is the setting of the story?______________________________________________
point of view______________________________________________________________________
From what point of view is the story told?_____________________________________


What is the theme of the story?______________________________________________
III. QUESTIONS: Answer the following questions.

  1. What has guaranteed equality in the story?

  1. How old is Harrison?

  1. What has happened to Harrison and why?

  1. How has the government made George and Hazel equal? What does George have to wear? And what does this do?

  1. What does Hazel say she would do if she were Handicap General?

  1. What is the name of the Handicap General?

  1. What is the consequence for taking lessening the weight of the handicap bag?

  1. What reason does George give for not trying to cheat?

  1. Because of this reason, what can we infer about George’s opinion of the current laws?

  1. Why wasn’t the news bulletin clear at first to the George and Hazel and other viewers?

  1. Why did the ballerina apologize about her voice?

  1. What is the news bulletin?

  1. Describe Harrison Bergeron with all of his handicaps?

  1. What does Harrison declare on television?

  1. What happens to Harrison? Be specific.

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