L. Watson, Montana, 1948: Pre-reading Questions Those questions are designed to focus your reading of the novel and to get you thinking about your final essay about this text, even before you start reading.
You will be given additional handouts to help the discussions and to move you toward a thesis/argument and evidence (specific examples/ good quotes) for your final essay.
It’s helpful to start formulating questions, opinions, hypotheses as you read along.
The worksheets are HW assignments. We will also refer to them in our class discussions.
Read the back of the book. Study the cover. What do you think this book is likely to be about?
Take a few minutes to look through the book. Look at how long the chapters are, as well as parts 1-3. Skim a few paragraphs. How challenging would you predict the reading of this book will be, compared to our other texts? What specifically might make this novel easy or difficult to read?
Look at the reading/discussion schedule. Be sure to budget enough time to read the assigned pages.
Have you read a similar book in English? (similar in topic, length, style, time
What are some of the larger themes/issues you think are likely to emerge in this
book? Check out the useful links attached. They may provide some context (background information) for understanding the novel. What information did you find most interesting based on this quick research?
Based on your overview of the text and your quick research into the context, write
historical context. Write at least two questions here:
At this early stage in your reading process, what can you assume or predict about
this novel? Write at least three assumptions/predictions/hypotheses about either its content or its style:
Montana 1948 Useful Literary Terms and Usage Notes Point of view/Perspective (first-person point of view)
THEMES Start your list here and add more as we discuss the novel.
Part Two (pp.47- 93)
Is there anything in these pages that you do not understand well? (For example, vocabulary, sentence structure, historical/cultural references, confusing information).
Do you notice any images or symbols in this section? If so, what large themes
or issues might these images or symbols represent?
How would you describe Grandpa Hayden’s character? What words/details
stand out in the narrator’s description? (Note page numbers)
Pick another character to analyze in the same way.
How would you describe Grandpa Hayden’s house? What words/details stand
out in the narrator’s description? (Note page numbers.) Does the house reflect
anything about Grandpa, David, or about themes/issues in the novel?
Write at least two discussion questions that are focused on the text.
Write at least two hypotheses (possible arguments) about the content/style of
the novel so far. Try to write one of them as a potential thesis statement abouta theme we identified. Pretend that you must write a paper about this novel tonight – what argument could you make so far? Could the hypothesis be a possible answer to the questions you wrote in #5?
WR097 Montana 1948
Do you see any promising ideas for an analytical essay about the novel? Do you see potential arguments for thesis or evidence to support arguments? Do you disagree with anything here? Do you strongly agree with anything here? Any grammar/word usage errors that should be corrected?
How author got to be interested in Native American’s problem?
How real is this story? Is the novel based on reality?
Why Montana? Why 1948? What happened during that time? What is, historically, the role of Indians in Montana?
Is the father’s choice correct as a sheriff? What about as a father?
What is the life on a small town like?
What make the issue in the book so “hopelessly complex”?
Everyone, including Frank’s father and wife, knows Frank’s crimes, but why no one says anything?