ANALYZE CRAFT AND STRUCTURE Memoir Read the passage. Then, answer the question(s). (1) America has always been a nation of restless people. Look at me. I haven’t sat still since the day I was born. In the mid-1850s, thousands of people said “Farewell” to the Midwestern states, climbed into covered wagons, and headed west. In the mid-1950s, my mom and pops said, “See ya!” to the East Coast, climbed into a station wagon, and headed west, too. Their restlessness embodied something essentially American, if a little reckless, and my childhood reflects this national spirit. (2) This was the era when Americans’ love of cars and the open road was growing. Well, so I’m told. Interest in driving was spreading like spilled milk on linoleum. (3) One night I tiptoed downstairs to peek at a television show my parents were watching. I felt fascinated by a world where everything was black and white. In the show, a woman named Lucy and her friends were on a cross-country road trip. They all sang “California, Here I Come.” To be clear, Lucy didn’t so much sing the song as shock it with the electric power of her loud, off-key vocals. (4) That summer my parents announced that we were moving to Santa Barbara. Had the song about California inspired them? Or did they just want to get far away from the TV? (5) Seems they couldn’t resist the pleasure of squeezing everything—unwieldy suitcases, fragile china, Grandma, and my kid brother’s pet guppies—into a cramped, sputtering station wagon. By the time we had finished packing the car, it was as wide as a two-lane highway. At least nobody would be able to pass us. (6) Did our tin can on wheels even have air-conditioning or backseat safety belts? Not in those days. Instead, we equipped our car with reckless enthusiasm and peanut butter sandwiches. (7) Having given you the big picture, let me show you a close-up of the morning we left. “Mom, Pops,” I announced proudly. “I’m going to help you with the driving.” (8) “Oh, that’s all right,” said Mom. “Your father and I have it covered.” (9) “Yeah, but you’ll get tired. I never, ever get tired, isn’t that right, Pops?” (10) “No, you never, ever do,” my Pops agreed, sighing. (11) “Great! So I can drive?” (12) “N-o, no,” said my parents in unison. (13) “But why not?” I protested. “I know what direction to follow, and I even know a song we can sing on the way. So why can’t I drive?” (14) “Sweetie,” Mom said gently. “You’re only six years old.” Clearly, they were unwilling to see reason. 1. What is the author’s purpose in this passage? (i.e. to persuade, to describe….) 2. Underline a sentence from the memoir that supports the answer to question 1? 3. In which paragraph of the memoir does the author relate an anecdote? 4. Read the first paragraph of the memoir. America has always been a nation of restless people. Look at me. I haven’t sat still since the day I was born. In the mid-1850s, thousands of people said “Farewell” to the Midwestern states, climbed into covered wagons, and headed west. In the mid-1950s, my mom and pops said, “See ya!” to the East Coast, climbed into a station wagon, and headed west, too. Their restlessness embodied something essentially American, if a little reckless, and my childhood reflects this national spirit. Which line from the memoir is an example of hyperbole? (underline it) 5. Circle the clearest instance of social commentary in the main passage? 6. Give one reason why this passage is literary nonfiction? NALYZE CRAFT AND STRUCTURE “Active Colorado Real Estate,” Hayden Carruth The following passage is an abridgment of a short story called “Active Colorado Real Estate” by Hayden Carruth. (1) “When I was visiting at my uncle’s in Wisconsin last fall, I went out to Lake Kinnikinnic and caught a shovel-nose sturgeon which weighed eighty-five pounds.” (2) It was Jackson Peters who spoke, and he did it rapidly and with an apprehensive air, for Jones was watching him closely. As he finished, Peters drew a long breath, and seemed much relieved that he had got through the story without an interruption. (3) “Eighty-five pounds,” mused Jones. (4) “Yes, eighty-five pounds and ten ounces, to be exact, but I called it eighty-five.” (5) “Exactness does not help your story in the least, Jackson,” continued Jones. “You might give us the fractions of the ounce, and your story would still remain a crude production. I am in the habit of speaking plainly, and I will do so now. I take it that we are to consider your story simply as an exaggeration—that the fish probably didn’t weigh ten pounds. Simple exaggeration, Jackson, is not art, and is unworthy of a man of brains. Anybody can exaggerate—the street laborer as easily as the man in Congress. But artistic story-telling is another thing, and the greatest may well hope for distinction in it. (6) “Why did you not, Jackson, tell an artistic lie, and say that when you pulled your fish out of the water the level of the lake fell two feet?” Peters moved about uneasily, but made no reply. (7) “You never tell fish-stories, Jones?” observed Robinson, in an inquiring tone. (8) “Seldom, Robinson.… I prefer to have the reputation of telling a plain tale artistically to that of telling a fabulous one like a realistic novelist. That is the reason I never told any one of my experience at breaking one hundred and sixty acres of land to ride.” (9) “Tell us, by all means, Jones,” said Robinson. (10) “Yes, go ahead,” added Smith. Jackson Peters hid himself behind a cloud of cigar smoke. (11) “It was an exciting experience,” said Jones, thoughtfully, as he gazed into the fire, “and one which I have never mentioned to anybody, although it happened twenty years ago.… There was a great mining boom in Colorado, and I closed my defective-flue factory in Chicago, to the intense joy of the insurance companies, and went out. I saw more money in hens than I did in mines, and decided to start a hen ranch. Eggs sold at five dollars a dozen. (12) “The hen, you know, requires a great amount of gravel for her digestion, and she also thrives best at a high altitude; so I went about two miles up Pike’s Peak and selected a quarter-section of land good for my purpose. There was gravel in plenty, and I put up a small house and turned loose my three hundred hens. I became so interested in getting settled that I forgot all about establishing my right to the land before the United States Land Office at Colorado Springs. (13) “One day a large, red-headed man came along and erected a small house on one corner of my ranch, and said that he had as much right to the land as I. He turned out two hundred head of goats, and started for Colorado Springs to file his claim. He had a good horse, while I had none. It was ten miles to the town by the road, and only five in a straight line down the mountain, but this five was impassable on foot or in any other ordinary way. (14) “But I did not despair. I had studied the formation of the land, and knew what I could do. I took a half-dozen sticks of giant powder and went over to a small ridge of rocks which held my farm in place. I inserted the powder, gentlemen, and blew those rocks over into the next county. (15) “I then lay down on my back and clung to a root while I rode that one hundred and sixty acres of good hen land down the mountain to Colorado Springs. It felt very much like an earthquake, and I made the five miles in a little over four minutes. Probably ten acres of my farm around the edges were knocked off along on the grand Colorado scenery, and most of the goats jolted off, but the hens, gentlemen, clung, the hens and myself. The corner of my front yard struck the Land Office and knocked it off its foundation. (16) “The register and receiver came running out, and I said: ‘Gentlemen, I desire to make claim entry on the northeast quarter of section twenty-seven, township fourteen south, of range sixty-nine, and to prevent mistake I have brought it with me.’ The business was all finished by the time the red-headed man came lumbering along, and I gave him ten minutes to get the rest of his goats off my land. He seemed considerably surprised, and looked at me curiously.” 7. What is the theme of the story? 8. Underline the sentence in the passage that best supports the answer to question 7. 9. How does the imagery in Jones’s story help develop the author’s theme? 10. What sentence from the passage supports the answer to question 9?