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  • Per fect ion Learning

    M A N Y V O I C E S L I T E R A T U R E

    COLOR BLOCKS #55. Nancy Crow, 1994, 41" x 43", 100% Cottons, photo by J. Kern Fitzsimons

    Perfection Learning CorporationLogan, Iowa 51546-0500 perfectionlearning.com

    Printed in the U.S.A.

    #29992

    Literatu

    re for R

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    ers an

    d W

    ritersP

    erfe

    ction

    Lea

    rnin

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    A rich and varied collection of classic and contemporary writing with a strong emphasis on understanding the written word and developing the craft of writing

    This outstanding anthology for high school students contains canon pieces as well as the latest contemporary works by writers such as Homer, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, James Thurber, O. Henry, Sarah Ruhl, Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood, and Amiri Baraka. The thematic organization focuses on issues important to studentsgrowing up, family ties, nature, the world at large, crossing boundaries, and the past.

    A special focus on writing helps students

    understand how successful writers go about their work

    learn how to write in various modes to further their own understanding

    practice writing longer genre pieces in order to become accomplished in various writing styles

    L i t e r a t u r e f o r R e a d e r s a n d W r i t e r s

    M A N Y V O I C E S L I T E R A T U R E

    L i terature for Readers and Wri ters

    29992PathwaysPBCV.indd 129992PathwaysPBCV.indd 1 10/9/07 3:11:45 PM10/9/07 3:11:45 PM

  • iv

    To The STudenT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xii

    UNIT ONe Rites of PassageThe Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant W.d. Wetherell short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n Oranges Gary Soto poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings maya angelou autobiography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

    Through the Tunnel doris lessing short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

    Po e m S o f Pa S S ag e First Lesson Phillip Booth poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

    On Turning 10 Billy collins poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

    Hanging Fire audre lorde poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

    Vegetarian enough annie choi autobiography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

    from My Forbidden Face latifa autobiographical narrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

    Unfinished Business Elisabeth Kbler-ross interview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n Good Night, Willie Lee, Ill See You in the Morning alice Walker poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

    Wr i T e r S o n Wr i T i n gintroduction to Shelf Life Gary Paulsen book preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

    a Wr i T e r S Wo r k S h o P Autobiographical Narrative . . . . . . . . . . 90

  • v

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    UNIT TWO Family Ties The Scarlet Ibis James hurst short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

    from Riding The Bus with My Sister rachel Simon memoir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

    A Christmas Memory truman capote short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

    Po e m S o f moT h e r S a n d gr a n d m oT h e r S

    Memory lucille clifton poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

    The Courage That My Mother Had Edna St. vincent millay poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

    Lineage margaret Walker poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

    My Brothers Keeper Jay Bennett short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144

    from Letters to a Young Brother hill harper letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n Wild Geese mary oliver poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168

    Wr i T e r S o n Wr i T i n gGrandfathers Blessing Julia alvarez autobiography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n I Remember My Fathers Hands lisa Suhair majaj poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

    a Wr i T e r S Wo r k S h o P Short Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182

  • vi

    n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n

    UNIT THRee The Forces of NatureThe Interlopers Saki short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188

    from Of Wolves and Men Barry holstun lopez essay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196

    Po e m S o f naT u r e

    Birches robert Frost poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204

    Haiku Kaga no chiyo poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206

    Haiku Basho poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207

    Spring is like a perhaps hand E. E. cummings poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208

    from An Inconvenient Truth al Gore nonfiction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210

    TS u n a m i 2004

    The Deadliest Tsunami in History? national Geographic informational article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221

    Orphans Give Indian Couple Will to Live; 2004 Tsunami Killed Their Son, Two Daughters Shaikh azizur rahman newspaper article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n Wave dale Wisely poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230

    The Birds daphne du maurier novella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n Hope is the thing with feathers Emily dickinson poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270

    Wr i T e r S o n Wr i T i n gKnee-Deep in Its Absence david Petersen essay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272

    a Wr i T e r S Wo r k S h o P Nature Poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280

  • vii

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    UNIT FOUR Other WorldsA Sound of Thunder ray Bradbury short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286

    Nolan Bushnell david E. Brown article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace richard Brautigan poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 310

    Nethergrave Gloria Skurzynski short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312

    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty James thurber short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 326

    The Mystery of Chinas Celtic Mummies clifford coonan article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334

    The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World Gabriel Garca mrquez short story. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 344

    Th e Wo r l d o f Po e T ryBeware: Do Not Read This Poem ishmael reed poem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355

    The Republic of Poetry martin Espada poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357

    The Secret denise levertov poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359

    a Wr i T e r S Wo r k S h o P Critical Essay: Science Fiction . . . . . . . 362

  • viii

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    UNIT FIVe Crossing BordersBridge of the Gods anonymous myth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 368

    Borders thomas King short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376

    Delfino II: Diez in the Desert Sam Quinones biography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 390

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n Mexicans Begin Jogging Gary Soto poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404

    Po e m S aC ro S S T h e di v i d e

    Mending Wall robert Frost poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 407

    I Am the Land. I Wait marina de Bellagente poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 409

    Your World Georgia douglas Johnson poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 410

    Hip-Hop Planet James mcBride article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 412

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n KaBa amiri Baraka poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423

    Harlem II langston hughes poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 424

    Blues Aint No Mockin Bird toni cade Bambera short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 426

    Rules of the Game amy tan short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 436

    Wr i T e r S o n Wr i T i n gIn the Canon, for All the Wrong Reasons amy tan essay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 452

    a Wr i T e r S Wo r k S h o P Informational Essay . . . . . . . . . . . . 460

  • ix

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    UNIT SIX Echoes from the Pastfrom the Odyssey, Part I homer epic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 466

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n Ithaka c.P. cavafy poem . 485

    from the Odyssey, Part II homer epic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 488

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n Siren Song margaret atwood poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 501

    from the Odyssey, Part III homer epic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 504

    Po e T ry Co n n eC T i o n An Ancient Gesture Edna St. vincent millay poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520

    from The Penelopiad margaret atwood novel excerpt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 522

    Orpheus and eurydice Betty Bonham lies myth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 530

    eurydice Sarah ruhl drama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 538

    Wr i T e r S o n Wr i T i n gintroduction to We Goddesses: Athena, Aphrodite, Hera donna orgel book preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 584

    a Wr i T e rS Wo r k S h o P Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 592

  • x

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    UNIT SeVeN The Dark SideThe Most Dangerous Game richard connell short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 598

    Variations on the Death of Trotsky david ives drama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 622

    The Cask of Amontillado Edgar allan Poe short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 634

    Po e m S o f da r k n e S S

    The Bells Edgar allan Poe poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 646

    Annabel Lee Edgar allan Poe poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 650

    The Raven Edgar allan Poe poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 652

    Dozens of Roses virginia Euwer Wolff drama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 658

    The Lottery Shirley Jackson short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 664

    Wr i T e r S o n Wr i T i n gThe Morning of June 28, 1948, and The Lottery Shirley Jackson reflective essay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 676

    a Wr i T e r S Wo r k S h o P Persuasive Critical Essay . . . . . . . . . . 684

  • xi

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    UNIT eIGHT What Has Value?The Gift of the Magi o. henry short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 690

    everyday Use alice Walker short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 700

    Fabric of Their Lives amei Wallach magazine article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 712

    Po e m S o f Wo r k i n g Peo P l e

    To be of use marge Piercy poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 722

    I Hear America Singing Walt Whitman poem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 724

    The Necklace Guy de maupassant short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 726

    The Man to Send Rain Clouds leslie marmon Silko short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 738

    Marigolds Eugenia collier short story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 746

    Wr i T e r S o n Wr i T i n gPolaroids anne lamott essay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 758

    a Wr i T e r S Wo r k S h o P Reflective Essay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 764

    glo S S a ry o f l i T e r a ry Te r m S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 768

    im ag e Cr e d i T S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 777

    aC k n oW l e d g m e n T S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 779

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    underSTanding FicTion

    Short Stories and Novelsthe two main types of fiction are short stories and novels. how do they differ? Short stories can usually be read in one sitting, have fewer characters, and take place in a limited setting. they generally have just one theme, unlike a novel, which is multi-themed. Both types of fiction contain the following basic elements.

    Plot the plot is the action of a storywhat happens in it. as one old saying has it, the writer gets the hero up a tree and then gets him back down again. a good plot shows how one event leads to another, which causes another, and so on until the story ends. a problem or conflict is needed to move the story forward. no trouble equals no story!

    But fictional conflict doesnt necessarily mean things blowing up. in fiction, a conflict means that the main character wants something, and someone or something is in the way of getting it. the opponent can be anything from a raging hurricane to a picky math teacher. and some conflicts occur from within. Perhaps the main character wants to be popular, but his or her basic natureshy and awkwardmakes that goal difficult. inner conflicts can be the worst kind.

    in a well-made story, the conflict builds until there is a climax, or high point of the action. here the bully is confronted, or the inner demon is conquered. in the storys resolution, the conflict sorts itself out.

    Character as a reader, you keep turning the pages of stories mainly because you are interested in what happens to the characters. Writers create believable characters by describing their actions, speech, thoughts, feelings, and interactions with others. there are round characterscharacters who are drawn realistically and seem capable of changeand flat characters, who are undeveloped.

    Setting a storys setting includes the time period and location in which the events of the plot occur. a setting can actually influence the plot and characters, sometimes even becoming a character itself. When nature is given human characteristicsan angry sea, a forbidding forestsetting is being used as a character.

    Theme the theme is the underlying meaning or message of a story. a story is about a particular character and what happens to him or her. the theme of the story is more universal. usually, the theme is not directly stated. the reader must interpret what the author is saying through careful reading and analysis.

    Pathways

  • xv

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    underSTanding nonFicTion

    nonfiction sounds like it might be the opposite of fiction, or that it might be anything other than fiction. in fact, much nonfiction uses many of the tools of fictionvivid storytelling, characters, and settingsto write about true things. like fiction, it relies on specific details, colorful images, and sometimes dialogue to make the writing come to life. although it often reads like fiction, everything in it is expected to be true.

    nonfiction includes writing about the sciences, arts and culture, sports, adventure, travel, family, and personal life. memoirs, biographies, and even literary book reviews fall under the heading of nonfiction. it comes in the shape of essays, diaries, and excerpts from longer works and can be either formal or informal. the most common kinds of nonfiction are listed below.

    Autobiography an autobiography is the story of someones life, written by the person him- or herself. Events in the writing are true, but they are colored by the authors memory as well as by the writers wish to look good to readers. autobiographers can emphasize incidents or leave them out entirely depending on the impression they want to create.

    Biography this is also a true story about a persons life, but it is written by someone else. usually, biographers do a great deal of research on their subject before they begin to write.

    essay an essay is a short, multi-paragraph piece of writing that focuses on one topic or idea. much of the writing you do for school will be essay writing. Essays differ depending on the writers purpose. Some are persuasive and try to convince others to change their mind about an issue and accept the writers point of view. Personal essays are informal pieces that present the writers thoughts and feelings. an expository essay is more formal in tone and structure. the purpose of this type of essay is to present information and ideas.

    Articles articles may be long, short, humorous, serious, formal, or informal. their purpose is to provide factual information to the reader. Examples include newspaper and magazine articles and entries in encyclopedias.

    nonfiction writing is a product of the writers unique voices and the choices they make when presenting their subjects. if two people write an essay about the same topic, the results will probably be very different. imagine two essayists describing a chili cook-off. one writer thinks the event is absurd; the other takes it to heart. the first writer focuses on chilis weirdest ingredientssuch as chocolateand pokes fun at how seriously the competitors take themselves. the second writer depicts the event as a cooking olympics of creativity.

    Pathways

  • xvi Pathways

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    underSTanding dr ama

    While plays are written to be performed, and this is certainly the best way to enjoy them, you can still experience drama by reading it. this is a great way to practice your visualizing skills. as you read a play, try to see the characters moving through the scenery and imag-ine how they sound.

    in a good play, nothing is left to chance. Each character, change of scene, and line of dialogue is chosen carefully. Plays are more narrowly focused than novels and movies, with fewer characters, less action, and usually one dominant theme. here are the main elements of drama.

    Cast of Characters the list of a plays characters is found at the beginning of a play. the playwright might add the briefest description; for example: Lord Capulet, Juliets father. When you are reading the play, refer back to the cast of characters as often as nec-essary until you are familiar with everyone.

    Acts and Scenes an act is a large division of a full-length play, sometimes separated from the other act or acts by an intermission. a scene is a section of the play that occurs in one time and place. Each act may have one or several scenes. as you read a scene, try to visualize the set as well as the characters on the stage.

    Dialogue dialogue refers to the words that characters speak to each other. in drama, great characters are defined by the quality of their dialoguethe juicier, the better.in a script, a characters words directly follow his or her name. this manuscript style helps the actors learn and keep their lines straight. When you are reading a characters lines, try to imagine what that person looks like and how he or she might speak.

    Stage Directions Stage directions are exactly thatinstructions for the people who are putting on the play. the directions are usually printed in italic type. they describe the setting and tell actors where and how to move or say their lines. Some playwrights like to provide detailed descriptions of the scenery, lighting, costumes, and sound. others leave such decisions for the plays director, actors, and production crew. dont skip the stage directions when you are reading a playthey provide valuable information about the playwrights intent.

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    underSTanding PoeTry

    a poem expresses ideas and feelings in a compact form. to get to the heart of a poems meaning, ask yourself questions like these:

    Who is writing this, and to whom? What does the title mean, and what is the subject? What is the setting?

    What word choices does the poet make? might some words be symbols? What imagery, or word pictures, does the poem contain? What theme does it all suggestwhat central idea? What sound devices occur?

    When you first look at a poem, notice its shape. unlike prose, a poems lines dont always stop or start at the margins of a standard page. Where each line ends is a clue to how it is supposed to sound. a poem is often made up of stanzas: rhythmical units of lines. the stanzas in a poem generally have lines with a similar rhyme pattern.

    Rhyme refers to identical or similar sounds that are repeated (hat/cat/rat). rhymes are the music of poetry, a source of play for the poet and delight for the reader. and while rhyme is an important feature of older verse, many modern poems do not have any rhyme at all.

    Rhythm means a repeated pattern of beats or accents (ShE sells SEa shells, doWn by the SEa shore).

    comparisons are important to poetry, especially personification, metaphors, and similes. this figurative language allows words to mean something other than their literal definition. a rose is almost never just a rose in poetry. When in bloom, it may be compared to a sweethearts beauty. and when it is withered, poetically speaking, it may refer to death.

    after considering the words and meaning of any poem, you need to look at its mechanics. Sound devices are techniques used to create rhythm and emphasize certain sounds in a poem. Some of the most common include:

    Alliteration the repetition of similar letters or sounds at the beginning of close words. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Warm, wet, walks are wonderful.

    Assonance the repetition of vowel sounds in stressed syllables. the time is ripe for this assignment.

    Consonance the repetition of consonant sounds in stressed syllables. Brad had a hard head. Stir the batter, mother.

    Onomatopoeia a word that imitates the sound it represents. Buzz, whiz, shush, kerplunk.

    Repetition the technique of using repeated elements in a poem to give it rhythm. a refrain is a repeated line or a stanza.

    Pathways

  • xviii

    He looked down into the blue well of water. He

    knew he must find his way through that cave, or

    hole, or tunnel, and out the other side.

    Doris Lessing, from Through the Tunnel

    U N I T O N E

    Rites of Passage

  • 1

    Towards The hill, Ken Danby, 1967

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    Before You read

    The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant

    Oranges

    Meet the AuthorsW. D. Wetherell Wetherell was born in 1948. He lives with his family in Lyme, New Hampshire, near the banks of the Connecticut Riverthe river that forms the border between New Hampshire and Vermont, the river in the story The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant. He has written several booksnovels, collections of short stories, nonfictionas well as travel articles that have appeared in The New York Times. His lifelong fondness for the Connecticut River inspired him to create the anthology This American River: Five Centuries of Writing About the Connecticut River. He is also active in local and regional efforts to protect the river.

    Gary Soto Mexican American writer and poet Gary Soto (born 1952) grew up in a poor neighborhood in Fresno, California. He turned to writing when he was a freshman at Fresno State University, where he discovered the power of contemporary writers and poets. He has never stopped writing. One of his most recent projects is a collection of love poems for adolescents called Partly Cloudy: Poems of Love and Longing. For more on Gary Soto, see page 390.

    Build Background: Coming-of-Age StoriesIn a coming-of-age story, the main character undergoes an adventure or some inner struggle that is part of the characters growth and development. Sometimes the adventures are violent and teach cruel lessons about how the world works. Sometimes the struggles are internal, involving only the character, the choices he or she makes, and lessons learned as a result of the choices.

    The story you are about to read is a coming-of-age story. In it, a fourteen-year-old boy experiences a dramatic but hidden struggle between something he cares about and something he thinks he wants.

    Atwhattimeshaveyouhiddenyourownfeelingsorinterestsbecauseyouwereafraidofwhat others might think?

    Thinkoftimesyouhavebeentornbetweensomethingyoualwaysenjoyedasachildandsome new interest.

    2 Unit One Rites of Passage

  • 3

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    The Bass, the River, and Sheila MantW. D. WETHERELL

  • 4 Unit One Rites of Passage

    The BASS, The RiveR , AnD SheilA MAnT

    W. D. Wethere l l

    There was a summer in my life when the only creature that seemed lovelier to me than a largemouth bass was Sheila Mant. I was fourteen. The Mants had rented the cottage next to ours on the river; with their parties, their frantic games of softball, their constant comings and goings, they appeared to me denizens of a brilliant existence.

    Too noisy by half, my mother quickly decided, but I would have given anything to be invited to one of their parties, and when my parents went to bed I would sneak through the woods to their hedge and stare enchanted at the candlelit swirl of white dresses and bright, paisley skirts.

    Sheila was the middle daughterat seventeen, all but out of reach. She would spend her days sunbathing on a float my Uncle Sierbert had moored in their cove, and before July was over I had learned all her moods. If she lay flat on the diving board with her hand trailing idly in the water, she was pensive, not to be disturbed. On her side, her head propped up by her arm, she was observant, considering those around her with a look that seemed queenly and severe. Sitting up, arms tucked around her long, suntanned legs, she was approachable, but barely, and it was only in those glorious moments when she stretched herself prior to entering the water that her various suitors found the courage to come near.

    These were many. The Dartmouth heavyweight crew1 would scull by her house on their way upriver, and I think all eight of them must have been in

    love with her at various times during the summer; the coxswain2 would curse at them though his megaphone, but without effectthere was always a pause in their pace when they passed Sheilas float. I suppose to these jaded twenty-year-olds, she seemed the incarnation of innocence and youth, while to me she appeared unutterably suave, the epitome of sophistication. I was on the swim team at school, and to win her attention would do endless laps between my house and the Vermont shore, hoping she would notice the beauty of my

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    epitome ideal example

    jaded made dull or cynical by experience

    pensive dreamily thoughtful

    denizens inhabitants

    scull row

    1 Dartmouth heavyweight crew: one of the rowing teams at Dartmouth College

    2 coxswain: team captain

  • 5

    flutter kick, the power of my crawl. Finishing, I would boost myself up onto our dock and glance casually over toward her, but she was never watching, and the miraculous day she was, I immediately climbed the diving board and did my best tuck and a half for her and continued diving until she had left and the sun went down, and my longing was like a madness and I couldnt stop.

    It was late August by the time I got up the nerve to ask her out. The tortured will-Is, wont-Is, the agonized indecision over what to say, the false starts toward her house and embarrassed retreatsthe details of these have been seared from my memory, and the only part I remember clearly is emerging from the woods toward dusk while they were playing softball on their lawn, as bashful and frightened as a unicorn.

    Sheila was stationed halfway between first and second, well outside the infield. She didnt seem surprised to see meas a matter of fact, she didnt seem to see me at all.

    If youre playing second base, you should move closer, I said.

    She turnedI took the full brunt of her long red hair and well-spaced freckles.

    Im playing outfield, she said, I dont like the responsibility of having a base.

    Yeah, I can understand that, I said, though I couldnt. Theres a band in Dixford tomorrow night at nine. Want to go?

    One of her brothers sent the ball sailing over the left fielders head; she stood and watched it disappear toward the river.

    You have a car? she said, without looking up.I played my master stroke. Well go by canoe.I spent all of the following day polishing it. I turned it upside down on our

    lawn and rubbed it with chamois until it gleamed as bright as aluminum ever gleamed. About five, I slid it in the water, arranging cushions near the bow so Sheila could lean on them if she was in one of her pensive moods, propping

    up my fathers transistor radio by the middle thwart3 so we could have music

    when we came back. Automatically, without thinking about it, I mounted my Mitchell reel on my Pfleuger spinning rod and stuck it in the stern.

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    Sheila was stationed halfway between f irst and second, well

    outside the inf ield. She didnt seem

    surprised to see meas a matter of

    fact, she didnt seem to see me at all.

    3 thwart: seat in a canoe

    The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant

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    Oranges

    PoetrY connection

    Oranges GARy SOTOThe first time I walked

    With a girl, I was twelve,

    Cold, and weighted down

    With two oranges in my jacket.

    December. Frost cracking 5

    Beneath my steps, my breath

    Before me, then gone,

    As I walked toward

    Her house, the one whose

    Porch light burned yellow 10

    Night and day, in any weather.

    A dog barked at me, until

    She came out pulling

    At her gloves, face bright

    With rouge. I smiled, 15

    Touched her shoulder, and led

    Her down the street, across

    A used car lot and a line

    Of newly planted trees,

    Until we were breathing 20

    Before a drugstore. We

    Entered, the tiny bell

    Bringing a saleslady

    Down a narrow aisle of goods.

    I turned to the candies 25

    Tiered like bleachers,

    And asked what she wanted

    Light in her eyes, a smile

    Starting at the corners

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    after You read

    The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant / Oranges

    Think and Discuss 1. Wetherell wrote, A story isnt about a moment in time, a story is about the moment in

    time. Which moment in time is this story about?

    2. The passage from childhood to adulthood involves learning many lessonsabout yourself, about others, and about the world. What lesson does the main character learn in The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant?

    3. Think about the two characters in the story: the narrator and Sheila Mant. In your Writers Notebook, create a character map similar to the one below for each character. you may find you need to add more traits for the narrators map and fewer for Sheilas map.

    4. The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant is a first-person narrative. What are the advantages of having the main character tell his own story?

    5. Think about times you have you faced a choice between two appealing options. What and how did you choose?

    6. What rite of passage do both The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant and Oranges represent?

    Write to Understand: Character Sketch Use your character map for the narrator to write a character sketch. your sketch should tell the most important traits of the narrator and how these traits are revealed through his thoughts and actions. When youve finished your character sketch, exchange your work with a partner. Discuss any differences in the traits you and your partner identified.

    The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant / Oranges

    Trait 1

    Evidence Evidence Evidence

    Evidence Evidence Evidence

    Trait 2 Trait 3

    Character Map

  • 82 Unit One Rites of Passage

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    Writers on WritingBefore You read

    introduction to Shelf Life

    Meet the Author: Gary Paulsen Gary Paulsen (born 1939) is one of the best-known authors of books for young people. He lived for many years in the woods of northern Minnesota. A love of outdoor adventure led Paulsen to compete in two Iditarod dog sled races. He learned firsthand how to survive in the wilderness, a theme that plays out in many of his works. In his 175 books and more than 200 articles and short stories, Paulsen draws on a wide range of life experience for his material. He was at different times a carnival worker, an engineer, a ranch hand, and a sailor. But no work has meant more to him than his work as a writer, to which he often gives 18 to 20 hours a day.

    Build Background: A Write of PassageGary Paulsen credits books with saving his life, of getting him through the passage from his difficult childhood into the world beyond his family. He is so grateful for the salvation he found in both reading and writing books that he has committed himself to promoting a love of the written word among adolescents. As part of that effort, Paulsen asked well-known authors to write a story for a new collection of short stories, with only one rule: the story had to include mention of a book. The selection that follows is the introduction to that collection, which is called Shelf Life: Stories by the Book.

    Whatbooksorstorieshavetransportedyoufromyoureverydaylifeintoaworldthatyou could lose yourself in as you read?

    Howdoyoufeelaboutyourselfasawriter?Giveexamples.

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    IntroductIon to Shelf LifeGARy PAULSEN

    Gary Paulsen and his dogs

  • 90 Unit One Rites of Passage

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    A Writers WorkshoPAutobiogrAphicAl NArrAtiveIn this unit you have read about young people and their feelings as they approach adulthood. In the autobiographical narratives, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; page 15, Vegetarian Enough, page 51; My Forbiden Face, page 63; and Shelf Life, page 83) you have had a chance to get to know about who the writer is deep inside. Now you have a chance to share a little of yourself with readers as you write your own autobiographical narrative.

    PrewritingrevIewIng IdeasThe writing youve done so far in your Writers Notebook includes possible ideas for an autobiographical narrative. Review what you have written to see which idea grabs you the most. A good subject for an autobiographical narrative is an incident:

    with a clear beginning, middle, and ending that shows how you made a passage of some kind and grew as a person or learned an important lesson

    that will allow readers to get a good sense of who you are.

    If you dont find an incident in your Writers Notebook that you want to write about, brainstorm other incidents from your life that might work well as the subject of an autobiographical narrative.

    FreewrItIng to develop detaIlsOnce you have chosen an incident for your narrative, write down everything you can remember about what happened. Include all of the people involved, the place, the time, and every other detail you can think of. Write freely without worrying about form or mistakes.

    Sample FreewritingIm going to write about the time my sister and I went to the Bellwood Avenue shopping area by ourselves for the first time. It must have been spring because I remember my fathers muddy boots when he came to pick us up. We went to the dimestoreI remember I bought a pencil case with my allowance money. I dont remember what Marsha bought. Marsha felt very grown up being in charge of me. I was wearing my favorite blue . . .

  • 91

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    organIzIng IdeasLook over your freewriting. Circle each event in the story. Then copy and complete the framework below in your Writers Notebook.

    The passage you made or lesson learned

    Setting

    Event that begins narrative

    Next important event in narrative

    Next important event in narrative

    Event that ends the narrative

    What narrative shows about you

    draftingUse your chart to write a first draft. Also look back over the notes you made about other details you remember from this incident. Add these to your narrative to make it come alive and to show its importance to you. Use dialogue to reveal character.

    cooperatIve learnIng: peer revIewPair up with a partner and exchange drafts. Discuss the strengths of your partners draft as well as ways it can be improved. Be open to your partners suggestions for improving your work.

    A Writers Workshop

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    revising and editingUse your partners comments to help you evaluate and revise your narrative. Keep revising until you are happy with your draft. Then check your work for errors in grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.

    usIng word processIngThe most fundamental strategies for revising are adding, deleting, substituting, and rearranging. With a word processor, you can easily add, delete, substitute, or rearrange your ideas while revising by using the Cut and Paste functions. Highlight what you want to change. Then choose Cut (or Copy) from the Edit menu. If you choose Copy, position your cursor where you want to insert your highlighted text and choose Paste from the Edit menu. Save different versions of your work under different file names, such as autobiography1 and autobiography2. you can then compare them side by side as you continue to think of ways to improve your writing.

    readIng wIth an edItors eyeIn narrative writing, transitional words and phrases help readers follow the passing of time. Here are some of the words and phrases Gary Paulsen uses as he recounts his early experience with books and reading (see page 85).

    Afteratime,itcouldhavebeentenminutesoranhourormywholelife,she asked me . . .

    Afewyearslater,whenIwasthirteen...

    Laterthatnightbackathome...

    As you are revising your autobiographical narrative, check to make sure you have clearly signaled to readers when time is passing so that they can follow the story easily. Use such words and phrases as later, the next day, when I was eleven, and by the time I got home.

    usIng a checklIstThe Six-Trait checklist on the next page will help you evaluate and polish your narrative.

    92 Unit One Rites of Passage

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    Six Traits of Writing: Autobiographical narratives

    Content and ideas subjectfocusesonpassageorlessonlearned narrativerevealssomethingaboutwriterspersonalityorcharacter vividsupportingdetailsbringtheexperiencetolife

    Organization narrativehasclearbeginning,middle,andending eventsarepresentedinacleartimeorder

    voice or Style narrativeusesfirst-personpointofview writersvoicesoundsnatural,notforced dialogueisrealisticandrevealscharacter

    Word Choice livelyverbsandspecificnounsgivethewritingenergy suchcomparisonsassimilesandmetaphorscreatememorableimages

    Sentence Fluency transitionalwordshelpthewritingflowsmoothly sentencelengthandsentencebeginningsarevariedandpurposeful

    Conventions sentencesarecompleteandbeginwithacapitalletterandendwithaperiod grammarandusagearecorrect spellingandpunctuationarecorrect

    cooperatIve learnIng: peer edItIng Exchange papers with your partner and check each others editing. Fix any errors your partner points out. Make a neat final copy of your narrative.

    A Writers Workshop