UNIT 6, Part 2 The Uncanny and Mysterious Click the mouse button or press the space bar to continue
Unit 6, Part 2 MAIN MENU The Uncanny and Mysterious (pages 1230–1265) Click a selection title to go to the corresponding selection menu.
SELECTION MENU Selection Menu (pages 1230–1239) Before You Read Reading the Selection After You Read
BEFORE YOU READ Meet O. Henry Click the picture to learn about the author.
BEFORE YOU READ Connecting to the Story “A Retrieved Reformation” is about a pardoned criminal and the choices he makes after his release from prison. Henry incorporates irony and a surprise ending into the story.
BEFORE YOU READ Connecting to the Story Before you read, think about the following questions: • Do you believe that a criminal can change for the better? Why or why not? • What experiences or influences do you think have the power to bring about major changes?
BEFORE YOU READ Building Background Henry probably drew on events in his own life when he wrote “A Retrieved Reformation.” Set primarily in the South, an area familiar to Henry, the story revolves around banking and robbery, two subjects he knew well. The main character, Jimmy Valentine, demonstrates the positive results of hope and industry as well as Henry’s belief in the human capacity for goodness.
BEFORE YOU READ Setting Purposes for Reading The Uncanny and Mysterious Early in “A Retrieved Reformation,” the prison warden says, “Stop cracking safes, and live straight.” This advice foreshadows an uncanny situation at the end of the story. As you read, look for this and other mysterious circumstances.
BEFORE YOU READ Setting Purposes for Reading Humor Literary humor relies on the writer’s ability to describe a character or an event in an amusing way. Writers use many techniques—exaggeration, puns, sarcasm, verbal irony—to create humor. As you read, watch for examples of humor in “A Retrieved Reformation.”
BEFORE YOU READ Making Predictions Making predictions, or reasonable guesses, about what may happen in a story can increase comprehension. As you read, think about what may happen next. Verify, or see whether your predictions were right, at the end of the story.
Reading Tip: Taking Notes In a chart, explain and support at least three predictions about the story. BEFORE YOU READ Making Predictions
BEFORE YOU READ assiduouslyadv. Carefully diligent; persistently attentive (p. 1232) Luis worked assiduously on the complicated assignment. retributionn. Punishment; justice (p. 1234) Do you think that detention is sufficient retribution for vandalism? Click a vocabulary term to listen to the definition.
BEFORE YOU READ exclusiveadj. single or sole; stylish, fashionable (p. 1235) The elegant new store features an exclusive line of leather purses. unobtrusivelyadv. inconspicuously; discreetly (p.1236) To avoid interrupting, Brook sat unobtrusively in the back. Click a vocabulary term to listen to the definition.
BEFORE YOU READ anguishn. extreme suffering, pain, or anxiety (p. 1237) Anna felt intense anguish at hearing of her grandmother’s death. Click a vocabulary term to listen to the definition.
READING THE SELECTION The Uncanny and MysteriousKeep the following questions in mind as you read. How does your opinion of Jimmy Valentine change as the story progresses? Which aspect of the plot do you find most uncanny?
READING THE SELECTION Answer:Some will come to like Valentine and be happy that he is not going back to prison. Some will think he still needs to be punished for his past crimes. You may list one of the following examples as the most uncanny: Valentine being able to save the young girl because of his criminal background, Price’s pretending not to know Valentine.
READING THE SELECTION Reading Strategy Making PredictionsRead the first text highlighted in blue on page 1233.What does this act show about Jimmy Valentine’s character? Predict how you think he might grow and change later in the story.
READING THE SELECTION Reading Strategy Answer:Valentine seems to take his freedom or the simple things in life for granted. This suggests his eventual downfall or his learning to value simple joys.
READING THE SELECTION Reading Strategy Making PredictionsRead the second text highlighted in blue on page 1233.How does Valentine’s action here fit in with your previous prediction? Answer:This action displays a generosity that is contrary to the criminal stereotype. It shows the kind and generous side of Valentine.
READING THE SELECTION Literary Element HumorRead the text highlighted in purple on page 1233. Explain how this is an example of humor. If you need to, look up the definitions for some of the words.
READING THE SELECTION Literary Element Answer:Valentine’s company is obviously not real; the name makes little sense: biscuit cracker is redundant, and it is unlikely that anyone would want wheat that is “frazzled”— weary or frayed.
READING THE SELECTION Viewing the Art Look at the image on page 1234.How does this image help you picture the story’s setting? Explain. Answer:This image shows the interior of a bank as it would have appeared in the late 1800’s, when O. Henry was writing stories.
READING THE SELECTION The Uncanny and MysteriousRead the first text highlighted in tan on page 1235. Elusive means “mysterious.” What qualities make Valentine mysterious? Answer:You should cite “long jumps, quick getaways, no confederates, and a taste for good society” and Valentine’s ability to avoid capture.
READING THE SELECTION Reading Strategy Making PredictionsRead the text highlighted in blue on page 1235. What is happening here? What do you think will happen next? Answer:Valentine is attracted to the young woman and has already begun to fall in love. He may become a new man, stop cracking safes, go “straight,” and marry the young woman.
READING THE SELECTION The Uncanny and MysteriousRead the second text highlighted in tan on page 1235.Explain what is uncanny and mysterious about this information.
READING THE SELECTION Answer:It is uncanny that Valentine has become attracted to a woman whose father owns the very bank that he may have been planning to rob. Another possible mystery is whether Annabel Adams will cause Valentine’s reformation or his downfall.
READING THE SELECTION Literary Element Humor Read the fifth complete paragraph on page 1235. What about the boy’s lines adds humor to the story? Answer:The short lines of dialogue speed up the pace, and the line about the bulldog is unexpected.
READING THE SELECTION The Uncanny and Mysterious Read the third complete paragraph on page 1236 of your textbook. What is uncanny about Ben Price’s arrival? Answer:It is strange that Ben Price finds Valentine just as Valentine is making his final commitment to living the straight life.
READING THE SELECTION Reading Strategy Making Predictions Read the second to last paragraph on page 1236 of your textbook. Why has the author included a scene in the bank safe? What do you think is going to happen next? Answer:You will probably predict that someone is going to get locked in the safe or that Valentine is going to have to break into it for some other reason.
READING THE SELECTION Reading Strategy Making PredictionsRead the text highlighted in blue on page 1237.Explain the irony in this passage and the possible ways that this drama could end.
READING THE SELECTION Reading Strategy Answer:Some ironies: Valentine, an accomplished safecracker, just happens to be present. He could save himself by not revealing that he can open the safe, or he can expose himself by opening it and thus saving the child’s life.
READING THE SELECTION Literary Element HumorRead the text highlighted in purple on page 1237. Explain how this small detail provides amusement. Answer:Valentine’s asking for the rose in the midst of this crisis is a quirky gesture that implies that love has led him to reveal his criminal skill to save the child.
READING THE SELECTION Viewing the Art Look at the painting on page 1237. What personality does this woman convey? Does it reflect that of Annabel Adams? Answer:Answers will vary. You may say that the woman seems friendly and wealthy. Her apparently upbeat attitude seems similar to that of Annabel Adams.
READING THE SELECTION Encountering the UnexpectedRead the second column on page 1238. Do you find Price’s action believable? Answer:Some will say no because it is Price’s job to arrest Valentine; some will find the action believable because Price recognizes that Valentine has changed.
AFTER YOU READ Responding and Thinking Critically Respond • (a) What do you think of Ben Price’s action at the end of the story? (b) How would you have acted if you were in his position? Why? Answer:Answers will vary.
AFTER YOU READ Responding and Thinking Critically Recall and Interpret • (a) Where is Jimmy Valentine at the beginning of the story? (b) Why do you think he “expected to stay only about three months”? Answer:(a) In prison (b) He had powerful friends on the outside.
AFTER YOU READ Responding and Thinking Critically Recall and Interpret • (a) What reason does Mike Dolan give for not getting Jimmy out earlier? (b) How do you think Dolan obtained the governor’s pardon? Answer:(a) The governor almost “balked” after a protest in Springfield. (b) The governor was threatened or bribed by Dolan’s or Valentine’s powerful friends.
AFTER YOU READ Responding and Thinking Critically Recall and Interpret • (a) Describe the contents of Valentine’s suitcase. (b) What do these contents tell you about him?
AFTER YOU READ Responding and Thinking Critically Recall and Interpret Answer:(a) The “finest set of burglar’s tools in the East,” “drills, punches, braces and bits, jimmies, clamps, and augers,” and “two or three novelties invented by Jimmy himself” (b) He was probably guilty of the crime he was convicted of and plans to steal again.
AFTER YOU READ Responding and Thinking Critically Analyze and Evaluate • (a) How does the comparison of Ralph Spencer to the legendary phoenix help the reader understand him as a character? (b) Explain why you think that this comparison is effective or ineffective.
AFTER YOU READ Responding and Thinking Critically Analyze and Evaluate Answer:(a) It shows that Valentine made his work look easy. (b) The simile creates an image of the adeptness of the principal character.
AFTER YOU READ Responding and Thinking Critically Analyze and Evaluate • (a) Analyze the symbolic meaning of Valentine asking for Annabel’s rose. What effect do you think O. Henry means to create? (b) How effective is the author in creating it?
AFTER YOU READ Responding and Thinking Critically Analyze and Evaluate Answer:(a) The rose can symbolize love, beauty, and tenderness. It shows here that Valentine (note the romantic name) knows that his next action may land him in jail but chooses this sacrifice as his last act as Ralph Spencer before he reverts to being Jimmy Valentine. (b) Answers will vary.
AFTER YOU READ Responding and Thinking Critically Connect The Uncanny and Mysterious • Explain the ironic situation that Valentine finds himself in at the end of the story. Answer: After choosing family life over a life of crime, he must use his criminal skills to save a member of his fiancée’s family.
AFTER YOU READ Humor Much of the humor in O. Henry’s stories revolves around ironic situations, in which the outcome is contrary to the reader’s expectations, such as Valentine falling in love with a bank owner’s daughter.
AFTER YOU READ Humor • O. Henry’s detective story character archetypes in this selection are also humorous. Give one example. Answer:Jimmy Valentine, the criminal, is generous and softhearted rather than tough and frightening.
AFTER YOU READ Humor • Explain whether your example shows irony, coincidence, or something else. Answer: Answers will vary but should be supported.
AFTER YOU READ Writing About Literature Evaluate Figures of Speech In this selection, O. Henry uses several figures of speech. In similes and metaphors, unlike things are compared to help the reader visualize the action. A simile is a direct comparison in which like or as is used; a metaphor is an implied comparison.