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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 559

Cleaning House

  1. In Morris Marshall’s “The Turquoise Turtle”:

    1. What might be the symbolic significance of the narrator’s messy room and his efforts to tidy it up?
    2. At the end, what might the narrator and his fiancée say to each other? Why is the fact that the narrator can talk to her even more important than what they might say?
  2. In Luke Thomas’ “The Generosity of Spirits”:

    1. The story contains the names of many persons, families and spirits. Can you draw a sociological chart summarizing their relationships?

    2. Several embedded stories are recounted or alluded to in the narrative. Consider the story a dramatized outline of a novel: what would each chapter include, and in what order would the chapters be arranged?

  3. In Richard A. Conine’s “Lonely Planet”:

    1. Comedy consists in correcting something that deviates from a commonly accepted norm. What are the comic devices in the story?

    2. The satire of film-making is rather dark because of its over-the-top irony. What does the irony consist of?

  4. In Ron Van Sweringen’s “The Eyes of Matilda Rose,” necrophilia is associated most often with mental impairment. In what ways does Walter Marsh seem to display such a deficiency?

  5. In Jacob T. Morris’ “Healer’s Trades”:

    1. Who is the first to address Cath by name: Bradley or Troy?

    2. Is Troy’s initial reaction to Cath’s healing power entirely plausible? How else might he have reacted?

    3. Cath’s attraction to Bradley is precipitous, even rash, but it serves as a dramatic shortcut. How might Cath be made to seem less impetuous without lengthening the story?

    4. What “trades” or trade-offs does Cath’s super-power require her to make? Do they imply limits to her healing power?

Responses welcome!

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