Graduate Course ENGLE 4600C
MINI-LESSON FOR ASSIGNED READING
Literary Selection: The Last Ram, by author Steve Linstrom
Student: Paul Bland
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
Purpose: A discussion of the larger meaning and symbolism represented by the storyline and characterization in this novel. A close reading of the novel will give us a better focus on what the storyline is saying to us and what the characters represent.
(1.) What does the storyline say about human nature and the value of life? Is the life of the last ram worth saving? Is it as important as a human life? What does it represent in terms of the badlands and its history? Is nature worth preserving?
(2.) Is there a comment here on violent action and peaceful solutions? We might ask: What is being questioned here, if anything?
(3.) Chose two characters from the novel. What do the characters represent in the novel? How does their actions and dialogue express what they represent on a larger scale of representation? In other words, do they represent evil or good, a past or a new generation of thought?
(4.) How are Indians portrayed in the novel? Are they seen as inferior? Do they possess a spiritual knowledge and sensibility that the “white man” does not?
(5.) In the story the characters of David and Evan are growing up and changing from young boys to young men. How does their relationship evolve in the story?
Chose one character in the novel and give a detailed, one page summary of the character and what their actions represent. How important is the character to the overall meaning of the story and what is the author trying to say to us as readers?