A Map of the World Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does A MAP OF THE WORLD begin?

Alice Goodwin recalls awakening to a wailing siren last June, but finds that all is well on the farm. Her husband, Howard, is in his barn and her young daughters, Emma and Claire, are asleep. She looks forward to going to the pond on their farm. Ill-tempered Emma rattles her but Alice is sure that she has everything under control.

2. What is the tragedy that occurs early in the story?

During the school year, Alice is a school nurse, but during the summers she and Theresa Collins, mother of Audrey and Lizzy, take turns watching all four girls. On the fateful morning, as Theresa drops off her girls, everything frazzles Alice and she is slow in noticing that Lizzy is missing. Suspecting that Lizzy has gone to the pond, Alice panics, pulls Lizzy's lifeless body out, and forgetting her training, performs ineffective CPR. Alice cannot be shaken from her belief that paramedics will save Lizzy.

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