Chapter 1, "The Sign"
• NOTE: Citations in this Lesson Plan refer to the following version of the book: Strout, Elizabeth. Anything Is Possible. Random House, 2017. Hardcover edition.
• Anything Is Possible is a collection of nine interwoven short stories, each featuring a different protagonist and linked through character associations.
• The first story in the collection, “The Sign,” focuses on Tommy Guptill, an elderly man driving into town to buy his wife Shirley a birthday present for her upcoming eighty-second birthday.
• The author gives many flashbacks in this story, as well as the other stories, to establish back-stories of each character. The flashbacks in this story come through Tommy’s recollections of his past while driving by the site of his former farm.
• Tommy Guptill is the former owner of a dairy farm.
• Tommy blames himself for the loss of the dairy farm.
• The fire started near the milking machines and...
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