Bless the Beasts and Children Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does Cotton dream about in the opening chapter of the novel?

In the opening chapter of the novel, Cotton dreams that he and his fellow campmates are herded into a fenced-in field and shot to death. In the moments before Cotton himself is shot, he realizes that his mother is the shooter.

2. After waking up from his dream, what does Cotton realize has happened in camp while he slept?

When Cotton wakes from his dream, he immediately looks around to make sure that all his comrades are still safe in bed. When he listens for the familiar sounds of their radios, he realizes that one of his boys - Lally Two - is missing. Clearly, he has snuck off in the night in the attempt to escape camp.

3. What happened at the Petrified Forest on the day before Cotton had his alarming dream?

The day before Cotton had his dream, the boys at Box Canyon Boys' Camp were taken on a day trip to the Petrified Forest. After the undisclosed but "disappointing" events at the forest, they boys were given dinner which Goodenow immediately vomited back up.

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