Lesson 1 (from Prologue and Chapter 1)
Prologue and Chapter 1
The novel's setting is in modern Richmond,Virginia. This plays an important role in terms of what happens to characters and the resources they have access to (FBI headquarters, for example). The objective of this lesson is to analyze the importance of setting in any novel -- and in "Cruel and Unusual" in particular.
1) Begin class with a focusing exercise. Have students write for 5 minutes in response to the following prompt: "What do you know from the book about the setting?" Collect their responses.
2) Class Discussion: What do we know about the physical setting of the place? What do we know about the social setting? What kind of city is Richmond? What time period is "Cruel and Unusual" taking place in? Does the time and place of the story's setting make it more accessible? Does a reader think more or less about...
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