Lesson 1 (from Prologue | Part 1, Chapter 1)
Prologue | Part 1, Chapter 1
The setting of the story is the town of Empire Falls, Maine, on the Knox River. The objective of this lesson is to explore the local color of New England and its impact on the story.
Lead the class in a discussion about local color. Begin with a definition and ask the class to validate their understanding by offering examples from the book. How is regionalism exhibited in language? Interpersonal dynamics? Clothing? What other elements can the students define that make this story one from New England during this particular time period?
Divide the class into small groups and have them discuss the author's authenticity with the novel. Could this story take place anywhere else but New England in the twentieth century? Why or why not? What is it about the elements of this play that slots in into this particular time...
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