Objective: Throughout the first chapter, the reader is introduced to the gloomy nature that not only encompasses Vanya's family, but also pervades their outlook. The objective of this lesson is to examine the gloomy outlook with which Vanya and his family examine the world.
1) Initiate a class discussion on the outlook that Vanya, his mother and father share. Is this outlook evident as well in the other characters in the book? How or why not?
2) Break the class into groups of two or three and research and determine whether or not this gloomy outlook is a typical aspect of Russian culture. If so, explain how this would have inevitably permeated Vanya's lifestyle and speculate on how it might affect him throughout the book. If not, explain what the typical Russian attitude is to adverse conditions, and what would constitute these conditions.
3) In short essay form, discuss how...
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