Objective: The narrator, John, begins letters to his son with a discussion about his own mortality. The objective of this lesson is to understand who the narrator is, his state of mind and health as he writes, and his meditations on death as he foreshadows his end to come.
1) Class Discussion: What are some initial facts about John - specifically, his vocation and his family? What are his feelings on the hard times he has subjected his wife and son to? What is the nature of his illness?
2) Writing Activity: Foreshadowing: From the opening pages of this novel, there is a sense of finality about this story. What traits are seen in the first pages that give an indication of where the tale is going? Have students write in a few bulleted points what evidences they find of how the story will conclude.
3) Class Activity: John's memories...
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