Daily Lessons for Teaching Play It as It Lays

This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 137 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Lesson 1 (from Chapters 1 - 3)


In the first three chapters of "Play it as it Lays," Didion devotes each chapter to a different character: the protagonist, Maria Wyeth; her friend Helene; and her ex-husband Carter Lang. The objective of Lesson #1 is to examine the differing points of view about Maria.


1) Class Discussion: Didion's experience as a journalist and essayist is clearly at work in this novel in many ways. In particular, she uses a rotating point of view to introduce the characters in present time before dedicating the majority of the novel to the past from Maria's point of view. Why do you think she uses a rotating point of view in the first chapters? How does using Maria's, Helene's, and Carter's viewpoints give the reader a sense of objectivity?

2) Group Activity: Divide the class into three groups, assign one character to each, and discuss what point or points this...

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