Skeleton Man Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. At the beginning of Chapter 1, what is there that would clue the reader in on the possibility that this book will be based upon a flashback to an earlier date?

Joe Leaphorn, aging and restless after his retirement as a detective for the Navajo Tribal Police, sits in the Navajo Inn with his coffee cronies--law enforcement types and other colorful locals--discussing the recently solved case of the Skeleton Man. Since the title of the book is Skeleton Man, it is likely that the book is about that case; therefore, if Joe Leaphorn is discussing the case as a solved one, then the re-telling of the story will be a flashback.

2. How does the author introduce the Navajo setting and a little of their philosophy?

The author introduces Joe Leaphorn, a retired detective for the Navajo Tribal Police, who is attempting to articulate his deeply held and ancient native beliefs about how things work in the universe.This indicates that the story is probably set on or near a Navajo Reservation. The author introduces the non-western notion that is part of Navajo culture that events do not occur from simple cause and effect, but rather from a complex and often invisible series of causes and effects.

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