Sometimes a Great Notion Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the prologue that opens the first chapter.

In this chapter, the prologue contains a detailed description of the Old Stamper Place and the unsteady, constantly eroding riverbank upon which it balances. It concludes with a description of a human arm being hung out an upper floor window of the house and a woman's voice shouting the name of Hank Stamper.

2. What does Draeger see through the binoculars?

He sees that Hank has hung what looks like a human arm from the window, the middle finger of the hand extended in the universal gesture of crude dismissal.

3. In what way are the Stampers restless?

The Stampers have always been restless, unable to stay in one place for very long. They always feel the call to move west. At one point, some members of the family, including Hank's father, Jonas, feel they had had enough wandering and resolve to settle in Kansas. However, even that doesn't last. Jonas leaves with his sons Henry, Ben and Aaron to start life in Oregon.

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