Spunk Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Describe the setting for this story as given in the beginning of Chapter 1.

The story is set in a small, all African-American town in the 1920's. It is a close-knit community in which everyone knows everyone else.

2. What role do Walter and Elijah play in this story?

Walter and Elijah play the role of town gossips and narrators. Chapter 1 is told completely from their points of view and they seem to know everything about the town residents, including who is sleeping with whom and other personal matters.

3. Describe the differences between Joe and Spunk.

Joe is quiet, timid, and a small man; he seems to lack confidence and doesn't command much respect from other town members. Spunk is his complete opposite: he is strong, tall, and confident; almost arrogant.

4. How is Lena characterized in Chapter 1? Do you think this is a favorable description?

In Chapter 1, Lena is characterized as a small, pretty woman who is seduced by Spunk and his strong, confident character even though she is married to Joe. She is depicted as somewhat insensitive, as she completely loses interest in Joe after he refuses to fight Spunk for her sake.

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