Short Essay Questions Key
1. What does the opening scene of "The Search Engine" in which Corliss watches the young couple in the student union cafe foreshadow?
The opening scene of "The Search Engine" in which Corliss watches the young couple in the student union cafe foreshadows the fact that Harlan Atwater is a fraud. The young man in the cafe pretends to know the poetry of W. H. Auden. However, when Corliss confronts him he admits he only knows the line he quoted to the girl and he only used poetry to try to impress the girl. Later in the story, Corliss learns that Atwater's poetry about being Indian is false since he was raised by Caucasian parents and has never lived on a reservation . Both the young man in the cafe and Atwater are frauds.
2. Explain why Corliss identifies so strongly with Harlan Atwater.
Corliss identifies so strongly with Harlan Atwater because he is a Spokane Indian like her and because he is a poet. Corliss loves poetry and wants to write it herself. It encourages and inspires her to find a book of poems about being Indian that is purportedly written by an Indian.
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