Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1 | Chapter 2)
Chapters 1 and 2 introduce the reader to the narrator, Reta Winters, who states that she is experiencing a period of profound loss and grief. The objective of this lesson is to understand who she is, her state of mind and feelings, and the reason for her suffering.
1) Class Discussion: What are some of the facts about Reta and her family as the novel opens? What do we learn about her relationship to her family and her writing?
2) Group Activity: In groups of 2-3, discuss how Reta introduces Norah, describing her as a docile child whose goodness has led her to live as a beggar on the streets of Toronto who hangs a sign "GOODNESS" on her neck. What do her description of her daughter and the rest of her family reveal about who she is as a character?
3) Class Debate: Split the class into two groups...
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