What Hearts Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Explain the structure of the novel in terms of stories and characters.

This novel is written in four interrelated short stories that feature the same characters. Each story progresses forward in a linear fashion that allows the reader to see the changes and growth of the characters over time.

2. Who is Asa, and what is he doing as the novel begins?

This beginning story introduces the characters of the novel. Asa is seven in this story, a first grader who comes home from the last day of school excited by his achievements and the long summer waiting for him.

3. What news does Asa get from his mother when he returns home from school, and how does he respond to the news?

When he returns home, however, Asa discovers that his mother has decided to divorce his father and take him to North Carolina. Asa takes this change well, not screaming or crying, but simply going with his mother.

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