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Abel's Island Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Abel's Island.
This section contains 470 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Abel's Island Summary & Study Guide Description

Abel's Island Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Abel's Island by William Steig.

Abel's Island by William Steig centers on Abel, a rich mouse and newlywed. For the love of his wife, he chases her scarf in a hurricane. A flood sweeps him away to an island where he lives for a year.

It is August 1907. Two mice named Abel and Amanda are newlyweds. They picnic in the woods, dining on champagne and caviar; however, heavy rains descend. Abel and Amanda find shelter in a cave with other animals who also avoid the rain. The weather worsens, turning into a hurricane. As they watch the storm from the opening of the cave, Amanda's gauze shawl comes off her and flies away. Abel runs after the shawl, only to be swept away by a great flood. He descends down a waterfall and fights the river's rapids, taking hold of a rusty nail on a piece of fragmented wood.

He sleeps through the storm. When morning comes, the weather is beautiful. Abel lands on a tree branch atop a deserted island. The water level turns to normal so Abel scrambles down the tree and starts to build a boat, but it cannot withstand the rapids' force. He builds two more boats and has the same results. Then he has two more failed attempts of building a bridge and catapulting himself across the river.

Abel desperately misses Amanda and his luxurious life back home as a noble mouse. September and October pass as Abel stores food for winter in a hollow log he uses as his home. As a pastime, he sculpts red clay statues of Amanda and his family. On the eastern shore of the island, he finds a large book and a watch. He reads a chapter every day for entertainment. In a terrifying ordeal, an owl swoops down to eat Abel, but he manages to fight it off.

January and especially February are brutal months. In February, Abel takes a month-long hibernation inside the log. He becomes depressed. Spring comes and everything blooms. By May, he feels his old self again and meets an elderly frog named Gower Glackens who was swept away in the flood too.

Abel sculpts a statue of Gower who announces it is a masterpiece and says Abel has found his vocation. In June, much to Abel's despair, Gower swims back home. In July, there is a drought which lowers the river level. Abel swims back to his side of the river and spends a whole day walking to Mossville, his town. He sees Amanda on a bench, but decides to go home and wash up first before talking to her.

At home, he washes and dresses. He leaves the scarf on the entryway table. Amanda comes in, sees the scarf and screams out for Abel. They embrace as Abel says he has brought back her scarf.

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This section contains 470 words
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