James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues”
1. Locate Sonny’s letter to his brother. What is the rhythm or pacing of this letter? How much does it tell us about Sonny’s personality?
2. Locate the section of the story that begins with the narrator’s father saying: “Safe!” What is the rhythm or pacing of this section? How does Baldwin create this pacing?
3. Locate paragraph 232. The narrator begins this paragraph by explaining that all he knows about music is that “not many people ever really hear it.” What does the man who creates the music hear? Why is this important to the story’s plot?
Ursula K. LeGuin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
1. What is the rhythm of the Festival of Summer described in the fourth-sixth paragraphs? Does this mirror the rhythm of the story up until this point?
2. In the seventh paragraph, LeGuin tells the reader one more detail about the Omelas. How does this information disrupt the rhythm and pacing of the story?
3. How does the sing-song quality of the last three lines support the pacing of the story?
William Blake, “The Lamb,” “The Chimney Sweeper (Innocence),” “Holy Thursday (Innocence)”
Each of these poems explores the theme of innocence by discussing children at work. Identify each poem’s meter, and then discuss how this type of meter and rhyme is supportive of the poem’s theme.
William Blake, “The Tyger,” “The Chimney Sweeper (Experience),” and “Holy Thursday (Experience)”
Each of these poems explores the theme of experience through the experiences of working children, and uses an uncomplicated meter and rhyming scheme. How does Blake explore his theme of experience using this rhythm, pace, and rhyme?
Langston Hughes “Dream Boogie,” and “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” and Countee Cullen “Incident”
In each of these poems, the authors hide complicated ideas within seemingly simplistic rhyming schemes. Identify the meter and rhyming pattern of each poem, and then comment on