I. Identification:





Plot/ Topic






“A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse”




“Dumbing Down American Readers”




“Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer”




“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”




“Superfrog Saves Tokyo








“Regarding The Problem of Newborn Piglets in Winter”




“The Ransom of Red Chief”




II. Name the author and title of the passages below:


1. The parish priest had his first suspicion of an imposter when he saw that he did not understand the language of God or know how to greet His ministers. Then he noticed that seen close up he was much too human: he had an unbearable smell of the outdoors, the back side of his wings was strewn with parasites and his main feathers had been mistreated by terrestrial winds, and nothing about him measured up to the proud dignity of angels.


2.   The erasure of a human sub-species is largely painless - to us - if we know little enough about it. A dead Chinaman is of little import to us whose awareness of things Chinese is bounded by an occasional dish of chow mein. We grieve only for what we know. The erasure of Silphium from western Dane County is no cause for grief if one only knows it as a name in a botany book.


3.  Now; you are a real frog, am I right?

“Yes, of course, as you can seeA real frog is exactly what I am.  A product neither of metaphor nor allusion nor deconstruction nor sampling nor any other such complex process, I am a genuine frog.  Shall I croak for you?”

Frog tilted back his head and flexed the muscles of his huge throat Ribit, Ri-i-i-bit,  Ribit ribit ribit Ribit Ribit Ri-i-i bit.  His gigantic croaks rattled the pictures hanging on the walls.

“Fine, I see, I see!” Katagiri said, worried about the thin walls of the cheap apartment house in which he lived“That’s great.  You are, without question a real frog.


III. Prepare a three-paragraph essay on each of the following questions


1.  In what way does narrative point of view support O. Henry's theme in “The Ransom of Red Chief?”

2.  The physical and social setting of  “Daddy” has elements of peace and elements of tension.  What are the conflicts within this story that lead to its conclusion?  What is McCall’s theme?

3.  Evolutionary biologists might want or need to consider what makes us like the rest of the natural world, and what makes us different.  In “A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse” how do Gould’s examples support his ideas?

4.  Harold Bloom attacks two very popular authors, Stephen King and J. K. Rowling, in his essay.  Do you think there should be a canon of "best" writers?  Why or why not?

5. What world events might have influenced Haruki Murakami?  Is an understanding of the outside world important to the theme of Murakami’s short story? What world events might have influenced Shen Rong? Is an understanding of the outside world important to Rong’s short story?   How are these two works similar and how are they different?

6. Both Aldo Leopold and Gabriel Garcia Marquez use irony to underscore social ignorance. What kinds of ignorance do these two authors address?  Which one would recommend education as a solution to ignorance?