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Answer the following questions. 1. In your opinion, what are the time and place of the action ?
1. In your opinion, what are the time and place of the action ? Why do you think so ? Find in the text any hints that would prove your viewpoint.
2. What can you say about the event to come ? Why is it so significant for everyone involved ?
3. Study the speech and manners of the spectators. What social classes do they represent ? Why do you think so ?
4. What can you say about Douglas and his mother ? Is their attitude towards the players in any way similar ?
5. According to the boy’s mother, the coloured “…just naturally got … rhythm”. What does she mean by that, in your opinion ?
6. Remember the scene of the black and white players coming into the game. What impression does each of the teams leave ? Find in the text the appropriate descriptions.
7. How would you describe the first part of the game ? How would you comment on the reaction of the spectators watching ?
8. What do you think of Big Poe’s and Jimmie Cosner’s behaviour right after the accident ?
9. What were the black players (and Big Poe in particular !) after while proceeding with the game ?
10. If given a choice, what title would you give to the story ?
8. Find in the text all the words relative to the world of baseball. Make a list of sport terms you come across. Make sure you understand all of them. In your opinion, what does the expression ‘hit the showers’ mean ?
Let us describe the characters’ attitude towards the players with the help of the formers’ remarks. Find out whom this remark belongs to and make a conclusion.
1. “This is quite a day for the coloured servants, ain’t it ? Only time of year they break loose.”
2. “They are the most inconsiderate people.”
3. “Land, I just thought, wouldn’t it be awful if they won the game ? They might, you know.”
4. “It’s too hot to sit and watch a silly game today.”
5. “No nigger put me out !”
6. “…A white man did. Me. Get !”
7. “…Play ball or hit the showers !”
8. “Come on, Swede, hang one on that old pill…”
9. “You watch me show these dark boys ! Ya-hah !”
10. “Come on, Douglas ! …They might have razors !”
Study the black players’ nicknames and the way the author describes the black players in the story. What kind of people are they, do you think ? What can you guess about the authors attitude to them ?
Let us focus on style. Read the definition of a stylistic device and find its examples in the text.
Litotesis a figure of speech, conscious understatement in which emphasis is achieved by negation ; examples are the common expressions “not bad !” and “no mean feat.” Litotes is a stylistic feature that is responsible for much of characteristic stoical restraint, strong negation or determination.
12. Recall the sport stories with “unexpected twists” (accidents, bad shots, players’ mistakes) you`ve ever read about or witnessed. Which is the top one for you ? Write down the content of the story of your choice (20 sentences).
Nolan Ryan once said, “One of the beautiful thing about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something”. Make the list of “somethings” the sports like baseball can let one reach and prove. Develop your ideas in a story of your own.
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