What specific characteristics are attributed
to mountain people? What about their bodies? How do they move,
talk, act, think, express themselves, relate to each other?
And what are the apparent implications of these "characteristic" attributes
Taking the people at the dance as a "representative"
group of mountaineers, what sort of social/cultural system are we asked
to believe exists "characteristically" in the mountains?
What specific markers in the narrator's
language (her own voice) define a boundary of cultural difference between
her and her cultural and social system, and that of local mountain people?
Vocabulary? Syntax? Tone? Grammar? Other elements?
What sort of audience is implied by these
and other markers? That is: what is the audience encouraged to believe
about itself in the process of reading the story?
One might argue that the story operates (dramatically
and thematically) in terms of some fairly pronounced dialectical
oppositions (e.g., cultured vs. uncultured or uncouth). Try to inventory
those oppositions as you read the story, and list them for class discussion:
What might be said of the gender, generational,
religious, and cultural politics of the story?
Mr. Kenyon's peacemaking is apparently presented
as something of a paradigmatic "solution" to the problems of mountain people.
What of importance can be said about the paradigm and its relationship
to the portrayal of both mountain people and of the audience to which the
story is addressed?
Please also comment on any other aspect(s) of the story you consider important: