Topic: Discuss "Stains"

I. Read "Stains."

II. Create a Study Guide for "Stains."

III. Consider any of the following questions:
1. How does the first paragraph set the mood and tone for the story?
2. In the last paragraph, the author describes common, mundane tasks that the mother performs. Why would the author end the story in this way?
3. What do you think happened to the son? What were the reasons behind what happened? Why does the author hold back some important information until later in the story?
4. Why does the mother feel guilty about her son? Explain whether or not you think this guilt is justified.
5. What do you think happens at the end of the story?

IV. Write a story about hunches.

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Re: Discuss "Stains"

How does the association MADD connect to this story?

Re: Discuss "Stains"

morgan wrote:

Does this "she" in the story "Stains" even have a name?

I figure you can say something about why MacFarlane does not name her characters in this piece. Is it easier to imagine her characters as real people we know if they remain nameless? An aunt, a grandmother, brother, uncle etc.

Re: Discuss "Stains"

rwheat wrote:
mpulyk wrote:

How does the association MADD connect to this story?

MADD - Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In the story who are the victims of the boys drunk driving? The boy is but isn't the mother a victim too?
Is she against drunk driving?

Create a link with BBCode to a specific MADD website for Canada->Alberta->Closest local chapter(Lloyd, probably).

Re: Discuss "Stains"

Remember, when writing a summary of the PLOT, include appropriate PLOT subheadings.
Exposition
Rising action
Climax
Falling action
Resolution

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Re: Discuss "Stains"

dsader wrote:
morgan wrote:

Does this "she" in the story "Stains" even have a name?

I figure you can say something about why MacFarlane does not name her characters in this piece. Is it easier to imagine her characters as real people we know if they remain nameless? An aunt, a grandmother, brother, uncle etc.

I think that's true because then it gets the reader thinking about the importance to raise awareness of drinking and driving.

Re: Discuss "Stains"

Author: MacFarlane Sharon
~ Beechy, Saskatchewan
Born 1939 in Beechy, Saskatchewan where she has lived all her life. She and her husband live on a farm. She began writing in her 40s and has published a book of short stories: Driving Off the Map. She began writing poetry about 5 years ago.

S MacFarlane wrote:

Saving

Hazel’s mother grew up
during the Depression
lived by “waste not, want not”
made hash from leftover beef
boiled soap scraps and formed new bars
turned shirt collars and cuffs
sewed quilts from old suit jackets
mended overalls
until the patches sported patches.

After her mother moved to a nursing home
Hazel cleared out her house.
In a kitchen cupboard she found a jar labeled
string too short for anything.

– S MacFarlane