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Tasks: The Metaphor

Based on the resource The Metaphor

Literary Analysis

  1. Read the two first paragraphs of the short story. What is your impression of Miss Hancock?
  2. What is story-teller's attitude towards her teacher? Explain.
  3. Try your hand at Miss Hancock’s assignment: Come up with metaphors to describe
    a. your family members b. your pets c. your friends d. a person that you admire
  4. Judging from the narrator’s metaphor about her mother, what do you think her mother was like? Would you like her? When you read on, do you think the metaphor matches her mother?
  5. Make a table with two columns where you rank connotations associated with Charlotte’s mother and Miss Hancock.
  6. The story closes with: “I wish that the party wasn’t over”. Interpret what the narrator refers to.

Discuss

  1. What does the narrator mean when she says that she entered high school with “a clean slate”? Why did she consider it an advantage? What do you think – is it an advantage to enter a new school with “a clean slate”?
  2. When Miss Hancock introduced her creative writing class to metaphors, she introduced the metaphor as a device that would bring their writing to a whole new level. Looking at the metaphors in this short story, do you agree?
  3. When you think about your childhood memories, do you wish that “the party wasn’t over”?
  4. Discuss what it takes to stand up against peer pressure. What personal qualities do you need?

Act Out

  1. Freeze the moment when Miss Hancock is entering the classroom as their new teacher. Freeze Charlotte’s reaction (one student) as well as the reactions of the class (the rest of the class). Don't speak, use body language. Stick to the text. Be prepared to answer about how you feel.
  2. Give the story a new turn in which Charlotte decides to stand up for Miss Hancock in class. Write the new lines for her and one of her classmates, e.g. Howard, in this particular scene.

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