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SEAO Plainswoman

Title:
Forrest, Williams. Plainswoman. T
he Language of Literature.

Ed. Applebee, Arthur, et al.


Evanston, Il.: McDougal Littell, 2002, 8-19. Print.
The title relates to the story by telling what its about literally, a woman who lives on the plains;
and what the story is about figuratively, a plain, ordinary woman.
Purpose:
Literally: To begin to understand and use SEAO formatting for other stories
In the story: To show that its important to accept circumstances and adapt to them as needed.
Point of View (POV):
Nora, the main character, is narrating in 3rd person. I know this because she uses Nora
instead of me or my. I also know this because it shows all her thoughts, but none of Plenys
thoughts.
The narrator is very reliable. I know this because its her story, she tells some background of
the story and how it ties into the events that are unfolding in front of her.
Setting:
Where: In a house on the Great Plains, somewhere in western America.
When: Around 1845, we know this because there were no cars or other motor vehicles
mentioned.
Duration: An afternoon.
Characters: (do not restate elements of plot in this section)
Protagonist: Nora (round) She fears for the sake of her and her unborn childs safety, due to
the harsh conditions of the lonely, uncivilized plains.
Antagonist: The Plains (flat) Its very different than Noras beloved New England in every way.
It represents Noras fear of bringing her baby into the vast, unforgiving world alone.
Major & Supporting Characters: Pleny, the handyman. Pleny needed Nora to do something
she was uncomfortable with (in addition to being scared to do) in order to stay alive. Rolf,
Noras husband. Rolf is responsible for bringing Nora into the plains (although she did agree
to it). Rolf is also Noras only reason for staying in the plains.
Minor Characters: The woman who gave birth on the train. Her function is to show Nora that
Rolf has to ignore the miracle of birth and focus on the work in front of him.

Conflict: (A v B: Protag vs Antag OR Protag vs inner struggle)


External: Nora vs. vast, dangerous plains. She wants to go back home to her comfortable,
proper life in New England instead of staying on the ranch and giving birth to her child alone.
Internal: She fears for her and her babys safety, as she views the plains as wild and
uncivilized, with the nearest doctor/town miles and miles away. Shes too afraid to adapt to the
wilderness.

Plot: (events

of story in chronological order) Identify events for each of the following:


Exposition: Noras husband, Rolf, moves his family to the plains in order to be a cattle driver.
Nora is uncomfortable with leaving her comfy home, and is reluctant to tell Rolf that shes
pregnant.
Rising Action: Rolf and his group of cattle drivers leave Nora and the ranch alone with a handy
man named Pleny who had just developed gangrene.

Climax: Nora is forced to chop Plenys finger off with an axe to prevent the spread of the
infection throughout the body.
Falling Action: Nora feels the babys kick, and throws her head back to laugh a strange laugh,
shes now like the woman with the gun, wild.

Theme: (point, moral, lesson learned from story which is universal and timeless)
Subject/Topic: The topic of the story is facing your fears, no matter how extreme they feel.
Theme: The theme is that sometimes we have to put our wants and preferences second to the
needs of others, no matter how badly we dont want to do whatever it is.
Evidence: Nora didnt want to cut off Plenys finger, but she knew she had to in order to have
him around to help with the work.
Symbols throughout the story:
1. Plenys gangrene: Noras fears of being alone in the wilderness.
2. The plains: Being alone without any sources of civilization nearby; isolation.
3. Noras strange laugh: Her excitement and expectancy of becoming a mother.
4. The axe: Taking away something bad and potentially deadly. Also of doing something that
Nora didnt necessarily want to do, but had to be done.
5. The boy with the broken leg: Being determined to get through a terrible thing with a positive
attitude matter how long it takes.
6. The train: Taking Nora and Rolf somewhere Rolf was comfortable, but Nora wasnt.
7. The babys kick: New life in the plains;
8. The birth on the train: Realizing/Showing that sometimes others arent as human as youd
want them to be.
9. New England: Home, comfort.

Comments: Student
Concerns
(Evidence criteria/standards (Improve or
met)
Remediate)
1-2

Criteria
(Proficient)
CCSS standard &
Description of mastery

Advanced
Exceeded
Standard
3-4

I didnt cite all my answers,


but I did support them with
evidence and showed how
they made sense to me.

CCSS ELA R1
Read closely to determine
what the text says
explicitly and to make
logical inferences from it;
cite specific textual
evidence when writing or
speaking to support
conclusions drawn from
the text

Im confident in my themes
and character development
answers. They showed that

CCSS ELA R2
Determine central ideas or
themes of a text and
analyze their development;

Comments: Teacher

Nora changed once her


baby woke up and she
went from a proper lady to a
real plainswoman.

summarize the key


supporting details and ideas

Although most of my
answers had evidence from
the text, not all of them did.
They showed that I
understood the story and
could provide a piece of
evidence to support it.

CCSS ELA R5
Analyze the structure of
texts, including how
specific sentences,
paragraphs, and larger
portions of the text (e.g., a
section, chapter, scene, or
stanza) relate to each
other and the whole

A student who earns a 4 goes beyond what was taught. A student who earns a 3 demonstrates a strong
knowledge of what is explicitly taught. A student who earns a 2 shows a grasp of the simpler concepts and
may have errors or omissions when it comes to the more complex concepts taught. A student who earns a 1
only demonstrates a partial understanding of simpler concepts taught (Marzano 2006).