This is one of the very best short stories, both empathetic, shocking, and a social critique relevant today. This short story is also one of the best for assigning a model five-paragraph essay and receiving successful, full responses (due to story's triage of plot events and topic). The story is one students will find easy to remember and interesting to discuss, with a primary question being the causes and effects of violence.
Used copies of the text currently range from 75 cents (second-hand) and up online. It is truly worth purchasing a few copies to add to your repertoire of shorts--whenever I could I used this short story and support materials over one or two weeks with high school students (90 minute periods).
Materials include publishing information, vocabulary selected for comprehension needs, simplified definitions with relevant symbolic aspects included, brief author background, plot synopsis & character list, a reading guide, answer key for the reading guide (this guide serves for discussion), a basic multiple choice quiz (no answer key yet, but it is quite simple to complete), essay topics, and sample examples for a three-point thesis, introduction, conclusion based on well-known fairy tales. This "reading guide" includes questions that would be well-suited for group discussions--it could also be shortened or divided, excepting a few key questions must be understood--these are included in the quiz.
The story is shocking partly because the protagonist beats his wife at the end of the story, it seems due to the frustration of his life. The story is particularly interesting in that the protagonist misinterprets a plot event as racist, when in fact it has only become his expectation due to racism experienced elsewhere. Because the topic of abuse may be close to home for some students, included are national hotlines for domestic abuse.
The story may seem sad to some, but this can be counterbalanced with discussion directed towards positive changes.
Not included are individual lesson plans, stated unit goals or objectives, rubrics, or essay graphic organizers. This is primarily consisting of the main materials needed for a unit
Word 2007 Documents --This story has been used with success in freshman college English and in high school courses.