1919, pgs 7-16
1.What war was Shadrack in? (Be careful!)
2.What doe the narrator’s description of Shadrack’s experience on December 7th tell the reader about his combat training?
3.What is "it" that Shadrack can’t feel?
4.Shadrack is thinking about the nail in his boot when going into combat-what would you expect him to think about? Why isn’t he? What is Morrison telling us about Shadrack and the war?
5.What does the headless soldier symbolize? Consider his actions.
6.Explain the irony in the straight-jacket episode.
7.Why might Shadrack be afraid of the sidewalks?
8.What are the properties of paper? Why might Shadrack think all the people around him are made of paper?
9.Think about Shadrack’s hands. What do they symbolize?
10.Why does Shadrack keep seeing the window and river? What are those things?
11.Why does seeing his own face calm him down?
12.What is the symbolic nature of Shadrack seeing his face in the toilet?
13.Explain this quote "He knew the smell of death and was terrified of it, for he could not anticipate it."
14.Think about the purpose of National Suicide Day. Why is it ironic?
15.The end of the chapter focuses on how NSD has been integrated into the neighborhood. What does this tell the reader about Shadrack, the community, and his place in it?
16.EXTRA CREDIT: Shadrack’s name is an allusion. Explain the significance.