Outcomes 2 ‘Liberty’, by Julia Alvarez *People often have mixed feelings about leaving a place, even when they are leaving to escape danger. Brainstorm situations that might cause people to leave their homes, and how people might feel about leaving.
*Meet the Writer: page 56:Julia Alvarez
Discuss the following:
Setting and Conflict: How does the story’s setting contribute to the conflict the family faces?
Extend Discussion: How does the family react to Papi bringing home a dog?
Speculation: Why do you think Papi names the dog Liberty?
Compare:The narrator describes Liberty as her “double in another species.” Describe her character. What traits do she and her dog share?
Comprehension: Page 58, second column, Mami seems distracted, and then she suddenly starts to cry. What do these details tell you about Mami and the family’s situation?
Analysis: The two strange men do not have names. In what way do these men help reveal the story’s setting? What conflict do they trigger?
Reading Focus: Mami finds wire in the house. What might this detail signify?
The narrator hears the men talk about hunting a goat and thinks their
Extend Discussion: In paragraphs 2 and 3 on page 61, the narrator describes Mami as both “looking like she wanted to cry” and “smiling her company smile.” These opposing details suggest that Mami is experiencing an internal conflict. What might that conflict be?
Literary Focus: The narrator and Mami battle over what will happen to Liberty. In what way does this conflict relate to the setting of the story?
Extend the Discussion: What is a major conflict in the story? Why do you think the author included this conflict in the story?
Literary Focus: How are the narrator and Liberty in conflict at the end of the story?
Directions: Turn to the back of this page, and answer the following questions on your own. (on your own…that means by yourself, not enlisting the help of your neighbor because you don’t know the answer, or you just don’t want to engage your brain…if you have a question, that lady sitting at the desk is your teacher…. Ask her!)
1. What do the two strangers do when they visit the family’s house? What events does their visit set in motion?
2. What does Liberty teach the narrator about both personal and political freedom?
3. INTERPRET: The word liberty is central to this story: It is the title, the dog’s name, and the central story idea. Explain, in your own words, how the story’s theme, or insight about life, relates to the idea of liberty.
4. How is this story about sacrifice?
Assignment due Wednesday:
Write a Letter to the Author:
Write a letter to Julia Alvarez in which you describe your reaction to “Liberty.” In your letter, identify the story details that helped bring to life the story’s setting and the conflict the narrator and her family faced. Your letter should conform to standard letter format. Begin with the date and then write a greeting, the body of the letter, and your sign-off.
Note: the letter should be typed.
Explore the Idea of Liberty:
Julia Alvarez chose to give the dog in the story a name, yet opted to have the narrator herself remain nameless. Alvarez may have chosen to do so in order to emphasize the idea of liberty. Write a one page extended definition essay in which you define, describe, and explain the concept of liberty.