Part I: Why do Nel and Sula watch Chicken Little drown? Consider the significance of his name and his death, especially in relation to the name of the neighborhood “Bottom.” (Helfpul background: In Part I of the book the name of the town is explained. White farmers who freed their slaves did not wish to share their good land in the Ohio valley. They tricked the free slaves by promising them the “best” land in the hills, where in actuality “planting was backbreaking, the soil slid down and washed away the seeds, and the wind lingered through the winter.” The farmers claimed that high up in the hills was “the bottom of heaven,” what God looked down on.)
Part II: Do you notice any similarities between Carver’s style of writing and Hemingway’s? If so, explain.
Part III: O’Brien’s Going After Cacciato focuses on the experience of Paul Berlin during the Vietnam War. This section, “Night March” depicts Paul’s first day. What is significant about how this chapter is structured – is it completely linear? What purpose do Paul’s day dreams serve? Why does Paul attempt to keep himself distant from the other men? What does Cacciato mean when he tells Paul, “You’ll do fine… You got a terrific sense of humor”? How is humor important?