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The Californian's Tale
Transcript of The Californian's Tale
"Forty-niners", mostly men, rushed to the California territory to prospect, or hunt, for gold in the rivers and creeks.
By 1850 California was admitted as a state in the Union.
Many Gold Rush "boom" towns turned into ghost towns as ore became harder to find.
Some veteran prospectors remained to continue their search for gold or to try farming as a new occupation. Historical Setting: In a ghost town during the aftermath of the California Gold Rush.
"It was a lovely region, woodsy, balmy, delicious, and had once been populous, long years before, but now the people had vanished and the charming paradise was a solitude." (305). Character Analysis Characters to note
Narrator (no name)
Henry's wife (no name)
All friends- Tom, Joe, Charlie Plot Analysis Exposition: A ghost town by the Stanislaus river in California, in the 1850s, shortly after the California gold rush. Internal Conflict: Henry will not face the fact that his wife is no longer with him. Rising action: Henry tells the narrator his wife is coming home on Saturday, and that the narrator needs to wait to see her. Henry and the narrator wait in anticipation. Climax: Joe tells the narrator that Henry's wife has been missing (and most likely dead) for 19 years. Narrator
Invited into Henry's home
Discovers the real difference between a house and a home by exploring Henry's place
Characterized as a curious person
wants to meet Henry's wife Resolution: They drug Henry to sleep, this will keep him alright mentally until the next year. The conflict is "resolved" for one more year. Henry
Demonstrates much love for wife
Heart of the conflict.
Internal conflict (self vs. self).
Cannot accept the death or the absence of his wife. Henry's wife
Has been dead or missing for 19 years.
Gave "life" to the house with her touch.
Indirectly characterized as a loving and selfless person, as noted by the letter. Tom, Joe, Charlie
Held important information on the true whereabouts of Henry's wife
Throw an annual party for the supposed arrival of Henry's wife Point of View First person point of view is used throughout the story -The point of view is used to create a mood of suspense.
-The reader is only aware of the narrator's perception.
-Therefore, the reader does not know the main conflict until the end of the story. -The first person point of view also helps set a mood of loneliness for the short story.
-In the beginning pages the narrator describes how empty it is in the ghost towns.
-This leads up to the encounter between the narrator and Henry.
-Since one sees so few people while in the ghost towns, it was custom to invite everyone into your home and display hospitality. Theme Interactive Question How does setting establish a mood that enables a reader to understand the loneliness of the characters? Both of these themes are relevant and exemplified through the character of Henry. Themes that are very relevant to the story are:
1. Loneliness can drive someone crazy, literally.
2. Denial can result in one's loss of reality. Literary Elements Interactive Questions Irony
We learn that Henry's wife is non existent in his life
- Verbal Irony
Charley is sarcastic when he speaks to Henry (page 309) How would you describe Henry?
Why do you think the narrator becomes so fascinated by Henry's wife? Interactive Question Were you surprised by the outcome of this story? Explain Why or why not. Interactive Question Repetition
-Henry repeats the statement
"All her work; she did it all herself--every bit"
This repetition emphasizes the important touches of his wife which gave sentimental value to the home. Why would a third person omniscient point of view degrade the effectiveness of the story? Foreshadowing
-Tom begins to cry as Henry reads his letter to his wife (page 309)
-The story alludes to the California Gold rush and the ghost towns that result from it. Interactive Question Do you think that these themes are still pertinent in the modern world? Why or why not? Thank you!
-Neejad ...Onto the crossword puzzle! Brief Video Mark Twain