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The Day of the Butterfly

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zeek goos

on 30 March 2015

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Transcript of The Day of the Butterfly

Point of View
Symbolism and Imagery
One of the themes for this story was "to not judge people until you get to know them" (don’t judge a book by it’s cover). The reason for this is that you may judge them for a reason that’s totally false and/or something you cannot understand because you cannot relate to their situation. In the story the protagonist is scared that her reputation will be shattered if she is seen walking with Myra, but over the course of the story Helen works up the nerve to talk to her and share her cracker jacks with Myra. She then realizes there is more to Myra than just taking care of her brother at school and being good at math. One last theme that was found in the story is that sometimes you don't notice or care for people until they are sick and/or dying. The class had always bullied and ignored Myra until she became sick and then they were all really excited to have a birthday party for her.
Conflict and Story Structure
The Day of the Butterfly
Class Activity

To see how well you read the story and how closely you paid attention to detail, 9 QR codes have been put around the school. In order to complete this activity, you need to scan the codes and write down the answers. Once you have all 9 answers come back to the room and have them checked.
Questions to get you thinking;

Are the characters Dynamic or Static?

Are the characters Flat or Round and does this change throughout the story?

Which of the characters change the most and how do they change?

Describe the characters within the story; their personalities, their description, etc.
Questions to get you thinking;
Questions to get you thinking;
Questions to get you thinking;
Questions to get you thinking;
Questions to get you thinking;
Questions to get you thinking;
(bar code scanner required
download from app store)

Symbolism and Imagery:

Imagery: “It was a brooch, a little tin butterfly, painted gold with bits of colored glass stuck onto it to look like jewels. She held it in her brown hand, smiling slightly.”

Symbol - The broach is a symbol of Helen and Myra's new friendship.

Symbol - Butterfly, this represents Myra. A quiet girl who is also very shy. Her lifespan compared to the normal human lifespan is short, compared to the butterfly's life which is also short. Represents transformations.

Symbol - The separation of the boys and girls at recess could symbolize the separation between Myra and the rest of the kids.


School - classroom and outside at recess (boys side and girls side)

Hospital - the room where Myra was and where the birthday was held.

Along the Street - This is where Helen and Myra first begin to hang out and encounter each other. This is also where Myra receives the Butterfly broach.
What are the 3 settings within the story?

Why are these settings important?

How do these settings contribute to the story?
What point of view is the story being narrated in?

What do you think would change Myra was the narrator?
What type of conflict occurs within the story?

Character Vs. Character
Character Vs. Circumstances
Character Vs. Society
Character Vs. Himself/Herself
Can you name and describe some of the important symbols and imagery within the story?

Which symbol is the most important to the story?
What is(are) the theme(s)/moral(s) of the story?

How do the themes contribute to the story?
Descriptive Style:

Within the story the author frequently describes and focuses on Myra and her situation. Alot of things are described with importance like the new friendship that is formed between Myra and Helen and the rushing of Myra's party.

Alice Munro also uses the perspective of a very naive child who goes along with society by bullying who everyone else bullies. She realizes that there's more to Myra than she originally thought when she stops bullying her and tries to connect with her.
Myra Sayla
Direct - Protagonist - Round - Dynamic -
-hair “worn in heavy braids coiled on top of her head”
-shy / quiet “That was what she said the first time and everybody in the front seats heard her”
-hangs out with her brother at recess, also takes him to the washroom
-extremely good with math.
-smells like cod liver oil because she has to wash her hair with it

It is inferred that Myra has Leukemia (cancer in the blood)(Gladys Healey said that she had Akemia because that's what her aunt nurse had said) and is admitted to the hospital where she undergoes blood transfusions. She never interacted as well with the other kids because she was constantly caring for her brother at recess. Has her birthday early implying she will not live to see the next one.

-independent, caring, smart, financially declined, outsider (ethnically and socially)

Jimmy Sayla
Indirect - Flat - Static -
-felt ashamed and embarrassed for his accidents, and how he needs help to do so.
-Jimmy didn't have very many friends, only his sister
Indirect - Protagonist - Narrator - Round - Dynamic -
The protagonist is scared that her reputation will be shattered if she walks with Myra. Throughout the story Helen works up the nerve to talk to and share her cracker jacks with Myra. We find out she cares for others and she becomes outgoing and develops feelings for Myra. At one point she was a little jealous of Myra because she said that Myra was always the intelligent one and she had all these pretty dresses to wear to school. She understands Myra and puts herself at risk by connecting to the one that's being bullied. She also seems to be the jealous type: Myra’s intelligence and all the dresses Myra wears.

Miss Darling
Direct - Protagonist - Flat - Static -
“the young of fragile gold-rimmed glasses looking brisk out the window watching the children."
Miss Darling notices how Myra isn't being including in the school social life like the rest of the girls. So she tries to use her authority to make the other girls include her. She also does this by making everyone in her class buy a gift for Myra to bring to the hospital for her early birthday party. Miss Darling is also quite knowledgeable because she decides that they should celebrate Myra's birthday earlier because she knows that Myra could lose the battle against her disease.

What type of style do you thin this story is written in?
-character vs. social society (Myra not fitting in,sitting by herself so she can take care of her brother)

-character vs self (protagonist is nervous about being seen with Myra because it could ruin her image)

-character vs self (Jimmy constantly wetting himself and having to get his sister to go to the bathroom with him)

-character vs self (Myra has Leukemia and is taken to the hospital)

The story is told in first person witnessing the life of Myra Sayla and her interactions at school and near the end, the hospital. Easy ways to determine this is the use of "I" throughout the story.
To start off, each of the 6 groups will be assigned one of the short story elements and you will find as much information as you can including relevant quotes to support your findings (10-15 minutes to brainstorm your ideas).
Answers to QR Code Activity:

What is Myra's last name?

Who's point of view is the story told from?

What kind of store did the Saylas own?
Fruit store

What disease does Myra have?

When is Myra's birthday?
July 20th

When did they celebrate Myra's birthday?
March 20th

How many candles were on Myra's cake?

What does Helen share with Myra (food)?
Cracker Jacks

What did Myra offer to Helen when Helen left the hospital?
Leather case, Comb, Nail File, Lipstick, Handkerchief.
Full transcript