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Mercy among the Children

A mind map of David Adam Richards' award-winning novel.

Rémy Gray

on 10 December 2014

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Transcript of Mercy among the Children

Mercy Among the Children
by David Adams richards
Mercy Among the Children
Camera -
Yellow (C)
Character Development -
Orange (CD)
I Wonder -
Green (W)
Puzzle Piece -
Blue (P)
Reminder -
Purple (R)
Voice -
Green (V)
Presentation by Hailey Charby
Page 2 (C1)
The description of misfortune conjures stark imagery, despite misfortune lacking tangible form.
Page 13 (CD1)
The torment of his father caused Sydney Henderson to become a drunk at fifteen years old.
Page 1 (W1)
Who is Terrieux, if not the main character?
Why is a man visiting Terrieux?
Irving Pulp Mill?
Page 6 (P1)
Oh! Terrieux gave up on policing due to suspension; he was made out to have harassed and nearly killed Mathew Pit.
Page 1 (R1)
Lyle Henderson was mistaken for being older than his age when he was young, like my brother.
Page 4 (V1)
If he observes that Lyle is compassionate, why is Terrieux preparing to fight him? That seems contradictory.
Page 201 (C13)
I can picture perfectly the school in the snowy weather.
the building was silent, and snow whispered from the pointed corners ... and threw wisps of snow into the stark sky
Page 201 (R)

The description of the school in the wintry weather reminds me of snowy seasons at the school I attended for grades five and six.
Page 202 (W37)
Does this mean that Lyle is going to become educated and escape rural life?
[quote from top of page]
Page 204 (W38)
Will Lyle win or lose the fight he initiates against Griffin Porier?
Page 204 (W39)
How badly is Autumn hurt? Will she be okay?
[quote about her being hit]
Page 205 (P35)
Oh, the fight is a draw. Sydney is stronger than Griffin, but he chose to be the better man and end the fight.
Page 205 (CD22)
Sydney's fight with Griffin has given him a sense and knowledge of power.
Page 206 (CD24)
Sydney's fight with Griffin taught him about his strength, and he vows to keep Autumn safe.
Page 206 (W40)
Why does Jay Beard hate the priest at church?
Page 207 (W41)
Does this mean that Autumn and Lyle are going to be married?
[q bottom of page]
Page 207 (V29)
Lyle and Autumn are siblings! They can't be married!
Page 208 (W42)
Will Autumn fulfill her dream of winning the McVicer scholarship and becoming a veterinarian?
Page 209 (CD23)
Sydney has begun to steal to benefit his family.
Page 211 (P36)
Oh! Mathew Pit was one of the men who beat Sydney and forced him to drink alcohol.
Page 213 (W43)
Does this mean that Diedre Whyne is going to bring her concern to court and try to remove Autumn and Lyle from their house?
Page 1 (R2)
The convenience store with faded advertisements reminds me of the one on Bidwell Street.
Page 2 (W2)
What is the story that Lyle has to tell?
Page 3 (C2)
The description of the Stumps creates colourful imagery.
The Stumps was a tract of land ... part of the vast and stunted spruce and brilliant-coloured hardwood
Page 3 (W3)
Who are Lyle's siblings?
Page 3 (R3)
The tenderness of Lyle's look reminds me of that of my mother.
Page 4 (W4)
Who is the man that Lyle refers to as "him"?
"It is a very strange thing - all that has happened since then - you know - with
Page 5 (W5)
What did Mathew Pit do to be chased by the police?
Page 5 (W6)
What's a "nineteen-point rack"?
What does "penitent" mean?
Page 7 (C3)
Lyle's notes are easy to picture.
Here Lyle looked at his notes again - pages and pages of quotations of arrows
Page 7 (R4)
The description of Lyle's note-taking style sounds similar to my own; messy and disorganized with arrows.
Page 6 (V2)
Lyle and Terrieux speak too poetically; they sound like the author must sound when he is feeling philosophical. It's cheesy and melodramatic.
Page 11 (W7)
What are "confessionals"?
Who is "the Madonna"?
Page 11 (R5)
The stained glass windows with images of priests remind me of the windows at the church I attended when I was very young.
Page 12 (C4)
I can picture the grandfather well.
[he] wore boots and checkered jackets ... wore thick glasses, and his hair was short, shaved up the side of his head
Page 12 (W8)
What was the "incident" that occurred in regards to Lyle's father?
Page 12 (W9)
What's a "pulpcutter"?
What's a "no-see-um"?
Page 12 (R6)
The description of the grandfather reminds me of my friend.
Page 12 (R7)
The grandfather is allergic to horses. This fact reminds me of my cousin, who has the same allergy.
Page 14 (C5)
I can picture Sydney's appearance really well here.
his neck wrinkled in red folds ... with his blackened teeth crooked and broken ... the fiery sinewy muscles of his long body
Page 14 (W10)
What does "rip" mean in this context?
four salmon rested here ... lying aside the boulders at the upper edge of the rip.
Page 15 (V3)
Why would Leo McVicer fire Roy for poaching when he's done it himself? That's very hypocritical.
Page 16 (R8)
The faded picture reminds me of the poem "This Is a Photograph of Me" by Margaret Atwood.
Page 31 (R9)
Sydney confessing his love to Elly at her window reminds me of a scene from "Romeo and Juliet".
Page 19 (CD2)
Roy finally opened his eyes about his son.
[he] became cognizant of what had been said, and perhaps for the very first time who his son was, and what grace his son held.
Page 19 (W11)
What happened to Sydney's mother? She is never mentioned.
Page 21 (CD3)
Sydney bought books and started to read, causing him to give up drinking and pursue education.
Page 21 (V4)
It was very kind of Jay Beard to help Sydney by selling him books.
Page 22 (V5)
I really admire Sydney's mindset and aversion to harming other people. It really says something about his character.
Page 23 (P2)
Oh! The "incident" was that Sydney pushed a boy off a roof.
Page 24 (CD5)
The incident with the boy and the roof caused Sydney to become a kind person, hating doing harm to others.
Page 24 (P3)
Oh, Sydney's mother was an orphan girl named Elly.
Page 25 (CD6)
Elly became nervous and solitary due to being raised by a non-biological family.
Page 25 (P4)
Lyle has a sister named Autumn Lynn.
Page 27 (V6)
Mathew Pit is a very misguided person. I don't like him very much.
Page 28 (V7)
Mathew Pit deserves to be eaten by the very bugs and bears he says he wishes on Elly.
Page 29 (V8)
Aw, Elly is so innocent and sweet! She doesn't deserve to be mistreated by anyone, especially Mathew Pit.
Page 30 (P5)
Oh, Cynthia Pit is a bad person, like her brother.
Page 26 (W12)
Why would Mathew's sister, Cynthia, suggest something like that?
He had asked his younger sister ... how he should behave ... [she] said, "Give it to her."
Page 30 (W13)
What is "blotter acid"?
Page 3 (C6)
I can picture the scene in the hayfield very well. It plays in the mind like a romantic movie scene.
Page 33 (W14)
Does this mean that Dr. Scone is romantically interested in Elly?
"He is also a
- a professor showing interest in you - my dear -"
Page 33 (R10)
The look that Dr. Scone gives Elly reminds me of one given to me by a doctor. He thought he knew all about me from other what other people had said.
Page 34 (V9)
Elly and Sydney's love for each other is so sweet and true. I love it.
Page 35 (V10)
It infuriates me that Diedre would suggest that Sydney hit Elly. He knows this pain firsthand, and would never repeat the mistakes of his father.
Page 36 (R11)
The description of Sydney's house reminds me of the decrepit state in which my house was before our extensive renovations.
Page 38 (C7)
I can picture the weather and the moose bird's flitting very well. The imagery here is great.
Page 38 (W15)
What's a "moose bird"?
Page 38 (P6)
Oh, Sydney's father was abusive not only to him, but his mother as well.
Page 41 (P7)
Oh, Mathew and Cynthia have a mentally disabled brother named Trenton.
Page 41 (V11)
I shouldn't be surprised that Cynthia is drunk while in labour. She's just that kind of person I suppose.
Page 42 (P8)
Lyle's sister, Autumn, was born a year later and is albino.
Page 44 (V12)
It is so sad that Autumn is judged for being albino. I bet that she's lovely.
Page 46 (V13)
How rude of Constable Morris to be upset over Elly's marriage simply because he finds her beautiful. He knows nothing of her life!
Page 48 (P9)
The speaker's name is Lyle! So he is Lyle Henderson, the man from the prologue.
Page 49 (V14)
Sydney says that truth gives people respect they don't deserve. I disagree; they deserve to be proven wrong. I would fight my unfair treatment.
Page 51 (W16)
Does this imply that Penny becomes Lyle's romantic interest?
Page 53 (R12)
The frozen waves of ice on the bay remind me of a trip up north where I walked on a lake, frozen with intense waves.
Page 57 (V15)
The terribly rude remark that the man makes to Elly enrages me.
[he] told my mother he had long wanted to haul her dress up and see if he could put something better than "a al-bino" up her pussy.
Page 58 (W17)
Does this mean that one of the men that attacked Sydney is Connie Devlin?
Page 60 (CD7)
Lyle becomes upset at his father for not reporting the attack made on him. Lyle is not as affectionate towards his father as he once was.
Page 62 (W18)
Why does Leo McVicer owe reimbursement to the families near his establishment?
Page 63 (P10)
McVicer's herbicide caused environmental and health issues. He can be sued by affected families.
Page 65 (V16)
That's very kind of McVicer to offer well-paying jobs to Sydney and Elly, and to offer salve to heal her burns.
Page 63 (W19)
Why would Sydney refuse to sue McVicer, when he could gain fifty-thousand dollars?
Page 66 (CD8)
Lyle begins to idolize McVicer because he is willing to fight in life, unlike his father.
Page 66 (V17)
I am relieved that Elly took the domestic job offered by McVicer. Smart move!
Page 67 (W20)
Does this mean that Rudy is going to hurt Elly?
He ... touched her cheek quickly and gently ... [Elly] did not know what everyone else knew about Rudy.
Page 67 (V18)
Rudy is a terrible person! How could he sexually assault someone like Elly?!
Page 72 (W21)
How is Rudy going to place the blame on Elly for his attack?
Page 73 (CD9)
McVicer is now distrusting of the Hendersons since he believes that they stole from him.
Page 73 (W22)
Did Rudy steal the money from McVicer? Why would he do this?
Page 77 (W23)
What are "humphrey pants"?
Page 77 (R13)
McVicer in his hunting clothing reminds me of my friend, who dresses sometimes in his hunting gear.
Page 78 (W24)
What does a river accent sound like?
Page 64 (P11)
Elly took the blame for the theft from McVicer.
Page 81 (CD10)
McVicer now believes that everyone is turning against him, due to Elly's supposed theft and his accused disregard for his worker's health.
Page 83 (P12)
The molecule from McVicer's herbicide is what caused Autumn to be born albino.
Page 85 (R14)
The mention of the Northumberland Strait reminds me of a trip where I saw it in person.
Page 84 (W25)
What is the "sexual misdeed" with which Elly meets?
Page 87 (P13)
Oh, the term "sexual misdeed" refers to Elly's consideration of an abortion.
Page 91 (C8)
The weather of the day is described very well, and I feel as though I am really there.
Page 91 (V19)
It is very kind of Sydney to offer to do extra work to save Connie's position at the bridge construction site.
Page 92 (V20)
I can't believe that Sydney would allow himself to lose a promotion and a $40 per week pay raise!
Page 93 (C9)
The final paragraph of chapter eleven is written very powerfully. It conjures images of colours and energies.
Page 94 (W26)
Does this mean that Mathew and Rudy are going to assault Elly?
Page 95 (W27)
Does this mean that Rudy likes Cynthia?
Page 95 (W28)
Who are "Tolstoy" and "Conrad"?
Page 96 (CD11)
Rudy planned to lie about Elly; however, he turns in her favour. He feels guilty that she is blamed for theft, and attempts to clear her name.
Page 96 (P14)
Ah, Mathew was the one who stole from McVicer!
Page 97 (R15)
Mathew judges people who dress differently, calling them "faggots". This reminds me of many people who have hurt my friend, simply due to his fashion.
Page 99 (CD12)
Due to Elly, Rudy's life feels now to him like "nothing more than a house of cards imploding".
Page 100 (CD13)
Rudy has decided to become a good person due to his guilt over Elly being blamed for the theft from McVicer.
Page 100 (P15)
Rudy has a weakness for Cynthia because she is beautiful, and he cheated on his wife with her.
Page 101 (CD14)
Rudy has changed his mind about being a good person, and will allow the blame on Elly to continue.
Page 107 (W29)
Was Mathew's father abusive?
Page 110 (CD15)
Cynthia told Mathew what people think of him. This has caused him anger, and he now wreaks havoc simply for the sake of doing so.
Page 111 (W30)
Who is "Lord Fauntleroy"?
Page 113 (W31)
Is the story leading up to Trenton being killed?
Page 115 (P16)
Yes, Sydney was abused by his father.
Page 116 (P17)
Despite the blame placed on Sydney, the father of Cynthia's stillborn child is Danny Sheppard.
Page 117 (W32)
Did Trenton fall off the bridge to his death?
Page 118 (C10)
I can picture the sad weather of the sad night of Trenton's death very well.
Page 119 (V21)
How strange it is that, despite people's opinions of Sydney, Cynthia has been long attracted to him.
Page 119 (V22)
I'm sure that only more injustice will he done to the Hendersons now that Sydney is assumed to have murdered Trenton.
Page 120 (CD16)
The blame on Sydney for Trenton's death as ignited in Lyle a contempt for propriety and a burning scorn for those who have wronged his parents.
Page 120 (V23)
I cannot believe this! Constable Morris claims that Sydney tried to pay Trenton for a sexual favour, and then murdered him when the boy refused!
Page 121 (P18)
Dynamite was found at the bridge. It could have been thrown onto the weak span, collapsing it, and resulting in Trenton's fatal fall.
Page 121 (V24)
Mathew is to blame for Trenton's death, I'm sure. Perhaps Mathew did not know that Trenton was on the bridge when the span was collapsed?
Page 122 (P19)
Trenton took the stolen money with the intention of returning it to Sydney. He overheard Mathew and Cynthia discuss the thieving incident.
Page 123 (C11)
The scene outside of the Pits' house is described vividly.
The snow had frozen at the end of the wood ... piked over the padlock fence, and was seen in patches between the trees.
Page 123 (P20)
Trenton went on the bridge because he knows only that Sydney works there; he expects to find him upon the bridge.
Page 123 (P21)
The weak bridge span collapsed when Mathew threw dynamite upon it.
Page 128 (C12)
I can picture the snow that flies off the buildings with rainbow light very clearly.
Page 128 (P22)
Oh, despite her history of miscarriages, Elly's next child survives birth. He is named Percy.
Page 128 (P23)
Sydney never learned to drive. Thus, he could not have driven Trenton onto the bridge to eventually kill him, as some people believed.
Page 134 (V25)
I am utterly disgusted that Constable Morris would suggest that Elly "has never felt a real man between her legs".
Page 137 (CD17)
Sydney realizes now that being as kind as he was, and taking beatings from other people, never was to spin life in his favour.
Page 139 (V26)
Poor Lyle and Autumn! They are only innocent children, and yet suffer just as their parents do.
Page 144 (V27)
How ironic, that Constable Morris says this to show intellectual superiority over Sydney, when in fact this demonstrates his idiocy!
[Sydney] quoted a poem that, as Morris said, didn't even
Page 146 (CD18)
Due to the accusations against him of Trenton's death, Sydney is no longer afraid to die; he nearly begs for death, and does not try to protect himself.
Page 147 (W33)
Who shot Sydney?
Page 147 (P24)
Sydney was beaten by his father because he attempted to intervene in the abuse against his mother.
Page 147 (P25)
Sydney learned to read because he was kept in the hospital; he was shot with a .2-calibre rifle.
Page 148 (CD19)
Mathew feels guilty over causing his brother's death. it plagues him and sometimes is an unbearable strain on his mind.
Page 149 (W34)
What book did Mathew steal from Sydney, and what purpose has he for it?
Page 150 (P26)
Mathew used to beat his brother Trenton.
Page 162 (W35)
Why doesn't Elly wish for Rudy's assault to come to light?
Page 162 (P27)
Mathew robbed McVicer to cover a claim Elly could make about Rudy's assault.
Page 175 (P28)
Rudy desired Cynthia, and though she struggled and protested, he fulfilled his desires.
Page 182 (P29)
Cynthia desires something more; she longs for an honourable, intelligent man.
Page 183 (W36)
Why would Syndey confess to Trenton's murder if he did not commit it? He was drunk, so why didn't he tell the truth?
Page 182 (V28)
I am very disappointed that Sydney has begun to drink again.
Page 188 (CD20)
Connie Devlin is weakened and afraid of the Pits; he knows now that they possess complete power over him.
Page 188 (P30)
Oh, Sydney was beaten by men, and they forced him to drink!
Page 189 (P31)
Sydney did not confess to murder; he confessed that he should not have tried to help Trenton initially!
Page 189 (P32)
Sydney was lured into the beating by a mans promise of taking him to work for some extra money.
Page 191 (CD21)
Lyle decides to protect his family at all costs when he sees how dutifully the gas bar owner chases him away when he asks to buy food.
Page 192 (P33)
Oh, Mathew shot Sydney!
Page 198 (P34)
Lyle falls in love with Penny Porier.
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