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Stop the Sun by Gary Paulsen
Transcript of Stop the Sun by Gary Paulsen
Gary Paulsen was born in 1939. He has won multiple awards, including the Newberry Award for three books! (Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room.) He is still alive at 74 years of age. His books often are seen on the top books list for the American Library Association (ALA.)
The Vietnam War, was a fight that the Americans fought (with assistance from the South Vietnamese), to stop the spread of communism. Some say, that no one won, for there were countless losses for both sides. Vietnam was widely protested and the subject of much debate and controversy.
Another factor that plays an important role in Stop the Sun is PTSD. Simply put, PTSD is a state in which you "can't stop remembering." It wasn't until the Vietnam War that PTSD was first identified and given this name.
Mr Erickson is lonely, depressed, and scared because of his memories of Vietnam.
Terry is desperate to find out what is causing his father to have these flashbacks, and what is causing his dad's pain.
Mr. Erickson could have regrets, but only feels pain.
Terry wants to be able to help Mr. Erickson's problems by talking to him, but Terry soon learns of the burden of his dad's memories.
Skills Master One (Jack)
The effects on a soldier from the war.
Someone trying to fix and attend to these effects.
There could be several different themes
The past can haunt you forever.
Knowledge is extremely different then experience.
Mr. Erickson is scarred from the Vietnam War and will never be the same.
Terry is very concerned for his dad.
Mr. Erickson has certain spasms, and his eyes will sometimes wander in flashbacks from the war.
Terry wants to talk to his dad, and understand his problems.
Mr. Erickson is not willing to talk about his thoughts.
When Terry finally gets a conversation, he gets more than he bargains for.
The setting is changing, but mostly occurs in Terry's house, and at the school. Also, Mr. Erickson's flashbacks take place in Vietnam during the war.
Compare and Contrast
Terry knows other friend's dad that where in the same Vietnam War as his dad.
They don't have the same issues.
Terry and his family are worried for his dad.
Terry takes the action to help, and try to cure this problem.
Mr. Erickson's problem, consists of flashing back.
Also, having spasms, or intensive memories.
Plot Map (Matt)
Skills Master Two (John)
In "Stop the Sun", the main character is Terry Erickson. He is searching intently for what is troubling his dad, and how it relates to the Vietnam War. Terry can not comprehend the terror of the scars left on a soldier in Vietnam like his dad.
Cause and Effect
CAUSE - EFFECT
The deaths of soldiers - the Vietnam War
Vietnam War - Mr. Erickson's fits or problems.
The spasms and fits of Mr. Erickson - Terry's embarrassment and determination to help.
Terry asking his dad about the war - Realization of the actual terror of Vietnam.
Authors Purpose and Perspective
To entertain the reader about the story of how Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder, and the memories of Vietnam can effect a man so much. Also, how that impacts the rest of a family.
Against Vietnam War (negative tone)
No other bias.
"Stop the Sun"- metaphor to living
"So black you couldn't see your nose" - hyperbole
"'NO!' It was if he had been struck"- simile
Word Master (Jack)
"Terry had looked at him, and something had started up in his mind, but he didn't let it out. He shrugged. 'I just want to know what it was like. I know somebody who was in it.' 'A friend?' 'Yessir a good friend'."
" He couldn't remember when the feeling first came to him that there was something wrong."
Short Story (Matt)
Characters: Terry, Mr. Erickson
Plot: Terry's dad (Mr. Erickson) is having problems from effects of the Vietnam War, while Terry tries to find out what is wrong, and how he can help.
Setting: At Terry's house, at school, and in Vietnam in a flashback.
Theme: Information is nothing compared to experience, or the past can haunt you forever.
The dad stares off into space at the dinner table, when having a war flashback.
Terry is confused, and tries to gather information on the Vietnam war, to understand how it effects his dad.
Terry's dad passes out in the mall, and crawls around as if he was in Vietnam again.
Terry finally gets the confidence to ask his dad about the war, and gets more information than he asks for.
Author information (librarian)
Vietnam Background information (investigator),
PTSD info (investigator)
Glenco Literature Textbook Pages 604-607
By John Leonard, Jack Wolfe and Matthew Swanson
The characters are Terry Erickson, and Mr. Erickson. This book is set in Terry's town and school, but the dad's flashbacks are in Vietnam for the war. This book probably took place in the early 90's. Mr. Erickson has a certain syndrome called PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and is haunted by flashbacks and memories of the Vietnam War.
Falling Action/ Resolution
Terry recognizes that his dad has experienced awful things and probably wont change.
Terry realizes that this is how his dad is.
Terry knowing he will love his dad anyway and unconditionally.
The dad's spells
Terry's friend's dad who also experienced the war does not have the same side effects
Terry researches about Vietnam but finds close to nothing that will benefit his situation
Terry asks his dad about his "problems".
Terry's dad reveals his past
"So we were crossing the patty, and it was a straight sweep, and then we caught it. We began taking fire from three sides, automatic weapons, and everybody went down and tried to get low, but we couldn't. We couldn't get low enough. We could never get low enough, and you could hear the rounds hitting people. It was just a short time before they brought in the mortars and we should've moved, should have run, but nobody got up, and after a time, nobody could get up. The fire just kept coming and coming and I heard screams as they hit, but there was nothing to do. Nothing to do.