- Why did the seven-year-old Fulmore consider herself so mistreated that she felt compelled to run on a regular basis.
Her father and mother were working full time and their busy schedules did not allow them to perform the daily house chores. Therefore, Fulmore and her elderly sister had to do laundry, clean dishes and perform other common tasks. This made Fulmore feel neglected.
- Explain the irony of Fulmore’s dream on finding her real family.
Fulmore was running away from a family that she thought mistreated her only to land in danger while looking for the family that will take care of her. The family that she thinks mistreats her comes to her rescue.
- Where in the essay does Fulmore state her thesis? Why do you suppose she chose to place it where she does?
Fulmore states her thesis at the end of the story in the last paragraph. She decides to place it at the end after the reader has known the theme of the story so that the thesis statement becomes clear.
- If you are unsure of the meanings of the following words, try to guess them from the context of Fulmore’s essay. Look the words up in your dictionary to test your guesses and then use each word on a sentence of your own.
Bindle. A small bag to carry foodstuffs and other necessities for an adventure. She loaded too much items in the bindle that it tore.
Cordial. Polite. When she came, she greeted us so cordially that we could not sense sarcasm in her voice.
Ambiance. Environment. The ambiance became calm when the police arrived at the scene.
Subconscious. Unaware. I was so angry that I said the words subconsciously.
Exasperated. Irritated. Fulmore was exasperated by the numerous chores she had to do at home
Regal. Royal. She missed her father after the regal family imprisoned him for two years.
Devoid. Empty. The woods were devoid of wild animals
Persona. Character. He exuded the persona of a caring dad.
Betrayal. Disloyal. Fulmore’s parents would only see betrayal in their daughter after she tried to run away from home.
Lair. Habitat. When we went to the woods, we found the birds resting in their lair
Finitude. Limitation. The number of cypress trees in that wood is finitude.
Animosity. Enmity. The parents could see the animosity between the two sisters.
Mustered. Gather. Fulmore mustered the courage to walk through the woods alone.
Countenance. Appearance. He relied on their countenance to decide whom to select.
Alluring. Attracting. Those flowers allure the bees.
- What do you believe is Fulmore’s purpose in recording these episodes from her childhood to understand her experience? To tell her peers about her childhood? To do something else?
Fulmore recorded her childhood experiences so that she could teach her peers that family is the best thing they have, no matter how insignificant it might appear and that there is nothing like a magical family outside their real family.
- What assumptions does Fulmore make about her readers and their familiarity with children literature? Why are the stories and characters she alludes to significant to her experience? Can readers not acquainted with fairy tales understand Fulmore’s narrative?
Fulmore assumes that the readers are familiar with the children literature and hence she narrates it as if it is a real story. The reader needs to figure it out that the story is fictional. The stories and characters she alludes are the ones that had the greatest impact in her life as she was growing and are, therefore, significant in her life. Readers who are not acquainted with fairy tales can still understand Fulmore’s narrative because it is told in a sequential manner and the episodes are vividly described. The use of exaggeration is less hence, the reader cannot get confused.
- How does dialogue help re-create the fear and relief Fulmore felt in the woods?
The dialogue gives life to the characters. We can see the choice of words and hence imagine the kind of atmosphere that surrounds the scene.
- What features of narration make it an ideal method for describing childhood experiences like the ones documented by Fulmore?
The plot and characters of this narration make it an ideal method for describing childhood events. The number of characters are few and the series of occurrence of events is clear.
- Examine Fulmore’s organization of events. What major sections does the essay consist of and what happens in each? Why does she jump between time periods? How does the manipulation of narrative time serve the overall purpose of the essay?
The essay consists of five major sections which are background of why she feels abandoned, how she plans to escape, how she escapes from home, what happens when she runs away from home and the lesson she learnt. Fulmore uses flashback at some instances for instance when she says of how a baby sitter was hired. The flashbacks serve to bring the reader to understand Fulmore’s situation and sympathizes with her.
- How does Fulmore build suspense in the second half of her story?
Fulmore lands in danger after falling off from a tree. She is in the woods and alone. No one knows where she is and thus her life is in danger. The voices she hears could be voices of dangerous animal or people. The reader becomes curious to know what will happen to Fulmore. Will she die? Will the voices save her? Will her family find her again?
- Fulmore makes extensive use of description in her essay especially portraying the woods surrounding her home. What do these descriptions contribute to her narrative? What dominant impression does Fulmore create?
The descriptions of the woods portray create more suspense because the environment sounds dangerous for a seven year old. One wants to know what happens to Fulmore in the woods. Fulmore creates the impression that she is too lonely and hence does not even fear the dark woods if it is in them that she finds her real family.
- Chasing fairy tales is notable for the author’s consistent use of strong verbs such as smudged, trekked, stumbled and groaned. Reread the essay; pick out five or six additional examples. What weak verbs might Fulmore have used in their place? Why are the verbs she chose more effective?
Bewildered- confused, magnificent- tremendous, exasperated- annoyed, begrudgingly, deranged- crazed cascading- descending. The strong verbs serve to highlight the intensity of the situation that Fulmore was facing. It was an attention-demanding situation.
- Fulmore uses many figures of speech to enrich her prose particularly when she recounts her emotional response to being injured and alone. List a few metaphors, similes and personification that you find especially effective. How do they contribute to the overall meaning of her essay?
Personification. It groaned under my seventy-five ponds of skin and bone, I received cruel beating from the ground, confused by the branch’s betrayal
Exaggeration. Heart beating out of the chest
Metaphor. Every second was an adventure
Simile. I rushed to towards the voices like a magnet to metal
The purpose of these figures of speech is to make the narrative more vivid and interesting.
- Although she writes from the point of view of a seven-year-old girl, Fulmore uses relatively sophisticated vocabulary and sentence structures through most of her essay. How does the rhythm of her sentences reinforce her purpose?
The sentences help to emphasize her theme by making the scenes more descriptive. The reader can imagine the scenes further once Fulmore uses numerous vocabulary to describe the scenes.