English Module one – Introduction to Barometer Rising (Sunday)
1 Assignment for submission in this module (see #4 below)
Textbook activities and Assignment:
1.Read the following in Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan: Sunday
2.Make notes for these pages, which you feel will help you later in this course. 3.Complete the following for your own records:
a)Summarize the events found in the Introduction and those that occur on Sunday in the novel. It is important to keep a running summary of all novels that we read, in order for you to look back on information as we study the novel. This information may also be useful when we read additional novels and short stories in the course. You may need to recall events and information from each novel and compare these ideas for future assignments. b)Timelines may be beneficial for you. Take note of the date that the novel was written. This may be helpful in order to understand the circumstances of events which take place in the novel. I will periodically ask questions that may require you to know when the novel was written and how this information is important in relation to the context of the text. 4.Answer the following questions and submit your answers for grading. a)In Hugh MacLennan’s opening line of his Introduction, he indicates that “The appearance of Barometer Rising in 1941 was a major weather sign in the history of Canadian writing.” What does MacLennan mean by this statement? Do you think this comment may have had any significance in relation to the future? Explain. b)Describe Halifax, as described by MacLennan in the novel (please use specific phrases). How might this setting be important to the content of the novel, based on what you know at this point? c)The following phrase is an example of what type of literary term: “Then he began the steep ascent of the hill, his movements furtive and his hat pulled low over his left eye. He stopped at the crest and stood panting……” (Page 11, Sunday) What might MacLennan be trying to communicate through this phrase? d)Why do you think MacLennan may have included the following phrase in this novel? “A tram rambled around the corner in the gathering shadows of the street and its flanges screamed on the uneven rails.” (Page 2, Sunday) e)Describe the man that we meet on Sunday, in this novel (list four to five characteristics, and remember to list where you found this information, if you use text from the novel).
What overall feeling does the reader receive from this description, in relation to the character? f)“Halifax seemed to have acquired a meaning since he had left it in 1914. Quietly, almost imperceptibly, everything had become harnessed to the war.” (Page 6, Sunday) What information is MacLennan trying to communicate to the reader through this sentence? Why do you think it may be important to the reader? g)“Its functional aspect was magnificent, its solid docks piled with freight to the edge of deep water, Bedford Basin thronged with ships from all over the world, the grimy old naval and military building crowded once more with alert young men. However much he loathed the cause of this change, he found the throbbing life of the city at once a stimulation and a relief.” (Page 7, Sunday) What do these phrases tell us about the city of Halifax? How does the character feel, in relation to this information? h)What does the reader learn about the ‘unnamed’ character in the beginning of the novel (on Sunday)? Take note of the information found on pages 8-9.
Does this explain his reaction in the following phrase: “A motor horn sounded and he leaped convulsively again.” (Page 9, Sunday) Explain. i)Describe Penelope Wain (provide three to four characteristics). What is so unusual about her character (keep in mind the setting –date- of this novel)? j)How does Simon Perry feel about Penelope Wain? Women in general? Explain. k)Why do you think MacLennan included the following text in this novel: “….a commonplace ship, certainly foreign and probably of Mediterranean origin, manned by heaven knew what conglomeration of Levantines, with maybe a Scotsman in the engine-room and a renegade Nova Scotian somewhere in the forecastle. The war had brought so many of these mongrel vessels to Halifax, they had become a part of the landscape.” (Page 24, Sunday) Why might this information be significant? l)Who is Sadie? Describe the relationship that Penelope has with her. m)Describe the status of the Wain family. List two or three examples to support your opinion. n)List and describe four things that you learn about Neil Macrae. Support your ideas with textual information from the novel.