Personal Response

Continue the story …
The protagonist from “The Sea Devil” is a more specific character – but he must be a character from a story you have studied. Any other character you choose to add must also be a character from a story you have read. Continue the story.

The protagonist is actually Neville from “The Tower.” Write a new ending in which he returns to the house and begins a conversation with his wife, Kay.

Imagine that the protagonist is actually, Mr. Berryman, or Martin Collingwood, or better yet, Bill Kline.

Imagine the protagonist is an immigrant from New Zealand. Transform him into grown-up Ned from “The Quiet One” and have him meet up with Sid and Wally for breakfast the next morning.

Personal Response

  1. Which of the three teenagers – Wally, Sid, or Ned – would you want to have for a best friend? Give at least three reasons why you made the choice you did. Explain why you did not choose the other two.
  2. Ned’s cousin, Marty, is going through a devastating experience. What thoughts are going through his head as he haunts the doorway where he and Dulcie used to meet? Write a poem, or the lyrics and, if possible, the music for a song representing Marty’s point of view.
  3. This story is told entirely from the male point of view How would it be different if Marty’s cousin were a girl? Begin the story from the point where the narrator leaves his friends, only assume the narrator is female. Retell the story from her point of view. If you feel the story would not be different if told from a female point of view, argue your case convincingly.
  4. Many students in a small town blame their discontent on the fact that they live in “such a dead-alive hole.” Create an online questionnaire, survey, or poll that explores people’s feelings about their home town and survey your school and adults in your neighbourhood. Plan your questions carefully. Be sure to leave room for your respondents to offer creative suggestions for improvements, if they feel improvements are needed. Are there any differences in the way students feel and adults feel? Try to account for these differences.
  5. Examine the impact and explicit attitudes toward abortion that this story suggests. Do you agree or disagree with these attitudes?

Extending the Text

News Article

Write a news article based on the outcome of the story. Remember that news articles…

  • strive for factual, objective writing;
  • use denotation instead of connotation;
  • are organized in an inverted pyramid structure;
  • each have a lead paragraph that contains the most important details;
  • have headlines;
  • must be newsworthy (proximity, timeliness, novelty); and
  • incorporate quotations.

Post your news articles to your blog and share your articles with your group. Comment on others’ posts.




Choose ten words, phrases, or images from a favourite section of the story. Create your own free verse poem (no rhymes). (Your poem need not be specifically about the story.) Share your poem.




Formally debate the following resolution: BIRT no one is to blame for what happens at the end of the story.


Fatal Inquiry Report
Imagine you are an Alberta Judge (and the events in the story occur in Alberta) write a Fatal Inquiry Report into John’s death.

After an inquiry is complete, the presiding judge provides the Minister with a written report that:

  • identifies the deceased
  • outlines the date, time, place and circumstances of death
  • may recommend how to prevent similar incidents, but
  • cannot make any findings of legal responsibility

Personal Response

Write on the following topic:

If you have a hobby, focus on your own hobby. If not, imagine you have one. Now write a letter to your best friend describing a dream you had about your hobby in which you somehow entered the world of the thing you loved, collected, or created. Consider how you felt, whether or not you wanted to leave, and whether or not you could leave.

Personal Response

Respond to this story in your journal in any way you wish.  You may want to take some of the following suggestions into consideration.  Describe how you felt when you read the last paragraph of this story.  Does this story remind you of any other stories you know or any dreams you may have had?  Describe them.  Explain what these stories and/or dreams have in common.  Describe your first exposure to a horror story.  How would you rate your response to horror on a scale of one to ten, ten being severe?  Explain how you feel when you are experiencing horror and describe any effects or incidents that are particularly scary for you.  Share your ideas with other students.

Personal Response

A “found poem” is a poem made of a group of words not originally intended as a poem, but distilled from its context and arranged effectively on the page using white space and enjambment.  For example, the end of this story might be arranged this way:

The silence
of his wife, going about her business whilst he
worried, nine years
he worried, turned from
to this problem or that
if you search
one face you turn
your back
on another.

Choose a segment of this story that seems especially vivid and significant.  Experiment with arrangements on the page that seem most effective in appropriateness and/or tension between the content and the form. If another student has chosen the same passage as you have, compare your versions.

Personal Response

Imagine that your mind is being invaded by a flight attendant but the transformation is not complete.  You don’t quite know what is happening but you know you are not always in control of what comes out of your mouth or of what you write.  Assume you are writing to a close friend to describe a recent game, part, or trip.  Write the letter.  Before you begin, decide whether you are aiming for comedy, pathos, or horror.

Personal Response

Keep a progressive record of your responses to this short fiction as you read “Fairy Tale” for the first time.  Although the author has divided it into sixteen sections, we can combine some of these to form a total of eight sections:  section one, section two, section three; sections four plus five; six plus seven and eight; section nine; ten plus eleven and twelve: and, finally, sections thirteen plus fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen together.  As you read each of these eight main sections, keep a record of your responses.  Explain how the story makes you feel, why you feel this way, and what you think will happen next.  Take time to explore your feelings.  Let yourself wander through your own responses just as you wander through the story.  Above all, be honest.  When you have finished writing, think back over the story as a whole.  Select three adjectives that you feel best describe this story.  Compare your responses and choices with those of others in your class.

Personal Response

Munro says adults are often tempted to refer to their adolescent behaviour with irony, humour, and amazement, but she implies that it is not always fair to one’s younger self to do so.  She says she did “all the stupid, sad, half-ashamed things…that people in love always do.”  And then she gives a list of examples.  Are you in love now?  Have you been love?  Have you done some of the “stupid, sad, half-ashamed things” Munro speaks of (pp. 32-33)?  Describe the experience, with as much detail as possible, in your journal.  Try to avoid speaking of yourself in a derogatory way; after all, as Munro  says, this is what people in love always do.