1. Describe Vanessa’s environment. Include 1 quote. Talk about the home inside and outside, the yard, the fence, the surrounding neighborhood.
Vanessa lives in Manawaka with her grandfather, her brother, and her mother in a brick house. The basement of the house seems to be packed with things. On page 4 the story states that “The picket fence was high” and “our yard was nearly an acre”. The town seemed northern and seemed to be cold most of the seasons.
2. Describe Harvey’s environment.
Include 1 quote. Talk about the home inside and outside, the yard, the fence, the surrounding neighborhood.
Harvey was a paperboy who rode his bicycle a lot and delivered the paper for Vanessa’s household. Harvey lived with his aunt in a sketchy part of town. His house was messy and had worn out table cloths. Harvey’s aunt seemed to dislike having Harvey around since she believed “He has been nothing but trouble” and she didn’t hesitate about abusing him.
3. What are the conflicts in this story? Identify and explain them.
The conflict between Vanessa and her grandfather. Vanessa wants the dog, but the grandfather doesn’t approve but ultimately caves after her mother gives permission to Vanessa, but with exceptions such as she can only have the dog in the basement.
Another conflict is between Vanessa and Harvey. Harvey was caught attacking Nanuk by Vanessa. After Vanessa gets rid of Harvey, he comes back a few months later to torment the dog, Vanessa gets annoyed and wants to counter-attack against Harvey.
Harvey comes back later with a slingshot and hits the dog. Vanessa has had enough of Harvey so she talks to her mother. Vanessa wants to keep the dog inside while Harvey delivers the paper, but her solution couldn’t happen since her grandfather didn’t want the dog inside. Harvey keeps coming back to the house to torment the dog. Vanessa goes back to her mother and suggests that they reported him to the police. But wouldn’t have an effect since Harvey didn’t do anything illegal. While they were trying to look for Harvey through a telescope, Harvey stole the telescope. Vaness and her grandfather go to Harvey’s house and get the telescope back and say they won’t file a police report. Harvey never came back to the house.
4. When does Vanessa’s internal conflict come to a head? Is her conflict fully resolved? Explain, including quotes.
Her internal conflict is to keep the dog. Vanessa really wants to keep the dog but since her grandfather was receiving complaints about Nanuk, he wanted the dog out of the house. Vanessa knew there was no point in arguing. It had become inevitable. (12) so she had to abide by the decision.
5. Compare and contrast each of the following pairs. (In other words, find similarities and differences. Use quotes for support. Think mental and physical attributes: actions, words, descriptions).
Both Grandfather Connor and Aunt Ada are taking care of family who experienced the tragic death of another family member
Aunt Ada is more abusive and harmful to Harvey while Grandfather Connor is much calmer and pleasant towards his family.
Harvey and Nanuk don’t get along because Harvey believes that Nanuk tried to bite him and so he decided to start attacking Nanuk.
Both disappear from Vanessa’s life at the end of the story.
Vanessa believes her Grandfather is mean because he doesn’t approve of the dog, but really her Grandfather is not nearly as mean as Harvey’s Aunt is towards him (Difference in living situations)
6. Write out two possible themes. Support your themes with 3 ideas or proofs from the story.
How you are raised can determine what you are in the future. Vanessa and Harvey were raised similarly but also had differences. Harvey was also living with relatives just like Vanessa was, but he was raised by an abusive person (Aunt Ada) and living in a bad part of town both of which could have had an influence on how he treated Nanuk. Vanessa, on the other hand, was raised by someone who cared for her and lived in a nice part of town, and although she believed that her grandfather wasn’t nice to her, she was in a better spot than Harvey was, and ultimately that showed at the end of the story when Harvey was arrested for 6 years and Vanessa’s biggest problem was losing the dog.
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