A Geographical Tour of Literary America

The Grand Tour of Literary Landmarks resulted from my students' success with another project that we called "Poetic License with THE AMAZING RACE." This new journey also begins and ends in my students' hometown. Chosen writers are specific to our curriculum and texts; however, teachers can adapt new selections to their students' needs. Side images are their original work. Photo images at each destination go directly to official sites or to the slideshows of my own travel photos. The main sources of written material here are www.Poets.org and Adventures in American Literature, Heritage Edition and Pegasus Edition.

Prairies of Nebraska

On the literary map, travel from Logan, Utah, to Red Cloud, Nebraska.


# _____________ Miles to Red Cloud, Nebraska

$ _____________ Cost for Gasoline to Red Cloud, Nebraska

Visit Mrs. Steller's Willa Cather Gallery.

Read the timeline of Willa Cather's life.

Take a virtual tour of her childhood home.

Here are on-line texts of her novels.

Read "The Sculptor's Funeral" and answer the questions.

What important character is introduced in the first paragraph of the story?

How is his importance stressed?

Does Cather's treatment of the characters who appear at the beginning of the story strike you as sympathetic or unsympathetic?

What seems to be Cather's attitude toward the boys waiting at the train station?

What words and images does she use to describe them?

After the train arrives, the story is told primarily through the point of view of Henry Steavens. How doe the use of this point of view influence your attitude toward the other characters?

Give three examples of Steaven' reactions and tell how they influence your reactions.

What does Jim Laird's remark, "A burnt dog dreads the fire," imply about Harvey Merrick's early years?

How does Jim Laird influence your feelings about Harvey Merrick and the town?

One theme in this story is the struggle of the sensitive individual against a hostile environment. Considering what you learn about Harvey Merrick in the course of the story, why do you think he was able to triumph over his environment?