Back on Wednesday we talked about Hemingway and read aloud a few of his various iceberg stories—“Cat in the rain,” “Hills Like White Elephants,” “Indian Camp.” I then assigned the class to read “A Good Man” for Friday….
When I came into the class three students were very intently discussing the story. One said to me, “There’s some big icebergs in this story….” They’d been up all night reading the story over and over. The story disturbed them and excited them. When the other students arrived, we all discussed their theory….
1. It’s mentioned that Grandma has lived in Tennessee and has connections there. Unsavory connections, the students think. She’s hiding something.
2. Why is Grandma so interested in the Misfit breaking out of prison? Most people would see that in the paper and shrug and go on to the next story. She doesn’t.
3. Grandma dresses so that if she dies, people will know she is a lady. This indicates that she hasn’t always been a lady. She has a checkered past. (In Tennessee).
4. The Misfit literally is her child.
5. The moment of grace is then both literal and metaphysical.
6. The Misfit, finally recognizing her, shoots her three times in the chest.
They convinced me!
One of my best teaching experiences ever….