1. Read "Pagan Night" and brainstorm a list of 10 conflicts you notice. Include internal and external conflicts.
2. After completing your list, freewrite for five minutes about one or two of the conflicts. Your freewrite should look like brainstorming--fast, creative, stream-of-consciousness, herky-jerky and then fluid, etc. It will almost certainly contain typos, misspellings, and punctuation errors. Please do not edit your freewrite; let it be what it is: a gateway to more polished writing later.
3. Look back at your freewrite and consider how you think the conflicts relate to one possible theme. Think of the theme is this case as an unspoken larger message of the story that applies to people in general (not just to the characters). Phrase your theme statement as a recommendation. For example, "Sometimes people _____, and when that happens, it is best to _____." Or, "Even though _____, we should still _____."
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The story Pagan Night was accessed at Web site URL: http://www.katebraverman.com/pagannight.html.
Part 1 of this assignment asks you to consider the story and to brainstorm a list of 10 conflicts, internal and/or external.
Conflict 1 Not wanting the baby and keeping him anyway
Conflict 2 Not having money for food or diapers or medicine like diaper rash ointment, but trading for fishing poles, liquor and drugs.
Conflict 3 Thinking and not wanting to think
Conflict 4 Needing a place to stay and not wanting to be tied down
Conflict 5 Not liking Dalton and being afraid to leave him
Conflict 6 Keeping the baby and practicing abandoning him
Conflict 7 Crossing the bridge, afraid of the train and hoping for the train
Conflict 8 Naming the baby, claiming him, and not naming the baby, repudiating him
Conflict 9 Staying in ...
Kate Braverman's short story Pagan Night: analysis of ten conflicts in the story, a stream-of-consciousness brainstorm about the story, and theme analysis with creation of two possible thesis statements.