The Coalwood Way
by Homer Hickam

Chapter 18 ~ The Dugout

Discussion ~  Sonny and Roy Lee set out on a romantic adventure that has a great many possibilities, but in the end resolves nothing.

Writers' Workshop ~
    (1)  Writing at its best is definitely an art.  When Sonny and Dorothy begin dancing, he uses a long list of adjectives to describe her eyes, painting a beautiful picture for the reader.  For each of the major facial parts (eyes, ears, nose, hair, and lips, make a list of adjectives you might use in relation to someone who is attractive to you.  Then make separate lists for parts that might go with certain expressions: anger, sadness, meanness, joy, etc.
    (2)  The final scene is extremely well constructed.  Look at the way the author has Sonny and Ginger sort through a variety of issues that concern them.  Do you now feel as though this plot line has concluded, or is there more to follow?  If there is more to come, what might it be?  Why does Sonny think of Jake at this point?

Freud's Couch ~ 
    (1)  Each of the girls who are mentioned in this chapter have a role to play in Sonny's personal life.  Freud implied that most of our relationships with members of the opposite gender have some bearing on our development as sexual creatures.  Make a list of all of the females mentioned in this chapter, and describe how they relate to Sonny's psychosexual development.
    (2)  Dorothy uses a "magic phrase" that creates a variety of emotional responses in Sonny.  Make a list of all the reactions he has to these three words.  Can you think of other "magic phrases" that cause people to have a variety of emotions?

Mountaineer Morality ~ 
    (1)  Sonny mixes two mountain metaphors when he says, "All glory is shadows,... there is no armor against fate."  In these circumstances, what do each of these two phrases mean?  Why does he put the two together?  How does the combining of the two make each one take on added meaning?  As with some of the earlier aphorisms we've seen, does the formality of the language add to their meaning?

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