Current time:0:00Total duration:7:37

Reading: Literature — How-to Part 2

Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Now that we've read the passage let's see if we can answer the questions. In the context of the passage, the author's use of the phrase her light step flying to keep time with his long stride, lines four to five, is primarily meant to convey the idea that? So, that's right over here, lines four to five. So, her light step, her light step flying to keep time with his long stride. So, remember, this is, Mattie Silver had lived under Ethan's roof for a year, and from early morning till they met at supper he had frequent chances of seeing her, but no moments in her company were comparable to those when. So, he's talking about a really good time when her arm in his, and her light step flying to keep time with his long stride. They walked back through the night to the farm. So, you kind of imagine, he's this guy and he's, these long strides, and he's not used to being kind of connected to people and being happy around people, but then there's her and her light step flying to keep time with his. So, you imagine this person and they're kind of having this enthusiastic and spirited conversations. I mean, we read the whole passage about nature, and about science, and about feeling this connection. So, yeah, this first choice Ethan and Mattie share a powerful enthusiasm. That looks like what's being described. I mean, in fact as we read on we realize that's at least what Ethan at the time thought was going on. B, Mattie strives to match the speed at which Ethan works. Well, no, that would be the case if, like, they were saying that he has these long stride and she was having trouble, and the whole passage was about her having trouble doing all the work in the house that she wants him to do and all of that. But that's not what it's about. The whole passage is about this powerful enthusiasm and it really starts from these early lines where we're talking about this is the time that he liked being around her and this connection and her light steps flying to keep time with his long stride. You kinda, they've having fun, the spirited, passionate conversations in the night. Mattie and Ethan playfully compete with each other. Compete, well, no, the spirit of competition doesn't really play out here. In fact, most of what he kind of talks about, he likes being like this teacher, professorial figure, this father figure kind of that likes to awaken her appreciation of the planet. So, it doesn't really seem like a competitive or even a playfully competitive relationship. It's really, she, he's the teacher. At least, he thinks he's the teacher and she's the student who's appreciating him and nature. Ethan walks at a pace that frustrates Mattie. Well, nothing in the passage makes us think that, or at least in the beginning, that Mattie somehow got frustrated by Ethan. It sounds like, at least over in those times, when he's reminiscing about it that he believes that she was really enjoying all of this. So, I would definitely go with A. Let's go to the next question. The description in the first paragraph indicates that what Ethan values most about Mattie is her... Fitness for farm labor. No, he, in fact, he says right over here, "She don't look much on housework." So, it's not gonna be that. Vivacious youth. That's possible. I mean, she is this kind of youthful spirit that's entered into this life. Receptive nature, freedom from worry. So, the receptive nature is interesting too because he talks in the whole passage about how open she is about learning about the stars and about geology and whatever else. Well, let's just see. "But she don't look much on housework "but she ain't a fretter, anyhow." But then they say, "But it was not only "that the coming to his house of a bit "of hopeful young life was like "the lighting of a fire on a cold breath." So, he's saying it was't only essentially her vivacious youth. "The girl was more than the bright "serviceable creature he had thought her. "She had an eye to see and an ear to hear. "He could show her things and tell her things, "and taste the bliss of feeling "that all he imparted left long reverberations, "reverberations and echoes he could wake at will." So, this is, it starts off saying, look, it didn't look like she was necessarily the most impressive to look at from a labor point of view and sure, she had vivacious youth but that wasn't it. The really powerful thing about her is she had an eye to see and an ear to hear. He could show her things, and tell her things, and taste the bliss of feeling that all he imparted left long reverberations and echoes he could wake at will. So, really, it is about the receptive nature. She was open to these things and he wanted to teach her, and she was, at least he thought, excited about these things. Question four, which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question? Well, actually I would, I would, I would, let's see. I think I highlighted them. She had, she had, the girl was more than the bright serviceable creature he had thought her. She had an eye to see and ear to hear. He could show her things and tell her things. So, let's see. Which of these are that? This is, like, line 15 through 16, 17, 18. That's, actually, I highlighted, happened to highlight those exact lines. I like to these, as you can tell, in real time so that I am experiencing it as you would experience it. But luckily, I literally, well, anyway, you get the point. This is the line that tells, these are the lines that say that she was receptive. She had an eye to see and an ear to hear. He could show her things and tell her things. So, definitely go with that. The author includes the descriptions of the sunset, the clouds, and the hemlock shadows. Hemlock is a type of plant. So, the shadows of the plants says we're in nature. So, lines 41, 43. So, let's go down to line 41. Line 41, 43, and I'll start reading a little early. And there were other sensations. Less definable but more exquisite. More exquisite. So, before we was talking about kind of science of the stars and being able to think about what's in the fossil record and all of that, but then they were saying there were other sensations less definable but more exquisite, which drew them together with the shock of silent joy. The cold red of sunset behind the winter hills, the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the intensely blue shadows of hemlock on sunlit snow. When she said to him once, "It looks just as if it was painted." So, this is just kind of that incredible, I mean, I feel that maybe I should have hung out with Ethan Frome (laughs) but when you're in nature there's this indescribable feeling of how it just connects with you. The beauty of it all. So, this is what they're describing over here when we're talking about the sunset, the clouds, the hemlock shadows. So, it suggests the peacefulness of the natural world. Oh yeah. Emphiase the acuteness of two characters' sensations. Yeah, I like that because he's talking about him in the past as we read it that he was wondering is he the only person who feels so strongly about nature and the beauty of the natural world but he's, at the time he said, "I think I found someone in this Mattie, "who connects with this sensation, "who understands it." Foreshadowing the decline of the fortunes of two characters. No, this isn't that. This is about their connection. Offer a sense of how fleeting time can be. No, this was about both of them, him feeling this very basic passion for everything around him, this almost indescribable thing, and her connecting with it. And when she says, "It looks just as if it was painted." He feels that she had just perfectly described what he was feeling these sensations. So, I definitely, I definitely would go with B.