Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bonnie's answers to some of the first DQs

1.  What does the object in this photo have to do with the story?
The color orange upsets Jacob, whether it's fruit or a piece of clothing or a warning sign. Here's one example of how Jacob feels about orange:
"This is where I go, when I go:  Somewhere completely, unutterably orange" (p. 100).
To answer Shirley's question, "Orange you glad this isn't a test?"  Yep, but I hope thinking about these questions helps everybuddy remember various parts of the story as much as coming up with the questions made me aware of all that is in the book.
2.  What is the presumptive "motive" behind the staged murder in the opening scene?
Jacob stole Theo's sneakers, but Shirley's answer is so very perceptive:  that it "showed Jacob's understanding of Theo's love of the shoes while showing that he [Jacob] does have a sense of humor."
3.  Jacob says, “Why would I want to be friends with kids who are nasty to people like me anyway?” (page 20).  What does this tell us about Jacob?
Shirley, thanks for sharing the story about your daughter's first day in kindergarten, AND for pointing out that Jacob has "a better understanding of people than he is given credit for."  I think you are right.
6.  What kind of work does Emma do?  What did she do before that?
She writes an advice column as Auntie Em:
"And off goes my mother, champion of the confused, doyenne of the dense.  Saving the world one letter at a time.  I wonder what all those devoted readers would think if they knew that the real Auntie Em had one son who was practically a sociopath and another one who was socially impractical" (pp. 24-26).

She used to be an editor of textbooks:
"I used to have friends. Back before I had children, when I was working at a textbook publishing company outside of Boston, I'd hang out with some of the other editors after hours" (p. 41).
7.  What work did Oliver do before he became a lawyer?
"I liked being a farrier. ... But after four years I got restless.  I decided to go to law school, for the same reason everyone else goes to law school:  because I had no idea what else to do" (p. 58).
I didn't realize a farrier is someone who shoes horses.  Wikipedia says, "A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of a horse's hoof and the placing of shoes to the horse's  foot."  So I've learned something new.
8.  Tell us whatever you've learned so far about the food colors the Hunt family eats during the week, the color and also any foods you can think of that fit the day's color.
"Five days of the week, in addition to having a limited diet, Jacob eats by color.  I don't really remember how this started, but it's a routine:  all Monday food is green, all Tuesday food is red, all Wednesday food is yellow, and so on" (page 43).

Green foods I can think of are peas, turnip greens, spinach, pickles, lettuce, asparagus, kiwi fruit.  Red foods might be tomatoes, apples, radishes, spaghetti sauce, red velvet cake.  Yellow foods include corn, bananas, squash, lemon meringue pie, mustard, cornbread, slices of pineapple. Watch for the colors the Hunt family eats on Thursdays and Fridays, and somebuddy please tell me what page it's on, since I didn't think to make a note of it.
9.  List any movie quotes you found in the first 100 pages or so of the book.
Shirley, there's no "special section" about movie quotes, just quotes that Jacob uses when he can't think of what to say.  That's when he uses something from a movie he remembers.  And sometimes, a movie is mentioned by one of the other characters.  Here are some movie references I noticed, along with a quote from the book and the page number:
a.  Cool Hand Luke (p. 5)
"What we got here," Jacob mutters, his voice a sudden drawl, "is . . . failure to communicate."  He crouches down, hugging his knees.  When he cannot find the words for how he feels, he borrows someone else's.  These come from Cool Hand Luke; Jacob remembers the dialogue from every movie he's ever seen.
b.  Rain Man (p. 6)
When he was diagnosed, I burst into tears.  Remember, this was back in 1995; the only experience I'd had with autism was Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.
c.  Silence of the Lambs (p. 12)
I'll be honest with you -- it wasn't the fact that he took my sneakers without asking or even that he stole hair out of my brush (which is, frankly, Silence of the Lambs creepy).  It was that when I saw Jacob in the kitchen with his corn-syrup blood and his fake head injury and all the evidence pointing to me, for a half a second, I thought:  I wish.
d.  Moonstruck (p. 22)
Dr. Moon:  Can you think of a solution that might have worked better than calling 911?  Me (doing my best Cher from Moonstruck impression):  Snap out of it!
e.  Gone with the Wind (p. 23)
"Frankly my dear," I murmur, "I don't give a damn."

My mother sighs.  "Dinner at six, Rhett," she says, even though it's always at six, and even though my name is Jacob.
I've gotta add one more thing. Being a word person, I was delighted when Jacob spoke up about the word "frankly" later in the book (okay, I know I'm a bit weird).  This shows the way Jacob thinks:
"Frankly, I wonder who Frank was, and why he has an adverb all to himself" (p. 101).

1 comment:

Bonnie Jacobs said...

When my children were little, I always tried to vary the colors of the food I put on their plates. It's hard for me to imagine having to plan each day's menu so all the foods were the same color.