Write the letter of the best answer to each of the following items.
1. Why is Pa moving his family west?
a. He wants to prospect for gold.
b. He is returning to their home.
c. He loves to fish in mountain streams.
d. His uncle may have a job for him.
2. What motivates Mary to run away from "somewhere?"
a. She has been treated badly.
b. She wants to go west.
c. She has stolen some money.
d. She likes to travel.
3. By eating the mushroom first, Mary shows that she is
4. Near the end of the selection, the sun appears. Which of the following is the most likely symbolic meaning of this
a. It signals a new beginning for the family.
b. It means that summer has finally arrived.
c. It suggests that times will remain hard.
d. It indicates that Mary will leave the family.
5. At the end of the story, we learn that Mary
a. marries Pa
b. leaves the family
c. dies of food poisoning
d. moves back east
6. Which of the following statements summarizes Mary's actions when the children are hungry?
a. She is cruel and selfish, taking all of the food for herself.
b. She finds blueberries but is attacked by a bear.
c. She finds food for the children but tests it before allowing them to eat it.
d. She goes fishing and catches two trout for their dinner.
7. Which of the following summarizes the narrator's attitude toward Mary?
a. He remembers her as brave and is fond of her.
b. He is too young to remember her well.
c. He wishes his father had never married her.
d. He believes Mary doesn't love his father.
8. Which of the following summarizes the family's problem?
a. They are lost and want to return to the East.
b. Thieves have taken the family's money and supplies.
c. They are exhausted, traveling with few supplies and one horse.
d. Pa wants to hunt for bearskins before winter comes.
9. Why does Mary sit up by the fire all night?
a. She expects Pa to arrive with supplies.
b. The person who mistreated her wants to take her back.
c. She is afraid the mushroom that she ate is poisonous.
d. She wants to write a note to Pa.
10. Why does the narrator try to sit up with Mary?
a. He is worried that Mary may die.
b. Coyotes try to steal their food.
c. He believes it is bad luck to sleep during a full moon.
d. The horse is restless and keeps him awake.
1. What if the family hadn't met Mary? How would the story change? How would they have managed without her? Rewrite two
scenes. You may write from the narrator's point of view or from another character's point of view.
2. Explain the title of the story. In what way is Mary "too soon a woman?"