Sunday, February 1, 2015

CREATING CHARACTER....fantastically flawed, beautifully broken, readily redeemed

What is it about a character that makes him or her so memorable?

Hero or villain, damsal or duke, rebel or royal, the characters in a story are the author's greatest assets in the quest to win the heart, mind and soul of the reader.

How that character is manipulated by the plot, and how he/she in turn manipulates it right back, that is the key to story telling.We have been exploring characters in our FOA presentations and we are also, from different angles and approaches, analyzing how stories impact readers and how the author creates a unique story to entice and inspire the reader in our Written Task 2.  Each one of you represents a very unique and original set of backstories and experiences.  You bring these in to each new experience you encounter, including reading a novel.  Because of that, how you interpret stories and respond to and relate to characters will always be different.  Your culture, your virtues and values, your personality and preferences and past experiences will color the lenses through which you read and interpret literature.

The first step in becoming a thorough and credible literary critic (critic in this case meaning someone who engages in the act of dissection, evaluation or appreciation of literature) is to acknowledge the fact that you do look at everything through a unique perspective that can and will color your evaluation.  That is not a bad thing, it's a human thing.  Recognizing it and graciously allowing for other possible interpretations is a professional thing.

Okay, so we've acknowledged that we do have a limited view--a unique and valid one, but limited as we, in each of our own unique perspectives are limited.  Now; how do we become more comfortable and confident in that adventure that is dissecting, exploring and detecting as readers?

You know the answer.  It's the same answer for everything you seek to do well:  you practice.

This week, that is exactly what you are going to do!  I am giving you a chapter to read.  The title of this chapter is:  A Drink with the Devil.   It is about ten pages long.  Not bad at all as far as chapter lengths are concerned.  Here is the catch and part of the fun:  this chapter is not from the beginning, but the deep middle of a novel.  So, you really are going to have to depend on your own personal detective skills.  You won't have a lot of context, so you will have to read for clues the author gives you in this excerpt as to setting, character backgrounds, and story.
Your main study focus is character, so this is reflected in the questions you will answer for your blog this week.  Here are the questions:
1.  When does this story take place and how do you know?
2.  Where does this story take place and how do you know?
3.  One of the two characters is Will.  Tell me what you know about Will.  Not just surface stuff like what he does for a living, but WHO IS HE?  What is he about?  What are his values?  What type of person is he and why do you think so?  In other words, how does the author reveal him?
4.  Same question, this time for the character of Mick O'Shaughnessy.  GO BELOW THE SURFACE.  How does the author reveal him and how is this different?
5.  Finally:  What are some flaws you see in the characters?  How does the author present them?

You will have TWO weeks to complete this blog.  There will not be a new blog next weekend.  It is this one.  I realize it requires more work and effort, therefore you have more time and it is worth more points (ten instead of five).  My advice?  Type your answer up on a word or text document.  Then, when you are happy with it and it is finished, copy and paste your answer in the blog.

Thank you, and happy detecting!


  1. 1. This took place in about 1952, because I saw that it said "Remember about seven years ago?" It was shortly after Dan and i got back from Europe... the war. So I only assumed it was WW2 and just added seven years to the pronounced end.

    2. This story takes place I believe in Chicago, because it was mentioned "I am going to send her far away from Chicago."

    3. Will: He appears to be a father for a church of sorts. The Author reveals him as calm and alert at the same time, he likes to think and be skeptical about things around him.

    4. Mick: I feel lie Mick was a boy born into church whose life when south and lost a love of his due to it. He is having relationships issues with someone named mimi who has changed as well

    5. I see the priest (Will) has his own personal issues as well, but they are just disregarded more than anything. The author shows this in the beginning of the chapter when Will is trying to be calm and sees the knocking at the door as something else, then has his tea knocked over. Mick has several flaws, the author chose to be blunt with Mick with this line “I wanted to be different...I wanted things to…I wanted to be someone…different.” so we know his flaws are that he isnt who wants or is supposed to be.

  2. Pretty good! Two things to go back and check: 1. WHEN does this take place. You missed some other important clues that narrow it down. Go back to the text and see if you can find them. 2. Mick lost a love before. Was it a LOVE? Go back and check again. Other than that, not bad, and very interesting perspective!

    1. Oops! One more thing, Eli: You mentioned that you can see the priest has some personal issues as well, but they are disregarded. What were those issues that you saw? Can you elaborate here? Thanks!

  3. 1) I think that this story took place in the 1920s. I think this because when Mick mentioned the war, I’m assuming that he was talking about WWI. Also, Will was reading “A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man” by James Joyce and that was published in 1916. I assumed that Will wouldn’t read something that dated if it was later on in history such as the 40s or 50s. Also, WWI was in 1914, so adding 7 years would make it about 1921.

    2) I think this story takes place in Chicago because it was stated in the first sentence of the chapter: “…with the fury that made Chicago winter storms legendary.”

    3) From this chapter, I believe Will is someone who keeps secrets- and not because he’s a pastor. I think people confide in him because he’s trusting. I know that he likes storms because he feels as though God is protecting him from something evil that is outside. From that comfort, it is learned that he really does believe in God and is appreciative of what he has. His values are friendship and trust. I believe he values friendship because he let Mick in and just had a conversation with him. He didn’t have to let him in or even talk to him- but he did. I think he values trust because he doesn’t say anything that anyone has told him. I don’t think this is because of his job, but it’s because he values what other people think and that they can trust in him. I think he’s the type of person that is passive but isn’t afraid to take charge. He is really understanding as a person and lets others speak. He doesn’t interrupt them. However, once something starts to get out of hand, he gently tells the person that they could either fix their situation or just let it play out.

    4) From this chapter, I believe Mick is in a sort of group that could potentially hurt Mimi. He doesn’t want to hurt her, but he can’t stop talking to/about her which shows that he really does care for her. It is also learned that Mick had an abusive father and he believes that it his fault that his mother got hurt. But, he recently found out that he is a Clancy, which I’m assuming is a rich family. I’m not sure how he got to his abusive father, maybe he was kidnapped or adopted, but he never knew that he was a Clancy and it seems that it’s hitting him hard. I believe that it hit him hard because he lied to Mimi. I mean, he didn’t mean to, but he still did. Or at least he feels as though he did. I think Mick values Will, Mimi, and his past. I think Mick values Will because I don’t think he would go to him to talk about how he’s feeling if he didn’t value Will as a person. I think Mick values Mimi because he loves her and doesn’t want to hurt her. I also think he values his past because when he found out that his whole life was lie, he was hit hard. I mean, anyone would be hit hard, but I think that whatever Mick is apart of, his past is the reason that he’s doing it. What’s the point in doing whatever he’s doing if his whole past is a fake? I think Mick is a person who wants to protect the ones that he loves no matter the costs. It seems as though he would do anything for Mimi(I’m not sure about Will) even if what he’s doing to protect her could be dangerous or could hurt him emotionally.

    1. 5) I think a flaw in Will is that he seems too trusting. I think he values trust and because of that, I think he would trust too easily. The reason I think this is because in the chapter, it states: “‘ Can you tell me anything?’ Will looked away, contemplating, then he seemed to decide on something. ‘Forgiveness,’ he murmured. ‘We just talked about forgiveness. That’s all I can tell you, and even that’s probably too much.’” This tells me that he trusts Mick but since Mick is a questionable character to me (Since I only got a chapter introduction to him) he would discredit his career for someone after they asked him to tell him something once. I think a flaw in Mick is that he depends too much on who he is from his past. As I said earlier, his whole life was a lie because he’s not who he believed he was. And now he’s questioning who he is as a person just because of being lied to. Now, I’m not saying that he shouldn’t question himself, but he is human and think that he doesn’t need to rely on his past to justify who he is. The author presents this by writing what they’re thinking and putting clues in the thoughts of the characters. The conversation also reveals the flaws, but thoughts are things that cannot be overlooked. Just because they didn’t say it, doesn’t mean that it’s not true.

      After answering the questions, I have a question. Is this a chapter from the book that you’re writing? I remember an excerpt you gave us in the beginning of the year and recall the same names that are used in this chapter….

    2. Excellent analysis for the excerpt you received!! :) Yes on time period location, and great insights to characters. To answer your question, yes, this is from Palooka. :)

  4. 1. I believe this is during the 1920s. The book that Will sat down to read was Published in 1916 and it makes sense that he would be reading a book written in the same time frame.
    2.I'm guessing this has taken place in Chicago because the first line of the chapter states, "…the wind blowing against the stone church with all the fury that made Chicago winter storms legendary."
    3.Will on the surface is a Priest. Because of this, and the way the character Mick came to him for advise that he is a very caring man. He seemed to have a calm, peaceful sense about him in the beginning. He was drinking his tea and reading. The author wanted him to seem level headed to start out so that when Mick came to him the impact of what was said was more powerful because of his shock. Even when Will was shocked, first by the knocking and then by who Mick was in love with, he stayed calm and level headed. We find out later that Will is of Irish blood and Mick makes a comment about the fact that it is okay for Will to let go a little and not always be uptight.
    4. Mick is a little bit harder to decipher. He seems very worried and desperate. We find out that he is in love and for some reason he is upset because he has lied to her. I didn't catch exactly why that is but it is very evident that he isn't happy about it. Mick has also found out he is a Clancy. From what Mick says about believing someone was his father, the person who beat him and his mother tells us there is a lot about him he does't even know. That can really bear down on someones self-conscience. And as we can see here Mick is struggling with his self-conscience. He is so upset that he is drinking, cursing, and almost seems to be yelling with frustration because he is unsure how to handle the situation he is in.
    5. Some of the flaws in WIll are that he is too calm. I feel like he should reacted with stronger emotion to the problem that Mick brought to his attention. This could have helped Nick to have a little more emotion out of WIll. Mick's flaw is that he is very senseless in that is unsure what direction he needs to go in next. He downs't really know where he came from either, shown through his reaction to finding out he was a Clancy.

    1. You used and referenced supports here very well from the text. This is a skill that will be very important in our next unit.
      Very good analysis of Will and Mick. You were correct on time period and place. :)

  5. 1) I think this story takes place in the 1920’s. I think this because it says it is 7 years after the war, I’m assuming they are talking about WW1 making it 1921. Other evidence is Wills favorite books that he has reread was The Dubliners witch was published in 1914 and Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man that was published in 1916. It makes sense to read a book close that is generally new or during the same time frame.
    2) It takes place in Chicago. The first sentence comes out and says “that made Chicago winter storms legendary”
    3) The character Will, well as it first comes out and says he is a priest. And a very religious person. He seems to be reliable. Someone you can come to talk to like Mick came and talked to him. Mick was able to tell him some secrets, so Will must be someone close to Mick or someone that can keep secret. It also says that mimi came and talked to him. He seems very calm he liked to just sit down and drink some tea inside while there is crazy storm outside. Yet almost uptight, Like he cant let loose. There is just something about his character where I get this felling about him. He likes to be by himself and likes the feeling of security, like he is safely tucked in the hands of god.
    4) Mick, he seems like the type of person that has a lot going on underneath. He comes out and tells Will that he had a bad childhood with an abusive father. He seems like the type of person that puts blame on himself since he thinks it is his fault that his mom got hurt . He also just found out that he is not who he thought he was, I guess he just found out that he is a Clancy, that seems to be rich and powerful. He breaks down cussing and drinking and going on about a girl he is in love with but yet he is a “monster” and he doesn’t want to hurt her, yet he doesn’t want to let her go Mick seems like a very worried person. He has a lot going on in his life right now but doesn’t want to hurt the people he loves, I think this really shows how much of a caring and protective character Mick might be.
    5) Some flaws that Will have is a little bit to trusting. He asked Mick why he knocked, since he walks in all the time. He also keeps a lot of secrets for people, he knew about micks past and that his father wasn’t his actually father. Micks flaws is that he seems to let the past destroy him. The fact he wasn’t able to help his mother, or that he lied to Mimi. He just found out that his past is lie and now he is questioning everything.

    1. You have an excellent understanding of the character of Mick! :)
      Great references to support your analysis. Spot on.

  6. 1.  When does this story take place and how do you know?
    This story takes place after world war 1 probably around the 1920's. I believe this because Mick mentions going to war and coming back 7 years later, and he doesn't seem very old.

    2.  Where does this story take place and how do you know?
    This story takes place in Chicago because it says so in the first sentence.

    3.  One of the two characters is Will. Tell me what you know about Will. Not just surface stuff like what he does for a living, but WHO IS HE? What is he about?  What are his values? What type of person is he and why do you think so? In other words, how does the author reveal him?

    Will is a priest and he seems to be a calm person and someone you can talk to because it also seems that Mick can trust him. He likes stormy days especially with a good book and hot tea (so do I).

    4.  Same question, this time for the character of Mick O'Shaughnessy.  GO BELOW THE SURFACE.  How does the author reveal him and how is this different?

    Mick seems like the type of guy who cares about a specific person so much, he is willing to go above and beyond for them. I think this because of the way he talks about Mimi/ Maggie. He also, according to Will, seemed to love his mother very much. Mick isn't very religious, his religion and church is whiskey.

    5.  Finally:  What are some flaws you see in the characters?  How does the author present them?
    Mick seems like the type of guy to get angry easily and quickly and also like he might make decisions too quickly without contemplating the possible consequences. Will seems like he can be swayed in making decisions due to trusting others too much.

  7. 1) 1950s because it mentions how it was after they got back from the war in Europe and it takes place after prohibition.

    2) The story takes place in Will's church because of the first sentence which says that he could hear the wind blowing against the church.

    3) Will is the father of a Church and he seems like a nice and calm person because he is there to help Mick with his problem. Even though Mick stormed in and was in a bad mood Will was still willing (no pun intended) to help him.

    4) Mick seems almost like the opposite of Will. He barges in with a problem that he needs Will's help with, but he does seem like he has good intentions with helping those he cares about. He may be stressed out about it here or just in a bad mood about the whole situation.

    5) Mick seems like a Romeo because he takes action immediately, or so it seems from the way he barges in angry about his problem. Will on the other hand seems like a Hamlet who overly thinks about the situation. I don't feel like that was shown quite as much here but he does seem like the opposite of Mick and, since Mick went to him for help, he may be the type of person who can always think of a solution to a problem.

    1. Great character analysis....revisit the time period though.

  8. 1. This story takes place in the 1950’s. I think 1952 to be exact. The names of the characters seem reminiscent of this time to me. My initial guess here was the 1920’s or 30’s, however Mick mentions a bar, which rules out the 20’s due to prohibition. If it was the 20’s they would have said speakeasy. Mick also mentions “The War”, which could mean either World War, but since he’s drinking and talking about a bar, it would have to be the second.
    2. This story takes place somewhere near Chicago. I can tell from the very first sentence that talks about “Chicago winter storms”.
    3. Will appears to be a priest who is friends with Mick. I think that he either grew up with Mick, or Mick grew up around him. He appears to be a trustworthy guy who would always help with the problems of anybody who comes along.
    4. Mick appears to be a guy who is down on his luck. He is in love with a girl who he knows loves him as well, but she sees him as a monster. I think he has a troubled past, and he is still recovering, but he might not ever make it all the way back to normal.
    5. I see that Will is a calm guy, but he seems to be the type that doesn’t take much action. I can see that Mick is a guy who believes in actions over words, and that isn’t always a good thing. He has made some mistakes, and these are something that he may never truly recover from.

    1. Check your dates....go with your original gut reaction. ;)

  9. 1. I'm going to have to say this takes place in the 1920's. I initially thought it was later, like I keep hearing everyone say, but the fact that the bar's existence is causing so much trouble, and that the war they talk about could be WWI or WWII, tend to point towards the days of prohibition. The story also takes place in winter, due to the winter storms mentioned early on.
    2. The story takes place near Chicago. In the first sentence, the phrase 'Chicago winter storms' is used. It may not be in Chicago, perhaps in the areas around the city, but it is definitely near.
    3. Will is a priest, and from his conversation with Mick, I can assume that he has known Mick for a while. The way they speak with each other seems to indicate that they are also at least somewhat close in age as well. Will also seems to be a very serene person. He enjoys tea, sitting inside, reading, etc. You could say he is a 'sensory' person as well. He likes the small things in life, the ordinary feelings. Finally, he is kind. He's immediately WILLing (hehe) to help Mick as soon as he arrives.
    4. Mick seems to be a very worried character. His entrance, his manner, and his speech all seem to indicate that he is distressed. Granted, he seems to be in a tough situation, but the way he carries himself seems to insinuate that this is his normal state of being. He's also a drinker, and very to-the-point. He just wants help from Will, and asks for it straight out. This is a bit of a stretch, but their conversation also may show that Mick is a hopeless romantic. The way he talks about Ms. Maggie/Mimi/WhoAreTheseWomen is the kind of way Romeo talks about Juliet.
    5. As I said above, Mick is a drinker, as well as a worrisome Romeo wannabe. He also is a bit blunt. He just barges into Will's home rather rudely. Also, he may or may not be a criminal. Will can be snappish, as he shows at the end. He means well, but even Mick is taken aback by the way he speaks to him. Whether this is a flaw or not is debatable, but he gets very involved emotionally with Mick. It's clear that Mick is his friend and he cares about his situation, but the reactions he has are a bit over the top. He is always pausing when talking to Mick, like he's constantly being stunned by their conversation.

  10. 1. When does this story take place and how do you know?
    I assume this story takes place either after WWI or WWII because he mentions war and Europe and that it was seven years ago. I’m leaning more towards after WWI because of their conversations; it is just sounds like it’d be in the 20’s in my opinion.
    2. Where does this story take place and how do you know?
    This story takes place in Chicago because it is stated in the first sentence.
    3. One of the two characters is Will. Tell me what you know about Will. Not just surface stuff like what he does for a living, but WHO IS HE? What is he about? What are his values? What type of person is he and why do you think so? In other words, how does the author reveal him?
    I think will is a very mysterious and interesting guy who has many tricks in his bag. My first observation of Will was he was extremely calm when his friend was freaking out. Although he is the Father of the Church he knows how to connect with others in their time of need, and not many people are that understanding and open minded to help others. To me the author reveals him as a laid back but strict guy who knows when to lay down the law instead of babying the situation.
    4. Same question, this time for the character of Mick O'Shaughnessy. GO BELOW THE SURFACE. How does the author reveal him and how is this different?
    Mick is the polar opposite of Will. Mick seems to be loud along with not having a problem barging in. I think of Mick who carries himself well because that’s all he knows how to do. Observing their conversation of what has happened to Mick meant he has a lot of hurt to deal with but doesn’t know how and is afraid he’s going to harm this Mimi character if I am assuming correctly.
    5. Finally: What are some flaws you see in the characters? How does the author present them?
    There will always be flaws in characters but I sometimes like to see them as a charm you add to a bracelet because they are apart of you, you can’t just get rid of them. The author present he flaws of the characters through imagery, towards the end of the chapter is where everyone’s flaws were seen when it says, “that little piece of evil that he knew was very much alive and well inside Mick O’Shaughnessy”. Will has the ability to see others flaws for them, but that is also a flaw for Will because he has the ability to also see ones greatness but can only express to others how to help them with their flaw.

  11. 1. This story takes place during Prohibition. So, the 1920's or early 30's. "Men and their stupid laws of prohibition"(Pg. 4)

    2. "Father Will could hear the wind blowing against the stone church with all the
    fury that made Chicago winter storms legendary"(Pg. 1). So, Chicago.

    3. I feel like I understood Will more than Mick. Not sure why. Anyway, obviously, Will is a priest. He seems to be an older man. He is calm and gives great advice. He almost reminds me of Jesus in the way he handles situations. Here he has a man, referred to as the devil, in his house (or a house) and he counsels him. He helps him. He invites him in to save him from the storm. Will finds the good in everything. He likes storms because he feels safe. He likes Mick, even though Mick doesn't seem like he values religion much. Overall, Will sounds like a caring father. Someone who is always there for the ones who needs it.

    4. I love Mick. You can tell he really has a passion to change. Not exactly sure what he is trying to change. He likes to drink a lot, maybe he is an alcoholic? Seems like he goes to drinking when he is troubled. So, perhaps, he wants to sober up? But, I have a feeling there is something deeper to Mick that hinders him from obtaining something he really wants. Mimi?

    Mick had a hard childhood. His step father, or other male figure beat on him and his mother. I think that that contributes to his drinking and other problems. He seems tough, young.
    Also, I got some hint of a gang type setting. Maybe Mick is apart of a gang? Clancy is the leader? Seems like Mick got himself in a tricky situation because of some hasty decision(s). Now, he realizes that he wants something more. So, now he has to clean up his mess. Or run from it.

    5. This is a hard one for Will. Will is so loving and caring. However, the fact that he can't tell Mick something gives me the idea that he is involved in some drama. Now, towards the end, it mentions that Will was reading Joyce. James Joyce was known for his explicit context, so its interesting a priest is reading his work. Maybe to show some irony?
    Like I stated above, Mick seems to go to drinking to escape his troubles. He swears a lot. Again, I blame this on his difficult childhood.

    Interesting chapter, even without context!

  12. This story seems to take place during the early 20th century because he is reading a James Joyce novel, and James Joyce was very popular and influential during the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. This story takes place in or near Chicago because at one point Mick says "Send her far away from Chicago, the Cage and Danny—from me..." Will, as he is a priest, is a very trustworthy person. You can tell because he refuses to tell Mick what Mimi told him. He is also very caring, he let Mick into his house on a dark stormy night. He gave him a drink and listened to him. Although he was relaxing before, he invited Mick into his house and comforted him and had a drink. Mick is a drunk. He is a drunken mess who needs a savior. Will is his savior. Mick is a man that does his best for everyone, but no matter how much he does he seems to do more damage than anything, but that isn't his fault, it's becaus ehe's put under the wrong circumstances. We know this because he had a drunken abusive father, adn he couldn't save his mom, but he did his best. He doesn't feel good enough for Mimi either because of that, but he shouldn't feel like that, he's a genuine guy, and he wants to change, he said it himself. I don't see any flaws personally other than Mick's loss of self confidence in himself. They're characters of the author's mind, not my place to judge. (P.S. I recognize these names from some things you've had us read before, are you the author?)

  13. 1. When does this story take place and how do you know?
    This story takes place at around the 1920's, during the prohibition to be more specific. The different speech is a tell-tale sign that there is a dated English speaking here.
    2. The story, I'm guessing, is taking place inside a church. Father Will is a priest and he lives in the church, I think.
    3. Will is the priest, and I am thinking, he is young, maybe even Mick's friend. They joke around a lot in this chapter, and I feel that even though there is no context, it is implied these two were friends maybe before Will was a priest?

    “Have a drink with me. Please. I know you’re a priest, but you’re an Irish one.Don’t let a man drink alone.”

    4.One of the character's names is Mick. He is, what I assume the main character after reading your other passages from A Drink With the Devil. Your writing is very unique, Mrs. Caraway. I feel like he is very troubled with himself, he sees his image and is disappointed, or even scared about what he is, or what he looks like to other people.
    5. Some flaws I see in the characters are of course, Mick's fear of his known and future unknown self. Will I believe, is struggling with his placement as a priest. The drinking tea over whiskey comment is still getting to me. Does he not feel as worthy to be a priest?

  14. UGHHHHHHHH.I My whole thing was typed out, and then the page refrshsed, and nothing was saved, and ugh. So excuse me while I write a horrible response to this.
    1. 1920. Prohibition was mentioned
    2. Chicago. It talks about Chicago storms.
    3 and 5. Will is a priest, he loves storms and finds what seems to be immense peace in them. This is identifiable. He finds peace in the chaos, and I'm pretty sure that's a huge trait for priests, anyway, Some of his flaws would probably appearing as if he really does want to help at times, but he can help but to judge, or simply not feel like doing it. Repeatedly comparing Mick to Satan is interesting. I guess, hes just saying what it appears to be.
    4 and 5. Mick seems to be dealing with a lot of hurt. This is stemming from his childhood, but also present day. This is all getting muddled together, past and present, however Mick is still managing along. He may get called the devil, but who cares? This guy seems to be really trying. Some of his faults would include is overactive drinking style, and his outbursts towards Will. But I like that he's 100% himself, and is completely identifiable in that sense.

    Much more condensed. But Simple, Sweet, Detective Work.

  15. 1. Though I contemplated back and forth between two eras much like the rest of us readers, I am settling with the thought that this story takes place during the 1920’s. I’m assuming this time period from my judgement on how Will feels bothersome by the prohibition on the quote, “It was all so senseless. Men and their stupid laws of prohibition, which only led to more drinking…more greed… more killing…”.
    2. The story appears to take place in Chicago, as it is stated in the first sentence when Will describes a furious “Chicago winter storm.”
    3. Will is a priest, which is immediately inferred in the quote, “Mick slowly raised his eyes to meet the eyes of the priest.”, and also how Will is introduced as Father Will. 4. Knowing Will is a priest is only a label for this character, but does not give away much about who he is. After reading the text, I deciphered as a reader that Will seems like he has a very wise, peaceful, and rational way of mind. While Mick is very conflicting to Will and seems frantic, Will remains level headed, and even when he has all rights to let his mind scramble, he remains cautious.
    5. Mick is very polar opposite of Will. Much more uncautious of how his thoughts are released into words and feelings, much more frantic and worrisome. It is not a lack of evidence that Mick is dealing with situations weighing down on his human conscience such as troubled love, trying to dig into his own identity, and is drowning his sorrows into his preferred method, liquor.
    6. Flaws I can detect in Will, are that he seems very nonchalant, and almost so calm, it can come off as insensitive to Mick’s struggles. Mick on the other hand, has a flaw in the way he control his feelings, which is a common human struggle.

  16. The story takes place some time between 1919 and 1933, during the prohibition. The reader discovers this when Will is thinking to himself and says “... stupid laws of prohibition,”.
    The setting of the story is Chicago, Illinois. The reader knows this from the opening sentence, “... that made Chicago winter storms legendary”.
    Will is an “Irish” Priest who looks to bring out the good in people. From the chapter, I believe that during the conversation with Mick he is trying to show Mick the good that he has inside. He’s trying to help him release the demons that are weighing him down and let the “Old” Mick out. Will values confidentiality and thats noted when Mick asked him what Mimi had said and he replied, “You know I can’t do that, Mick”. He trusted with so many secrets and he remains true and does not break the trust he shares with the other characters. I believe Will is also a bit sensitive and is looking for something greater.
    Mick is definitely a dynamic character. When we are first introduced to him, it seemed like he was going to be this tough guy looking for answers and in some ways he is, but the forceful I was assuming. Mick was vulnerable to Will and showed his true colors. He is a man in love and doesn’t think that he is good enough for her, and that may be true by the way Will describes him as the devil.
    Both characters are flawed and the obvious assume would be to talk about Mick’s flaws because he is more of a troubled character but I want to focus on Will. He’s a priest and the assumption would be that he is all holy and does no wrong, but that’s wrong. It felt like he has this longing for more in life and helping others filled that void temporarily. He drinks (the most obvious flaw) and associates with criminals, but then again they’re forgiven. I kind of feel like he is living through others because of his title.

  17. 1. This story took place sometime in 1925, dead in the center of the Prohibition. “Men and their stupid prohibition” (pg. 5) “Remember about seven years ago, Will? It was shortly after Dan and I got back from Europe... the war.” (pg. 5)
    2. “With all the fury that made Chicago winter storms so legendary” (pg. 1) blatantly shows us that this story took place in Chicago.
    3. Will is a morally “okay” character, he clings to the rules of priesthood he feels are important (he respects the right of secrecy of his congregation on page 6 but takes up the offer to drink with others on page 4). Will is either indebted to Mick or has bonded with Mick in some way to which he feels the urge to repay him thus he most likely helps with the smuggling of alcohol and that is why on page 6 he asks “who is at the bar”.
    4. Mick seems like a rough character with good intentions. His step-father beat him when he was young but he still shows compassion for others ( Miss Flynn pg. 6). Mick’s rough childhood (pg. 6 “thirteen years that son-of-a-bitch beat me”) has caused him to have a smooth era of charisma that he can control (otherwise how would he have gotten to be in charge of a illegal bar “who do you think is minding the bar while I’m here drinking whiskey” (pg. 4)). Mick also frequents the local church (“you’ve never knocked” (pg. 3)) because he has the internal urge to right the wrongs he feels he has committed (ie. not protecting his mother from his step-father on page 6).
    5. Mick’s downfall could be the urge to find romance (seen on page 7), due to making up for childhood love lacking from parental figures (pg.6). Will’s downfall could be his sense of judgement and non-conformation due to his own standards (seen on page 6 when he drinks his own whiskey), this could also be combined with his relationship or sense of debt towards Mick either because of their friendship or involvement in the black market.

  18. 1. The story is placed in the 1920’s about 7 years after WWI. I know this because of the quote,"Remember about seven years ago, Will? It was shortly after Dan and I got back from Europe… the war.” This quote and the language of the text eludes that it was written after the first world war or close to then. All the books that will is reading are front 1910 - 1920.
    2. This story takes place in Chicago during a rainy winter storm in a Catholic church. I know this because the author clearing states this.”. ..the stone church with all the fury that made Chicago winter storms” I know that it is a Catholic church because Will is called Father will and in the conversation Will and Mick have they talk about people coming to will for confessions and due to past knowledge I know that Catholics priest follow this.
    3. The author reveals Will as comfort in the storm. People come to him when they are in the storm and he is the knowing comfort. He likes warm places and to be comforted, but also likes being in the midst of the storm, almost that he loves the peace and solitude, but loves the challenge of helping others. "Will had always found comfort in the storm; the warmth of a fire, a good book, and a hot cup of tea inside the protective walls while the lightening, thunder, wind and rain haunted, screamed and raged in the world outside."
    4. Mick on the other hand is revealed in a different way. He is the struggling soul, the storm outside of the church. He is searching for peace and change, but can not do so until he comes out of the storm. He is looking to change what he has become due to his past and the author reveals that through his quote, “We all have a monster inside of us, Mick, each and every one of us. The trick is to decide how much power are you going to give it today? How much control? And it’s not a one-time decision that determines our final destiny either. It’s a choice you make over and over again, every single day.”
    5. In Will, the author reveals flaws such as drinking and revealing others confessions and with Mick he reveals the priced together person in search of a new whole. The author truly provides a perfect example of the imperfect realistic characters that reflect individuals and their situations in real life.

  19. 1. The story takes place during the roaring twenties i believe because at first the names seemed really familiar and i thought that this might have been part of the story that you have been writing, then i saw the name mim and how the male character was having issues with his feelings and his like and it all fit together that this was your book. And if i remember correctly, you had told us this is taking place back in the roaring twenties. I also noticed that Mick didn’t directly ask for alcohol, which back in that time it was illegal to have. But i found it ironic that a priest of all people would have alcohol in their household, being a holy man and such.

    2. It takes place somewhere either in Chicago or around that area, because in the beginning, it talks about how the winter storms in Chicago are legendary, and the priest is in his house while there is a huge storm bellowing outside, in which he refers to it as “ being safely tucked in the hand of God while the devil screamed and hollered outside.”

    3. When I’m reading on about this priest, i feel he has a soft spot for Mick, especially when he lets loose information that he shouldn’t be saying due to it being part of someone elses confession. This of which priest are sworn to secrecy and they aren’t allowed to say a word about it. He gave Mick as little information he could while still trying to help him. He also seems to be very patient and doesn’t mind listening to people in distress, especially since he sat through Mick’s rant that he went through about his mother and also about mimi and a few other things. However he also seems to be a person who wants to get things done, or someone who looks at commitment as a big thing especially since he gets more stern later on and tries to help Mick by giving him ways to save Mimi and making it clear that it was going ot have to be something that Mick had to do himself, even though Mick completely rejected the idea of leaving.

    4. Mick seems really troubled as well as a troublemaker. I feel that him being a troublemaker is the reason he has a lot of distress in his life because many people who do bad things or are apart of bad things usually have karma come back around and hit them in the face. He seems to also be a bit clueless on what to do with his life at this point in time but doesn’t want to have to sacrifice all that he has now to make things a bit better in the long run. He’s very stubborn almost, but i like that about him, because i can be quite stubborn myself.

    5. I honestly think Mick was developed really well, especially since he has a small back story and such to him as well that makes him the way he is as a regretful and angry kind of person. However, this could be considered a character flaw if you look at him as a real person, especially since people don’t like hanging around others who are constantly upset, it gives off a bad vibe. Also from the other part of your book that we have read, i enjoy the amount of tolerance that he has towards Mimi and her attitude towards him in the sense that she enjoys taunting him. However, Since i don’t know anything else other then the information about Will then what was presented within this chapter, I don’t feel i can really give a good enough analysis of him, however he doesn’t follow the secrecy deal with confessions and he has alcohol during the 20’s.. AND he seems to judge Mick a little as well by calling him a devil for most of the chapter in his thoughts.

  20. 1) When does this story take place and how do you know?
    This takes place during the 20’s, “Men and their stupid laws of prohibition”

    2) Where does this story take place and how do you know?
    This story takes place in Chicago. The first sentence of the chapter.
    “Father Will could hear the wind blowing against the stone church with all the fury that made Chicago winter storms legendary.”

    3) Will is a priest. “Father Will shook his head at himself and opened the door wider.” This sentence starts off saying Father Will. Which we know he is a priest. Will trusts God and is optimistic because he found the good in a terrible weather that was occurring outside. “Will found comfort in storms. Being inside, with a fire, a hot cup of tea and a good book while a storm whirled and raged all around the walls: it was like being safely tucked in the hand of God while the devil screamed and hollered outside.” Will is also a trustworthy friend. He let Mick come inside and have a drink, when there was a storm outside. “May I come in?” Mick half shouted back to him above the now banshee-like wind that was blowing. Father Will shook his head at himself and opened the door wider. “Of course you may. Please.”

    4) Mick is different than Will. He wants to drink the whiskey instead of the tea that Father was drinking. “Better just bring the bottle over here, Father.” It is also implied that Mick likes to drink. Mick is described as a very tired character. “He looked tired…so very, very tired.” I think Mick is a very caring character he talks a lot about the girl he loves. “You love her.” Will stated. He didn’t need to ask. She was the one…she was the reason.”

    5) Finally: What are some flaws you see in the characters? How does the author present them?
    Flaws that I see in Mick is that he seems to be the type of guy who drinks when he is in stress, depressed, or in need of help. He drinks instead of facing his problems, so that he can try to escape whatever he is going through. It was hard trying to figure out a flaw in Father Will. I think a flaw would be that he gave the whiskey to Mick, instead of tea to just relax him.


  21. The story took place in 1925; WWI was over in 1918 which makes the story take place in the 20’s .Also it was mentioned in the text "Remember about seven years ago, Will? It was shortly after Dan and I got back from Europe… the war”
    The story takes place in Chicago as it mentions "wind blowing against the stone church with all the fury that made Chicago winter storms legendary’ as well as Mick saying ". I’m going to get her out of here. Send her far away from Chicago.”
    Will is clearly a powerful character. The first thing we find out in this chapter was that he was a priest. It was mentioned at the beginning and throughout the chapter as Mick calls him father. They also talk about confessions as well. It is clear that he is a Catholic priest. Throughout the text it was mentioned twice that Will finds comfort in storms.. I kinda love that. It’s said" it was like being safely tucked in the hand of God while the devil screamed and hollered outside”; he sees the evil in the world but appreciates the little things. He found comfort in many things one of them being peace. Will seemed very paranoid. It stood out to me that he had a fear of getting hurt or the past I’m not really sure which one. He forced himself to stray away from being paranoid " His imaginings of the devil haunting around outside returned to his mind, and he couldn’t help but chuckle to himself, despite the uneasy feeling these thoughts and metaphorical images now produced.” Will is very understanding and honest. An overall good person who wants the best for people, we can see this by the way he talks to Mick. He understands his struggle in a way and you can tell that they have a strong friendship.
    Mick is also a powerful character. We can tell that he has gone through a lot. He has lost a loved one and now he wants to save one. He is heart broken. He has had a very hard past. In the text it says "Thirteen years that son of a bitch who I believed was my father beat on me…and my mother. Hell, I shoulda’ just guessed it. She shoulda’ told me, too.” By this you can tell that he has a lot of anger towards his father who clearly beat him and his mother as child. He wanted to save his mother but he couldn’t. Not only was he small but it wasn’t his duty it was her to save him and he doesn’t want to face that fact. Mick really loves Mimi, that’s the character he talks about the most not only does he mention that he loves her but when you talk about someone a lot (in a good way) it usually means that that person means a lot to you. In the text it mentions that Mick is a Clancy..? I honestly have no idea what that is. Mick is a very smart man who has had a tough past and still is going through a hard time. I love how even though he is hurt, sad, angry and confused, he still finds humor. Not only to comfort himself but Will as well.
    This is a hard question for me to answer… In Will I think that he was too quiet.. Maybe that’s why the character is so powerful but I really wanted to know more about him. But I should take into consideration that this is only one chapter as well. I guess I wanted to see more or a reaction. When it comes to Mick think he has gone through a rough past and he expressed his emotions perfectly just like anyone in the same situation would but he does drink his problems away and he doesn't deal with them like he should.

  22. 1. When does this story take place and how do you know?
    The time period this story takes place sometime during the year of 1925. The quotes in the chapter that lead me to believe this is “Remember about seven years ago, Will? It was shortly after Dan and I got back from Europe... the war” (pg. 5).

    2.Where does this story take place and how do you know?

    This story takes place in Chicago. I know this because in the chapter the first sentence is, “Father Will could hear the wind blowing against the stone church with all the fury that made Chicago winter storms legendary.”

    3. One of the two characters is Will. Tell me what you know about Will. Not just surface stuff like what he does for a living, but WHO IS HE? What is he about? What are his values? What type of person is he and why do you think so? In other words, how does the author reveal him?

    Will is a priest for the Catholic Church. I know this because it says, “Father Will shook his head at himself” (pg.1), and usually priests are called Father in Catholicism. From reading this chapter, I noticed that Will enjoys the little things in life (his tea, books, warm atmospheres, stormy weather, etc.) An example of this from the text is, “The only thing missing was the rain or snow, but when he came out of the kitchen after brewing some tea, he could hear that the rain had arrived, right on schedule. He smiled to himself. Will found comfort in storms” (pg. 1)

    4. Same question, this time for the character of Mick O'Shaughnessy. GO BELOW THE SURFACE. How does the author reveal him and how is this different?

    On the other hand, Mick seems to be less sophisticated. I know this because it says, Mick was slouched over, his arms resting on his knees, as if deep in thought or misery. From his current angle, Will found it hard to assess” (pg.3). When I imagine someone with bad posture I think of a person who is wearing dirty clothes, and has a long beard.

    5. Finally: What are some flaws you see in the characters? How does the author present them?

    In my opinion Mick has more flaws than Father Will. To me Mick seems to be the guy who drinks drinks to drown out his sorrows. He drinks to cover up all the hurt that he has been through. An example from the text is ,”Will smirked and went towards the kitchen to grab a drinking glass and then made his way over to the bookcase to retrieve the whiskey” and “He walked back over and nudged Mick’s arm to hand him the glass. Mick lifted his head immediately, received the glass in his hand and took a long drink. “Better just bring the bottle over here, Father.” (pg. 2-3).
    A flaw of Father Will is he seems to be very judgmental of others. An example from the text is, “Will thought about chastising him, but instead held his tongue and complied” (pg.3). It is not Will’s place to chastise Mick for drinking because it is not effecting him in any way.

  23. You are all blowing me away. This was BY FAR the most fun post I have personally read. Yes, partly because you are commenting as critical readers on my own work, but also because of how articulate you are. Let's bring this into our essays. AMAZING. Thank you! Best Valentine's Day gift ever. xoxo

  24. 1. Sometime at around 1920 because he mentions the war.
    2.Chicago, because it says in the first sentence.
    3.Will seems like a very peaceful calm character in the beginning. He seems like a quiet guy that keeps to himself. He is a priest because it calls him "father will" and it talks about how he makes certain things like connect with God and it says will looked at the priest. I also think he knows a lot but lets people figure things out themselves.
    4. Mick seems paranoid. He is dealing with something and he just needed to talk to someone about it and drink. Mick seems like he genuinely cares and wants to change. He seems like a good guy deep down.
    5. I think Micks problem is that he doesn't know how to deal with his own problems. I dont see any flaws in Wills character.

  25. 1. The story takes place in the 1925. There is evidence in the text. For example: ""Remember about seven years ago, Will? It was shortly after Dan and I got back from Europe… the war”
    2. Chicago. It says so in the beginning.
    3.Will appears to be a calm character. We learn he is a Catholic Priest.
    4. Mick isn't as mature and sophisticated as Will. He seems to be looking for someone to talk to and someone to help him change into the person he wants to be.
    5. I think Will has a better way to deal with everything compared to Mick who seems to drown is sorrows with liquor.

  26. Taking the quote, “Men and their stupid laws of prohibition,” into consideration, one can assume the time period of this novel is the 1920’s.

    The story takes place in Chicago.
    “Father Will could hear the wind blowing against the stone church with all the fury that made Chicago winter storms legendary.”

    Because he is referred to as “Father Will” (“Father Will shook his head at himself and opened the door wider.”), we can infer he is a priest of some sort. From this, we can assume he has a firm trust in God and everything He creates, like storms. “Will found comfort in storms. Being inside, with a fire, a hot cup of tea and a good book while a storm whirled and raged all around the walls: it was like being safely tucked in the hand of God while the devil screamed and hollered outside.”

    On the other side of the spectrum, There is Mick O’Shaughnessy. To me, he seems much more youthful, and less experiences in the ways of the world, in comparison to Will. He slumps, somewhat hiding himself. Perhaps he is hiding something. According to Will, It is difficult to read him.I know this because it says, Mick was slouched over, his arms resting on his knees, as if deep in thought or misery. Will found it hard to assess.”

    The way I interpreted will left me thinking he had a few more flaws than I would have originally thought. Slightly judgmental, “Will thought about chastising him,” he seems the kind of person to casually beat someone down with words. Mick is flawed in a much different way. Aside from the heavy drinking, love is his flaw. He seems so desperate for it. A kind of Romeo, the excerpt gives the impression he would do anything, no matter how rash the decision.

  27. 1. It takes place sometime during the 1920's-1930's because, it also mentions war
    2. Chicago, because the first sentence says it
    3. Will seems like a calm character and seems very peaceful, he is involved in the church because they call him Father Will.
    4. Mick seems immature, but he also wants to change
    5. Will can deal with things better than Mick because, Mick seems to drink away his problems

  28. 1. The story takes place sometime after a war in Europe. I'm just going to go with sometime in the 1920s because it doesn't seem so old fashioned it would have been before that. "It was shortly after Dan and I got back
    from Europe… the war."
    2. "Father Will could hear the wind blowing against the stone church with all the
    fury that made Chicago winter storms legendary" is the first line, straight up saying it's in Chicago.
    3. Will seems like he has a short temper. If I'm completely honest, nothing in this passage made the slightest bit of sense to me. They mentioned Maggie and Mimi and Dan and they all got mixed up and confused.
    4. Mick was slightly easier to analyze, but that doesn't really say much. He seems to avoid his problems, as shown when he immediately turns to alcohol. He also seems to resent his past and his past helplessness. "I couldn’t save her, Will. I tried so many times. Nothing I did made any difference. I couldn’t save her."
    5. Some flaws in the characters were that Will seemed to have little patience and Mick seemed to be afraid of ruining things further than he believed he already had. Of course, I could very well be completely wrong, considering this m

  29. 1. This story takes place sometime in the 1920s to 1930s. It talks about the Prohibition period which took place after WW1 in the 1920s to 1930s.
    2. Based of the first sentence talking about Chicago winter storms, it's obvious this story takes place in Chicago.
    3. Will seems to me as a calm and peaceful Priest, who somehow knows Mick closely, as he asks him for advice.
    4. Mick is a character who seems like he takes the easy way out of his problems and turns to alcohol. He does want to change his ways though.
    5. Will seemed to loose his patience easily with Mick during their conversation, and Mick was afraid of what might happen if he messed up again.

  30. 1. The story takes place around the mid 1920s, the evidence being that they mention the prohibition period.
    2. It takes place in Chicago, because the first sentence clearly talks about Chicago winter storms.
    3. At first the character Will states that he is a priest and going off of this, he seems to be one of those characters that you can come to for help and advice and he would always uphold his values.
    4. Mick seems like the kind of guy that is trying to do good and help with a problem, but goes about it the wrong way making him seem a little more rude than he may actually be.
    5. One flaw I can see in Will may be his ability to trust very easily, and believe what everyone says and that could cause problems, and a flaw I see in Mick is his fear of messing up things even worse which could change his mindset and actions.