"Occurrence" Questions
1. What are some qualities of Naturalism in this story?

2. How does this story use the audience’s understanding of Naturalism against them?

3. How might Bierce’s view of war be apparent in this story?

4. How does this quote tell us about the soldiers in this story: "Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him." (1.2)

5. Is Ambrose Bierce biased toward one side of the Civil War? Does the narrator describe the Union soldiers more positively than Farquhar, or vice versa?

6. Describe the foreshadowing of this story.

"The Lives of the Dead" Questions

1. This is a post-modern story. Discern what might make this story post-modern. Use specific examples.

2. What is the significance of the title?

3. Explain how this quote is microcosmic of the story itself: “To listen to the story, especially as Rat Kiley told it, you'd never know that Curt Lemon was dead. He was still out there in the dark, naked and painted up, trick-or-treating, sliding from hootch to hootch in that crazy white ghost mask. But he was dead” (O’Brien 11).

4. What is the role of a storyteller according to O’Brien?

5. Describe how this quote is Post-Modernistic: "How's the war today?" somebody would ask, and Ted Lavender would give a little smile to the sky and say, "Mellow—a nice smooth war today” (O’Brien 5).

"Hollow Men" and "Wasteland" Questions
1. Who are the Hollow Men?

2. Where do the Hollow Men live? How does this help us understand the meaning of the poem? How do the paradoxes in the poem help us understand the meaning?

3. Explain this quote: “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper”

4. What do eyes symbolize in this poem?

5. What do the references to classicism add to “The Wasteland”?

6. In “The Wasteland”, what do you believe to be the purpose of this section? What is it communicating to the reader?