R is for Rocket - Part 2

Monday 12/1/08

Do-now: Review of the story so far

For each of the passages below, explain what makes it important to the story.
  1. Ralph and I wanted the stars for each of us, more than we wanted a fistful of clear-cut blue-white diamonds." (bottom of page 166)

    What is it that Chris and Ralph want so desperately? Do they actually want to "own" stars?

  2. "It was a hundred years of dreaming all sorted out and chosen and put together to make the hardest, prettiest, swiftest dream of all. Every line was fire solidified and made perfect, it was flame frozen, and ice waiting to thaw there in the middle of a concrete prairie, ready to wake with a roar, jump high, and knock its silly fine great head against the Milky Way and knock the stars down in a full return of firefall meteors. You felt it could kick the Coal Sack Nebula square in the midriff and make it stand out of the way." (bottom of page 167)

    What emotion is Chris feeling as he looks at the rocket in this paragraph?

  3. "During the rest of the day the teacher kept watching me and looking at my tab-record and chewing his lip. About two in the afternoon he dialed a number on his desk-audio and discussed something with somebody for about five minutes. I couldn't hear what was said. But when he set the audio back in its cradle, he stared straight at me with the funniest light in his eyes." (bottom of page 169)

    Who did the teacher call, and what did he probably find out?

  4. "Literature, I figured, was full of people who fought battles against hard, razor-edged opponents. They pitted brain and muscles against obstacles until they won out or were themselves defeated. But here I was with hardly a sign of any outward conflict. It was all running around in spiked boots inside my head, making cuts and bruises where no one could see them except me and a psychologist. But it was just as bad." (bottom of page 170)

    What is it that is happening to Chris that is "just as bad" as getting beat up in a physical fight against a strong enemy?

  5. "You wait from the time you're old enough to turn cold in the stomach when you see a Moon rocket, until all the years go by, and every month that passes you hope that one morning a blue Astronaut helicopter will come down out of the sky, land on your lawn, and that a neat-looking engineer will ease out, walk up the rampway briskly, and touch the bell. You keep waiting for the helicopter until you're twenty-one. And then, on the last day of your twentieth year you drink and laugh a lot and say what the heck, you didn't really care about it, anyway." (midway through page 171)

    How do people get to become astronauts in Christopher's time?

  6. "Before I could say anything else, there was a sound in the air. It cut through the very soundproofed walls of the house, and hummed in my marrow, quick and high as an arrow of glittering music. I swallowed. All the fear and uncertainty and doubt went away, instantly." (midway through page 174)

    What is the humming sound that Chris is hearing?