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Mysterious Stranger .pdf

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Ms. Roberts
Intro to Fiction
Spring 2011

Independent Reading Project for “The Mysterious Stranger” by Mark Twain
Choose 6 or more items to complete. You have 2 weeks to read the short story
and complete the assignment. Your answers should be numbered and typed.

It is said very early on that Father Adolf had no fear of the devil and called
him every name he could think of. Research the power of names or think
about the power of language.
1. Why do you think the other villagers were afraid to use Satan’s
2. Compare the villager’s fear of using Satan’s name to another
story you know. How are they similar; how are they different.
3. List at least five words that people don’t use or find superstitious

When Satan appears in art, literature, or film he is often portrayed as a
charming person, a seducer.
4. Make a compare/contrast chart using Satan in “The Mysterious
Stranger” and Satan in one of the following films. List at least 10
similarities or differences (include information about what scene
the item is from in the story or the film).
a. End of Days (1999)
b. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut (1999)
c. Bedazzled (1967 or 2000)
d. The Prophecy (1995)
e. Constantine (2005)
f. The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
5. In the 1946 version of Beauty and the Beast, Belle says to the
Beast, “I see that you are doing everything possible to help me
forget your ugliness.” I think that this quote could also apply to
Satan in “The Mysterious Stranger.” Find 3 quotes that you think
could apply to characters in this story. Explain who they could
apply to and why you chose them.
6. Draw, paint, or sculpt your interpretation of the Satan character
from this story, then write a brief paragraph explaining your
“The Mysterious Stranger” is often published with other short stories by
Mark Twain; therefore, it usually does not have its own cover art.

7. Design a cover that would sell this story to a modern audience;
include a brief paragraph explaining your choices.
8. Design a movie poster for the Hollywood premier of “The
Mysterious Stranger.” Include a brief film synopsis, a list of stars
and the characters they are playing, and an explanation of the
things you chose to put on the poster.

Based on our class discussions, would you classify “The Mysterious
Stranger” as a mystery, miracle, or morality story?
9. Explain your answer with a definition of mystery, miracle, and/or
morality stories (can be adapted from the types of plays), a
short (1-2 pages) persuasive1 essay about your choice, and a
paragraph about why you think it does or does not classify
under the other two types of stories/plays.
10. After you make your decision, write a 1 page summary of the
story, as it could’ve been written, as one of the other two types
of story. What needs to change for it to fall under one of the
other categories?

From the Arab Times:
"KUWAIT CITY, Dec 7: Police are looking for an unidentified person
believed to be African man who is robbing people using his magic power,
reports Al-Dar daily.
It has been reported several complaints have already been filed by the
victims with the police.
One Iranian man told the Shuwaikh Industrial Area police a tall African
man visited him in his garage and began talking to him in a strange
language much above his voice. The man said he felt he was frozen and
when he came to his senses he realized the man had disappeared and
he had given him all his money.
According to the daily, two similar complaints have been filed with the
police. In one complaint a Syrian man said the man matching the same
description robbed him of KD 450 and a Lebanese woman working for an
insurance company lost all her money, driving license and credit card in a
similar manner."
11. Is this similar to the trouble Father Peter and the astrologer found
themselves in? Write a paragraph explaining your answer.
12. Based on how Satan’s activities are described in “The Mysterious
Stranger,” could these incidents be blended into the story? Why
or why not.


Persuade your readers that your opinion is the most logical one.

From BBC News:
“A man who blamed the devil for him trying to rape a woman in Glasgow
has been jailed for four years.
Misrak Eyob was found guilty of attacking the 35-year-old woman in the
city's Royston area in July last year. The 20-year-old from Eritrea, who was
caught on CCTV, claimed that "Satan created the situation".
At the High Court in Glasgow, Judge Sean Murphy QC also ordered that
Eyob be supervised for a further two years on his release. The court heard
how he pounced on the woman as she stood alone in the street after
becoming separated from her friends on a night out. During his trial the
jury was shown graphic CCTV footage of the attack, which happened
after the victim had left a nearby bar. The incident only ended when the
crying victim alerted passers-by to what had happened.
The woman told the trial: "I felt invaded, disgusted. You should be able to
walk down the street without someone attacking you."
Eyob claimed he had been drinking that evening and that he had only
been "hugging and kissing" the woman. His counsel Tony Graham put to
him that it appeared from the video that he was doing more than that.
Speaking via an interpreter, Eyob replied: "I was persuaded. I have never
engaged myself in criminal conduct."I believe in the bible and in Christ. I
abide by the rules. I was drinking and it was Satan that created this
situation."Eyob was an asylum seeker and had been in Scotland seven
months at the time of the attack.”
13. According to the agreement Satan made with Nikolaus, what
would Satan’s version of “mercy” be for the woman in this

The “Lucky Cat” in the story is similar to other pets/animals/characters in
fantasy stories.
14. List at least two similar characters. Write a brief paragraph
about how the characters are similar or different in their
respective stories.
15. Do characters like the “Lucky Cat” serve a special function in
fantasy stories? Explain your answer.

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