The imagery in Hugo Martinez-Serros's short story "Distillation- creates a vivid description of the difficult obstacles this family overcomes in order to survive. For example, the visual images of, "Far beyond the fence, their smoking stacks thrust into the sky, the steel mills took an appearance of enormous, black steam driven vessels- , and "His [father's] back and arms were a mass of ugly welts, livid flesh that had been flailed again and again until the veins beneath the skin had broken- , produce the effect of fear and pain. The steel mills, being tall and black, would scare a small child and having so many bruises would cause a lot of pain. Other imagery in this story like auditory images of "A bolt of lightning ripped the sky and a horrendous explosion followed- , and " we screeched and I could feel my body pucker- , create the feelings of panic and tension. Lightning and explosions make people panic and when a body "puckers- it quivers and gets tense.
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Read this excerpt from Distillation, a story about a father in a poor family in the s who pulls his four sons in a wagon to the Chicago dump every Saturday, searching for usable items. Answer the questions that follow the story. We pulled the wagon away from the dumping area and sat on the ground to eat what we had brought from home.
By then the stench no longer bothered us. My father handed us bean and potato tacos that were still warm. Hunger made them exquisite, and I sat there chewing slowly, deliberately, making them last, too happy to say anything. We shared the jug of water, bits of damp earth clinging to our hands after we set it down. Before us was the coming and going of trucks, the movement of men, rats scurrying everywhere, some dogs, and just beyond us, under a tentlike tarp, a big gas-powered pump that was used to drain water from that whole area, which flooded easily in a heavy rain.
He was nowhere in sight, but my mind saw him a monstrous dung beetle rolling balls endlessly, determination on his pockmarked face, jaws in constant motion and his hands thrashing nervously, searching the grounds with a frenzy unleashed by the appearance of intruders. By the sky s blue was completely eclipsed. Above us an ugly gray was pressing down the sky, flattening it by degrees.
My father stood up and looked hard at the sky as he spun on his heel. The temperature dropped abruptly and a strong wind rose, blowing paper, cans, boxes, and other objects across the grounds in all directions.
He issued orders rapidly: Pronto! Block the wheels and cover the wagon with the lona! Tie it down! Then he took a sack and hurried off to a heap he had been eyeing while we ate. We leapt forward, the two youngest scurrying in search of something to anchor the wheels with, while the two eldest raised the wagon s sides and unfolded the tarp my father had designed for such an emergency. The wheels blocked, we turned to help our brothers.
We had seen our father tie down the tarp many times. We pulled it taut over the wagon and carefully drew the ends down and under, tying securely the lengths of rope that hung from its edges. Huddled around the wagon, we watched the day grow darker. Big black clouds, their outlines clearly visible, scudded across the sky.
It was cold and we shivered in our shirtsleeves. Now the wind blew with such force that it lifted things and flung them into spasmodic flight. We moved in together and bent down to shield and anchor ourselves. Frightened, we held our silence and pressed in closer until one of us, pointing, gasped, Look! No one s out there! No one! Jus look! We re all alone! A bolt of lightning ripped the sky and a horrendous explosion followed.
Terror gripped us and we began to wail. The clouds dumped their load of huge, cold drops. And suddenly my father appeared in the distance. He looked tiny as he ran, flailing his arms, unable to shout over the sound of wind and water.
He was waving us into the shack and we obeyed at once. Inside, cowed by the roar outside and pressing together, we trembled as we waited for him. He had almost reached us when the wind sheared off the roof. Part of one side was blown away as the first small pebbles of ice began to fall. He was shouting as he ran, Salgan, come out, come out! Collection 1 Summative Test A knot of arms and legs, we stumbled to the wagon.
There was no shelter for hundreds of yards around and we could not see more than several yards in front of us. The rain slashed down, diminished, and hail fell with increasing density as the size of the spheres grew. Now we cried out with pain as white marbles struck us. Be still! Don t move from here! I ll be right back, ahorita vuelvo!
In seconds he was back, dragging behind him the huge tarp he had torn from the pump, moving unflinchingly under the cold jawbreakers that were pummeling us. With a powerful jerk he pulled it up his back and over his head, held out his arms like wings, and we instinctively darted under. The growing force of the hailstorm crashed down on him. Thrashing desperately under the tarp, we found his legs and clung to them. I crawled between them. We could not stop bawling.
Once more he roared over the din. There s nothing to fear! You re safe with me, you know that, ya lo saben! And then little by little he lowered his voice until he seemed to be whispering, I would never let anything harm you, nunca, nunca. Be still, be still, you re with me, with me. Bent forward, he held fast, undaunted, fixed to the ground, and we tried to cast off our terror.
Huddled under the wings of that spreading giant, we saw the storm release its savagery, hurl spheres of ice like missiles shot from slings. They came straight down, so dense that we could see only a few feet beyond us.
Gradually the storm abated, and we watched the spheres bounce with great elasticity from hard surfaces, carom when they collided, spring from the wagon s tarp like golf balls dropped on blacktopped streets.
When it stopped hailing, the ground lay hidden under a vast white beaded quilt. At a distance from us and down, the highway was a string of stationary vehicles with their lights on. Repeatedly, bright bolts of lightning tore the sky from zenith to horizon and set off detonations that seemed to come from deep in the earth. At last the rain let up. My father straightened himself, rose to his full height, and we emerged from the tarp as it slid from his shoulders. He ordered us with a movement of his head and eyes, and as he calmly flexed his arms, the four of us struggled to cover the damaged pump with his great canvas mantle.
Hail and water were cleared from the wagon s cover. My brothers and I dug through the ice to free the wheels, and when my father took up the handle and pulled, we pushed from behind with all our might, slipping, falling, rising, moving the wagon forward by inches, slowly gaining a little speed, and finally holding at a steady walk to keep from losing control.
Where the road met the highway, we waded through more than a foot of water and threw our shoulders into the wagon to shove it over the last bump.
Long columns of stalled cars lined the highway as drivers examined dents and shattered or broken windows and windshields. We went home in a dense silence, my father steering and pulling in front, we propelling from behind. Entering the yard from the alley, we unloaded the wagon without delay. While my father worked his wagon into the coal shed and locked the door, my brothers and I carried the sacks up to our second-floor flat.
It was almost four when we finished emptying the sacks on newspapers spread on the kitchen floor. There we began to pare while my mother, scrubbing carefully, washed in the sink. We chattered furiously, my brothers and I, safe now from the danger outside.
He held his thumb in his fist and I got up to bring him gauze and tape from the bathroom. I knew my father would let me in even if he had already started to bathe. Some object fallen between the bathroom door and its frame had kept it ajar, but he did not hear me approach. I froze.
He was standing naked beside a heap of clothes, running his hands over his arms and shoulders, his fingertips pausing to examine more closely.
His back and arms were a mass of ugly welts, livid flesh that had been flailed again and again until the veins beneath the skin had broken. His arms dropped to his sides and I thought I saw him shudder. Suddenly he seemed to grow, to swell, to fill the bathroom with his great mass. Then he threw his head back, shaking his black mane, smiled, stepped into the bathtub, and immersed himself in the water.
Without knowing why, I waited a moment before timidly entering even as I have paused all these years, and pause still, in full knowledge now, before entering that distant Saturday. Re-read those passages in which the underlined words appear, and then use your knowledge of literal and figurative language to select an answer. On the line provided, write the letter of the word or words that best complete each sentence. Asky that is eclipsedis A B C D sunny as dark as a bad mood rainy as cold as ice 2.
If you make a rope taut, you are F pulling it tight as a drum G bringing it toward you H making it skillfully J tying a knot in it 3. Two examples of spheres are F G H J boxes and books tubes and pencils oranges and balls ice-cream cones and pyramids 5. While the father and sons are at the dump, a natural disaster occurs when a n F G H J earthquake shakes the dump tornado touches down near the dump hailstorm passes over the dump flash flood sweeps through the dump 7.
The father protects his sons from disaster by F removing them from the dump in time to avoid the storm G fighting the enemy who appears at the dump H telling them to run while he guards the wagon J covering them with a tarp and his own body 9. What does the narrator learn when he sees his father in the bathroom?
A His father s back and arms are covered with welts.
Plot and Setting COLLECTION 1 SUMMATIVE TEST. Collection 1 Summative Test 27
Read this excerpt from Distillation, a story about a father in a poor family in the s who pulls his four sons in a wagon to the Chicago dump every Saturday, searching for usable items. Answer the questions that follow the story. We pulled the wagon away from the dumping area and sat on the ground to eat what we had brought from home. By then the stench no longer bothered us. My father handed us bean and potato tacos that were still warm. Hunger made them exquisite, and I sat there chewing slowly, deliberately, making them last, too happy to say anything.
Short Story Unit: "Distillation" by Hugo Martinez-Serros
Serros's diction emphasizes the power of the father as a hero first at the dump, and after as a man at home. During the storm the father became a "spreading giant" protecting his sons, "undaunted and "moving unflinchingly" in the powerful torrent of hail and wind. The apparent fear that the narrator shows is abated when his father takes charge, protecting and soothing his sons. The father metamorphosed into a great hulking mass that shielded his sons from the terrors that are outside the sanctuary he had erected. After the storm, at