Description: Key Ideas and Details Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, including texts by and about American Indians; interact with other characters; and advance the plot or develop the theme.
Maps to Reading Plus skills: 9A


9A: Comparing/Contrasting

9A: Comparing/Contrasting

Description: Compare, Contrast, and/or Integrate

✓ standard met

Selection: I-35


Grade level: 9
Word count: 2532 words
Author: Ambrose Bierce
Synopsis: A captain's fear of battle leads to tragic consequences.
Excerpt: Suddenly, from the forest a half-mile in front—apparently from among the upper branches of the trees, but really from the ridge beyond—rose a tall column of white smoke. A moment later came a deep, jarring explosion, followed—almost attended—by a hideous rushing sound that seemed to leap forward across the intervening space with inconceivable rapidity, rising from whisper to roar with too quick a gradation for attention to note the successive stages of its horrible progression! A visible tremor ran along the lines of men; all were startled into motion. Captain Graffenreid dodged and threw up his hands to one side of his head, palms outward.

The enemy's shot was not answered; the officer in command at that exposed part of the line had evidently no desire to provoke a cannonade. For the forbearance Captain Graffenreid was conscious of a sense of gratitude. He had not known that the flight of a projectile was a phenomenon of so appalling character. His conception of war had already undergone a profound change, and he was conscious that his new feeling was manifesting itself in visible perturbation. His blood was boiling in his veins; he had a choking sensation and felt that if he had a command to give it would be inaudible, or at least unintelligible. The hand in which he held his sword trembled; the other moved automatically, clutching at various parts of his clothing. He found a difficulty in standing still and fancied that his men observed it. Was it fear? He feared it was.

Question: Based on this excerpt, in which way does Captain Graffenreid differ from the other men fighting in his troop.
  1. He is more nervous during battle.
  2. He is braver during battle.
  3. He has more fighting experience.
  4. He rides a horse during battle.

✓ standard met

Writing prompt: Create a Venn diagram to demonstrate the physical, emotional, and intellectual similarities and differences between two characters from selections you have read.


Organization: Certica Solutions