You are now going to quickly collect data about the two texts you read. This data will help you find connections between them.

The questions you will ask are basic and could be used with almost any fictional text. Use your notes to write your answers. When you’re finished, check your understanding to see a possible response.
A photograph young woman taking notes during a training session

Source: Speak up, sonnyboy!, J. Star, Flickr

  1. Who is the speaker in each text? What other characters appear besides the speaker? Is there a way to relate one text to the other by thinking about the speakers and other characters?
Check Your Understanding

Sample Response:

In the poem, the speaker is one of the two people who pass by the pasture without helping the colt. In Kidnapped, the boy is the speaker.

In the poem, the colt appears as a third character. Other characters might include the colt’s mother and the person responsible for “leav[ing] him out so late.” In Kidnapped the other characters are the two people in the boat who pass by without helping him and the third person who comes back with them.

The two texts relate through the characters who pass by in each situation and offer no assistance.

  1. In each text, who wants something? What do they want?
Check Your Understanding

Sample Response:

In the poem, the horse wants something—namely to be rescued from the panic he feels as the snow is falling from the sky. The passersby cannot help him, nor (they guess) can his mother. The colt can be rescued by experience, by becoming accustomed to snow, or perhaps by someone coming and taking him to shelter.

In the story, the boy wants something—namely to be rescued and taken off the island. The men in the boat could easily do this for him, but they ignore him instead. He can only be rescued by learning, through experience, about his environment.

A photograph of two hands grasping each other in a handshake.

Source: handshake I, oooh.oooh, Flickr

  1. What resolution is there to the wanting in each case?
Check Your Understanding

Sample Response:

In the poem, there is no resolution to the colt’s panic. The passersby simply reflect that whoever owns the colt shouldn’t have left him out so late.

In the story, the men come back with a third man and after a great deal of difficulty communicating, they give the boy the information he needs to get off the island. They encourage him to think about the tide, and then he understands that the island is not surrounded by water when the tide is at its lowest point. The excerpt ends with the boy finding his way onto the mainland.

You could continue collecting more data, of course. You could, for instance, think of the tone in each story. You could comment on the settings of the stories. You could pick out important sentences and phrases, important objects, or even references to colors. The depth of your data collection depends on your purpose and the time you have available.