One Good Punch
ASK ANYBODY AROUND East Scranton High School: Michael Kerrigan is almost too good to be true. Dedicated athlete, captain of the track team, editorial assistant (obituary writer) at the Scranton Observer, he's never been in trouble, and he doesn't associate with troublemakers. This is the most important track season of his life - and he's ready. That is, until the police find four joints in his locker. Soon Mike's seemingly perfect world is threatened, and with pressure coming from his parents, his childhood best friend, and his sort-of girlfriend, Mike is faced with a choice - a choice that will determine the kind of athlete, friend, and man he becomes. From the Hardcover edition.
The curriculet is being added to your library
As you read this story, you will notice that the structure is different from the typical novel. Instead of an organizational design based on chapters, the text is organized like a newspaper with sections and headlines.
Obituaries are notices of deaths, especially in a newspaper, typically including a brief biography of the deceased person.
What type of interesting information does the narrator collect from the funeral directors?
Why can't the narrator envision a future for himself in Scranton? Include textual evidence to support your answer.
Notice Scranton's location near several major cities on the East Coast such as New York and Philadelphia. (This annotation contains an image)
Below you will see a picture of Scranton similar to the one described by the narrator in the highlighted text. (This annotation contains an image)
What type of writing does the narrator aspire to do?
The highlighted text is an example of hyperbole or extreme exaggeration. See the video below for a more detailed explanation. (This annotation contains a video)
According to the narrator, why are sports so important, especially in a place like Scranton? Support your response with textual evidence.
The chart below shows the level of alcohol use during the teenage years. (This annotation contains an image)
Why did the track coach name the narrator captain?
When the narrator stands up for Shelly, what does that show about his character?
What does Michael's favorite run show about the narrator?
Sociologists study society and social behavior by examining the groups, cultures, organizations, social institutions, and processes that people develop.
What motivates Michael to run his hardest?
The photo below shows the working conditions of one of the coal mines in Scranton. (This annotation contains an image)
Why wouldn't anyone suspect Michael of doing anything wrong? Support your response with textual evidence.
Why is Michael not interested in dating Shelly?
The highlighted text shows us that the narrator is nervous but still hopeful that his reputation will save him from the drug sweep.
Below is a picture of downtown Scranton during the height of its prosperity in the 1900s. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Joey have a big grin on his face?
What type of conflict is illustrated in the highlighted text?
Watch the video below about internal and external conflict to help you answer the question on the next page. (This annotation contains a video)
Joey does not feel conflicted about lying because his upbringing and family background do not promote integrity.
Section A Quiz
You will note in this section that there will be obituaries for each of the main characters interspersed throughout even though the characters are still alive.
The highlighted text is an example of what type of figurative language?
We can tell by the description of Michael's father that he is consumed with propriety.
If Shelly was such a good athlete, why did she not pursue sports in high school? Mention specific textual examples to support your response.
It seems clear that the boys teased Shelly because they were jealous of her superior athletic ability.
Why does Shelly leave a half-inch opening in the doorway to the bathroom?
The highlighted text is an example of imagery; click the link below for a more detailed description. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Mike take Shelly home shortly after the movie ends?
We can tell from the exchange between Mike and Tucker that Mike is extremely worried but also conflicted about turning in his friend.
How does Michael describe his mother's form of parenting?
Shelly's eagerness to leave after high school seems to also be an effort to escape her identity, or how she is perceived in Scranton.
Section B Quiz
Why does Mr. Peterson continue to stare at Joey when he tells the narrator that they need to talk?
It is apparent from the exchange between Mr. Peterson and Joey that Mr. Peterson strongly suspects Joey of wrongdoing.
Why does Mike not take the easy way out and turn in his friends?
It seems like Mike's parents believe that he is mostly innocent because if he were guilty, it might distort their image of him.
Why is it hypocritical for Larry to be disgusted by Mike's behavior? Mention specific examples from the text to support your response.
In its original meaning, the word martyr, means witness. The process of bearing witness was not supposed to lead to the death of the witness although it is known from ancient writers that witnesses often died for their testimonies.
The highlighted text illustrates what type of conflict?
Everyone assumes that Mike is not responsible, and that Joey is the true guilty party. This preconceived notion is based on reputations and how the two boys are perceived differently in the community.
Michael figures that Mrs. Onager is
Muhammad Ali pictured below is considered by many to be the greatest boxer of all time. (This annotation contains an image)
Section C Quiz
The highlighted text is an example of personification because the city does not actually sleep; sleeping is a human activity. Watch the video below for a more detailed description of personification. (This annotation contains a video)
The highlighted text is an example of which type of figurative language?
The highlighted excerpt really exemplifies (shows) the narrator's perseverance and alludes to his final decision.
How is Mike's situation similar to overcoming one good punch? Explain your answer and include examples from the text.
We can see again in the highlighted text that Mike's parents continue to be detached even though it would appear that Michael is still in need of parental guidance.
Who finally stopped beating Joey a few years ago?
Mike has uncommon loyalty and integrity especially for a teenager. That is why Shelly has a hard time understanding his decision to omit (leave out) Joey's involvement.
Section D Quiz