The Hope Chest
Violet's older sister Chloe didn't get married. She bought a car instead. And then she drove that car to New York City and never came home again. Violet's parents said Chloe had turned into the Wrong Sort of Person, but Violet knew better. Now she's determined to find her sister, and she'll go all the way to New York City to do it. The only problem is that Chloe's not in New York anymore. So Violet must journey even further to Tennessee, where Chloe is fighting for the vote for women. Nashville is a hotbed of political intrigue. Suffs and Antis are doing anything and everything to sway legislators to their side: bribing them, pleading with them, and even kidnapping them. Violet is hanging out with suffragists, socialists, and colored people. But if she's becoming the Wrong Sort of Person, why does it feel just right?
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Chapter 1 - The Stolen Letters
The Hope Chest, by Karen Schwabach, is the story of eleven year old Violet who runs away from home to find her older sister, Chloe. When the girls' parents disagreed with Chloe's dreams of having a meaningful career and gaining the right to vote, they forced her to leave. In this book, you will learn about the women's suffrage movement, which was the fight to give women the right to vote.
Violet's parents can best be described as __________.
The false armistice refers to the day when newspapers falsely reported that World War I was over, on February 7, 1981. The image below shows the false newspaper report. (This annotation contains a link)
What does the term, "New Woman" mean?
In the highlighted passage, the men are making fun of the prospect of women voting. In the early 1900's, women were treated like second class citizens and becoming educated, having a career and voting was frowned upon by men. The following video will summarize the women's suffrage movement. (This annotation contains a video)
According to Violet's mother, the "wrong sort of people" are _________.
Violet is feeling very angry because her sister's advice would have been helpful when her best friend died. Chloe tells her that it's okay to make new friends and it won't be a betrayal of the friend she lost. If you have ever lost a friend or loved one, can you relate to Violet's feelings of guilt?
Describe Violet's sister Chloe, and summarize why she left home.
Chapter 2 - The Dying Mrs. Renwick
The highlighted passage is important because it explains what a hope chest is. Think about the reasons why Chloe names her car the "Hope Chest."
Why does Violet run away from home?
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up?
Read the definition for the word dejected. Which of the following words mans the same as dejected?
In the highlighted passage, Mrs. Renwick expresses the belief that was common during the women's suffrage movement, that women are expected to have children, not careers. What are you feelings on this belief?
Chapter 3 - Meeting Myrtle
Describe the setting of New York City in the 1920's. Include quotes from the text to support your description.
The highlighted song, "How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree?)" is a World War I song that rose to popularity after the war had ended. The lyrics reveal the concern that American soldiers from rural areas may not want to return to farm life after experiencing the European city life and culture of Paris during World War I. You can listen to the lyrics below and see images of Paris in the early 1900's. (This annotation contains a video)
Violet is expected to marry and have children when she grows up and since Myrtle is an African American girl, she is expected to grow up and become a __________.
The highlighted passage is significant because it reveals the similarities between Violet and Myrtle, who both feel trapped with no chance of pursuing their dreams. Can you recall a time when your parents or loved ones had plans for you that you didn't agree with? For example, maybe your parents made you take piano lessons and you would rather be a soccer player. Can you relate to Myrtle's and Violet's feelings?
Chapter 4 - Henry Street
How does the man at the Henry Street Settlement House react when Violet asks about Chloe?
As you read, you will be asked to explain what the text says, both directly and when drawing inferences. For example, in the highlighted passage, you can infer that Mr. Martin knows Chloe well and that he likes her? The following video will explain how to draw inferences from the text. (This annotation contains a video)
Explain why Violet is surprised that Mr. Martin thinks women should have the right to vote.
Chapter 5 - Hobie and the Brakeman
Read the definition for the word "hobo." The highlighted passage contains examples of hobo slang, which are words and phrases commonly used by hobos. Hobie calls the girls, Angelinas which means "road kids." The phrase, "frisk a head-end blind" means to search the front of a train, which is a hobo riding place. You can visit the following website for more examples of hobo slang. (This annotation contains a link)
What does the phrase, "blind baggage" mean?
In the highlighted passage, Hobie indicates that he has been a hobo for a long time and has traveled all over the place as a hobo. The image below shows one of the ways a hobo would hide to hitch a free ride on a train. (This annotation contains an image)
Traveling the railways like a hobo makes Violet feel _________.
As you read, think about the personalities and traits of the characters, including how they respond to challenges. For example, think about how Violet, Myrtle and Hobie react when the man threatens to throw Myrtle from the train. The following video will explain how to identify character traits. (This annotation contains a video)
Throughout Chapter Five, Hobie reveals that he is tough. Describe the ways in which he is tough and explain how you think he developed the character trait of toughness.
Chapter 6 - It All Comes Down to Tennessee
Have you ever been to Washington D.C. and seen the Washington Monument? You can see what it looks like in the picture below. It opened in 1855 and was built to honor George Washington. (This annotation contains an image)
In what way is Washington different than they way Violet had imagined it?
Susan B. Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was an American social reformer and feminist who was the leader of the women's suffrage movement. Anthony helped arrange for Congress to be presented with an amendment giving women the right to vote. It is known as the Susan. B. Anthony Amendment, and it became the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. The image below is a picture of Anthony. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Alice Paul famous for?
Pay attention to the information in the highlighted passage because it explains the current status of the women's suffrage movement and what is needed for women to gain the right to vote.
Explain why Chapter Six is titled, "It All Comes Down to Tennessee."
As you read, think about how the narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described. For example, in the highlighted passage, Violet reveals her point of view on African American people who, like women, did not have equal rights at the time. How is her point of view on African Americans different than that of her parents? Think about Chloe's character traits and the work she is doing. What do you think her point of view is on the subject of African American rights?
Chapter 7 - Heading to Nashville
Why does Violet feel that her parents are not worried about her?
Read the definition for the word "telegraph." The image below shows what a telegraph machine looks like. (This annotation contains an image)
Read the highlighted passage about Mother Jones. In the following video, you will learn more about her and the Children's Crusade that Mr. Martin speaks of. (This annotation contains a video)
Read the highlighted passage and think about Mr. Martin's words, behaviors and actions throughout the story. You can infer that Mr. Martin's lost love is _________.
The highlighted text describes what the suffragists wore when they attended rallies, parades and other public events. The image below shows suffragists working for their cause. (This annotation contains an image)
Mr. Martin feels ________ that Myrtle has to ride in the colored section of the train.
Think about how the story is based on true events in history. Have you read any other historical fiction books based on women's suffrage, the child labor movement or civil rights for African Americans? Watch the following video to learn more about the historical fiction genre. (This annotation contains a video)
Read the highlighted passage and discuss how the women's suffrage movement and the African American civil rights movement are related.
Chapter 8 - In the Jim Crow Car
In Chapter 8, Myrtle is forced to sit in the Jim Crow car on the train. Jim Crow laws were an official effort to keep African Americans separate from whites in the southern United States. The laws were in place from the late 1870's until the civil rights movement began in the 1950's.
Mrs. Meganser believes that _________.
In the highlighted passage, Mrs. Merganser calls Myrtle a stubborn child. Think about the ways in which Myrtle is stubborn and how being stubborn is a positive character trait for her.
Chapter 9 - Mr. Martin's Escape
Read the definition for the word racialist. Which of the following words has the same meaning as racialist?
When reading literature, it's important to think about how the story is structured. Have you noticed how each chapter builds on the previous one, and the chapter titles give a clue about events that will take place in the chapter? For example, Violet believes that Mr. Martin is running from the law. Based on the chapter's title, "Mr. Martin's Escape," do you think Violet is right?
Why does Violet like Mr. Martin, even if he is in trouble with the law?
Read the definition for the highlighted word, treason. What do you do think Mr. Martin could have done to be accused of treason? Make a prediction.
How does Mr. Martin escape from the Palmer agents?
Pay attention to the highlighted passage because it explains what Palmer agents and Bolsheviks are.
How do Miss Kelley's views on African American rights differ from Miss Dexter's?
Chapter 10 - Red and Yellow Roses
As you read, you will be asked to determine the meanings of words and phrases in the text, including figurative language such as similes and metaphors. For example, in the highlighted passage, you learn the meaning of the metaphor, "hatchet-faced." The following video will show you how to distinguish between similes and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
Violet's encounter with the hatchet-faced woman makes her realize that all of these women are traveling to Nashville because __________.
Violet has arrived in Nashville with the suffragists. The image below shows a suffrage parade in Nashville in 1920. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Violet asked to wear a red rose?
The highlighted passage describes the setting of the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. The image below shows what this historic hotel looks like today. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is the woman angry with Mr. Walker, the Speaker of the Tennessee House?
Chapter 11 - Finding Chloe
Chapter 11 is titled "Finding Chloe." Do you think Violet will find Chloe in this chapter? Make a prediction.
Violet now realizes that the red rose represents __________.
Pay attention to the highlighted passage because it reveals what the anti-suffragists are fighting for...traditional southern womanhood, the right for children to be in the work force and an end to prohibition so that alcohol will be legal again.
Explain why the anti-suffragists believe that their cause will win and the Susan B. Anthony amendment will be defeated. Include quotes from the text to support your explanation.
Anita Pollitzer was an American photographer and a leader of the suffrage movement. Her image is below. (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted sentence contains an example of ________.
Are you a soda drinker? Chero-Cola was the first cola sold in the United States. (This annotation contains an image)
Violet is feeling _______ about Myrtle and Mr. Martin.
Chapter 12 - Violet Spies
Pay attention to the highlighted passage because it reveals what the suffragists are fighting for along with the right for women to vote...an end to political corruption, no more war, government supporting the concerns of mothers and continued prohibition of alcohol.
Compare and contrast the values and ideas that the suffragists are fighting for with that of the anti-suffragists.
In the highlighted passage, Mr. Martin calls Chloe and Violet headstrong. Read the definition for headstrong, and think of the ways in which both Chloe and Violet have exhibited this character trait.
Violet feels ________ that if women get the right to vote they will change the inequality that African Americans face.
Chapter 13 - Dead Horse Alley
Think about the way that Myrtle and other black people are treated in the south. As you read Chapter 13, can you determine a theme that is evident in the chapter? The following video will explain how to identify a theme in literature. (This annotation contains a video)
Describe the racial "southern customs" that are evident in Chapter 13.
Read the highlighted text and think about the meaning behind Violet's statement that she can turn invisible. In what ways has Violet been treated like she is invisible? Have you ever felt invisible? What caused you to feel this way?
Unlike Violet, Miss Escuadrille is very concerned with ___________.
In the highlighted passage, Miss Escuardrille feels very offended because Violet points out that she is not married. Miss Escuadrille believes in the traditional southern custom that women should marry, have children and be a homemaker. Her beliefs are similar to those of Violet's mother.
Chapter 14 - Max Bloomstein's Pharmacy
What is likely to happen to Mr. Martin if he gets caught by the police?
Pay attention to the highlighted passage because it explain what a quorum is, which is necessary for the Susan B. Anthony Amendment to pass.
What causes Mr. Martin to get in trouble with the law?
In the highlighted passage, Violet reveals why she doesn't want to go home. Think about how lonely and miserable her home life is, and how exciting her life is now that she left.
Summarize what is needed for the Susan B. Anthony Amendment to pass and discuss it's current status with the legislators.
Chapter 15 - The Ferocious Mrs. Catt
Harry T. Burn was a member of the Tennessee General Assembly for McMinn County, Tennessee. Burn became the youngest member of the state legislature when he was elected at the age of twenty-two. He is best remembered for action taken to ratify the Susan B. Anthony Amendment during his first term in the legislature. His image is below. (This annotation contains an image)
Violet is trying to warn Chloe that ________.
Based on the highlighted passage, what inferences can you draw about how Mr. Martin and Chloe feel about each other? Make a prediction about the future of their relationship.
Read the highlighted song lyrics. Whose point of view do the lyrics represent?
Carrie Chapman Catt was a women's suffrage leader who campaigned for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Catt served as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and was the founder of the League of Women Voters and the International Alliance of Women. She is described as being "ferocious" in the chapter title. As you read, think about the ways in which she behaves ferociously. Her image is below. Do you think she looks ferocious? (This annotation contains an image)
Describe the ways in which Mrs. Catt is ferocious. Include quotes from the text to support your description.
Chapter 16 - Politics and Gunplay
As you read the highlighted passage describing how to start and drive a car in the early 1900's, think about how different cars and driving are today. The image below shows a Model T Ford like the Hope Chest. (This annotation contains an image)
Read the highlighted passage. Which of the following is a character trait that can be used to describe Myrtle?
Pay attention to the highlighted passage because it reveals important details about Chloe's and Violet's family situation. Do you think it was mean of Violet to leave Stephen alone with their distant parents? Do you think Violet feels like Chloe abandoned her? From the passage you can infer that Chloe feels guilty for leaving Violet. What details support this inference?
What does the term shell shock mean?
Read the highlighted passage. Did you already know the reason why Capitols are built on hills, or is this something new that you learned? The image below shows Capitol Hill. Have you been there? Is it a place you would like to visit? (This annotation contains an image)
Summarize Chloe's explanation as to why the political system is corrupt. Include quotes from the text to support your explanation.
Mr. Martin is considered a radical because he is a member of the International Workers of the World labor union, an international union started in 1905 that advocates Socialist ideas. Watch the following video to learn more about the union. Notice how the members in the video are in trouble with the law, like Mr. Martin. (This annotation contains a video)
Mrs. Ready thinks Myrtle will be better off at ________.
Chapter 17 - The Hope Chest
The highlighted text reveals that in 1920 there were no driver's licensing laws and it was not against the law for children to drive a car. Think about how terrified Violet feels because she is driving for the first time and she is not very good at it. Can you recall a time when you tried something new and it was scary?
Once Violet gets comfortable behind the wheel of a car, she feels __________, like her sister Chloe.
Violet does not know the whereabouts of Chloe and Myrtle. Where do you think they are? What could be keeping them from meeting Violet? Make a prediction.
What causes Miss Escuadrille to change sides and become a suffragist?
Read the highlighted text and think about the ways in which Violet has gotten over her upbringing. How has leaving home, meeting new people and having new experiences changed her?
Chapter 18 - August 18
Which of the following adjectives best describes the mood of Violet and many of the spectators at Capitol Hill?
The event of Harry Burns' mother writing him a letter telling him to vote for suffrage is a true historical event.
Before women received the right to vote, they were often not welcome in specific men-only _________.
Notice how confusing and difficult it was to determine which legislators were Suffs and which were Antis since many of them kept changing sides.
Why does Miss Dexter call Seth Walker a turncoat, traitor and Benedict Arnold?
The highlighted text reveals what it means to "table" a vote.
Whose vote for suffrage surprises Miss Dexter and crowd in the Capitol?
The details in the text help the reader feel the excitement when the Susan B. Anthony Amendment was ratified. The image below shows the ratification celebration at the National Women's Party headquarters. (This annotation contains an image)
Summarize the events that took place at the Capitol on August 18, 1920. Include quotes from the text in your summary.
Chapter 19 - Freedom
In the highlighted text, you learn what an autocamp is. The image below shows what an autocamp looked like. How does it compare to camping today? (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following explains why it's a good idea for Mr. Martin to go to Alaska?
Read the highlighted passage and think about how jealous Violet is feeling because Chloe, Mr. Martin and Myrtle are going to start a new life in Alaska, and she has to go back home to her cold, strict parents. Think of a time when you were jealous and you felt that life was unfair. How did you handle the jealousy? What advice would you give to Violet?
Like Chloe, Violet wants to go to college so she can __________.
The highlighted quote from Chloe has been repeated throughout the story. Think about the great battles that you have learned about in the story. What theme does this quote represent?
Read the highlighted passage and give one example of how the themes of perseverance and not giving up are evident throughout the story.
Throughout the story, you have seen images and watched videos of important people and events from the suffrage movement. As you study the images on the following pages, think about how they contribute to the tone and meaning of the story.