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Cranes by Hwang Sunwŏn translated by Peter H. Lee. Feature Menu. Introducing the Story Literary Focus: Theme and Character Reading Skills: Making Inferences About Motivation. Cranes by Hwang Sunwŏn translated by Peter H. Lee. Cranes Introducing the Story.

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cranes by hwang sunw n translated by peter h lee
Cranesby Hwang Sunwŏn translated by Peter H. Lee

Feature Menu

Introducing the Story

Literary Focus: Theme and Character

Reading Skills: Making Inferences About Motivation

cranes introducing the story
CranesIntroducing the Story

Which kind of loyalty comes first—loyalty to a friend or to duty? What would you do if you had to choose?

cranes introducing the story1
CranesIntroducing the Story

In “Cranes,” two childhood friends from a war-torn village in Korea meet as adults and find they are on opposite sides in the war. One is a prisoner; the other, his escort and guard.

  • The story follows the thoughts and memories of the main character as he walks with the prisoner. How will the main character treat his prisoner and old friend?

[End of Section]

cranes literary focus theme and character
CranesLiterary Focus: Theme and Character

Reading a story is often like following a character on a journey. During the journey, characters may

  • face overwhelming obstacles
  • make heart-rending decisions
  • learn something about themselves, others, or life in general
cranes literary focus theme and character1
CranesLiterary Focus: Theme and Character

What characters experience during their journey often reveals the theme of a work.

What obstacles does the main character face?

Theme:central idea of the story; a truth or insight about life or human behavior

What decisions must the main character make?

What does the main character learn?

cranes literary focus theme and character2
CranesLiterary Focus: Theme and Character

Sŏngsam, the main character in “Cranes,” travels only a short distance on foot, but the journey he takes in his heart and mind is much greater.

cranes literary focus theme and character3
CranesLiterary Focus: Theme and Character

Ask yourself the following questions as you read the story:

  • What does Sŏngsam remember and learn during his walk?
  • What theme does the writer convey?
  • How has the writer used the character’s experiences to communicate the theme?

[End of Section]

cranes reading skills making inferences about motivation
CranesReading Skills: Making Inferences about Motivation

To understand characters fully, you need to determine their motivation, or the reasons for their behavior.

  • Writers don’t usually make direct statements about motivation, so you will need to make inferences, or educated guesses.
cranes reading skills making inferences about motivation1

InferencesAboutMotivation

CranesReading Skills: Making Inferences about Motivation

You can base your inferences on your own prior knowledge and on clues from the story.

Prior Knowledge

Based on personal experience and other stories you’ve read, what do you know about people and their motivation?

Clues from the Story

What do the characters do and say thatmight give insight into their motivations?

cranes reading skills making inferences about motivation2
CranesReading Skills: Making Inferences about Motivation

As you read “Cranes,” think about why the main character

  • makes the decisions he makes
  • takes the actions he does

[End of Section]

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