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Pat Swenson, CSUN - Dear Mr. Henshaw
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Prof Pat Swenson

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

Elements of Fiction

Literary Theory

Myth & Archetype: The Hero's Quest

ProfPat's Main Page

ProfPat's Education Links

Department Information

Department of English

708 Sierra Tower
Phone: 818.677.3431

English Department Website

Liberal Studies Program

EA 100
Phone: 818.677.3300

Liberal Studies Website

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary - Discussion Guide



Leigh Botts, Bonnie Botts, Bill Botts, Mr. Henshaw

Bandit, Miss Martinez, Mr. Fridley, Katy

Miss Neely, Barry, Angela Badger


Person-against-self - an internal conflict of feelings.

Person-against-person - the typical protagonist vs. antagonist scenario.

Person-against-society - the protagonist battles against the larger organizations of society
(or a system of beliefs held by society).

Person-against-nature - the protagonist is threatened by a component of nature.


Analyze themes such as: friendship, acceptance, loneliness, courage, believing in yourself, coming of age, divorce, working mothers (latch-key kids), poverty/economic hardship, honesty, and the power of writing/journal keeping.

Do symbols foreshadow the plot, affect tone and/or meaning?

Pre-Reading/Post-Reading Activities

Social Studies: Economic Hardship & Poverty

Classroom Projects: Art, Vocabulary, Journal & Letter Writing