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Pat Swenson, CSUN - Mr. Was
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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

Mr. Was by Pete Hautman - Discussion Guide



Jack Lund, Betty Lund, Ron Lund, Grandpa Skoro, Andie Murphy-Skoro-Lund

Scud (Franklin) Scudder, Old Man Murphy, Mr. & Mrs. Tsurumi, Pinky, Mr. Was

Gleason Twins, Ole, Mr. Boggs, Medical Doctors, Military/Gov't Personnel


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.

Themes & Symbols

Adolescent/Teen Issues


Spousal & Child Abuse

Fate/Destiny (ancestor blight?)


"What goes around, comes around"

Friendship, Love, & Loyalty

Memory Institute (Memory, Minnesota)

Time Travel

Narrative Style

Explanatory Preface/Notes to Reader

Framework: Non-Linear Narrative Flow

The Notebooks - Journals & Letters

Time Shifts (Time Travel Element)