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Pat Swenson, CSUN - Sounder
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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

Sounder by William H. Armstrong - Discussion Guide



Boy, Boy's Father, Boy's Mother, Sounder, Younger Siblings

Deputies, Red-faced Jail Man, Prison Farm Guard, Prison Farm Convicts, School Teacher


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: racism, prejudice, friendship, honesty, loyalty, love and family, injustice.

What is the purpose of singing and biblical storytelling?

Define any symbols (lantern, possum sack, brown-backed book, Sounder & Father crippled and paralyzed.)

Pre-Reading/Post-Reading Activities

Social Science: Sharecroppers, Dialects, Clothing Styles.

Geography: Rural South.

Science: Dogs, Elements of Nature.

Classroom Projects: Art, Writing, Geography, Post Civil War, Civil Rights