Preliminary Work on the Monkey S Paw

Preliminary Work on the Monkey S Paw

NAME: ______DATE:______BLOCK:______

Preliminary Work on “The Monkey’s Paw”

Section 1–Directions: Read the following article. Use your active reading strategies (code the text,

annotate, and write comments showing your thoughts about the article). /Como chegar: Leia o artigo seguinte. Use suas estratégias de leitura ativos (código do texto, anotar e escrever 3 comentários mostrando seus pensamentos sobre o artigo).

“What is a TALISMAN?”/"O que é um talismã?"

Magical Talismans, also known as Amulets, Charms, or Lucky Pieces are small objects that are created or specially crafted to carry, draw, or amplify a specific quality of the person, such as strength or luck; to bring about a certain desired condition, such as attractiveness or gambling wins; or to remove an unwanted condition, such as the negativity caused by jealous rivals or envious onlookers.

Talismans are an ancient magical form, common in many cultures. They are frequently inscribed with signs, seals, or words, which may be written in magical alphabets or in plain writing. The inscribed words or images may be in the form of a prayer to the Almighty, or they may invoke a specific spirit. They may also be in the form of a seal, as those from the 6th and 7th Book of Moses or the Seal of Solomon.

Talismans, charms, and lucky pieces can be crafted or created to protect the bearer or bring luck to their owner, or both. They are often made in the shape of a small object such as a coin or a small packet, and they may be carried in the pocket, worn as visible jewelry, carried as key chains, or hidden on the person. Common ways of carrying a hidden talisman include having the lucky or protective charm sewn into clothing, secreted in a zippered compartment of a purse or wallet, or kept out of sight in the watch pocket of a pair of pants.

Section 2 – Directions: Read the following quotes. Respond to each of them – write what they mean and your opinions

of the information in the quotes.

  1. “But wishes are only granted in fairy tales.” ― Simone Elkeles, PerfectChemistry
  1. “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” - Michael Jordan
  1. “Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.” - Hunter S. Thompson
  1. “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.” - Anonymous

Section 3 – Directions: Look at the following political cartoon. Analyze the image and respond to it. What is going on

in the picture? What does this show about the artist’s opinions? Do you agree or disagree?


Section 4 - Directions: Read the following articles. Use your active reading strategies (code the text,

annotate, and write comments showing your thoughts about the article).


“Thais Seek a Little Magic Help to Ward Off Devastating Floods”

September 27, 2012 – Phisanu Phromchanya and Wilawan Watcharasakwet

Many Thais are still haunted by last year’s devastating floods that submerged most of central Thailand for months. This year, with flooding again striking the northern and central provinces following heavy rains, they’re getting ready with a little magic.

Recently, hundreds of residents gathered at Wat Sawang Arom in Nakorn Pathom province, 40 kilometers west of Bangkok, to receive talismans that they believe have divine power to protect them and their belongings from flooding. The temple has been handing out talismans – pieces of white cloth filled with cabalistic writing – for free periodically since August as the annual rainy season arrived.

The residents are jittery. Despite the government’s attempts to shore up confidence and billions of baht being spent to prevent a repeat of the tragic incident, pictures of floodwaters seeping through levees and overflowing the town of Sukothai earlier this month demonstrated that danger persists. For help, residents are turning to the talismans, which are normally used to ward off pests but may have an even stronger power – hope.

“This talisman can be used for flood and pest protection, but this is for a spiritual support for farmers,” said Sarawuth Plainarin, 35. “After hanging this talisman, I can feel birds and bugs have not really attacked my vegetables. My cousins also have a talisman in their house.”

Mr. Sarawuth’s district depends on agriculture and suffered heavily from last year’s flood due to its proximity to a river, inundating the farmland for months.

The temple’s abbot reminded the crowd that the talismans don’t fully protect against flooding, Mr. Sarawuth acknowledged. It is, after all, a piece of cloth. People need to stay prepared with supplies, watch the news, and get their belongings to high ground quickly when the authorities issue warnings.

The monks also put faith in a water pump, Mr. Sarawuth noted. The popularity of the talismans has led the temple to stop giving them away for free. The monks now charge $9, which offsets the costs and goes into temple upkeep.

Somprawin Manprasert, an assistant professor of economics at Chulalongkorn University, said that the talismans wouldn’t offer any physical protection from floodwaters but could be an indicator that flood control measures taken since last year haven’t been enough to reassure the public.

“If those who have the talismans are eventually spared from this year’s flood, their faith in them may shoot up, while I doubt how much credit they would give to the government,” Mr. Somprawin said.

Last year’s floods demonstrated the vulnerability of global supply chains to disaster in one country, with damage to factories making electronic car components or hard-disk drives destabilizing auto and computer production.

“If they were confident in the flood barriers that we build for them, they wouldn’t go to the temple and beg for talismans,” admitted a local government official on condition of anonymity, lacking authorization to speak to the media. “But for scientific reasons, the talismans can’t help.”

With the rainy season and flood risks still having a few months to run, it may be a while yet before the industrial estates and Bangkok can really feel safe and put the talismans away.



  1. What are both of the nonfiction articles about (Section 1 & Section 4)? Write a BRIEF summary.
  1. What is a talisman?
  1. Why do the Thais need “magic help”? Explain what they are trying to do.