Sunday, October 18, 2009

Discussion Questions for Chapters 13-19

Please post your two discussion questions for chapters 7-12 in the following format.
Discussion questions and responses are due on Monday, October 19th, 2009.
DO NOT RESPOND TO YOUR OWN QUESTION. If you would like to, then please do so after responding to another student's question.

Q1 -
Q2 -

Once your questions have been posted, respond to the person you share your laptop with. If you don't share your laptop with another student, then feel free to respond to any two questions you would like.


  1. Q1- Do you think it was wise of the Smalls and the Skinners to prank the Darrows? Do you think Mac Darrow will still want to be Thomas Small's friend after he finds out about his brothers being pranked?

    Q2- Why do you think Mr. Small wanted to inventory all the treasures in Mr. PLuto's/Mr. Drear's cave?

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  3. Q1) Why do so many people believe that treasure is all about finding gold and making money?

    Q2) What would it feel like to be a slave and have people searching for you so that they can send you back to the plantation to get whipped?

  4. Q1: Why do you think Thomas wanted to be an actor?

    Q2: What is the significance of the last Darrow boy realizing they were pranked?

  5. Q1- Do you think Mr. Small will give then historical items of Dies Drear to a museum?

    Q2-Do you think the ghost of Dies Drear and the slaves were satisfied with the pranking of the Darrow Brothers?

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  7. Q1- Why do you think Dies Drear kept all those treasures and not sell them for the slaves or something else?

    Q2- Do you think that the Darrows finding out they were pranked will get back at the Smalls and Skinners? Do you think that they know that Pesty helped them?

  8. Q1. What do you think Mayhew meant when he said about Dies Drear: "To me he was a troublemaker who thought himself a profit"?

    Q2. Why do you think Thomas wanted to keep the contents of the trunk a mystery?

  9. Q1) Do you think the strategies Dies Drear used to free more slaves were wise? Why or why not?

    Q2) Do you believe Mayhew's stories about the slave who was at Dies Drear's house, behind the wall when the owner lived? Why o why not?

  10. Q1) Do you think it was necessary to scare the Darrows? Why or why not?

    Q2) Is there anything in the story that you would change to make it more factual or more exciting or more romantic?

  11. In response to Haley C's first question, I think that everybody thinks that treasure has to be gold and riches because that will help you as opposed to knowledge(if that may be the treasure) it is not useful in anyway.

    In response to Keara's second question, the ghost and the slaves were satisfied to a point because they were punished a lot more then what they did. Yeah, they wanted to get them back but something in them didn't let them get them back as much as they should have.

  12. Q1: Why do you think that Mayhew insisted in scaring the Darrow's instead of just turning them in to the police like Mr. Small suggested?

    Q2: Why do you think think that Mr. Pluto didn't want to go to a hospital, but agreed to go to a doctor?

  13. To Natalie's 2nd question: I think that they wanted to keep the tresure as a low profile and wanted to hide it where someone wouldn't find it, like the cave. It's historical items and if River Swift got it, who knows what would happen to it. The cave is a secret place, and no one would look there, so it's an ideal hiding spot.

  14. Q1: Why did Mayhew dislike Pluto so much?

    Q2: Why did Mr. Pluto want to scare the Darrows like Mayhew did?

  15. In response to Michala's 2nd question; Yes, I think that the Darrows will get back at the Smalls and the Skinners because they wouldn't want the town to think that they were scared or nervous. No, I do not think that they knew that Pesty helped them because no one would tell the Darrows because then Pesty would probably not be able to go see Pluto.

  16. Question 1) What did you first think of when you found out about Mayhew as (Pluto?)

    Questioon 2) Did you ever think that Mr. Pluto had a son?

  17. In response to Anni's 2nd question: Why do you think Thomas wanted to keep the contents of the trunk a mystery? I think that Thomas wanted to keep it a mystery maybe because he had had enough excitement for a few days and maybe he was tired from the all the mysteries and getting scared.

  18. In response to Haley L's 1st queation: Why do you think Mayhew disliked Pluto so much? I think that Mayhew disliked PLuto because he saw all the wealth that Pluto has and never told him and he is mad because then he would't have had to go away and find a job instead of staying with his father.

  19. Q1 - How did Mr. Pluto appear to be so agile?

    Q2 - How was the house breached to place the triangles?

  20. In answer to Sarah's first question, I just thought at first that it was plain creepy, especially the part about Mayhew taking the mask off his face sounded like he was skinning his own face.

    To respond to Anni's second question, I think that Thomas wanted the Drear Legend to exist in part.

  21. Would you also have like to scare the Darrows?

    What is the difference between the doctors and hospital to Mr.Pluto?

  22. In response to Jackson's first question:
    Why do you think that Mayhew insisted in scaring the Darrow's instead of just turning them in to the police like Mr. Small suggested?

    I think that Mayhew wanted to show the Darrows that Mr. Pluto and him were not scared of them and he wanted them to know that they wouldn't be pushed around.

  23. In response to Keara's 1st question:
    Do you think Mr. Small will give then historical items of Dies Drear to a museum?

    I think that Mr.Small, if he has his way, will give most of the stuff to a museum, but I think that Mr.Pluto, Pesty(since she liked the bottles so much), Mayhew, and the Smalls will keep somethings for themselves, since all of them really liked something from the treasure.

  24. In response to Haley's first question:
    Why did Mayhew dislike Pluto so much?

    I think that Mayhew was dissapointed with his father for neglecting him so much. If you remember, Mayhew and his mother moved into a different town but Pluto stayed with the house. That part sounded as though the treasure of Dies Drear was more important than Mayhew, his son.

    In response to Haley's second question:
    Why did Mr. Pluto want to scare the Darrows like Mayhew did?

    I think Mr. Pluto saw a chance for revenge and took advantage of it. I would think him being quite old, he would have gotten past the childhood grudges, but I guess some people are more stubborn than others.

    P.S. I have a riddle- I went to bed 12 and woke up 13. How did I do it?

  25. Q1) What is different about the relationship between Thomas and Mr. Small compared to Mayhew and Mr. Pluto?

    Q2) How to you think that the Darrows' will react if they find out that they were pranked?

    Q3) Where to you that the treasures of Dies Drear should go?

    Q4) Is your feelings towards Mr. Pluto different from what you felt in the beginning of the book?

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  27. To respond to Keara,

    I think that Mr. Small should give the museum the historal items in order to preserve that time in history. The items can share knowledge and give clues that will help us study the Civil War.

  28. To respond to Jackson:

    Why do you think that Mayhew insisted in scaring the Darrow's instead of just turning them in to the police like Mr. Small suggested?

    I think that he wanted to get back at the Darrows for his father. He probably felt that he needed to protect his father.

  29. Q1- What do you think the items in the cave represented?

    Q2- If Petsy was a political group in the 1800s, who do you think she would be as a helper for Mr Pluto?

  30. Haley C,

    First of all, I think that treasure is viewed as gold and money because the first discovery of "treasure" were in the 1400s on sunken pirate ships and gold was what many pirates wanted. Since, material possessions have been viewed as what truly matters in many places.

    Second, I think it would feel like a vendetta against me. A vendetta is like a need for revenge, and they get hunted. And because they were escaped slaves, they would have that mental sign on their back if seen of "Hey, I am a slave! Catch me!". Now, I have seen vendettas happen in much less serious times, but vendettas still can hurt and demoralize.

  31. Why would Virginia Hamilton wait untill the end of the book to bring in a big main character such as Mayhew?

    Why didn't the author go into more detail about Pesty who became a fairly big character and why did she give the impression that Mac Darrow was going to be a big character only to lead that idea no where (I didn't really like the ending; thought it was to abrupt)?

  32. In response to Luke's first post:
    To the River Darrow, the treasure=money for his new finding; (to later generations) winning against Pluto becasue the treasure soon became a battle of blood tie's feuds. The treause became more of the goal for a heated game between the two sides.

    In response to Hannah's fourth question:
    I was more concerned with hating the Small's for being so biased to Mr. Pluto even thought they knew what it felt like to be on the receiving end of the cold shoulder. Because I felt aversion to the Smalls, shover they loathed, I liked; they loathed Mr. Pluto so I liked him. Besides, he hadn't done anything with solid evidence of ill-tidings.

  33. Responding to Katie:

    I think that she went into more detail on Mac to give us a background of him and his family. Maybe she wanted Pesty to "rise to the occasion" so it would be unpredictable.

  34. Q- why didnt Pluto tell Mr.Small about ALL the secret passages through the house?

    Q- what made the last Darrow son look back before running away?

  35. Responding to Hannah responding to Keara:
    I think that Mr. Small should leave the treasures hidden. Mr. Pluto has worked so hard trying to keep it secret, it would be unkind to just throw it all away. Also, if we used the rule finders keepers, technically the treasures would be Mr. Pluto's.

  36. Q1-Do you think that Pesty will become more attached to Thomas and his family (instead of the Darrows) after helping Mr. Pluto and the Smalls prank the Darrow brothers? Why or why not?

    Q2-After Mr. Small has inventoried the cavern, what will he do with all of the items? Why do you think so?

  37. In response to Jackson's first question:
    I think that first of all, Mayhew wanted to have a little fun with the Darrows instead of just "telling" on them. Also, I think he may have been fighting fire with fire and trying to get back at them for scaring his father for all those years.

    In response to Hannah's fourth question:
    My feelings toward Mr. Pluto have definitely changed since the beginning of the book. I never really thought he was the devil, but to me he seemed like a crazy old man that was trying to scare the Smalls away from the house of Dies Drear. But now I think of him more as a lonely man who meant well and was only trying to protect the history in the house from people like the Darrows, and that he had every right to be suspicious of the Smalls.

  38. Since (again) Kean hasn't posted, I'm posting to other people. Mrs. Binder, if you read these, just let me know how to respond to people in this situation :)

    To Hannah's fourth question:

    Yes, my feelings are very different about Pluto now. At the beginning of the book, I thought he was very strange, mysterious, and reclusive. Now, I just think of him as a tired, kind, and scared old man.

    To Katie's second question:

    I agree that the ending was very abrupt, and I agree that Virginia made Mac seem like a big character in the beginning. I think she didn't go into much detail about Pesty because she wanted readers to imagine how she looked and acted. As for Mac, I think she may originally have wanted him to be a big character, but may have changed her mind after a while.

  39. i thought we were only supposed to read 13 through 18 i even asked mrs.Binder! anyways i dont know how to answer Anni's so in response to Hannah...

    Q4) Is your feelings towards Mr. Pluto different from what you felt in the beginning of the book?

    A- I think my feelings towards Mr.Pluto changed a little in the way i saw him, but i think he was still a crazy old man.

  40. Q1) Did your view of Pluto at the end of the book change from the beginning? If so, how?

    Q2) Are you happy with the ending of the book? Why or why not?

  41. In response to Haley C:

    A1) Because money has become such an importance to so many around the world, that seems to be the only "treasure" people seem to care about nowadays.

    A2) It would feel terrible. Being a person with NO rights would feel awful. I've felt it, having Jewish heritage and reading what Nazis did to the Jews, and some ancestors being parts of those conflicts.

  42. Okay, so I didn't think this book would make me laugh... but I was laughing so hard at the part where they scared the Darrows.
    Q5: Do you think there are other houses with escape tunnels in the area? (Besides the house of Dies Drear?) Why or why not?
    A5: Undoubtedly, yes. Since Pluto explained that the Drear house was the "last stop" then there must have been other houses with tunnels close to it.
    Q6: Does the ending set up for a sequel? Why or why not?
    A6: You never can tell. Everything, for the most part, was resolved, but if they created another separate plot, it might work. Maybe if they discovered something new and mysterious in the house, something that even Mr. Pluto himself didn't even know about...

  43. Q1: What were your emotions about the end of the book?

    Q2: Did Mr. Small make the right decision about not giving the treasure of Dies Drear over to the foundation? Explain.

    Austin hasn't posted yet, so:

    A1: (to Rory's Q5) There were so many loose ends at the end of "The House of Dies Drear", such as what the Darrows' reaction would be or what was in the suitcase, that there neede to be a sequel.

    A2: (to Katie's Q2) I thought that was interesting, too, especially because Mac Darrow wasn't there with his family to rob Mr. Pluto. I think that the author didn't let us know too much about Pesty or Mac because they would be more important characters in the inevitable sequel.

  44. Q1:
    Why do you think Virginia Hamilton set Mr.Pluto up to be such a bad person? Why would she put the blame on an innocent character?

    If you could rewrite the ending of the book, what would you change? Why?

  45. Since Lucy has not posted yet. . . To respond to Sarah's 2nd question:

    I did not consider that Pluto might have a son, but I think it was foreshadowed on that his family might have an important role.

    To reply to Spencer's 2nd question:

    I don't think that Pluto wanted Mr.Small to know about all of the passages because Mr.Pluto wanted it to be all his, and he wanted to protect the secrets to get in the wrong hands. I think Pluto was in denial of letting anyone else know about the tunnels, he felt a connection with them he did not want to go away.

  46. Q1- Do you think the prank was "morally correct," or do you think it was cruel?
    Q2- Now who do you think/ know who the third slave is, and why that slave was the only one to have escaped?

    (Responding to Natalie's First Question)

    I do think it was wise of them to have pranked the Darrows, and I have a feeling that Mac Darrow is fine with the prank since it was his family that was cruel, not him.

  47. (Responding to Jonathon's Questions)
    A1- I don't think the prank was morally correct, but I also don't think it was cruel. What the Mr. Small, Thomas, Mr. Pluto, and Mayhew did was just a practical joke. What the Darrows did to the Smalls' kitchen, I think, was cruel.

    A2- I think the third slave is someone who is not named in the book. I do not think any of the characters in The House of Dies Drear are one of the slaves.

  48. Would you have laughed and let the Darrows know you tricked them, or would you have not laughed and let them be scared?

    What do you think was in the trunk at the end of the book?

  49. (Responding to Julians)
    Yes, I started out not liking him at all and i thought he was actually the devil. But now i know hes a good guy who doesnt mean any harm.(To good people)

    I liked the end of the book. It was kind of a cliff hanger for me because it keeps me wondering what's in that old trunk.

  50. Q1) Do you think tomas ws over reacting about the slagamites and the stalacites?

    Q2) Why do you think tomas wanted to keep what was in the trunk a mystery?

  51. Q1: Why did Dies Drear want to keep all of his treasures a secret?

    Q2: Why did Thomas want to become an actor?

  52. In response to Spencer:

    A-Maybe it was because at first he didn't trust the Smalls, he didn't know if they were like the Darrow's.

    A-Wasn't it because Mayhew started laughing before all the Darrows had left? That's what I thought.

  53. In response to Liora's 2nd question, I think the difference, for Pluto, between the doctors and hospital are that the doctors are more for check-ups to make sure that you are in a healthy condition. Whereas, the hospital is his final place, meaning where people will go there to die; and Pluto is not ready to die.

    In response to Hannah's 1st question, I think that Mr.Small and Thomas have a good relationship where Thomas tells his father mostly everything and whatever frightening thing they go through, they go through together. Pluto and Mayhew are very different. They are always disagreeing with each other. They do not have such a strong bond as Mr.Small and Thomas and they have separate view points on everything.

  54. Q1-Do think that it was on purpose or accident that the son of pludo is named meyhew when if you turn the w upside down it is meyhem?

    Q2-What do you think is in the box?

  55. Response to Julian's Q2-I did not like the end of the book I can't stand it when a book ends in a cliff hanger and does not have a sequal.

    Response to Halys Q1- I think that meyhew disliked his father because pludo had abanded meyhem and his mom.

  56. Q1: What do you think is inside the chest?

    Q2: Despite the conflict between the Darrows and Pluto, why does Pesty and Mac Darrow have a friendship?

  57. @jstarmer:

    A1 - Mayhew may not have been confident that the authorities would deter the Darrows, or that the authorities would side with the Darrows.

    A2 - Going to a hospital has more dramatic implications than going to a doctor. Going to a doctor can be for a checkup or to get medication for illness; a hospital is for immediate treatment for emergency situations.

  58. Q1: How do you think that the Darrows will fell about being pranked?
    Q2: What do you think that the Darrows will do to the people that pranked them?

  59. Q: Why would Dies Drear want to keep all those treasures?

    Q: Why did Thomas keep the treasures a secret?

  60. Responding to Haley C 1st question

    I think that someone created the image that treasure meant earning money and finding gold. It is like propaganda. That is the image that people want to send across that it is all about the money and gold. But really treasure can be way more than that.

  61. In response to Nandu...
    I think that his strategies were very smart because they where easy to read but you only could read them if you where taught.

    I do not believe in the stories because in the book, it never once mentioned that there where actual ghosts.

    --Austin C :)

  62. Q1: Why do you think that Mayhew agreed to act as Pluto?
    A1: I think that he did this because he knew that his dad was dying, and he wanted to make it the time of his life. Pluto was believing that he was immortal and that Mayhew woul carry on that belief. Pluto seemed to not be thinking straight, so maybe Mayhew did this as his dying wish.
    Q2: Why do you think that Mayhew, Pluto and Pesty kept the truth about the Darrows from the Smalls? Do you think that the Smalls appreciated that?
    A2: They did this because they enjoyed the Smalls company and did not want them to leave. If they told them that the Darrows were going to harass them until they found the treasure, they would have left to escape it. I do not think that the Smalls appreciated that, since they could have ended this problem and had their revenge a lot sooner.

  63. In response to Holden's question 1: Pluto appeared to be so agile because his son Mayhew, used stage makeup to appear to be Pluto giving the illusion that Pluto is so agile.

    In response to Holden's question 2:The house was breached via a hidden passage way that lead through the large mirror in the front parlor.

  64. Q1:Why did Pluto use a double?

    Q2:Who was Pluto's double?

    A1:Pluto used a double not to trick the Smalls but to not alert anyone of his sickness as it says in the book. Most likely Pluto didn't want the Darrows stealing his treasure.

    A2:Mayhew(Pluto's son)was Pluto's double.