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Three Skeleton Key by George G.

Toudouze
Literary Elements:
Suspense
Foreshadowing
Imagery, Sensory Details
Allusion
Reliable Narrator
Review: Point of View, Setting, Plot
1.

Thinking Skills:
Infer
Predict
Interpret
Analyze
Language Link:
Adjectives

Vocabulary: Define the following words


Morose:
Suffice:
Derisive:
Receding:
Hordes:
Maniacal:

What is the point of view of the story? (first, second, third objective, third limited, third omniscient)? How do
you know?

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2.

On pages 65 and 66, the narrator tells the story of the three convicts. What might this story foreshadow?

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3.

Analyzing Character: What can we infer about a man who says he was greatly satisfied with life on Three
Skeleton Key?

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4.

The narrator begins his story at the bottom of page 66 when he says I had just returned from my leave..., and
continues to describe the ship until it meets its doom on the top of page 69. Explain how the author builds
suspense in this section.

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5.

What is the allusion on page 68? _______________________________________________________________________


Why do you think the author includes this allusion?

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6.

Analyzing Character: Reread the passage beginning at the top of page 68, beginning with Whats wrong with
her crew? through I mean shes a derelict. What do Itchouas and LeGleos reactions to the mysterious ship
reveal about their characters?

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7.

The genre of horror is highly connected to the authors use of sensory details to create imagery in the minds of
the reader. Beginning on page 69 with The rats!, through page 71 column one, list five specific phrases that
relate to your five senses in creating specific images of the rats.

1.

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4._____________________________

2.

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5._____________________________

3.

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8.

Vocabulary: In the middle of column one on page 73, LeGleo becomes morose and has nightmares. What do
you think the word morose might mean?
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In that same paragraph, it says that he describes his nightmares with maniacal, raving descriptions.
What is the base of the word maniacal?
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What does this base word mean?

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How does this word foreshadow events to come? How does this passage relate to LeGleos behavior
from earlier in the story (refer to question #7)?
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9.

Analyzing Character: After reading the story, do you think the narrator is reliable (believable)? Explain.

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10. Setting: How does the setting of this story help to create suspense? How does it affect the plot of the story?

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Language Link: Adjectives


Toudouze could not have created the gripping images of horror in this story without the use of adjectives. Underline the
adjectives in these sentences from the text. Draw an arrow from each to the word it describes.
1.

His sudden fright had been so evident that the older man laughed.

2.

Then we understood her queer behavior.

3.

These were ships rats, huge, wise creatures born on the sea, sailing all over the world

4.

The ship was a writhing massa starving army coming toward us upon a vessel gone mad.

5.

Then we would see phosphorescent streaks as triangular fins slashed the watersharks, permanent guardians of our
rock, feasting on our jailers.

Language Link: Adjectives


Toudouze could not have created the gripping images of horror in this story without the use of adjectives. Underline the
adjectives in these sentences from the text. Draw an arrow from each to the word it describes.
1.

His sudden fright had been so evident that the older man laughed.

2.

Then we understood her queer behavior.

3.

These were ships rats, huge, wise creatures born on the sea, sailing all over the world

4.

The ship was a writhing massa starving army coming toward us upon a vessel gone mad.

5.

Then we would see phosphorescent streaks as triangular fins slashed the watersharks, permanent guardians of our
rock, feasting on our jailers.

Language Link: Adjectives


Toudouze could not have created the gripping images of horror in this story without the use of adjectives. Underline the
adjectives in these sentences from the text. Draw an arrow from each to the word it describes.
1.

His sudden fright had been so evident that the older man laughed.

2.

Then we understood her queer behavior.

3.

These were ships rats, huge, wise creatures born on the sea, sailing all over the world

4.

The ship was a writhing massa starving army coming toward us upon a vessel gone mad.

5.

Then we would see phosphorescent streaks as triangular fins slashed the watersharks, permanent guardians of our
rock, feasting on our jailers.