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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Shopping for Porcupine  >  Discussion Questions
Bob and Carrie Come Out of the Hills

Essay Summary:  Bob and Carrie move from their camp to Kotzebue. Bob's health flounders and he has to visit Anchorage. He hasn't been there since 1948 and Kantner is concerned how the trip will go. Bob returns safely, but isn't sure about ever traveling back to Anchorage.

Discussion Questions:

Why is the old couple's trip to Anchorage such a big deal? (p. 172)

Points to consider:

  • They haven't left their camp in years. People know the trip will be difficult and strange for them.

Why is Kantner so concerned for Bob and Carrie traveling to Anchorage? (p. 173)

Points to consider:

  • He's worried about how they will be treated without having proper ID and also just has a general unease with these two old people heading to a place so foreign to them.
  • People in rural Alaska are frequently not treated well when traveling to Anchorage, so this might also have been a concern to Kantner.

Why does Kantner share Tommy Douglas's little piece of survival wisdom? (p. 174)

Points to consider:

  • The wisdom comes in handy in a story later in the book.
  • He's showing knowledge that elders possess and are often willing to share in brief anecdotal snippets.

How is the outcome of Bob and Carrie's trip different from what Kantner might have suspected? (p. 175)

Points to consider:

  • They enjoyed their trip and people were friendly and helpful.

Final Questions:

This essay captures the end of an era. What changes have Bob and Carrie witnessed, and why do you suspect that Bob isn't that interested in returning to Anchorage?

How do you think Kantner's first trip to Anchorage was in relation to Bob and Carrie's?

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