Notes

This printable supports Common Core ELA Standards ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3, ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3, ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4 and ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6

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Analyzing a Diary Entry (Grades 11-12)

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Analyzing a Diary Entry

An excerpt from "The Diary of a Nobody" by George and Weedon Grossmith

April 3. - Tradesmen called for custom, and I promised Farmerson, the ironmonger, to give him a turn if I wanted any nails or tools. By-the-by, that reminds me there is no key to our bedroom door, and the bells must be seen to. The parlour bell is broken, and the front door rings up in the servant’s bedroom, which is ridiculous. Dear friend Gowing dropped in, but wouldn’t stay, saying there was an infernal smell of paint.


April 4. Tradesmen still calling; Carrie being out, I arranged to deal with Horwin, who seemed a civil butcher with a nice clean shop. Ordered a shoulder of mutton for to-morrow, to give him a trial. Carrie arranged with Borset, the butterman, and ordered a pound of fresh butter, and a pound and a half of salt ditto for kitchen, and a shilling’s worth of eggs. In the evening, Cummings unexpectedly dropped in to show me a meerschaum pipe he had won in a raffle in the City, and told me to handle it carefully, as it would spoil the colouring if the hand was moist. He said he wouldn’t stay, as he didn’t care much for the smell of the paint, and fell over the scraper as he went out. Must get the scraper removed, or else I shall get into a SCRAPE. I don’t often make jokes.

April 5. - Two shoulders of mutton arrived, Carrie having arranged with another butcher without consulting me. Gowing called, and fell over scraper coming in. MUST get that scraper removed.

April 6. - Eggs for breakfast simply shocking; sent them back to Borset with my compliments, and he needn’t call any more for orders. Couldn’t find umbrella, and though it was pouring with rain, had to go without it. Sarah said Mr. Gowing must have took it by mistake last night, as there was a stick in the ’all that didn’t belong to nobody. In the evening, hearing someone talking in a loud voice to the servant in the downstairs hall, I went out to see who it was, and was surprised to find it was Borset, the butterman, who was both drunk and offensive. Borset, on seeing me, said he would be hanged if he would ever serve City clerks any more - the game wasn’t worth the candle. I restrained my feelings, and quietly remarked that I thought it was POSSIBLE for a city clerk to be a GENTLEMAN. He replied he was very glad to hear it, and wanted to know whether I had ever come across one, for HE hadn’t. He left the house, slamming the door after him, which nearly broke the fanlight; and I heard him fall over the scraper, which made me feel glad I hadn’t removed it. When he had gone, I thought of a splendid answer I ought to have given him. However, I will keep it for another occasion.

April 7. - Being Saturday, I looked forward to being home early, and putting a few things straight; but two of our principals at the office were absent through illness, and I did not get home till seven. Found Borset waiting. He had been three times during the day to apologise for his conduct last night. He said he was unable to take his Bank Holiday last Monday, and took it last night instead. He begged me to accept his apology, and a pound of fresh butter. He seems, after all, a decent sort of fellow; so I gave him an order for some fresh eggs, with a request that on this occasion they SHOULD be fresh. I am afraid we shall have to get some new stair-carpets after all; our old ones are not quite wide enough to meet the paint on either side. Carrie suggests that we might ourselves broaden the paint. I will see if we can match the colour (dark chocolate) on Monday.

April 8, Sunday. - After Church, the Curate came back with us. I sent Carrie in to open front door, which we do not use except on special occasions. She could not get it open, and after all my display, I had to take the Curate (whose name, by-the-by, I did not catch,) round the side entrance. He caught his foot in the scraper, and tore the bottom of his trousers. Most annoying, as Carrie could not well offer to repair them on a Sunday. After dinner, went to sleep. Took a walk round the garden, and discovered a beautiful spot for sowing mustard-and-cress and radishes. Went to Church again in the evening: walked back with the Curate. Carrie noticed he had got on the same pair of trousers, only repaired. He wants me to take round the plate, which I think a great compliment.
1. 
The author wrote "The Diary of a Nobody" to show the                of every day Victorian life.
  1. craziness
  2. monotony
  3. excitement
  4. hypocrisy
2. 
How does the repeated mention of paint add to the theme of the text?



3. 
Does the diary format help or hurt the text as a whole, particularly when it comes to establishing a boring tone?



4. 
In this particular diary, what does the format allow the reader to see?
  1. How different elements of the story connect and continue on
  2. How the narrator feels about his wife
  3. How the narrator interacts during every moment of his day
  4. How different characters feel about the narrator
5. 
Why does the author of the diary choose to capitalize specific words?



6. 
"Must get the scraper removed or else I shall get into a SCRAPE" is an example of which type of figurative language?
  1. A pun
  2. An idiom
  3. Sarcasm
  4. Hyperbole
7. 
"Sarah said Mr. Gowing must have took it by mistake last night, as there was a stick in the ’all that didn’t belong to nobody."

Why does the author write hall as 'all?



8. 
Most of the humor in the passage comes from what?
  1. The dilapidated state of the couple's house
  2. The people who come to visit the couple
  3. The couple's daily routines
  4. The typical day of a couple during Victorian times
9. 
The Curate visits the house. A CURATE is...
  1. An office clerk
  2. Someone who works at the town museum
  3. A member of the clergy
  4. Someone who lives next door
10. 
While set in Victorian times, how does this passage reflect life today?



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