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Type: Open-Ended
Category: Character Study
Level: Grade 11
Standards: CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.3, RL.11-12.1, RL.11-12.3
Tags: ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3
Author: szeiger
Created: 5 years ago

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Character Study Question

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The Man Upstairs
by P.G. Wodehouse

There were three distinct stages in the evolution of Annette Brougham's attitude toward the knocking in the room above. In the beginning, it had been merely a vague discomfort. Absorbed in the composition of her waltz, she had heard it almost subconsciously. The second stage set in when it became a physical pain like red-hot pincers wrenching her mind from her music. Finally, with a thrill of indignation, she knew it for what it was - an insult. The unseen brute disliked her playing and was intimating his views with a boot-heel.

Defiantly, with her foot on the loud pedal, she struck - almost slapped - the keys once more.

"Bang!" from the room above. "Bang! Bang!"

Annette rose. Her face was pink, her chin tilted. Her eyes sparkled with the light of battle. She left the room and started to mount the stairs. No spectator, however just, could have helped feeling a pang of pity for the wretched man who stood unconscious of imminent doom, possibly even triumphant, behind the door at which she was on the point of tapping.

"Come in!" cried the voice, rather a pleasant voice, but what is a pleasant voice if the soul be vile?

Annette went in. The room was a typical Chelsea studio, scantily furnished and lacking a carpet. In the center was an easel, behind which were visible a pair of trousered legs. A cloud of grey smoke was curling up over the top of the easel.

"I beg your pardon," began Annette.

"I don't want any models at present," said the Brute. "Leave your card on the table."

"I am not a model," said Annette, coldly. "I merely came?"

At this the Brute emerged from his fortifications and removing his pipe from his mouth, jerked his chair out into the open.

"I beg your pardon," he said. "Won't you sit down?"

How reckless is Nature in the distribution of her gifts! Not only had this black-hearted knocker on floors a pleasant voice, but, in addition, a pleasing exterior. He was slightly disheveled at the moment, and his hair stood up in a disordered mop, but in spite of these drawbacks, he was quite passably good-looking. Annette admitted this. Though wrathful, she was fair.

Grade 11 Character Study CCSS: CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.3, RL.11-12.1, RL.11-12.3

Citing an example from the passage, what was Annette like when she approached the neighbor's door?
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