“The Cremation of Sam McGee”

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“The Cremation of Sam McGee”. By Robert Service. Important Vocabulary. For homework tonight, you will define the following terms using a dictionary: queer cremate whimper heed brawn hearkened derelict furnace burrowed grisly. History of the Poem. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of “The Cremation of Sam McGee”

The Cremation of Sam McGee

The Cremation of Sam McGeeBy Robert Service Important VocabularyFor homework tonight, you will define the following terms using a dictionary:queercrematewhimperheedbrawnhearkenedderelictfurnaceburrowedgrislyHistory of the Poem The events in The Cremation of Sam McGee are based on a true story. The author, Robert Service, had lived with Dr. Sudgon, who told Service a story about finding the corpse of a prospector on the steamship Alice May. Sudgon told Service that he had to cremate the body of the deceased prospector, and had brought the ashes back to town to be buried. William Samuel McGee was a prospector in California during the Gold Rush. He eventually made his way to the Klondike to search for riches there. History of the Poem Robert Service saw McGees name on a form while working for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and asked for permission to use the name in his poem. McGee agreed. Service became famous for the poem, and McGee was ridiculed. He eventually moved away from the area, only to return later to attempt to mine again. McGee later died of a heart attack. Service is said to have attended McGees burial. Map of the Klondike

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PredictionWhat do you think the poem The Cremation of Sam McGee is going to be about? Write a three-five sentence prediction that describes:What you think the setting isWhat the main characters are likeWhat the plot of the poem is

Predictions that do not answer all three of the above questions will not receive full credit.

Comprehension Questions On a separate sheet of paper, answer the following questions about The Cremation of Sam McGee:Where does the poem take place?What is the mood of the poem (what sort of mood/atmosphere do the words of the poem create?)?Who are the main characters?Where is Sam from?What is Sam searching for?What does the narrator promise he will do when Sam McGee dies?Does the narrator follow through with his promise?Why does the narrator go through with cremating Sam McGee?

Literary ElementsWhat is the setting?The poem takes place in the Yukon territory of Canada. It is freezing cold, and the midnight sun is shininga reference to the Aurora Borealis lights that can be seen in certain parts of Canada and Alaska. What type of poem is this?This is a narrative poem. A narrative poem tells a story from the point of view of the narrator. What sorts of figurative language does Service use in his poem?Service uses personification, similes, metaphors, and idioms.

Literary ElementsWhat conflict takes place in the poem?The narrator has a conflict with himself. He does not know if he should follow through with his promise to cremate Sam McGee or not. How is the conflict resolved (resolution)?The narrator follows through with his promise.