The Ransom of Red Chief

O. Henry

Reading Activity

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The Ransom of Red Chief
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Which statement best describes the narrator and his partner?
They are criminal masterminds who devise a foolproof plan.
They are bumbling crooks who bit off more than they can chew.
They are ordinary guys who stumble upon an unusual way to make money.
They are honest businessmen who got tangled up in a mess.
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Why do you think this? Refer to the text to support your response.
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The Ransom of Red Chief
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Which best describes how the author introduces the boy?
The author introduces the boy as a sweet and kind character.
The author introduces the boy as a sweet but sassy character.
The author introduces the boy as a tough but loving character.
The author introduces the boy as a tough and mean character.
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Why do you believe this? Refer to the text in your response.
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The Ransom of Red Chief
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What is most ironic about the boy's captivity?
The boy could sneak off anytime that he wants.
The boy doesn't seem to miss his parents.
The boy seems to be holding the men captive.
The boy is playing games the whole time.
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How do you know this? Cite the text in your answer.
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The Ransom of Red Chief
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Which statement about the boy is FALSE?
He enjoys hurting Bill.
He is imaginative and troublesome.
He is quiet and likes to keep to himself.
He seems unaware that he has been kidnapped.
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Why do you think that this statement is false? Cite the text in your answer.
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The Ransom of Red Chief
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Why does the narrator make the following statement?

" I remembered that Red Chief had said I was to be burned at the stake at the rising of the sun. I wasn't nervous or afraid; but I sat up and lit my pipe and leaned against a rock."
The narrator is at peace and ready to face whatever may come.
The narrator is unafraid because he has a trick up his sleeve.
The narrator is pretending to be unafraid to act tough.
The narrator would rather prepare than worry for no reason.
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Why do you believe this? Refer to the text in your response.
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The Ransom of Red Chief
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How do the townspeople react to the disappearance of the boy?
His absence is unnoted or appreciated.
His abduction becomes the center of a major news story.
His loss is mourned by candlelight vigil.
His disappearance rouses up a search party.
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How do you know that this? Cite the text in your explanation.
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The Ransom of Red Chief
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Which statement about Bill is FALSE?
Bill has been through many dangerous adventures with the narrator.
Bill is afraid of Red Chief.
Bill's role in the scheme is more trying than the narrator's.
Bill grows to appreciate the boy after spending time alone with him.
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Why do you think that this statement is false? Refer to the text in your response.
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The Ransom of Red Chief
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Which figurative language technique is used in the following?

"I went out and caught that boy and shook him until his freckles rattled."
Personification
Understatement
Simile
Hyperbole
Alliteration
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How do you figure? Explain your answer in a complete sentence.
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The Ransom of Red Chief
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What is the underlying reason why the narrator's scheme fails?
He believes that the father is willing to pay to get back his son.
He is identified by the men from the local store whom he calls "chawbacons."
He assumes that the father has money just because he looks rich.
He didn't anticipate that Bill would become attached to the kid.
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Why do you believe this? Refer to the text in your answer.
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The Ransom of Red Chief
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Based on how the story concludes, which would be most likely to occur next if the story were to continue?
The men would go onto perform some other dishonest scheme.
Bill would correspond with the boy occasionally to see how he is doing.
The narrator and Bill would become teachers to help other children.
Ebenezer Dorset would chase after the men and press charges against them.
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Why do you believe this? Explain your answer and support it with textual evidence.
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The Ransom of Red Chief

By O. Henry

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