Class Discussion: “The Day Before the Revolution”

Just a reminder that you should make your at least one comment (just hit “reply,” either to my original post or to another comment on it) by Sunday (3/16).

Then go back/read through all comments and extend the conversation by making at least two more comments (of course, more are always welcome!) in response by Tuesday (3/18). 

The goal is to have some good virtual discussions here to help you think critically about this short story. Therefore, your comments need not be very long: for example, you can provide a quote/citation and a few sentences of explanation of how/why it functions in the context of some larger issue/question (or you can raise questions, complicate issues, extend discussions, analyze a character, or setting, etc.).

13 thoughts on “Class Discussion: “The Day Before the Revolution”

  1. I just have a question after reading this story. The last paragraph when she is going up the stairs it says she’s having a hard time going up the stairs but isn’t afraid to fall. Does she die at the end of the story? “Seventy two years and she never had time to learn what they were called” that leaves me with the impression that she fell down the stairs and died.

    • I think at the end she was talking about not learning the name of the flowers.
      I agree with you, I got the impression that she died. I’m just not sure if it was because she fell down the stairs. Definitely possible though.

    • I think she does die because the part where she says shes not afraid to fall, we can see it as her acceptance of how life is now and that now, she can finally see her husband that’s been yearning for.

    • I think she does die in the last paragraph. It was as if the stairs were a metaphor of her “walking into the light.” To me there were several clues in the paragraph that led me to believe that: “she waited her time,”- her time of death to come, “Above, ahead, in her room what awaited her? the private stroke,” above and ahead to me meant heaven. “she was dizzy but she was no longer afraid to fall,” she was tired and ready to rest for good. “On ahead, on there,” referring to heaven again, “dry white flowers nodded and whispered in the open fields”, a bed of flowers, dry, to signify old, white for peace. “seventy-two years” im guessing that the aged she died.

  2. I felt that when she said she wasn’t afraid to fall, I think she was explainnging that she wasn’t afraid of Death anymore, and i also felt like she thought she had lived a really great life. she knew her time was up.

    • I agree. With the way the last paragraph was worded, it made it seem like she was calm. She wasn’t panicking and she wasn’t even a little scared. It was said that she walked up the stairs one step at a time, and this gave me the feeling that she was slowly walking toward her death, being that she accepted it.

    • I agree, I believe the stairs at this point in the story literally represented ascension from life. It felt like that the whole story was building up to that one point.

  3. This one was a little weird for me. What I understood from it was that she made changes to a world and helped it become better. She has the young kids who want to see her because she’s written all these book but what exactly did she do? I do believe she died it does say “the private stroke” (Le Guin pg.14) which indicates she had another stroke.

    • she didn’t only write these famous books from my understanding she actually fought in the earlier revolutions and she got locked up. In prison she wrote the books, and while in prison her husband dies. That’s what I got from the story and I believe the kids idolize her for that because there is revolution currently going on and they are like wow we have this “war” hero living with us!

  4. I was not a huge fan of this story, there were various moments in which i was confused. Although i have noticed that in all these stories contain various “teachings”. For example in this story one can be that every little action can have a huge reaction. On page 5 and 6 we learn how she began to write these letters to get by in jail and express those emotions through a pen and paper, yet people used that to say that they were full of spiritual strength. And i also have a question did she really want to be the face of this revolution and be this important figure? Did she expect to play a big role?

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