Read the story and do the following tasks:
1. Through whose eyes is the story told?
2. What was the mother's major concern regarding her teenage child?
3. What country were the parents born in? How do we know?
4. What were the political beliefs of the narrator as a teenager?
5. What do you think the events of 1905 were that the narrator's mother referred to?
6. What profession was the father studying for?
7. Why was the father particularly proud of his examination results?
8. What was the father's attitude toward his work?
9. What leisure-time activity did the narrator's parents share? How did the mother's perfect pitch help her enjoy this activity?
10. How would you characterize the mother's relationship with her child?
11. How does the relationship between the parents change?
12. How did the economic circumstances of the family change? Give examples to illustrate your answer.
13. What does the narrator's mother imply happened to them in Russia in 1905?
14. In what ways have the adult narrator's feelings toward his or her mother altered?
15. What is the mood of the narrator?
16. How can you account for the writer's constant use of flashbacks in the story?