By the Great Horn Spoon! - Summary & Analysis

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

'By the Great Horn Spoon!' is an exciting story about two men who try to solve Aunt Arabella's financial woes by panning for gold - if only it was that easy! Read the following lesson for a complete summary and a breakdown of the plot line.

By The Great Horn Spoon! Summary

By the Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleischman is an exciting story about two characters - Jack and Praiseworthy - who leave the comforts of Boston to go to California during the great Gold Rush. Jack - the protagonist - is a young man who happens to employ Praiseworthy, the butler. The goal of their trip is to save Jack's beloved Aunt Arabella from losing her house to the bank. Jack devised the plan, and Praiseworthy couldn't allow Jack to travel solo. So, they went!

Once the adventure begins, Jack and Praiseworthy find themselves in many sticky situations. With the quick thinking of Praiseworthy, the team is able to get out of being stowaways, being robbed by highwaymen, getting lost on the way to the gold towns, and losing all of their earnings in a bad business deal. The gold panning winds up being prosperous - but only for a moment - yet Praiseworthy gets the girl (Aunt Arabella) in the end.

Plot Analysis

Plot Line

In every story, there is a natural arc to the storyline. This is called the plot line. A plot line breaks down the story into:

  • Exposition - introduction of characters, setting, and storyline
  • Rising Action - the conflict is starting to be revealed
  • Climax - the most exciting part of the story
  • Falling Action - where some of the conflict gets resolved
  • Resolution - the conflict gets resolved, and sometimes it ends with a twist

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