The Pimienta Pancakes Discussion Questions

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

If you are teaching your students about short stories, the works of O. Henry can provide some marvelous examples. This lesson offers questions that will help you facilitate strong discussions about ''The Pimienta Pancakes''.

Reading The Pimienta Pancakes

Are you teaching your students about the short stories by classic American writer O. Henry? One of the stories they are going to read is probably The Pimienta Pancakes. This story is told by a narrator who is on a campsite, and he feels hungry for some pancakes.

The camp cook is dishing up more than pancakes, though; he is actually spinning tales as well. The story he tells reveals a great deal about himself as a character, and the narrator learns more about himself as well.

To help your students get as much as possible out of this story, you will want to facilitate strong discussions. The questions in this lesson will help your students learn from each other as they consider The Pimienta Pancakes.

Questions About Characters

This section offers questions that probe the meaning of each of the characters in O. Henry's story.

  • How would you describe the narrator overall? What is his personality like, and how has he found himself on the camp? What are some of the different ways we learn about him as a character?
  • What are some of Jud's most salient and prominent characteristics, and how does he show who he is to the narrator?
  • How would you characterize the relationship that the narrator develops with Jud over the course of the story? What leads them to begin feeling closer to each other?
  • Who exactly is Miss Willella Learight? Why is her relationship with Jud so important in the overall context of the story?
  • What are some of the similarities and differences between Willela and Jud? What are the things that draw them to one another?
  • Which of all of the characters in this story do you relate to or identify with the most, and why? What aspects of yourself can you learn more about via your identification with the character you have named?
  • Describe which character in the story seems to have changed the most internally over the course of the narrative. Explain what prompts these changes and what they lead to in turn.

Questions About Plot

Here, you find questions that will promote strong discussions untangling the plot of The Pimienta Pancakes.

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