Questions and Answers for The Portable Phonograph

The Portable Phonograph

What are the themes in "The Portable Phonograph" by Walter Van Tilburg Clark? How does it connects to our lives?

One theme is that beauty and art are more valuable than ever in a post-Holocaust world in which civilization has been destroyed. The men treat the emergence and playing of the portable phonograph...

Latest answer posted May 24, 2019 4:17 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Portable Phonograph

The tone and mood of the setting in "The Portable Phonograph"?

At the beginning of the story, the author describes a setting which is bleak, dark, derelict and war-torn. This immediately creates a sombre tone, and perhaps a foreboding mood. The very first...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2019 1:35 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Portable Phonograph

What are some quotes from The Portable Phonograph by Walter Van Tilburg Clark? This is a study guide question posted...

These pits were such as might have been made by falling meteors, but they were not. They were the scars of gigantic bombs, their rawness already made a little natural by rain, seed and time. Along...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2019 11:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

Discuss the conflict in "The Portable Phonograph."

In a story of this type there does not have to be a conflict between characters or a character's inner conflict. This is a story about the greatest conflict in the history of mankind, and it might...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2015 11:52 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Portable Phonograph

In the short story "The Portable Phonograph," why does the author mention or allude to Shakespeare and the Bible? How...

As the story opens, an old man named Doctor Jenkins is playing host to a small group of men who, like him, are survivors of an unspecified holocaust which destroyed all of human civilization....

Latest answer posted February 25, 2016 2:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

What is "The Portable Phonograph" about?

The famous short story "The Portable Phonograph" by Walter van Tilburg Clark was originally published in the collection The Watchful Gods and Other Stories in 1950 and has been anthologized many...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2019 2:52 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Portable Phonograph

Who are the characters in The Portable Phonograph by Walter Van Tilburg Clark? This is a study guide question posted...

Dr. Jenkins The main character of the story is a very old man named Dr. Jenkins. He lives in a cave-like tunnel near a frozen stream in a barren landscape that has been ruined by a catastrophic...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2019 2:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

What is the purpose of the men's meeting? Why does the author compare the unwrapping of the book bundle to a...

The point of the story is that civilization has been destroyed by an atomic war and the few cultural artifacts the old man named Doctor Jenkins has managed to save are priceless treasures. Once...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2015 12:45 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

What is suggested by the quote "We are the doddering remnants of a race of mechanical fools" in "The Portable...

One of the strongest elements of the short story is its questioning of progress. The story features a setting that has been decimated by world conflict. Technological advancement and progress...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2011 4:56 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

In Walter van Tilburg Clark's short story "The Portable Phonograph," what does the setting reveal about the doctor or...

In the short story titled “The Portable Phonograph,” by Walter van Tilburg Clark, the setting implies the aftermath of a horribly destructive war. Details of the setting which imply such a war...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2011 1:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

What is the atmosphere of "The Portable Phonograph"?

The atmosphere is cold, bleak, dark, wretched, nearly unbearable and uninhabitable. It is the atmosphere of a wasteland. These four men seem doomed. They are being reduced to a primitive existence...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2015 7:20 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Portable Phonograph

Please analyze The Portable Phonograph by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. This is a study guide question posted by eNotes...

In "The Portable Phonograph," Walter Van Tilburg Clark maintains an almost detached tone to narrate a story of the bleak state of humanity in a post-apocalyptic setting. In the opening paragraph,...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2019 2:33 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

What are three significant things the four men brought with them?

I cannot see that the four men in the story brought anything with them to the setting inside the cave. Three of the men are visitors and evidently brought nothing because they have nothing to...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2015 6:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

Why do the men listen to the music?

There is an implicit contrast throughout the story between the present and the past. The four men are living in the wasteland created by a great nuclear war. Although the bombs did not kill...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2015 12:27 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

What are the themes in The Portable Phonograph by Walter Van Tilburg Clark? This is a study guide question posted by...

The Significance of Art When Dr. Jenkins realizes that the world is ending around him, he chooses to save what he considers the best efforts of mankind. He saves Shakespeare, Dante, Melville, and...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2019 12:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

In Walter Van Tilburg Clark's short story "The Portable Phonograph," to what extent do the first three paragraphs...

The tone and atmosphere of Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s story “The Portable Phonograph” are effectively established in the first three paragraphs of the work. Simply in his use of nouns, Clark...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2011 12:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

The first three descriptive paragraphs of Walter van Tilburg Clark's short story "The Portable Phonograph" are loaded...

In his short story “The Portable Phonograph,” Walter van Tilburg Clark uses many adjectives in the first three paragraphs to help create a vivid setting and a memorable mood. Among the adjectives...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2011 1:17 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

Please write an in-depth summary of The Portable Phonograph by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. This is a study guide...

The story opens at sunset and establishes a dark and desolate setting. We are told that the clouds blacked the sky "like threats," and everything is cold. The air is filled with a "sensation of...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2019 12:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

Why was the value Art important to the men? In the time this book took place, was Art something everybody would...

In the wake of the desolation and emptiness of the world presented to the reader, the value of art is a powerful one. The role of art in this story is one that soothes and provides entertainment....

Latest answer posted August 22, 2009 6:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

What is the setting?

The setting for Moneyballis largely seen in Oakland of the early 2000s. This particular time period occupies importance in the book for a couple of reasons. Initially, the early 2000s and late...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2013 4:30 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Portable Phonograph

How many times is four of something mentioned in "The Portable Phonograph"?  

In The Portable Phonograph by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, the exact quantity of various objects is frequently given. Concerning objects which appears in fours: A small red fire is describes as coming...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2016 6:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Portable Phonograph

Why didn't the other characters have any names? Why do you think their names weren't mentioned?

There could be many explanations for this. One potential reason would be to enhance the universal feel of the work. In writing this story in 1941, Clark is witnessing the effects of the Second...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2009 7:22 am UTC

1 educator answer