Interpreting "Half Hanged Mary," by Margaret Atwood Quiz

"Half Hanged Mary," by Margaret Atwood is set in a Puritan town in Massachusetts, circa 1680. After reading the poem, show your ability to understand its meaning by answering the questions in this quiz.

  1. Why is Mary hanged? Interpret the 7pm section of the poem to find out. I was hanged for living alone for having blue eyes and a sunburned skin, tattered skirts, few buttons, a weedy farm in my own name, and a surefire cure for warts;

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  2. In the 8pm section, there is a metaphor: "Up I go like a windfall in reverse". What do these words mean?

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  3. Mary struggles through the night but when the 8 am hour arrives what do the men find when they come to cut her down?

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  4. In the 8pm hour, it says that Mary understands why the women cannot help her. Why is it that they cannot or will help her?

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  5. In the 9pm section, we read, The bonnets come to stare, the dark skirts also, the upturned faces in between, mouths closed so tight they're lipless. I can see down into their eyeholes

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  6. In the 12 midnight section, Mary fights against this.

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  7. In the 10pm hour, who is Mary conversing with? What is the tone of this conversation?

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