2) Who are the ghosts in the story? What makes them ghosts?
3) Who are the storytellers? How do we know what we know about them?
4) In what ways does Maclean present this story as a tragedy? (To answer this question, think about the literary conventions of "tragedy" rather than simply a sad event.) What makes the story of Mann Gulch (in these literary terms) a tragedy? Could this story have been written in a way that would not make it (stylistically) a tragedy?
5) What is this story about? Is it also a story of something else not directly related to the fire iteself? In what ways is the story of the fire an allegorical story about something seemingly unrelated?
6) At one point Maclean writes that the story of Mann Gulch, though difficult to find, "will not have to be made up -- that is all-important to us -- but we do have to know in what odd places to look for missing parts of a story about a wildfire and of course we have to know a story and a wildfire when we see one." What does Maclean do to find the story? How does he come to know the story of Mann Gulch, and how does he come to know it as a story and to know wildfires?
7) Who are the heroes of this story? What makes them particularly heroic?
8) In the end, what does Maclean learn about Mann Gulch? Remembering he was a minister's son, and learned to tell stories from one who preached sermons, what would be the lesson of this story for Maclean?
9) What does Norman Maclean conclude about the Mann Gulch Fire? Who was responsible for the young men's deaths?
10) In the end, the point of this story is not simply to answer "whodunnit" or to assign blame, although that is part of the story. What is the ultimate "point" of Maclean's telling the story of the Mann Gulch Fire?
Living on Earth (National Public Radio), "The Mann Gulch Tragedy: 50 Years Later" (broadcast 30 July 1999). Transcript of interview with Smokejumper Laird Robinson: http://www.loe.org/archives/990730.htm#feature4.
Elizabeth Sheley, "Review: John N. Maclean, Fire on the Mountain, and Norman Maclean, Young Men and Fire," in Crescent Blues Book Views, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2000). http://www.crescentblues.com/3_1issue/fire.shtml.
Julia Lunsford, "Norman Maclean Bibliography," at http://www.baylor.edu/~Julia_Lunsford/bibliog.html.
Wildland Fire.Com, "The Home of the Wildland Firefighter," provides links and photos. http://www.wildlandfire.com/.
The University of Chicago's dedication of a dormitory, Maclean Hall, for Norman Maclean
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