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As Far as a Man Possibly Can
A literature unit using music by Menachem Vinegrad - jaclad(at)matav(dot)net(dot)il

This unit includes:

The story presents a moral question about how far a man should go in the performance of his duty in upholding the law. I contrast it with Bruce Springsteen's song, Highway Patrolman, in which the opposite stance is portrayed. If you read the story, and the words of the song, you will see the two ways in which this dilemma is dealt with: each protagonist, both lawmen , handles the dilemna in exactly the opposite way from each other. One kills his son, and the other lets his brother go. One in the name of the law, and the other in the name of family.

I have used this unit successfully in 3 and 4 points, though the accompanying worksheets are geared for 3 point classes. A "plus" for 3 point classes: Runyon uses only the present tense.

A dilemma for the teacher is that the some of the words are archaic Americana--"sneezer" for jail, and "young squirts" for kids, etc. However, I find the story all the more powerful for the language.

This story needs to be read dramatically, by the teacher. I introduce the story with some "country music" and with the song of Pretty Boy Floyd --(outlaws and sheriffs)--showing the kids photos of "old-timers" or "frontiersmen" (obtainable on the internet).

The Springsteen song is on the album"Nebraska" now available on CD or from any Springsteen fan.

If you send a cassette and a stamped self addressed envelope I will record it for you from my old scratchy cassette- though I urge you to buy the CD --it's all acoustic and considered by some to be the Boss's best!

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