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A Passage for Analysis
From John Steinbeck's The Red Pony
N.Y. Bantam Books, 1937, 1988
The Opening Paragraph of Chapter II. "The Great Mountain" (p. 36)
Analysis Key

     The referent of most adjectives and adverbs should be obvious, so notes are provided only for questionable cases. 

     {In the humming heat} {of a midsummer afternoon} the little boy Jody [#1]

listlessly looked {about the ranch} {for something} to do [#2]. | He had been {to

the barn}, had thrown rocks (DO) {at the swallows' nests} {under the eaves} 

[Adv. to had thrown" until every one {of the little mud houses} broke open (PA) [#3]

and dropped its lining (DO) {of straw and dirty feathers}]. | Then {at the ranch

house} he baited a rat trap (DO) {with stale cheese} and set it (DO) [Adv.

to "set" where Doubletree Mutt, that good big dog [#4] , would get his 

nose snapped [#5] ]. | Jody was not moved (P) {by an impulse} {of 

cruelty}; [#6] | he was bored (P) {with the long hot afternoon}. | Doubletree

Mutt put his stupid nose (DO) {in the trap} and got it smacked [#5], and 

shrieked {with agony} and limped away {with blood} {on his nostrils}. | 

No matter [#7] [ where he was hurt (P) ], Mutt limped. | It was just a way 

(PN) [Adj. to "way" he had]. | Once [ [#8] when he was young (PA)],

Mutt got caught (P) {in a coyote trap}, and always {after that} [#9] he limped

even [#10] [Adv. to "limped" when he was scolded (P) ]. |

1. "Jody" is an appositive to "boy." See KISS Level 5.4 - Appositives.
2. The verbal (infinitive) "to do" functions as an adjective to "something."
3. How most grammarians would explain "open" is an interesting question. (You'll have a hard time finding some explanations in textbooks.) In KISS, this is simply a palimpsest pattern with "broke" written over "became." See KISS Level 2.1.4 - Palimpsest Patterns.
4. "Dog" is an appositive to "Doubletree Mutt."
5. Expect students to be confused by this. Obviously, he is not going to get his "nose." Thus "nose" does not make sense as a direct object. At KISS Level 5.8, most people will probably prefer to consider "nose snapped" as a noun absolute that functions as the direct object of "would get."
6. If you happen to be using this exercise with students who are working at KISS Level 3.1.1 - Main Clauses, note how this semicolon separates two main contrasting main clauses -- what he was not, and what he was moved by.
7. This "No matter" construction is idiomatic (learned as a phrase rather than developed as a grammatical construction. We can analyze it as an ellipsed noun absolute that functions as an adverb to "limped" -- [Where he was hurt] *being" no matter *of relevance," Mutt limped." See KISS Level 5.8 - Noun Absolutes.
8. This clause can be seen as adverbial to "Once," and "Once" is adverbial to "got caught," or the clause can be seen as directly adverbial to "got caught."
9. "After that" functions as an adverb to (limits) "always."
10. Note how "even" modifies the following subordinate clause.