Group Names:


Identifying Human Nature Using the Short Story


The Situation:

You and your group are extraterrestrial beings from another galaxy sent to earth to study humans. Your superior officers expect you to report back on one of humankind’s major flaws that could conceivably contribute to the end of human existence. Your field researchers have compiled the following portfolio of short stories that seem to illustrate man’s own acknowledgement of one particular weakness:


“Adam and Eve,” “Button, Button,” “The Foster Portfolio,”

“The Real Durwan,” “Pandora”

Your Task:


Make connections between the given works and make inferences about humankind. Find specific examples and/or quotes to support your findings.


Group 1: Characters

Group 2: Conflicts

Group 3: Themes

Group 4: Objects/Possessions/Symbols

Group 5: Male-female relationships (battle of the sexes?)

Group 6: The Stranger in a Strangeland


You will present your findings to the rest of the class. Use the following table as a guideline to help formulate your research and present to the class. Please hand in a thorough and legible copy of your group work. The following is a table that you may emulate in your group work.






Connections between stories

The  (insert group topic here) are similar/different



When tempted…

This causes…

This represents…

“Adam and Eve”

“Button, Button”

“The Foster Portfolio”

“The Real Durwan


 Provide evidence à use quotes and/or paraphrases to ilustrate the connections

What does this say about humankind’s major flaws?