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The Breathing Method

Stephen King





Answer key

One pager: SandaStansfield

My review


CharactersDavid Adley - A middle-aged lawyer and narrator of the story who is invated to an unusual New York club by his work superior. One of the main things that he describes are the personal stories that are told amongst the members of the club.The main story David tells about is the story of The Breathing Method that was told on a Thursday before Christmas by an elderly doctor Emlyn McCarron. He is also described to have a good relationship with his wife Ellen.George Waterhouse - David's superior at an big New York law firm. He invates David to the New york club.Stevens - Old third-generation English butler. He has a faint Brooklyn accent, but in spite of that he is as brutally correct. He is reserved and mysterious and not much is known about him.Emlyn McCarron - An elderly doctor and a member of the New York club. He tells the story of the Breathing Method that describes unusual events that happend withone of his dear patients in 1930s that completely shocked him.Sandra Stansfield - A young woman that becomes Dr. Emlyn’s patient after becoming pregnant out of wedlock. She is fierce, strong and determined to have her child no matter what kind of backlash she will get from others. Dr. Emlyn describes her as beautiful and is impressed with her buissnes like demeanor and calmness during stressful situations.

TestWhat genre is The Breathing Method? Where does the story take place? The club was held on ________. What is the narrator's occupation? What was the name of the butler that worked in the club? What did the members of the club do? Who invites David to the unusual club? Did David receive a second invitation to the club? The poem David couldn't find anywhere outside of the club was written by? How was the poem David couldn't find anywhere outside of the club called? Who told the story of The Breathing Method? What fake name did Sandra give to Dr. Emlyn when she first came to him? When does the story of The Breathing Method take place? What was the name of the nurse that worked for Dr. Emlyn? What method does Dr. Emlyn teach Sandra? The breathing method was a poplar method in 1930s. What did Sandra sell? Dr. Emlyn had a nightmare about Sandra covered in _______ and holding her _________ in her arms. After losing her first job because of her condition, what lie did Sandra use to get a job again? What was the name of the blind lady that employed her? When did Sandra’s labors start? Who drove Sandra to the hospital? How was the taxi driver feeling during the drive to the hospital and why? How did the accident in front of the hospital happen? What happened to Sandra during the collision? When Dr. Emlyn approached Sandra's body after the accident, why was he shocked? Did Dr. Emlyn manage to deliver Sandra’s baby safely?

Answer keyHorror.In New York.Thursdays.Lawyer.Stevens.They read books, drank, smoked, played pool and told each other unnerving personal stories.George Waterhouse.No.Archibald MacLeish.'The Toll'.Dr. Emlyn McCarron.Jane Smith.1935.Ella Davidson.The breathing method.No.Perfume.Gore, head.She said that her husband was a truck-driver who was killed on the Pittsburgh-New York run.Mrs. Gibbs.On Christmas Eve.A taxi driver.The taxi driver was felling nervous because of Sandra preforming the Breathing Method.The ground was wet and the taxi driver couldn't stop the car on time and they collided with an oncoming emergency vehicle.She was decapitated.Because she was still breathing after being decapitated.Yes.

The Breathing Method Audiobook


Narrator of the tale, David Adley, is invited to an unusual New York club by his superior George Waterhouse where members share personal stories that range from funny and heartwarming to grotesque and chilling. On one Thursday evening before Christmas Dr. Emlyn McCarron tells the story of The Breathing Method. The story takes place during the 1930s when Emlyn meets a new patient ,Sandra Stansfield, who is pregnant with a child out of wedlock which was seen as disgraceful at the time. Dr. Emlyn is impressed with Sandra's determination to keep the child although she has no one to relay on but herself and is in danger of losing her job. He teaches her the Breathing Method, which was then rarely used to help mothers deliver. Sandra is decapitated in an accident right in front of the hospital while on the way to deliver her child. Dr. Emlyn is on the site of the accident and is shocked to see that Sandras decapitated body is still breathing. He safely delivers Sandra’s baby boy and all through the delivery her decapitated head and body work to sustain the breathing method to help the delivery. The baby is born alive and well and Sandra finally passes away. The club is shocked by the chilling story.


My review

I never really took the time to read anything that Stephan King has written and because of that I didn’t really know what to expect and was quite surprised with what I read in the end. I never heard of the breathing method before and certainly didn’t think it was something used during the delivery and I was quite surprised of the turn of events in this novella. It was obvious from beginning that something bad was going to happen to Sandra but I think that anybody who has heard about Stephen King would have guessed so. Never the less, I was actually quite surprised with how much I liked the story and it even pushed me to look into some other works of the same author. The novella is good for anybody who wants something quick, easy and thrilling to read. The story is very well written and it drives the reader to want to know more of what happens and because of that I would recommend it to other horror and thriller fans.

My quotes

“During that same five-week period I went to the library and checked out four volumes of Archibald MacLeish's poetry (I had three others myself, and had already checked through them); one of these volumes purported to be The Complete Poems of. I reacquainted myself with some old favourites, including my favourite MacLeish poem, 'Epistle to Be Left in Earth.' But I found no poem called 'The Toll' in any of the volumes. “

I had a felling there is going to be something mysterious and eerie about the club and I proved my point when David couldn’t find any records or mentions anywhere of books and poems he read in the library the club offered. The story never explained any of it and I liked that. I think the charm in horror stories is that not everything should always be explained completely.

“Come again, if you like; don't wait for an invitation.”

I really liked this quote because it gave the situation at hand and the club it was referring to a mysterious and unnerving feeling. Nothing was explained to David as to what the club was actually about and if he needed to do something to become a member. His mother taught him that it was polite to wait for an invitation even when people say to just drop by, but when no invitation came for weeks David decided to go there himself for which I was very glad he did.

"At last, still looking into the fire, bent slightly forward so that his forearms rested on his thighs and his clasped hands hung in a knot between his knees, McCarron began to speak."

I felt like this moment would never come. In the beginning of the story it is told who will be the one to tell the story of The Breathing Method and I could hardly wait for it to come. The intro to the main story made me really interested in what the actual story was about so at this point I was really excited and surprised by how much I like the story.

"Even after only six years' practice, I had become used to seeing women who were trying to cope with a twofold problem: not just the fact that they were pregnant and must plan for the new arrival, but also the fact-what most of them saw as a fact, anyway-that they had entered the valley of the shadow of death. Many were actually trying to put their affairs in coherent order so that if they should die, their husbands would be able to carry on without them."

I completely forgot how much medicine progressed in the last century and with that I forgot how dangerous and difficult it actually was to deliver a child before. It made me a bit depressed of how stressful and scary this might have been to women of the time. It also cemented my decision that I will never have children.

"I felt a recurrence of that chill and her response, which had nothing to do with my question, hardly made me feel easier. 'I have a feeling, Dr McCarron, sometimes quite a strong feeling, that I am doomed.' Silly, melodramatic word! And yet, gentlemen, the response that rose to my own lips was this: Yes; I feel that, too..."

I felt that too. From the beginning of Dr. Emlyn’s story I felt that something bad will happen to Sandra and I did not like that my fear was shared with both Sandra and Dr. Emlyn. The feeling was like a prophecy of what will happen and that gave the story an eerie feeling that I really liked, although it may have been a bit cliche.

Stephen King

Stephen Edwin King was born in Portlan, Maine on September 21, 1947. He is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy novels. Many of his works have been adapted into movies or tv shows. He published 61 novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman, and five non-fiction books. After he graduated from the University of Maine he started selling his short stories to magazines. His writing career started in 1967, when he published his first professional short story "The Glass Floor". Since then he wrote many works and today he is recognized as the 'King of Horror'.

Creative Writing advice and tips from Stephen King

Stephen King interview (1993)

Genre: horror novellaThe Breathing Method was first published in a collection of novels called Differen Seasons in 1982. The Breathing Method was a finalist for the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella.Setting and time: The story takes place in an unusual gentlemen’s club in New York where members tell unusual personal stories one of which is The Breathing Method. The particular story of The Breathing Method takes place in the 1930s in New York.

The Breathing Method

Stephen King