Posts filed under ‘LT Classics Challenge’
The winner of the Challenge (who shall receive a lovely Penguin Clothbound Classic for his or her efforts!) will be announced next week. Remember: any participation means you’re entered in the drawing to win, so share your thoughts below or on any of our previous Classics Challenge posts.
Onwards to the discussion! Spoilers, duh, and very short thoughts from me: (more…)
Some spoilers, but nothing crazy:
1. Consider Smith’s use of age and aging throughout the narrative.
2. How does America factor into the story? There are numerous descriptions of it throughout the book and the main characters all struggle grasp the idea of it. Nota bene: Smith was on a trip to America when she wrote I Capture the Castle. Does that change your reading of the book?
3. Secrets play a pivotal role throughout the book—Cassandra secrets away her writing, Mortmain keeps his new project a secret, Rose has her romantic secrets, and Stephen squirrels away part of his wages for a secret purpose. What do these secrets actually reveal about their owners and about our narrator?
Hello, Challengers! Again, I apologize for the lateness of this post — Corey and I are in utter shambles, I believe. I apologize if these questions seem elementary, as I’m majorly rusty on my literary criticism.
Anyway, as promised, here are the questions for The Handmaid’s Tale:
* Obviously, the focus of the book is on the Handmaids, especially Offred. In what ways does Offred attempt to maintain her identity –and femininity — in the face of a patriarchal society? How successful is she?
* The Handmaids are not the only victims here, however. To what extent do the wives have to contend with constraints on their own identities? How does that affect the relationship between the Wives and the Handmaids?
* How does Offred’s role affect her relationship with her body? Do you believe this relationship was anticipated and deliberately crafted by those in charge?
* The Commander, Nick and Luke all respond to Offred in different ways. What factors impact those relationships, and what does it say about the men’s views of female roles?
Welcome, Challengers! Sorry about the lateness of this post — let’s get right down to it!
How do Tony, Roz and Charis represent different aspects of femininity?
I know this sounds New-Ageish, but Tony, Roz and Charis very clearly represent the different faces of the threefold goddess. Tony, with her child-like body and her child-sized clothing, as well as her jealousy of Zenia’s sexuality, makes her the pure Maiden. She is also very interested in war and knowledge, making her a bit like Athena, one of the virginal Greek Goddesses (though not the goddess of virgins).
Roz is shapely, round, having given birth to three children and caring like the Mother goddess for everyone around her. Charis, with her knowledge of all things spiritual and her possession of her grandmother’s healing power, is the crone — in fact, near the end, the other women even refer to her as such. She’s been the maiden, but that was ripped away from her, and she has also been the mother by giving birth to August, but all of the women have some aspect of the other Goddess faces.
Welcome, one and all, to the discussion post for Indiana by George Sand. As always, any participants (here or at your own blog) will be entered in a drawing to win a lovely literary prize, so definitely share your deepest thoughts and feelings about Indiana below. Feel free to bring up anything I left out and share your favorite/least favorite parts in the comments!
What geographic contrasts does Sand provide throughout the novel and what do they add to the narrative?
Beside the obvious Empire vs. Europe contrast (which I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about from me so I won’t delve into), I thought Sand did a nice job of contrasting Paris with the countryside where Indiana lives during her brief time in France. Paris is portrayed as this seething swamp of intrigue where one can’t do anything or it will be talked about by Everyone. And the countryside is the quiet escape where no one suspects or talks about anything.
Sand also nicely uses location to play up the true nature of each of her characters by showing how they each react to different locations. (more…)
Greetings, Challengers! As we continue along our merry, non-Atwood way here, let’s take a look at George Sand’s first novel, Indiana. Below are some starter questions to get the ole wheels turning and, on September 2, we’ll gather again to discuss.
1. What geographic contrasts does Sand provide throughout the novel and what do they add to the narrative? (more…)
Hello, Challengers! Here’s what we’ll be talking about regarding Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride:
- How do Tony, Roz and Charis represent different aspects of femininity?
- How does Zenia morph to take advantage of each woman’s identity or self-defined role?
- Who is Zenia? Does the novel ever definitively answer this question? Does it need an answer?
- Has Atwood’s portrayal of female identity changed from The Edible Woman to The Robber Bride? How so, and in what respects?
Hey there, cats and kittens, to the discussion post for Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda! Next book in the cycle for this non-Atwood branch is Indiana by George Sand (available online to boot!) so stay tuned for that.
Until then, below are some starter questions and my thoughts on Belinda (also available online in a variety of techno-friendly formats including PDF and Kindle), but feel free to bring up anything you like about the novel in the comments. Any participants (here or at your own blog) are entered into a drawing to win a lovely LT Classics Challenge prize at the end of all this fun, so definitely chime in with your thoughts!
Spoilers ahead, as always: (more…)
Hey, Challengers! Sorry this is up a little late, but here’s the discussion post for The Edible Woman. Chime in with your own answers below!
What woman does the title refer to? How are the women in the book being “eaten” or consumed in different ways? Is that consumption always negative?
The title of the book probably does not refer to a specific woman, but to women as a species. For example, I think it would be too obvious to assume Marion is the woman referred to in the title, as clearly there are other women being consumed throughout the novel. (more…)
What ho, Challengers and welcome to the non-Atwood branch of our current Classic Challenge cycle. We’ll be looking at Maria Edgeworth’s 1800 novel Belinda to start. Here are some questions and themes to consider whilst reading and we’ll reconvene to discuss on August 12 (plenty o’ time to get through this light read!).
1. Consider Edgeworth’s presentation of various female “types.” What do you think she is trying to tell her readers about ideal womanhood? Is she successful?
2. What is the role of Empire within the narrative? (more…)