Posts filed under ‘LT Classics Challenge’

Classics Challenge: ‘I Capture the Castle’ Discussion

Welcome, Challengers, to the final discussion post of this cycle of the LT Classics Challenge. We’re talking about I Capture the Castle for this final week.

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…)


October 7, 2011 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Classics Challenge: ‘I Capture the Castle’ Questions

Welcome, Challengers! Here are some questions to be thinking about in regards to I Capture the Castle. We’ll meet back here to discuss on 7 October.

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?


September 23, 2011 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

LT Classics Challenge: The Handmaid’s Tale

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?

Happy reading!

September 17, 2011 at 12:07 am Leave a comment

LT Classics Challenge: The Robber Bride Discussion

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.


September 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm 2 comments

Classics Challenge: ‘Indiana’ by George Sand Discussion

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…)

September 2, 2011 at 12:00 am 1 comment

Classics Challenge: ‘Indiana’ by George Sand Questions

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…)

August 26, 2011 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Classics Challenge: Robber Bride Discussion Questions

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?
Happy reading. challengers!

August 19, 2011 at 12:10 am Leave a comment

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