91 Reading Guide Questions

  1. Sedgwick was known for writing domestic fiction, which basically means woman fiction. In a lot of her books and stories there is a strong rebellious woman role. A woman kind of defying he role as a woman.  Do you think this is resemblance of herself and who she wants to be? Why? Do you feel she had any part to play in women’s rights  by fiction stories?
  2. In this chapter Isabella Linwood makes a statement, “I am beginning to think that if I had been a man, I should not have forgotten that I was an American.” Do you think this statement is a correct representation of how an early american woman would view themselves? Or Do you think this is all just fiction and has nothing in relations to how women would actually feel in this time? Why or why not?
  3. From the book, “When a man begins to be humble in relation to a woman, he is not very far from love; and absurd as Eliot would have deemed it to fall in love at first sight, and utterly absurd for him, at any time, to fall in love with Miss Linwood, it was most fortunate for him that he was suddenly taken from her presence.” What do you think this small portion near the end of the chapter means? Why do you think the character Elliot finds it absurd for him to fall in love with Miss Linwood? Do you feel it has something to do with her strong role as a woman in this time? Why or why not?
  4. Sedgwick’s novels and short stories tend to test boundaries on gender roles, freedom of people; specifically, minorities, and what it’s like to be a woman in her time. How do you think this affected people who read her books and short stories? What would your response be if you were in that position? For what reason?

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Reading Guide Questions by Timothy Robbins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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