Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Norton Anthology of Your Life

From, The Norton Anthology, c. 2005, New York, Norton.

1. What is the significance of the title? What “sacrifices” do you make during the story? Is the title ironic?
2. How do your colleagues, friends, and family respond to your death? How does the presentation of their response set the stage for an account of your life?
3. What does the author think of you? Why has he put you in such difficult circumstances? Would you characterize his attitude towards you as affectionate? Mocking?
4. How do you deal with the difficulties of marriage and parenthood?
5. What is the significance of the dream sequence? Why do you think it’s in there? What about the figure on the horse?
6. In the final analysis, are you a victim or an aggressor?
7. At one point the reader learns that you have done something horrible, and at first it is not clear what you have done. How do you react to the fact that you have done something unforgivable, and what does this reaction in turn convey to the reader?
8. Who is Tony, and why does he appear in the story when he does?
9. What does Tony mean when he calls you “hollow”?