Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Guilt or Innocence?

When reading the short stories, ask yourselves the following quesiton: Who is Guilty? Who is Innocent?

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

Is Margo guilty of murder?

If you think so, then you probably see Margo as emasculating, overbearing, controlling. Francis has struggled and finally broken her hold over him, and now she must kill him.

In this light, Margo is a classic femme fatale, a fading beauty who will blackmail, belittle and cuckcold men to get what she wants. The shooting is a deliberate act to prevent her husband from leaving her, and taking away her power.


Was the shooting an accident?
Did Francis reach his potential, overcome his fears, find himself, only to find that life is over? Does Margo really try to "save" Francis? He has come from a crewcut, henpecked 35-year-old to a confident, masculine, self-assured man. Is the buffalo hunt his final act of courage that culminates his life? Kind of nihilistic, eh?

As we read the three estrogen-based short stories, think: Who is innocent in the story? Who is guilty?

What does Mrs Mallard's feelings about love say about her?

"And yet she had loved him--sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!"

What is most important to her?

In "The Yellow Wallpaper", what effect does love have on the protagonist? Is this really love? Can you love someone who calls you "goose"?

What effect has love had on Granny Weatherall? What does she look for as she lies in her deathbed?

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