October - A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: October - A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

  1. #1
    Posting Addict Finzmom4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    "Celebrate we will because life is short but sweet for certain."
    Posts
    16,539

    Default October - A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

    going ahead and posting this while I have some time.


    Discussion Questions
    1. How does the metaphor of light play into the story? Why do you think Helen chooses to refer to herself as Light?

    2. Helen's first host bears a striking resemblance to the poet Emily Dickinson, who wrote a poem called "There's a Certain Slant of Light." How does this poem encompass Helen's story?

    There's a certain Slant of light,
    Winter Afternoons
    That oppresses, like the Heft
    Of Cathedral Tunes

    Heavenly Hurt, it gives us
    We can find no scar,
    But internal difference,
    Where the Meanings, are

    None may teach it—Any
    'Tis the Seal Despair
    An imperial affliction
    Sent us of the Air

    When it comes, the Landscape listens
    Shadows—hold their breath
    When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
    On the look of Death

    — Emily Dickinson


    3. Can you explain/interpret Helen's jealousy toward Mrs. Brown and her affection toward Mr. Brown? Why is he the only host Helen names?

    4. What are some interpretations of the nicknames of Helen's other hosts: The Saint, The Knight, The Playwright, The Poet?

    5. Among the novel's many themes are those of guilt and forgiveness. Which characters feel guilt? In what ways do they attempt to mask or absolve this guilt to achieve forgiveness? Who feels rightful guilt and who misinterprets tragedy as fault? What effects does guilt have on the actions of the characters?

    6. Throughout the story, the ideas of free will and absence of choice are in constant battle. Show examples of moments when Helen and James exercise free will, even when it appears as if they lack choices. Are they robbing Jenny and Billy of free will when they enter their bodies?

    7. Whitcomb represents various types of ghosts in her novel. How do they differ from one another? What ties them together and why?

    8. How might the story be different if Helen and James were not adults but rather teenagers themselves?

    9. The role of religion in Jenny's family is quite complicated. What are the various family members' reasons for embracing religion? How does Helen view their beliefs?

    http://www.hmhbooks.com/readers_guid...tml#discussion

  2. #2
    Posting Addict Finzmom4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    "Celebrate we will because life is short but sweet for certain."
    Posts
    16,539

    Default

    Have started listening to this one, seems pretty interesting. The writing is interesting, not exactly sure how to describe it.

  3. #3
    Posting Addict Finzmom4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    "Celebrate we will because life is short but sweet for certain."
    Posts
    16,539

    Default

    am I the only one reading this one?

    I'm 13 or 14 chapters in, good so far.

+ Reply to Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
v -->

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Terms & Conditions