American Literature

   Reading Journals for Petry

Pick the question that you feel that you can answer the most completely.
There is no one question that is "better" than the other one
  1.  This novel is often classified as a tragedy. If it is a tragedy, then there has to be a fatal flaw in the main character of Lutie: a character trait that creates and inevitably leads to her downfall. Identify Lutie's tragic flaw and indicate how it leads to the circumstances of her downfall.   answer this journal

  2. The three main women in the novel, Lutie, Min and Mrs. Hedges, show different aspects of how black women can survive. Compare and contrast their survival techniques and indicate which one(s) you feel are most successful. (Remember that Hughes references the lives of black women in his poetry as well)  answer this journal

  3. Many readers ask why Lutie commits the crime that she commits at the end of the novel. A better, or at least more complex, question is: Why does Boots do what he does at the end of the novel? Was it set up for us earlier, or is it completely out of the blue? What in his background would lead us to see him acting this way? (Think of this in terms of what Hughes has shown as the black man’s views at this same time). Explain as completely as you can.  answer this journal

  4. Which is more the cause of what happens to Lutie: race or class? If you want, you can argue that it was both, neither, or one or the other. If you want to argue that it was something else, feel free, but base your answer on evidence from the novel, not emotion or stereotypes. (look to Hughes’ works as well for clues)   answer this journal

  5. This covergallery ( shows the various covers that I am aware of along with a brief analysis of each one. Identify which covers you feel are most and/or least appropriate to the novel as you have experienced it. Which ones fit/didn't fit the novel that you read? Explain as best as you can.    answer this journal