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Book Club Wed Sep 08 2010

Young Lonigan Discussion Questions

Below are the questions we'll use to start our discussion of Young Lonigan, the first part of the classic Studs Lonigan trilogy by James T. Farrell. As usual, we'll meet at the Book Cellar at 7:30pm to talk about the book on Monday, September 13. New members are always welcome to join.

  • How would you descibe Studs Lonigan? How does his age factor into his behaviors? Are you able to relate to him as a character? Is he someone you'd want to know?
  • What kind of reputation does Studs have among the neighborhood boys? Does he live up to his own impressions of himself? Does he have the reputation he wants to have?
  • What are the differences between Studs and his father? What kind of person does Mr. Lonigan believe his son to be? What does he want for him?
  • How are women portrayed in the book? What does Studs's attitude toward his mother and sister reveal about how women are valued in the book?
  • What are the differences between Studs's various relationships with girls? How does he act differently with Lucy vs. Helen vs. Iris? Does he learn anything from any of these relationships? Why does his attraction to Helen confuse him?
  • What role does education play in the boys' lives? Do any of them believe in the value of education? Do their parents? Do you think Studs will end up going to high school?
  • What do you think is the author's impression of this time period and of Studs? How does he work to idealize and romanticize the two?
  • How does the story end? Has anything about Studs changed? Is there a satisfying resolution to his wandering summer?

 
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