This begins the first of two groups of questions on The Corrections. These have been written well beforehand while I am on a visit to
Colorado. I hope you enjoy my responses to these Oprah questions. I have left them numbered so you can relate them
to the original listing if you care to.
4. Why does Denise choose to lose her virginity to Don Armour? Which qualities of her co-worker simultaneously attract and repel her? Why does Al sacrifice his job for Denise's privacy?
What a wacky woman this Denise is and yet sometimes during the book she seems the most sane. Why she decided to have sex with Armour is beyond me and yet she seemed to think it would get her something. Why her father decided to sacrifice for her is balanced by the fact that he could have turned the tables on Armour for harassment. Again, this is a weird fact exposed in the book that had all the world of consequences in its secrecy.
6. How does the issue of class play out during the course of the novel? In what different ways does class drive
Enid's behavior on the cruise and propel
Denise's decision to sleep with Don Armour? How does concern over class status
affect Gary and
Caroline or Brian and Robin?
They had none but wanted it and the more they chased it the more they lost.
8. Discuss the different moral codes members of the Lambert family adhere to. Consider
Enid's fear of her
children's "immorality," Gary's
obsession with Caroline's dishonesty, Alfred's refusal to engage in insider
trading, Denise's rage at Gary
for having betrayed the sibling code of honor and Chip's animus against the W_
_ Corporation and big business in general. Which of these judgments seem most
valid? Does the book favor one moral view over another?
This entire family was chasing their entire lives – except maybe Alfred who refused to play the game. Maybe that is why I found the book so frantic. Run, run, run to catch what? I don’t think the book actually favored any moral code – the redemption of Chip at the end isn’t necessarily long lasting when you have seen his character throughout the book. Alfred is dead and
gets to continue chasing something more
that she feels she should be entitled to.
9. Consider the atmosphere of suburban St. Jude (named for the patron saint of hopeless causes) in comparison to the more sophisticated surroundings of
Philadelphia and New York. Why has the
Lamberts' neighborhood evolved into a gerontocratic refuge? "What Gary hated most about the Midwest
was how unpampered and unprivileged he felt in it" [p. 178]. What negative
and positive qualities are attributed to the Midwest?
How are the characters shaped by the cities or towns they live in?
Honestly, aren’t people just people no matter where they live and what ‘surroundings’ they live in? These Oprah questions seem to me to constantly direct you to dislike someone else who has something different that you do. Hat the corporation, hate the
Midwest, hate the city, hate that restaurant, hate, hate,
hate, --- it gets really disheartening!
10. What is the significance of "one last Christmas?" Is
Enid's obsession with the
holidays predictable for a mother of her generation or is it, as Gary fears, "a
symptom of a larger malaise" [p. 148]?
Don’t we all desire to have family close to us for the sake of our spouse?
knew that Alfred was
failing, this would be the last gathering of his offspring – all together. Why wouldn’t a wife want to give him a memory
to hold onto? Enid
I hope you all are enjoying Their Eyes Were Watching God, the Book of the Month for May.