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Abraham the King

Chapter One

1. Explain the significance of the parrot and the mockingbird at the beginning of this chapter.

2. Why would Chopin have thought it important to include this detail in her brief mention of the children’s nurse?
3. Why would Ponterllier consider his suntanned wife to be a “damaged piece of property?
4. Who is Robert Lebrun?
5. What is his relationship with Edna?

Chapter Two

1. Describe Edna Pontellier.
2. What kind of person is Robert Lebrun?
3. What shift in point of view is evident in Chapter Two?
4. What do you learn about Robert and Edna from their conversation at the end of this chapter?

Chapter Three

1. How does Leonce’s behavior when he returns from the Klein Hotel reveal his attitude toward his wife?
2. What is the first sign that Edna is not completely happy with her life as it is?
3. Discuss how sounds are used as a backdrop to the scene of disagreement between Leonce and Enda?
4. How do the gifts Edna receives from her husband symbolize her marriage and most marriages of this time?

Chapter Four

1. Describe the unusual nature of the relationship between Edna and her children.
2. What is Chopin implying by this description: “They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels. ”
3. Who is Adele Ratingnolle, and how is she the embodiment of the “mother- woman”?
4. How does the fact that Edna is not a Creole affect her relationship with others on Grand Isle?

Chapter Five

1. How does Robert’s behavior toward Edna fit the pattern of Medieval and Renaissance courtly love?
2.What is the difference between Robert’s present attentions to Edna and his past attentions to Adele Ratignolle?
3. Compare Edna’s sketching with Adele’s sewing.
4. To what tradition is Chopin referring when she has Edna compare Adele to a Madonna?
5. What is ironic about the simile?

Chapter Six

1. What is significant about Edna’s first saying she did not want to go swimming with Robert and then agreeing to go?
2. How is the sea used symbolically in this chapter?

Chapter Seven

1. How are Edna Pontellier and Adele Ratignolle contrasted in this chapter?
2. What does the road to the beach symbolize in this chapter?
3. What is the significance of the lady in black and the two lovers in this chapter?
4. What does the flashback to Edna’s childhood reveal to the reader?
5. What do you learn about Edna as a person, given the reasons for her marriage to Leonce?
6. “She grew fond of her husband, realizing with some unaccountable satisfaction that no trace of passion or excessive and fictitious warmth colored her affection,, thereby threatening its dissolution. ” How does the narrator’s omniscience reveal Edna’s feelings about marriage and intimate relationships?

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