Study Help Essay Questions

1. To what extent does Edna’s story depend upon its location in 1890s America? How might her behavior and attitudes be received in another place and time, such as in ancient Greece or medieval England?

2. What is Edna trying to achieve throughout the novel? Does she fulfill her mission?

3. Identify and discuss the bird/wings imagery used throughout the book.

4. How do music and art function within the novel and in Edna’s life?

5. What role do children play in this novel? How is Edna like a child, and how do her own children affect her decision to kill herself?