A Reliable Wife Short Essay - Answer Key

Robert Goolrick
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Who are the two main characters in A RELIABLE WIFE?

This novel of sexual intrigue, betrayal, and redemption is built around the experiences of two characters, Ralph Truitt and Catherine Land, who at first appear to be very different but are ultimately quite similar.

2. What themes does the author introduce early in the story?

As the narrative gradually peels back the many layers of secrets and sufferings in the lives of each of these deeply troubled characters, it also explores themes related to the power of sexual desire, the unpredictable nature of humanity, and the dangers of isolation.

3. What is Ralph Truitt doing as the novel begins?

On a cold winter night in Wisconsin in 1907, with a blizzard looming, wealthy businessman Ralph Truitt waits on the platform of the train station for the train that is carrying his mail order bride. Ralph is aware that the townspeople also on the platform are only there to see his bride and that those people both despise him for his loneliness and need him for the jobs he provides for almost everyone in the town.

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