Essay Topic 1
Discuss the piano introduced in the first few chapters of the novel. Why was this object so important to James, and what did it symbolize in his life? Describe how the piano came from ruins in James's childhood home to ruins in Materia's married home. What effect did the piano have on Materia as a character and on her marriage to James? Be sure to include examples from the text to strengthen your arguments.
Essay Topic 2
Describe Materia's relationship with music as she grows up, particularly during the time of her marriage to James. What did music symbolize for Materia? During what times was Materia allowed to express herself through music? Then, compare / contrast Materia's life when she was allowed access to music with the times she was not allowed access to music. What aspects of Materia's life changed without music? What does this tell you...
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