Essay Topic 1
Pierre is an important element in the novel and a representative of the forces of society that are destroying Cincinnatus. Discus Pierre's character, his attitudes, and his reactions.
1) Why does Pierre present himself as a prisoner and try to become Cincinnatus' friend? How does Pierre view his relationship with Cincinnatus?
2) What does Pierre think of himself and his position in society? How does he promote himself? How does he use language and cultural dictates to create "truth?"
3) What elements of Cincinnatus's psyche does Pierre represent?
Essay Topic 2
The novel revolves around Cincinnatus's persecution for a crime, but his crime is never clearly explained. Discuss the nature of Cincinnatus's crime.
1) What does "gnostic turpitude" mean? How does this phrase describe Cincinnatus' crime?
2) What does the episode in Cincinnatus's childhood when he walks in the air reveal about Cincinnatus' crime?
3) How do the other characters react to Cincinnatus'...
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