Overtones Short Essay - Answer Key

Alice Gerstenberg
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1. How does Gesternberg symbolize John as a starving artist?

Gesternberg indicates John is a starving artist by his nervous disposition and slightly shabby clothes.

2. Why is John angry at Margaret in Act 1?

John is irritated with Margaret's obvious attempts to locate wealthy art patrons to secure work for him. John would prefer to be painting in his studio, but Margaret considers it futile if there is no one to buy the work.

3. Why does Margaret think John is lucky to have her as a wife?

Margaret is a realist who knows pandering to the egos of the wealthy is the surest way of securing painting commissions. For this reason and the fact she is ambitious, she tells John he is fortunate to have her as a wife.

4. Why is Harriet married to William?

Harriet is embarrassed by William's boorish attempts to secure a table and William has to apologize for being himself. It turns out William is a successful businessman whom Harriet abhors. She stays with him only for his money.

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