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Portnoy's Complaint Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 132 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Essay Topics

Discuss the plot structure of Portnoy's Complaint. How is this novel constructed differently than the traditional structure of literature? How can one determine the rising action, climax, and falling action in the novel?

Discuss the theme of religion in Portnoy's Complaint. How does the narrator express his issues with Judaism? What are his feelings toward Christianity? How does religion tie into the other themes in the novel?

Discuss the role of the character of Dr. Spielvogel in the novel. What literary device does this character embody?

Compare and contrast the narrator's experiences of sexuality in America to those of his experiences in Israel. What significance is implied by these differences?

Discuss the Oedipus Complex as it applies to the main character of Portnoy's Complaint. What emotions and experiences support this theme?

Discuss the historical context of when this novel was published. How did this time period affect the...

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