Essay Topic 1
Discuss the idea of possession in the novel.
1) What types of things do people try to possess? How do people possess knowledge and the past?
2) How do people possess each other in the novel?
3) How do people lose themselves to possessions in the novel?
Essay Topic 2
The novel follows two parallel stories, one in the past and one in the present. Discuss the relationship of the past and the present in the novel.
1) How is communication possible between the past and the present?
2) What drives the characters to try to understand the past? Why does Roland study the past?
3) What do parallels between the past and the present say about human experience?
Essay Topic 3
The novel is subtitled "a romance." Discuss the ways in which the novel is a romance.
1) How is intellectual investigation a kind of romance? How are the characters obsessed and entranced by...
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