Essay Topic 1
Describe the overall setting for the book. Why does Chabon use the setting he does? What is the time period of the story? How important is the time period to the attitudes and issues of the characters?
Essay Topic 2
Explain the taboo of homosexuality in the 1980s. Compare and contrast homosexuality in America during the 1980s to homosexuality in America today. What major changes have occurred--both positive and negative?
Essay Topic 3
Explain the significance of the book's title--THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH. Why did Chabon choose this title? Is there an understood message in the title? Or is the author just having fun with the reader?
Essay Topic 4
Explain the symbolism of Phlox's role in Art's life. What does it signify? What role does she play for Art in the book? Why did the author choose Phlox as a sort of foil in the story?
Essay Topic 5
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