The Paris Wife: A Novel Short Essay - Answer Key

Paula McLain
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Where was Hadley when the novel opens and what is she doing?

Hadley Richardson was at a small party in Chicago in October, 1920, at the home of her dear friends, sister and brother Kate and Kenley Smith. There were other friends she knew to varying degrees, but she was fascinated by another young man at the party whom she didn't know.

2. Why is Hadley in mourning and why does she think the party will help?

Hadley was in mourning. Her mother had just recently suffered through a terrible illness which took her life. Hadley looked forward to seeing her old friend Kate and dancing and drinking a little to take her mind off her grief.

3. What did Hadley learn about Ernest when she met him the next morning in the kitchen?

Hadley was stunned the next morning when she walked into the kitchen and found Ernest sitting there. As it turned out, he was staying at the apartment for the time being. He explained that he was writing copy for Firestone, but he hoped one day to write an important novel or even a book of poetry. He asked her if she would read something he wrote. She readily agreed and found the short story he wrote very well-written.

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