Essay Topics/Writing Assignments
These 20 essay questions can be used as essay questions on a test, or as stand-alone essay topics for a take-home or in-class writing assignment. Students should have a full understanding of the text in order to answer these questions. They ask for a thorough analysis of the text.
1. In his Introduction, Tobias Wolff quotes Kafka as saying literature is like an axe with which to break "the frozen sea within us." What did Kafka mean by this? What two stories in the collection had this affect on you and why?
2. Alcohol is a theme in some of the stories in this collection. Compare the drinking and the effect drinking has on these characters and their close relationships: Walter in All The Way To Flagstaff, Arizona; Willi Vorig in Talk of Heroes, and Lenny in Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta.
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