Angels & Insects Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

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Many comparisons are possible in discussions of these novellas, both comparisons of the novellas to each other and of one or both to other works by Byatt. The Victorian setting, not paralleled here by a modern setting as it is in Possession, may stimulate discussion of the strengths and shortcomings of Victorian society and how it compares to modern society.

1. At the beginning of "Morpho Eugenia" William is attracted to the beautiful Eugenia, but at the end he leaves with the much plainer Matty.

What has he learned that allows him to find Matilda attractive?

2. Why does William insist that ants are not like humans? How are ants and humans shown to be similar?

3. Here, as in Possession, characters' names are significant. What meanings are suggested by William Adamson, Alabaster, Eugenia, and by the change from Matty to Matilda?

4. The title of Matty's story, "Things Are...

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This section contains 277 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Angels & Insects Short Guide
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Angels & Insects from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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