The Barnum Museum Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

This Study Guide consists of approximately 12 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Barnum Museum.
This section contains 258 words
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Steven Millhauser's fiction is a commentary itself on the writing process. The Barnum Museum questions the boundaries between illusion and reality, and how those boundaries become blurred in art. Art itself renders the distinction between illusion and reality problematic. Once that boundary is questioned, interpretation and truth become that much more difficult. For Millhauser, this questioning is troublesome, but ultimately in some senses freeing, because it allows for mystery and magic to enter into our everyday lives.

1. Some commentators argue that the stories in The Barnum Museum are flawed because they are too similar, too onedimensional. It is clear that Millhauser has a point to make in these stories. Does that point weaken the stories?

Are they less effective as literature because they are trying to make a point?

3. Consider how effective a forum literature is for discussing the nature of literature itself.

2. The creative impulse in...

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This section contains 258 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Barnum Museum Short Guide
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The Barnum Museum from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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