Behind a Mask Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

This Study Guide consists of approximately 11 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Behind a Mask.
This section contains 383 words
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Alcott's fiction should stimulate vigorous discussions because of her themes and her techniques, including her reliance upon her autobiography.

Her stories and novels generally reflect a feminist understanding that critics recognize as remarkably wide-ranging in scope. Behind a Mask clearly links the role of actress with a woman's means to establish herself in society. A good line to take in discussion is whether the feminine pretenses Jean Muir adopted to gain her ends are essential for women today.

Besides the feminist aspects of the novella, critics see it as a crucial expression of Alcott herself. Another good avenue to pursue is the degree to which readers agree with critics on this point, particularly in the light of Alcott's reputation as "the children's friend" — the author of Little Women (1869), Little Men (1871), and Eight Cousins (1875). Readers might also consider whether Alcott merely used the conventions of "sensation" fiction...

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This section contains 383 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Behind a Mask Short Guide
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Behind a Mask from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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