Billy Bathgate Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

This Study Guide consists of approximately 6 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Billy Bathgate.
This section contains 197 words
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Questions about Doctorow's rendition of a gangster world, his parody of the American success story, and his indictment of the violence in the underworld of American society, are apt to stimulate a wide-ranging critical discussion of Billy Bathgate.

1. What qualities of mind and feeling does the author create for the title character and narrator of this novel?

2. How is sympathy maintained for Billy despite his involvement in the crime and violence of the underworld?

3. Given the terror of Billy's childhood, why doesn't the author reveal the scars of the adult narrator? Or is it better for Doctorow to leave the psychological consequences implicit in the recollections of the survivor?

4. How does the realistic style of this novel invoke the depths of American myth about crime families and material success?

5. What elements of Billy Bathgate are most available for a rendition on the screen, and where does the novel...

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This section contains 197 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Billy Bathgate Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Billy Bathgate from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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