The Great Fire Topics for Discussion

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1. Why does Claire Innes avoid looking at the dead?

2. Why was Chicago, in 1871, built mostly of wood?

3. Why would William Brown have thought that correcting the location of the fire would have "confused the situation," as Murphy puts it?

4. Murphy says that the Great Fire became more than an average fire partly because of people's blunders. What were these blunders and how did each make the fire worse?

5. Why would the Great Fire become international news?

6. Why does Murphy tell about the experiences of ordinary people like Claire Innes rather than focusing just on the officials and leaders who contributed to fighting the fire?

7. How did newspapers in 1871 portray the fire? What faults does Murphy find in the newspaper accounts?

8. Are the many characters in The Great Fire confusing because of their number? What does Murphy do to make them less confusing than they could be?

9. Murphy...

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This section contains 206 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Great Fire Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Great Fire 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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