Philadelphia Fire Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

This Study Guide consists of approximately 8 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Philadelphia Fire.
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In this, Wideman's most bleak look at life to date, readers may feel confused or overwhelmed. Yet Philadelphia Fire was the recipient of a PEN/Faulkner award. Wideman remains in the forefront of contemporary American writers because he ignites his work with passion. He is a virtuoso at matching forms with content; in this novel he pushes the boundaries of form and takes some risks in combining fact with fiction. He asks the reader to examine ugly realities of modern life, just as he examines them himself. Philadelphia Fire is testament to Wideman's penchant for technical experimentation and his commitment to exploring social issues through his work.

1. Is Cudjoe an admirable character?

Which qualities of his are appealing?

Which are not?

2. Compare Cudjoe and Wideman as characters. In what ways are they similar and different?

3. Look at exiled characters in the novel (Cudjoe, Wideman in Laramie...

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