Shirley Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

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Given the historical aspects of Shirley, one might find it instructive to return to the writer who was probably her primary inspiration in this genre: Sir Walter Scott.

One might, for example, read the early passage in Scott's The Heart of Midlothian (1818) dealing with the real-life Porteus Riot and compare it with the section in Shirley which narrates the attack on Robert Moore's mill. Does Scott do the job better? What are the similarities and differences in technique?

Also, gaining some background on the Luddite uprisings and on the effects of the Industrial Revolution (including, for example, the horrific working conditions of many poor people) and on the Orders in Council could aid the reader in evaluating Bronte's treatment of the period.

Further, the matter of how well the historical material is blended with the personal elements should be considered.

1. Which main female character, Caroline or Shirley, emerges...

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This section contains 389 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Shirley Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Shirley 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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