The Waterworks Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

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Questions about the mixture of history and fiction are again apropos for a discussion of The Waterworks.

Some consideration of its gothic elements may also provoke an exchange of ideas. A lively debate, however, is most apt to result from a challenge to the moral ambiguity of a character like Sartorius. Or a challenge to the reliability of the narrator.

1. What vision of America after the Civil War does the author present in The Waterworks?

2. What perspective does McIlvaine bring to his narration? When he says, "you suffer the story you tell," what should the reader infer about his objectivity?

3. How are elements of gothic and realistic fiction combined in The Waterworks?

4. Is there enough suspense to hold a reader's attention until the mystery is solved? How successful is Doctorow's foreshadowing of the climax?

5. What is the appropriate response to the character of Dr. Sartorius? Does he have...

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This section contains 195 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Waterworks Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Waterworks 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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