Arsenic and Old Lace Topics for Discussion

Joseph Kesselring
This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Arsenic and Old Lace.
This section contains 354 words
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Topic 1

Discuss the various forms of “madness” portrayed by the author in this play. Is there a difference between the madness that has caused Abby and Martha to kill 12 people and the one that has caused Jonathan to kill the same number? Do Abby and Martha have the slightest idea that what they have done is wrong? Do Abby and Martha kill Mr. Witherspoon at the end because he is unhappy, or because they want to surpass Jonathan’s “count”? Does madness run in families?

Topic 2

Discuss the relationships between the members of the Brewster family. Why are Abby and Martha so fiercely loyal to – and protective of – Teddy? Why do they have almost exactly opposite feelings about Jonathan? Is how they treat Mortimer at all affected by the fact that they know he is adopted? Why are they afraid he will feel bad about being adopted...

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This section contains 354 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Arsenic and Old Lace Study Guide
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