Henderson the Rain King Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

This Study Guide consists of approximately 63 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Henderson the Rain King.
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Almost any discussion of Henderson the Rain King will focus on the protagonist and Bellow's ways of guiding readers in their evaluation of him. The first several questions narrow that topic, then the others suggest other directions by which readers may enjoy other aspects of the novel.

1. Why do you suppose Bellow, whose other novels are so richly immersed in Jewish-American culture, selects Handel's Messiah as Henderson's "subtext"?

2. Would you characterize Henderson as a hero, an antihero, a comic figure, or a character out of popular rather than "serious" literature? Why?

3. Does Henderson's apparent neglect of, or indifference toward, his children compromise his role as the hero of this narrative?

4. How do you feel about Henderson's conflicted roles as a son? Consider both the breach with his father and Henderson's playing the violin as a way to communicate with him.

5. Do you think the reconciliation with...

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This section contains 274 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Henderson the Rain King Study Guide
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