Play It as It Lays Topics for Discussion

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What comment is Joan Didion making on Hollywood and the film industry by her portrayal of the characters in this book? Do you think her perspective and treatment of these characters and situations is accurate? If so, how? If not, why?

In what ways does Didion comment on the role women played in 1960s society? From her secret abortion at a home in Encino to her drifting ways, Maria does not fall into the stereotype of a "housewife". What does this character say about the struggles and desires of women?

How is mental illness portrayed in this book? What effect does mental illness, in one's self, in their children, in the people around them—have on life and one's ability to make rational decisions?

In this book, we see a marriage fall apart and end in divorce. What factors led to this eventual...

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This section contains 345 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Play It as It Lays Study Guide
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